Photos of Snowden, a contractor at the NSA, and U.S. President Obama are printed on the front pages of local English and Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong in this illustration photo. (Reuters / Bobby Yip)
Image:Reuters / Bobby Yip

Ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden argued this weekend that calls for sweeping reform of mass government surveillance justify his leaks about the U.S. spy agency’s covert programs, Reuters reported.

In “A Manifesto for the Truth,” published Sunday in German magazine Der Spiegel, Snowden criticized the “persecution campaign” launched by certain governments in the wake of his disclosures and argued it is now apparent his leaks haven’t caused damage, according to Reuters. Instead, he wrote, the leaks provided useful information to the public that paved the way for greater oversight of government intelligence practices.

“At that time the public was not in a position to judge the usefulness of these revelations. People trusted that their governments would make the right decisions,” he said, as translated byReuters. “Today we know that was a mistake and that such behavior does not serve the public interest.”

According to a letter released by a German lawmaker last week, the fugitive ex-contractor indicated that he would like to testify about NSA surveillance before Congress. He also used the open letter to ask the international community for help in persuading the United States to drop espionage charges against him, but U.S. lawmakers said Sunday that Snowden wouldn’t be granted clemency.

From Talking Points Memo

Posted by Libergirl