Wednesday, June 26, 2013
June 24, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "NY Times" -- Speaking at a news conference in Vietnam on Monday, Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, said that his government was considering a written request for asylum from Edward J. Snowden, the former national security contractor accused of espionage by the United States.
In remarks the foreign ministry streamed live from Hanoi, Mr. Patiño suggested that Mr. Snowden “is being persecuted” for revealing the vast scale of the National Security Agency’s surveillance of electronic communications worldwide. “The word treason has been batted around in recent days,” Mr. Patiño said, “we need to ask who has betrayed who?”
Here, based on a simultaneous translation from Spanish to English broadcast by the BBC, are excerpts from the letter Mr. Snowden sent to President Rafael Correa, as read aloud by Mr. Patiño:
READ MORE:I, Edward Snowden, citizen of the United States of America, am writing to request asylum in the Republic of Ecuador because of the risk of being persecuted by the government of the United States and its agents in relation to my decision to make public serious violations on the part of the government of the United States of its Constitution, specifically of its Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and of various treaties of the United Nations that are binding on my country.As a result of my political opinions, and my desire to exercise my freedom of speech, through which I’ve shown that the government of the United States is intercepting the majority of communications in the world, the government of the United States has publicly announced a criminal investigation against me. Also, prominent members of Congress and others in the media have accused me of being a traitor and have called for me to be jailed or executed as a result of having communicated this information to the public.Some of the charges that have been presented against me by the Justice Department of the United States are connected to the 1917 Espionage Act, one of which includes life in prison among the possible sentences.