Weeks ago, Lon Snowden urged his son Edward Snowden to return to the U.S., but now he's telling the NSA whistleblower to stay in Russia.
This is quite a shift by Lon Snowden, who once appeared on Fox News telling his son to give himself up, but now says Edward cannot get a fair trial in the U.S.
“The fact is no assurances have been made that he will be given a fair trial, that he deserves, or any citizen of this nation is given by our Constitution,” Lon Snowden told Rossiya 24 news channel, notes RT.com.
What changed Lon Snowden's stance?
Apparently, it was the case of whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was recently found guilty on 20 charges and could face 130 years in jail.
"He was subjected to inhumane conditions. He was stripped of his clothes, kept for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, his glasses were removed. That was unacceptable,” said Lon Snowden. “I just don’t have a high level of trust in our justice system, not only because of what has happened to my son.”
“I would certainly have appreciated the offers by Venezuela and Ecuador and Bolivia, but considering actions that were taken, particularly the grounding of Evo Morales’ aircraft, where my son was thought to be, I feel Russia has the strength and resolve and convictions to protect my son," added Lon Snowden.
He also recalled how the FBI offered to set up a bizarre non-meeting with his son in Russia, which sounded more like a trap.
“I said, ‘I want to be able to speak with my son... Can you set up communications?’ And it was, ‘Well, we’re not sure,’ ” Lon Snowden told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “I said, ‘Wait a minute, folks, I’m not going to sit on the tarmac to be an emotional tool for you.’ ”
Now, Edward Snowden's lawyer is trying to set up a real meeting between father and son.