Edward Snowden

Do the French Want Edward Snowden?

French magazine L'Express uses Change.org to petition François Hollande to grant the NSA whistleblower asylum


Oliver Stone may have purchased the film rights to Edward Snowden's life story, but it seems as if the French are aiming for the rights to Snowden's freedom by petitioning to grant him political asylum. 

Snowden's Russian visa is set to expire in July and it's unclear what will happen to him once this occurs. Leaving nothing to chance, French magazine L'Express has taken to the online petition site Change.org to put the pressure on President François Hollande to welcome Snowden as a political refugee citing France's history as a country "known for human rights and freedom of the press."

The petition, which was launched last week, is about 45,000 votes shy of its 200,000 signature goal, though a press release from Change.org notes that some high-profile French figures have signed on to the document including former Prime Minister Michel Rocard, former member of the European Parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit, and author Caroline Fourest. 

In March, Reason TV caught up with Change.org founder Ben Rattray at the 2014 SxSW Interactive Festival and discussed the power of online platforms like Change.org to spur social change. 

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  1. I am not sure how a single online petition says anything about the likelihood of France taking in Snowden. The problem is that every country wants to do or is doing what the NSA did. So no country is going to take him in unless it is some enemy of the US just looking to embarrass the US government. Apparently, Putin has decided that Snowden is no longer useful. I don’t want to see Snowden go to prison. But I can’t think of anywhere he can go at this point.

    1. There’s always the nearest Ecuadorian embassy

    2. Many countries also seem to want to make the US look bad, so they have a bit of a dilemma there. Two faced hypocrisy doesn’t seem to be a problem for most governments either.

      But you are right that an online petition doesn’t mean much.

      1. But the longer things go, the value of Snowden in making the US look bad decreases. The other problem is that most of the countries who want to make the US look bad or pretty horrible places who are liable to treat Snowden even worse than the US. I think I would take my chances in US criminal court before I would with North Korea or Cuba or really even China.

        1. We don’t really need any help in looking bad, we’re doing one fine job of that on our own.

          1. Yes. Snowden is just another man that lost his job thanks to Obama.

  2. Wow – Russia or France. That’s a dilemma.

    1. Oh France is a lovely place to be as long as you don’t need to find employment or otherwise engage in productive economic activity.

      Though as a Spanish airline pilot of my acquaintance once said, France is a wonderful country, except that it is all full of French people.

    2. That has to be a joke. Who wouldn’t rather be in France than Russia, with Putin. But if I were Snowden, I would be more than a little apprehensive that France would turn me over to the USSA.

      1. What does the United Suffolk Sheep Association want with Edward Snowden?

        1. I’m sure he’d be much better off with that USSA.

  3. Why do the French hate Obama?

  4. I thought France was known more for cheese, wine and rudeness.

  5. Yes Snowden, please choose France. That way whoever snuffs your miserable, traitorous life out can enjoy a decent meal after they’ve disposed of your body.

    1. What, borscht isn’t to your liking?

    2. Proggie or NeoCon?

      1. I suspect it’s Mary Stack.

      2. The bloodyminded cowardice of a neocon wedded to the indignant butthurt of a progressive. There’s something for everyone here.

        1. +1 NeoProg

          1. Nice. NeoProg.

      3. Minarchist is probably the best fit…

        1. Oh, you’re so COOL, Brewster!

  6. You know who else prefered going to France instead of Russia?

    1. Josephine Baker?

    2. Everyone who’s ever vacationed?

    3. Lt. Gen. George Miller: He’s got his little cannons and he’s got his little guns, and… This is the problem with civilians wanting to go to war. Once you’ve been there, once you’ve seen it, you never want to go again unless you absolutely fucking have to. It’s like France.

    4. Napoleon?

  7. Part of it, I suspect, is French anger over the IRS fining a French bank for billions of dollars.

  8. “..citing France’s history as a country “known for human rights and freedom of the press.”..”

    Yeah.. yeah.. that’s a good one.

    /Wipes tear from eye

    1. That is so funny, Captain Dreyfus was seen laughing from the grave. And he had a few thousand victims of the terror and a few hundred thousand more victims of Vichy France there to join him.

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