As the movie now in theaters reminds us, Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revealed the NSA’s massive, secret – and unconstitutional – surveillance programs.
He took a huge personal risk to bring these programs to light. And his actions launched a vital national debate on whether the NSA should be spying on innocent Americans.
But three years later, Snowden is still being forced to live in exile and threatened with likely spending the rest of his life in prison if he ever comes back to the country he loves.
We have less than 125 days to push President Obama to officially pardon this important American whistleblower.
Tell President Obama: Pardon Edward Snowden now!
Presidential pardons are about justice. They are for when the legal system has failed, or the laws are unjust or when our consciences demand it.
Snowden made his sacrifice not for personal gain, but because he knew it was the only real way to expose the unconstitutional spying programs he witnessed.
So when the White House tries to claim Snowden “is not a whistleblower”1 because he didn’t follow the "proper" whistleblower process, they’re just playing cynical word games.
Intelligence contractors, like Edward Snowden, are NOT protected by the intelligence agencies' whistleblower protections. The top lawyer for those agencies even admits it.2
Even had Edward Snowden followed the “proper” process, his whistleblowing wouldn’t have been protected.
Presidential pardons exist for exactly this kind of extraordinary situation. It’s time that President Obama uses that power to recognize Snowden’s public service.
Sign and share the petition to President Obama: Pardon Edward Snowden now and let him come home!
Snowden acted out of desperation to inform Americans of the unconstitutional mass surveillance the NSA was conducting.
Even former Attorney General Eric Holder agrees: “I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made.”3
Snowden stood up for our rights. Now it’s time we stand up for his.
Stand up for Edward Snowden and tell President Obama: Three years is enough. Pardon Snowden and bring him home!
Thanks for standing with RootsAction, our friends at Demand Progress, and Edward Snowden.
This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now.
-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
1. Politico, “White House: Snowden 'is not a whistleblower',” September 14, 2016.
2. The Intercept, “Giving Intelligence Contractors Whistleblower Protections Doesn’t Have to Be 'Complicated',” November 6, 2015.
3. The Guardian, “Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed 'public service' with NSA leak,” May 30, 2016.