Lon Snowden said he knows his son did the right thing.
Snowden’s son, Edward Snowden, leaked the details of the NSA’s surveillance program earlier this year. After first fleeing to China, he is now stuck in a Moscow airport while seeking asylum in a number of countries.
“’At last nothing is sacred but the integrity of one’s own mind,’ Emerson said that,” Lon Snowden said in a Friday interview with the Today show. “I believe my son when he takes his final breath—whether it’s today or a hundred years from now—he will be comfortable with what he did because he did what he knew was right. He shared the truth with the American people. What we choose to do with it is up to us as a people.”
Snowden said he’s an “angry American citizen,” because “the American people have not, at this point, they don’t know the full truth, but the truth is coming.”
Government officials are condemning him, the elder Snowden said, to deflect the attention away from their own roles.
“If you look at the concerted effort by both, many of these congressmen—the Peter Kings, the Mike Rogers, the Michelle Bachmanns, Dutch Ruppersbergers—to demonize my son, to focus the issue on my son, and not to talk about the fact that they’ve had a responsibility to make sure it was constitutional,” Snowden said. “They’ve either been complicit or negligent.”
Snowden challenged the public to question who they trust: themselves or elected officials?
“Are we going to listen to folks like Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein who say ‘trust us,’ when we still have people like James Clapper – who lied to Congress, he’s still being paid, he’s still serving this country!”
Clapper, the director of the NSA, recently apologized for lying to Congress for previously denying the existence of the programs Snowden revealed.
Today host Matt Lauer asked Snowden why his son wasn’t returning to the United States to face due process.
Lon Snowden’s lawyer, Bruce Fein, interjected: “to have due process, you have to have a fair, impartial administration.”
Fein then criticized President Obama for “deriding him as a hacker” when the president said he would not be “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.” He accused the president and some members of Congress for dubbing him a “traitor,” saying they were sullying due process and convicting him in the press.
Fein said he had been contacted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who was working to set up a mediator to ensure contact between father and son, but that they ‘d had no confirmation that the line of communication was really working.
“I’m thankful for anybody at this point who is providing him with assistance,” Snowden said. “If WikiLeaks is doing that, I’m thankful.”