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White House Website Petition To Pardon Edward Snowden Surpasses Threshold For Presidential Response

June 24, 2013 by  

A petition begun June 9 at President Barack Obama’s “We The People” White House petition website calling for the pardon of Edward Snowden has crossed the 100,000-signature threshold needed in order to elicit an official response.

As of Monday afternoon, the petition had exceeded 113,000 signatures. It calls Snowden a “national hero” and commends him for shining a light on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) furtive spying programs he observed as a former contractor:

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Pardon Edward Snowden

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.

We The People has been active since Obama launched the site in 2011 as a high-profile effort to demonstrate his Administration’s commitment to transparency and accessibility. But scandals involving the National Security Agency, The Associates Press and the Internal Revenue Service have damaged whatever goodwill the President may have created with the American public in his bid to appear trustworthy. And in order to open or sign a petition, users must create an account at whitehouse.gov that links them to the site.

In Snowden’s case, the Administration wouldn’t be breaking precedent if there’s no response, despite the petition for his pardon meeting requirements Obama himself help put in place. Successful petitions for the President to intervene amid ongoing investigations of other criminal suspects like Chris Williams, who allegedly violated the law by growing medical marijuana, have been met with silence.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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