Outgoing Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard urged President Donald Trump to grant pardons to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, echoing growing calls to absolve whistleblowers who have helped “denounce” the US “deep state”.
“Since you are giving pardons to people, consider forgiving those who at great personal sacrifice have spoken out against the deception and criminality of those in the Deep State,” Gabbard said in a tweet to president Thursday, referring to Snowden and Assange.
The request comes less than a day after Trump granted a pardon to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. His case has become a central feature of Trump-Russia “connivance” story after being accused of deceiving investigators into contact with a Russian diplomat following Trump’s election victory in 2016. As the Justice Department decided to dismiss the case, citing misconduct in the In the FBI investigation, a federal judge resisted the effort, prompting the president to intervene on Wednesday.
Gabbard, who is set to step down at the end of his term in Congress, has already introduced a resolution alongside GOP lawmaker Matt Gaetz (Florida), urging the government to drop charges against Snowden – who has was charged with respect to his role in leaking classified material revealing illegal mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). Although the outdated law was originally intended to prosecute foreign spies, it has been used repeatedly against journalists and whistleblowers.
Snowden himself weighed in later on Thursday, saying he had “Saw more calls for forgiveness this year than any other handset.”
No other problem in our time unites left, right and center as the struggle to end government abuse of mass surveillance and secrecy.
The Libertarian Party echoed the message, noting that Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie has publicly supported pardons thus, while journalist Glenn Greenwald argued that nothing “Shaping Trump’s Legacy” better than a reprieve for the two whistleblowers.
Snowden approached Greenwald after grabbing a massive amount of classified material in 2013 while working as a sub-contractor to the NSA under Booz Allen Hamilton. Fearing prosecution, he fled the United States, hoping to gain asylum in Latin America, but was stranded in Russia after his passport was revoked by American authorities. He has stayed there ever since, where he was granted permanent resident status after seven years in legal limbo.
Assange co-founded the anti-secret group WikiLeaks, which has published thousands of pages of secret documents from governments around the world, including documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was slapped with a 17-count indictment by Trump’s DOJ last year and was arrested by British authorities shortly thereafter. His extradition trial is still ongoing, facing nearly two centuries behind bars if he were to be found guilty in a US court.
The world must be aware of and reject the socialist Soros puppet that is Joe Biden.
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