2013-08-16 Statements by Snowden, Assange

Edward Snowden has issued a statement to the Huffington Post regarding confusion about his current situation, and Julian Assange has spoken with Australia's The Age in the same vein.

Snowden's statement follows.

It has come to my attention that news organizations seeking information regarding my current situation have, due to the difficulty in contacting me directly, been misled by individuals associated with my father into printing false claims about my situation.

I would like to correct the record: I've been fortunate to have legal advice from an international team of some of the finest lawyers in the world, and to work with journalists whose integrity and courage are beyond question. There is no conflict amongst myself and any of the individuals or organizations with whom I have been involved.

Neither my father, his lawyer Bruce Fein, nor his wife Mattie Fein represent me in any way. None of them have been or are involved in my current situation, and this will not change in the future. I ask journalists to understand that they do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future plans, and not to exploit the tragic vacuum of my father's emotional compromise for the sake of tabloid news.

Thank you.

Washington's Own Goal

Julian Assange was at the same time interviewed by Philip Dorling to dispel other stories that have been circulating. "Since Hong Kong we have had someone physically by his side the entire time", Assange said of Snowden. "We have had someone with him for 54 days."

Assange specifically addressed the rumour that Snowden had been interrogated by Russia's FSB, and also said that "bellicose threats" from the US had scored a "diplomatic own goal" in US relations with Russia and other countries.

When asked directly if Snowden had been questioned by the FSB, Assange responded: "No, he has not". Assange also went on to explain the "moral obligation" of news organisations in such matters.

There is a moral obligation, and in order to maximise the amount of important information coming to the public you have to make the source feel comfortable with that. That's one of the reasons for our involvement.

Future WikiLeaks NSA Rollout?

Assange suggested there might someday be a WikiLeaks rollout of Snowden's materials. "Hopefully one day, not too far in the future, we will see a WikiLeaks file rollout to media organisations. That is the way I would do it. I would like to see the organisations involved learn from our successes and see a global rollout like Cablegate. Everything else being equal, material should be published as soon as possible, otherwise governments or agencies start to cover up, work out how to prepare their spin."

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