Edward Snowden is petitioning the Obama administration for a pardon. While I don’t give it a high probability, it is certainly worth trying on his part. He has a better chance with Obama exiting than with the other major candidates, one of whom will take over as president.
If Obama were to grant a pardon to Snowden, it would push Obama up in my eyes slightly. It can’t undo his crimes in office, particularly when dealing with foreign policy. It doesn’t undo his interventions in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and elsewhere. It can’t bring back the lost lives and the destruction. But at least it would be one good thing.
I believe that Snowden is basically home sick. It is good for him (probably life saving) that Putin has granted him asylum in Russia. But Snowden misses the U.S. and wants to come home, despite knowing the crimes of the U.S. government. He just doesn’t want to end up in a jail cell or worse.
There is a new movie coming out on the Snowden story. It was made by Oliver Stone. Perhaps it will help spread more sympathy for Snowden. At this point, American public opinion is important for his cause. He needs for more Americans to view him as a hero and not as a traitor.
I have written before that I can determine with high accuracy someone’s political persuasion just by asking two questions.
- Do you believe that Snowden is a hero or a traitor?
- Do you favor Obamacare, or some kind of nationalized healthcare system?
Someone who believes Snowden is a hero and who also is against Obamacare and nationalized healthcare is typically libertarian, or at least leans that way. It is easy to see how the political conservatives and liberals will answer. I refer to “liberal” as it is commonly used today.
For someone who favors nationalized healthcare and thinks Snowden is a traitor, that person is an authoritarian all the way around.
Hillary Clinton said that Snowden should have sought whistleblower status and gone through the appropriate channels, instead of releasing the classified documents. Of course, this is a joke. The appropriate channels are the same people committing and concealing the crimes.
It should be James Clapper (who also lied to Congress) and other NSA officials facing jail time. It should be Obama and those others who have enabled this spying who should be labeled the traitors.
The crimes that Edward Snowden and Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning exposed resulted in them being punished, yet the actual people who committed the crimes they exposed get nothing.
Manning is in jail for up to 35 years. Manning released information to Wikileaks, including this video of U.S. military personnel killing people in Iraq from a helicopter, acting like it is some kind of a video game. So Manning exposes the murderers, yet it is he who goes to jail and is tortured.
Americans really need to get their priorities straight here. These people are exposing the crimes of the U.S. government that are being committed against the American people (and Iraqis and others). They are exposing the truth, yet they are being punished by the people who are being embarrassed over these truths.
Snowden did not release data from the NSA for any other reason than to expose the criminality of the agency. He was acting as a truth teller for the American people. The American people should be thanking him and coming to his defense. Yet, many people think he is somehow a traitor.
Snowden did not have to do this. He could have quit his job and said nothing, or he could have kept doing his work at the NSA. Those were his only two other options. There is no other option of being a whistleblower and not getting in trouble. If you believe that was an option, I am sorry to say that you are being very naive about the situation.
I hope that Snowden is allowed to walk free one day again in the U.S. I hope that public opinion shifts to his side. I hope that Obama finally gets something right after nearly 8 years and issues a pardon for him.
Free Edward Snowden.