Would asylum for Edward Snowden serve the public interest?

Edward Snowden
With help from a WikiLeaks lawyer, the young American who admits he leaked information about National Security Agency surveillance programs has now asked more than 20 nations to give him asylum.

But as NPR’s Jean Cochran said early Tuesday on the network’s newscast, Edward Snowden’s chances of getting asylum from any nation in Europe “do not look promising. … Poland has turned him down. Officials in Germany, Norway, Austria and Switzerland say he cannot apply from abroad.”

There was also word from India’s foreign minister early Tuesday that India won’t accept Snowden’s request.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Snowden sent a letter in Spanish to Eucador:

Snowden said the United States was illegally persecuting him for revealing its electronic surveillance program, PRISM. He also thanked Ecuador for helping him get to Russia and for examining his asylum request.

“I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest,” Snowden said in an undated Spanish-language letter sent to President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, seen by Reuters.

“No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world. If any of those days ahead realize a contribution to the common good, the world will have the principles of Ecuador to thank,” part of the text read, according to a translation.

Today’s Question: Would asylum for Edward Snowden serve the public interest?

  • Jim G

    No. This episode of leaking secret but undemocratic dealings of our own government needs a complete and open airing in court.

    “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison.” – quote from Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

  • david

    Probably not. I would think it would be much more entertaining if he spends the rest of his life in the Russian airport, having to turn it into a reality show to make money to survive. Think of the irony.

  • Gary F

    I say let him go to China. They will pull his fingernails out.

    Makes water boarding look like child’s play.

    or bring the punk back here and waterboard him.

    • Ralfy

      How do you feel about Daniel Ellsberg?

    • Ralfy

      How do you feel about Dick Armitage/Scooter Libby?

  • Gary F

    Think of the outcry from the media and the left, if this were to happen during a Bush or Romney administration.

    • reggie

      Really, Gary, you’ve got to stop being such a one-note choir. The lesson of the past several years is that the (in)security-industrial complex is its own master. On this sort of issue, Repub or Dem administrations really don’t differ in any substantive way.

      What is a “Romney administration”? A joke?

    • Ralfy

      I did not realize that liberal/progressive politicians and the media coverage of this issue was so biased. My experience has been that both sides of the aisle and media leanings have gone after the data-gathering with shared concerns and have presented a fairly uniform front regarding Edward Snowden. Keep in mind this is a sub-contractor working in a highly sensitive area (not a government employee) – a predictable sooner or later result as we further privatize government functions.

  • John

    He leaked the information to US. Are we the enemy?

  • kevins

    This young man has made a grave mistake. Assume that there is government spying. Assume that any and all governments do it or would like to do it. Assume that American citizens abhor being spied upon. Assume that the Patriot Act enabled spying, even on American citizens.

    Now, what is new to any of us about the above? Be honest.

    Assume that Mr. Snowden took information that belonged to the US government and gave it to…whom?

    Yes, he gave it to us, but also to those that spy on us.

    No act of patriotism ends in Russia.

  • Elanne

    Yes–he did a courageous thing and now needs to be protected.