John Kerry's 'man up' statement on Snowden faces harsh criticism
30 May 2014, 11:17 -- US Secretary of State John Kerry had to face a lot of harsh criticism for his recent comment regarding Edward Snowden. During his interview on CBS News on Wednesday, Kerry stated, 'This is a man who has betrayed his country. He should man up and come back to the US.'
The majority of the Americans tend to see the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a hero, someone who told the truth about government surveillance and someone who should be freed from all criminal charges and granted the opportunity to return home. Straight after Kerry's attempt to turn public opinion against Snowden, John Kerry had to face a lot of criticism for his misogynistic attitude.
For instance, Peter Van Buren, a former government employee and whistleblower himself said that the Secretary of State sounds 'more like Grandpa Simpson than America's Senior Diplomat' and who has been 'relegated within the Obama administration to the role of mumbling bully-boy statements, faux-machismo rantings whose intended audience and purpose are very, very unclear.'
On Twitter, a lot of people posted negative feedback claiming that it is the Secretary of State and the government who should 'man up' and admit that Snowden made a good deal for the American society by revealing the truth. Journalist and commentator Natasha Lennard named Kerry's comments 'moronic, offensive, and dangerous.'
When Snowden was asked in an interview with Brian Williams why he won't just return to the US to 'face the music,' Snowden said it is a valid concern people have, but echoed Van Buren's argument with this response:
'But it's also uninformed, because what has been lain against me are not normal charges. They're extraordinary charges. We've seen more charges under the Espionage Act in the last administration than we have in all other administrations in - in Americans history. The Espionage Act provides - anyone accused of it of no chance to make a public defense. You can't argue to the jury that what you did was in the public interest. You're not even allowed to make that case. They can't hear it. You are not allowed to argue - based on all the evidence in your favor because that evidence may be classified, even if it's exculpatory. And so when people say - 'Why don't you go home and face the music?' I say you have to understand that the music is not an open court and a fair trial.'
Snowden's lawyer, Ben Wizner at the ACLU, told the Guardian that 'the laws under which Snowden is charged don't distinguish between sharing information with the press in the public's interest, and selling secrets to a foreign enemy.'
He continued: 'The laws would not provide him any opportunity to say that the information never should have been withheld from the public in the first place. And the fact that the disclosures have led to the highest journalism rewards, have led to historic reforms in the US and around the world – all of that would be irrelevant in a prosecution under the espionage laws in the United States.'
For now Edward Snowden is left with not much of a choice but to wait for a fair trial to take place in his country if it is even possible or to continue staying oversees.
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