Janet Napolitano, former secretary of Homeland Security, said during a segment on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she is opposed to the idea of clemency for Edward Snowden.

From NBC News/Meet the Press:

Former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano flatly rejected the idea of clemency for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whom the Obama administration has charged with theft of government property and unauthorized disclosure of defense secrets.

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Napolitano said “Snowden has exacted quite a bit of damage and did it in a way that violated the law. I think he’s committed crimes and I think that the damage we’ll see now and we’ll see it for years to come.”

She added “from where I sit today, I would not put clemency on the table at all…..I would rule it out. He has, by individual fiat, leaked very extensive information.”

She said that when she served as Homeland Security secretary, President Barack Obama was “very clear with me” that “there needed to be discussion and open dialogue about the balance between privacy and our privacy values then and security. And remember, these are both important values. There is a right balance to be struck here.”

But Snowden, she said, “just decided to go off on his own. And he did exact quite a bit of damage in my judgment.”

Both the New York Times and The Guardian have recently published editorials calling on President Obama to offer clemency or other plea bargain or deal for Snowden, who is currently living in Russia on temporary asylum.

Previous statements from the White House however have indicated that such a deal for the former NSA contractor would seem highly unlikely.


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