Snowden would be better off in Brazil, says Ellsberg

Snowden would be better off in Brazil, says Ellsberg

Summary: The former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers says Brazil should help Edward Snowden regardless of any potential retaliation from the US

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The man who leaked the Pentagon Papers has said that it would "admirable" if the Brazilian government granted asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who leaked the secret US government study of the Vietnam War to the press in 1971, told Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo that Dilma Rousseff's government should support the whistleblower responsible for the biggest leak in modern US history.

"He made a great sacrifice. Snowden is in danger of death anywhere, maybe less in Russia, but I think he would be in a more democratic and open place," Ellsberg told the newspaper.

When asked whether Brazil would risk retaliation from the US by agreeing to help Snowden, Ellsberg agreed that antagonizing the richest and most powerful country in the world would not be an easy decision to make.

"Brazil could face sanctions. But no country has the right to fully spy on private communications of citizens around the world," the activist added.

After unveiling a string of reports related to US spying on Brazil, Snowden wrote an open letter to the Brazilian government in December, asking for asylum for the second time.

"Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak," Snowden wrote at the time.

"Many Brazilian senators agree, and have asked for my assistance with their investigations of suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens. I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so," he added.

After the letter has been published, the president of the Foreign Relations and National Defence Council, Ricardo Ferraço, said he had been actively working alongside other senators to facilitate Snowden's asylum in Brazil.

"Snowden's permanence in Brazil would or will be an extraordinary advantage, but the political asylum cannot be granted in exchange for information. The asylum is, above all, a humanitarian gesture and that is the democratic tradition of our country," Ferraço said at the time.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations, an official response would only be issued when Edward Snowden submits a formal request for asylum and the open letter does not qualify as such.

Topics: Security, Government, IT Security in the Snowden Era

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7 comments
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  • Missed the boat

    The reason Snowden should be in Brazil or more importantly not in Russia is the fact that his current haven is an oppressive autocracy that violates human rights on a whim. It's hyper-partisan hypocrisy on the part of him and those that support him.
    markbyrn
    • But he's there

      For a while, anyway. I agree that Brazil would be a better place for him to be, but it's up to President Rousseff to determine whether or not he should be granted asylum. Then he has to get there.
      John L. Ries
    • oppressive autocracy that violates human rights on a whim

      Almost, but not quite an accurate description of the USA, "autocracy" does not fit, not yet.
      2BlueFrogs
  • What?

    "Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak,"

    He doesn't seem to have a problem getting his opinions published whenever he wants.
    2low_tech
  • Brazilian President to be.

    They love Snowden so much more than the Russians.......
    Foreseen
    • Even if it were true...

      ...which I doubt, he'd have to get citizenship and maybe not even then, as most republics require their Presidents to be native born, just as the US does.

      And, as has been proven over and over again, popularity does not confer the political skills one needs to govern effectively.
      John L. Ries
  • What utter nonsense...

    "But no country has the right to fully spy on private communications of citizens around the world,"

    "right", what rights does he think the people of the world have? Privacy? Who says so? My government, the US, should be doing everything it can to protect me and my family and country and a lot of that involves spying on world leaders, their citizens, etc. Now the NSA blew it by having such lacks security standards that a man like Snowden walked in and got stuff that no way he should have ever had access to. The NSA got caught.

    I expect every country with means to be spying on the US. Even if you get caught, as long as the media does not catch on, we just trade spies or such and shake hands.

    If Snowden would have stop with only releasing domestic spying, he would have members of congress rallying around him protecting him as citizens like me would demand it. But he thinks he is a citizen of the world. Fair enough. But that kinda leaves you a man without a country. Even Britain thought Benedict Arnold was not to be trusted.
    Rann Xeroxx