Terminal F: Chasing Edward Snowden

Terminal F: Chasing Edward Snowden

2015, Politics  -   41 Comments
Ratings: 8.92/10 from 288 users.

In late June of 2013, as United States leaders were publicly labeling him as a "coward" and a "traitor", Edward Snowden was hiding from authorities in Hong Kong. Terminal F: Chasing Edward Snowden dramatizes the pulse pounding moments prior to and in the aftermath of this moment.

Just three weeks earlier, he nervously handed over nearly a million top secret documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to journalists from the world's most renowned newspapers. These classified materials painted a frightening picture of a U.S. government whose surveillance activities far exceeded constitutional boundaries, and whose efforts worked to sabotage the interests of ordinary citizens they were sworn to protect. Once the documents were revealed to the world and Snowden's identity was exposed, a massive global manhunt ensued.

Around every corner, Snowden never knew when he might be arrested or even killed. He was an enemy of the state now. The United States government - made weak and hostile from the revelations revealed in the leaked documents - was diligent in their attempts to arrange extradition back to their country so Snowden could face the legal consequences of his actions. In the end, a simple clerical error might have been the only factor that helped him evade harm or capture.

Strikingly photographed and sharply edited, Terminal F: Chasing Edward Snowden presents a solid primer on his position at the NSA, his motivations for exposing sensitive and potentially damaging materials, and the reality of living as one of the most notorious whistleblowers in American history. It's well-trodden territory, but the film provides fresh and revealing insights along the way, thanks to interviews with his father, his co-workers, former NSA Director Michael Hayden, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, reporter Glenn Greenwald, and Snowden himself.

Whether you believe Snowden to be a sinner or a saint, the film will likely prove most enlightening in its minutia. Benefiting from the moment by moment perspectives of figures from both sides of the story, the narrative plays out like an all-too-real game of cat and mouse. We're given a tangible sense of what it must feel like to be a hunted man.

Directed by: John Goetz, Poul-Erik Heilbuth

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

The US Empire dropped its mask and showed its fangs when it openly violated international law by downing/searching the Bolivian jet. And the international community aided. The only conclusion is: Law is for the ruled, NOT the rulers. Only one jet could have flown freely, without being violated, a CCP diplomatic one. Why? They are almost as big as the US bully.

Bob Snowden (not related)
1 year ago

Now if only they'd perseute corrupt politicians and CEO's with the same fervor and zeal.

1 year ago

Law enforcement likes to say "If you've done nothing wrong, if you've got nothing to hide...then don't worry about the levels of surveillance you pass through every day."
Yet, when someone takes them to task for their illegal snooping and posts their findings, it's suddenly a crime of the worst order. To them I'd say..."If you've done nothing wrong, if you've got nothing to hide...then you have absolutely nothing to worry about."

1 year ago

13:30 Why would Snowden leave a clue about his location?

1 year ago

glad to see this site supports comments. I you didn't I would never stop here.

2 years ago

Edward Snowden is a very thoughtful and deep thinker, a super intelligent person, a natural eloquent speaker, a courageous person with a strong conviction in doing the right thing... unlike all of his US Government's officials and politicians. The US proud itself as a "Beacon of Democracy", but that's falsehood and exaggeration.... the US is a FAKE DEMOCRACY with its FAILED CAPITALISM. The real "Beacon of Democracy and Human Rights" are Edward Snowden and his kind.

2 years ago

There are reasons why various governments and agencies (friends and foes) around the world did not give him up to the US and ignored the US Government's requests/demands. They all recognized what Edward Snowden did is a service to humankind and all governments of the world. They wanted to expose the evil doings of the NSA, the CIA, the US intelligence community. Hence, he's still alive today... and the US Government is with caca on its face!

2 years ago

"COWARD"? Lets see, SECRETS that "somebody" is HIDDING. If a coward is not a "coward" then why the SECRETS? Snowden is trying to reveal SECRETS. Why the SECRETS? Now who is the True COWARD?

Joe Fireman
2 years ago

Whoever's idea it was to try and get Snowden to Cuba really should be embarrassed.

Sharon E Stanfield
3 years ago

This is a follow up to a comment by DustUp, There’s no way Snowden is NSA’s “get use to it “ spokesperson. Our government hates anything at all that they kept silent, getting out. Edward Snowden was the one who handed the millions of secrets to the media of his choice, AFTER he got out of the danger zone ahead of time. And not really out of danger, I’m just pointing out the difference. Assange was a journalist who published the info he received. I don’t think he was able to have the head start Snowden had.

