You may have missed it, but the US government finally responded to the Edward Snowden pardon petition

Don't get your hopes up: the White House has said 'no'.

More than two years after a petition to the Obama administration to grant National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden a pardon for sharing classified information, the government has ruled out the possibility of amnesty.

More than 167,000 people signed the petition, which called Snowden a "national hero", and surpassed the 100,000-signature benchmark that guarantees a response from the White House.

Lisa Monaco, Barack Obama’s adviser on homeland security and terrorism, acknowledged in a statement on Tuesday that “this is an issue that many Americans feel strongly about” but made it clear that the Obama administration wanted Snowden to face the "consequences of his actions":

Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country... He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers - not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime.

Snowden, 31, is currently living in Russia and waiting on asylum decisions from 21 different countries, but his lawyers have said he has expressed a desire to come home.

In 2014, both independent and White House-funded studies analysed hundreds of terror cases in the US and concluded that the NSA collection of phone records had had no discernible impact in foiling terror plots.

Snowden was quietly vindicated in May when the US Senate passed a bill to end the NSA's bulk collection of phone records and former US attorney-general Eric Holder caused a stir earlier this month when he said the "possibility exists" for Snowden to return home.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)