By Jon Wiederhorn
The politically active guitarist for Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello, has declared that Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who leaked classified information to U.K. daily paper the Guardian, is a "hero."
Snowden provided the Guardian with data about the U.S. government's use of surveillance equipment to monitor the public's phone and Internet communications. He faces charges of espionage and theft of government property and is reportedly hiding at a Moscow airport waiting for Ecuador or another country to grant him political asylum.
"[Snowden] should live a happy life in Ecuador," Morello told TMZ. "I think he's a hero. He exposed the crimes of the government — that we're all being spied on all the time by the Obama administration. If anybody deserves to be in jail it's not Snowden."
In the same interview, Morello, told TMZ that he just received a fundraising email from Obama's campaign because he gave money to the Democratic party seven years ago, but that he'd rather give money to fund Snowden's escape from being arrested. "Obama's campaign [is] asking me for money after they've been spying on me and their drones have been killing civilians," Morello said. "I decided I'm gonna take whatever amount of money that I might have donated — which would have been not that much — and I'm gonna donate it to whatever airplane flight is gonna get Snowden to Ecuador. Whatever fund that is, that's what I'm gonna donate that money to. I'd be happy to, and that means I'm guilty of espionage as well, probably."
Morello, who supported Libertarian candidate Ron Paul in the last election, expressed disgust with Obama and the Democratic party, but stopped short of saying that Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who narrowly lost to Obama in the 2012 presidential election, wouldn't have committed the same offenses.
"There's a lot of bad apples and a lot of worms in them," Morello said. "I think we throw out the whole barrel, the whole damn barrel. Adios. The last administration was horrible. This one turned out to be horrible, too. There’s a lesson in there for all of you."
In a news briefing from Senegal, President Obama announced that Snowden has additional classified documents and that the administration is concerned may "dribble out there," reported NPR. But Obama added that the U.S. will not "be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker." The President added that the government will work through "regular legal channels" to bring Snowden back to the U.S. to be tried.