NSA Official Floats Amnesty For Snowden

If the leaker could show the data he took is contained

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The Guardian / Getty Images

Edward Snowden in Hong Kong

The NSA official tasked with controlling the damage caused by Edward Snowden‘s intelligence leaks thinks that amnesty for the former NSA contractor should be on the table.

Rick Ledgett told CBS’ 60 Minutes that allowing Snowden’s return to the United States is “worth having a conversation about” if Snowden could prove that the massive amounts of data he took are contained from further leaks.

 

“I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured and my bar for those assurances would be very high,” Ledgett said in the interview that aired Sunday night. “It would be more than just an assertion on his part.”

Ledgett said he wants to contain Snowden’s most dangerous documents, which contain information on how countries can protect against U.S. surveillance. “It’s the keys to the kingdom,” he said.

(MORE: Edward Snowden, Runner-Up For TIME Person of the Year

But Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, doesn’t agree. “This is analogous to a hostage taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting 10, and then say, ‘if you give me full amnesty I’ll let the other 40 go,'” Alexander said.

“I think people have to be held accountable for their actions,” he added. “Because what we don’t want is the next person to do the same thing, race off to Hong Kong and to Moscow with another set of data, knowing they can strike the same deal.”

Snowden himself has said he gave all his data to journalists, and no longer has any of it himself.

[CBS]

22 comments
alberth
alberth

We should sincerely consider his motivation.  What he did is not for his moneytary gain or something corrupted.  He believed that he had to do something for us at the risk of his federal job that gives him cozy home and rest of his life comfortable.  If we do harsh on him, nobody would tell us even though our government agency do something wrong to us.  I was born in south korea, and see something funny.  A korean guy put his negative opinion against Mr.Lee, the former south korean president, on his personal blog.  The previous South Korean government agency had spied on him for a quite long time.  We might not make a mistake to make our goverment agency act like that.  I hope that our big bros have big heart.  I believe that snowden is a truely honest American, and he is entitled to amnesty.    



JEFFBMAYORMIAMI
JEFFBMAYORMIAMI

The CIA finally came clean on the Project MKUltra i the code name of a U.S. government human research operation experimenting in the behavioral engineering of humans through the CIA's Scientific Intelligence Division. The program began in the early 1950s thru 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities; in particular it used unwitting U.S. Citizens and Foreign Nationals as its test subjects, MKUltra used numerous methodologies to manipulate people's mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as various forms of torture whilst they visited various institutions . The scope of Project MKUltra was broad research undertaken at 80 institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, as well as hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated through these institutions using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement. The Supreme Court later noted, MKULTRA was unconstitutional :

Randy2134
Randy2134

Whether you agree or disagree with what Snowden did, what are the chances that he'd be convicted? Only takes one juror to avoid a conviction, and Snowden is polling around 50/50. 

LynWilson
LynWilson

So....Snowden has some real dirt on the NSA that he is still holding.  Otherwise, no talk of a deal would be floated.

ArjunaArdagh
ArjunaArdagh

“I think people have to be held accountable for their actions,” he added. “Because what we don’t want is the next person to do the same thing, race off to Hong Kong and to Moscow with another set of data, knowing they can strike the same deal.”

umm, yes, great idea.  so lets start with holding you accountable for your actions,  Gen. Keith Alexander,  NSA director, for illegally tapping into data internationally without congressional approval or the approval of other governments.  Lets bring back Edward Snowden as a key witness at your prosecution. 



cscaley1
cscaley1

As far as amnesty is concerned, there are simply too many amnesties in the queue to complete. You have Lois Learner and the rest of Obama's IRS criminals; all of the criminals involved in Fast and Furious; the  criminals that committed perjury to Congress in the NSA revelations; the criminals that got away with hundreds of millions of our dollars at Solyndra; the criminals that committed perjury in Congressional testimony over Benghazi.  Yeah the Obama administration sure has a lot of work to do once Eric Holder gets busy prosecuting people. Eric Holder prosecuting the criminals he, he, he, snort snort.

Bilosopher
Bilosopher

Accountability? Let's start with Clapper and Alexander.

PatriciaGibson
PatriciaGibson

This is the new norm, wait it out and all will be forgiven. Create tense situations between allies, leak confidential information, so what? New Rules: No one is accountable, throw open the jail cells, disband Homeland Security, the NSA, the FBI and definitely the CIA. It's a new day.

HarryMasters
HarryMasters

The remaining data is what keeps Snowden having an "Accident"

ifeelfein
ifeelfein

Gen. Keith Alexander "I think people have to be held accountable for their actions,” sounds less then sincere.



j4ckl3
j4ckl3

Trust me, I'm your government.  

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

Snowden is a coward and a traitor. He did more than attack our basic democratic principles and harm our nation, he actively assisted nations that would do us harm and who harbor him now. Justice is nothing less than hid lifetime in prison. Most troubling of all, however, are the number of people who so passionately but misguidedly argue against the interests of their nation by calling him a hero. This truly shows the moral and patriotic breakdown of much of our citizenry. They should be ashamed of themselves, as anyone who truly loves the USA is ashamed of Snowden.

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

Trust the NSA, trust the Government?  Surely, Snowden is not that gullible. 

advent
advent

“I think people have to be held accountable for their actions,” he added. “Because what we don’t want is the next person to do the same thing, race off to Hong Kong and to Moscow with another set of data, knowing they can strike the same deal.”

Is this guy for real ?? Does he listen to the words he's speaking ?? How about the goverment NOT COMMITTING CRIMES AGAINST THE PEOPLE in the first place so they don't have anything to hide...PERIOD.

These people are so arrogant...they have drifted away from reality. They really think they are above the law...think they can do whatever they want...UNBELIEVABLE

HarryMasters
HarryMasters

@Ruleoflaw10 If the NSA has done nothing wrong , they have nothing to fear.


Anyone who truly loves the USA probably respects the fact that it was built to escape tyranny and on the silly notion that no one is above the law.

HarryMasters
HarryMasters

@advent I'm pretty sure Snowden did what he did because he also believes that people should be held accountable for their actions.

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

I appreciate your thoughtful comment, unlike the rantings before yours, which belong on the side of a bathroom stall rather than here. As for tyranny- when the president, congress, and the courts agree (as they did when holding NSA programs legal) then our system works. When one person (we'll call him snowden) believes he knows better and acts against them, we call those actions "tyrannical" in nature because they disregard you and me and everyone really. Further, is fleeing the reach of our laws any different or better than believing you should not be subject to them?

Ruleoflaw10
Ruleoflaw10

Your comment is only noteworthy for the extent of its ignorance of the history of Nazi Germany as well as its inaptness to my comment. Perhaps you missed the part where I argued AGAINST tyranny in the form of Snowden acting against our democracy?

Don't draw attention to yourself if you don't understand what you are saying.

chalbersma.12
chalbersma.12

@Ruleoflaw10 People like you are why people like Hitler can rise. Oh hey when the Chancellor, the Parliment, the Police and the Military and the courts agree that our system works...