Edward Snowden’s father gave an interview to Fox News, begging his son to be cautious in his actions and to consider coming home after he fled to Hong Kong and leaked details of massive NSA surveillance.
Speaking to the network, Edward Snowden’s father Lonnie expressed fears the younger Snowden may inadvertently commit treason, and urged his son to return to the US soon.
The elder Snowden said:
“I hope, I pray and I ask that you will not release any secrets that could constitute treason … I sense that you’re under much stress [from] what I’ve read recently, and [ask] that you not succumb to that stress … and make a bad decision.”
And while Edward Snowden has consistently stated he fears execution or assassination, father Lonnie feels the US is a safer place for his son than anywhere abroad:
“I would like to see Ed come home and face this. I shared that with the government when I spoke with them. I love my son.”
Lonnie Snowden also told Fox that he believes there are people who would induce his son to “cross that line and do something that constitutes treason, or they would like to see him disappear.” Optimistically, he adds “that the moment [Edward] landed that there would be a line of attorneys waiting to defend him.”
In a live chat today, Edward Snowden did not seem inclined to return to the US of his own accord, saying:
“The US Government, just as they did with other whistle-blowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That’s not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it.”
Lonnie Snowden stressed to Edward that he understands his son’s motivations in the NSA leaking scandal:
“We want you to be safe, we want you to be happy, but I know you’re your own man and you’re going to do what you feel that you have to do … I believe firmly that you are a man of principle, I believe in your character, I don’t know what you’ve seen, but I just ask that you measure what you’re going to do and not release any more information.”
An extended interview with Edward Snowden’s father Lonnie will air on Fox this afternoon.