20:27 GMT +323 June 2018
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    Edward Snowden greets the audience before he is honored with the Carl von Ossietzky medal by International League for Human Rights to during a video conference call after he received the award in Berlin December 14, 2014.

    Clinton Backer Breaks From Candidate: US Owes Snowden Huge 'Debt of Gratitude’

    © AFP 2018 / Tobias Schwartz
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    Max Temkin, Hillary Clinton fundraiser and co-creator of the Cards Against Humanity game, found himself at odds with the Democratic presidential nominee this week after taking to social media to advocate for a presidential pardon for whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    "I believe that the American people owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Snowden," Temkin tweeted, posting a link to online petition PardonSnowden.org, and saying that US citizens can "begin to pay [Snowden] back" by signing it. 

    In another tweet, Temkin linked to an article written by Amnesty International in support of Snowden. In the piece, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty said, "Edward Snowden clearly acted in the public interest. He sparked one of the most important debates about government surveillance in decades, and brought about a global movement in defence of privacy in the digital age. Punishing him for this sends out the dangerous message that those who witness human rights violations behind closed doors should not speak out."

    Temkin, who raised nearly $400,000 for Clinton’s campaign, partly through an "America Votes with Cards Against Humanity" special edition of his popular card game, commented that he was "proud to join many of my heroes and call for Obama to pardon Snowden." 

    In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Clinton said that Snowden "broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that." The candidate added that she didn’t think Snowden should be brought back to the United States, "without facing the music," meaning prosecution.

    Filmmaker Oliver Stone, who directed the recently released Snowden biopic, said that Clinton "misses the point that no spy gives his story to the newspapers for free, which is what he did." 

    Without a presidential pardon, Temkin suggested that Snowden will not be able to receive a fair trial. "Snowden faces charges under the WWI-era Espionage Act. If he came home, he would not legally be allowed to make his case in court."

    Temkin continues to fundraise for Clinton through products like his card games and "I didn’t vote for Trump” stickers. His personal website indicates that he is “on the National Finance Committee of Hillary for America."


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    Whistleblowers, Hillary Clinton, Edward Snowden, United States
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