NSA Debates Granting Snowden Amnesty if He Keeps His Mouth Shut
December 16, 2013 1:17 PM
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It is believed that Snowden had access to about 1.7 million files and only 1 percent have been published
The U.S. National Security Agency (
) is reportedly considering granting Edward Snowden an amnesty deal. However, the NSA's director isn't onboard, saying too much damage has already been done.
, Richard Ledgett -- head of the NSA taskforce looking into the Snowden leaks -- said he would be open to granting Snowden amnesty as long as the now-famous NSA leaker stops revealing the agency's secrets.
"I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assurances would be very high, would be more than just an assertion on his part," said Ledgett.
This would be great news for Snowden, who began leaking details on top secret NSA surveillance programs to the media earlier this year. Snowden is a former NSA contractor who gained access to the surveillance program documents and downloaded them illegally.
Despite Ledgett's views, NSA Director Gen Keith Alexander made it clear that he does not agree with the possibility of an amnesty deal.
"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'. What do you do?" said Alexander.
For it's part, the White House has maintained that there should be no amnesty provided for Snowden. "Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States," said Security Council spokesman Caitlin Hayden
. "He should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections."
It is believed that Snowden had access to about 1.7 million files, and only about 1 percent of those files have been published by the media. Recognizing that a lot more could roll down the pipeline, Ledgett is likely trying to prevent further catastrophe for the NSA.
So far, the U.S. has charged Snowden with theft of government property and unauthorized communication of national defense information as well as willful communication of classified communications intelligence. Each of these charges comes with a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
Last week, it was reported that a a presidential review panel is working on
that aim to change how the NSA collects and accesses Americans' data such as phone records. They were to be turned in to the White House yesterday.
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12/18/2013 8:41:18 PM
Recently I heard a Democratic congresswomen tell someone, that Edward Snowden was a traitor, who hurt the United States from his exposing the NSA’s intelligence gathering. True, secrets have been disclosed, maybe laws broken, our spy agencies have been compromised, our adversaries have been empowered, relationships with our allies and friends have been strained if not broken. We’re not as safe as we were before.
All that based on certain assumptions namely: that our enemies are both lethal and at the door, that they can be found anywhere even among the populace . That we can protect our selves in this way. That people don’t change; that evil will always exist in the world. That adversaries will eventually fall to greater power. That our history is good evidence for that. So we need to be hard nosed about our security.
Those being the assumptions and world view of the policy makers in our foreign policy establishment, and in our Military, Oil, Industrial and Intelligence communities in the US and elsewhere. Despite what’s come out from Snowden’s leaking.
Namely we’ve been given a chance to consider privacy issues. We’ve been shown, ounce again, how those, who think they’re trying to protect us, can easily lie to us. We’ve been alerted to the suicidal amount of greed and money involved in intelligence gathering. We’ve been given an opportunity to assess the efficacy of our spy and intelligence gathering services.
Even more importantly those in the Intelligence community have been given a opportunity to access what they’re really doing here on the earth at this time. At least those who haven’t been totally captured by their, their assumptions, and their world view, like the one listed above, and by the money and by their learning and indoctrination. Who like sheep can only justify and rationalize their participation in order to maintain their jobs, outlook and equilibrium.
Yet with a different set of assumptions about the workings of the world, all that supposed hurt and damage that Snowden did, that all falls apart.
Namely that spying and intelligence gathering is more often perceived by others as nefarious, thus fear producing, which people will defend against. That an adversaries lethality is a function of your own. That they’ll attempt to match, or even better yours. That one’s enemies are entities that are cultivated and developed albeit unconsciously? That they’re a function of a nation’s policies as much as they are a function of greed. That this years enemies can be next years friends, if you play you cards right, looking for win-win solutions, explaining what your doing, by winding down tensions. That openness and truth allows you to make decisions about efficacy, such that you can insure your tactics will support your strategy, our safety in this case. That people in the world can evolve up and away from enmity by choosing differently, having different assumptions. There’s plenty of evidence in history for these as well. So with this set if assumptions Snowden is more like a savior.
So the question is, which set of assumptions and beliefs do you want carved on your tomb stone, by you son’s and daughter’s when you die? Telling the sky what you did, who you were and why.
"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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