After 15 days, it has finally happened. The petition posted to whitehouse.gov to “Pardon Edward Snowden” has met and exceeded its goal of 100,000 signatures. Now, the Obama administration must respond to uphold the premise of the website, which says:
If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.
In half the time allotted to gather the signatures (30 days), the petition has exceeded its goal by getting over 112,000 signatures in 15 days. But what does this mean for the Obama administration?
Well, as the website reminds readers, the administration will pass off the petition to the “appropriate policy experts” and have them give an official administration response. That means for the Snowden case, Obama is not likely to respond himself, but will probably delegate the task to some undersecretary for defense, national security, or justice.
The response will most likely tell the good citizens of the United States that pardon’s are generally not used for treason or espionage and that the United States government is still evaluating the criminal status of Edward Snowden. I know it’s not the response everyone is hoping for, but it’s better than them ignoring the petition using some kind of Patriot Act loophole about discussing national security investigations…