Edward Snowden, whose classified leaks revealed that U.S. agencies were conducting unprecedented amounts of digital domestic surveillance and lying about it to the public, announced yesterday that he wants Barack Obama to pardon him for his deeds.
Back in the summer of 2013, after The Guardian began publishing classified documents, Snowden identified himself to the world. Didn’t hide like a loser.
Since then, he’s been living in exile in Moscow. The government charged him under the Espionage Act and if he ever comes home, he would face trial for his actions.
Unless the president absolves him. Which he fucking should. Leaking that information took a dickton of balls and it let Americans know the United States was spying on its own citizens. Which is fucking illegal. And just generally not a chill thing to do.
Ask yourself this: What does a true Bro do when he sees his government Bros acting like some bullshit? Lets them keep getting away with it, or calls ’em out for their behavior? The fucking latter, and that’s what Snowden did.
We don’t let our Bros languish in Russia for doing the right thing. We tell them they are right, we fucked up, and they say something like, “Sorry I did it so publicly,” and then we Bro hug it out.
But don’t let me make the case for you. Speaking to The Guardian, Snowden laid out his reasons.
“Yes, there are laws on the books that say one thing, but that is perhaps why the pardon power exists – for the exceptions, for the things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page but when we look at them morally, when we look at them ethically, when we look at the results, it seems these were necessary things, these were vital things,” he said.
“I think when people look at the calculations of benefit, it is clear that in the wake of 2013 the laws of our nation changed. The [US] Congress, the courts and the president all changed their policies as a result of these disclosures. At the same time there has never been any public evidence that any individual came to harm as a result.”
While a lot of people think this is unlikely to happen, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me. Obama is very cognizant of the good Snowden did, and he could use it as a way to leave office with one last very public, very magnanimous act that would help to cement his desired legacy as a forward-thinking president who was above petty partisan politics.
Do it Barack. Give Snowden that presidential pardon chest bump into a slap on the back.
You know you want to. It’s the right thing to do, but, more importantly, it’s the Bro thing to do.
[Via The Guardian]