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Edward Snowden Pleads His Case for a Presidential Pardon During Video Press Conference



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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared in New York City through a telepresence robot Wednesday, making his case for why he should receive a pardon from President Barack Obama and return home to the United States—but stopping short of directly asking the president to grant him one.

“The question of whether I… should be pardoned is not for me to answer,” Snowden began. “But I will say this: I love my country, I love my family, and I have dedicated my life to both of them.

The press conference was part of a combined campaign between the ACLU, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch which aims to put pressure on President Obama to pardon the NSA whistleblower before the end of his administration. More than 100 former national security officials, legal scholars, business leaders, human rights activists and artists signed on to the campaign, including Steve Wozniak, Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky. Former democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders also voiced his support for the whistleblower:

Russia granted Snowden asylum in 2013 after the Department of Justice charged the former NSA contractor under the Espionage Act, which allows the government to target whistleblowers in the same way it targets foreign spires. As the ACLU notes, “If Snowden were to be tried under the charges he faces, any argument that his actions benefited the public would be inadmissible in court.”

Snowden told the crowd he never expected the outpouring of support he received following his revelations, adding his attempt to be granted a presidential pardon “isn’t really about me.” 

“It’s about us,” Snowden said. “It’s about our right to dissent. It’s about the kind of country we want to have”

“These risks, these burdens that I took on, I knew were coming,” Snowden added. “And no one should be in a position to make these kinds of decisions, that’s not the kind of place we’re supposed to be.”

Click here to add your name to the petition to pardon Edward Snowden.


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Source: Alternet

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