Petraeus: 'Five years ago, I made a serious mistake'

Additionally, Snowden supporters are working to petition current United States president Barack Obama to pardon Snowden before Trump takes office.

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who in 2013 leaked thousands of classified documents showing USA surveillance of private data, argues in a new interview that retired Gen. David Petraeus was responsible for mishandling far more sensitive information than Snowden himself.

Snowden continued: "When the government came after him, they charged him with a misdemeanor".

Snowden contrasted the fallout following the information he shared with journalists compared to Gen. David Petraeus' leak of classified information to a biographer.

Snowden argued that the relative slap on the wrist Petraeus received demonstrates how high-profile officials avoid punishment while their underlings endure harsher penalties for less severe misdeeds.

"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, whereas people who're from more vulnerable populations, they live in more precarious situations, they're an inner-city youth, will be very much tread upon by our justice system".

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This allegation of a double-standard, in a way, resembles one lobbed during the USA presidential election.

FBI Director James Comey called Clinton's use of the server "extremely careless", but ultimately recommended, after an 11-month investigation, that the Justice Department not bring criminal charges against her. Critics of the decision suggested that low-level government employees would be prosecuted for far less.

Asked what he would say to Obama if given the chance, he replied: "I would respectfully say to the president, 'I understand you have an incredibly hard job.' No one wants to be a whistleblower". Addressing concerns that the administration would be heavily influenced by former military officials, Petraeus said that much of his job as a senior general was diplomatic.

Another supporter of the campaign is Barry Eisler, who spent three years in a covert position in the CIA's Directorate of Operations.

Petraeus acknowledged his "mistake" on Sunday. Having known Petraeus for 13 years - I first met him when he was the commander of the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul in 2003 - I have been impressed by his sure grasp of all the levers of power, majority non-kinetic. "I paid a very heavy price for it, and I've learned from it", he said in an exclusive interview on ABC's "This Week". "Candidate Trump was generating hysteria over Clinton's handling or mishandling of classified information that he likely never believed or took seriously himself".

Trump has suggested even harsher treatment for Snowden. Of the chances that he would actually receive a presidential pardon, Snowden said "I'm not counting on it". "When our country was great do you know what we did to traitors?" Instead, the exiled NSA whistleblower often takes the guise of a Snowbot - a freakish £11,600 telepresence robot device which allows you to make video calls to a screen on remote control wheels. "Instead, he is exiled in Moscow, and faces decades in prison under World War One-era charges that treat him like a spy", the website states.

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