The fact they are even considering a pardon for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shows how low the Republican party has sunk under Donald Trump, believes Susan Rice, former national security advisor in the Obama administration.
The possibility that criminal charges against Snowden may be dropped was floated by the US president this week. The idea triggered an outpouring of public support, including from such senior US officials as Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky. There were also some strongly negative reactions, with one of the loudest objections coming from Susan Rice, the former national security advisor under Barack Obama.
“I. Just. Can’t. Congratulations GOP. This is who you are now,” she wrote in a tweet.
While Rice’s position was angrily rebuked by many people – including journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose reporting on Snowden leaks won him a Pulitzer Prize – it is hardly surprising. The mass surveillance scandal happened in 2013, just as Rice was trading her chair as Washington’s envoy to the UN for that of security advisor, and her opinion on whether Snowden deserves a pardon was the same then.
However, the irony of a top Democrat, who was reportedly considered as a possible vice-president pick for the Joe Biden ticket, attacking Trump and Republicans from the right was not lost on some commenters.
Some said Biden has dodged a bullet going for Kamala Harris instead of Rice, while others pointed out that Barack Obama’s former VP is likely on the same page as his fellow top member of that administration anyway.
Although (thankfully), Amb. Rice will not be VP, there is every reason to believe @JoeBiden is on the same page here, that whistleblowing is unforgivable. Shameful. Snowden should be pardoned today. Right now. https://t.co/1Bv4bF3Wqr
— Vincent *Fish in the Milk* Rivas-Flores (@vincentrivasfl) August 16, 2020
There is no shortage of public figures in the Biden corner who wouldn’t want Trump to pardon Snowden, either. MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin joined Rice in her shaming of the GOP for not standing up to the potential move. The take offered by her colleague Malcolm Nance is that both Trump and Snowden are traitors to the country.
Civil rights activist Shaun King took a potshot at never-Trumpers who would rather see Snowden in exile than being pardoned by the incumbent president. He said doing so was just “dumb.”
I hope Trump does pardon Edward Snowden. And it’s dumb for you to say you hope he doesn’t just because you hate Trump.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 16, 2020
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