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article imageEdward Snowden releases WikiLeaks statement: Doubts on Twitter

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jul 2, 2013 in World
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has released his first statement since arriving at the transit area of the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. However, journalists and analysts have taken to Twitter raising questions about its authenticity.
In the statement released on the WikiLeaks website, Snowden describes himself and other whistleblowers as "stateless, imprisoned, or powerless."
He accused the Obama administration of denying him the "basic right" of asylum.
The full text of Snowden's WikiLeaks statement:
One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.
On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.
This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.
For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Edward Joseph Snowden
Monday 1st July 2013
Journalists have questioned the authenticity of the statement on Twitter.
According to the Huffington Post: "The questions that emerged centered on the syntax in the text, which appeared to contain elements deemed odd for an American."
Politico's Alex Burns tweeted: "Some very European subject/verb agreement here from 'Snowden': 'the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders.'"
Farhad Manjoo tweeted: "Did Edward Snowden really write this? No American would use plural verbs for America — the United States 'have been.'"
John Herman: "That Snowden statement is written in fluent Assangese."
Digital Journal reports Snowden has asked Russia for asylum. According to the Russian Interfax news agency, Kim Shevchenko, duty officer at the Russian Foreign Ministry's consular office in Moscow's Sheremtyevo airport, told reporters that Snowden's WikiLeaks representative, Sarah Harrison, delivered the request to the Russian authorities at 10.30 p.m. on Sunday.
Digital Journal also writes that according to the Russian newspaper Izvestia, President Vladimir Putin plans to talk to Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attending a gas exporter's summit about his country granting asylum to Snowden.
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