This just released by WikiLeaks:
One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat from my government for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.
On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.
This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.
For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. 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.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. 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.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Edward Joseph Snowden
Monday 1st July 2013
In response to news that Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia, among at least a dozen other countries, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called on the Kremlin to hand over the NSA leaker.
“Edward Snowden should return to the United States on his own volition or be returned home to face espionage charges,” said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “His alleged actions are of the utmost sensitivity to our national security and hiding out in Russia would be highly inconsistent with the principles he claims to defend by seeking asylum in a country that stifles the opinions of its own people. I call on President Putin to work with the Obama Administration to assist in his return to the United States.”
At a press conference in Tanzania today, Obama said “we have gone through regular law enforcement channels in enforcing the extradition request that we’ve made with respect to Mr. Snowden.”
“And that’s been true with all the countries that have been involved, including Russia. And so, there have been high-level discussions with the Russians about trying to find a solution to the problem,” he continued.
“We don’t have an extradition treaty with Russia. On the other hand, Mr. Snowden, we understand, has traveled there without a valid passport, without legal papers. And we are hopeful that the Russian government makes decisions based on the normal procedures regarding international travel and the normal interactions that law enforcement have. So I can confirm that.”