by Elias J. Atienza
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has now thrown his full support behind pardoning Edward Snowden. In an interview with the Texas Tribune, Johnson said that he would pardon Snowden if elected President.
“Based on what I know about Edward Snowden, I would pardon Edward Snowden,” Johnson said to the Tribune.
Johnson has previously indicated he supported a pardon for Snowden but stopped short of saying he would pardon him. He previously told Newsmax TV he did not want to see Snowden in prison.
The other two major party candidates have supported far harsher measures for Snowden. Donald Trump called him a traitor and called for his execution three years ago. Clinton wants Snowden to return to the United States and stand trial. She also claimed that Snowden did not go through the proper channels and receive whistleblower protections. The website Politifact ruled the claim false.
Even libertarian Republican Rand Paul called for Snowden to share a jail cell with National Intelligence Director James Clapper.
There is a campaign out there by major civil rights groups calling for Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. Lead by the ACLU, these groups want Obama to pardon Snowden before he exits office in less than four months.
Johnson also slammed the NSA’s use of mass surveillance revealed by Snowden.
“I would like to see … these satellites turned away from 110 million Verizon users,” Johnson said. “I’d like to see the satellites turned away from you and I as U.S. citizens, recognizing that there is due process out there for anyone that’s suspected of crime or harm against the rest of us.”