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Petitioners rally around Guardian source

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the contractor employee who exposed the National Security Administration's PRISM program. (Photo by The Guardian newspaper.)

Edward Snowden is not yet charged with a crime, but petitioners are already clamoring for his pardon. A June 9 petition for the White House to "Pardon Edward Snowden" -- the 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton contractor who has revealed himself as the source of leaked National Security Agency information -- had already received more than 27,000 signatures by late afternoon on June 10. Filed through the White House's "We the People" system, it needs to receive 100,000 signatures by July 9 to merit an official White House response.

The petition reads:

"Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a [sic] full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs."

Snowden, who is reportedly in Hong Kong, has not been charged with a crime, though it appears only a matter of time before that happens, as publicly disclosing national security information violates federal law. Direction of National Intelligence James Clapper called the revelations regarding a government program called PRISM that gathers intelligence information from electronic communication service providers "reprehensible" and "reckless."

Through interviews with and released by The Guardian, it appears Snowden is accepting of his fate.

"I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant," Snowden told The Guardian.

Posted by Frank Konkel on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM


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