To me, it’s important to support these journalists, and not make it so every journalist who tells the truth , feels like every day at their job, they feel almost like there is a red dot lit up on their forehead. Puting what you suggested “out there” makes you, in my eyes, look like the plant, paid to sway the public’s opinion about whistleblowers, who expose the corrupt government. I mean.... when ...if you even try to put yourself in this whistleblowers shoes, do you realize you are the one...who has a chance to let the people of your country know how much crime is being committed on us by our government.

Not to mention sacrificing your freedom, constantly looking over your shoulder, dealing with the shear paranoia of it all. I’m routing for him, glad he is still sane, and hope some day we actually get in office, a President, with a real agenda, geared to end this privatized fortress, take back our dignity, and make a dent in changing how much longer every single being with a beating heart, really has left to be part of this world. I would of added “amazing” but I can’t.

Our corrupt government, and corporate favoritism, makes using that word, less likely. Edward Snowden’s freedoms are totally on hold, til we actually have a government that looks forward to keeping their employees in line. Til then, and possibly never, can you even imagine sleeping with one eye open, for the remainder of your life? He did that at the cost of his life, from the second he released this information, he had to commit to a very different, way of life. For us. I without a doubt, know our government is not looking out for us. As long as oil can be sucked out of this earth for them to profit from, our advance to no pollution will cripple this planet.

We are already being slowly poisoned at an alarming rate. Depending on the governments eye candy, which has no limit, is the scale of their next big crime against their people. And they’re getting away with it. A country that false flags wars, just to jump on their next big spending pot, like a huge oversized game of monopoly, and doesn’t get stopped, or gets too big to be stopped in a quick, easy way, are never going to stop planning their next magic show, at our cost. We literally have to let the governments babysitter go, (our cell phones), which suck people in like the brain magnet they are, and commit to bringing a government in place that can’t have any privatizing power. A government as ill willed as ours, there must be reprocussions to answer to, that makes them do way more good, than bad.

That has to happen. And this is the hypocritical part of my statement. Giving an opinion of solutions to really change a life altering bad situation, won’t happen by giving an opinion on a social media app owned by the very huge corporate giants who control it all. We are being spied on by almost everything around us that is electronic. Cameras are not our friends anymore. They are tools to use against the public. An enemy that already knows your plans, can’t lose. Drop the phones, appliances, and lets all talk to each other on the only level that it truly takes to Change this level of alarming corruption. Edward Snowden would like his freedom back. Julian Assange needs to be set free. We all can help make this happen. Put down our phones, and and help make these life changing solutions, see the light at the end of a now never ending tunnel, and not stop til our heroes are once again free. Option #2 suggests we didn’t take putting our phones down to talk over serious matters, seriously. I’m not being extreme. I see our government for who they are.

I see our media for who they don’t compare to. ( The journalists who didn’t compromise their viewers). I wish we had back some of what we use to rely on. When crimes exposed didn’t have a chance of belittling the public. Like it even should. Governments that make their own rules, are custom fit to expose who they really are. Their agenda is never to help you. Only them. I didn’t vote for Trump, but I thought, as differently opinionated as he was, at least Assange would get his freedom back. Trump wasn’t pushed by bribes. But he doesn’t even bring up Assange. Ever. He also, won’t be “The Man” who puts one good thing in this world...right. Real Journalism, and feeling comfortable telling the truth to the viewers, is still in peril.

Trump wants to look good without really putting his foot down, and make the surprise changes that make a President worth remembering, which means finally realizing why Assange is in jail, and say “thank you” for telling the truth, and releasing him. A candidate or President who doesn’t show his utmost respect for what “we the people” rely on....the truth....and make our world right again...I want to forget quickly. The President I vote for has to appreciate the freedoms we do. I will not believe a President is in it for us til Assange is a free man. That is how I feel. Not nearly enough is being done on a real level to change it. I am beyond the WTF. WTF?

Then to top it all off, there’s those trying to suggest that Snowden is really living the life, secretly talked into “posing” as a whistleblower, just so his work can send the world a message, “Get use to it”? How about walk in his shoes first, instead of sitting snuggly, trying to talk down his beliefs, which include being told the truth without being hunted shamelessly by the crooks the evidence really points to!!! And why are they not fired? Why are these corrupt figures still being allowed to hold a hunt in place? The evidence plainly points to criminal activity against us, and the ones who committed the crimes are trying to hunt and imprison a messenger.

