Renowned American director Oliver Stone has called US President Barack Obama a “snake” for “institutionalizing” illegal spying programs in the country.
He also praised the efforts of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to alert people to the US government’s violation of the Constitution, Stars and Stripes reported.
“Snowden is a hero to me,” he told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on Monday. “He sacrificed his well-being for the good of us all.”
Snowden has revealed to the news media details of secret surveillance programs under which the US spy agencies collect massive amounts of data on people’s communications via telephone and the Internet. He also said Washington is spying on its European allies.
Russia granted Snowden, who is charged with espionage in the United States, temporary asylum on August 1.
The whistleblower first fled from the US to Hong Kong and then went to Russia. He was holed up in the transit zone of a Moscow airport for more than a month before Russia granted him a one-year asylum.
The American director also praised Moscow for standing up to the United States.
“I think (Russian President Vladimir) Putin did the right thing, and I’m proud of him for doing it,” Stone said. “We need more countries to stand up to the US.”
The relations between Russia and the US have been further strained after the Kremlin’s decision to give Snowden asylum for a year.