Edward Snowden has plenty of flaws, if you listen to certain members of Congress who call him, at best, a traitor or at worst, a traitor working with Russia. In reality, though, Snowden is simply that roommate who wants you to clean up a little more.
Vanity Fair released a small preview today of its upcoming mammoth story about Edward Snowden — 20,000 words on how the former NSA contractor upended a quiet, happy Hawaiin life to live in fear, and in Russia — which appears in the magazine's May issue. In the excerpts quoted online, we learn about Snowden's alleged "doomsday cache" of NSA documents (“Who would set up a system that incentivizes others to kill them?” he asks); what documents Snowden possesses in Russia ("Zero"); and the difference between Snowden and Wikileaks leader Julian Assange (“We don’t share identical politics. I am not anti-secrecy. I’m pro-accountability.").
The most interesting detail revealed was how Snowden hopes to one day receive asylum somewhere like, say, Germany. Now! This is interesting for a number of reasons, the most obvious reason being that Germany and the U.S. are strong allies but leaked NSA documents revealed the agency spied on chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone. Merkel was not pleased. Unfortunately for Snowden, it seems highly unlikely she would go so far as to grant him asylum as revenge for some textual snooping. President Obama would probably not be pleased.
But we also got a small but revealing peak into the life of Wikileaks attorney and Snowden attache, Sarah Harrison, who lived with Snowden initially as settled in Russia. Turns out Snowden is a bit of a neat freak. It does not sound like the two were very compatible:
One source close to Snowden tells Vanity Fair that he and WikiLeaks staffer Sarah Harrison moved multiple times and at one point lived with an American family outside Moscow. Snowden and Harrision’s time together “was a little bit of a love-hate thing,” says a person close to WikiLeaks. “They were stuck in close quarters there for a long time.” Snowden is fastidious and Harrison is not, this person says.
Unfortunately their time together came to an end in November when Harrison got the hell out of dodge and moved to Berlin, to work on Snowden's asylum applications, probably. Or to not live with someone constantly hounding you to clean up immediately after you finish your meals. Whichever, really. Harrison should not be such a slob. But at least their crazy, sitcom-like will-they-or-won't-they romantical life has ended. We can all finally move on and meet the mother.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.