One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom
and safety were under threat 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 has 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,
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
Those aren’t the words of a traitor to his country. Those are the words of a hero and patriot who has exposed the misdeeds of a government that exceeds its bounds and views the people as its enemy.