WASHINGTON, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – The father of Edward Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor who leaked secret documents on US surveillance programs, lashed out Friday at US President Barack Obama and other top officials and vowed that the story his son sought to tell is “far from done.”
“The American people don’t know the whole truth,” Lon Snowden said in an interview on a popular morning news program on the NBC television network.
The elder Snowden and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, who also appeared on the program, accused the Obama administration and some powerful members of Congress of doing everything possible to “demonize” Edward Snowden and of compromising any chance of a fair trial for him in the United States.
“In order to have due process, you have to have a fair, impartial administration here,” Fein said, adding that Obama’s public description of Snowden as a “hacker” and other characterizations of him by members of Congress do not “inspire confidence that you’re going to have even-handed justice.”
In a letter addressed to Obama and published on the website of NBC-affiliated cable broadcaster MSNBC, Lon Snowden and his lawyer described the Obama administration’s “zeal” to punish Edward Snowden as “unconscionable and indefensible.”
“We are also appalled at your administration’s scorn for due process, the rule of law, fairness and the presumption of innocence as regards Edward,” the letter stated.
The interview with Snowden’s father came a day after the US House of Representatives narrowly defeated a measure aimed at dramatically curtailing the US National Security Agency’s massive electronic surveillance program.
Snowden reportedly remains in limbo in an international transit section of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, an area technically outside the jurisdiction of Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Friday that Russia’s Federal Security Service was in talks with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation over Snowden’s fate.
In a letter sent this week, US Attorney General Eric Holder assured Russian officials that US authorities would not seek the death penalty for Snowden and would not subject him to torture were he to return to the United States.