[QODLink]
Americas

Father says Snowden would return to US

Lonnie Snowden says former NSA contractor would return to face charges, and accuses WikiLeaks of manipulating his son.

Last Modified: 29 Jun 2013 05:33
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Activists have come out in support of Edward Snowden who blew the lid on massive US surveillance programme [Reuters]

The father of whistleblower Edward Snowden has said he is reasonably confident his son would return to the US if certain conditions were met.

In an interview with NBC television on Friday, Lonnie Snowden acknowledged that his son, a former National Security Agency contractor, broke the law by leaking about US surveillance programme, but did not think he committed treason.

"If folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact, he has betrayed his government. But I don't believe that he's betrayed the people of the United States," he told NBC television's "Today" show.

Snowden senior said his attorney had informed Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter that he believed his son would voluntarily return to the US if the Justice Department promised not to hold him before trial and not subject him to a gag order, according to the US network.

Representatives for the Justice Department could not be reached immediately for comment on the letter.

The elder Snowden has not spoken to his son since April, but said he believed he was being manipulated by people at the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, which has been trying to help Edward Snowden gain asylum.

"I don't want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him," Lonnie Snowden told NBC.

"I think WikiLeaks, if you've looked at past history, you know, their focus isn't necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It's simply to release as much information as possible."

Snowden, who requested political asylum in Ecuador, has not been seen since he arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday. Russian officials said he was in a transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter of the Senate's members asked the top US intelligence official on Friday to release more information on the government's bulk collection of data on Americans' communications.

The release of the material has prompted a firestorm of concerns about the extent of government data tracking as well as questions about lawmakers' role in approving the legislation that allowed the data collection.

Critics of the surveillance programmes see them as infringing on Americans' privacy rights, while backers said they are important tools for national security and subject to close control by the courts.

377

Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.