The White House issued an official statement in response to a petition that has gathered more than 160,000 signatures requesting a pardon for Edward Snowden.

It’s typical of what I would expect from them. In their official response they quote:

"We have to make some important decisions about how to protect ourselves and sustain our leadership in the world, while upholding the civil liberties and privacy protections that our ideals and our Constitution require."

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.

Tell me how. Give me an example of these severe consequences. Or does that fall under “national security” too? We’re not allowed to know what the severe consequences were; we just have to believe that they happened.

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. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers –

Do you really think he’ll get judged by a jury of his peers?

-and not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions.

I would too! There isn’t one chance in hell that I would come back and go in front of the “mock jury” that they’ll have for him. Just like Chelsea Manning. Did a jury of his peers judge him? No. He faced a military tribunal, which put her in jail for 45 years.

We live in a dangerous world. We continue to face grave security threats like terrorism, cyber-attacks, and nuclear proliferation that our intelligence community must have all the lawful tools it needs to address. The balance between our security and the civil liberties that our ideals and our Constitution require deserves robust debate and those who are willing to engage in it here at home."

I want to see the government give examples of where he jeopardized national security and put people in danger. You’ll notice that they never come out with any specifics; they simply state it as fact. Maybe if they told us the truth we could begin to trust our government again.

-Jesse Ventura

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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