Christopher Boyce convicted U.S. spy says National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden is “doomed”.
Snowden’s leaks allege that U.S. intelligence has been illegally hacking networks around the world for years. The NSA’s position is that their actions are legal, are overseen by all three branches of the U.S. government, and have helped to thwart numerous terrorist events.
Snowden’s decision to reveal the secret surveillance plans of the National Security Agency (NSA), has divided U.S. public opinion on his actions, with some seeing him as a whistle-blower on a government run amok, and others seeing his actions as endangering national security.
Snowden is currently hiding in Hong Kong, hoping to stay out of the reach of the U.S. secret services.
Boyce was convicted of selling U.S. secrets to the former Soviet Union in the 1970s, for which he received a 40-year sentence in 1977. In 1985 his story was turned into a Hollywood film titled “The Falcon and the Snowman” starring Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton.
Boyce was appalled in 1974 when he discovered that the CIA was attempting to destabilize the Australian government, led by center-left Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
Whitlam’s government was controversially deposed in 1975 in a virtual constitutional coup d’etat. Sir John Kerr, the then governor-general and British queen’s representative in Australia, invoked the rarely-used queen’s reserve powers to depose a democratically elected government ostensibly to resolve a political deadlock in the country.
Boyce claims that the CIA commonly referred to the governor-general as “our man, Kerr”, and that it had the Whitlam government firmly in its sights. Whitlam’s administration had already irked Washington by withdrawing Australian troops from the Vietnam War within hours of taking office in 1972, and later began asking uncomfortable questions about key U.S. military installations based in Australia.
Boyce, an idealistic 20-year-old at the time, was dismayed that U.S. secret services would use its powers to depose the government of a U.S. ally.
He ended up joining with a childhood friend — Andrew Daulton Lee — and became one of the Cold War’s most infamous spy teams. Boyce dodged authorities for two years until his arrest in 1977.
He was paroled in 2003 after serving 25 years, and is currently writing his memoirs on the U.S. West Coast.
In a rare interview this week with CNN, Boyce says he pities Snowden. “I feel for the guy, and for what his life is going to become.”
“He’s in for a world of hurt, for the rest of his life. I feel sorry for him. He’s going to go through life not being able to trust anybody. And I think that in the end, it’ll end badly for him — one way or another, they’ll get their hands on him. He’s going to pay for it. He’s doomed.”
Boyce added that Snowden should not trust the Chinese government, saying he would be worried that the Chinese might deport him to the United States in order to gain some concession in return. Boyce said he’d be terrified of that prospect, if he were Snowden. Image/CNN