CHICAGO (CBS) – U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk said if NSA leaker Edward Snowden thinks he did the right thing by revealing the agency’s sweeping data collection of U.S. phone and Internet records, he should come home and defend himself in court.
“This has been the most screwed up defection I’ve ever seen,” Kirk said Wednesday.
Kirk said Snowden is going through a set of holidays in hell as he seeks refuge overseas. He is believed to be in the transit area of Moscow’s international airport.
An airplane carrying Bolivia’s president was rerouted in Europe over suspicions Snowden was aboard. The plane arrived in Bolivia late Wednesday after a 14-hour layover in Vienna. Bolivian President Evo Morales has suggested he’s willing to consider giving Snowden asylum in Bolivia.
“He’s looking at living in Russia, or maybe Venezuela. Snowden is violating the three laws of real estate: location, location, location. So he is doing everything wrong,” Kirk said.
Snowden,a former NSA contractor, has admitted leaking details of the National Security Agency’s collection of U.S. phone records and some Internet traffic. U.S. officials have said the programs target only foreigners and suspected terrorists, mostly overseas.
Kirk said it appears Snowden violated the law, and should suffer the consequences of leaking the information.
“If he wants to be a martyr, the only way to be a martyr is to come stand before your countrymen, and a jury of your peers, and make your case in court,” he said.