Slashdot needs to stop with the hero worship. Any time there is a person who does something people on Slashdot deem good and beneficial, it seems they go in to full on hero-worship mode, where said person can do NO WRONG, and whatever they say must be true and so on. We saw it with Hans Reiser. Tons of people whining and bitching about him being arrested and then convicted of murder. How he was set up, how the government was laying, etc, etc. Of course then he confessed and led police to the body.
Look guys, everyone, including heroes, are human, and can have flaws. You can view Snowden as a hero for what we did. However that does not mean he is above reproach, it does not mean that he never lies, it does not mean that he can do no wrong. People can do both right and wrong, even good people.
For example, here's another possibility (not saying it is the truth, or even that likely): Snowden brought classified documents to Russia. That is why they chose to give him asylum and put him under state protection. After all, this is a nation with a pretty poor human rights and transparency record, not a shining bastion of freedom. So he gave them these to buy his way in. However the Russians don't want the US to know that, and Snowden doesn't want to tarnish his reputation admitting he sold out, so he makes these claims.
The parent is very valid is saying that Snowden's statements shouldn't have any relevance to the validity of the claims that he gave data to the Russians. The reason is that a person's claims generally aren't useful. If you are innocent of what you are accused of, you of course say you didn't do it since you in fact didn't. However if you are guilty of what you are accused of, you also very often say you didn't do it since you don't want to be saddled with that.
I mean look at athletes and steroids: How many of the athletes busted doping straight up came out and immediately said "Yep, I doped, I probably shouldn't have but everyone else was doing it, what choice did I have?" and how many said "No, I never doped, these accusations are false, etc, etc."
You can't take Snowden's denial as evidence for or against anything. It is what it is. People need to stop acting as though the guy is above reproach, as though he can do no wrong. That he did something heroic does not mean he doesn't have flaws and couldn't do something else non-heroic.