Open letter to Brazilian people is a testimony of continued purpose, not a quid pro quo
A day after a ruling by a federal judge was seen to vindicate the whistleblowing of Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor published “an open letter” to the people of Brazil offering to help the government there with its investigation into U.S. spying in the country.
“I’ve expressed my willingness to assist where it’s appropriate and legal, but, unfortunately, the US government has been working hard to limit my ability to do so,” Snowden said in the letter, which was published in the Brazilian daily Folha de S Paulo.
“I will not be the one to ignore criminality for the sake of political comfort. I would rather be without a state than without a voice.” –Edward Snowden
“Until a country grants me permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak out,” he said.
Though many media outlets depicted the letter as an offer by Snowden to “exchange” or “swap” his assistance for political asylum, nothing in the letter suggests a quid pro quo.
For example, the USA Today headline on Tuesday morning read: ‘Snowden to Brazil: Swap you spying help for asylum.’ And even the Guardian reported: ‘Edward Snowden offers to help Brazil over US spying in return for asylum.’
But as journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted: