Edward Snowden will forever be remembered as the man who leaked top secret government files which reveal the true extent of the National Security Agency’s electronic spying operations. He flew to Hong Kong before the first tranche of documents were leaked in an extensive report and later went to Russia where he has been for over a year. Reports based on documents provided by him kept being published while many back home in the United States called for Snowden to be punished for leaking top secret documents. A campaign seeking a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden has been launched today.
Snowden and his legal team formally launched the campaign at a press conference in New York today. They have released an open letter to President Obama calling on him to pardon Snowden, the open letter is collecting signatures at PardonSnowden.org.
The letter reads that “America’s democracy has benefited from Snowden’s actions,” and that “he will be remembered as a whistleblower and patriot.” Some big names have signed the letter already, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Snowden’s was present at the press conference via a telepresence robot, he said that this isn’t really about his rather “it’s about us. It’s about our right to dissent. It’s about the kind of country we want to have.”
If Snowden were to return to the United States he would probably face legal action under the Espionage Act and it’s quite unlikely that he will be able to avoid getting jail time. A presidential pardon would ensure that he can have his feet on U.S. soil without having to worry about legal ramifications.
President Obama only has a few months left in office and he alone has to make this decision, and no one can say right now what the president is going to do.
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