Edward Snowden has become the world’s hot-button item since divulging that the U.S. National Security Agency has engaged in a massive spying effort targeting Americans and individuals overseas, touching off one of the country’s most explosive intelligence scandals of recent years.
But in 2002 he was apparently just a teen who loved manga, anime and video game culture and worked for a now-defunct animation company based in the U.S., according to Snowden’s profile page at the firm that could still be viewed on an Internet archive as of Saturday.
“I like Japanese, I like food, I like martial arts, I like ponies, I like guns, I like food, I like girls, I like my girlish figure that attracts girls, and I like my lamer friends,” Snowden wrote on his Ryuhana Press profile page, which bore a 2002 date. “That’s the best biography you’ll get out of me, coppers!”
Snowden appeared to be a big fan of Japanese video games, including “Tekken,” a popular martial arts role-playing game (RPG) originally developed by Namco Ltd. “I always wanted to write RPG campaigns with my spare time,” Snowden wrote.
Reuters first reported on Snowden’s profile page Wednesday. The page was reportedly deleted after the news agency made an inquiry, but it could still be viewed. A line at the bottom of the page reads: “All contents © Ryuhana Press, 2000-2002.”
Snowden was still a teenager in 2002, but the profile put his age at 37.
The page carried an anime-like illustrated portrait of Snowden, who is seen wearing thin rectangular glasses — just as he appeared in recent media interviews that shook the world’s intelligence community to its core.
Snowden’s job title is listed on the page as “Editor/ Coffee Boy.”
Ryuhana Press “was created for the purpose of showcasing new talent in the rapidly expanding world of anime-style art” but was shut down in February 2004, one of the firm’s websites states.
“However, this is not the end,” the website says. “The entire point of this website was to help educate new manga artists about the inside workings of the industry, and to give our artists a hands-on lesson about the tough world of publishing.”
According to Reuters, the defunct company listed an address next door to the NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.