President Obama: Guarantee due process for Edward Snowden

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Edward Snowden risked everything to expose the secret NSA spying program of our calls and emails. On Friday night we learned what shape those risks would take—in a late news release the Obama Administration hoped we wouldn’t notice.

Now he’s been formally charged with violating the Espionage Act—the same law used to charge Bradley Manning, who provided information to WikiLeaks.

By bringing to light information that the powers-that-be would rather keep secret, whistleblowers like Snowden play a fundamental role in our democracy. We can’t just let them be thrown into darkness.

As the Department of Justice moves in on Snowden, we need to raise our voices to ensure that Snowden is treated fairly and legally, and that the massive abuse of government power, that he risked his safety to expose, finally comes to an end.

To President Obama:

We stand opposed to any attempt to treat Edward Snowden as a traitor.  Our government must also not pursue the case against him outside the ordinary course of American justice. He is entitled to the rule of law and constitutional protections that so many before us died to defend.

Snowden is innocent until proven guilty before a court of law and he must be afforded all of his rights as an American citizen. If he is brought to an American court, he must be afforded every opportunity to defend himself and convince a judge that what he did was justifiable and patriotic, even if he is charged with violating laws that themselves pose a threat to our democracy. 

Finally, we say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know. We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great.

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