27 January 2014, 17:42

Many Americans don't see Snowden as 'bad guy' - US congressman

Many Americans don't see Snowden as 'bad guy' - US congressman

Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the US Congress Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, believes that most Americans are positive about former US special services employee Edward Snowden.

"Many Americans don't see Snowden as a negative person. There are many people in our country who have seen Snowden's exposing the intelligence aimed at Americans as a good thing and they don't see Snowden as a bad guy," Rohrabacher said in an interview with Interfax.

However, "he has been exposing not American intelligence focus on American people but instead Americans' focus on foreign adversaries and that has not suited American people very well," Rohrabacher said.

"I know one thing, so it is a bad thing to expose people who are trying to find out who the terrorists are who are going to kill our people, that's a bad thing. But I also think it's a bad thing that our intelligence people were trying to conduct over-surveillance of American people themselves," the congressman said.

Germans see Snowden as hero, don't trust Obama - poll

Most Germans see ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a hero for revealing secret US spying on its allies, including on Angela Merkel's phone. Also Germans' trust in the US has taken a battering, a new poll showed Thursday, in the wake of outrage over US spying revelations.

Six out of 10 people polled for public broadcaster ARD said they admired the former US spy agency contractor, against 14 percent who thought of him as a criminal.

While some 35 percent of those asked said the US was a partner that can be trusted, it marked a 14-point drop from July, a month after US President Barack Obama visited the country, according to the survey for ARD public television.

Sixty-one percent said the United States was not a partner that can be trusted.

Obama's approval among Germans also fell, with 43 percent saying they were satisfied with his work, a 32-point drop from September 2012.

The DeutschlandTrend poll's publication comes on the heels of comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry in daily Bild newspaper in which he acknowledged "tensions" between the US and Germany over the US espionage reports.

"But our relationship is strong and it will also remain strong," he added in the interview published Thursday in German.

On the question of whether Germany should offer political asylum to US fugitive leaker Edward Snowden, currently living in Russia, Germans were divided, the poll revealed.

Forty-six percent said 'yes', while 48 percent were opposed.

German lawmakers investigating the issue want to take evidence from Snowden, who has found temporary refuge in Russia.

But Berlin has made it clear Snowden will not get asylum in Germany because he is not considered the victim of political persecution. German lawmakers say they are more likely to hear what he has to say in Moscow.

The former US National Security Agency contractor is behind revelations of US spying in Germany and other countries, including the tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

He is wanted in the US on criminal charges following his disclosure of classified documents that have sparked international uproar.

The poll was conducted among 1,002 people between November 4 and 5.

Read more:

US officials 'want to kill me' - Snowden

Snowden won't return to US without amnesty - legal adviser

Republicans urge lawmakers to end surveillance of Americans' phone records

Snowden himself to decide on temporary asylum extension in Russia - lawyer

US gov't abuse of human rights is the real crime, not Snowden - interview

Voice of Russia, Interfax, Reuters, AFP

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