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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pardon Edward Snowden

A petition has been started at White House website, asking the Obama administration to pardon Edward Snowden. I have signed it, and invite the rest of you to sign, too. There are more than 132,000 signatures so far; the White House is supposed to respond to every petition that can gather 100,000 signatures.

In a column for, Justin Raimondo explains why the petition is worth supporting:

On June 9th, someone from Rochester, New York, with the initials "T.R.," started a White House petition demanding a presidential pardon for Snowden. Within a few days – and with minimal publicity – it garnered tens of thousands of signatures. Within a few weeks it had passed 100,000 signatures, the threshold requiring a presidential response. The total now stands at over 132,000, and the White House has yet to respond. I called the White House press office to ask whether some kind of acknowledgment is forthcoming. I was told to email my query to the White House press officer. I’m sure no one is shocked to learn that, to date, my query has gone unanswered.

Well, then, you say, so what? The White House petition program was always a farce, and we shouldn’t take it seriously. But if you said that you’d be dead wrong: we can turn this administration’s unmitigated arrogance against it, and expose their hypocrisy by insisting on an answer. The majority of Americans say Snowden isn’t a "traitor," he’s a legitimate whistleblower: so this is an issue on which we have the support of the American people. And it is certainly an issue of process that should be of great concern to progressives, including the majority who supported the election of President Obama partly on the basis of his commitment to democracy and "transparency."

The cliché we’ve heard endlessly repeated is that we have to ignore what’s happening to Snowden and focus on "the real issue." Yet the question of Snowden’s personal fate is inextricably bound up with the fate of the Constitution and the future of freedom in America. The key to winning this debate over the rule of law in America is demanding a full pardon for Snowden so he can come back to America and testify as to what our government has been doing in the dark. Aside from that, however, the relentless pursuit of Snowden and his forced exile is a gross injustice that must be protested and rectified.

Bonus link: Want to know who the U.S. is at war with? It's a secret!

1 comment:

Bobby Campbell said...

I signed the petition, thanks for the link, and for your thoughtful coverage in general!

Thinking on the prominence of divisive narratives in news media and on how much the status quo depends on the balkanization of the populace, it occurred to me that RAW's "Guns & Dope Party" essentially describes a kind of "Tea Party" & "Occupy Wall Street" coalition.

"The Right's view of government and the Left's view of big business are both correct." - Robert Anton Wilson

I don't expect RAW's complicated joke disguised as a political party and/or political party disguised as a complicated joke to be palatable to a mass audience, but I do very much continue to enjoy his prescience.