So, Edward Snowden wants clemency now from the very country which he betrayed and whose national security he put in peril via the disclosure of secrets that compromised sources and methods. To say the least, I am not sympathetic to the plea. The hype to the contrary notwithstanding, neither Snowden nor Bradley Manning are heroes, and neither of them should be treated like heroes by anyone who cares for American national security. In the past Snowden condemned the very people who committed the crimes that he committed. He made life harder for genuine whistleblowers who uncover genuine crimes, and Snowden’s attempts to position himself as some kind of hero of transparency are nothing short of laughable. Whatever one’s problems with the activities of the NSA–and as the link mentions, I have problems with the activities of the NSA–the fact of the matter is that Snowden revealed those activities in the worst way possible, with no thought given to the fact that some secrets have to be kept and with no thought given to the fact that his activities harmed the interests of the country he pretends to be loyal to.
So, Edward Snowden does not deserve clemency. In fact, he deserves quite the opposite–prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Here’s hoping that the Obama administration treats his request with the contempt that it deserves.