At a press conference, President Obama said:
So the fact is, is that Mr. Snowden has been charged with three felonies. If, in fact, he believes that what he did was right, then, like every American citizen, he can come here, appear before the court with a lawyer and make his case. If the concern was that somehow this was the only way to get this information out to the public, I signed an executive order well before Mr. Snowden leaked this information that provided whistleblower protection to the intelligence community -- for the first time. So there were other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions.
What Executive Order was this, and would it have covered Snowden who was a NSA contractor?
Were these same Executive Order protections in place at the time for NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe? (How did it work out for them?)