Edward Snowden is calling for an end to “the war on whistleblowers” after he shot back at a politician who slammed him and Julian Assange as “Russian agents.”
“Snowden and Assange are Russian agents who pose a direct threat to the US national interests,” Tony Gonzales, a congressman-elect to the Texas House of Representatives, tweeted.
The message was in response to a plea from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for both Snowden and Assange to receive full pardons.
“Politicians take note,” Snowden warned when responding to Gonzales, “smearing whistleblowers and publishers with obvious bull***t no longer gets you showered in likes, it gets you ratioed by a furious public.”
Snowden highlighted the amount of retweets the “Russian agents” message got (just over 500 at that time, and just over 650 now vs. over 3000 comments, many of them critical of the post).
“It is time to end the war on whistleblowers,” Snowden added.
“Defending civil liberties or exercising First Amendment-secured rights does not make one a Russian agent, and baseless smears don’t count as evidence,” Rep. Justin Amash (L-Michigan) wrote in a tweet Snowden shared afterwards.
Calls for a pardon for Snowden — who remains in Russia where he fled following leaving the US after releasing classified documents in 2013 showing the government was mass-collecting citizens’ personal data — have intensified as President Donald Trump is preparing to likely leave office.
Julian Assange is facing separate espionage charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of military documents a decade ago. He is currently in a British prison awaiting a judge’s decision on whether he will be extradited to the US.
As well as Gabbard, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), and others have called for charges to be dropped against the whistleblower.
On Friday, Snowden retweeted a Twitter poll with over 78,000 respondents asking whether he should receive a pardon. Nearly 70 percent said yes, while less than 15 percent said no.
Though he previously called for Snowden’s execution before he was president, Trump has said more recently he is open to a pardon and will “look” into granting one.
Former CIA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden gave Alex Jones a hat tip for being the tip of the spear against the assault on Americans’ rights during his Tuesday interview with podcast host Joe Rogan.