Presidential candidate and veteran Tulsi Gabbard told Joe Rogan this week that she would pardon National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. The interview was a rare and refreshing example of thoughtful discussion of issues surrounding national security whistleblowing.
Congresswoman Gabbard (Hawaii-2nd District) expressed concerns about intelligence agencies’ “culture of unaccountability and disregard for the Constitution” and secret activities of Federal Intelligence Surveillance [Act] Court (FISA) court. She recognized the inadequacy of current options for disclosing intelligence agency wrongdoing.
“We’ve got to address why he [Snowden] did the things the way that he did them. And you hear the same thing from Chelsea Manning–how there is not an actual channel for whistleblowers like them to bring forward information that exposes egregious abuses of our constitutional rights and liberties. There was not a channel for that to happen in a real way and that’s why they ended up taking the path they did and suffering the consequences.”