If Elected President, Kennedy Will Pardon Snowden on Day One. Here’s Why.

If Elected President, Kennedy Will Pardon Snowden on Day One. Here’s Why.
Nikos Biggs-Chiropolos | April 26, 2024

Nikos Biggs-Chiropolos, The Kennedy Beacon

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. released a

After leaking documents in 2013 that revealed illegal government surveillance led by the National Security Administration (NSA), including upon American citizens (which has been confirmed by Reuters), Snowden was forced to flee from US authorities who want to punish him for sharing this information. Kennedy is firmly opposed to such practices, calling Snowden’s revelations a “critical public service.” And as a man of his word, Kennedy plans to back up his free speech support with the action of pardoning the prominent whistleblower Snowden as soon as he ascends to the White House and even says he will build a statue in Washington in Snowden’s honor “as a civics lesson to the republic.”

From waging war against third-party candidates to punishing whistleblowers and truth tellers, both Democrats and Republicans routinely demonstrate a lack of respect for the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, despite every elected politician taking an oath to do the opposite. Censorship and fear of prosecution for speaking the truth are the new normal; Trump has even floated the possibility of subjecting whistleblowers to the death penalty, and his CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, considered kidnapping and assassinating Julian Assange.

Edward Snowden’s era, however, took place during Obama’s presidency. According to a 2018 Associated Press article, the Obama administration “used the 1917 Espionage Act with unprecedented vigor, prosecuting more people under that law for leaking sensitive information to the public than all the previous administrations combined.”

In a political atmosphere thick with what some viewed as executive overreach, and the potential threat of extrajudicial action, Edward Snowden found himself stranded in Russia in 2013. He had taken information from his employer, third-party intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, about the American National Security Agency’s (NSA) practice of illegally spying on its own citizens, revelations which appeared in The Guardian four months later and were enumerated in the Oscar-winning documentary, Citizenfour, Snowden has remained in Russia ever since, choosing self-exile.

In 2022, Snowden was granted Russian citizenship, but as reported in The Week, he still maintains that he and his wife are Americans and they look forward to eventually returning to the US. There is no indication that he has renounced his American citizenship, as reported by Reuters.

As Republicans and Democrats posture about the evils of Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime, leaders of both parties are absolute about their position that Snowden is a spy and they have every intention of prosecuting him, if given the opportunity. Apparently, the bipartisan approach to systematically encroaching on rights to privacy remains a central theme throughout the government.

On April 12, Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to “reauthorize the nation’s warrantless surveillance powers” by extending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 702 of the bill allows communications from US citizens with foreign individuals abroad under US surveillance to become part of those warrantless investigations.

One of the controversies surrounding this legislation is the fact that the FBI has already used the existing FISA database improperly about 278,000 times. With a sophisticated censorship apparatus in place and bipartisan support for maintaining it, despite the clear erosion of Fourth Amendment rights (as reported by Honest Media), Kennedy stands out as the candidate who has made protecting rights to privacy and freedom of speech the centerpiece of his campaign.

Kennedy’s commitment to protecting these most fundamental American rights is evident in his long-standing advocacy for persecuted journalist Julian Assange, whom he also believes, like Snowden, should be immediately pardoned.

As reported by Honest Media, a coalition of American politicians from the right and left have called on Biden to pardon Assange who, if extradited to the US and convicted, could face a 160-year sentence, or even the death penalty. Biden, who referred to Assange as a “high tech terrorist” in 2010, has signaled tacit support for Assange’s extradition, but the UK will not extradite Assange at this time unless the death penalty is off the table.

Unlike Biden, Kennedy consistently and fearlessly supports the constitutional rights of journalists and whistleblowers to reveal information and rein in American bureaucratic agencies, a position feared by the establishment’s uni-party.

Nikos Biggs-Chiropolos studied government at Georgetown University and interned for several Democratic elected officials and their campaigns, and other affiliated groups. He then earned a master’s degree in urban studies in France, where extremely strict COVID-19 lockdowns led to his political reawakening and inspired him to try to help fix the broken two-party system.

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