While America rages over whether former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor who should be locked up or a hero for revealing the NSA's spying activities (PRISM and phone data collection), a petition on WhiteHouse.gov is gaining some momentum.
The petition calls on the Obama Administration to give Snowden a pardon for his alleged crimes. It should be noted that, while lawmakers, pundits and Washington insiders are calling for Snowden to be charged, the White House and the Justice Department have not made any official move on the matter as of this writing.
"Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs," the petition reads.
The short and simple petition has already managed to garner 52,081 of the 100,000 it needs by July 9 to get a response from the White House.
You can find out more here.
After outing himself to The Guardian in an extensive video interview, Snowden disappeared from the hotel room he was staying at in Hong Kong. The Guardian says that he is still somewhere in the city, though his exact whereabouts are unknown. Snowden has no doubt that the United States government will likely seek to charge him and extradite him back to the U.S.
We'll have more on this story as it develops.
On a related note, earlier in the day 86 organizations sent a letter to Congress asking them to stop the government from spying on Americans.
You can learn more about that here.