Federated American Scientists: WHEN THE PRESIDENT PARDONED A LEAKER
Steven Aftergood is in charge of the section of the Federated American Scientists’ website known as “Secrecy News”.
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FAS works to provide science-based analysis of catastrophic threats to national and international security and to develop policy solutions to reduce these threats. FAS experts examine issues related to nuclear weapons policy, disarmament, nuclear energy, radiological and nuclear terrorism, energy security, chemical and biological weapons and government secrecy policy.
Steven has an interesting article on the concept which I noted when posting previously here about the new Oliver Stone movie, “SNOWDEN”, that being that Stone is calling for President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. Mr. Aftergood wrote on September 19, 2016, an article/discussion about a Presidential pardon for NSA-leaker Edward Snowden, excerpted here:
Public discussion of the Edward Snowden case has mostly been a dialog of the deaf, with defenders and critics largely talking past each other at increasing volume. But the disagreements became sharper and more interesting over the past week.
“Mr. Snowden is not a patriot. He is not a whistleblower. He is a criminal,” wrote the members of the House Intelligence Committee in a startling September 15 letter to the President, urging him not to pardon Snowden, contrary to the urging of human rights groups.
“The public narrative popularized by Snowden and his allies is rife with falsehoods, exaggerations, and crucial omissions,” the House Intelligence Committee wrote in the executive summary of an otherwise classified report on Snowden’s disclosures.
Remarkably, however, the House Committee report itself included numerous false statements and misrepresentations, according to an analysis by Barton Gellman, who had reported on Snowden’s disclosures for the Washington Post.
“The report is not only one-sided, not only incurious, not only contemptuous of fact. It is trifling,” wrote Gellman, who identified several apparent errors and falsehoods in the House Committee summary.
What is perhaps worse than what’s contained in the House document, though, is what is missing from it: Congressional intelligence overseers missed the opportunity to perform any reflection or self-criticism concerning their own role in the Snowden matter.
The fact that U.S. intelligence surveillance policies had to be modified in response to the public controversy over Snowden’s disclosures was a tacit admission that intelligence oversight behind closed doors had failed to fulfill its role up to that point. But since the Committee has been unwilling to admit any such failure, it remains unable to take the initiative to rectify its procedures.
Last week, a coalition of non-governmental organizations proposed various changes to House rules that they said would help to improve the quality of intelligence oversight and make it more responsive to congressional needs and to the public interest.
Meanwhile, several human rights organizations launched a campaign to urge President Obama to pardon Snowden.
(snip) Read whole article here please — http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2016/09/snowden-aftermath/
But now Mr. Aftergood has posted a follow-up article which we all should know about. Here is the link:
In recent discussions of whether President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden, it has gone unnoticed that a presidential pardon was once granted to a person who committed an unauthorized disclosure of classified information to the press, effectively erasing his crime.
In 1985, Samuel L. Morison, a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, was convicted under the Espionage Act statutes of providing classified intelligence satellite photographs of a Soviet aircraft carrier to Jane’s Defence Weekly. He was sentenced to two years in prison, of which he served eight months.
But in January 2001, President Clinton issued “a full and unconditional pardon” to Morison.
The fact that a leaker received a pardon is an indication that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information is not so intrinsically heinous a crime as to be categorically beyond official forgiveness. Since one president pardoned a leaker, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that another president might choose to do the same…
(Snip) Please read whole article at fas.org — http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2016/09/morison-pardon/
And then come back here and join a discussion in the comments section below this article. Tell us what you think, yes! Thanks muchly!
Elias Alias, editor