The Obama administration on Monday tossed a(nother) White House-sized bucket of cold water on speculation that the U.S. government could offer Edward Snowden amnesty, via USA Today:
“Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States,” said Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the National Security Council. “He should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections.”
The amnesty idea surfaced on Sunday during an NSA-friendly 60 Minutes segment on the government’s surveillance programs. “‘My personal view is, yes, it’s worth having a conversation about,’ said Richard Ledget, who currently heads the NSA task force on unauthorized disclosures and is expected to become the deputy director of the spy agency next month. “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.” Snowden remains in Russia under political asylum.