Trump Should Now Pardon Snowden and Assange


Since even before Donald Trump won the 2016 election, it’s been clear that the American deep state has opposed his presidency. And while Trump has deferred to the Pentagon and the CIA by maintaining their forever wars, foreign military empire, foreign interventionism, coups, and assassinations, it’s also been clear that Trump hasn’t been as obsequious to the national-security establishment as presidents are expected to be. The deep state will not be disappointed with Trump’s departure and will be ecstatic with Joe Biden as president.

Now that his term in office is apparently over, Trump can send one parting shot at the national-security establishment and its acolytes as well as to the mainstream press, one that would be based on a pure sense of justice: Issue pardons for Edward Snowden and Julian Assange before Trump walks out the door, preferably now rather than later.

Pardons for Snowden and Assange would send a powerful message to the national-security establishment: Telling the truth about your evil, immoral, and nefarious dark-side activities is not a crime in our country. It’s a badge of honor.

After all, that’s the national-security “crime” that both men are being persecuted for and prosecuted for. Imagine: Being persecuted and prosecuted for telling the truth and for disclosing evil, illegal deep-state actions to the American people. It only goes to show how the conversion of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II has warped and perverted fundamental moral values within our nation.

Consider, for example, the CIA’s repeated assassination attempts in the early 1960s against Cuban president Fidel Castro. How many Americans questioned the morality and legality of those assassination attempts? How many Americans questioned the assassination partnership between the CIA and the Mafia to murder Castro, notwithstanding the fact that the Mafia is one of the most crooked, murderous, drug-dealing organizations in the world?

Unfortunately, I would say not very many Americans objected. That’s because of the indoctrination that people receive, primarily in school, that the CIA is a force for good in the world and that action it takes protects “national security.”

Yet, where in the Constitution does it authorize the federal government to murder someone? Indeed, my reading of the Bill of Rights is that it expressly prohibits the feds from murdering people without due process of law and trial by jury.

Where was the moral justification for murdering Castro? That he was a communist? Since when does a person’s beliefs justify his extermination? That Cuba invaded the United States? Don’t make me laugh — it has always been the U.S. government that has been the aggressor against Cuba, not only through assassination but also through an invasion, terrorism, and one of the most brutal economic embargoes in history.

Now, just imagine that someone within the deep state had warned Castro of a certain CIA assassination plot. The deep state would have considered him to be a bad person — a traitor to America — for daring to disclose its evil, immoral, and illegal plot to murder an innocent person. He would be treated the same as Snowden and Assange are being treated. That’s what passes for “patriotism” in a national-security state: Don’t dare disclose our dark-side secrets to the world, no matter how evil, immoral, or illegal they are, or we will destroy you or kill you.

The worst mistake the American people have ever made was permitting the federal government to be converted to a national-security state and then falling for its Cold War racket.  The best thing the American people could ever do is restore our founding governmental system of a limited-government republic. A good first step in the right direction would be to pardon Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. What a great way for Trump to stick it to the deep state and its supporters in the mainstream press before he departs the presidency.


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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at and from Full Context. Send him email.

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Articles by: Jacob G. Hornberger

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