Who is Ed Snowden? And what does he deserve?
On May 20, 2013, 29-year-old security specialist Edward Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii; in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill.
In late June, the U.S. Department of Justice charged him with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, and the Department of State revoked his passport. Two days later, he flew into Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, to which he was restricted for over a month. Russia ultimately granted him right of asylum for one year, and has added extensions until 2020. Mr. Snowden is currently living in an undisclosed location in Moscow and continues to seek asylum elsewhere.
Though the United States Government still seeks his apprehension and prosecution, and politicians across the political spectrum have called him a traitor and worse, Mr. Snowden is far from universally reviled:
“He is a hero who exposed the most extraordinary violations of the Fourth Amendment in the history of the country.”
—Judge Andrew Napolitano
What Mr. Snowden revealed was a secret, illegal program undertaken by America’s Deep State. “It is not merely Snowden who calls the NSA’s programs unconstitutional,” writes Paul Jacob on this website, “or me, but how a federal judge ruled.” And for this reason many defenders of the Constitution of the United States and of the American way of life dub Ed Snowden not a traitor or fiend, but patriot, whistleblower, hero:
“He has done a great service, because he is telling the truth. The American people are starved for the truth. . . . Essentially there is no Fourth Amendment anymore, and for somebody to tell the American people the truth is a heroic effort.”
—Ron Paul, former Congressman
Even some folks in government have acknowledged the importance of Snowden’s service to our country:
“We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made.”
—Eric Holder, former Attorney General of the United States
The awesome power that Snowden revealed to us is truly astounding:
“When you are on the inside, when you go into work every day, when you go in in to sit down at a desk, you realize the power you have. You can wiretap the President of the United States. You can wiretap a federal judge. And if you do it carefully, no one will ever know because the only way the NSA discovers abuses are from self-reporting.”
So, what does Ed Snowden deserve?
A pardon. And our thanks!
Paul Jacob has been on Ed Snowden’s side — and on the side of the Bill of Rights and citizen-controlled government — from the beginning. Help in Paul’s effort to promote our shared American ideas and show your appreciation by contributing to This Is Common Sense today. And for $10 show your appreciation for Ed Snowden with this simple and eloquent poster:
18″x24″ Edward Snowden Poster
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Skeptical? Well, consider: