766 Belated Days Later, the Obama Administration Responds: No Pardon for Edward Snowden
On Tuesday, July 28 2015 — two years, one month and six days after it reached the threshold triggering a required response — the presidential administration of Barack Obama has finally responded to a petition calling for the pardon of surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden. Snowden, you may recall, released information that has documented the federal government’s widespread use of surveillance technology to grab the content and metadata of personal, private communications by millions Americans right here in the USA – people without any alleged connection to terrorism at all. The administration’s response to the petition:
“If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers.”
But that’s what Edward Snowden actually did do: he challenged it, he spoke out, he engaged in constructive protest. And now, the Obama administration wants to imprison him for it. No pardon for Edward Snowden.
Let’s remember that before Edward Snowden revealed the truth that the United States military was (and still is) unconstitutionally spying on innocent Americans and warehousing their conversations for analysis, officials in the Obama administration actively lied to the U.S. Congress and the American people, actively denying that such a program existed.
Let’s remember what Snowden’s documents reveal — that under the Obama administration’s spying regime, surveillance agents violate its own rules thousands of times a year, on their own, without obtaining bureaucratic or judicial approval at all.
Let’s also remember the number 766. It took the Obama administration 766 days to answer a petition from the people of the United States — a petition that met all of the administration’s stringent standards for triggering a response.