Trump Ponders Pardon for Snowden—What About Assange?
Aug. 15, 2020 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump announced that he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the New York Post reported yesterday. Trump polled his aides in the Oval Office on Aug. 13, the Post said, on their thoughts regarding a pardon for Snowden, allowing him to return to the U.S. a free man. “There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly. I mean, I hear that,” Trump said. “Snowden is one of the people they talk about. They talk about numerous people, but he is certainly one of the people that they do talk about,” Trump said. It would seem certain that others being “talked about” would include Julian Assange, another whistleblower “not being treated fairly.” While Snowden has exposed the many crimes of Clapper, Brennan et al., Assange has done the same—in both cases, by telling the American people and the world the truth about the crimes of these traitorous assets of British intelligence in the Obama apparatus.
Trump went on regarding Snowden, speaking to his aides:
“I guess the DOJ is looking to extradite him right now? ... It’s certainly something I could look at. Many people are on his side, I will say that. I don’t know him, never met him. But many people are on his side. How do you feel about that—Snowden? Haven’t heard the name in a long time. I’ve heard it both ways. From traitor to he’s being, you know, persecuted. I’ve heard it both ways.”
Many sources have quickly come forward to support the idea. The ACLU tweeted: “Edward Snowden is a patriot. Our democracy is better off because of him. As we said four years ago, the President should pardon him.” The “progressive” Common Dreams news center wrote:
“Forget Your Feelings About Trump, Say Allies of NSA Whistleblower, ‘Snowden Pardon Would Be a Major Win.’ ” They report: “The U.S.-based Freedom of the Press Foundation—for which Snowden serves as board president—tweeted a link to the Post report along with a ‘long and varied’ list of individuals who have demanded a presidential pardon for Snowden.”
Journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted that the fact that Snowden “has been in permanent exile while the creators/defenders of the illegal surveillance program he exposed have not only gone unpunished, but have been feted and given high-profile media jobs, is an ongoing outrage.”
On the conservative side, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash (who quit the GOP in anger at Trump, and is now a Libertarian), tweeted: “Edward @Snowden is a whistleblower who exposed unconstitutional surveillance practices that violated the rights of millions. He deserves the opportunity to return to the United States and receive a pardon as part of a fair process that examines his actions.” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted: “Employees of the US government violated the Constitution and lied to Congress and the American people about it. @Snowden exposed them. This is bigger than him. If he’s punished for his service to the Constitution, there will be more violations of the Constitution, and more lies.”