A petition on the White House’s “We the People” website asking the Obama administration to “pardon Edward Snowden,” the National Security Agency whistleblower, has reached the 100,000-signature threshold. It now garners a response from administration staff. Snowden, you will recall, is the reason the American people know that their phone records are being collected and stored by the NSA. He is currently in hiding in China.
“Edward Snowden is a national hero,” the petition reads, “and should be immediately issued a a [sic] 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.”
With the late Friday news that the Obama administration will charge Snowden with three felonies under the Espionage Act, the petition gained the final signatures it needed. The “We the People” site requires a petition to gain 100,000 signatures within 30 days of being posted in order to be sent to White House staff for review. Upon review, a statement regarding the issue will be released.
It is unlikely (rather, impossible) that the administration would agree to such a request to pardon Snowden, but it will be interesting to see their response to the American people who believe he should not be charged.