American whistle-blower Edward Snowden says the leaks he has been behind are dwarfed by retired General David Petraeus’s as President-elect Donald Trump is considering him for the position of secretary of state.
“We have a two-tiered system of justice in the United States, where people who are either well-connected to government or they have access to an incredible amount of resources get very light punishments,” said Snowden in an exclusive interview with Yahoo News released Sunday.
The interview was conducted as the future president was busy picking members for his administration, set to begin work on January 20, 2017.
“Perhaps the best-known case in recent history here is Gen. Petraeus — who shared information that was far more highly classified than I ever did with journalists,” added the former National Security Agency contractor, who shared classified information about the US government’s surveillance programs.
Petraeus, a former CIA director, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information after he shared government secrets with his mistress Paula Broadwell, a married woman who was his biographer.
“And he shared this information not with the public for their benefit, but with his biographer and lover for personal benefit — conversations that had information, detailed information, about military special-access programs, that’s classified above top secret, conversations with the president and so on,” added the former NSA contractor.
Snowden, who lives in Russia where he has been granted asylum, will be sent to jail in case he returns to his country, while Petraeus “never spent a single day in jail, despite the type of classified information he exposed.”
The whistle-blower has said that US government surveillance methods far surpass those of an ‘Orwellian’ state, referring to George Orwell’s classic novel “1984,” which describes a society where personal privacy is continuously invaded by spy agencies.