WASHINGTON: A National Security Agency official said in an interview released Friday that he would be open to cutting an amnesty deal with intelligence leaker Edward Snowden if he agreed to stop divulging secret documents.
Rick Ledgett, who heads the NSA’s task force investigating the damage from the Snowden leaks, told CBS television’s “60 Minutes” program that some but not all of his colleagues share his view.
“My personal view is, yes, it’s worth having a conversation about” a possible deal, said Ledgett, according to excerpts of the interview due to air Sunday. But Snowden would have to provide firm assurances that the remaining documents would be secured.
“My bar for those assurances would be very high… more than just an assertion on his part,” said Ledgett.
Snowden, a former intelligence contractor for the NSA, has been charged with espionage by US authorities for divulging reams of secret files.
He has secured asylum in Russia and insisted he spilled secrets to spark public debate and expose the NSA’s far-reaching surveillance.
But NSA chief General Keith Alexander rejects the idea of any amnesty for Snowden.