A majority of the members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation say that Edward Snowden should not be given clemency.
This week, a New York Times editorial called for clemency and whistleblower status for Snowden, a former government contractor who has leaked detailed information about the National Security Agency’s extensive domestic and international spying.
Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, along with Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joe Courtney, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. John Larson all say Snowden must face felony charges.
(I am still waiting for a response from Rep. John Larson.)
“Edward Snowden should come back to the United States and be held accountable for his actions,” Murphy said in a statement released by his office Friday. “If Snowden truly cared about exposing illegal activity, he should have gone through proper channels using statutory whistleblower protections. Instead, he stole untold amounts of sensitive, classified information, fled to China and Russia, and made these secrets available to countries with adversarial interests toward the United States. Snowden’s revelations have touched off an important debate, but this fact does not absolve him from responsibility for his crimes, especially when he had other avenues through which to raise these issues.”
But U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney suggested that a plea bargain might be a good idea. His spokesperson, Liz Donovan, said:
Congressman Courtney has consistently voted against giving sweeping powers to the NSA—including changes that weakened FISA warrant standards in 2007 and extension of the Patriot Act without reform—for precisely the reasons that the Snowden revelations have highlighted. Congressman Courtney believes in the integrity America’s courts, and given that Mr. Snowden has been charged by federal prosecutors, he should return to the U.S., where he can present an argument for his innocence or mitigating circumstances. Given the unique nature of this case, the Justice Department should make a bona fide attempt to negotiate a balanced path forward, which may include a plea bargain process that could reduce the severity of any punishment.
Congressman Courtney continues to support bipartisan efforts to reform our intelligence programs to increase oversight and accountability, strengthen protections for whistleblowers, and rebalance our security activities with the rights afforded to American citizens under the constitution. Continue reading