1European patience with the Obama administration’s treatment of Edward Snowden is wearing thin.  But is Europe ready to defy Washington over this issue?

Snowden, a former contract employee for the National Security Agency (NSA), leaked thousands of classified documents in 2013. Among other revelations, these showed that the NSA, in concert with other nations’ intelligence services, was conducting global surveillance programs on a hitherto unimagined scale.

Charged with espionage and theft of government property by the U.S. Department of Justice, Snowden applied for asylum in 21 countries, including France and Germany. The only country that agreed to harbor him was Russia, where he is now living in an undisclosed location, presumably in Moscow.

Now, a European intergovernmental body, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has drafted a resolution aimed at pressuring Washington to allow Snowden to return home under the shield of whistleblower protection laws.

Snowden Actions “In the Public Interest”

The resolution calls on the US to ensure that Snowden be allowed to argue in court that any harm caused by his disclosures was outweighed by their contribution to the “public interest.” During its deliberations, the committee heard from Snowden himself via a video link.

The PACE committee also recommends that its 47 member states grant asylum to whistleblowers—even national security and intelligence community employees—who face retaliation at home for actions they took in defense of the public interest.

But PACE resolutions are only advisory. Whether European leaders are actually willing to go up against Washington on this issue remains in doubt.

Last week, Glenn Greenwald – the journalist who first broke the news of Snowden’s revelations – reported that the United States threatened to withhold intelligence information from its ally Germany if that nation were to grant Snowden asylum.

Angela Merkel’s Phone Tapped By NSA

Angela Merkel’s Phone Tapped By NSA

“They told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters,” German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said. This would mean that the U.S. would not inform Germany about an impending terror attack that might put large numbers of Germans at risk.

The US has rejected assertions that it threatened Germany, according to a report in the German “Welt,” saying that it had merely told its international partners in private what it also said in public. The US has been adamant that it does not want European countries to grant Snowden asylum, which is something some European lawmakers have called for.

The PACE committee’s draft resolution will be discussed during the parent organization’s summer session in Strasbourg in June.

Meantime, Germany’s opposition Green Party has submitted an official inquiry and asked the Chancellor’s office whether the US had ever threatened Germany with withholding information on intelligence matters.

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grgy
grgy
6 years ago

Russia was the only country to have the balls to do the right thing. Snowden is safe there but his life is at risk going to any other country in the EU.

scottgriffith
6 years ago

What puzzles me is why in the world Snowden wants to return to live in the USA.

punkyboy
punkyboy
6 years ago

The last thing Snowden should do is come back to the U.S., no matter what “promises” are made to him. America is no longer safe for real patriots and whistleblowers. Our government fears the truth like the wicked witch fears water.

Jonn Mero
Jonn Mero
6 years ago

Considering what happened to Chelsea Manning who reported a war crime committed by US forces, Edward Snowden will be outright silly (which he is not!) to trust the US government. The US and Israel commit war crimes with impunity, and nothing seems to deter them.

FiuToYou
FiuToYou
6 years ago

Snowden! Stay where you are, get minimum cosmetic surgery to change your face, and have the best in Russia get you a complete set of identity papers, birth certificates, social security, etc. Go to another country or even the USA, but as a DIFFERENT PERSON COMPLETELY. If you come back as SNOWDEN, you will have an ‘accident’ at some point in the near future. The American govt must make an example of what happens to people like you to keep others in line. You’ve made some very dangerous enemies. Tread lightly, trust no one!

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  FiuToYou

You watch too many spy movies, like Faceoff.

Ice
Ice
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

You are soooo wrong Guest. Stay put Ed.

FiuToYou
FiuToYou
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

@Guest. Where have you been living for the past 50 some years? Under some rock. I don’t need to watch movies. I know that if a true patriot like Edward Snowden came back to America, it would be the worst mistake of his life! You sir seem to be living in some bizarre movie. Wake up and see the real world.

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