More Congressmen Open To Granting Snowden Clemency Deal To Get Him Back To US

Credit: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films/wikimediaCredit: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films/wikimediaOn New Year’s day, The New York Times published an editorial calling for the U.S. to offer NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden "a plea bargain or some form of clemency." On the same day, the London-based newspaper The Guardian published an editorial arguing that Snowden should be offered "the pardon he deserves."

Last night, BuzzFeed reported that an increasing number of members of Congress are coming round to the idea that the government should work on a clemency deal that gets Snowden, who is currently in Russia, back to the U.S.

From BuzzFeed:

“I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s more of a whistle-blower than a villain,” Massachusetts Democrat Jim McGovern told BuzzFeed. “I’ve kind of wrestled with his actions for quite some time because part of me would like to think that in this country there is a process in place where people can do the right thing and not get punished for it. The more I learn about his particular case I’m not sure there was a process in place where he could have presented what he found out and actually changed things.”

“I’d rather have him in the U.S. than have him in Russia, and maybe there is an opportunity to work out some sort of a deal,” he added. “I think the outrage people in the administration have expressed toward Edward Snowden ought to be more focused on how the NSA broke privacy laws.”

McGovern tweeted on Thursday that the Times editorial was “thoughtful” and that he “agreed with much of it.”

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson went further, tweeting simply “Give him clemency,” along with a link to a story about Snowden.

Democratic Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont said the U.S. should be “flexible” with Snowden and was sharply critical of the NSA’s actions.

Of course, not all members of Congress believe that Snowden should be offered clemency in order to get him back to the U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) denounced the Times editorial, saying that the newspaper is “a ‘blame America first’ rag,” and that “They go out of their way as to be apologists for terrorists,” which is rich coming from a man who has spoken out in support of terrorists himself, as long as they were of the Irish republican variety. 

Watch King’s comments below:

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  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm mildly surprised they didn't work out a deal a little earlier, you know, to stop the wave of revelations.

  • ||

    Wait, so you're saying there may be an ulterior motive at play? I have a hard time believing such a spurious charge about our selfless and heroic public servants.

    If I was Snowden I'd tell them to stuff any kind of a deal up their ass if it means turning over all the stuff he hasn't released yet.

  • Raven Nation||

    If I were Snowden, I would get it written on steel tablets and stored in a public place behind explosive-proof barriers. AND, make the executive branch sign the deal live on national TV.

  • pan fried wylie||

    part of me would like to think that in this country there is a process in place where people can do the right thing and not get punished for it

    Just an infinitesimally small part of him.

    Alternative response: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And that's why he's the Peter King.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Peter King could very well be the politicians I would most like to see hanging by his heels from a lamppost.

  • Raven Nation||

    Wow, really?! He's obviously detestable, but more so than McCain, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer?

  • tarran||

    Actually, all the widows and orphans and people disabled by IRA bombs should be grateful to Peter King for their pensions.

  • Raven Nation||

    Pleading true ignorance here: can you elaborate a little?

  • rts||

  • kinnath||

    King became involved with NORAID, an organization that the British, Irish and U.S. governments had accused of financing IRA activities and providing them with weapons. Regarding the 30 years of violence during which the IRA killed over 1,700 people, including Lord Mountbatten, Lord Kaberry, Sir Anthony Berry MP and over 600 civilians, King said, "If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it."

    There was a time when a younger kinnath romanticized the IRA as revolutionaries attempting to liberate the homeland of his ancestors. But I grew out of that quite quickly and now despise the thugs and murderers that make up that organization.

    One can only hope that King suffers a long a debilitating illness prior to a painful death.

  • Winston||

    You Know Who Else said that when terrorists kill civilians it is the fault of the government?

  • tarran||

    In the late 80's and early 90's Peter King was a bagman for the IRA. He collected money that they used to buy weapons and explosives.

    Mr. King's support for the IRA was unequivocal. In 1982, for instance, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: "We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry."

