By the Yes Lab - On Saturday, a capacity crowd at the Los Angeles Convention Center saw Edward Snowden make a surprise in-person public appearance, his first on U.S. soil since receiving a pardon from President Obama last week. The crowd at thebi-partisan event immediately burst into cheers, jumped to their feet, and rushed in to take Snowden's photo. US presidents have pardoned thousands of people accused of or convicted of crimes, often because their actions were deemed to be in the public interest. "Edward Snowden's actions launched an extraordinary global debate and led to the most significant reforms in intelligence oversight in a generation," said Ben Wizner of the ACLU. "He should be thanked, not charged with espionage and locked in a cage."
Now that President Obama is proposing that the NSA end its bulk collection of data, it is time that Obama take this narrative to the next logical conclusion and offer a full and unconditional pardon to Edward Snowden. President Obama’s War on whistle blowers (he has charged eight individuals with Espionage, compared to only three under all previous presidents) needs to end. His recent proposal, even though it was forced by the courts, and to a large degree Mark Zuckerberg and the other titans of the tech world who warned that the U.S. government spying programs would hurt business, is still an admission that Edward Snowden’s actions were justified.