Ron Paul, a former Texas congressman, has launched a petition seeking clemency for Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked data about the NSA surveillance program, starting a national debate on American citizens’ privacy, according to the Ron Paul Channel.
The online petition is available here with a video message by Mr. Ron Paul, urging people to sign the petition.
- By signing this petition, you are telling the US government that Mr. Snowden deserves the right to come home without the fear of persecution or imprisonment.
The congressman has urged readers to help “bring Edward home” before his temporary asylum in Russia expires on 31 July, 2014.
- Edward Snowden sacrificed his livelihood, citizenship, and freedom by exposing the disturbing scope of the NSA’s worldwide spying program. Thanks to one man’s courageous actions, Americans know about the truly egregious ways their government is spying on them,” he added further.
A physician by profession, before serving the Congress intermittently, Paul is famous for his libertarian views quite often contradicting the views of the Republican party members.
Earlier, Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), filed a law suit against US President Obama and the NSA in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which requires obtaining a judicial warrant before conducting a search.
- There’s a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge’s warrant, and without individualization. I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records. I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says,” he said.
However, his views on clemency to Snowden are different from his father:
- I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison. I think that’s inappropriate. And I think that’s what he faced. I think the only way he’s coming home is if someone would offer him a fair trial with a reasonable sentence,” he added.
However, the Republican representative from New York, Peter King, feels otherwise. He said, “Rand Paul does not know what he’s talking about.”
- And, Rand Paul is really spreading fear among the American people. To me, he’s either totally uninformed or he’s part of that hate America crowd that I thought left us in the 1960s,” he added further.
So, have you signed the petition?