Edward Snowden, the infamous contractor who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency to the press regarding widespread surveillance programs on American citizens, has married his long-time girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Moscow, Russia, where they both now live.
In the interview, timed to coincide with the release of his book titled Permanent Record, Snowden revealed he and Mills, who later moved to him in Russia, married two years ago at a private ceremony in a Moscow courthouse, reported Russian state news agency TASS yesterday.
When asked whether he braced for a slap in the face when Mills came to his door in Moscow, Snowden replied: “What would you do, if you ran out on your wife and she sees you on the news. You’re now wanted and can’t come home again. And then, months later, you see her. What would you expect?”
“She’s so much more than I’ll ever deserve,” he added.
“I’ve been to St. Petersburg, I’ve been to Sochi. I love travelling and I still do, even though I can’t cross borders now,” he said.
“One of the things that is lost in all the problematic politics of the Russian government is the fact this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The people are friendly. The people are warm,” he continued. “And when I came here I did not understand any of this. I was terrified of this place because, of course, they were the great fortress of the enemy, which is the way a CIA agent looks at Russia.
“What people don’t realize about Russia is that basically you can get all the same things you can get in the United States…The only thing they don’t have in Russia is Taco Bell.
“We have moved into a time where people care much more deeply about feelings than they do about facts. And this is a dangerous moment for democracy, because people believe that once we have achieved and established a free and open society it will remain that way, it will always be there. But the reality is: things can backslide very quickly.
“We need people to recognize these problems, to understand these problems and then to be willing to give something up to change that problem,” he said. “But it’s not enough to believe in something. You have to be ready to stand for something if you want it to change. And so that is what I hope this book will help people come to decide for themselves: are you ready to this change.”
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