Edward Snowden Says Media Being Misled ‘About My Situation’
NEW YORK –- National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden wants to set the record straight after individuals associated with his father have, in his words, “misled” journalists into “printing false claims about my situation.”
In an emailed statement to The Huffington Post, Snowden said that neither his father Lon Snowden, his father’s lawyer Bruce Fein, nor Fein’s wife and spokeswoman Mattie Fein “represent me in any way.”
“None of them have been or are involved in my current situation, and this will not change in the future,” Snowden said of his father and the Feins. “I ask journalists to understand that they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future plans, and not to exploit the tragic vacuum of my father’s emotional compromise for the sake of tabloid news.”
Mattie Fein told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that Lon Snowden’s legal team doesn’t trust Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, the journalist at the center of the NSA story, or WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization that has advised Snowden in Russia. Fein also claimed Greenwald was trying to shop around an exclusive interview with Snowden for seven figures. Greenwald told the Journal Fein’s claim was “defamatory.”
Snowden said he’d like to correct the record regarding legal advice he’s received.
“I’ve been fortunate to have legal advice from an international team of some of the finest lawyers in the world, and to work with journalists whose integrity and courage are beyond question,” Snowden said. “There is no conflict amongst myself and any of the individuals or organizations with whom I have been involved.”
Ben Wizner, director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project for the American Civil Liberties Union, confirmed that the email received by The Huffington Post was from Snowden, who remains a fugitive in Russia after being granted temporary asylum.
In a later statement, The ACLU said the organization has been in contact with Snowden for several weeks, and at his request, is “playing a coordinating role to ensure that he receives appropriate legal advice and representation.”
“As we have said before, we believe that the information Mr. Snowden has disclosed about the nature, scope, and putative legal authorization of the NSA’s surveillance operations has generated a remarkable and long-overdue public debate about the legality and propriety of the government’s surveillance activities,” the ACLU statement read. “The ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecutable under the nation’s espionage laws.” Read more in the Huffington Post.