The former spook has written an op-ed for CNN in which he argues that “Russia is exactly where the American intelligence community wants Snowden” because the U.S. government can use his asylum in Russia to “discredit Snowden’s warnings of the threat posed to civil liberties by our ever-growing surveillance state.”
There certainly are dangers arising from the fact that Snowden “has found sanctuary in the arms of the FSB, the successor to the KGB,” but Boyce is focusing on the idea that Snowden has “seriously blunted his own effectiveness” by praising Mother Russia while Russian President Vladimir Putin adds criminalizing homosexuality to his human rights record.
Boyce says he leaked intelligence because, like Snowden, he “wanted to publicize and strike back at the U.S. intelligence community for the things I saw that outraged me.”
But he decided against fleeing to Russia.
I decided I would rather live the life of a hunted fugitive in my own country than spend my years controlled as a puppet of the KGB. After my arrest in 1977, I spent 25 years in prison.
Boyce writes that he now regrets leaking and suspects Snowden will come to regret his actions, adding that the U.S. surveillance apparatus will continue to be left unchecked.
That last part is uncertain — there are signs that Snowden’s leaks have spurred Congress to act — but the op-ed is an interesting perspective from a man who was America’s most wanted fugitive 36 years before Snowden.
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