    By the mid-1980s, the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic were openly hostile to Mr. King. On one occasion, a judge threw him out of a Belfast courtroom during the murder trial of IRA men because, in the judge's view, "he was an obvious collaborator with the IRA." When he attended other trials, the police singled him out for thorough body searches.

    During his visits to Ireland, Mr. King would often stay with well-known leaders of the IRA, and he socialized in IRA drinking haunts. At one of such clubs, the Felons, membership was limited to IRA veterans who had served time in jail. Mr. King would almost certainly have been red-flagged by British intelligence as a result, but the experience gave him plenty of material for the three novels he subsequently wrote featuring the IRA.
  • tarran||

  • Winston||

    Huh, an opponent of British Imperialism not liked by the USG or the UK. Raimondo and Rockwell would approve.

  • Raven Nation||

    Well, shit. Thanks for the info all.

    Kinnath: growing up in Australia, I had a very, very tiny piece of sympathy for the IRA because of the ingrained anti-English bias that's part of the culture. But, overall, we saw them as evil, long before the Red Brigades, Red Army Faction, etc. And, there was almost equal disdain/disgust for the UDF as well.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    McCain's record is mixed-to-decent, in reality. It's his Big Government persona that ruins him.

    Pelosi is dumb and Harry Reid is just power-hungry. Peter King is actually evil.

    So, in answer to your question, yes, King first.

  • Brandon||

    You forgot Feinstein, Boxer... fuck, there are too many to name.

  • Raven Nation||

    "fuck, there are too many to name"

    Well, exactly; my list was meant to be representative not exhaustive.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Actually, there's only 433 or so to name.

  • The Knarf Yenrab||

    Why limit yourself to one? For those not into Italian-style tyrannicide and who might prefer a more elegant and environmentally Jacobin execution, the DC municipal water supply would be an excellent choice for the national bathtub.

    Best part being that the really sordid characters could be drowned together in pairs. Feinstein/King. Feinstein/Bush. Feinstein/corpse of Woodrow Wilson. The combinations are endless.

  • The Knarf Yenrab||

    "environmentally friendly, Jacobin"

  • Enough About Palin||

    Just get some dogs, I'd say about 120 of them...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's a tough competition, but King is such a hateful raving bloodthirsty lunatic; 9/11!! TERROR!! KILLKILLKILL!!!!!

    He incites a deep visceral rage in me Schumer or Pelosi cannot match.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Exoneration, not pardon. Pardons are for guilty people.

    -jcr

  • Raven Nation||

    +1

  • CatoTheElder||

    If Rep. King were correct in his claim that the NYT is a blame-America-first rag, then the NYT could still be correct whenever the American government is indeed blameworthy.

    The NSA abuses publicized by Snowden are unambiguously the fault of the American government.

    I've always thought that the NYT was a blame-America-first rag. But Rep. King is always wrong. Now I have to reconsider my opinion of the NYT.

  • Winston||

    Peter King and Matt Welch and Suderman opposed the shutdown. Where does that leave you?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Fuck off sockpuppet

  • Winston||

    OMG NOT FACTS!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Randian status: pwned.

  • MasterDarque||

    Dick King is still alive?

  • Christophe||

    Snowden's best shot is to keep spilling the beans until his bag's empty. Either it's not enough to wake people up to the abuses of the NSA (in which case he'd never be safe here), or pardonning him becomes an obvious campaign promise for the 2016 candidates.

  • ||

    Did you hear that? He didn't have a High School or College education, he knows nothing about anything.lol. Fox News, classy reporting.

  • 2BlueFrogs||

    The more of an idiot they try to make of EJS the more moronic they show themselves to be.

  • Lyle||

    He kind of is an idiot. He knew nothing about Hong Kong being a part of the Peoples' Republic of China and what exactly the PRC is.

  • Lyle||

    Snowden shouldn't get clemency. He went way too far for clemency. And what is amazing is all the people saying that he's put his life on the line when he in fact hasn't put his life on the line.

    He's need to come back to the U.S. voluntarily and face the wrath of our law.

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