Snowden Breaks Silence: Obama 'Using Citizenship as a Weapon'

Publishes first public statement from Moscow

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 1, 2013 5:30 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Following a week of silence since he left Hong Kong, Edward Snowden has published a public statement from Moscow, thanking friends and supporters for their help, and accusing Obama of pressuring other leaders to deny him asylum and "using citizenship as a weapon." In the letter published on WikiLeaks, Snowden writes: "Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum."

Snowden says Obama is attempting to frighten future whistleblowers from following in his footsteps. "In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake," he writes. "We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised—and it should be." While he had his letter-writing pen out, Snowden also sent a letter to the President of Ecuador, thanking the country for its help in getting him to Russia and for examining his asylum request, reports Reuters. "I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest," he wrote, though Reuters notes the letter is undated. "No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world." Click to read Snowden's full statement at WikiLeaks.

This photo provided by The Guardian newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden.
This photo provided by The Guardian newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden.   (AP Photo/The Guardian)
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