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Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked top-secret documents on mass government surveillance programs to journalists this spring, has declared his mission accomplished.
“For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” Snowden told Barton Gellman, the Washington Post journalist to whom he leaked some of the documents he took from the NSA, in an interview published Monday night.
“I already won," he said. "As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.”
Snowden spoke with Gellman in Moscow, his first in-person interview since arriving in Russia in June and securing temporary asylum. Gellman described Snowden as "relaxed and animated" over the course of their two-day conversation.