NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is heroic for millions of Americans, along with many others worldwide.
A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, he deserves high praise for exposing illegal NSA spying – not forced exile to avoid certain prosecution and imprisonment if he returned home.
He jeopardized his own safety and well-being by doing the right thing. What the world needs is many thousands more like him, challenging ruthless power.
Pardonsnowden.org circulated a letter online on his behalf, praising his heroic actions – despite “great personal risk…” It urged Obama to pardon an American hero, “let(ting) him come home with dignity.”
ACLU director Anthony Romero said he “acted heroically and with courage.” Pardoning him “would be a powerful way for (Obama) to acknowledge that the government did wrong.”
Everything he revealed the public has a right to know, classified documents possibly harming national security excluded.
Obama lied saying he “can’t pardon somebody who hasn’t gone before a court and presented themselves…”
False! According to WikiLeaks, “(w)hen Obama says he ‘can’t’ pardon @Snowden he is not telling the truth and knows he is not telling the truth.”
He lied claiming he can’t close Guantanamo without congressional authorization. According to New York City Bar, he can close the facility per Section 1028 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act – or by issuing an executive order.
Article II of the US Constitution empowers presidents to grant clemency – most commonly by pardons or commutation. Either constitutes official forgiveness for an alleged offense. Once issued, individuals can’t be prosecuted.
Blanket amnesty can be ordered. Jimmy Carter granted it to Vietnam War era draft evaders, moving abroad to Canada to avoid conscription.
With a stroke of his pen, Obama can pardon Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Julian Assange, and numerous other victims of US viciousness – wrongfully imprisoned or persecuted other ways.
Failure to do so is another black mark on his deplorable legacy – no pun intended.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.