Edward Snowden deserves a pardon and every conceivable award that can be bestowed on a man. From David S. D’Amato at aier.org:
The global spotlight was cast upon Edward Snowden in 2013 after he blew the whistle on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance programs. Working with The Guardian and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, Snowden famously (or infamously, depending on one’s point of view) revealed that the NSA was illegally gathering information on tens of millions of Americans—citizens who had been accused of no wrongdoing. Now, Snowden’s case is once again in the news, as President Trump recently told reporters that he will look carefully at “the Snowden situation,” going as far as polling his aides as to whether he should pardon the exiled whistleblower.
Snowden was a responsible whistleblower who took the role seriously and made careful, deliberate decisions in choosing the documents he would share with journalists. He performed this immeasurably brave act of public service at an enormous personal and professional cost. In an instant, he became one of the world’s most wanted individuals, reviled as a traitor by some of the most powerful and dangerous people in the world’s most powerful and dangerous government. “Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate,” Snowden understood the risks; he understood that the CIA or “[a]ny of their agents or assets” could come after him.
Known liar Michael Hayden, for example, has called Snowden a traitor and is sufficiently shameless to argue, “Whistleblowing requires someone to actually point out a violation of law and [Snowden] has not done that.” Of course, the programs Snowden exposed were in fact quite illegal and, according to many legal scholars, unconstitutional.
Hayden, whose career has seen him hold the top spot of Director at both the NSA and the CIA, intentionally misled Congress when he testified in 2007 on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program. James Clapper, who led the intelligence community under Obama, similarly lied to Congress when, replying to a question from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), he stated under oath that the federal government does “not wittingly” collect “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper, of course, knew he wasn’t telling the truth, but claimed that he “made a big mistake” and was thinking of another government surveillance program and “didn’t understand.”