The point of this story is to emphasize that none of this would have come to light without Edward Snowden having blown the whistle. How Edward Snowden blew the whistle remains a controversy because he broke the law and committed damage to national security in the process. Alternatives to how he did this would have included hiring a lawyer and leveraging congressional representatives. But, he didn’t do that and took the highly risky path of going public and doing so globally.
“Federal judge rules against NSA spying
Kevin Johnson and Richard Wolf, USA TODAY 9:48 p.m. EST December 16, 2013
Decision by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon is the first of several expected over the next few months and is certain to be appealed.”
Bringing the suit to court is Larry Klayman.
“Larry Elliot Klayman (born July 20, 1951) is a politically conservative American public interest lawyer. He is the founder and the former chairman of Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group, as well as Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group.”
Noteworthy is that Judge Leon is on the bench resulting from his being nominated by George W. Bush.
Snowden has not requested “amnesty” from the U.S. government as far as this analyst can determine, however NSA Richard Ledgett expressed his “personal opinion” that it is worth exploring. However, the State Department and Justice Department as well as The White House were quick to respond that they don’t like that idea.
Ledgett having said that to CBS News may be a “drop dead” moment for his career. (Or, as a Reuters report speculates, his loose lips may have been intentional.)
Snowden is enjoying asylum in Russia at the moment, allegedly at a ski resort or something. According to a report from CNN in October, his lawyer said that he has a job doing website maintenance for a major Russian website that would remain anonymous for security reasons.
“The Department of Justice says it is reviewing the decision.”
NSA Director Keith Alexander: "There isn't a better way'' to help defend the country from potential terror threats.”
"Snowden in play"
"But maybe the NSA line hasn’t been baited for Snowden alone. Maybe a deal with Russia is also in play. By volunteering the fact that Snowden, and maybe the journalists he’s leaked to, hold the keys to the kingdom, Ledgett increased Snowden’s market value by an order of a million. By offering and withdrawing amnesty on TV, the U.S. government could be playing both Snowden and Russia simultaneously. If Snowden spurns the deal, the U.S. government might attempt to persuade the Russians, never sticklers for the rule of law, to declare Snowden a spy and therefore eligible for exchange for some high-value Russian spy currently in U.S. custody. Or, for the next Russian spy busted, making Snowden like the player traded for a future draft pick.
Snowden is in play. The next move is his."