Greenwald claims up to 20,000 Snowden documents are in his possession.
President Barack Obama has canceled a visit to Moscow next month for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but will attend a G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, the White House announced Wednesday.
The move follows Russia’s decision to grant asylum to classified leaker Edward Snowden, who had been holed up for weeks in the international transit zone of Moscow’s airport since fleeing the United States for Hong Kong and then Russia. Obama confirmed Tuesday night that he still plans to attend the G-20 summit in early September, despite calls from some lawmakers for the U.S. to boycott the gathering.
“So there’s still a lot of business that we can do with them,” Obama told host Jay Leno on NBC’s “The Tonight Show”. “But there have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality. And what I consistently say to them, and what I say to President Putin, is that’s the past and we’ve got to think about the future, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate more effectively than we do,” he added. The US president reiterated Washington’s disappointment that Russia did not extradite Snowden, who faces criminal charges in the US including espionage for disclosing details of secret surveillance programmes.
Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who last week showed off documents granting his client temporary asylum, now says he has registered a Russian address. The whereabouts of the former spy agency contractor are still not known since he slipped away from Moscow airport.
Meanwhile, the journalist involved in the publication of leaks provided by Snowden said in a testimony to the Brazilian government that he possesses up to 20,000 secret US government files, Russia Today reports. The Brazil-based American reporter – who was approached by Snowden while the whistleblower still worked as a contractor for the NSA – has published details of US electronic surveillance programs taking place domestically and abroad.
“I did not do an exact count, but he gave me 15,000, 20,000 documents. Very, very complete and very long,” Greenwald told Brazilian lawmakers. “The stories we have published are a small portion. There will certainly be more revelations on the espionage activities of the US government and allied governments…on how they have penetrated the communications systems of Brazil and Latin America,” he said.
In addition to his reporting for Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Greenwald has also been a fixture on O Globo, where the journalist shared the alleged details of US electronic surveillance of Brazil and virtually all of Latin America.
During his testimony, Greenwald alleged that Brazilian companies have agreements in place with American telecoms to collect data for the National Security Agency (NSA), and stressed that their complicity should be investigated by that country’s government. O Globo recently published claims that Washington had at least at one time maintained a spy center in the capital of Brasilia, as part of a network of 16 similar facilities worldwide designed to intercept foreign satellite transmissions.
Allegations of widespread US surveillance of Brazil prompted US Vice President Joe Biden last month to call Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to provide an explanation. US Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon had earlier denied the NSA was tapping into telecoms in the country.