Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Richard Ledgett Jr., 58, has worked at the National Security Agency since 1988. He was recently interviewed by the WashPo. Some excerpts:
So we’re code makers and code breakers. That’s what we were formed to do, and everything we do grows from that. ...And on the code-breaking part, our mission is to break foreign codes.

[as to Snowden's motives:] The narrative that he’s told publicly about this actually doesn’t track if you parse the timelines. He says he was motivated by Jim Clapper’s remarks to Senator Wyden and the revelation that those remarks weren’t accurate. If you look at the timeline, Snowden was actually stealing material and in contact with reporters eight months before that, so that doesn’t track.
I probably spent more time than anybody but our chief investigator on the actual investigation on this. I know a lot that I still can’t talk about because it’s sensitive investigational stuff. And if he does ever come back to the United States it will be part of the government’s case against him. The things that I can say, I think a lot of what was in the House Intelligence Committee’s report where they talk about him actually being mad about being disciplined — I think that actually tracks more with motivation.

I think if you weigh the benefit and the harm, the balance comes out pretty far on the harm side. That doesn’t mean that there was absolutely no good to what he did. And I think that’s an important nuance. It’s heavily weighted towards harm. The little bit of good is forcing a conversation that we probably should have had earlier. And for me that was a lesson learned. That we should have talked about the particular authority, the Patriot Act authority, earlier in the process.

On balance I think he should go to jail. Assuming that he gets a trial and is convicted, which I think the case is very strong. I would vote for conviction. I think I would be disqualified from the jury.

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