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RFK Jr. Says He Will Pardon Whistleblower Edward Snowden If Elected President

RFK Jr. Says He Will Pardon Whistleblower Edward Snowden If Elected President

Authored by Stephen Katte via The Epoch Times,

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., claims he would pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden on his first day as president if elected and “investigate the corruption and crimes he exposed.”

Mr. Snowden is a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who leaked information about the agency’s widespread domestic surveillance operations during the Obama administration. He fled from the United States in 2013 amid possible espionage charges that could have seen him imprisoned for 30 years or more.

According to an April 1 video statement from Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Snowden performed a “critical public service by revealing to Americans for the first time that our government had been spying on millions of us … of law-abiding American citizens in violation of numerous laws and of our fundamental right to privacy.”

“His brave actions led Congress to restrict the surveillance authority of the intelligence community for the first time in forty years,” Mr. Kennedy said.

The America I love doesn’t punish whistleblowers. Truth tellers who champion free speech and try to return America to its democratic and humanitarian ideals should be revered, not prosecuted,” he added.

Mr. Snowden has been praised by some for his actions and vilified as a traitor by others. He says he made the disclosures because he believed the U.S. intelligence community had gone too far and infringed on civil liberties.

In 2016, the House Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of an investigative report on Mr. Snowden (pdf), describing Mr. Snowden’s actions as showing a reckless disregard for Americans’ safety and U.S. national security.

However, a 2020 U.S. appeals court found that the program Mr. Snowden had exposed was unlawful, and that the U.S. officials who had publicly defended it weren’t telling the truth.

RFK Jr. Reveals Petition to Have Snowden Pardoned

As part of his statement, Mr. Kennedy also unveiled a petition calling for at least 300,000 signatures to help pressure the Biden administration to act and pardon Mr. Snowden for his actions, so he can return “unfettered to the United States.”

“Prior to Edward Snowden, nobody knew the intelligence agencies were illegally mining all of our data and spying on American citizens,” Mr. Kennedy said.

“So it’s not surprising that those same intelligence agencies are now trying to portray Snowden as a criminal and that captive politicians are supporting that narrative,” he added.

According to Mr. Kennedy’s message on the petition, whistleblowers like Daniel Ellsberg, John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange weren’t betraying America by revealing government corruption.

“But instead of championing free speech and celebrating these truth-tellers, today our government actively persecutes journalists and whistleblowers,” the message says.

“This isn’t the Soviet Union. The America I love doesn’t imprison dissidents. Our founders put free speech as the First Amendment because all our other rights depend on it. If you give a government license to silence its critics, it now has license for any atrocity.”

Mr. Snowden currently lives in Moscow with his American wife, Lindsey Mills. He received a Russian passport and took the citizenship oath back in 2022. As a result, he can no longer be extradited to a foreign country.

Mr. Snowden claims another reason he applied for Russian citizenship was that the White House intentionally canceled his passport and stifled all his attempts to leave the nation. It’s unclear whether he has renounced his U.S. citizenship.

Tue, 04/02/2024 – 14:45

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