The White House rejected a call Tuesday to pardon Edward Snowden, saying the former intelligence contractor should “be judged by a jury of his peers” for leaking US government secrets.
The US administration re-iterated its tough stance against the exiled fugitive, whom supporters regard as a whistleblower, in response to a petition on the White House website signed by more than 167,000 people.
Lisa Monaco, an advisor on homeland security and counterterrorism, said :
Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it
She said that Snowden, who has been granted asylum in Russia after he leaked documents on vast US surveillance programs to journalists, is “running away from the consequences of his actions.”
“If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions,” she wrote.
He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime
The US administration has branded Snowden a hacker and a traitor who endangered lives by revealing the extent of the National Security Agency spying program.