Ron Paul Launches Petition To Bring Snowden Safely Back To US

Ron Paul appears at a town hall meeting in College Park, Md., Wednesday, March 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)Mint Press -by Katie Rucke

“Edward Snowden sacrificed his livelihood, citizenship and freedom by exposing the disturbing scope of the NSA’s worldwide spying program,” said former Rep. Ron Paul in a video released on his website Thursday.

“Thanks to one man’s courageous actions, Americans know about the truly egregious ways their government is spying on them,” Paul said, which is why the former lawmaker has started a petition demanding the National Security Agency whistleblower be granted clemency.  

Snowden has been living in Moscow under a temporary asylum arrangement since releasing thousands of sensitive documents on the NSA monitoring program last year. Since the NSA revelations, the Obama administration and several members of Congress have called for his prosecution.

“Instead of applauding him for his bravery and patriotism, the U.S. government labels Snowden a traitor,” Paul said.

Since Snowden’s temporary asylum expires on July 31, supporters of the NSA whistleblower are now working to ensure Snowden returns safely to the U.S. before then.

“By signing this petition, you are telling the U.S. government that Mr. Snowden deserves the right to come home without the fear of persecution or imprisonment,” Paul’s website stated.

Though it’s not clear how the Obama administration will acknowledge Paul’s petition, Attorney General Eric Holder recently said he was willing to make a deal with the whistleblower, so long as Snowden accepted responsibility for leaking highly classified government information.

According to a source close to Paul, the petition is one of many petitions circulating around the Internet, asking for clemency for Snowden. It’s likely because of this fact that MintPress learned the Obama administration has not responded to Paul’s petition, at least not yet.

Concerns for the safety of Snowden have intensified in the last few days after the European Parliament committee voted on Wednesday to not extend asylum protections to Snowden, and rejected a proposal for EU members to drop any criminal charges against Snowden and “offer him protection from prosecution, extradition or rendition.”

National Security vs. privacy rights

Paul’s campaign comes after his son, Sen. Rand Paul filed a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama, the NSA and others involved in the federal government’s surveillance practices on Wednesday, for violating the privacy rights of millions of Americans — rights that are granted under the U.S. Constitution.

In addition to Obama, other defendants include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander.

“There’s a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge’s warrant, and without individualization,” Paul said.

“I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying; I’m not against looking at phone records. I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”

However, unlike his father, Sen. Paul doesn’t think Snowden deserves clemency — just leniency.

“I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison. I think that’s inappropriate. And I think that’s what he faced,” Sen. Paul said. “I think the only way he’s coming home is if someone would offer him a fair trial with a reasonable sentence.”

Even the New York Times and U.K. publication The Guardian have published editorials in recent weeks calling for Obama to allow Snowden to come back to the U.S. and face a fair trial, since his publication of NSA secrets — although unauthorized — proved the NSA “exceeded its mandate and abused its authority.

“When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government,” a recent NYT editorial argued. “President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowden’s vilification and give him an incentive to return home.”

Though the NYT acknowledges Snowden may have committed a crime, the newspaper wrote “he has done his country a great service,” and added “It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.”

8 thoughts on “Ron Paul Launches Petition To Bring Snowden Safely Back To US

  1. Ron, shame on you, dont tell me you trust this government. If you do I got some native Americans to set you straight.

    1. Well … this is very telling.

      Because RP has a face that the public trusts, he is the one designated to get the people to go along with “insisting” that Snowden be returned “safely(?)”. No … once returned, Snowden will be done away with. I certainly hope the American population can see through this ploy.
      . . .

  2. .
    Snowden must not come back…for a long time anyway….

    And he needs to watch his back…

    This is not the time to suddenly feel “trusting”.
    or I could be wrong….

  3. Snowden took how many many thousands (millions?) documents of which he has released how few?

    The Guardian/Snowden is reminiscent of Sheriff Joe that has ground breaking revelations to be released Monday that never occur.

  4. This whole article is a joke. Just like Ron Paul and Snowden. One’s a coward while the other is controlled opposition. This is more propaganda to make the public actually think someone is doing something about our treasonous government. This is just to calm the fires for the elite because the heat is too high for the frog that wants to jump out before the elites let it. When are people ever going to learn……

    Only way to end this shit is by the barrel of a gun enforced by the power of We the People. Nothing else. That’s it. That’s it. That’s it! Don’t make me repeat it for a fourth time.

  5. Snowden is controlled opposition. A hero which only exposes the tip of the iceberg and gives Americans a false sense of justice being served. The true extent of how badly our rights are and have been violated is probably far far greater than his “leaks” have exposed. If he were wanted dead, dead he would be by any means necessary. Someone or something else had a potential to be leaked that would be closer to the truth of the matter and he was manufactured to play the other side of the coin. Remember, the opposition has a loooong history of playing good cop/bad cop. Controlling both sides of the story is how the news/joos have controlled public perception. I don’t really believe a jew-run media would actually focus on such an adversary of a jew-run totalitarian communist, do you? I hope not! “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”

    ― Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

      1. Get outta my head NC! Sorry if I mirrored your thought simultaneously. Posted and went downstairs to check my bob, came up and saw your post. The media is way too sugary-sweet on that Snowden cat for him to be real. The last person they loved that much was oblamo?!

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