Lonnie Snowden, the father of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, told Fox News about the man he knows his son to be, and offered a plea directly to Edward: Stop the leaks, and come home.
“We want you to be happy, but I know you are your own man,” Lonnie Snowden said, looking directly into the camera. “I believe in your character. I don’t know what you’ve seen, but I just ask that you measure what you’re going to do and not release any more information.”
According to Bolling, Snowden also said that it would be best for his son to come home and face prison in America than remain in hiding abroad.
The interview will be broadcast in full on Monday evening during “The Five,” but The Daily Caller received a partial transcript of the elder Snowden’s discussion with interviewer Eric Bolling.
Though he pleaded for an end to the leaks, Snowden also agreed with his son that the National Security Agency’s programs were wrong: “I don’t want them reading my e-mail. I don’t want them reading my text. In my opinion, they have no right. Not even under the guise of ‘We need to keep you safe,'” Snowden said of the cyber-surveillance.
“If we say, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to have to, we’re going to have to sacrifice our freedoms because of the threat of terrorism.’ Well, the terrorists have already won, because it’s our freedoms that make us Americans,” Snowden added.
One of Snowden’s greatest grievances came in regards to the mainstream media’s selective and sensational focus on the personal details of his son’s life. Specifically, he stated that Edward did not complete high school in a normal way because he finished early.
“Every place you read is high school dropout, high school dropout, high school dropout. Fact is that Ed had an illness at the beginning of his sophomore year … he missed approximately four or five months of school,” Lonnie Snowden claimed. “And he asked if he could try to test into a program at the local community college … and he completed his high school equivalency in advance of when he would have graduated from high school, and then continued taking college courses.”
Appearing on Monday morning’s “Fox & Friends” to preview the interview, Bolling stressed that much of what Snowden had to say remains unreleased until Monday evening
Watch the Fox News interview with Lonnie Snowden: