Oliver Stone said President Barack Obama should pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden before he leaves office, the filmmaker told reporters while promoting his new movie at the Toronto International Film Festival, according to the Toronto Sun.
“There are options. Mr. Obama could pardon him, and we hope that Mr. Obama has a stroke of lightning and he sees the way!…We hope, we hope….maybe.”
Stone was at the film festival promoting his new movie about the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden called Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, according to The Guardian.
“Americans don’t know anything about it because the government lies about it all the time. What’s going on now is pretty shocking. This story not only deals with eavesdropping but mass eavesdropping, drones and cyber warfare. As Snowden said himself the other day, ‘It’s out of control, the world is out of control.'”
Edward Snowden has been hiding out in Moscow since 2013, when he leaked classified NSA documents he acquired as a computer programmer working for the spy agency as a civilian contractor. Many of the surveillance systems used by the American spy agency were designed by Snowden.
The documents leaked to the public revealed the NSA had been working with other American spy agencies, including the CIA, to spy on millions of Americans and billions of others around the globe.
New files leaked by Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency (NSA) secretly used a U.K. base to spy on international communications around the world. The transmission captured from foreign satellites and WiFi communications were used to plan and conduct secret black ops missions to capture and kill enemy operatives in countries that America is not at war with.
Stone doesn’t really think Obama will pardon Snowden; he admitted it was a remote possibility, noting the president has prosecuted a number of whistleblowers, but he thinks it’s the right thing to do, according to The Guardian.
“I grew up in a world where I never thought this could happen. But from 2001 on, it’s very clear that something radical has changed. There’s more to it that meets the eye and whatever they tell you, you’ve got to look beyond.”
Stone said he saw three possibilities for Snowden: pardon, trial, and prison. He argues Snowden would come back the U.S. if he thought he could get a fair trial, but under the Espionage Act, defendants are prohibited from testifying or presenting evidence of any kind.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 1, 2016
The filmmaker was joined by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, stars of the new film Snowden, in calling for the whistleblower’s pardon. Woodley pointed to social media sites like Facebook as evidence that the digital world of surveillance has grown by leaps and bounds.
She pointed to legal agreements users are forced to sign when they join Facebook and other social media sites that call for users to give up their personal privacy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“When you’re signing up for Facebook, or any website, you’re agreeing to a whole list of information that I don’t read.”
In contrast, Gordon-Levitt was more optimistic about social media and today’s technology, saying the freedom enjoyed by Americans is very powerful. Any citizen in the U.S. can raise their voice and cry out to the masses if they see something going on that they dislike.
Also at the Toronto film festival was actress Brie Larson, who was promoting her movie, Free Fire. She will also star as the character Captain Marvel when that film is released in 2019; it’s the first movie to feature a on-screen headlining female superhero in the franchise.
What do you think about Oliver Stone’s request for President Barack Obama to forgive NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden? Should he be pardoned?
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