France should respond to the U.S.’s “contempt” for its allies by giving Edward Snowden asylum, the leftist French daily newspaper Libération declared on Thursday.
France would send “a clear and useful message to Washington, by granting this bold whistleblower the asylum to which he is entitled,” editor Laurent Joffrin wrote (translated from the French) in an angry editorial titled “Un seul geste” — or “A single gesture.”
The editorial came just two days after Libération co-published a trove of documents obtained by WikiLeaks that recounted how the National Security Agency spied for years on the last three French presidents. (President Barack Obama spoke to French President Francois Hollande Wednesday and told him that — as of late 2013 — “we are not targeting and will not target the communications of the French President.”)
“Contempt” is the only word to describe the U.S.’s behavior to its allies, Joffrin wrote.
France could even the count by offering asylum to the “single, courageous man, who has been chased without respite for three years: Edward Snowden, stalked and threatened with life in prison for having told the truth.”
The WikiLeaks documents showing NSA spying of French leaders have not been sourced to Snowden. But by turning over top-secrets documents to journalists in 2013, Snowden exposed a wide range of invasive U.S. and British surveillance around the globe, and this latest revelation created a new flashpoint for the already considerable outrage.
Libération was co-founded by existentialist French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, and has remained a significant left-wing voice ever since.
If Paris offers Snowden asylum, it will be joining several other nations who have done so in the past, including Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. However, Snowden is still waiting in Moscow to hear from almost two dozen other countries where he has requested asylum.
(This post is from our blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Photo: French President Francois Hollande on the phone. Stefan Rousseau/AFP/Getty Images