The White House responded to a petition Tuesday demanding Edward Snowden receive pardon more than two years after it was created.
Published June 9, 2013, shortly after Snowden fled the United States after blowing the whistle on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, the petition declared that the former NSA subcontractor should receive "full, free, and absolute pardon" for his crimes. It accumulated 167,955 signatures.
In a response Tuesday, Lisa Monaco, President Obama’s adviser on homeland security and counterterrorism, alleged that Snowden’s actions had "severe consequences" for U.S. security and did not "constructively" address the dilemma of balancing civil liberty and privacy protection with national security.
If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and–importantly–accept the consequences of his actions. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers–not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he’s running away from the consequences of his actions.
The Obama adviser did not elaborate on the "consequences" of Snowden’s leaks, which were publicly disclosed by publications like the Guardian and the New York Times.
Instead, Monaco emphasized Obama’s effort to work with congressional lawmakers to "secure appropriate reforms" balancing constitutional protections with national security.
In a Tuesday blog post on Medium, White House chief digital officer Jason Goldman bragged that the administration has now responded to all petitions backlogged in its petition platform "We the People."