The White House and top US lawmakers have not been moved by recent requests for clemency from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who currently resides in Moscow.
Snowden argued in an article published by German news magazine Der Spiegel Sunday that he deserved clemency because he shared useful information about the extent of the US government’s surveillance activities.
“Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested,” Snowden wrote in Der Spiegel. “Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.”
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The US charged Snowden with unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person under the US Espionage Act, as well as theft of government property.
Dan Pfeiffer, a senior White House adviser, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the White House is not considering clemency for Snowden, adding that the former NSA contractor should return to the United States to stand trial.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D.-Calif., told CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, "He's done this enormous disservice to our country. I think the answer is 'no clemency.’ ”
Also speaking on Face the Nation, House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers, R.-Mich., said, "He needs to come back and own up." Rogers claimed that Snowden has shared information with Russian intelligence and helped three groups associated with Al Qaeda evade US attempts to spy on them.