MOSCOW – Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor and analyst Edward Snowden commented on Tuesday’s U.S. elections through his Twitter account, but refused to reveal if he had exercised his right to vote.
“Brighter futures are not won through just a vote and hope, but by recognizing you are more than a check in a box,” Snowden wrote in reference to the ballot paper.
Snowden, who has been in exile in Russia since 2013, said last September he intent to vote in these elections by absentee ballot.
“Today you make tomorrow,” and “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” were some of the most recent comments posted on his Twitter account.
For the time being, he said he had no intention of making public his voting preferences regarding both candidates – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – and spoke about his disappointment that the campaigns did not talk more about U.S. citizens’ constitutional rights.
Nonetheless, he did criticize Clinton recently for violating rules on the handling of classified information in her use of a private server during her time as U.S. secretary of state.
“Break classification rules (of secret documents) for the public’s benefit, and you could be exiled. Do it for personal benefit, and you could be President,” Tweeted an ironic Snowden.
U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders – who was Clinton’s rival during the Democratic Party primaries – has joined linguist Noam Chomsky and actress Susan Sarandon in demanding “clemency” for Snowden.
“The information disclosed by Edward Snowden has allowed Congress and the American people to understand the degree to which the NSA has abused its authority and violated our constitutional rights,” Sanders wrote for British newspaper “The Guardian” in September.