Oliver Stone talks ‘Snowden’ movie, love, cyberwarfare & govt secrets (VIDEO)
Despite Edward Snowden’s notoriety, rarely mentioned is how he became one of the biggest whistleblowers in US history. “Snowden” director Oliver Stone offers insight into who the former NSA contractor is, as well as what to expect in the age of cyberwarfare.
The Academy Award-winning director researched his film “Snowden” by meeting with the best source: Snowden himself.
“I had the opportunity to visit Snowden in Moscow, I was invited by his lawyer and I got to know him,” Stone told RT in an exclusive interview.
“Over the course of nine different trips and two years, my co-writer and I got a lot of inside information as to what happened,” he said. “Which makes it a very compelling story, and at the same time an exciting one, because it’s going on, in a sense, right now in this world.”
Indeed, the debate over Snowden continues to rage in Congress, where the House Intelligence Committee recently wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him not to pardon the exiled whistleblower. Meanwhile, numerous human rights groups have joined in a campaign to put pressure on the Obama administration in favor of pardoning Snowden.
“One of the most surprising things is his relationship, his human relationship to his girlfriend,” Stone said, “which was never mentioned really by the press. It was marginalized by them in a tough way.”
Understanding what Snowden gave up is necessary to seeing how grave the issue was to him, according to Stone.
“It’s important to realize that he had a love in his life and he had a relationship to somebody who mattered to him,” Stone said. “Keeping that relationship was crucial but he had to sacrifice it for this story that he wanted to get out to the world.”
“Certainly it shows why he did it, his motivation,” Stone said.
READ MORE: ‘American people deserve better’: Snowden refutes House report through Twitter outburst
“He’s one of the few people who spoke up. There’s only three, four, five people have spoken up about the NSA. They’ve all gotten into some degree of trouble, so this is a very secret government issue.”
“He’s had a lot of guts,” Stone said of Snowden. “One can never predict the outcome of revealing secrets.”
The problems facing the US are not limited to the surveillance state that Snowden exposed in the NSA leak, however. According to Stone, “It’s also the cyberwarfare state.”
“As far as I’m concerned, the cyberwarfare that’s going on in the world, we’re jumping to conclusions without the basis of fact,” he said. “People are saying stupid things.”
He explained that the desire of the US to blame the Democratic National Committee email hacks on Russia is not likely motivated by facts, due to the timeline of events.
“Cyberwarfare, from what I’ve learned from the Snowden movie, takes a lot of time to figure out who did what to who – sometimes months.”
The problem is “no one has patience in this crazy cycle. It’s easier to point to the enemy as the instigator.”
So if he doesn’t believe Russia is behind the leak, then who does he suspect?
“Consider the nature of the leak was about misbehavior at the DNC, which four major officials resigned for that reason,” Stone said, noting that much of the media overlooked the revelations that there was internal bias during the presidential primary against Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
“Some people have mentioned the possibility that it was an insider. Yes, that makes sense.”