“From where I sit today, I would not put clemency on the table at all,” former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano told NBC’s David Gregory of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The question of clemency for the former Booz Allen contractor is being raised once again in the wake of a New York Times editorial published this week that called for the U.S. government to grant him amnesty.
Napolitano, now the president of the University of California system, said that during her tenure in the administration, President Obama was conscious of the need to weigh the interests of privacy and security and to debate the issue when the inherent tension between the two bubbled to the surface. Snowden, she argued, circumvented that debate. “Mr. Snowden just decided to go off on his own and he did exact quite a bit of damage in my view,” she said. “I think he’s committed crimes, and the damage we’ll see now and for years to come.”