Edward Snowden Pardon Petition Gains 100,000 Signatures Online… But Will It Help Him?
An internet petition to pardon N.S.A. whistle blower Edward Snowden has been created online, and is gaining serious momentum. The petition was posted on Whitehouse.gov on Sunday and has already received in excess of 100,000 electronic signatures.
The form was posted by an individual who signed the petition as P.M. from Rochester, New York. The petition says that “Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.”
Snowden released a video on Sunday in which he identifies himself as the person responsible for the leaks regarding the United States’ government’s surveillance programs which have been headline stories over the past week. Snowden, an outside contractor of the NSA, flew off to Hong Kong to avoid initial legal problems and capture by the United States government after having released the documents. It is assumed that he will face extradition challenges to face charges against his actions.
By the White House’s guidelines for petitions submitted online to the governmental web site, if the petition receives 100,000 signatures by July 9, 2013, the petition will be reviewed by the White House, send it on to policy experts and give an official response. It is all part of the Obama’s administration’s “We the People” initiative.
At the White House, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney refused to comment on Edward Snowden’s status during Monday’s briefing. Carney said that the threshold for responding to the petition has not been crossed yet.
Additionally, there was a petition posted on the White House web site challenging President Obama to a live and public debate with Edward Snowden. By midday Monday, it had garnered 400 signatures.