Edward Snowden (shown in photo) isn’t finished exposing damning details of the federal government’s unconstitutional surveillance programs.
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Benjamin Wizner, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer working with the whistleblower, reveals that in 2014 the world “can expect to see [Snowden] engage a little more in the public debate.”
Although he declared that his “mission’s already accomplished,” Snowden seems determined to keep the bright light of revelation shining on the Obama administration’s denial to millions of people of their fundamental freedom from unwarranted searches and seizures. Wizner also told NBC’s Meet the Press that “Mr. Snowden wants to return to the United States, but not if the cost is a long prison term. Instead, the government should take into account the public service Mr. Snowden performed….”
There seems to be movement in that direction. The Associated Press reported on January 2 that “The New York Times and Guardian newspapers have called for clemency for Edward Snowden, saying that the espionage worker-turned-privacy advocate should be praised rather than punished for his disclosures.”
Certainly, a couple of newspapers, regardless of their national prominence, don’t have the power to force the hand of the federal government, but it is notable recognition of the service done to the rule of law and the Constitution by the former NSA sub-contractor.
“He doesn’t believe that the cost of his act of conscience should be a life behind bars,” says Wizner. “There are lots of times when people violate the law and society decides for one reason or another to look forward rather than backwards. I think that this is one of those cases.”
Presently, Snowden is a guest of Vladimir Putin, having resided in Russia since last June. Snowden reached out to Brazil for asylum, promising the Brazilian government he would assist in its efforts to discover the scope of U.S. surveillance in that nation.
This overture drew the ire of retired General Michael Hayden, former director of both the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Hayden told the CBS Sunday morning show Face the Nation:
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