Snowden hopes for amnesty, return to U.S., his legal adviser says

Dec. 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM   |   0 comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Edward Snowden hopes to return to the United States and is pleased his release of classified data has begun a conversation about security, his lawyer said.

On NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Ben Wizner, Snowden's legal adviser in the United States and head of the American Civil Liberties Union's Project on Speech, Privacy and Technology, said he is in contact "regularly over encrypted channels" with Snowden, who lives in Russia after he was granted temporary asylum. Wizner added Snowden "hopes to come back to the United States," adding Snowden might deserve an amnesty after illegally leaking classified information of his former contract employer, the National Security Agency.

"I think that this is one of those cases [worthy of an amnesty]. Mr. Snowden's disclosures had been profoundly valuable to the country and the world. They've really changed the whole debate here, and I also think that there is much that the United States could gain through conversation with him," Wizner said.

Referring to a Washington Post article last week in which Snowden was quoted as saying, "I won, and mission accomplished," Wizner said, "He [Snowden] didn't mean the mission was accomplished. What he meant was that what he had set out to do was bring the American public into the conversation, to bring the federal courts into the conversation, to bring the whole Congress into the conversation. He did his part. It's now up to the public and our institutional oversight to decide how to respond."

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