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Snowden justifies NSA leaks in manifesto

Snowden The German magazine Der Spiegel published an open letter it says was written by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, in which Snowden said calls for changes in surveillance programs justify his decision to leak classified information.
"Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public," Snowden said in the piece titled "A Manifesto for the Truth," according to a translation by Reuters. "Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.
"Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested," he wrote.
Snowden calls the U.S. and British intelligence agencies the "worst offenders," but adds, "we cannot forget that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution," according to a CNN translation.
"The world has learned a lot in a short amount of time about irresponsibly operated security agencies and, at times, criminal surveillance programs," he wrote.
Der Spiegel claims the letter was written Friday in Moscow.
Snowden's "manifesto" follows his request for clemency to the U.S. government for his actions, made public in a letter released Friday after being delivered to a German politician.
The Obama administration made it clear it has no intention of being lenient with Snowden.
"Mr. Snowden violated U.S. law," White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday.
"He should return to the U.S. and face justice," Pfeiffer said, adding when pressed that no offers for clemency were being discussed.
Contributing: Associated Press

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