Tags: Edward Snowden | NSA/Surveillance | Post | Snowden | security | NSA | pardon

Washington Post Comes Out Against Snowden Pardon

Image: Washington Post Comes Out Against Snowden Pardon

Edward Snowden speaks via video link at a Sept. 14 news conference for the launch of a campaign calling for President Obama to pardon him. (Getty Images/Spencer Platt)

By    |   Sunday, 18 Sep 2016 04:55 PM

The Washington Post has come out strongly against a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who is charged with violating the Espionage Act by copying and leaking classified information about numerous surveillance programs.

The paper's editorial acknowledges Snowden deserves credit for corrective legislation passed in response to the NSA's excesses in one of the programs he revealed in which the agency collected domestic telephone metadata en masse with no case-by-case court approval.

However, the Post insists "an outright pardon . . . would strike the wrong balance."

Even if the public was to overlook Snowden's breaking the law for its "whistleblowing" benefits that brought reform in the metadata case, the editorial stated his defenders ignore he also stole information about legitimate NSA programs monitoring the Internet that did not threaten privacy and leaked details of defensible international intelligence operations. These breaches possibly caused "tremendous damage" to national security, according to a unanimous bipartisan report by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Post stated the ideal solution would be for Snowden to return home from asylum in Russia and stand trial, willing to go to jail for his beliefs, which would "certainly be in the best tradition of civil disobedience."

The paper says a less ideal but tolerable solution would be a deal in which Snowden accepts some criminal responsibility for his action, while the government offers some leniency for his contribution to civil liberties.

The editorial comes as human rights organizations are mounting a campaign for him to receive a presidential pardon just as an Oliver Stone film sympathetic to Snowden's plight is being released.

Among the groups pressing for a pardon is the ACLU, which stated "Thanks to Edward Snowden's act of conscience, we've made historic strides in our fight for surveillance reform and improved cybersecurity."

However, The Wall Street Journal reported every member of the House Intelligence Committee signed a letter last week urging President Barack Obama not to pardon Snowden, because he "perpetrated the largest and most damaging public disclosure of classified information in our nation’s history."

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The Washington Post has come out strongly against a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who is charged with violating the Espionage Act by copying and leaking classified information about numerous surveillance programs.
Post, Snowden, security, NSA, pardon
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2016-55-18
Sunday, 18 Sep 2016 04:55 PM
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