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Kerry: Lives May be Lost Due to Snowden's Betrayal

Kerry: Lives May be Lost Due to Snowden's Betrayali
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June 25, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warns there will be consequences for countries that help former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden avoid arrest for disclosing secret details of U.S. government surveillance of telephone and Internet activities. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

Kerry: Lives May be Lost Due to Snowden's Betrayal

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— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warns there will be consequences for countries that help former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden avoid arrest for disclosing secret details of U.S. government surveillance of telephone and Internet activities.

With Snowden on the run from Hong Kong, Secretary of State John Kerry said there will be consequences for countries that help him escape U.S. justice.

"All appropriate countries have been notified with respect to the status, his status, legally, and that is the appropriate step to take, to put them on notice that he is an indicted fellow, he is an indicted individual, indicted with three felony accounts and that he is wanted by the legal process of the United States," said Kerry.

Ecuador is considering Snowden's asylum request. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Snowden believes he would not receive a fair trial in the United States.

"The man who intended to expose acts that affects the fundamental liberties of all people now finds himself persecuted by those very people who should offer an explanation to the governments and the citizens of the world regarding the claims made by Mr. Snowden," said Patiño.

But in an interview with VOA, Kerry said Snowden has put counterterrorism at risk.

"He has put individuals at risk. And it may well be that lives will be lost in the United States because terrorists now have knowledge of something that they need to avoid that they didn't have knowledge of before he did this," said Kerry.

Snowden supporters say he is standing up for the right to privacy and exposing government misconduct in the collection of phone and Internet records.

"All governments, most governments do it, and China does it, the U.S. is doing it. So I think what he did was actually a very brave thing. He was willing to give up everything for that," said John Wakefield.

Kerry told VOA that Snowden is not a whistleblower like those who helped expose secret U.S. policies during the Vietnam War.

"He has betrayed his country because he took an oath. He swore that he would uphold the secrecy. He was given access to documents based on that trust and he violated that trust. And he hasn't violated it in any way similar, nothing similar to Daniel Ellsberg or somebody who was revealing a government who is actually lying or that had a completely distorted view of something going on. This man just took real information and put it out there because he happens to believe something that is not in fact justified by the facts," he said.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Snowden said he wanted to help people decide for themselves if the surveillance is warranted.

"I think that the public is owed an explanation of the motivations behind the people who made these disclosures that are outside of the democratic model," said Snowden.

But Kerry says the surveillance program protects the right to live free from terrorism.

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by: Amy from: CA
June 24, 2013 8:45 PM
I was sympathetic to this guy at first but the idea that he's made it more difficult to stop a potential terrorist attack is not particularly pleasant.

In Response

by: Josh from: Canada
June 24, 2013 9:28 PM
How has he done this? The scope and depth of the NSA's revealed surveillance goes far beyond trying to stop terrorism.


by: Freedom from: USA
June 24, 2013 8:19 PM
Kerry is one worthless POS
Thanks GOD we do not have him as president. We made the right choice in electing someone else


by: bob from: england
June 24, 2013 8:18 PM
they should rename this the voice of the military.
they are putting out the message that if you whistle blow on us this is what we will do to you, they are also threatening rather small countries into compliance, lets see what happens when they pick on one big enough to fight back, how many people have already died because of their secret operations that the American public did not know about, as far as I am concerned snowden is a patriot, he has done the people of England a big favour because now we are looking at our own governments behavior.


by: Noooo
June 24, 2013 8:10 PM
Fear of terrorism is worse than terrorism itself. The mind fears things far worse than any reality. The government terrorizes everyone on a daily basis.

Stop being afraid.


by: bd from: san francisco
June 24, 2013 8:07 PM
kerry; you are lying and apart of the problem; of course you are covering it up. not only does it implicate you, given past and current roles, but in future election bids. you are working to paint him a bad man to the american people, so they will support your effort to cause him harm. kerry, you are the same old same same bs; snowden is a man of integrity, honesty--- offers a direction to which the US needs to go. no more of this kerry, obama, bush, clinton BS. i'm a liberal as it gets and i can see clearly now.


by: Ralph from: New Jersey
June 24, 2013 8:06 PM
This is exactly what is meant by "blaming the messenger."

Did Obama -- for whom I voted and for whom I would certainly vote again -- think such extensive surveillance could remain a secret forever? That is feebleminded.

In Response

by: Ralph from: New Jersey, USA
June 25, 2013 10:56 AM
Mike, you are correct. Sorry, I expressed myself poorly. Obama cannot run for President again.

I should have said that I would still vote for Obama if (in imagination) I had it to do over. That is not because I approve of all his policies -- far from it. I am very disturbed by Obama's war policies, including use of drones to kill civilians, and by his secrecy policies, which may be the worst ever.

In Response

by: Mike
June 25, 2013 12:53 AM
How can you vote for Obama again if he does not have the constitutional right to be president for a third time?


by: Josh from: Canada
June 24, 2013 8:03 PM
Instead of addressing the severe issues Edward Snowden has brought to light, the NSA says they'll implement a two person rule to keep people from leaking sensitive information, and they call him a bastard for what he did. At what point does someone take two steps back and go 'wait....you guys were intercepting emails and phone calls....because you felt like it?"

In Response

by: Ralph from: New Jersey
June 24, 2013 11:13 PM
Josh, I believe that kind of frivolous behavior always happens when people have special power and there is no supervision. A two-person rule might help, but sometimes those two people are going to collude and misuse their power together.

That is really why the authors of the U.S. Constitution put in safeguards against abuse of power: because abuse always happens unless something specific is preventing it.


by: Farmboy from: Canada
June 24, 2013 8:02 PM
Think of the lives and treasure that would have been saved if someone had exposed the lies that led up to the invasion of Iraq.

There will be no secrets in the new age hi-tech world.


by: funguseater
June 24, 2013 8:01 PM
You know what would protect US citizens even more? An closed border with walls, zero immigration, mandatory ID checks, single party electoral system, mandatory 3 year military service and martial law. You might not like it though...

In Response

by: Ralph from: New Jersey
June 25, 2013 11:47 AM
That would not protect anyone. Those are the policies of police states and dictatorships. In those systems, citizens are always at the mercy of corrupt officials.


by: Raifon from: Canada
June 24, 2013 7:58 PM
When violations of rights and freedom and privacy are committed even though the government may feel they have no choice those rights have to be protected. Our constitution guarantees it and anyone who intervenes with it is in the wrong. Any citizen has an obligation to expose those who think they are above the law and even with this case the wrong person is being persecuted. Those officials that initiated the action should be charged and held accountable and the advocate of the peoples rights should be honoured.

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