– ‘Obama has already convicted Snowden’ (PressTV, July 14, 2013):
American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s chances for a fair trial in the U.S. are “virtually zero” as he has “already been convicted in the media by President Obama”, says James Petras, a retired Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, and author of 65 books.
At a meeting in the transit area of Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on Friday, Snowden told human rights advocates that the U.S. government has placed him on no-fly lists and threatened sanctions against countries that “would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system.”
Snowden said that such threats from Washington are “unlawful” and the U.S. is struggling to block him from travelling to Latin America to “enjoy the asylum granted there”.
“Mr. Snowden is well within international law and asking for asylum. Even the United Nations has recognized the right of asylum especially in the case of Mr. Snowden,” said Petras in a phone interview with Press TV’s U.S. Desk on Sunday.
“He would be subject to unusual and cruel punishment [in the U.S.] We’ve seen other whistleblowers like Mr. Manning who was held incommunicado and in solitary prison for over a year and brutally interrogated,” Petras added.
Snowden has blown the lid on massive surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency including a major spying program, codenamed PRISM, for tracking the use of U.S.-based web servers by American citizens and other nationals.
Documents revealed by Snowden have also shown that the U.S. spied on European Union representations, ordinary European citizens, and companies and individuals in Latin America.
Washington has charged Snowden with espionage and has revoked his passport.
“Most people recognize, here in the United States over 60 percent, that he [Snowden] is a whistleblower not a traitor,” Petras pointed out.