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A federal criminal complaint filed against Edward Snowden on June 14, 2013, accused him of stealing and distributing government documents and classified information without authorization. Two years later, it is time for the US government to grant him an official pardon.
Amnesty could require Snowden to admit to criminal offenses. But given the limitations on his ability to defend himself in a federal court and the strong likelihood that he would be convicted, I believe he would accept the deal.
To understand what’s at stake for Snowden, it is helpful to remember what happened when Daniel Ellsberg leaked a top-secret study about US decision-making in Vietnam. Advising Ellsberg shortly after he took the Pentagon Papers and before he released them, I told him he would most likely be convicted and serve a long sentence in a maximum-security prison. Snowden got the same advice.................
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