The White House

In his final press conference of the year, President Barack Obama told reporters on Friday that despite the fact that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosures have accelerated the national debate about national security and civil liberties, he has caused “unnecessary damage.”
“I think that as important and as necessary as this debate has been, it is also important to understand that it has done unnecessary damage to United States’ intelligence capabilities and to US diplomacy,” he said. “But I will leave it up to the courts and the attorney general to weigh in publicly on the specifics of Mr. Snowden’s case.”
Obama was responding specifically to comments from last week by the NSA’s incoming number two official, Rick Ledgett, who said that “it’s worth having a conversation about” possible amnesty for Snowden, the former NSA contractor. (At least one tech leader has recommended to Obama that he grant Snowden a full pardon.)

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