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As President, Gary Johnson Would Consider Pardoning Edward Snowden

'I don't want to see him in prison.'

SnowdenLaura Poitras / Praxis FilmsEarlier in the week, former Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that Edward Snowden had performed a "public service" by revealing to Americans that their private phone records were being gathered and stored by the National Security Agency (NSA). He nevertheless thinks Snowden should face a trial.

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson has other ideas. He told Newsmax TV he would consider pardoning Snowden, who faces espionage charges for his information leaks:

"This is someone who has divulged information that we would not know about currently — and that's the United States government spying on all of us as U.S. citizens," Johnson, 63, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, told "The Hard Line" host John Bachman. "I don't want to see him in prison."

Let's remind everybody of the positions of our so-much-more-serious major party candidates. Donald Trump has called Snowden a traitor, a word used by many other Republicans as well, so it's not a case of Trump being Trump.

Hillary Clinton is hardly better. She thinks Snowden should stand trial and has attempted to claim that Snowden could have availed himself of whistleblower protections rather than run away and released the information on his own. The problem with her argument is that it's simply not true.

Watch the Johnson clip here. And watch Nick Gillespie's recent interview of Snowden below:

Photo Credit: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films

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  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    I guess that makes up for the Johnson Weld.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    "I don't want to see him in prison."

    He would, however, be forced to bake cakes for federal spooks.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Only if they are gay Nazi federal spooks. So, I guess members of Hydra.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I'd give him a ticker tape parade. He's a fucking hero.

  • ||

    Yep, I'd go out to the airport to meet his plane and cheer him if he ever came back.

  • grrizzly||

    Pardon first, Presidential Medal of Freedom later.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Nah. Just a quiet "welcome home" and an appointment to be National Security Director.

  • Tundra||

    I like this.

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    Hero? What has he ever done for me?

  • CE||

    Exposed the government's wrongdoing?

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    Oh please, as if that hasn't been done a million times in my lifetime.

  • Rebel Scum||

    As President, Gary Johnson Would Consider Pardoning Edward Snowden

    SOFT. ON. CRIME.

  • WTF||

    Well, there goes the lawn order vote.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Hillary Clinton is hardly better. She thinks Snowden should stand trial and has attempted to claim that Snowden could have availed himself of whistleblower protections rather than run away and released the information on his own.

    Lying cunt!

    NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams asked Snowden, "When the president and others have made the point that you should have gone through channels, become a whistleblower and not pursued the route you did, what's your response?"

    "I actually did go through channels and that is documented," Snowden answered. "The NSA has records. They have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA's interpretations of its legal authorities."

    "Now, I had raised these complaints not just officially in writing through email to these offices and these individuals but to my supervisors, to my colleagues in more than one office," Snowden added. He said he had gone through channels at Fort Meade and in Hawaii.
  • Fist of Etiquette||

    DISQUALIFIED

  • DiegoF||

    Well, color me impressed. Rand Paul never had the balls to say that. One area where Johnson really is better.

  • Tundra||

    Well, color me impressed.

    Ok.

  • Eric||

    Snowden should be tried, convicted, sentenced to life in federal prison...and then immediately pardoned. Then given a ticker tape parade.

    It's the only way for the govt to acknowledge his unique situation without opening the door to every bureaucrat with an axe to grind.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Or, you know, we could hold the government responsible for doing illegal shit and mandate that not only is it not a crime to report government wrongdoing but an obligation to do so and anyone with knowledge and failing to do so will be nailed to a cross and fucking flayed.

  • Free Market Socialist $park¥||

    Good grief, stop living on Fantasy Island.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Za plen, za plen, boze!

  • DiegoF||

    Racist. And heightist.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    How do you know I'm not a Filipino dwarf?

  • ||

    Herve's last words:
    "Za pain, baas, za pain!"

  • Lee G||

    Add in some prosecutions for those who knowingly broke the law (Clapper) and you might have a solution.

  • sarcasmic||

    Even if Snowden was pardoned, he'd still be as good as dead if he returned to the states. Someone from the FBI or some such agency would murder him, and probably get away with it too.

  • DiegoF||

    ...Or at least they would if not for those darn kids.

  • Chipwooder||

    I'm not much of a Gary Johnson fan, but I certainly think better of him for taking a principled stand on Snowden's behalf.

    Still....Nazi cakes.

  • CE||

    Consider a pardon? He should give him a medal.

  • DOOMco||

    Consider is an odd word for this.

  • Mongo||

    Latest tweet from Snowden:

    taking my stripper gf to slutsky in belarus lol. heard they have sick syrian geef lolol #russianclambake

  • R C Dean||

    This would be my take:

    "I will pardon Edward Snowden, because I believe his action was in the great tradition of civil disobedience, of breaking the law for a greater good.

    The only reason I would not pardon him, is if our intelligence and law enforcement agencies provide me with credible evidence that he was acting as an agent of another nation when he was gathering and leaking the information. In which case, I will charge him with treason."

  • jerbigge||

    It is interesting how doctrinaire libertarians are eager and willing to repeal laws regulating narcotics and other now "illegal drugs", but are perfectly content to allow doctors to retain their government enforced legal monopoly over medical drugs. Something that puts tens of thousands of dollars into the pockets of doctors and takes money out of their patient's pockets in order to obtain "permission" to purchase medical drugs, most of which are not subject to abuse and perfectly safe it taken according to the instructions provided with the drug in question.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It is interesting how doctrinaire libertarians are eager and willing to repeal laws regulating narcotics and other now "illegal drugs", but are perfectly content to allow doctors to retain their government enforced legal monopoly

    Name 3

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    ....and President Trump would have him droned.

  • Hicks||

    And have his family tortured and killed just for shits and grins.

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