NSA CONSIDERING CUTTING EDWARD SNOWDEN A DEAL FOR RETURN OF 1.5 MILLION DOCUMENTS YET TO BE LEAKED – In what appears to be an almost unheard of move the U.S Government and NSA might be prepared to grant Edward Snowden amnesty in exchange for 1.5 million classified documents that remain in his possession.
According to the newly appointed U.S official in charge of assessing the damage these documents pose to U.S national security, Richard Ledgett, amnesty could be granted providing Edward Snowden could give concrete assurances that the documents he possesses would be handed over and furthermore no further leaks occurred.
Mr. Ledgett, who is about to appear in an episode of 60 minutes and interviewed by John Miller, stated that this is a measure that could well be considered by the U.S Government to ensure the safety of the U.S and its intelligence sources around the world.
General Keith Alexander, the man in charge of the task-force investigating the leaked documents by Edward Snowden, and the man who appointed Richard Ledgett, is not fully convinced that Edward Snowden should be granted amnesty under any circumstances.
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? General Keith Alexander
Regardless of General Keith Alexander’s view Mr. Ledgett feels that such a move might in fact be in the best interest of the country and furthermore the U.S currently has little room to maneuver considering Edward Snowden still remains in Russia; his country of choice alone is causing great concern for the U.S authorities.
“I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assurances would be very high. It would be more than just an assertion on his part.” Richard Ledgett
To date the NSA continues to change its operational systems and computer networks in order to prevent any reoccurrence of another possible Snowden event.
In an interview with Reuters, Mr. Ledgett openly acknowledged that the NSA had done a pretty poor job in its initial response to the documents leaked by Edward Snowden in which they show how the NSA is spying not only on other world Government leaders but also its own citizens.
There remains high public sentiment that more transparency should be afforded to the public and yet whilst the NSA agrees in part it also feels that too much information could put intelligence operations and lives at serious risk.
The argument remains that the fight on terror requires a high level of secrecy in order to prevent another attack such as 9/11, however, the effectiveness of such intelligence has been questioned after the Boston Marathon Bombings earlier this year.
The NSA has announced that it is taking no less than forty one specific technical measures in order to control and protect the data that it gathers for intelligence purposes. Furthermore it will employ more supervisors in order to increase oversight on those employed in the agency.
One of the new measures requires that two people are in control of all places where someone might have access to sensitive data and that the agency will also step up its screening process to ensure those who have access to data are not deemed a risk to national security.
With the revelations by Edward Snowden the NSA has certainly been subjected to high levels of scrutiny and admonishment; not just within Congress but from other Government’s around the world who have found that they too have been targets for NSA snooping.
Despite the NSA appearing desperate to give its side of the story the public remain highly suspicious of the NSA’s activities and feel that what is now transpiring is simply damage control to limit their embarrassment.
Many feel that the information leaked to date has yet to produce any evidence that national security has in fact been compromised but rather made the NSA out to look like a control freak whose remit is to spy on anyone in order to garner control.
Regardless to Reuters probing Mr. Ledgett for more information on the panels specific recommendations he declined to give such information but was willing to acknowledge that guidelines for the NSA’s collection of data needs more oversight and control; he refused to acknowledge or entertain the idea that maybe the NSA had overstepped its legitimate operating parameters by listening in and collecting data on people’s phone calls and messages.
Mr. Ledgett did admit that there are documents yet to be leaked that are giving him sleepless nights; he went on to state that these documents will reveal what we know and what we don’t know about certain international interests and that the documents are nothing short of a roadmap for our adversaries.
Whilst many in Government, including General Keith Alexander, may not like the idea of giving Edward Snowden amnesty for the return of the documents it might well transpire that they have little choice in the matter.
The question of whether Edward Snowden would accept such a deal remains unknown but in recent interviews he has stated that it was not inconceivable for the U.S Government to assassinate him and returning to the U.S would certainly expose him to the dangers he fears.