Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Debate over Pardon of Snowden Heats Up, and Most Readers Want to See a Trial

WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 15 (DPI) – Many posters on comment boards today want to see Edward Snowden show some guts and return to the U.S. and face a trial by his peers, as readers largely dismissed the latest calls that the ex-NSA staffer who stole classified data be pardoned.

With Oliver Stone’s film on the Snowden affair due out in theaters tomorrow, media outlets this week published op-eds by the advocates for a presidential pardon of Snowden, who has been exiled in Moscow since he handed over to Wikileaks a vast trove of classified information in 2013.

Today the top dogs at Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International opined in The New York Times that President Obama should pardon Snowden, and while about half the 300 comments expressed support for that view, a surprising number reminded readers that Snowden could’ve behaved much differently and “still followed his conscience.”

What’s more, both The NYT and Washington Post sites garnered relatively few comments on the subject – about 300 and 150, respectively, linked to recent article – suggesting that passions are not quite so deeply felt now over the status of Edward Snowden.  With a presidential election season in full swing, that’s not surprising.

Four of the most recommended reader comments on NYTimes.com today:

Mr. Snowden likely committed a serious crime for which he should be prosecuted. He may have endangered the security and safety of the United States and provided moral support to its enemies, who seek no less than the destruction of our nation.
If he truly believes in the justness of his actions and that there is a viable argument to be made in his defense, he should agree to come back to the US to face prosecution, if that is the government’s ultimate course. He can present this defense in Federal Court, where he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. He can make a “public service” defense and allow a jury of citizens to determine his fate. That he instead demands a pardon, shows that he is little more than a grandstanding hypocrite showboating for the crowds.
I see nothing to admire in Mr. Snowden’s behavior. Let him be judged by a jury of his peers, not skate away after violating his obligations to his employer and potentially aiding the nation’s enemies.

No pardon for someone who releases US Secrets for the world to see. You fled the country yourself. If you come back to the US, you will get a fair trial. No Pardon.

Mr. Snowden chose the coward’s way out by fleeing to China with documents that compromised US security and then took refuge in Putin’s Russia. He has spoken out against Western democracies while remaining silent about the far greater surveillance and suppression of speech in Russia and China. He is a consummate hypocrite and a mouthpiece for Putin. He will not face trial like the real fighters for freedom- Mandela, Gandhi, Rosa Parks and others. Let him stay in Russia.

A citizen of the United States in the service of his country deliberately released classified information in breach of his position of trust to persons hostile to the United States. That is as open and shut a case as you are likely to get. Jonathan Pollard spent decades in maximum security prison for releasing classified information not detrimental to the United States to a United States ally. I bet the Seattle latte set supporting Snowden didn’t have a problem with the Pollard sentence. Time for their man to face the consequences of his treachery.

In The Washington Post, recent “best liked” comments showed that many remain unconvinced that Snowden should be pardoned of anything, and the making of a movie about him means only that there’s money to be made from re-creating events:

Snowden did what he thought he had to do. And the US will do what it does to traitors. Stay there, enjoy your old age in Russia.

Politics aside for one blessed moment, I personally be very disappointed if Snowden receives a pardon. In my opinion, he acted rashly, he reneged on the oath he took, he knowingly broke federal law with intent, and he released purloined data, and as a direct result of his actions jeopardized lives of US citizens operating in foreign nations. All with direct intent.
I think those supporting him are ignoring the enormity of his crimes. The fact that his story has been the subject of a producer who’s long been infatuated by the controversial isn’t a validation of his actions; it’s, nothing more than a judgement on Snowdens marketability. Those aren’t fifes and drums in the background soundtrack. It’s the ringing of the cash register.





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