Snowden said to be doing well
MOSCOW — Four former U.S. government officials who met with former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden said on Thursday that he is adjusting to life in Russia and expresses no regrets about leaking highly classified information. Separately, Snowden's father arrived to see his son.
The Americans, who once worked for the CIA, FBI, Justice Department and NSA, have criticized the government and exposed what they believed was wrongdoing in the security agencies. All supporters of Snowden, they are the first Americans known to have met with him since he was granted asylum in Russia in August.
In interviews with The Associated Press, they described spending the previous evening with Snowden to present him an award given annually by a group of retired national security officers.
“He spoke about going out and about and getting to understand Russia and its culture and the people,” said Thomas Drake, who started working for the NSA in 2001 and disclosed an electronic espionage program that he saw as invasive. “This is where he lives now, and so where you live is your home.”
Snowden's father, Lon, did not say when or where he would meet his 30-year-old son, but expressed optimism about his situation.
“You know, I have heard so many things through the media, and my assumption is certainly, given the circumstances, he's doing as well as could be expected,” Lon Snowden said.
The elder Snowden said he doubts his son will return to the United States, where he is charged with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing the NSA's surveillance of phone and Internet usage around the world.
The four Americans refused to say where they met with Snowden or where he is living.
“For his own safety, it's best that no one else knows where he actually lives,” Drake said. “But I believe he is making the best of his circumstances and is living as normally as possible.”
Like Snowden, Drake was indicted under the Espionage Act, but the felony charges were dropped before trial and he was found guilty in 2011 on a lesser charge and sentenced to one year of probation and community service.
Drake and the other Americans — Raymond McGovern, Jesselyn Radack and Coleen Rowley — said Snowden was in good spirits and still believes he did the right thing in disclosing the NSA surveillance program.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ukrainians told to halt joint drills with U.S.
- ISIS ravages centuries-old archaeological site in Iraq
- Boko Haram attack kills 68, targets children in Nigeria
- Ex-wife of late Argentine prosecutor: Death was a homicide
- U.S. Ambassador to South Korea stable after facial surgery for knife wounds
- Fugitive on U.S. most-wanted terror list held by Somalia
- Netanyahu claims moral obligation to speak
- Teacher charged with drug smuggling in Japan
- Scientists concerned seas will rise, reshaping coastlines
- Fire empties Dubai residential tower
- Teacher turned notorious drug lord Gomez finally nabbed in Mexico