Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry has asked whistleblower Edward Snowden to “man-up” and return to the country, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Kerry Wednesday said that Snowden is no patriot, should come home and face justice and that there is no honour in what he has done.
Secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked by Snowden detail the agency’s practice of harvesting data on millions of telephone calls made in the US and around the world and revealed that foreign leaders had also been snooped on.
He took refuge in Russia after fleeing from the US in May 2013.
“If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today. We’d be delighted for him to come back. And he should come back, and that’s what a patriot would do,” Kerry said.
Kerry’s response came after Snowden in an interview on NBC on Tuesday said that the reason for taking refuge in Russia was because the US revoked his passport.
“I had a flight booked to Cuba and onwards to Latin America and I was stopped because the US government decided to revoke my passport and trap me in the Moscow airport. So when people ask ‘Why are you in Russia?’ I say, ‘Please ask the State Department’ ” Snowden said during the interview.
He also said that he was trained as a spy and was not just a mere hacker.
“I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas-pretending to work in a job that I’m not-and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden said.
Snowden continues to reside in an undisclosed location in Russia.