Should Snowden And Assange Pardon The US Government?


Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

President Trump is saying that he might issue a pardon to Edward Snowden. For some reason, he hasn’t said the same thing about Julian Assange.

But a pardon suggests that the person being pardoned has done something wrong.

Neither Snowden and Assange has done anything wrong – at least not in a moral sense. It is the U.S. government – and specifically the national-security state branch of the federal government – that has engaged in terrible wrongdoing – wrongdoing that Snowden and Assange revealed to the American people and the people of the world.

Therefore, the real question is: Should Snowden and Assange pardon the U.S. for having destroyed a large part of their lives and liberty?

Oh, sure, the two of them technically violated the federal government’s national-security laws, rules, and regulations against revealing the dark-side, sordid policies and practices of the national-security establishment. Big deal. Those laws, rules, and regulations are illegitimate, at least in a moral sense. Why should the dark-side, sordid policies and practices of a government be immune from disclosure?

The American people have now become so accustomed to living under a national-security state form of governmental structure that many of them tend toward deferring to the laws, rules, and regulations that come with a national-security state. Thus, when the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA refer to Snowden and Assange as “enemies of the state” or “traitors,” the tendency of many Americans is to blindly accept their assessment.

Of course, it works that way under every national-security state. Look at China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, They too are all national-security states. Like the U.S. national-security state, they all engage in dark-side, sordid policies and practices. And like the U.S. national-security state, they go after anyone who discloses such policies and practices with a vengeance. And most of their citizens blindly and loyally go along with it all.

The real question, however, is not whether Snowden and Assange should pardon the U.S. government. In fact, the real question isn’t even whether it should be a crime for people to disclose the dark-side, sordid policies and practices of a national-security state.

The real question — one that unfortunately will not be discussed in the presidential race — is whether it’s time to end America’s 75-year experiment as a national-security state.

A national-security state is a totalitarian form of governmental structure, one that empowers a government to engage, either secretly or openly, in dark-side, sordid policies and practices, such as torture, assassination, coups, murder, regime-change operations, invasions, bribery, kidnappings, indefinite detention, denial of due process, denial of trial by jury, and denial of speedy trial.

Keep in mind that the United States was founded as a limited-government republic, not a national-security state. In fact, if the Constitution had proposed a national-security state, there is no possibility that the American people would have approved the Constitution. That would have meant that the nation would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, a third type of governmental system under which the federal government’s powers were so weak and limited that it didn’t even have the power to tax people.

It wasn’t until the end of World War II that the federal government was converted into a national-security state. The rationale was that in order to prevent the communists, especially those that governed the Soviet Union (which, ironically, had been America’s wartime ally and Nazi Germany’s enemy) from from taking over the United States, it would be necessary to become a national-security state, just like the communist regimes were. A limited-government republic, it was said, would be insufficient to defeat a foreign regime that wielded omnipotent dark-side, sordid powers.

I challenge that notion. The best way to have opposed communism would have been to remain a free society and a limited-government republic, not by adopting the governmental structure and dark-side, sordid policies and practices of the communists.

Nonetheless, one thing is crystal clear: The Cold War ended in 1989 and so did the justification for converting the federal government into a national-security state in the first place.

By disclosing the dark-side, sordid policies and practices of the U.S. national-security state, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have performed an invaluable service to the American people. They have helped remind us that this is not what America is supposed to be all about.

Assange and Snowden deserve the praise and thanks of every American. The best way we can honor them is by dismantling America’s Cold War legacy of a national-security state and restoring America’s founding system of a limited-government republic.


  1. The thing about Assange people have to keep in mind is he is not and has never been a US citizen. Therefor there is no duty of loyalty on his part to the US or America. He is a publisher. An Australian born publisher.

    The things wikileaks published, while I didn’t know about particular instances or details, didn’t surprise me in the least.

  2. Snowden was almost certainly a planted agent, probably using the compromised OPM files the Obama admin allowed to be accessed by the Chinese and others. Death penalty, preferably via a bullet into the back of his neck.

    Assange? Enemy agent. Again, death penalty.

    Manning? Another one who never should have had a clearance. He, and the entire decision-tree that enabled his recruitment, enabled his training, and then forced his Security Manager to approve him keeping his clearance in order to keep up the numbers for the Iraq deployment all need to have public executions, preferably by means of some appropriately macabre technique. I vote for drawing and quartering. All of them, right up to the tippy-top where they felt it was imperative to enable the recruitment of the sexually confused little darling in the first fucking place. There are reasons that we didn’t give these creatures clearances in the past, and those reasons are that their “issues” usually include and entire constellation of accompanying mental health problems that preclude them being placed in “positions of trust”.

    The thing that these three most damaged wasn’t US security–I agree that there’s been chicanery aplenty in the entire system, and that’s the main reason the CIA and FBI turned on GEN Flynn, as he had promised to audit the bastards. No, the real thing they damaged was revealing persons and techniques that enabled the enemy to compromise our networks and kill our agents. China managed to roll up our entire human intel network over there, and that happened only with the connivance of our own intel agencies that enabled the identities of those “assets” to be revealed to them. The Taliban killed off informers and all sorts of other people who’d secretly been working for us in Afghanistan, along with the Iraqi “insurgents” doing the same thing in Iraq.

    The number of bodies on Manning, Assange, and Snowden is literally incalculable. All of those dead are people who worked for us, and who the “morally pure” threesome could have cared less about. Assange even made statements to the effect that anyone killed by his publication of their identities deserved whatever they got for working for us. Fuck the lot of them. Put the three of them in front of me, and I’ll cheerfully accept prosecution for executing them. I would only hope that I’d be able to kill them in some unpleasant way, just the same as their very real victims died.

    They deserve to suffer, and suffer long, lingering deaths like the ones they condemned our agents to. Unlike our intelligence community, I feel an obligation to those men and women. Manning, in particular, revealed things that got people identified and killed by the enemy, and the killings included innocent family members.

    • Isn’t Snowden the one who weasled off to China and later Russia? (I won’t be troubled to google the little snake.) If he’d stood loyal to his country and faced the music that we’d given him, I suppose I’d consider a pardon. But there’s no way Russia took him in without some quid pro quo, so he can rot there till the Russians give him two in the hat.

      Say what you want about Manning—and there’s plenty to say, at least he faced the music.

      Assange is a different kettle of fish. But Snowden? Yeah, the FSB will get him someday when he’s outlived his usefulness and I won’t be the least bit sorry. Little snake.


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