(WASHINGTON) — Within hours of Edward Snowden’s revealing that he was the source of the National Security Agency surveillance leak last week, thousands of people had signed a petition on the White House website asking for a “full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed.”
“We The People” is a forum for which the White House staff promises to review any petition that receives 100,000 signatures within a month after being posted on the official government site. As of Monday morning, the “Pardon Edward Snowden” petition had more than 13,000 signatures.
Supporters posted the petition Sunday after The Guardian newspaper published the former intelligence worker’s name and an interview in which he explained why he leaked details of the NSA’s sweep of U.S. telephone traffic records.
The petition calls Snowden “a national hero” for blowing the whistle on the surveillance program.
The White House has declined to comment on the case, citing a Justice Department criminal investigation now underway.
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