NYT, Guardian: Pardon Snowden

NSA whistleblower 'has done country a great service'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 2, 2014 7:18 AM CST | Updated Jan 2, 2014 7:41 AM CST

(Newser) – Apparently it's Edward Snowden appreciation day. The New York Times and the Guardian both published editorials today calling on authorities to pardon or grant amnesty to the NSA leaker. "Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight," the Times argues. "He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service."

President Obama believes Snowden should be tried under the Espionage Act, and has argued that he should have gone through the proper channels. But whistleblower protections don't extend to contractors, and Snowden says he did try the proper channels. Besides, the Guardian points out, the Espionage Act is "a clumsy and crude law" for leaks to journalists, because defendants can't argue in court that they were acting in the public interest—as Snowden surely was, revealing thousands of illegal actions on the NSA's part. "When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law," the Times argues, "that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government." Click for the Times' editorial, or the Guardian's is here.

In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Oct. 11, 2013, Edward Snowden smiles during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia.
In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Oct. 11, 2013, Edward Snowden smiles during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo)
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