Fox News on September 17, 2013, reported that former CIA Director James Woolsey had harsh words for anyone thinking about giving Edward Snowden amnesty, and argued the NSA leaker should be “hanged” if he’s ever tried and convicted of treason. Excerpts below:
Woolsey, along with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton, spoke in Washington in an interview with Fox News.
“I think giving him amnesty is idiotic,” Woolsey said. “He should be prosecuted for treason. If convicted by a jury of his peers, he should be hanged by his neck until he is dead.”
Shelton called the prospect of giving Snowden amnesty a “grave error.”
The reaction comes after an official with the NSA task force assessing the leaks floated the idea of allowing Snowden safe passage back to the United States in exchange for a promise to end further leaking.
White House spokesman Jay Carney did not indicate any change in the administration’s stance calling for Snowden to turn himself in to face charges. “It remains our view that Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and that he faces felony charges here in the United States,” Carney said.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee, said in a preliminary ruling, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.”
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.