NPR : News

Filed Under:

NSA Leaker's Father: Snowden Betrayed Government, Not The People

Lonnie Snowden says he doesn't believe his son, Edward, committed treason when he leaked information about top-secret U.S. government surveillance programs.

"He has in fact broken U.S. law, in a sense that he has released classified information," the elder Snowden told NBC News. "And 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."

NBC News reported that Snowden also said he had told Attorney General Eric Holder that his son would be willing to return to the United States if "the Justice Department promises not to detain him before a trial nor subject him to a gag order. He also wants his son to select where a trial would take place."

Snowden said he is concerned his son is being manipulated by WikiLeaks.

"I don't want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him," he told the network. "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."

Update at 11:07 a.m. ET. Could Be Persuaded To Surrender:

Bruce Fein, the attorney representing Lonnie Snowden, sent NPR's Carrie Johnson the letter they sent Holder.

Fein says that if three conditions are met Lonnie Snowden is "reasonably confident that his son could be persuaded to surrender voluntarily to the jurisdiction of the United States to face trial."

The three conditions are:

1. He would not be detained or imprisoned prior to trial.

2. He would not be subject to a gag order.

3. He would be tried in venue of his choosing.

It goes without saying that the Justice Department doesn't usually agree to terms like these. It's unclear whether Snowden asked his father to send this letter.

We've embedded the entire letter below:

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

What The African American History Museum Means to D.C.'s Black Community

This weekend, D.C. celebrated the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Kojo chats with the civil rights leader and longtime city council member who chaired the D.C. host committee.

NPR

Sunday Sports: Baseball Season Stats

As the baseball season enters the homestretch, Mike Pesca, host of The Gist podcast shares obscure baseball stats and somewhat dubious accomplishments with NPR's Rachel Martin.
NPR

Divided States: Farmer Profile

A profile of Georgia farmer and Trump supporter Jon Jackson. The retired Army Ranger is breaking from his Democratic roots because of his frustration with the government, including the VA.
WAMU 88.5

Putting The Patient At The Center Of Local Healthcare

From "concierge" services to iPads connecting new parents with their babies in the nursery, Kojo explores some of the patient-centered ideas coming from healthcare innovation labs at local hospitals.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.