Ignore the stories that say Edward Snowden now wants to come home and is negotiating terms for his return. They’re no different from what was reported in late 2013, and all fail to say that there’s no chance Snowden would get a fair shake from the government, or even the chance to make his case in open court. Considering that the Obama administration has cracked down hard on more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined, what makes you think they’d allow Snowden any opportunity to explain why his actions where justified?
As Glenn Greenwald writes,
Under the Espionage Act, the 1917 statute under which he has been charged, he would be barred by U.S. courts from even raising his key defense: that the information he revealed to journalists should never have been concealed in the first place and he was thus justified in disclosing it to journalists. In other words, when U.S. political and media figures say Snowden should “man up,” come home and argue to a court that he did nothing wrong, they are deceiving the public, since they have made certain that whistleblowers charged with “espionage” are legally barred from even raising that defense. Snowden has also pointed out that legal protections for whistleblowers are explicitly inapplicable to those, like him, who are employed by private contractors (rendering President Obama’s argument about why Snowden should “come home” entirely false).