The Obama administration will not pardon former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for leaking classified information, the White House announced on Tuesday.
Lisa Monaco, President Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, posted a response on Tuesday to a two-year-old petition to pardon Snowden, which was created under the "We the People" section of the White House website. It was signed by 167,954 people, and asked Obama to issue "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."
Monaco gave a lengthy response to why the administration does not view the man who shed light on the NSA's domestic surveillance program favorably.
"Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr. Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it," Monaco wrote. "If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and, importantly, accept the consequences of his actions."