Snowden deserves no pardon

Snowden deserves no pardon

 Please, Mr. President, “don’t pardon Edward Snowden,” said Rich Lowry. The former National Security Agency contractor is responsible for “the most damaging classified leak in U.S. history,” but Trump has openly mused about pardoning Snowden, and libertarians like journalist Glenn Greenwald and Sen. 

Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are now urging him to do it, “as a way to stick it to the Deep State on his way out the door.” But a pardon would be a terrible mistake. After stealing and leaking a massive number of classified documents in 2013, Snowden fled to the welcoming arms of Vladimir Putin in Russia. Snowden claimed he was blowing the whistle on the NSA’s constitutionally suspect “bulk data collection program,” but the material he gave to U.S. enemies went far beyond any concern with civil liberties. It included how we cooperate with allies “to spy on Russia,” the inner workings of a program to respond to cyberattacks, and so much more. “It’s naïve to believe” he received asylum in Russia without sharing what he knew with its government. Snowden, 37, exhibits no regrets, and “we don’t even know the full scope of his offense.” He does not deserve to return to the U.S. as a free man.

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