My son is not a traitor, says Snowden's dad

The father of NSA leaker Edward Snowden believes he’s figured out this asylum-limbo situation.

Lonnie Snowden offered what he thinks are acceptable terms for Edward’s return to the US, which he’s also sent in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder: He believes his son will come back to face the consequences if he’s promised no pretrial detainment or gag order and the ability to select the location of the proceedings.

Let him go: Snowden supporters hold a ‘tap the phone and internet lines’ protest outside the US Embassy in Kiev. Pic/AFP

“I love him. I would like to have the opportunity to communicate with him,” said Lonnie. Lonnie also said he was concerned that his son, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, was being manipulated by others, including people from the anti-government secrecy group WikiLeaks.

“I am concerned about those who surround him,” he said. “WikiLeaks – if you look at past history – their focus isn’t necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It’s simply to release as much information as possible. So, that alone is a concern for me.”

Edward Snowden, an American, fled the United States to Hong Kong in May, a few weeks before publication of details he said he provided about secret US government surveillance of Internet and phone traffic.

He also added that he doesn’t believe Edward is a traitor. “At this point I don’t feel that he’s committed treason. He has, in fact, broken US law, in a sense that he has released classified information,” he said.

“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.”

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