The New York Times published a call from the National ACLU for the exoneration of Ed Snowden on espionage charges. The opinion piece written by Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director, reiterates all that the public has learned about N.S.A. programs and the agency’s infringement of accepted privacy standards since Snowden began releasing his information. Jaffer notes:
But for Snowden, we wouldn’t know any of these things, and we wouldn’t be having this extraordinary debate about the proper scope of the government’s surveillance powers. We wouldn’t be reconsidering the decision to entrust our privacy rights to a court that meets in secret, hears only from the government and rarely publishes its decisions. We wouldn’t be asking whether the Congressional intelligence committees have been co-opted by the agencies they were tasked with regulating.
Perhaps most important, without Snowden, we would not have had the court case that led to Judge Leon's scathing ruling, or the appointment of a presidential panel recommending the end of programs he revealed.