Hailed as a hero by some Americans and labeled a traitor by others, Edward Snowden met at a secret location somewhere in Russia with a German official recently and offered to provide information to Angela Merkel regarding the alleged U.S. spying on that leader's cellphone, according to CNN. Snowden, who continues to be one of the most mysterious people on the face of the earth, recently denied he provided information to either the Chinese or the Russians after he fled his job as a National Security Agency analyst in Hawaii for Hong Kong, according to Reuters.
In recent weeks he has also met with his father at an undisclosed location in Russia which was closely monitored by Vladimir Putin's minions. His father was whisked away to a state-controlled television station where he gave an interview extolling the Russians' treatment of his son.
Conflicting reports have also emerged regarding his employment status as originally he was reportedly working for the founder of the Russian version of Facebook before another announcement by his attorney mentioned he was searching for a job. Of more interest than his employment status today is a letter he entrusted to a member of the German Parliament.
Hans-Christian Strobele, a veteran member of Germany's governing body, returned from his conference with Snowden carrying a letter which he made public to the news media Friday in Berlin. In his epistle he requested the United States stop referring to him as a traitor. That's not likely to happen, according to the U.S. State Department.
An employee of the U.S. State Department told CBS that the "U.S. position has not changed" regarding the former NSA analyst and that he needs to return to America where he will be provided due process by the U.S. legal system. Reading between the lines, due process will possibly be followed by a lengthy stay in a federal prison facility not of Snowden's choosing.
Snowden first surfaced in the sea of the international news media last summer when he revealed the NSA has collected vast amounts of data regarding the electronic activities of millions of Americans in addition to several foreign leaders. German Chancellor Merkel is one of those whose phone was allegedly a target of the surveillance which has led to Snowden's contact with the Berlin government.
In his letter, Snowden also stated, "Speaking the truth is not a crime."
While the German Parliament reportedly would welcome a visit by Snowden, his father Lon Snowden told the Associated Press Friday (yesterday) that his son would not travel to Germany as long as the U.S. has charges pending against him. Germany has an extradition treaty with the U.S. whereby Snowden would be returned to the U.S. if he sets foot on their soil.
Putin has granted Snowden "temporary" asylum in Russia which is why he remains hidden somewhere inside the boundaries of the Russian Federation. Putin has also said the temporary asylum could be extended beyond a year.
Snowden has reportedly leaked information regarding the leaders of Brazil and Mexico which has created political storms in those countries.
He originally leaked his classified data to journalist Glenn Greenwald who lives in Brazil. According to Greenwald, there is still further information his source could leak.
Snowden revealed to Americans last summer that the NSA was collecting information about them from Google, Facebook and other social networks. Snowden, 30, is represented in Russia by attorney Anatoly Kurcherena who said his client was searching for work in the IT field. He further said the American expatriate was living on charitable donations which were running low.
The future of "the man without a country" continues to fascinate millions around the world as his saga unfolds. Will he become a permanent resident of Russia, return to the US or face some other fate?
Lon Snowden said his son would like to testify in front of Congress.
Snowden's Russian attorney said he would not recommend his client testify anywhere if it would lead to his detriment.
Anyone interested in receiving free updates of my future National Places and Faces articles may click on the subscribe link near this article.