Edward Snowden, the fugitive former CIA contractor who has been given asylum for one year in Russia, should be getting a visit from his father soon, Euronews informs. Lon Snowden, who has not spoken to his son since the news broke of his leaking information about a US security programme, has been granted a visa to see Edward.
In a television interview Snowden senior was highly critical of President Obama and some Congressmen. “As a father, I want my son to come home if I believe the justice system that we should be afforded as Americans is going to be applied correctly. At this point, when you consider many of the statements made by our leaders, leaders in Congress, they are absolutely irresponsible and inconsistent with our system of justice. What I have seen is much political theatre. I was disappointed in the president’s press conference. I believe that was driven by his clear understanding that the American people are absolutely unhappy with what they’ve learned and that more is going to be forthcoming.” The granting of asylum to Edward Snowden has soured relations between Moscow and Washington. Lon Snowden appeared alongside his lawyer Bruce Fein
The US wants him extradited to face charges of espionage although the affair has pushed Obama into pledging more surveillance transparency.
Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow on 23 June from Hong Kong, after making revelations about a secret US data-gathering programme. He then spent more than five weeks in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport’s transit zone. He left the airport last week after having been granted the necessary documents.
Mr Fein said he had spoken to Edward Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who had told him he was safe. “He obviously is exhausted. But he’s now needing a period of time where he can recoup his energy level and reflect on what he wishes to do,” Mr Fein added.
According to the BBC, Lon Snowden said that “as a father”, he wanted his son to return home, but had concerns over whether he would face a fair trial. “At this point, when you consider many of the statements made by our leaders… they are absolutely irresponsible,” Mr Snowden said. “They have poisoned the well, so to speak, in terms of a potential jury pool,” he added. Commenting on President Barack Obama’s recent statement that Edward Snowden was not a patriot for leaking details of US secret surveillance programs, the whistleblower’s father responded that his son “has spoken the truth.” According to Russia Today, he went on to say that the NSA leaker “has sacrificed” more than the President or Republican Senator Peter King – who earlier called Snowden a “traitor” and a “defector” – have “ever [sacrificed] in their political careers or their American lives.” So, he concluded, “how they choose to characterize him really doesn’t carry that much weight with me.”