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Iran Press TV

New York Times, Guardian urge Obama to help Snowden

Iran Press TV

Thu Jan 2, 2014 2:14PM GMT

The editorial boards of The New York Times and The Guardian have called on the administration of US President Barack Obama to allow American whistleblower Edward Snowden safe passage back to the US.

Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum in Russia in August, faces espionage charges in the US and even some former US officials have suggested that he should be "hanged" if convicted of treason.

Over the past seven months, Snowden disclosed documents that have brought to light the scope and scale of the US government's spying activities across the globe.

"Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight," The New York Times said in an editorial published on Wednesday.

The Guardian also said in an editorial on Wednesday that what Snowden did "was an act of courage" because he "gave classified information to journalists."

Snowden's leaks showed, among other things, how the US National Security Agency collects phone records of all American citizens and tracks the use of US-based Web servers by all people around the world.

The documents also showed that the US government eavesdropped on phone calls of at least 35 world leaders, spied on Russia's leadership with the help of Sweden, and spied on the 2010 G8 and G20 summits in Toronto as well as the 2009 G20 summit in London with the help of the host countries' governments.

In an interview with The Washington Post on December 23, Snowden said his "mission's already accomplished" because he "wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself."

Rick Ledgett, head of the NSA task force responsible for assessing the damage Snowden's leaks have done to the US spy agency, has said "it's worth" allowing Snowden safe passage back to the US and granting him amnesty in exchange for a promise to end further revelations about the NSA's spying activities.

However, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton and former CIA director James Woolsey believe Snowden "should be hanged by the neck until he is dead" if he is convicted of treason.


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