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Snowden Releases Statement From Russia, Writes Ecuador a Dramatic Thank-You Note

Even though Edward Snowden's chances with Ecuador look pretty slim and he's started to search for asylum elsewhere, he's still happy they're considering him. "I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest," he wrote in a letter to Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, his first public comments from Russia, Reuters reports. (Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first published Snowden's disclosures, seemed to contradict his source: "Snowden's leak is basically done," he tweeted earlier. "It's newspapers — not Snowden — deciding what gets disclosed and in what sequence.") But the former NSA contractor nonetheless expressed gratitude to those who helped him get to Moscow at all, citing "an extrajudicial man-hunt" on the part of the U.S.

"No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world," he wrote. "If any of those days ahead realize a contribution to the common good, the world will have the principles of Ecuador to thank." And did he mention he still needs somewhere to live?

In a separate statement issued via WikiLeaks, Snowden said, "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."

He called out President Obama for using "deception" and "the old, bad tools of political aggression," concluding, "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."

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