The father of NSA leaker and Russian airport king Edward Snowden believes he’s figured out this asylum-limbo situation. Lonnie Snowden took to the Today show this morning to offer what he thinks are acceptable terms for Edward’s return to the U.S., which he’s also sent in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder: He believes his son will come back to face the consequences if he’s promised no pretrial detainment or gag order and the ability to select the location of the proceedings. While that’s not typically how things work, the negotiations are also complicated by the fact that Lonnie hasn’t spoken to his son since April.
“I love him. I would like to have the opportunity to communicate with him,” Lonnie told NBC.
He’s also not so sure about these WikiLeaks folks Edward has been hanging around with. “I don’t want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him,” said Lonnie. “I think WikiLeaks, if you’ve looked at past history, you know, their focus isn’t necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It’s simply to release as much information as possible.”
But he doesn’t believe Edward is a traitor. “At this point I don’t feel that he’s committed treason. He has in fact broken U.S. law, in a sense that he has released classified information,” he said. “And if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact he has betrayed his government. But I don’t believe that he’s betrayed the people of the United States.” While Lonnie’s heart is clearly in the right place, his son is probably thinking something along the lines of, Please, Dad, not now!