Strong Words: Ruppersberger Addresses NSA Leaker Edward Snowden

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The father of NSA leaker Edward Snowden will visit his son in Moscow.

Linh Bui reports Snowden is wanted in America on espionage charges.

Edward Snowden’s father wants his son to have his day in American court.

“Where my son chooses to live the rest of his life will be his decision. But I would like, at some point in time, for him to be able to come back to the U.S. Because I believe that the truth will shine through,” said Lon Snowden.

Lon Snowden plans to meet his son in Moscow to discuss ways to fight the espionage charges against the former government contractor. The 30-year-old has been granted asylum in Russia for one year.

His father is not open to a plea deal.

“The only deal will be true justice,” Lon Snowden said.

This morning on CBS’ Face The Nation, Maryland representative Dutch Ruppersberger–the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee–had strong words about Snowden, who grew up in Howard County.

“He turned his back on his country. And where did he go once he got this information? He went to China and then he went to Russia. So that speaks for itself,” he said.

Snowden is accused of leaking classified information. His revelations sparked debate about U.S. surveillance practices, and late last week, President Obama announced plans to make programs more transparent and accountable.

Ruppersberger says reform is needed, but those programs protect Americans.

“We need this program. And the president understands that,” he said.

Lon Snowden says much of what the president suggested Friday–about reviewing NSA programs–is superficial.

Snowden’s father says he has not spoken with his son since he left the U.S.

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