Exclusive: Snowden Lawyer Close to Senator Rand Paul's Office
By Cliff Kincaid – July 1, 2013
In a curious development, NSA traitor Edward Snowden’s father is being represented by attorney Bruce Fein, who appeared with Senator Rand Paul at his anti-NSA news conference on June 13. Fein says “someone in Senator [Rand] Paul’s office” recommended him to Edward Snowden’s father, Lonnie.
It appears that Fein is trying to negotiate Edward Snowden’s return to the U.S, although his father reportedly hasn’t spoken to his son since April.
Bruce Fein is third from the left at Rand Paul’s anti-NSA news conference
Asked about his involvement in the case, including a letter he wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder on behalf of Edward Snowden and his father, Fein told me on Friday: “I do not work for or represent Senator Paul or any associated group in any capacity and never have. I was not representing Lonnie Snowden at the time of the [June 13] press conference. The representation agreement was signed earlier this week. Lonnie called me on the phone last week seeking my advice and assistance. I was informed someone in Senator Paul’s office recommended me and a few others who could be trusted and would be unwavering in defense of the Constitution, especially the Fourth Amendment.”
But his involvement in the Snowden case isn’t the only controversial aspect of Fein’s recent career moves. A well-respected constitutional lawyer whose books include American Empire: Before the Fall, Fein has appeared at two conferences this year sponsored by the Schiller Institute, a group started by political extremist and convicted felon Lyndon LaRouche.
“I have no involvement” in the LaRouche organization, Fein told me. “They have asked me to speak at a few events which I did, and gave the same message I give to all of my audiences. The Constitution is sacred. The American Republic was founded on the idea that every man and woman is a king and queen but no one wears a crown. We take risks others shun because we believe life as a vassal or serf to Big Government is not worth living.”
But in one speech, Fein attacked Wall Street and the “defense contractors,” saying “they’ve got vast amounts of wealth. They exert vast amounts of political power. They have a monopoly on legalized violence.”
This kind of rhetoric is apparently attractive to the LaRouche organization, which in the past has blamed Zionists, Britain and the Queen of England for most of the world’s problems. LaRouche is a former Marxist and Democratic Party presidential candidate who served prison time on financial fraud charges. His group got its start as a faction of the Students for a Democratic Society and was then known as the National Caucus of Labor Committees.
In a commentary on the NSA, an agency important to America’s counter-terrorist and counter-espionage efforts, the LaRouche organization says that the Snowden disclosures “raise again the question of British control over vital U.S. intelligence functions” and praises the British Guardian for publicizing Snowden’s allegations.
Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist behind Snowden’s disclosures, spoke at the “Socialism 2013” conference last Friday. He briefly discussed how he used “an encryption system” in his early discussions with Snowden and then received documents that made him “dizzy with ecstasy and elation, over what it is that he had.”
The LaRouche group advertises such titles as The British Empire’s Global Showdown, And How to Overcome It and Dope, Inc.: Britain’s Opium War Against the World. “Back in the 1980s,” AIM pointed out, “the LaRouche movement was considered a mouthpiece for a pro-Soviet line in foreign affairs,” with its members specializing in confusing conservatives about Communist and Soviet intentions.
Fein’s April appearance at the Schiller Institute conference in Germany was under the banner of “A Last Chance for Humanity.” Video greetings came from U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, who thanked “the LaRouche people” for the “magnificent job” they are doing on Capitol Hill to support his legislative initiatives.
Fein, who also contributes to the Huffington Post, a far-left website, says his purpose at the LaRouche gatherings was to emphasize the importance of the philosophy of the Fourth Amendment and “to restore the philosophical values of the Republic which evoked the heroic sacrifices at Valley Forge, Cemetery Ridge, Omaha Beach, etc.”
The purpose of Senator Paul’s June 13 press conference, which included a representative of the ACLU, was to threaten a lawsuit against the NSA over its terrorist surveillance programs. It is doubtful, however, that Sen. Paul has the standing to sue.
In order to restore the liberties and privacy that have supposedly been lost because of the NSA programs, Paul introduced the “Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013” in the Senate on June 7. It still has no co-sponsors.
Beyond the legal questions and whether the anti-NSA campaign is designed to bring in names and money for a Rand Paul presidential bid, Aaron Goldstein asks, in an American Spectator article, “Why Is Rand Paul Being Duped by Edward Snowden?” Senator Paul’s “admiration” for Snowden was obvious during an interview with Sean Hannity on June 17, in which he went so far as to call Snowden “a civil disobedient,” comparing him to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Goldstein went on, “If Paul can be duped by a high school dropout (albeit a computer literate high school dropout), then what chance in hell does he stand against Putin and Xi Jinping? There must also be a suspicion that protecting America’s national security secrets would not be a priority for a Paul Administration.”
Over at a pro-Snowden website, Justin Raimondo notes that Snowden himself made two contributions totaling $500 to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, and that “The lawyer retained by Snowden’s father to represent his son’s interests, Bruce Fein, a former associate deputy attorney general during the Reagan administration, is a prominent supporter of the Paul organization.”
Ron Paul himself has said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk.” The remarks were posted on campaignforliberty.org, the website of an advocacy group that Paul leads.
Bruce Fein previously represented Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty organization in arguing against the Patriot Act, which was passed into law after 9/11 to allow U.S. intelligence agencies such as the NSA to connect the dots between foreign terrorist organizations and their American agents. John Tate of the Campaign for Liberty was also at Senator Rand Paul’s June 13 anti-NSA news conference.
Bruce Fein was also a “senior advisor on legal matters” to the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign.
Snowden’s father admits his son “has in fact broken U.S. law, in a sense that he has released classified information,” but insists he is not a traitor. This father is clearly trying to save his son from life in prison, or even the death penalty.
Fein told CBS News that he and Lonnie Snowden are “worried about WikiLeaks having ulterior motives to discourage him from returning” and that WikiLeaks is “trying to exploit him.” Edward Snowden’s father said, “I think WikiLeaks, their focus isn’t necessarily the Constitution of the United States, that’s a concern for me.”On Sunday’s ABC show “This Week,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange replied, “Well, he didn’t say that. He said ‘might be.’ Mr. Snowden’s father, as a parent, of course he is worried in this situation. Every father would be worried in this situation. We have established contact with Mr. Snowden’s father’s lawyer to put some of his concerns to rest.”