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Father of NSA leaker says he would return to U.S.

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:06 a.m. HST, Jun 28, 2013

WASHINGTON » The father of NSA leaker Edward Snowden acknowledges his son broke the law but doesn't think he committed treason.

The NBC "Today" show reported today that Lonnie Snowden is sending a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying he believes his son would voluntarily return to the United States if the Justice Department promises not to hold him prior to trial and not subject him to a gag order.

The elder Snowden hasn't spoken to his son since April but says he believes he's being manipulated by people at the WikiLeaks website.

Lonnie Snowden tells NBC his son broke the law in releasing classified information, but says he didn't betray the people of the United States.

Edward Snowden, who fled to Russia, is charged with violating U.S. espionage laws.

More From The Star-Advertiser

Snowden's father praises son in open letter

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bender wrote:
So Lonnie thinks his son should get preferential treatment because in his eyes the boy did nothing wrong. Of course his dad is blinded by family bonds. Fortunately Lady Liberty has a blindfold to prevent such concepts from confusing the question.
on June 28,2013 | 05:43AM
honokai wrote:
No, that is not what the article said.
on June 28,2013 | 05:57AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Yes it does.
on June 28,2013 | 06:46AM
pcman wrote:
IRT honokai and bemder. If the father had not talked to the son in two months, what bender says is about all you can read into the article. IMHO the son knows he has committed a treasonous act. Just the amount of money involved in loss to the US government makes the crime no small deal. If he came back to the US his bail would be set at least $1million and if he is convicted his sentence would be at least life in prison with possibility of parole after 50 years.
on June 28,2013 | 06:50AM
honokai wrote:
I respecfully disagree pcman. Bender's comments (making a value judgment on the father) are pure internet dribble. Snowden is a security threat because of what he potentially holds. The father comments about wikileaks obviously originates from a debriefing session the father has had with the government. It would be ridiculous to believe that the father has just come up with an idea on "what his son would respond to" on his own. It is also clear that NBC has proven time and time again to be a government conduit. Don't take anything in this story at face value.
on June 28,2013 | 07:03AM
loquaciousone wrote:
The Chinese already had his four laptops and belongings for a couple of days. Whatever he had has already been compromised and his expose has now become treason. Now he's in Russia. Putin is not a nice man. What do you think they're doing to him now?
on June 28,2013 | 07:20AM
honokai wrote:
The guy is a system administrator and a government agent. Do you really think those four laptops that he was reported to be carrying have any significance to anything? You need to brush up on your spy novel reading. It has already been reported that there has been encrypted data sent out to various repositories (with the keys being withheld -- just in case). Nothing that has been reported released so far is a security threat. They need him back because of the cards he holds. The father is being used (as one of many, many tactics) to bring him in or put him in a place where he can be encapsulated.
on June 28,2013 | 07:30AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Your omniscience is underwhelming and you can't see the forest for the trees. Do you know what a system's administrator does and has access to?
on June 28,2013 | 07:47AM
Anonymous wrote:
According to Reuters, the dad "is reasonably confident his son would return to the United States if certain conditions were met..(including) not detaining Snowden before trial, not subjecting him to a gag order and letting him choose the location of his trial." My thought is why not stop there? Why not insist on letting him choose his own judge and jury?
on June 28,2013 | 06:19AM
honokai wrote:
I am not sure why it is important to anyone whether the father made a point that makes sense or doesn't make sense. Good journalism requires the ability to ask and answer questions. The article says that the father has not talked to the son --- so how does he know what the son wants? At this point (until you get information otherwise), you cannot make any assumptions as to where Dad's comments are originating from. Neither should you attach any significance to them.
on June 28,2013 | 06:36AM
nitpikker wrote:
you can take his comments with a grain of salt.
on June 28,2013 | 06:45AM
nitpikker wrote:
same as the boston marathon bombers mom.
on June 28,2013 | 06:46AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Snowden is a naive young man who is just now finding out what deep kimchee he got himself in. He no longer has a country to go back to and no one wants him. Now he's stuck in a little bitty room in a Russian airport.
on June 28,2013 | 06:47AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
No entry. This is the best thing. Let China or Russia have this rubbish. Why write anymore about this traitor. Done deal.
on June 28,2013 | 06:49AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
A father should know about his son. If dad thinks Eddie is being manipulated by wikileak, then the Russians will totally rape him.
on June 28,2013 | 06:52AM
false wrote:
The authoritarian attitude underlying many of these comments posted here is disturbing. Most of you folks are alleged "conservatives," yet here is a young man who has exposed the willingness and ability of the government to develop extensive and intensive data files on virtually any American it chooses, with the incredible power that goes with such private information, and instead of getting mad at the feds, you yell "traitor" at the guy who has exposed them.

