Snowden Surfaces: "I'm Neither Traitor Nor Hero. I'm an American."

Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old whose leak of NSA documents revealed important details about the surveillance agency's mammoth online data-mining operation, resurfaced for the first time since his self-unmasking this weekend, telling a Hong Kong paper "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American."

The South China Morning Post's Lana Lam has the first interview with Snowden since The Guardian published a video interview identifying the former Booz Allen contractor as the source of a series of NSA scoops. They appear to be publishing it piecemeal, with a promise of more revelations to come:

[H]e told Post reporter Lana Lam: "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American." [...]

Today, he reveals:

  • more explosive details on US surveillance targets
  • his plans for the immediate future
  • the steps he claims the US has taken since he broke cover in Hong Kong
  • his fears for his family

In the first, just-published article, Snowden defends his choice of Hong Kong, saying he plans "to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate," and that he will stay until "asked to leave":

“People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” said Snowden told the Post earlier today.

Lam spoke with Snowden at an undisclosed location.