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No Amnesty For Edward Snowden, White House Says

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with <em>The Guardian</em>.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras
/
EPA/LANDOV
Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.

Looks like Edward Snowden won't get amnesty after all.

"Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States," Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said, according to USA Today. "He should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections."

Snowden is the former contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked classified information on the scale and scope of the agency's surveillance activities. Speculation that he would get amnesty if he returns the documents were sparked Sunday by comments from Rick Ledgett, the man in charge of the Snowden task force at the NSA. He told CBS' 60 Minutes:

"My personal view is, yes, it's worth having a conversation about. 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."

But as Eyder noted, Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, told the program he disagrees with Ledgett.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the U.S. may never know the extent of how much information Snowden took from government computers when he left the country earlier this year.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.

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