Wikileaks issues odd non-American-English statement from Snowden in Moscow

The doubters are correct.  The new “statement” from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, issued by Wikileaks, was not written by an American.  So what happened to the real Edward Snowden, who reportedly sought to defect today to Russia?

I’ve been saying for a while that Snowden would be lucky to leave Russia alive, if ever.  There’s no way Putin is going to let a counter-espionage gold mine like this young man out of Russia.  I’m curious if Snowden even asked for asylum today, or whether he’s now a prisoner.

What set off alarm bells for journalists was that Snowden’s statement from Moscow, published by Wikileaks, used a verb tense that an American would never use (emphasis added) – though a European would:

For decades the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum.

Note the use of the US as plural.

Second, the date at the bottom:

Monday 1st July 2013

That’s a European way of writing the date – putting the day before the month.  Americans write:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Even odder, Wikileaks has now apparently edited Snowden’s statement in order to make it read more American – they removed the plural and have now made it singular.

Here’s what the Wikileaks version of the Snowden statement now says (emphasis added):

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum.

Why the change, coincidentally after a number of journalists noted that the phrasing made the letter sound fake?

Here’s another part that’s a bit odd:

Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right.

Stop me exercising?  You mean “stop me FROM exercising.”  Again, “seeks to stop me exercising” isn’t American.

But the plural verb with the US is the most egregious error – that’s not a typo, that’s European.

Here’s the current version of the entire statement on the Wikileaks site.  HuffPo has the original version:

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow
Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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