Edward Snowden’s Attorney Ben Wizner: Amnesty is Not a Dirty Word

It has been approximately six months since Edward Snowden first exposed the violations of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights by the National Security Agency (NSA). During that time, Congress has held investigations into the extent of the NSA’s activities as new information continued to be released indicating just how rampant the surveillance activities of this agency have become. A can of worms was opened that cannot be stuffed back in the can. Despite the false testimony of government officials, including one James Clapper, no one has been charged with a crime, lost their job or faced any sanction for wrong-doing. Yet, this administration continues to pursue criminal charges against Snowden, denying him amnesty for his crime while promoting amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants in this country.

Snowdens’ legal adviser and ACLU attorney, Ben Wizner, appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday saying the “National Security Agency (NSA) leaker should be pardoned in the same way as officials who lied to Congress or authorized torture, noting that ‘amnesty is not a dirty word.'”

Snowden, who is now residing in Russia on a one year’s political asylum agreement, has expressed a desire to return to the United States; however, his lawyers believe it would be impossible for him to receive a fair trial without the guarantee of amnesty.

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According to Wizner, “The law under which Mr. Snowden is charged, the 1917 Espionage Act, a World War I era statute, doesn’t distinguish between leaks to the press and public interest – and I think we can all agree that some of this information has been profoundly in the public interest – and someone who sells secrets to an enemy for personal profit.”

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Wizner continued saying, “If the law allowed him to make a public interest defense, if the law allowed him to come here and say ‘Look at all the good this has done,’ if the law allowed him to say ‘the government hasn’t been able to prove any harm from these disclosures’ – sure, he would face trial in that kind of system. But for now, he doesn’t believe – and I don’t believe – that the cost of his act of conscience should be a lifetime behind bars.”

Wizner is in contact with Snowden, through encrypted channels, on a regular basis. NBC’s Gregory indicated that for Snowden to return to the United States some type of amnesty deal would be needed.

Wizner responded, “You know, amnesty is not a dirty word. There are a lot of people in this town – including some who have been on your show – who have been given amnesty. We just don’t call it that. Lying to Congress is a crime. Torturing prisoners is a very serious crime. There are lots of time people violate the law and society decides, for one reason or another, to look forward rather than backwards. I think that this is one of those cases. Mr. Snowden’s disclosures have been profoundly valuable.”

So, Eric Holder can lie to Congress, run guns to Mexico drug cartel members in the Fast and Furious debacle which resulted in the death of a border patrol agent, and be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to release subpoenaed documents and get amnesty. Lois Lerner can violate the rules governing the IRS operations, issue a testifying statement, invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, observed to be guilty through exposed emails, and retire with full benefits; she gets amnesty. James Clapper, who blatantly lied to Congress, continues to serve in his capacity as NSA director with impunity. The Bush administration officials, who spied on US citizens without a warrant, have yet to be charged with any crime or be brought before any court. Hillary Clinton has yet to be held accountable, in part, for the deaths of four US citizens in Benghazi.

Topping the list would be the current sitting president who has supported the Muslim Brotherhood, blatantly lied to the American people, violated his oath of office on so many occasions one loses count, engaged in criminal activities too numerous to list, and is suspected of fraud. Congress chooses to look the other way as does the Department of Justice on all of these offenders. In essence, these individuals receive amnesty for their crimes while seeking to enact “justice” against an individual who witnessed acts of despotism and Constitutional violations, believed it was his duty as an American to expose those acts, and became accused of espionage without any proof whatsoever that he released any information to a foreign government.

Welcome to the United Communist States of America, where the ruling elite can violate laws, ignore the Constitution and receive impunity as opposed to those outside the “polit bureau” who can be held indefinitely without due process, be spied upon daily, be searched and objects seized without warrants, be considered terrorists because of innocent affiliations such as Christianity, and be accused of crimes without any proof. In many cities across the nation, the militarization of your police force will insure your security by using military style tactics when conducting traffic stops, suppressing peaceful protests, and investigating misdemeanors.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion on whether Snowden is a traitor or a whistleblower, the fact remains our government is conducting surveillance on all Americans without probable cause; then, storing that information for later use. As someone once said, “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ the government will abuse this information; it’s a matter of ‘when.'” Who is to say that the data gathered is pristine, unchanged or altered when it is finally used against an American whose only guilt is to be a Christian, a gun owner or someone who engages in free speech against government tyranny. Americans have seen how this administration applies the law “equally.”

While the government declares Snowden a criminal, the government considers itself noble in its endeavors to provide security to US citizens by data mining every piece of information generated by American citizen in order to wage war against terrorism. In this administration and with the person currently occupying the White House, hypocrisy knows no bounds and equality of the law is what this person says it is.

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