Friday, June 28, 2013

Edward Snowden offers to surrender, return to American soil - subject to conditions

Guadalajara -
Agence France Presse reported this morning that former NSA security contractor Edward Snowden has offered to return to the United States on several conditions.

Lonnie Snowden, father of the much wanted whistle blower and AFP's source, said his son would agree to return to U.S. soil provided he is not jailed while legal proceedings against him are pending, and that "he is not required to remain silent" - presumably with respect to National Security Agency electronic surveillance and metadata gathering operations which Edward disclosed to the press earlier this month.

The senior Snowden said the had not talked to his son since April, adding that he "doesn't feel like Edward is a traitor."

"He broke American law, he divulged classified information," said Lonnie. "Because of that they've labeled him a traitor, but I don't think he has betrayed the people of the United States."

Lonnie Snowden said that through prominent attorney Bruce Fein, who specializes in constitutional and international law, Edward had sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder confirming the conditions of surrender. Edward also insisted on the right to determine venue - where the case would be prosecuted, according to his father.

Snowden was charged with felonies under the Espionage Act of 1917 on June 14, in Alexandria, Va.

The Justice Dept. has not responded to AFP's story, or acknowledged whether Holder has received the letter. There is little chance Snowden's demands and conditions will be given serious attention in Washington.

AFP's story is being widely carried in the Ecuadorian press at this hour. The government of president Rafael Correa has not yet announced a decision on Snowden's request for political asylum, but there is no indication that he has withdrawn it.

Edward Snowden remains holed up in Moscow's international airport today.

Update: "We got a good laugh from it" - that's the way one Justice Dept. official described Snowden's offer today.

Ecuador's gutsy "stick it"

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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