Edward Snowden on The Most Dangerous Man in America’s influence on him

Dresdner Friedenspreis (2016 Dresden Peace Prize) awarded to Daniel Ellsberg

February, 2016—Dresden, Germany


Edward Snowden: I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that without a Daniel Ellsberg there could not have been an Edward Snowden….

Dan and I have an interesting history, because we’ve debated back and forth across a numbers of issues, but there is something about his inspiration to me which is not very well-known:

The film that you have recently watched, The Most Dangerous Man in America, is one that I myself watched– but it wasn’t this year or the year before, it was in 2012, the year before I came forward. And his example, seeing what he did, seeing the choices that he faced, seeing how he struggled with the same, sort of, moral complexities that I myself was unable to resolve, helped me see that there was a model that was established, that had come from people who had come before–at different levels, at higher levels, even more deeply embedded in matters of government understanding– and they came to the conclusion that it is not enough to recognize that something is wrong, it is not enough to simply raise a complaint. We have not just the right, but the moral obligation, to ourselves and our societies, if we have the capability to do something, to achieve a positive result, for our families and the futures of our countries. (applause)