Edward Snowden, The NSA contractor turned whistle blower who has become a people’s hero, is still doomed to face the law under the Espionage Act in the ‘crime’ of revealing the notorious secrets of NSA and other Western security agencies. The Obama administration has denied the 168,000 petitions signed by the people who wanted the administration to set Snowden free of all charges, but instead, the White House is firm in its decision and says that Snowden won’t be pardoned in any condition despite his many followers.
The Obama Administration responded to the ‘We the People’ petition on Tuesday saying, “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 and the people who work day in and day out to protect it,” the response reads.
“If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions. 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. Right now, he’s running away from the consequences of his actions.”
Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs and other similar programs and agencies has been tagged as the ‘most devastating release of information’ by Rubio, the Staunch defender of the US Patriot Act. He also mentioned that most of the information revealed were inaccurate and wrong. Though, Snowden’s actions have been seen by the members of the national security as a breach and harmful to the country’s overall security, but he has been considered as a ‘national hero’ by many common people.
“Mr Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it,” said Lisa Monaco, Obama’s adviser on homeland security and counter-terrorism.
Edward Snowden hasn’t responded to the decision of the White house yet, but it seems like Snowden’s chances to win this fight is very unlikely, despite of having such massive support.