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The President of the United States has an amazing power - the power of clemency.  While President Obama has not exercised this power as much as his predecessors, he has made several key pardons.

While past Presidents made pardons de jure, President Obama has preferred more de facto pardons.  When the telecoms illegally allowed Americans to be wiretapped without a warrant, then-candidate Obama supported retroactive immunity.  Americans illegally tortured who knows how many people in black sites across the globe, incalculably damaging America's reputation and engendering hatred for our country across the globe. We need to look forward, directed the President.  Wall Street nearly destroyed the entire American economy, in its lust for greed and disregard for the law.  But President Obama made sure that there would be no legal repercussions - his administration was "the only thing between [Wall Street] and the pitchforks."

Now, due to the brave actions of Edward Snowden, we are beginning to discover the horrifying degree of surveillance that the NSA has directed against the American people.  Secret surveillance, authorized by secret courts, secretly briefed to Congress - is it any secret that the American people cry out for justice against this destruction of constitutional rights?  

And yet, perhaps feeling that the pitchforks may soon be pointed their way, many members of Congress and even the President's administration have begun saying that investigations should be aimed at Mr. Snowden!  

President Obama should remember his past glowing words about whistleblowers.  He called whisteblowing acts of courage and patriotism that should be encouraged.  President Obama, you can, and should, do something NOW to encourage such bravery and patriotism.  Pardon Edward Snowden.  He deserves it, at least as much as the criminals you have supported in the past.

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