The American Civil Liberties Union and other human rights organizations have launched a campaign asking President Obama to pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden before Obama leaves office. Among those who have signed onto the campaign are Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak; actors Martin Sheen, Danny Glover and Susan Sarandon; writers Rebecca Solnit and Terry Tempest Williams; and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. At an event in New York City, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero called for a pardon for Snowden.
Anthony Romero: “Edward Snowden’s case presents one for President Obama to use the presidential power of pardon proudly and unequivocally, in recognition of one of the most important acts of whistleblowing in modern history. By standing up for the privacy rights of his fellow citizens—individuals who had no idea that the government had assumed such extraordinary and invasive powers in secret—Edward Snowden should be thanked, and not punished.”
Full-page ads calling for the pardon also ran Wednesday in The Washington Post and Politico. Edward Snowden himself also appeared via video stream at the event in New York City Wednesday.
Edward Snowden: “I love my country, I love my family, and I have dedicated my life to both of them. These risks, these burdens that I took on, I knew were coming. And no one should be in a position to make these kind of decisions. That’s not the kind of place that we’re supposed to be. But it doesn’t have to be. Of course I look forward to coming home, but I cannot support the persecution of those charged under an Espionage Act, when they have committed no espionage.”