Edward Snowden's father defend his wanted son on Friday, and even suggested that his son could return voluntarily to the United States, if certain (highly unlikely) conditions are met. In an interview with NBC News today, Lonnie Snowden says he wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying that if the Justice Department agreed to make some particular promises about how they handled Edward's prosecution, then his son would "probably" return to the face trial. We wouldn't hold our breath on that score.
Among the conditions that the elder Snowden asked for: To allow his son to choose the venue for trial; that he not be subjected to a gag order; and that he be allowed to remain free until the trial begins. So he's basically asking that his son be allowed to keep doing the very things that he's wanted for in the first place: Talking to the press and running from police custody.
Even if the government did agree to those terms (which they never would), it doesn't really matter because Edward Snowden hasn't done so himself. Father and son haven't spoken since April, so he's not really speaking on Edward's behalf. We don't really know what it would take get him to come back to America, but he's obviously smart enough to know that he'll never get it. The government wants him behind bars, and if they ever get their hands on him, that's exactly where he'll stay.
Snowden Sr. also tried to defend his son from charges that he betrayed America or committed treason. While admitting that Edward broke the law, his dad says he's not a traitor to his country and added that he actually believes that Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks lawyers might be manipulating him. Lonnie Snowden said, "I am concerned about those who surround him. 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." Of course, the U.S. would love to get their hands on Assange too,
Check out a portion of the interview that appeared on Today this morning.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.