NSA considering an amnesty for Edward Snowden ...

A couple of things:

[li]Snowden hasn’t been indicted on any charges[/li][li]This amnesty is being mooted by the guy who is apparently the top candidate for the soon-to-be vacant job of (civilian) Deputy Director of the NSA - so it’s basically the NSA unofficially running an idea up the flag pole[/li][/ol]

It seems to me the state has to cut its losses on this; you have a guy who pretty much the entire non-US world sees as a hero hold up in Russia - Russia, for goodness sake - unable to return to the land of the free for fear of prosecution.

At the same time, it looks like the President will be making changes based on Snowden’s steady trickle of disclosures, of which we’re about 1% done: effectively, Snowden is more than informing Presidential policy at this point.

It seems what Snowden has done is being implicitly endorsed by the Head of State? Or not - how do you read this slightly surreal situation?

Ah, I should also have added: is the NSA actually in a position to offer amnesty of its own volition?

No, of course not. This is a decision that obviously only the President could make, and only a fool would offer Snowden amnesty because: 1) it will serve as a further encouragement for people to break the law; 2) it is fully inconsistent with the well-justified prosecution of Pvt. Manning; and 3) there is zero assurance that Snowden returning some electronic media will actually contain the damage from his spying.

So why is this very senior NSA guy, in line for a big promotion, mooting it?

Could we possibly have missed something …

Your own cite shows your thread title is incorrect. It’s one guy (albeit highly placed) at the NSA, not “the NSA”:

It does? Again, from your cite:

You’ve got one guy floating this idea and any number of people who actually can make the decision saying “no”. This is partly sensationalist journalism and partly your reading waaaaay too much into the article.

And if you read a little further this appears:

There is a huge difference between one senior policy maker in government thinking about proposals that neither he nor his agency has any power to effectuate, and the same matter being formally proposed by the agency for consideration by the whole government.

Once again, typical crappy Guardian reporting… no, scratch that: I maintain that most British newspapers are ridiculously poor at accurate reporting, since accuracy is constantly being traded off for attention-grabbing headlines. Thank god for the British press, as they make American journalists look thoughtful, restrained, and statesman-like.

It’s a direct quote from the NSA man appearing on 60 Minutes later tonight! :smiley:

Talk about blaming the messenger …

It’s still selective reporting. Why not make the headline: “State Department Reaffirms the US’s Stance on Snowdon”?

Because we know that part already :slight_smile:

‘news’ is the bit we don’t yet know.

“and Ledgett is rumored to be a top candidate to replace Inglis.”

After this speech I think it is very likely Ledgett is no longer a candidate to replace anyone.

That’s kind of the point: why would someone so senior within the NSA go on 60 Minutes and say this …

To be blunt about it, what he did is currently not a death penalty crime - so there should be no country not willing to let us extradite him. [One of the main reasons not to extradite is generally being dragged back to the US to be put to death.]

Because there really can not be an innocent plea - he swiped and released the info, he admits he did it, it happened, nobody else can be shoved in as the person who really did it. Just slap his ass in a plane in handcuffs and let us get over it.:rolleyes:


We’re curently in a surreal world where some senior official with the NSA is talking about an annesty for someone not charged with any crime and offering an amnesty he isn’t in a position to offer. Meanwhile, the President appoints a committee to address the concerns raised by the enemy of the state and while Mr/iss Manning serves 35 years for doing about the same.

So, all good. It’s just a shame Peter Sellers died.

Two possible answers:

  1. He’s off the reservation and will be slapped down. People lose message discipline all the time.

  2. It’s a trial balloon. As the revelations about the NSA grow, Snowden is becoming somewhat of a hero around the globe. For bad or good, his Q-rating is enormously positive overseas and with some segments of the US population. If we assume that NOTHING is going to prevent the rest of the info from coming out, then it might be best to try to make a positive spin by working with Snowden somehow. If it receives positive reviews it goes from ‘one guy’ saying it to ‘the government is now willing to’.

He’s been charged with several crimes.

But yea, no way in hell they’d offer him amnesty. Even in the unlikely event the gov’t decided they needed to cut a deal to prevent further disclosures, they’d offer a plea deal that would at least leave intact the principle that people violating security clearances will be prosecuted.

I should have said ‘indicted’.

:rolleyes: indeed. You seem to not have much of a clue.

First of all America would not extradite but would ask for extradition

Second, there is no extradition treaty with Russia so Russia would be under no obligation at all.

Third, even if there were an extradition treaty with Russia it would almost certainly not include political crimes.

Fourth, even if by some chance the treaty included the crime being charged the courts of the country would have to approve extradition.

Fifth, even if the courts approved it then the executive has the last word to approve or deny.

Sixth, what would be the odds that America would extradite to Russia or to China someone who had done the same thing thing to one of those countries? Exactly, zero chance. They would be hailed as heroes.

Do you understand it a bit better now?

There are also a number of people Russia wanted the U.S. to extradite to them–but the U.S. refused. See for example:
3 Extradition Cases That Help Explain U.S.-Russia Relations