Three Months After It Cleared The 100K Signature Threshold, 'Pardon Snowden' Petition Still Unanswered

from the 100K-signatures-plus-if-we-feel-like-it dept

Please hold your feigned shock until the end of the post, but the administration has yet to respond to the We the People petition to pardon Edward Snowden. Despite the fact that the petition cleared the (recently increased) 100,000 signature hurdle easily and with plenty of time to spare (it currently sits at 137,000), it still has not been addressed by the White House.

According to the spokeperson contacted by US News, the administration will get to it when it gets to it.

“Response times vary,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told U.S. News in an email Friday, responding to a request for White House comment on the two-month [now three-month] delay. “We’re not in a position to comment on the substance of a response before it has been issued,” she added.

Nope, can’t comment on this one, not even nearly four months from the initial leak. But the White House hasn’t held off on commenting on other, more recent petitions, even those that fell severely short of the arbitrary 100,000-signature mark. It answered one on saving the Johnson Valley OHV area, even though it topped out at 29,500 signatures. It took time to offer its thoughts on protecting the rights of non-religious military members, something 24,393 signatories were concerned about. Fighting pediatric cancer? The administration bravely confronted this controversial issue head-on, even though less than 30,000 signatures were gathered.

Does “We the People” greatly resemble a masturbatorial excercise in talking points and easy wins? Yes, yes it does. And yet, the administration could have, at the very least, responded with a marginally-justified “no comment,” as it has in other highly-controversial cases.

However, it’s also possible for the administration to duck the issue by giving a response similar to the one used by White House spokesman Josh Earnest Wednesday on Bradley Manning’s 35-year prison sentence for providing documents to WikiLeaks. Manning has since self-identified as a woman, and is seeking recognition under the name Chelsea.

“I’m not going to get ahead of that process,” Earnest said. “If there is an application that’s filed by Mr. Manning or his attorneys, that application will be considered in that process like any other application.”

Considering the administration has charged Snowden with espionage and Obama himself has said he doesn’t consider him a hero, it seems unlikely that this will receive any consideration at all. If anything, the response will soft-peddle the administration’s angle and point at various legal rationales that justify punishing the whistleblower. It’s not that we don’t know the response (if it ever comes) will be jargon-heavy and unsatisfactory — it will — it’s the fact that the administration upped the signature limit simply to make it harder to receive a response, and yet it continues to ignore anything that clears the mark but it doesn’t want to deal with.

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Comments on “Three Months After It Cleared The 100K Signature Threshold, 'Pardon Snowden' Petition Still Unanswered”

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Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What exactly did you expect from a dog and pony show?

It’s a worthless site as it is and after receiving some of the initial responses, zero actions, zero value of any fucking sort whatsoever even the “look, we care” aspect is complete bullshit.

This tit-for-tat group policy think needs an enema.

“temporarily disabled” – Seriously, what the fuck is that? How about shutting off the engines and booting up when the show is over? Oh, Oh, I get it, you have to feel like you’re doing something I suppose – bombs not bread, security before prosperity, the trespasses of government over the trespasses of the governed – I get it.

MikeH says:

What the government doesn’t seem to realize is that “We the People” is doing more harm (for them) than good. Nominally, it exists to increase participation in government and allow individual citizens–or blocks of 100k of them, anyway–to provide their feedback. Of course, it doesn’t work this way, and the executive branch ignores petitions it doesn’t like. But this is strategically stupid: it raises the expectation for dialogue, then shatters the expectation. People suddenly *realize* they are disenfranchised. Better (for them) to maintain a stony silence, rather an be revealed as hypocrites.

But maybe it’s a good thing for the citizenry. Maybe the obvious hypocrisy will piss people off and lead to real change. Maybe…

Anonymous Coward says:

This was never a serious method of grievance. This was a way to put out propaganda the administration wants the public to have about issues they believe is important. That is why under-voted issues are answered and those clearing the hurdle that are uncomfortable to them are ignored.

If you ever believed this was anything other than smoke and mirrors, you need only look at this one petition not to mention others that have made it and not been answered to see the real truth of the matter.

It’s just another feel good to be used when deemed.

Anonymous Coward says:

The peephole movement?

We need a citizen driven “PEEPHOLE MOVEMENT”. A movement comprised of average citizens to monitor, log and take pictures of our government officials elected, appointed and otherwise employed during their lives 24/7/365 into a massive database so we can understand what they do, where they do it, why and how it affect us as citizens. An organization called PSA, public security association, to guard against our government minions misdeeds. At 300 million strong we should be able to cover that pretty well. Maybe a cloud based site in Iceland to post all the data collected for any citizen to analyze, search and sift. We might be able to even connect the dots and determine who is doing what to who, publish the facts to all. Almost a way to implement an accountable government, a government by for and of the people. Yes! I also have a dream.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: The peephole movement?

I’d board that boat. As it is we have grown so much as to no longer be adequately represented apart from the bone we’ve been thrown to enact change via trying to remove a representative and/or influence their positions on issues.

To say that the people are underrepresented would not do justice and as such have no real means of holding our representatives accountable, much less government operations. At least, given the past 30 years or so, this is what I would have me believe.

Government hostage crisis after government hostage crisis with operational reform only being taken when the advantage is government. This has to stop.

Dave says:


Is a “pardon” appropriate? Someone correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t that course of action apply AFTER someone has been tried, found guilty/convicted and sentenced? Snowden has not even been apprehended as a suspect and, as such, should surely still be considered innocent unless proven guilty. Surely a request to drop all potential charges relating to the alleged incident, both now and in the future, would be the path to follow?

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