“I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the situation is resolved…”
November 1, 2013
A week after revelations surfaced that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone had been tapped by the NSA, the German government is reaching out to whistleblower Edward Snowden to ask if he’d like to volunteer information.
“If the message is that Mr. Snowden wants to give us information, then we will be glad to accept that,” Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, who traveled to Moscow Thursday to meet with the 30-year-old dissident, said according to the Associated Press.
However, Snowden’s letter shows he is reluctant to give up info as he currently faces charges in the U.S. of espionage and theft of government property.
In response, he had this to say:
“To whom it may concern,
I have been invited to write to you regarding your investigation of mass surveillance.
I am Edward Joseph Snowden, formerly employed through contracts or direct hire as a technical expert for the United States National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and Defense Intelligence Agency.
In the course of my service to these organizations, I believe I witnessed systemic violations of law by my government that created a moral duty to act. As a result of reporting these concerns, I have faced a severe and sustained campaign of persecution that forced me from my family and home. I am currently living in exile under a grant of temporary asylum in the Russian Federation in accordance with international law.
I am heartened by the response to my act of political expression, in both the United States and beyond. Citizens around the world as well as high officials — including in the United States — have judged the revelation of an unaccountable system of pervasive surveillance to be a public service. These spying revelations have resulted in the proposal of many new laws and policies to address formerly concealed abuses of the public trust. The benefits to society of this growing knowledge are becoming increasingly clear at the same time claimed risks are being shown to have been mitigated.
Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense. However, speaking the truth is not a crime. I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior. I hope that when the difficulties of this humanitarian situation have been resolved, I will be able to cooperate in the responsible finding of fact regarding reports in the media, particularly in regard to the truth and authenticity of documents, as appropriate and in accordance with the law.
I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the situation is resolved, and thank you for your efforts in upholding the international laws that protect us all.
With my best regards,
31 October 2013.”