March 5, 2021

Edward Snowden will not be pardoned in his lifetime, says author of new book on the NSA whistleblower

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter who documented the scope of the U.S. government’s surveillance on its own citizens after receiving leaked National Security Agency documents from Edward Snowden told Yahoo News that he believes the former NSA contractor will not be pardoned in his lifetime.

Barton Gellman, now a staff writer at the Atlantic, was one of three reporters Snowden first approached in 2013 with the archive of documents showing mass surveillance of American citizens by their own government. Gellman’s book about Snowden, “Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State,” was released Tuesday. Gellman, who is sympathetic to Snowden but raises questions about some of his actions, said Snowden will not be able to return to America in his lifetime — unless he comes in handcuffs.

“Getting pardoned is going to be a very, very big lift for any president,” Gellman told Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast. “The intelligence community, the national security community, loathes Snowden and have long memories for this sort of thing, and I don’t think he’ll be pardoned in his lifetime.”

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