Libertarian Republican icon Ron Paul is working to win clemency for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Snowden’s short-term asylum in Russia officially comes to an end in July and Congressman Paul would like to ensure Snowden has a safe place to return to this summer.
“On June 5th, 2013, Edward Snowden sacrificed his livelihood, citizenship, and freedom by exposing the disturbing scope of the NSA’s worldwide spying program,” Paul says in a video. “By signing this petition, you are telling the US government that Mr. Snowden deserves the right to come home without the fear of persecution or imprisonment.”
President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have not seemed open to the idea of a free return for Mr. Snowden, saying there wouldn’t be any talks until Snowden returns home and pleads guilty. It is unlikely that Snowden would agree to such terms after watching his fellow leaker Bradley Manning get the book thrown at him for a similar “crime.”
Congressman Paul’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), seems to agree with his father’s perspective:
Do I think that it’s OK to leak secrets and give up national secrets and things that could endanger lives? I don’t think that’s OK,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “But I think the courts are now saying that what he revealed was something the government was doing was illegal.”
Paul’s implication that Snowden’s ends justified his means yielded a call for leniency.
“I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison. I think that’s inappropriate. And I think that’s why he fled, because that’s what he faced,” he said. “I think the only way he’s coming home is if someone would offer him a fair trial with a reasonable sentence.”
If you want to support clemency for Edward Snowden – you can find the petition for that here.
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