Friend Of Snowden Writes Op-Ed About Man Behind The NSA Leaks

A personal friend of Edward Snowden penned an op-ed for the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Wednesday in support of the source behind the leaks of National Security Agency information.

Mavanee Anderson, a Vanderbilt Law School graduate who lives in Washington, shed a little more light on the man behind the story:

Ed is an incredibly smart, kind and sincere person. He talked a great deal about the fact that he didn’t complete high school when he and I were in close contact, but he is an IT whiz — I’ve always taken it for granted that he’s an IT genius, really — who came by most of his skill and knowledge on his own.

He is introspective and, perhaps, a bit prone to brood: the type of person who thinks long and hard before coming to a decision. At the time when we were in close contact — from the summer of 2007 through the first part of 2009 — he was already experiencing a crisis of conscience of sorts. I think anyone smart enough to be involved in the type of work he does, who is privy to the type of information to which he was privy, will have at least moments like these. And at some point during that time he left the CIA.

Ed is interesting and brilliant; accomplished in martial arts and an active participant in related activities. I know he used to participate every year in Chinese New Year parades with his martial arts organization. He once gave me a one-on-one martial arts lesson, and I was surprised at his abilities — and very amused that he seemed unable to go very easy on a newbie.

Read the piece in its entirety here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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