Not surprisingly, the Obama administration said it will not pardon Edward Snowden, the former NSA-contractor-turned-document-leaker.
In response to a two-year-old petition on the White House’s “We the People” site, Lisa Monaco, President Obama’s advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said basically that Snowden should come home and face the music.
In Tuesday’s post responding to the petition, she wrote of Snowden:
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.
The “Pardon Edward Snowden” petition, filed June 9, 2013, called Snowden a national hero, and garnered 167.954 signatures.
Snowden’s actions—collecting and selectively leaking classified documents on the NSA’s data collection actions—shocked the world and put the U.S. at odds with some key allies when it became known that it was spying on them as well as on enemies. The disclosures caused some, like the petitioners, to call Snowden a heroic whistle blower, while others denounced him for treason.