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Trump’s Pick for CIA Chief Says He Wants to Kill Snowden, As Obama Rules Out a Pardon

As The Free Thought Project recently reported, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year (2016) has yet to be decided. But in 2002, Time nominated “The Whistleblowers” as their pick. That year, the whistleblowers represented certain individuals who’d exposed Enron’s accounting discrepancies of $3.8 billion and led to the energy giant’s bankruptcy. But now, infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, in lieu of being chosen by Time, might simply settle for a presidential pardon by President Obama. He shouldn’t hold his breath. Not only has Obama stated he cannot pardon Snowden, but President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for CIA chief has gone one step further, calling for Snowden to be given the death penalty.

Snowden has exposed one of the nation’s most sensitive secrets, namely the fact the NSA was spying on all Americans and in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine. When Snowden sat down with reporters in Hong Kong, having already fled the U.S., he knew he would be a targeted man, not for what he had done, but for what he was going to do — tell all he knew.

As a contractor for the NSA and the CIA, Snowden had access to the government’s most sensitive state secrets. On June 3rd, 2013, Snowden told reporters, as recorded in the documentary Citizenfour, “I feel the modern media has a big focus on personalities…I don’t necessarily want that to happen…I’m not the story here,” he said, intimating his desire to focus on the issue of America’s own government allegedly abusing its spying power over its citizens.

He explained his motivation for going public, “So, for me, it all comes down to State power against the people’s ability to meaningfully oppose that power. And I’m sitting there every day to design methods to amplify that State power. And I’m realizing you know that if the policy switches, that are the only things that restrain these states were changed, you couldn’t meaningfully oppose…”

Snowden went on to describe how he’d hoped the Obama administration would curtail some of the power of the State. But, to the contrary, Snowden said the surveillance power of the State was actually “advanced” under Obama. The intelligence operative then explained that being able to watch drone strikes in real-time “really hardened me to action,” and thus he decided it was time to take his concerns public.

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In the documentary, Glenn Greenwald questioned Snowden. He asked, “If your self-interest is to live in a world in which there’s maximum privacy, doing something that could put you into prison, in which your privacy is completely destroyed, that is sort of the antithesis of that, how do you reach the point where that was a worthwhile calculation for you?” Snowden rambled on about the joys of the birth of the internet, how the internet was a playground of sorts for folks all over the world, but he then turned his attention to “the list,” referring to the intelligence network’s targeted individual list.

“I’m more willing to risk imprisonment…than I am willing to risk the curtailment of my intellectual freedom,” he said referencing his desire to see folks not be in fear of winding up on a government watch list. “It gives me, I feel good in my human experience to know that I can contribute to the good of others,” he stated answering the question as to why he would risk it all to expose the government’s dirty little secret.

“There’s an infrastructure in place, in the United States, and worldwide, that NSA has built, in cooperation with other governments as well that intersects basically every digital communication, every radio communication, every analog communication, that it has sensors in place to detect. And with these capabilities, basically, the vast majority of human and computer to computer communications…are automatically ingested…and that allows individuals to retroactively search your communications…” he said being the first to reveal to the world that everyone is a potential target and that the government has the power to use that information against them.

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Snowden’s interview transformed the Elizabeth City, NC native into a traitor to some and a hero to others. While Snowden himself believes he should be pardoned, others are not so appreciative of Snowden’s contribution to governmental transparency. One such person is President-elect Trump’s choice to run the CIA, Mike Pompeo (R-Kan).

“We’ve had the traitor Edward Snowden, steal that information. He should be brought back from Russia, given due process and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given the death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, who serve in the military today, at enormous risk, because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers,” Pompeo told the Washington Journal on C-Span.

The future CIA chief’s comments serve as a reminder for Snowden, and others thinking of taking actions such as his, that there’s no hint of mercy for him to be found within the next administration, leaving only President Obama’s power to pardon as his last vestige of hope. But even that possibility is waning as the outgoing Commander-in-Chief said in an interview this week with Spiegel that he doesn’t have the power to pardon Snowden.

