NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s biggest fear as he leaked damning evidence of widespread US snooping last year was that no one would have taken him seriously, according to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Snowden’s revelations shook the world in 2013 as the Guardian and Washington Post revealed the vast extent of US National Security Agency snooping programme.
He was terrified at the time, according to Greenwald, that he would have risked his life unraveling – and possibly spending the rest of his life in jail – and that no one would have taken his leaks seriously.
And, according to Greenwald, who himself has been the subject of threats because of his role as a go-between for Snowden and the media, seeing the huge response to the leaks was "obviously very gratifying" for Snowden.
"It has been a burden of stress…and there have been a lot of risks", he told FRANCE 24. "But it has also been an opportunity to start a worldwide debate".
Greenwald added that he felt too many journalists "are subservient to and accommodating of the very factions of political power that the free press exists to constrain", citing the way the US government had convinced Americans to support a war in Iraq "based on falsehoods".