Edward Snowden is currently on the run from the U.S. government for leaking classified NSA information to newspapers around the world. He’s currently hiding out in a Moscow airport as he waits to hear from various countries around the world about his requests for asylum. The untold story in all of this is, of course, is what his parents must be thinking. We now know what his father thinks in a new open letter.
RT obtained a copy of an open letter written by Snowden’s father – Lonnie Snowden – with the help of his lawyer Bruce Fein. The letter praises his son’s actions, and even compares him to Paul Revere. Here’s some of the more interesting parts of the letter:
What you have done and are doing has awakened congressional oversight of the intelligence community from deep slumber; and, has already provoked the introduction of remedial legislation in Congress to curtail spying abuses under section 215 of the Patriot Act and section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. You have forced onto the national agenda the question of whether the American people prefer the right to be left alone from government snooping absent probable cause to believe crime is afoot to vassalage in hopes of a risk-free existence. You are a modern day Paul Revere summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one branch government.
The letter then goes on to reference the response National Intelligence Director James Clapper gave to Congress that has now been revealed by his own admission to be “clearly erroneous.” Fein says that “we leave it to the American people to decide whether [Snowden] or Director Clapper is the superior patriot.”
Later on, he praises Snowden for standing up to the government by continuing to leak NSA documents:
The history of civilization is a history of brave men and women refusing to bow to government wrongdoing or injustice, and exalting knowledge, virtue, wisdom, and selflessness over creature comforts as the North Star of life. We believe your actions fall within that honorable tradition, a conviction we believe is shared by many.
At the end, Fein says that Snowden’s actions are integral to furthering the national debate on Constitutional law:
We think you would agree that the final end of the state is to make men and women free to develop their faculties, not to seek planetary domination through force, violence or spying. All Americans should have a fair opportunity to pursue their ambitions. Politics should not be a football game with winners and losers featuring juvenile taunts over fumbles or missteps.
Irrespective of life’s vicissitudes, we will be unflagging in efforts to educate the American people about the impending ruination of the Constitution and the rule of law unless they abandon their complacency or indifference. Your actions are making our challenge easier.
We encourage you to engage us in regular exchanges of ideas or thoughts about approaches to curing or mitigating the hugely suboptimal political culture of the United States. Nothing less is required to pay homage to Valley Forge, Cemetery Ridge, Omaha Beach and other places of great sacrifice.
We will continue to watch this space to see if Snowden responds to his father’s letter. His previous statement was a little suspect so it will be interesting to see if we get a more heartfelt letter from him.