Snowden asks ally to help get U.S. charges dropped
BERLIN — The United States refused to show any leniency to fugitive Edward Snowden on Friday, even as Secretary of State John Kerry conceded that eavesdropping on allies had happened on “automatic pilot.”
Snowden made his appeal for clemency in a letter released on Friday by a German lawmaker who met with him in Moscow. In it, the American asked for international help to persuade the United States to drop spying charges against him and said he would like to testify before the Congress about the National Security Agency's surveillance activities.
Snowden indicated he would be willing to help German officials investigate alleged U.S. spying in Germany, said Hans-Christian Stroebele, a lawmaker with the opposition Green Party.
“If the message is that Mr. Snowden wants to give us information then we'll gladly accept that,” German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said. A week ago German media reported that the NSA had monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Stroebele said Snowden appeared healthy and cheerful during their meeting at an undisclosed location in Moscow. The Germans were taken to the meeting by unidentified security officials under “strict secrecy.”
In his one-page typed letter, written in English, Snowden complained that the U.S. government “continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense.”
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki would not respond directly to Snowden's appeal, but said the American position “has not changed.”
Lon Snowden said that his son will not travel to Germany as long as the U.S. charges remain in place.
“My son would love to come back to the United States but I'm not sure it will be safe for him, even if all charges are dropped,” Snowden said.
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.
- Employees of Mercer County-based manufacturer among missing in Nepal
- British Prime Minister Cameron defends royal couple’s private medical care choice
- Japan Prime Minister Abe to highlight trade, defense ties with U.S. in speech before Congress
- Airstrikes hit capital as fighting escalates in Yemen
- Israel thwarts terrorist attack
- United States aided rebels in Caucasus, Russian President Putin claims
- Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria lack base, not will
- Khamenei says Iran nuclear weapons are U.S. ‘myth’
- Yemen Shiite rebel leader vows not to surrender amid strikes
- China’s Xi in Pakistan to finalize infrastructure projects
- Immigrants describe threats in South Africa