In an interview with The New
Yorker, Mr. Snowden declared that the accusation — advanced in
particular by Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan and chairman
of the House Intelligence Committee — was “false,” saying he had “clearly and
unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a
In the latest
jostling over how to frame the public debate that Mr. Snowden’s leaks created,
Mr. Rogers said on the NBC News program “Meet the Press” on Sunday that
Mr. Snowden should be seen not as a whistle-blower but as “a thief, who we
believe had some help.”
Officials at both the N.S.A. and
the F.B.I. have said their investigations have turned up no evidence that Mr.
Snowden was aided by others. But Mr. Rogers, asserting that Mr. Snowden had
downloaded many files about military activities that do not involve issues of
civil liberties, pointed to the Russian Federal Security Service, known as the
F.S.B., the successor to the Soviet K.G.B. He offered no evidence.
“I believe there’s a
reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms, of an F.S.B. agent in
Moscow,” he said, adding: “I believe there’s questions to be answered there. I
don’t think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in Moscow under the
handling of the F.S.B.”
Mr. Snowden responded
to Mr. Rogers’s remarks via an encrypted chat service from Russia, where he is
a fugitive from criminal charges in the United States.
On Sunday, the “Meet
the Press” host, David Gregory, also asked Mr. Rogers’s Senate counterpart,
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, whether she agreed with his
suspicions that Mr. Snowden had been helped by the Russians. She replied: “He
may well have.”
criticized news organizations for treating such remarks as newsworthy.
“It’s not the smears
that mystify me,” Mr. Snowden told The New Yorker, “it’s that outlets report
statements that the speakers themselves admit are sheer speculation.” Editors's note (KANWAL) - Indeed, whether Snowdens's presence in Russia , puts the feet of few lobbied US Senators on the ground ! We need to assert as individuals that Snowden has liberated the concept that "Our privacy SHOULD be respected". We all have to respect the dignity of us being liberated individuals and what Abraham Loncoln said "of the people, for the people, by the people" ... OBAMA's Administration has now geared up well to align the "privacy needs and rights" of not only -American Citizens but "right to browse" and safely breath the "air of Freedom"