During his recent trip to Germany, Obama was interviewed and asked if he would pardon Edward Snowden. Sadly, the answer that the American president gave could not have been more deceitful.

The reason that the president gave during his interview with Der Spiegel, was that he “can’t pardon somebody who hasn’t gone before a court and presented themselves”.

And this is where president Obama loses whatever little credibility he has left after serving two disappointing terms.  As Joe Mullin covered in his ars TECHNICA piece:

“The president can pardon anyone… Richard Nixon hadn’t even been indicted when Gerald Ford issued a ‘full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in’ over the course of his presidency. Nor had the thousands of men who had evaded the Vietnam War draft, who were pardoned unconditionally by Jimmy Carter on his first day in office.”
And as part of the Iran nuclear deal he negotiated, Obama himself pardoned three Iranian-American men who had been indicted but had not stood trial. 

President Obama also stated:

“I think that Mr. Snowden raised some legitimate concerns. How he did it was something that did not follow the procedures and practices of our intelligence community. If everybody took the approach that I make my own decisions about these issues, then it would be very hard to have an organized government or any kind of national security system.”

It seems that the US president chose to neglect the procedures that Snowden followed when he exposed the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional mass surveillance program.  Edward Snowden not only followed proper protocols, but he also operated in the safest and most responsible method that whistle blowers could possibly undertake in leaking incriminating data.

President Obama’s reasoning does a great disservice to whistle-blowers, journalists, and American citizens; one has to contemplate whether or not president Obama “can’t” or simply “won’t” pardon Edward Snowden.

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Fadi Malkosh

Author: Fadi Malkosh

Fadi Malkosh is the founder of Network Radio.