Edward Snowden is possibly “the most influential whistle-blower of our generation,” says Trevor Timm, the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Earlier this week, Timm joined with representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch to formally ask President Obama to pardon the former NSA contractor who brought to light bombshell revelations about mass surveillance in the U.S. The campaign to request a presidential pardon was timed with the release of the new Oliver Stone biopic, Snowden.
“It’s certainly an outside chance that he is going to get pardoned, but I think it’s something Obama can and will consider,” Timm said during an interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie. He continued: “As he’s winding down his presidency, [Obama] is probably looking at his legacy. And one of the most disappointing aspects of his presidency has been his treatment of whistle-blowers and the fact that they have prosecuted more leakers in history than any other administration. He himself has said that this debate that Snowden sparked has made the country stronger.”
Timm sat down with Gillespie to discuss the case for pardoning Snowden, the impact the Oliver Stone film will have on the cause, and whether a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton administration would be more likely to consider Snowden’s case.