The January 6th Select Committee released another dud bombshell this week that someone heard from someone else that Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had asked for a pardon. The committee released recorded testimony from former White House employee Cassidy Hutchinson.
Ms. Hutchinson states in the recording:
“I heard she had asked White House Counsel Office for a pardon.”
It’s a good thing this isn’t a trial because fairly certain testimony that someone heard someone else say something has its own name…hearsay. But Congresswoman Greene doesn’t need me to help her out; her response to the testimony:
“Saying ‘I heard’ means you don’t know. Spreading gossip and lies is exactly what the January 6th Witch Hunt Committee is all about.”
Saying “I heard” means you don’t know.
Spreading gossip and lies is exactly what the January 6th Witch Hunt Committee is all about. pic.twitter.com/Z30AJd4tSX
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) June 23, 2022
While I personally don’t find the January 6th hearings all that interesting, I did find Congresswoman Greene’s response to a reporter on if she asked for a pardon interesting:
“You know who needs to be pardoned? Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.”
BREAKING: @RepMTG calls for Edward Snowden and Julian Assange to be pardoned.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 29, 2022
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For and Against
Congresswoman Greene has long supported pardoning Mr. Assange and Mr. Snowden. Still, she isn’t the only politician that has spoken favorably of the two. Congressman Matt Gaetz is part of the freedom crew, as is Senator Rand Paul.
Before President Trump’s time in office came to a close, Senator Paul encouraged the President to pardon Mr. Snowden, stating:
“Barack Obama, trying to protect the Deep State liars, tried to imprison Snowden for being a “traitor”. Joe Biden – an ally of the Deep State and self-proclaimed author of parts of the Patriot Act – would continue the wrongful prosecution.”
But it’s not just Republican lawmakers that support Mr. Snowden and Mr. Assange’s leniency. Senator Bernie Sanders, at one point, also called for leniency:
“In my view, the interests of justice would be best served if our government granted him (Snowden) some form of clemency or a plea agreement that would spare him a long prison sentence or permanent exile.”
Even Squad Ring Leader and Ms. Greene’s nemesis Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has dipped her toe into the waters, stating:
“There’s a lot of concern for folks who disagree or are troubled by Assange’s past. To my knowledge, the specific charges that were raised for his extradition were even ones that the Obama administration entertained but turned down because it was kind of beyond the pale in terms of an attack on journalism and journalists.”
So with enough chatter on both sides of the aisle, perhaps it’s worth a gander to look at the merits of both men of intrigue.
I have an admission to make. I asked Trump for TWO pardons and a commutation, and I ask the same of Biden.
Pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, and commute the sentence of Ross Ulbricht.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) June 30, 2022
Assange: Groundbreaking Journalist Or Reckless Wannabe?
Since it’s been a beat, let me provide a brief cliff note of what the deal is with Julian Assange. Then-Army Specialist Bradley Manning (now free as a bird Chelsea Manning) sent classified documents that Mr. Assange subsequently dumped onto Wikileaks.
On the one hand, some of that information sheds light on some serious issues within our government, particularly regarding military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Video obtained by Manning showed U.S. military personnel massacring unarmed civilians from an Apache helicopter in Iraq in 2007.
But, on the other hand, Mr. Assange did not scrub the documents before blasting them on Wikileaks, leading to the outing of American operatives and causing significant danger to them and U.S. military personnel.
Ghislaine Maxwell was just sentenced to 20 years for conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to recruit and sexually abuse underage girls. She will likely get out earlier on good behavior.
Julian Assange faces 175 years in prison for exposing US war crimes.
Let that sink in.
— Jackson Hinkle 🇺🇸 (@jacksonhinklle) June 28, 2022
Currently, Mr. Assange is facing imminent extradition from the United Kingdom. However, the wording in the indictment is causing some in the journalism world heartburn. Let’s take a look at the three points that cause the most contention:
- It was part of the conspiracy that Assange encouraged Manning to provide information and records from departments and agencies of the United States.
- It was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure of classified records to Wikileaks.
- It was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning used ‘Jabber’ online chat service to collaborate on the acquisition and dissemination of the classified records.
Journalists generally want those who know pertinent information to tell them; they rarely, if ever, give up their sources, and using ‘Jabber’ and other communication modes is normal. But is he a journalist or something else?
Snowden: Patriot Whistleblower Or Enemy Of The State?
Then you have Edward Snowden. Mr. Snowden revealed in 2013 that the United States government was abusing the Patriot Act and spying on U.S. citizens, having had built an unprecedented spying apparatus.
Some would call him a whistleblower. Others see it a different way. At the time, Mr. Snowden was a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who downloaded the classified information, fled the country, and then handed the information over to the media.
That’s not quite the standard procedure for whistleblower activity. Furthermore, some argue he wasn’t covered under the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act because the year prior, the House Intelligence Committee blocked legislation that included contractors in the whistleblower protections.
"You want to know how to stop the next whistleblower? Stop breaking the damn law." ~ Edward Snowden
— hackerbot.eth (@hackerb0t) June 29, 2022
Currently residing in Russia, some think Mr. Snowden is a new breed of the whistleblower. Political scientist Allison Stanger wrote:
“Snowden could one day be seen as America’s first traitor-patriot.”
Was he a patriot whose hands were tied by red tape or a self-absorbed traitor looking for fame?
What Do Jan 6 Hearings And Assange And Snowden Have In Common?
Like everything, the January 6th hearings and the pardoning of Mr. Snowden and Mr. Assange are both embroiled in politics. One only needs to do a deep dive of old headlines on Julian Assange, for instance, to see how quickly the media and politics turned on him.
At one point, hailed a hero and glamorous man of mystery, The Atlantic published an article in 2010 titled ‘The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange.’ Then, however, the tides turned after his name became synonymous with Hillary Clinton and Russian collusion. So in 2020, they called him; “…a powdered-sugar Saddam Hussein plucked straight from his spider hole.” Ouch.
I, for one, wouldn’t mind hearing what the two men have to say in a court of law. But of course, if they do face trial, doubtful that they will be made public. When ‘fake news’ is prevalent on both political spectrums, it’s hard for the American people to know who to trust.
Is it possible Snowden and Assange are ushering in a new form of transparency? Perhaps. Although maybe I’m biased, I’d prefer it not to be to the detriment of Americans serving in harm’s way.
The world seems off kilter when Republicans want Assange and Snowden pardoned, and Ulbricht's sentence commuted, while the Democrats push for war with their fellow communists.
— Levon (@Levon455) June 30, 2022
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