The current narrative on NSA leaker Ed Snowden (yes, his friends call him "Ed") has been devoid of those close to him who know him as a person. In one of his interviews with The Guardian he said he didn't want the discussion to be about him, he wanted it to focus on the issues at hand; but in a situation like this I suppose I can be forgiven for wanting to show support for Ed any way I can.
Many of Ed's friends and co-workers can't speak out, fearful of losing their jobs, or because there's an ongoing criminal investigation/manhunt. Some must stay quiet because they worked with him in clandestine services and can't expose themselves.
This, perhaps, places me in a rather unique position. I don't work for the CIA or NSA, but I obtained top secret clearance for a position I held in Geneva when I met Ed. My security clearance allowed him to talk to me as a friend about some of the things that weighed on his mind and conscience. He never divulged anything to me he should not have. He spoke in the context of the information I already knew, and in a general sense about the stresses and burdens of the work he performed. Even verifying anything about him may mean that my work options in the future are limited. That's a risk I'm willing to take so that he doesn't have to stand alone. Compared to the sacrifice he's made, it seems insignificant.
Source: TimesFreePress. Read full article. (link)