On June 22 2013, the petition to pardon civil liberties whistleblower Edward Snowden surpassed a hundred thousand signatures, and has continued to gather signatures since, reaching 161,223 signatures today.
It’s that 100,000 mark that’s crucial, though, because this isn’t just any old ordinary petition; it’s an official petition on the official “We The People” petition website set up by the White House itself. On that website, the Obama administration has promised to respond to any petition that surpasses 100,000 signatures.
It’s been a year now, and still there’s been no response.
When the White House promises to respond to all petitions, then ignores politically unacceptable and thematically disagreeable petitions, the basic premise of the website appears to be negated. An honest answer doesn’t have to be the answer that “We the People” want, but some sort of answer is better than the alternative: to have our government remain unanswerable.