WASHINGTON -- A petition asking President Barack Obama to pardon admitted state secret leaker Edward Snowden has passed 100,000 signatures.
The petition posted on Whitehouse.gov calls the former National Security Agency contractor a "national hero." It says he should immediately be pardoned for any crimes in "blowing the whistle" on classified government programs to collect phone records and online data.
White House policy is to respond to any petition that gets 100,000 signatures within 30 days. The Snowden petition crossed the threshold in two weeks.
The White House wouldn't say when its response will come. But it routinely declines to comment on petitions regarding law enforcement matters, including pardon requests. And the ultimate answer is the administration's pursuit of Snowden on espionage charges.
NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press