07/01/2013 07:03 pm ET | Updated Jul 01, 2013

Edward Snowden WikiLeaks Statement Sparks Doubts Of Authenticity On Twitter


More than a week after he landed in Moscow, WikiLeaks released a letter Monday claiming to be from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The letter describes American whistleblowers like himself as "stateless, imprisoned, or powerless," accusing the Obama administration of denying Snowden the "basic right" of asylum.

Below, the full Snowden statement, as released by WikiLeaks:

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 have 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

Journalists immediately took to Twitter after the release, doubting the authenticity of the purported Snowden statement. The questions that emerged centered on the syntax in the text, which appeared to contain elements deemed odd for an American.

Some very European subject/verb agreement here from "Snowden": "the United States of America have been one of the strongest defenders"

— Alex Burns (@aburnspolitico) July 1, 2013

Did Edward Snowden really write this? No American would use plural verbs for America -- the United States "have been" http://t.co/gxEBBtBoj2

— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) July 1, 2013

I agree with @fmanjoo. I doubt Snowden or any American wrote this. Syntax too weird. http://t.co/RKaCNNqENA

— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) July 1, 2013

@fmanjoo Yeah ... also, what American writes dates as "1st July 2013"?

— Olga Khazan (@olgakhazan) July 1, 2013

That Snowden statement is written in fluent Assangese

— John Herrman (@jwherrman) July 1, 2013

UPDATE (10:35 p.m. ET): CNN reported Monday night that WikiLeaks claims to have submitted asylum requests for Snowden to 19 countries.

Correction: A previous version of this post misstated that the Snowden statement said the entire nation of America was "stateless, imprisoned or powerless."


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