Snowden unlikely to ‘man up’ in face of Espionage Act, legal adviser says

The Guardian reports: An adviser to Edward Snowden said on Wednesday that an unfair legal landscape made it unlikely that the NSA whistleblower would take US secretary of state John Kerry up on his invitation to “man up” and return to the United States.

In a television appearance on Wednesday morning, Kerry said that if Snowden were a “patriot”, he would return to the United States from Russia to face criminal charges. Snowden was charged last June with three felonies under the 1917 Espionage Act.

“This is a man who has betrayed his country,” Kerry told CBS News. “He should man up and come back to the US.”

Kerry’s comments came as NBC News prepared to broadcast an extended interview with Snowden on Wednesday night, beginning at 10pm ET. Snowden revealed his identity almost one year ago, on 9 June 2013.

Responding to Kerry’s comments on Wednesday, Ben Wizner, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union and a legal adviser to Snowden, said the whistleblower hoped to return to the United States one day, but that he could not do so under the current Espionage Act charges, which make it impossible for him to argue that his disclosures had served the common good.

“The laws under which Snowden is charged don’t distinguish between sharing information with the press in the public interest, and selling secrets to a foreign enemy,” Wizner said. [Continue reading…]

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