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Snowden deserving of clemency

by Greg Belfrage

Edward Snowden has told a German TV station that there's a "significant" threat to his life.

"These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket, and then watch as I die in the shower," Snowden said.

Snowden was referring to a story published by BuzzFeed which cited threats against him by unnamed federal government officials.

Read More: America’s Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead

President Obama has said Snowden is charged with three felonies and should return to America to make his case before the courts and the public. 

However, Snowden says that's not possible.

"Its interesting because he mentions three felonies. what he doesn't say is that the crimes that he's charged with me with are crimes that don't allow me to make my case. They don't allow me to defend myself in an open court to the public and convince a jury that what I did was to their benefit," Snowden says.

Snowden says there are times throughout history when the law has allowed governments to do things "which were not right". He also believes the information he leaked didn't cause harm, but served the public good.

In my view, Snowden is absolutely right. He pulled the sheet off widespread government surveillance which early court rulings have said were clearly unconstitutional.

There are those who believe that Snowden should be prosecuted for the laws he violated.

However, I believe there are times when the ends do justify the means. 

The government has insulated itself with laws designed to serve the interests of the government elite, not those of the people it serves. Snowden had few options available to him to shine the light of truth on the government's activities. He should receive clemency.

The question in Snowden's case is one of the greater public good. Who has better served the interests of freedom and liberty... the NSA or Edward Snowden?

The answer to that one is a slam dunk for Snowden.

Greg Belfrage is heard mornings 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.