(NEWSER) – The whistleblower who leaked details of the NSA's secret surveillance programs has revealed himself as 29-year-old Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant with the CIA who has been working at the NSA for four years for a number of outside contractors. Snowden asked the Guardian to unveil his identity ("I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he says) and the paper has obliged with a lengthy account of the story behind the story. Amongst other revelations:
- Snowden joined the US Army in 2003 and was training for the Special Forces and preparing for Iraq, but quickly became disillusioned. "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he says. He was discharged after breaking both his legs during training.