We are not in control, and we have become complacent. Our government is out of control. We are in peril. If we can’t make them let Assange go, we better just get the heck out of Dodge. Us, our families, are in serious trouble. They got that powerful because we stare at our phones, and don’t look at what we’re being redirected for. It works. Our government knows it. They know everything we buy. Why? Every place we go. Our weaknesses. Who we love. Everything they need to control us we gave them. I can’t shoot the cameras at Walmart that record everything I buy, as well as having a picture of everyone who buys this product and that, but I can make it harder for them. Or we can stop giving up our world , and start making it ours . Whose world is benefiting by all this technology? Not us. Put the phone down. Let’s go free some heroes.

Alva L. Palin
5 years ago

That head of NSA is the most arrogant man in America. He commits crimes against the citizens he professed to protect! He took an oath of office for which he violated easily and has the audacity to call Edward a criminal. Why hasnt that lieing, conniving head of the NSA been prosecuted for his CRIMES. Talk about arrogant, he can look at the camera and lie through his teeth. He makes me sick.

Jagdish Shah
5 years ago

Excellent documentary. Shows how our modern life of comfort and scientific advancement is based on harsh reality and cruelty. We are in fact slaves of modern life of pleasure and comfort, we reassure ourselves or rather are reassured that we are righteous but it is based on cruelty on others.

5 years ago

Dust up: well put. It s not just that there is no good government , rather NO one good is able to make it in government. Make no mistake, to ascend to the heights of government , one must forsake any decency, compromise all values , forget the definition of integrity all together and accept that deception, dishonesty and greed are are the most dominant/important traits for u to be successful. Oh an u must be influential, rich or suck someone's c@ck , who is . Any decent , honest leader who may bring about any meaningful change , is pulverized well Before they can reach such heights. The big brother corporate industrial military complex is a well oiled machine which has perverted legislation , bought all the right ppl in all the right places . N that's just the tip of the burg. But don't worry cause the burg s of the world will one day have the last laugh.!!

6 years ago

@Critical Edge, unfortunately you will have to start it yourself. In my experience there are very few who are willing to take that step to start anything, even a book club; and what you want, a much smaller fraction. Yes there should be lots of like minds but few who will spend the time. The Tea Party in the usa prepping for the 2012 election was an example of those who had had enough BS to last a life time. Yet there were still too many clueless who hadn't felt the full brunt of the lies and deception of Obama's minionship to the real powers that be which put him in office.

Please call your movement something beside a movement of change. That was the very thing Obama advertised in 2008. No one seemed to ask "change to what?" although I kept asking it of those who claimed we needed change and should vote for obama. I knew he was marxist scum pretending to be robin hood whilst the exact reverse. No matter if karl marx had good intentions or not, matters not, the results will ALWAYS be an enriched governing elite telling the peons how to live and that they must sacrifice for the greater good (sacrifice for the governing elite to buy enough votes from the dupes, with big promises and a little free stuff)

Take the time to do your homework. There really is no good govt. So the smallest possible govt is the least worst. That was the premise of the foundation of the original usa govt. Now it is a bloated sow with so many agencies, groups, and individuals looking to suckle on a tit rather than buying their own pig to raise. If you look at the facts of what the usa has become. It isn't capitalism at all. All the negative aspects sprang from incremental Socialism and Corporatism which benefits from Socialism. Socialism is the mechanism through which competition is eliminated. What corporation likes competition?

The elite owned major media have CIA plants in their midst. You can see evidence of that on youtube. A cia chief testifying before congress. CIA is all about the lie, diversion, subterfuge, etc. Why would anyone bother to watch or read the major media? Yet the dupes still desire to believe they are informed by "watching the news".

One thing that another whistleblower brought up at the boiling frogs post (Sibel Edmonds has another news outfit now I think) is that to her it seems as though Edward Snowden was a diversion. Many had known that the usa had been spying on us all for years; which is true, I did. One has to ask, if you are going to do something like that, wouldn't you make your arrangements ahead of time and then do your expose' from there? Then secretly move on to your prearranged final destination without fuss and no worry about passports and such? One wonders if he wasn't a put up job by the NSA because he is so well spoken, to get people used to the idea of being spied on and to hear it so often they just shrug their shoulders. Also to find out the methods of avoidance of authorities. With Wikileaks helping him, it looks convincing. Were they duped or was it all legit? I have no idea. But it is a fact that it has been out there for years that we all were being spied on. That NSA chief in the interview, stated Snowden revealed HOW they spied, not just the results. Is that the big difference? Doesn't seem so? We already knew they were grabbing everything and filtering it through acres of computers for flagging.

