Here's a bizarre story. A German reporter, Julia Prosinger, spent a week in the NYC offices of the ACLU with Ben Wizner, one of the key lawyers working with Ed Snowden. There, she reports about the Robot Snowden that is set up in the ACLU offices, allowing Snowden to "hang out" with ACLU folks any time he wants (assuming people are around). You may have seen the robot Snowden
on stage at TED, but apparently Snowden is still using a version of that thing that's just kept at the ACLU's offices, allowing him to zoom around and talk to folks. They're even talking about having more Snowdenbots around the globe so he can pop in virtually wherever he wants.
But, that's not the craziest part of the story.
It's that during the interview with Prosinger, she happens to have a seizure, and Snowden apparently both talks Wizner through what to do
and calms Prosinger as she comes to.
Suddenly, during the attempt to explain German, I faint. I wake up, my head lies bedded on a sand bag, my body is in the recovery position. A calm voice is coming from the screen. “The first fits are always the worst,” Snowden says. I am lucky: Snowden is not only a patriot or traitor, he is also an epileptic. He instantly recognised what was happening to me. He tells me that he was only diagnosed when he was 23 years old. When he fled the US a little more than a year ago, he told his employer that he had to go away for a few weeks for treatment for his epilepsy. Then Snowden apologises for making me look at the flickering screen, it had triggered the fit, he says.
Ben Wizner brings a glass of juice. He is moved. He has been travelling for a year, because Snowden is stuck in Russia. He speaks where Snowden doesn’t have a voice. For a year now he has literally been Snowden’s right-hand man.
He just followed Snowden’s advice via Skype and stopped me from falling against the metal filing cabinets in his office. “That’s Ed how I know him. The empathy, the clear voice, the care,” says Wizner.
Of course, now we wonder how Mike Rogers will spin this into more evidence of Snowden being a Russian spy...