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The American people have spoken out in defense of Edward Snowden. As federal prosecutors charge Snowden with the crime of espionage and request his extradition from Hong Kong, a petition for his full pardon has reached the threshold necessary to receive a response after less than two weeks.
The petition states:
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Pardon Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.
The petition required 100,000 signatures by July 9 in order for the administration to be obligated to respond to it. As of 9:20 pm EDT, June 22, it had received 104,962 signatures.
Edward Snowden stepped into the spotlight earlier this month when he exposed a massive government surveillance operation that was secretly underway. The National Security Agency, with whom Snowden was employed, has been covertly spying on Americans for more than a decade, collecting communications and data unbeknownst to citizens.
If Snowden is extradited back to the United States, he will stand trial for espionage, theft, and conversion of government property. If he is found guilty of espionage he could face execution.
While the government frantically tries to cover up their actions, will they heed the entreaty of the people?