Snowden affair: the case for a pardon
The GuardianJanuary 1, 2014
In an interview with the Washington Post just before Christmas, Edward Snowden declared his mission accomplished. At first sight it seemed a grandiose, even hubristic, statement. In fact, it betrayed a kind of modesty about the intentions of the former NSA analyst. "I didn't want to change society," he explained. "I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself."
Mr Snowden – through journalists, in the absence of meaningful, reliable democratic oversight – had given people enough knowledge about the nature of modern intelligence-gathering to allow an informed debate. Voters might, in fact, decide they were prepared to put privacy above security – but at least they could make that choice on the basis of information.