Edward Joseph Snowden, the former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who leaked classified NSA documents to several media outlets — making available details of NSA’s surveillance programs to the public—has sparked a worldwide controversy and has been at the center of many heated discussions regarding what constitutes a hero or a traitor.
Many people believe Snowden’s actions were noble and are now asking President Obama to issue a presidential pardon to the ex CIA worker. Major newspapers including The New York Times, which had a role in publishing the classified documents, are among those calling for a reduced punishment and pardon, saying Snowden, who is currently residing in Russia “deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight,” and should be praised rather than punished for his actions.
Those on the other side of the issue however, believe Snowden is a whistleblower and far from the patriot many are making him out to be. They believe he deliberately broke the law as a government official and that he should have to face the consequences of his actions.
What side of the issue do you stand on? Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor? Has he brought light to practices that affect us that we should be aware of or did he act inappropriately? Sound off in our poll below.
Edward Snowden Presidential Pardon