Snowden Loses In Norway

Edward Snowden's bid to guarantee that he would not be extradited to the US if he visited Norway has been rejected by the Norwegian supreme court. 

Even so, 31 writers have signed an open letter that features a request for President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden. Now fifteen former staff members of the Church committee, the 1970s congressional inquiry into illegal activity by the CIA, wrote jointly to the US president Obama calling on him to end Snowden’s “untenable exile in Russia, which benefits nobody”.

Norway

The former National Security Agency contractor has filed the lawsuit in April, attempting to secure safe passage to Norway to pick up a free speech award. It had already been rejected by Oslo District court and an appeals court.

Snowden is a former NSA analyst who leaked secret US surveillance details three years ago. As a result, he is facing charges in the US which could put him in prison for up to 30 years and potential Trump officials have suggested that Snowden should be executed.

Mr Snowden's lawyers have previously said if he were extradited to the US, it would be "a foregone conclusion" that he would be convicted and jailed.

Mr Snowden has been living in Russia, out of reach of the US authorities, since the leaks in 2013. He had hoped to travel to Oslo to receive the Ossietzky Prize, for "outstanding efforts for freedom of expression". 

The award was due to be presented in November. But the Norwegian Supreme Court said it could not rule on the legality of any move to extradite Mr Snowden as the US had so far made no such request.

Letters Supporting Edward Snowden

The campaign to persuade Barack Obama to allow the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to return home to the US without facing prolonged prison time has received powerful new backing from some of the most experienced intelligence experts in the country.

Fifteen former staff members of the Church committee, the 1970s congressional investigation into illegal activity by the CIA and other intelligence agencies, have written jointly to Obama calling on him to end Snowden’s “untenable exile in Russia, which benefits nobody”. Over eight pages of tightly worded argument, they remind the president of the positive debate that Snowden’s disclosures sparked, prompting one of the few examples of truly bipartisan legislative change in recent years.

They also remind Obama of the long record of leniency that has been shown by his own and previous administrations towards those who have broken secrecy laws. They even recall how their own Church committee revealed that six US presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon, were guilty of abusing secret powers.

“There is no question that Snowden broke the law. But previous cases in which others violated the same law suggest leniency. And most importantly, Snowden’s actions were not for personal benefit, but were intended to spur reform. And they did so,” the signatories write.

As the 15 staff members point out, the committee investigation led to the disclosure of jaw-dropping illegal acts including the planting of an FBI informant inside the civil rights group the NAACP, attempts to push Martin Luther King into killing himself, and Cointelpro, the vast program run secretly by the FBI to disrupt progressive organisations in the US.

And Thirty-One Writers

Now 31 writers have signed an open letter that features a request for President Barack Obama to issue a pardon for the infamous whistleblower, Edward Snowden.

Some of the participants include Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, and National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

“Having sworn an oath to support and defend the US Constitution, Snowden proceeded to do just that, by releasing the information he’d uncovered to reputable institutions of our free press, in accordance with Jefferson’s principle that ‘wherever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.’ 

We the people are now well informed, and yet the man who has risked his freedom in the interests of our better self-governance languishes in Russian exile, faced with the prospect of returning home to a trial deprived of a public interest defense, and so, in all likelihood, a cell. This, in our opinion, is exactly the type of circumstance for which the presidency has been invested with the pardon privilege.”

However, President Barack Obama said on the 25th November that he 'can't' pardon Edward Snowden, the former NSA analyst who in 2013 revealed details of classified US government surveillance programs.

The president told the German publication Der Spiegel over that weekend that he 'can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves'. 

Civil libertarians, privacy rights advocates and anti-surveillance activists have been vocal in recent weeks, urging the president to issue a pardon and thus protect Snowden from criminal prosecution in the waning days of his administration. 

Snowden is wanted for allegedly violating the Espionage Act by leaking sensitive information about US government surveillance to journalists. 

BBC:    AdWeek:       Mail:   Guardian:       Can Snowden Testify in Berlin?:   

Snowden Appeals to Switzerland to Grant Asylum:       No. Petition to Pardon Snowden Rejected by Obama:

 



 

 

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