I can’t pardon somebody who hasn’t gone before a court and presented themselves, so that’s not something that I would comment on at this point. I think that Mr. Snowden raised some legitimate concerns. How he did it was something that did not follow the procedures and practices of our intelligence community. If everybody took the approach that I make my own decisions about these issues, then it would be very hard to have an organized government or any kind of national security system.

At the point at which Mr. Snowden wants to present himself before the legal authorities and make his arguments or have his lawyers make his arguments, then I think those issues come into play. Until that time, what I’ve tried to suggest — both to the American people, but also to the world — is that we do have to balance this issue of privacy and security.

We at The Free Thought Project want to know if the same couldn’t be said of Hillary Clinton? Since Obama has said he can only pardon someone who has presented themselves before a judge, will he pardon Clinton before she goes before the court? We think he will. As Donald Trump stated in one of the presidential debates with Clinton (someone he’d referred to as “crooked Hillary” during the run-up to the election) he intends to appoint a special prosecutor to “look into her situation” and presumably her alleged role in pay to play favors with the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state.

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Coming to her defense is an old friend of both Trump and Clinton. Jesse Jackson has reportedly called on President Obama to preemptively pardon Clinton. Jackson told attendees at an anti-violence rally, ‘It would be a monumental moral mistake to pursue the indictment of Hillary Clinton,” referencing Trump’s stated intention to do so. Later, the Obama administration was asked to speak to the possibility of a preemptive pardon for Clinton. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest refused to address Clinton’s specific case, with respect to a potential pardon, but did say the president had offered clemency to many individuals who were already in prison.

And so it appears as though the Obama administration isn’t ruling out a Clinton pardon, but has indeed ruled out one for Snowden. One very well connected, wealthy civil servant, and wife to a former U.S. president is accused of being negligent with classified information, lying under oath to Congress, and destroying thousands of emails, evidence which had been subpoenaed. The other civil servant revealed his secrets willingly in order to make Americans aware of at least the possibility their government could not be trusted with their rights to privacy.

Do you believe Obama will offer a preemptive pardon to Hillary Clinton? Should he pardon Snowden? Post your comments below.

  • patriot156

    Yeah thinking it’s going to get much much worse Under Trump! damnit bastard lied and sold us out. At least when Bush senior lied only thing that happened was Taxes went up, but a person lies telling people he’ll support liberty and then ups the police state after people get killed.
    big fricking difference.
    and oh yeah FYI the Bush I’m talking about was after Reagan not the last ass hat we had just before Obama.

    • tvsgael2

      I remember them well. “Read my lips. No new taxes”. Mondale, said, “Raise taxes? I just did.” He knew that it was inevitable, but public resisted and believed George HW Bush instead.

  • tvsgael2

    I don’t think he will pardon her, and Trump won’t go after her. Snowden should no longer be the object of U.S. apprehension. Charges should be dropped. That’s the same as a pardon.

    • FiuToYou

      Unfortunately, since there’s people like Pompeo in this country, Snowden should never come back here. Look how many people seemed to die by bothering a Clinton. He should go get lost somewhere and live out his days. Good luck to you Edward Snowden and thanks for the brave thing you have done for a dying country!

      I thought Trump was going to save America but with people like Pompeo getting control of the spooks we’re doomed!!! Thanks Donald.

      • Pat Fehr

        no one died bothering clinton

    • Pat Fehr

      padron who

  • TruthBeTold

    Idiot Ovomit says he can’t pardon Snowden because he hasn’t gone before a court and presented himself. But Ovomit thinks he can pardon Hillary, and yet she hasn’t “gone before a court and presented herself” either. Congressional hearings on matters are not court hearings. They investigated certain things. She is not a defendant in any case. Neither is Snowden. Ovomit will pardon Hillary when the matter (according to his own words) are no different than Snowden’s? There is going to be anarchy in this country soon, and Ovomit is not going out of office. He is going to create massive turmoil before Trump’s inauguration thus keeping himself in office, even if that means under martial law.

