Mere days before the release of Oliver Stone’s Snowden film, Edward Snowden is laying out his case for why he deserves a pardon from President Obama. In doing so, the former CIA employee told The Guardian that his disclosure of the level of surveillance conducted by the U.S. and the U.K. was morally right and also the right thing to do.
Snowden has taken refuge in Russia, as he has been accused of violating the Espionage Act, and if convicted, could face at least 30 years in jail. His current request comes on the heels of his U.S. lawyer pushing for a presidential pardon, as reported by The Guardian. Snowden, who hopes Obama will grant the pardon before leaving office in January, said him leaking classified documents has benefited the public, and he should be granted a pardon:
“Yes, there are laws on the books that say one thing, but that is perhaps why the pardon power exists — for the exceptions, for the things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page but when we look at them morally, when we look at them ethically, when we look at the results, it seems these were necessary things, these were vital things.”
Snowden went on to say he feels confident that he’ll return to American soil, telling The Guardian, “In the fullness of time, I think I will end up back home.” But some still have doubts if he will ever be granted a pardon. The NSA whistleblower has seen a bump in his profile as of late, with the new film Snowden chronicling his life, but even the film’s director, Oliver Stone, is skeptical Obama will grant an official pardon.
But hope is not all lost, as former Attorney General Eric Holder recently said Snowden did a “public service,” and Snowden does have some public supporters. Perhaps if Snowden is a box office hit, more awareness could pave the way to a pardon
(Via The Guardian)