Snowden's father's comments are useful because they show how naive the father is about the determination of the feds to silence and punish his son. The idea the feds would allow Snowden to be free on bail, and free to TALK about their spying programs, shows how little he recognizes the new nature of state power in the digital age.

"Big Brother is Watching." And Big Brother is locking people away without trial, detaining them in dungeons which parallel the Bastile, and is subjecting prisoners, including Americans, to treatment described as torture by the United Nations.

Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover had to break into homes and offices to acquire much less information on their "enemies" than the NSA can obtain on any and all Americans with a few clicks of the mouse. Yep, Big Brother is here and the Star-Advertiser's conservative chorus is cheering him on.

on June 28,2013 | 07:12AM
DownSpout wrote:
If your "Big Brother" refers to, for example, the inhumane and repressive North Korean regime, I'd agree. If your "Big Brother" refers to the perhaps questionable, but entirely legal, anti-terrorist programs of the NSA, then your "Big Brother" is a figment of your own naive and lively imagination.
on June 28,2013 | 07:40AM
false wrote:
These programs are not and will not be limited to "terrorists." The PATRIOT Acts relaxed legal standards for surveillance, promised to be used only against the "terrorist threat," are now being used against ordinary criminals. My references to Nixon and Hoover appear to have escaped your attention. The US has had recurring episodes of overzealous domestic surveillance, which gets directed against political opponents of those in power.

If a low-level guy like Snowden had access to confidential information, what makes you think that higher ups in private contracting firms like Booz Allen could not also get information damaging to THEIR political opponents? You want to see "swiftboating" on a massive scale? Private "intellignece" companies are providing their services to large banks, other corporations and foreign governments to spy upon and disrupt their opponents. Unleaashing this technology, compiling this data will be used broadly against domestic dissidents.

on June 28,2013 | 08:32AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
I largely agree with what you're saying here except that I'm not sure whether you mean the SA itself is conservative, or whether the commenters on this particular story are conservative.
on June 28,2013 | 09:46AM
false wrote:
I am speaking about the frequent posters on the S-A site who consistently post "conservative" comments. A lot of people who consider themselves conservative have co-mingled libertarian and authoritarian values. They often spout off about "liberty" when faced with the "horror" of Obamacare, for instance. But given this example of Snowden exposing massive Big Brother surveillance, so many of them (but not all) default to their authoritarian, statist values and yell "traitor." This is issue is a test of who really values liberty, not as a slogan, but as a social reality.

The S-A itself is an odd mix of "liberalism" and "conservatism." They believe the corporations and the wealthy should dominate society. After all, those are their patrons so they HAVE to suck up to them. And they are cheerleaders for a large military presence in Hawaii. But they tend to be "socially liberal" about equality for women, pro-choice, pro-gay equality. If you look at their choice of columnists over the years, they have often had fairly rightwing columnists, but never anyone actually from the left. Except Molly Ivins. But Molly sort of snuck in her progressiveness beneath a veneer of humor.And now, Molly is dead.

on June 28,2013 | 05:37PM
scooters wrote:
Seal Team Six could take care of this mess.
on June 28,2013 | 07:48AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Seals in Russia? Why not? ... But SEAL's in Russia? No way.
on June 28,2013 | 08:52AM
gobows wrote:
too obvious.....someone will contract the Russian mob to take care of business
on June 28,2013 | 10:33AM
Bdpapa wrote:
"Eric is a good boy. Why are you picking on him."
on June 28,2013 | 08:15AM
gobows wrote:
Let Eric Snowden live in Russa. He burned his ticket to live in the USA.
on June 28,2013 | 10:32AM
juscasting wrote:
Just kidnapp the dad , put a video on You Tube showing him getting his fingers and toe's cut off, pleading for his son to turn himself in and wait and see.
on June 28,2013 | 12:07PM
false wrote:
Are you actually a fascist or "just play one on TV"?
on June 28,2013 | 05:38PM
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