In a statement released by anonymous government officials to Reuters this Thursday, it has been revealed that the chief of the NSA, General Alexander Kieth, would be leaving the agency for good in the next six months.
The agency claims his departure has ‘nothing to do’ with the Snowden leaks, citing that the decision had been cemented back in March when both he and his deputy agreed to stay on over the course of one more year. Alexander had put forth his plans to leave by next March or April, while the civilian deputy, John “Chris” Inglis, is set to retire by the end of 2013 according to U.S. officials (who only spoke under the condition that their identities remain anonymous).
“This has nothing to do with media leaks, the decision for his retirement was made prior; an agreement was made with the (Secretary of Defense) and the Chairman for one more year – to March 2014,” Vines told Reuters in an email.
Along with Alexander, director of national intelligence James Clapper has spent the better part of this last year denying the NSA was involved in any data-mining activities on domestic soil. They emphasized that the only programs in place were the same that foiled “54 terror plots” in the five years they had been in operation, which of course later turned out to be false.
It was revealed “only 13 of the 54 cases were connected to the United States”.
Inside sources agree that the Obama administration’s lackluster defense of the NSA in the months since the Snowden leaks has been a thorn in the side of the deputy and his chief since the news dropped, and most had rightfully assumed it would only be a matter of months before both either stepped down willingly or through silent coercion from their commander in chief.
Instead of coming to the aid of their bruised egos, Obama has expressed concern for US-based cloud services, who could now see a loss of customer base as users look for more secure options somewhere offshore. With two spots at the top of the pyramid opening up, the administration may have a golden opportunity to reel things back in and regain control of the rogue agency with a pair of well thought-out appointments.
General Alexander held his position for longer than anyone else in the agency’s 60+ year history, and this resignation will finally bring his decade-long reign to a close. Security experts are looking at Vice Admiral Michael Rogers as the next logical replacement, citing his many years of experience manning the U.S Navy 10th Fleet and U.S Fleet Cyber Command as worthy enough credentials for the job.
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