>> This really isn't about me. It's about us. It's about our right to dissent.>> NSA leaker Edward Snowden Wednesday making an all out appeal for a pardon from President Obama. Snowden the star attraction via video link at a news conference called by human rights groups who say he performed a public service.
By blowing the lid off the government's massive domestic spying program in 2013.>> Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined three years ago. Just an outpouring of solidarity.>> The effort also timed with the release of the sympathetic Oliver Stone movie. But Mark Hosenball says Snowden shouldn't hold his breath for Obama.
>> The signals I got today from people in various parts of the government including the White House itself. Was the chances of Obama granting Snowden some kind of pardon of any kind. Or literally left at zero, it's just not gonna happen in so far as you know. And this is consistent with the Obama Administration's attitude towards leakers, particularly very spectacular leakers.
And the fact is they didn't leak stuff that was very, very highly classified. Maybe it was amongst the most highly classified leaks in the history of the United States.>> Snowden's stunning leak of stolen classified documents to The Guardian newspaper led to the outlawing of a secret program giving the NSA nearly unchecked access to US calling data.
But as many critics say Snowden also damaged American security.>> At least some of his materials clearly exposed sensitive US and Allied intelligence operations in sensitive countries. Cause political problems for the US and its allies in sensitive countries. Ranging from countries in the third world to Germany. And caused headaches for US policy and US agencies.
So I don't think the damage is fully assessed.>> Snowden has been living under Russian asylum in Moscow.>> Your support keeps me company in exile.>> US presidents leaving office typically issue a wave of pardons on their way out the door. But rarely if ever in a case as explosive as Snowden's.
Without a pardon or plea deal, returning to the US would almost certainly land Snowden in prison on felony charges for up to 30 years.