15 August 2013, 20:35:
Snowdens full statement to The Huffington Post is below:
It has come to my attention that news organizations seeking information regarding
my current situation have, due to the difficulty in contacting me directly,
been misled by individuals associated with my father into printing false
claims about my situation.
I would like to correct the record: I've been fortunate to have legal advice
from an international team of some of the finest lawyers in the world, and
to work with journalists whose integrity and courage are beyond question.
There is no conflict amongst myself and any of the individuals or organizations
with whom I have been involved.
Neither my father, his lawyer Bruce Fein, nor his wife Mattie Fein represent
me in any way. None of them have been or are involved in my current situation,
and this will not change in the future. I ask journalists to understand that
they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future
plans, and not to exploit the tragic vacuum of my father's emotional compromise
for the sake of tabloid news.
15 August 2013
Snowden Family Suspects WikiLeaks and Greenwald
Edward Snowden Talks With His Father
But Lawyers for Both Sides Disapproved of the Internet Chat
By LUKAS I. ALPERT
MOSCOWFormer National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and
his father spoke for the first time since late May early Thursday, going
against the wishes of their lawyers and reflecting growing rifts among family
and advisers of the fugitive leaker of U.S. surveillance documents.
Those disagreements include increasingly public bickering over the makeup
of Mr. Snowden's legal defense team, and who has standing to speak for him,
among the three camps closest to him: the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks, journalist
Glenn Greenwald and his father's legal team.
Mr. Snowden and his father, Lon Snowden, spoke for about two hours via an
encrypted Internet chat program, said two lawyers who helped arrange the
contact. The elder Mr. Snowden participated in the chat from the Washington,
D.C., office of his attorney, Bruce Fein, and was connected to his son with
the help of Ben Wizner, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union,
who is involved in coordinating Mr. Snowden's legal defense in the U.S. What
they discussed wasn't disclosed.
A person close to the situation said Lon Snowden participated in the chat
against the advice of his lawyer, Mr. Fein, who nonetheless helped arrange
"For starters, we don't really know who this guy is on the other end," this
person said. "The other issue is that [Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer Anatoly]
Kucherena has no idea that this occurred, as he is on vacation. Everything
we have done has been through Kucherena because Ed's safety is in the hands
of the Russians right now and that's not something we felt was appropriate
to do while he was away."
When informed of the conversation, Mr. Kucherena said he had urged his client
not to speak with his father electronically or over the phone and advised
them not to contact each other again until they can meet in person.
"I understand it's a relationship between a father and a son," he said.
Mr. Snowden has been staying in an undisclosed location in Russia since being
granted temporary political asylum on Aug. 1. Before that, he was stuck inside
the transit zone at a Moscow airport for five weeks after fleeing Hong Kong
when the U.S. unsealed criminal espionage charges against him.
More fractious is the relationship among Lon Snowden, WikiLeaks and Mr.
Greenwald. Mr. Fein's wife and spokeswoman, Mattie Fein, said Lon Snowden's
legal team doesn't trust the intentions of Mr. Greenwald or WikiLeaks and
worry they are giving Edward Snowden bad advice.
"The thing we have been most concerned about is that the people who have
influence over Ed will try to use him for their own means," Ms. Fein said.
"These guys have their own agenda here and we aren't so sure that it has
Ed's best interest in mind."
Mr. Greenwald called the Feins' concerns ridiculous and said they had no
standing in the matter as they have never had direct contact with Mr. Snowden.
"They have no connection to Ed," Mr. Greenwald said. "Snowden is not 14 years
old. He is a very strong-willed, independent, autonomous adult and is making
all his own choices about who he deals with and who represents him."
Ms. Fein said she was only voicing the concerns of Mr. Snowden's father,
who wanted to make sure his son ended up with the best available legal defense
and worried that the team being put together was focused on promoting the
interests of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
On Aug. 9, WikiLeaks started a "Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund,"
to raise money for Mr. Snowden, saying he had endorsed it. So far, the fund
has raised $12,011, according to WikiLeaks' website.
WikiLeaks also recently began selling Edward Snowden merchandise, including
T-shirts and coffee mugs, via its online store. WikiLeaks didn't respond
to questions about the fund or allegations made by with Lon Snowden's legal
On Sunday, Ms. Fein says she was called by a producer at a U.S. television
network she didn't specify saying Mr. Greenwald had been shopping around
an exclusive interview with Mr. Snowden for seven figures.
She said she warned the producer that she would cut off access to Mr. Snowden's
father, who has appeared regularly on television, to anyone who agreed to
Mr. Greenwald's terms. A few hours later, she said she received a furious
email from Mr. Greenwald, calling her a liar and denying he had made such
Mr. Greenwald calls the accusation that he was shopping an interview
"defamatory," but did admit to having informal discussions with NBC about
producing an interview he would conduct himself and licensing it to them
"There were no negotiations. I didn't shop anything around. I didn't go to
NBC, they called me and asked and made these offers," he said. "By the time
we paid the crew and got ourselves to Moscow and stayed there for two-three
days, we would end up losing money, or maybe breaking even."
A spokeswoman for NBC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
He said he decided against the idea because it would distract from the public
discussion about surveillance and privacy that has emerged since Mr. Snowden
leaked details of the U.S. programs.
Jeanne Whalen and Paul Sonne contributed to this article.
Write to Lukas I. Alpert at firstname.lastname@example.org