Whatever you name your "movement" be it Tea Party 3 or Boiling Frogs or Spy vs. Spy (an organization which would monitor the spooks) or The Spotlight (an existing newspaper which exposes serious corruption and bad laws coming out of DC and around the country) or Revenge of the Wakened or UnSilent Storm or Boss of Govt (BoG, my favorite so far since that is how it is supposed to be, and would tick off the power hungry)

In your organizing works, determine how to prevent what happened to the usa from happening again. Or your organization from being taken over by nefarious interests.

However, it seems at this time, in a world where the big boys have the super firepower and the surveillance ability, the real practical mission to effect a good change --instead of the socialist-communist transformation the bankster elite desire, which Bush1, Clinton, Bush2, and Obama were all minions of, would be to install wise, decent, incorruptible, people into all political positions. That would involve a large network to expose the truth about candidates and to put out the info. Run candidates from both or more parties in numbers so someone decent will get in, regardless of who the TV "informed" dupes vote for.

Critical Edge
6 years ago

Im am not some pessimist that thinks the worst, i actually always tried to see the best in all...but NO MORE! Where can we all gather? We who know what is happening in the world is wrong! it is not only in your country that bad things happen, i live in scandinavia and i can tell you, IT's ALL OVER and its just getting worse. Can anyone point me in the ight direction to gather and make a REAL change? or can we start a *The Movement of Change* Have no fear! 99% will follow

6 years ago

The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.


6 years ago

@winter Exactly right sir. Everything is upside down. He should have been praised by everyone!! The government wants him brought up on Treason charges because they got busted, and a big portion of the population wants him brought up on charges because the scummy, low-life, bought-and-paid-for (Zionists) politicians tell them so. Between the unbridled corruption in D.C., our country being dominated by Zionist terrorist, and most of the country too stupid to do anything other than watch 'Reality TV,' this ain't looking good. 'Reality' is what'll be loading there dumb asses into box cars in the near future if we don't get this thing under control, not what comes across their television screens. They'll show you EVERYTHING, EXCEPT reality.

Secrecy, corruption and deception - that's the name of the game.

This won't fix itself.

Rose M. Coveney
6 years ago

Snowden obviously took JFKs speech to heart. He was exposing the criminals yet he is labeled the criminal.

7 years ago

So funny, the Gov officials yelling hes a traitor, should be thrown in jail for life etc ietc,.....lol, and our Governments are spying all all the citizens good and bad.........FML

7 years ago

The peak of the fun is when the Bolivian presidential airplane got hijacked and was found without no "Snowden" aboard !
Just to think 'bout that, happening before the eyes of the whole world...
As much stupid as getting involved in Vietnam for a set of 4 Michelin tires !
The first ability noted in humankind is his fitness to learn ; Trials and errors.

Rest assure, I'll remember this doc but maybe, not everyone ?
There will be another one in less than a year.

7 years ago

Edward Snowden as all whistle-blowers are heroes in my book. And why is it that NSA is not held to the wall for their criminal acts of spying on us???

7 years ago

Great documentary and good presentation of the facts. That which is hidden shall ultimately come into the light and be revealed. . .

7 years ago

I think that the time is right for Snowden to run for president!!

Digi WongaDude
7 years ago

Perhaps Snowden's a fan of the Scottish poet Walter Scott, who is famously quoted from Marmion:

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive.”

...those words certainly sprung to my mind, but he also had these pearls of wisdom to add:

“Revenge, the sweetest morsel to the mouth that ever was cooked in hell.”
― Walter Scott, The Heart of Mid-Lothian

“All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.”
― Walter Scott

“For he that does good, having the unlimited power to do evil, deserves praise not only for the good which he performs, but for the evil which he forbears.”
― Walter Scott, Ivanhoe

...Here's to great thinkers AND do'ers.

7 years ago

Plagiarized Citizenfour, a much better and complete documentary.

7 years ago

It is interesting to watch these NSA scumbags and the politicians that put them in their loft y positions race around their gilded cages in terror like cockroaches do when someone turns the light on. Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange are heroes who exposed the ridiculous and corrupt US military industrial complex. Those who can see need to lead those individuals that would cover their eyes and cower before the US government to the truth.

7 years ago

Excellent video! Hard to believe his father would turn over his son to the FBI, ref 42:40

We live (US) in country that is really not that free. Just think for a minute if the situation was reversed. There was someone with docs coming from Russia and seeking freedom in the US. That person's docs will be confiscated and he/she would have the Manning Treatment applied.

Wikileaks remarkably did a excellent job on helping Snowden. My hat off to you guys!