    • ligia.key

      1 year have passed since I decided to abandon my previous work and I never felt better in my life… I started doing a job from home, for a company I stumbled upon online, for several hours daily, and I earn much more than i did on my last work… Check i got for last month was for 9 thousand bucks… The best thing about this is that now i have more time for my family… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

    • parsons-yvonne

      It’s been 1 yr since I finally left my old job and that decision was a life changer for me… I started working from comfort of my house, for a company I stumbled upon over internet, several hours each day, and I earn much more than i did on my old work… Last check i got was for Nine thousand bucks… Great thing about this work is that i have more free time to spend with my family… http://chilp.it/8d93f4b

    • Pat Fehr

      truth be told, Obama makes you look like the idiot that you represent yourself! He forgot more than you ever new and it shows by your 5th grade post

      • TruthBeTold

        He is a jug-eared POS from hell, a tool of Satan. You are a moron to think otherwise…..and, just another paid troll, perhaps of Soros.

        • Pat Fehr

          your talking about trump I hope

          • TruthBeTold

            You know damn well who I’m talking about, that POS Muslim traitor usurper homo in the black house.

          • JP

            You kiss your mama with that mouth? I hope she smacks you every time you do.

          • TruthBeTold

            Whattsamatta? You love that antichrist pig from hell Ovomit? I have not one decent word to utter about that vermin from hell. Neither should you. It is all the truth, learn to identify it.

    • Bouncerss

      That would be good!

  • Badcopwatch

    Snowden is a brave man. Today, the brave men are despised. Snowden deserves a pardon and a medal for what he’s done!

  • kcgoat

    as the saying goes the truth will get you killed

  • M Green

    Friends, this one is not even close. The LOTUS (Liar of the United States) contemplates pre-emptive pardons for HRC but declares that the law prevents him from even considering one for Edward Snowden until Snowden submits to US justice. Here is the law on the subject. Obama remains a Constitutional Liar of the first order:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2008/07/preemptive_presidential_pardons.html

    Pre-emptive Presidential Pardons

    Can you be pardoned for a crime before you’re ever charged?

    By Jacob Leibenluft

    With six months to go before President Bush leaves office, the White House is receiving a flurry of pardon applications. The New York Times reported that “several members of the conservative legal community” are pushing for the White House to grant pre-emptive pardons for officials involved in counterterrorism programs. Wait—can a president really pardon someone who hasn’t even been charged with a crime?

    Yep. In 1866, the Supreme Court ruled in Ex parte Garland that the pardon power “extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment.” (In that case, a former Confederate senator successfully petitioned the court to uphold a pardon that prevented him from being disbarred.) Generally speaking, once an act has been committed, the president can issue a pardon at any time—regardless of whether charges have even been filed.

  • FiuToYou

    If Trump puts this Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA, that will just mean he’s lied to the people who put him in office and that would be worse then anything I can imagine. And I jumped for joy when Trump was voted President-elect. I hope he doesn’t screw it all to hell before he even gets sworn in!!! Snowden is a brave patriot, where as Pompeo is just a a-hole who shouldn’t even be in any government office. And that is a period…..

    • Bouncerss

      So much for “draining the swamp”!

  • Pat Fehr

    trumps cia appointee should be killed, snowden deserves a medal

  • JP

    Snowden is probably a Russian agent. If he wasn’t a double Russian agent when he leaked these secrets, he is one now. The KBG and Putin has had him at their mercy for over a year now, and they’re quite good at interrogation and brainwashing techniques.

    Sadly, Snowden should never be allowed to return to America. He made his choice when he fled to Russia, simple as that.

    • sharkboy

      Hillary was protecting the government while Snowden was protecting the people of our nation who ultimately make up the government.
      He was doing what was right.