WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange was on Twitter Saturday urging the world to support Edward Snowden who admitted leaking top-secret details about US surveillance programs. He said a brave country should step forward and offer Snowden asylum.
Assange also accused the US President Barack Obama of betraying a generation of young, technically minded people. Assange was scheduled to speak from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Saturday, but the appearance was postponed at short notice due to a security situation, WikiLeaks said on Twitter.
“The charging of Edward Snowden is intended to intimidate any country that might be considering standing up for his rights,” reads a post on Wikileaks webpage on behalf of Assange after his address from the Ecuadorian embassy in London was canceled due to security concerns. “Tell your governments to step forward,” he added.
But who is really the traitor here? Who was it who promised a generation "hope" and "change," only to betray those promises with dismal misery and stagnation? Who took an oath to defend the US constitution, only to feed the invisible beast of secret law devouring it alive from the inside out? Who is it that promised to preside over The Most Transparent Administration in history, only to crush whistleblower after whistleblower with the bootheel of espionage charges? Who combined in his executive the powers of judge, jury and executioner, and claimed the jurisdiction of the entire earth on which to exercise those powers? Who arrogates the power to spy on the entire earth - every single one of us - and when he is caught red handed, explains to us that "we’re going to have to make a choice.
Who is that person? Let’s be very careful about who we call "traitor". Edward Snowden is one of us. Bradley Manning is one of us. They are young, technically minded people from the generation that Barack Obama betrayed – said Assange on his Wikileaks website.
It was revealed on Friday that the US has charged Snowden with unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person – charges that are part of the US Espionage Act. The 30-year-old, who is reportedly hiding in Hong Kong, has also been charged with theft of government property. The Washington Post reported that US authorities have asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant with a view to extradition.
The United States has asked authorities in Hong Kong to detain the former National Security Agency contract analyst on a provisional arrest warrant. Snowden has reportedly requested asylum in Iceland earlier this week via WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson. The Icelandic government has confirmed that it received Snowden’s appeal, but no decision has yet been made. As a US citizen, Snowden is free to enter Iceland without a visa and can immediately apply for asylum. However, the US may move to arrest him before Icelandic immigration authorities decide his case. The asylum process could ultimately take more than a year