Former U.S. Senator Sends Message of Support to NSA Whistleblower Snowden

By:  Jack Kenny
Former U.S. Senator Sends Message of Support to NSA Whistleblower Snowden

A former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire expressed his support of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contract worker who exposed the NSA's massive data collection program.

Former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire sent an e-mail to Edward Snowden expressing his support of the former National Security Agency contract worker's action in exposing the NSA's massive data collection program through the release of classified documents.

"Provided you have not leaked information that would put in harms way any intelligence agent, I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution," Humphrey, who served two terms as senator from New Hampshire, wrote in an e-mail to Snowden, who is in Moscow seeking asylum as a political refugee. Snowden faces charges of espionage and theft of government property in the United States as a result of his leaking classified information.

"Having served in the United States Senate for twelve years as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I think I have a good grounding to reach my conclusion," wrote Humphrey, who served in the Senate from 1979-1990. "I wish you well in your efforts to secure asylum and encourage you to persevere."

"Thank you for your words of support," Snowden replied in an e-mail. "I only wish more of our lawmakers shared your principles — the actions I've taken would not have been necessary."

The correspondence was published Tuesday by The Guardian, the British publication that, along with the Washington Post, broke the story of the NSA collection and storage of billions of e-mails and telephone messages daily. After turning classified documents about the program over to the publications, Snowden fled from his Hawaiian home to a secret location in Hong Kong, where he publicly acknowledged in an interview with The Guardian that he was the whistleblower. He flew from Hong Kong to Moscow on June 23 and has been there ever since. Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have offered him asylum, but his flight is complicated by the fact that the United States has revoked his passport. He applied Tuesday for....

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