President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden before he leaves office

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The Verge

Russell Brandom
June 27, 2016

For the last three years, one month, and seven days, Edward Snowden has been living in exile from the United States. On May 20th, 2013, he boarded a flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong after setting in motion the most powerful public act of whistleblowing in US history. In the months that followed, the public learned about programs collecting data on every phone call in the United States, attacking private networks run by Google and Yahoo, and hacking into the web’s advertising networks to turn them into tools of surveillance. In the weeks that followed, Snowden left Hong Kong for Russia, fleeing forced extradition by the US and its allies. He's remained there ever since.

But in the months ahead, there will be a unique chance to change that. An article in this week’s New York Magazine looks at Snowden’s life in exile and comes away with a unique insight into Snowden’s clemency plan. As Snowden’s central counsel, the ACLU’s Ben Wizner, puts it: "We’re going to make a very strong case between now and the end of this administration that this is one of those rare cases for which the pardon power exists."

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