The former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the government's top-secret phone and Internet surveillance programs said in an online forum on Monday that he does not expect to get a fair trial in the United States.
In a question-and-answer session with readers on the website of Britain's Guardian newspaper, Edward Snowden said his disappointment with President Barack Obama helped spur his decision to reveal the monitoring of Americans' phone and Internet data kept by big companies such as Google and Facebook.
Snowden, who had been working at an NSA facility as an employee of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, traveled to Hong Kong before the surveillance programs became public and has vowed to stay there and fight any effort to bring him back to the United States.
"The U.S. government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason and that the disclosure of secret, criminal and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime. That's not justice," he told the online forum.
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The revelations by Snowden have led to a criminal investigation, and U.S. officials promised last week to hold him accountable for leaking details of the surveillance to The Guardian and The Washington Post.
The resulting controversy has ignited a renewed debate about the proper balance between privacy rights and national security, and Snowden has been called a traitor and a hero for his actions.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney was the latest to call Snowden a traitor, but Snowden called that a badge of honor.
(Read More: Cheney: NSA Tactics and Sept. 11)
"Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him ... the better off we all are," Snowden said.