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Whistleblower Edward Snowden: To Pardon, Or Not To Pardon46:36
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With guest host Jane Clayson

To pardon — or not to pardon — Edward Snowden, the man who blew the lid off the U.S. government’s spying on everyone. Plus, the latest on the terror attacks investigation in New York and New Jersey.

Edward Snowden is seen on a television screen via video link from Moscow during a news conference to call upon President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden before he leaves office on Sept. 14, 2016, in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Edward Snowden is seen on a television screen via video link from Moscow during a news conference to call upon President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden before he leaves office on Sept. 14, 2016, in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Whatever you think of Edward Snowden, traitor or loyal whistleblower. He has changed the conversation. He blew the lid off of the NSA’s mass surveillance programs --and shared a whole lot of extremely sensitive national secrets with the world. He’s still hiding somewhere in Russia. Now there is a big push to get him pardoned –and a big push to make sure that never happens. This hour On Point,  what to do about Edward Snowden. — Jane Clayson

Guests

Josh Meyer, senior investigative reporter for NBC News. (@JoshMeyerDC)

Dinah PoKempner, general counsel of Human Rights Watch. (@DinahPoKempner)

Melissa Mahle, former operations officer at the CIA who served in the Middle East. She is now a strategic consultant for the international law firm Dentons and serves on the advisory board of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

Jane Harman, president and CEO of the Wilson Center. She is a former Democratic congresswoman from California. She served eight years on the House Armed Services Committee, eight on the Homeland Security Committee and eight on the House Intelligence Committee, where she was the senior Democratic member.

From The Reading List

New York Times Opinion: Pardon Edward Snowden — "Edward J. Snowden, the American who has probably left the biggest mark on public policy debates during the Obama years, is today an outlaw. Mr. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed to journalists secret documents detailing the United States’ mass surveillance programs, faces potential espionage charges, even though the president has acknowledged the important public debate his revelations provoked."

The Intercept: New Film Tells The Story Of Edward Snowden; Here Are The Surveillance Programs He Helped Expose — "Stone’s rendering of Snowden’s life combines facts with Hollywood invention, covering Snowden being discharged from the military after an injury in basic training, meeting his girlfriend, and training in the CIA with fictitious mentors (including Nicolas Cage’s character, most likely a composite of whistleblowers like Thomas Drake and Bill Binney). Snowden then goes undercover, only to see an op turn ugly; becomes a contractor for the CIA and NSA; and finally chooses to leave the intelligence community and disclose its vast surveillance apparatus, some of which he helped develop."

The Guardian: Edward Snowden Makes 'Moral' Case For Presidential Pardon — " 'Yes, there are laws on the books that say one thing, but that is perhaps why the pardon power exists – for the exceptions, for the things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page but when we look at them morally, when we look at them ethically, when we look at the results, it seems these were necessary things, these were vital things,' he said."

Human Rights Watch: UN Report — Protect Public Disclosures Of Wrongdoing

This program aired on September 19, 2016.

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