Yes, President Obama should grant US whistleblower Edward Snowden a pardon because Snowden was only doing what he thought was best for the country. Snowden is a true patriot whose only intention was to inform the American people of their rights. He does not deserve to be in hiding or to die in Russia.
When laws are created to shield corrupt government agencies from the eye of the public, a true patriot breaks those laws and exposes the corruption. Snowden did exactly that, and he's treated as a traitor for giving the American people knowledge of what the government is really doing. Obama, and every presidential candidate running, should be praising Snowden and getting him home as soon as possible.
The role of a whistle-blower is typically controversial and their actions come with great risks to them personally, but are typically done for the benefit and welfare of others. Without Snowden's actions, there are many issues that would not have been known, discussed, and brought to light. He should receive a pardon.
Snowden released information he personally read over to inform the people of the plans of the NSA. This included domestic spying without warrant, unlimited control on people's personal devices, the ability to search people's hard drives without consent, etc. This violates the rights of the people. More importantly, if the people found out later on that the government was watching you, conspiracies and controversy would rise above everything. The government does NOT have the right to spy on people without a warrant or they are violating the constitution. Snowden used his freedom to show the people what the government was doing. The government got butthurt and wants snowden to pay for serving them justice. Ironic.
The public should have been told what Edward Snowden told them. He told people secrets and spread light upon injustices and invasions of privacy the government was doing that otherwise we still may not have known to this day. Edward Snowden didn't do anything massively wrong if anything the government should pardon him out of sheer embarrassment.
We all knew that something like this would happen at some point. I personally feel the same way the Mr. Snowden feels. He said and I quote “I don't want to live in a world where everything I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity and love or friendship is recorded." He brings forth things that need to be talked about in the world. I believe that he is a strong public figure that should receive a pardon from president Obama
To the definition, he informed on illicit activity. The very problems that he pointed out, cyber security, frat-like behaviour have come to light in his wake. One glaring oversight the OPM data breach. The federal government came out and said it did not have even basic security features in place.
He took tens of thousands pages of secret U.S. documents from the DOD and disclosed them to the world. His crime is clear. So far, the only documents we know about are the ones related to the program that scans the internet looking for terrorists, but why would he stop there? The suspicious thing is that, of all people, Russia gave him asylum. Clearly the Russian government would be suspicious of any American entering their country. If someone is willing to betray their own country, they would be even more likely to act against a foreign one. That's why, from the beginning, I believed that he had stolen other documents to use to make a deal with Russia. Clearly selling them back door access to the DOD computer system could be such a bargaining chip. Is it any surprise that the hacking of government e-mails and voting computers have come from Russia?
He claims that his actions have benefited us in some way. How does it help anyone? Sure, it confirms what people thought, that the government monitored the internet but it also alerts terrorists making it that much harder for us to catch them before an attack. If anything, his leaking the information has helped the terrorists and killed people in the U.S. and other countries.
President Obama should not grant Edward Snowden a pardon. Snowden leaked confidential and classified information. Although some of the information may have been improperly obtained by the NSA, he should have gone through channels. Aside from embarrassing the United States, he compromised national security. He has shown no remorse for his actions. In fact, he maintains it was the correct course to follow.
He does not really care about the American People. He had the resources to book a flight to Russia, instead of just jumping the border, so he either stole money, or planned this ahead of time, even if both of those statements are not true, there are other nations that would have taken him in other than Russia. So many criminals hide in Mexico or South America, for example. He also could have hidden in Sweden, who would not send him back to the US if he was going to be punished for exposing corruption. He could have claimed refugee status, and could have had a greater effect on the opinions of Americans in a positive way, in a shorter amount of time. But right now, he has been hiding in Russia, the biggest threat to the United States, likely passing off military secrets to the Russian government. His "Im doing this for the American people" crap, is nothing more than a ruse, to get the sympathy of the public, so he can get away with his crimes instead of facing justice.
While I believe that leaking the info that the NSA was secretly monitoring emails and phone calls should not be punished. Snowden could have also leaked more classified info to our enemies. A trial would be the best way to shed light on the whole issue. A blanket pardon to Snowden would be foolish.
The entire basis of Snowden's argument is based on the fact that organizations like the NSA don't interpret the constitution as we do. Let's start with what he allegedly did good in doing:
1) He interpreted and acted upon the first and fourth amendment
His outdated and illogical interpretation of these amendments overlooks the fact that monitoring is necessary. The debate over freedom and safety belongs in another debate. If the government monitoring isn't physically or socially obstructive or intrusive, it's only for the well-being of the population. If it was for the purpose of retaining political power, enforcing laws without majority consent, or flat-out oppression, similar to the purposes of the very countries he fled to (*cough* China and Russia), I would be on the other side of this debate. The Republicans that capitalized on Snowden's actions didn't leave their own political lives or citizenship behind in support of Snowden. They only spoke as politicians usually do. There is a reason for that; the monitoring is necessary and has created vast security benefits.
Here's the process of monitoring emails and calls.
First, there is a word filter system that automatically (without human view) filters out millions of objects from a packet. Out of them, very few are viewed by human eyes. If I wanted to call Edward Snowden a whistle-blower, I would call my mother's hair stylist a godly hero for informing my mother that a group of travelers from Greenland talked behind her back while visiting one day. NSA monitoring is magnificently unobtrusive, even in comparison as the given hypothetical situation above. It's not socially or mentally intrusive as it has no public relations or releases. It's most certainly not physically intrusive (unless, of course, they find a terrorist or criminal). I'll tell you what is physically intrusive: a bomb blast at my school.
When we send children to school, they require certain vaccinations as to not medically endanger others. These vaccinations are scientifically proven to work and are required by many school standards to attend a public school. If we never employed this rule, mutations of viruses (similar to the H1N1 outbreak) would ravage schools and ruin education for countless children. Similarly, NSA monitoring is a benign, safe, and somewhat effective concept that, unfortunately, most people just scratch the surface of and reject due to an outdated, uninformed interpretation of the constitution. That blatant moron called Edward Snowden is an amplified version of one of those people and should be prosecuted for his criminal acts and publicly beaten by those who show some form of reason.