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John Bolton: Snowden "Ought To Swing From A Tall Oak Tree"

BILL HEMMER: Officials considering amnesty for Ed Snowden in exchange for their stolen security documents. The controversial deal to return the NSA leaker to the U.S. and General Keith Alexander doesn't think it is a good idea. John Bolton, former Ambassador to the U.N. Good day to you.

I don't know why they are talking about this publicly. Is there a possible back room deal that is happening now?

JOHN BOLTON: It is possible, but I must say absent some other important piece of information, it has to be one of the dumbest things that I’ve seen in a long time to be speculating about it publicly even if they are contemplating a deal with Snowden some kind of amnesty. The last thing people ought to do is speculating about it publicly. It will inevitably make it a political football and enhance Snowden's bargaining power.

HEMMER: Why are they doing it then?

BOLTON: I think it is a big mistake. I have no idea. In my view, Snowden committed treason and ought to be convicted of that and ought to swing from a tall oak tree. Even if you don’t believe that, if you’re gonna say anything publically, that is closer to what you should be saying to enhance our own bargaining leverage. We don't know how much of what Snowden has he gave to the Chinese and Russians or they took from him and he doesn't even know about. We have a big problem here contemplating amnesty that he may have sold the data twice already.

HEMMER: 1.7 million documents, is that possible?

BOLTON: It is entirely possible. I don't underestimate how severe the intelligence problem is here. It is hard to speculate about it publicly. My instinct is anyone who does this to the United States doesn't deserve any amnesty from us. If we need to go through an expensive procedure to change the way we do things, we ought to do it. I wouldn’t give this guy air to breath.

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