Former Texas congressman Ron Paul has announced a petition aiming to secure clemency for Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower who revealed extensive US surveillance programs and ignited a national debate on Americans’ privacy.
In a video released Thursday on the Ron Paul Channel, an online network the libertarian started last summer, he calls on supporters to sign the petition in an attempt to bring Snowden home to the US safely before his temporary visa in Russia expires in July.
“Edward Snowden sacrificed his livelihood, citizenship, and freedom by exposing the disturbing scope of the NSA’s worldwide spying program,” he said. “Thanks to one man’s courageous actions, Americans know about the truly egregious ways their government is spying on them.”
Paul worked as a physician before serving in Congress intermittently in the 1970s and 1980s then again from 1997 until 2013. He is best known for his libertarian positions, which often put him at odds with members of the Republican party. Paul has repeatedly lent public support to Snowden since the former NSA contractor came forward to admit he leaked classified documents to journalists affiliated with the Guardian and the Washington Post.