Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Snowden's father says he rejected entreaty from FBI

WASHINGTON — The FBI tried to enlist the father of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to fly to Moscow to try to persuade his son to return to the United States, but the effort collapsed when agents could not establish a way for the two to speak once he arrived, Snowden's father said Tuesday.

"I said, 'I want to be able to speak with my son. … Can you set up communications?' And it was, 'Well, we're not sure,' " Lon Snowden told the Washington Post. "I said, 'Wait a minute, folks, I'm not going to sit on the tarmac to be an emotional tool for you.' "

In an interview, the elder Snowden, who lives outside Allenton, Pa., offered a vehement defense of the young man many have labeled a traitor. He said that Edward, who is holed up at an airport in Moscow, grew up in a patriotic family in suburban Maryland, filled with federal agents and police officers, and that he "loves this nation." Asked what triggered his son's decision to leak top-secret intelligence documents, Snowden, a retired Coast Guard officer, said he didn't know. Although Edward had seemed troubled in April during their final dinner together, he said his son had recently put up a "fire wall between himself and his family."

"We had no idea what was coming," he said.

But he pointed to a possible explanation: what he considers misleading statements by U.S. officials about the surveillance methods that Edward revealed. "If you could say there was a tipping point, I would say it was what happened in the last six to nine months of this nation," the elder Snowden said.

Edward, who has been charged in the United States with theft and espionage, is seeking asylum in Russia. U.S. officials have condemned the leaks and said the programs he exposed are legal and supervised by a federal court.

"As a father, it pains me what he did," Lon Snowden said. " … But as an American citizen, I am absolutely thankful for what he did."

Snowden's father says he rejected entreaty from FBI 07/30/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. This is no time for Jameis Winston to play hero

    Bucs

    Don't be a hero, Jameis.

    Do the right thing. Do what's best.

     Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sits on the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) 700070683
  2. NBA off and running to its usual ending

    Blogs

    The NBA season began Tuesday night.

    It ends in June.

    Call me when the Warriors win.

    True, there was news Tuesday night, bad news, grisly news, as Celtics small forward and newcomer Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and broke his tibia in a look-away injury early in Boston’s opener at LeBron.

    Golden State's Steph Curry drives on the Houston Rockets on NBA Opening Night
  3. It's time for the Dodgers to be back in the World Series

    Blogs

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 29 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers made the World Series. That’s far too long. I still remember being at Chavez Ravine for the 1988 World Series, watching Kirk Gibson homer into the right field stands to beat the Oakland A’s in Game 1.

    Been a long …

    The Los Angeles Dodgers congratulate each other after beating the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series
  4. Kenny Chesney coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Used to be you could set your watch to a Kenny Chesney concert at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.

  5. Nikita Kucherov's start something to see

    Blogs

    Yes, the Lightning lost in a shootout at New Jersey on Tuesday night, blowing a 4-3 lead late in the game.

    Nikita Kucherov is on quite a roll