MOSCOW, July 17 (RAPSI) - Former US Senator Gordon Humphrey praised Edward Snowden for having done the right thing by exposing what the former politician views as a “massive violation” of the US Constitution, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
Humphrey’s praise hinged however on an important caveat: “Provided you have not leaked information that would put in [harm’s] way any intelligence agent, I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution,” according to the text of the letter posted by The Guardian.
Based on having carried out a two-term stint in the US senate, during which he served on the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee, and the Judiciary Committee, Humphrey asserted that he had good grounds from which to base his conclusion, according to a copy of the letter published in the report.
The Guardian included a response from Snowden, who has reportedly remained in hiding in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23 amidst efforts to secure asylum.
In his response, Snowden criticized the media for having distorted his intentions, before spelling them out on his own terms: “My intention, which I outlined when this began, is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. I remain committed to that. Though reporters and officials may never believe it, I have not provided any information that would harm our people - agent or not - and I have no intention to do so.”
After explaining that the information in his possession is safe from compromise, he asserted: “You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture,” before thanking Humphrey for his service “to the nation we both love.”
Snowden has dominated international headlines this summer after claiming responsibility for having leaked top-secret documents to The Guardian, detailing the National Security Agency's (NSA) capacity to access the systems of such major US companies as Google, Facebook, and Apple. Google, Facebook, and Apple have all denied having provided direct or backdoor access to their servers.
After the initial leak, Snowden went on to expose various other types of intelligence, including claims to The Guardian that the NSA intercepted communications from Medvedev's delegation during the 2009 G20 summit in London, as well as claims during an interview with the South China Morning Post that the United States had been hacking into Chinese computers for years.
On June 14, the US authorities filed a criminal complaint advancing three charges, each stipulating a punishment of up to 10 years in prison. He has been charged with the theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and the willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person, according to a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors.