Exiled US political dissident Edward Snowden is probably wasting his time when he begs for a presidential pardon. The Obama Administration’s record on tolerating political dissent in the form of whistleblowing is not a good one.
It’s understandable why he’d want to get out of Russia, of course. Snowden has publicly criticized his host nation more than once and is doubtless feeling the heat for having the courage to speak out in what is an unfree society (albeit one offering him more personal freedom than that of the prison cell he’d be in if he hadn’t fled persecution in the USA).
Still, he’s mainly just jeopardizing what freedom he currently has in the name of a largely futile quest for clemency from a superpower which has gotten less, not more, tolerant of internal dissent in recent decades.