Rights Groups Want Snowden Pardoned. Are They Kidding?

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch announced a campaign to pardon Edward Snowden and “make the case that Snowden’s act of whistleblowing benefited the United States and enriched democratic debate worldwide.”

ACLU wants people to write President Obama via pardonsnowden.org on the heels of the Oliver Stone movie release “Snowden” in September. (And we all know how much fictitious literary license Stone injected into his absurd conspiracy film, “JFK.”)

“Thanks to Edward Snowden’s act of conscience, we have made historic strides in our fight for surveillance reform and improved cybersecurity,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “President Obama should use this power for good instead of leaving an American whistleblower stranded in exile.”

Whisteblower? The unclassified report, Executive Summary of Review of the Unauthorized Disclosures of Former National Security Agency Contractor Edward Snowden, released September 15 by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, stated, “Under the law, publicly revealing classified information does not qualify someone as a whistleblower.”

And although Snowden claimed otherwise, the review “found no evidence that Snowden took any official effort to express concerns about US intelligence activities – legal, moral or otherwise – to any oversight officials within the US government, despite numerous avenues for him to do so.”

US intelligence professionals that know better, rightfully have a different take on the absurdity of even considering a pardon of Snowden.

The House Intelligence Committee unequivocally concluded, “Snowden caused tremendous damage to national security, and the vast majority of the documents he stole have nothing to do with programs impacting individual privacy interests – they instead pertain to military, defense and intelligence programs of great interest to America’s adversaries.”

Charles Faddis, a 25-plus year CIA officer who retired as head of the agency’s weapons of mass destruction counterterrorism unit – and author of the feature “Threat Necessities” on p. 22 – agreed.

“Snowden’s disclosures caused massive and irreparable damage to American national security and our intelligence collection posture,” Faddis said. “He should be brought home, tried and incarcerated. Crimes of this magnitude demand that he spend the rest of his life behind bars.”

Robert F. Turner, who served for three years as counsel to the president’s Intelligence Oversight Board at the White House, noted in his Homeland Security Today article “Snowden’s Treachery: Understanding the Costs to America’s National Security” that, “Edward Snowden has done incalculable damage to the National Security Agency and, in the process, to American national security. I can’t name names, but I am told by people in a position to know that good people have already lost their lives thanks to Snowden, and countless more are likely to do so now that our enemies know our sources and methods."

Read the complete report in the Oct. 2016 issue of Homeland Security Today.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

Leave a Reply