[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece comes from an e-mail I received from an organization called Demand Progress.]
Last week I blogged about whistle blowers. Serendipitously, I received the e-mail below which I have transcribed entirely and without edit; anything in bold was bold in the original. After the signature box at bottom of the e-mail there is a “Donate” button–the only thing I omitted.
I am not endorsing this position, nor am I encouraging anyone to donate to the cause. Further, I ask for–and will publish–any reader’s reply that opposes Ms. Kizer’s point of view.
(From) Demand Progress
As the movie launching this week reminds us, Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revealed the NSA’s massive, secret – and unconstitutional – surveillance programs.
He took a huge personal risk to bring these programs to light. And his actions launched a vital national debate on whether the NSA should be spying on innocent Americans.
But three years later, Snowden is still being forced to live in exile and threatened with likely spending the rest of his life in prison if he ever comes back to the country he loves.
We have less than 125 days to push President Obama to officially pardon this important American whistleblower.
Presidential pardons are about justice. They are for when the legal system has failed, or the laws are unjust or when our consciences demand it.
Snowden made his sacrifice not for personal gain, but because he knew it was the only real way to expose the unconstitutional spying programs he witnessed.
So when the White House tries to claim Snowden “is not a whistleblower”1 because he didn’t follow the “proper” whistleblower process, they’re just playing cynical word games.
Intelligence contractors, like Edward Snowden, are NOT protected by the Intelligence Community’s whistleblower protections. The Intelligence Community’s own lawyer, even admits it.2
Even had Edward Snowden followed the “proper” process, his whistleblowing wouldn’t have been protected.
Presidential pardons exist for exactly this kind of extraordinary situation. It’s time that President Obama uses that power to recognize Snowden’s public service.
Snowden acted out of desperation and patriotism to inform Americans of the unconstitutional mass surveillance the NSA was conducting.
Even former Attorney General Eric Holder agrees: “I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made.”3
Snowden stood up for our rights. Now it’s time we stand up for his.
Thanks for standing with us,
1. Politico, “White House: Snowden ‘is not a whistleblower’,” September 14, 2016.
2. The Intercept, “Giving Intelligence Contractors Whistleblower Protections Doesn’t Have to Be “Complicated”,” November 6, 2015.
3. The Guardian, “Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed ‘public service’ with NSA leak,” May 30, 2016.
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