06:29 GMT30 May 2020
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    On Friday, a classified memo announcing that Mike Rogers, director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), would be retiring in the spring was leaked to the public.

    Though an official announcement of his retirement has not yet been made, the leaked notice suggests that a successor will be nominated and approved by the US Senate by the end of January.

    However, Kirk Wiebe, a former NSA senior analyst and renowned national security whistleblower, says his focus is more on the next NSA chief's ability to do what's right.

    ​Speaking to Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear, Wiebe told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that it doesn't matter who takes over for Rogers unless that person intends to uphold the constitution.

    "It only matters to the degree that the president ensures whoever that person is must have the constitution built into their DNA," Wiebe said. "They must abhor politics and they must have a record of abhorring politics."

    "It's more about the integrity [and] the honor of the individual… it is sorely needed. And that person [should be given] a mandate to ferret out wrongdoing within the population of the NSA and to make sure policies and procedures are put in," he added.

    According to Politico, some of the contenders for the position include the likes of Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, Army Cyber Command chief Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone and Navy Vice Adm. Michael Gilday.

    When asked whether he was surprised by the leak, Wiebe indicated he wasn't shocked.

    "Leaks [are] everywhere… I wasn't totally surprised by it," he told Becker.

    Frustrated with the lack of outrage against the mass surveillance programs the NSA has initiated, Kiriakou told Wiebe he found it strange and upsetting how officials in Congress haven't punished the agency despite it being revealed to have overstepped its boundaries.

    Wiebe agreed.

    "It seems with the current lay of the land… all the pitfalls, all the lack of oversight [and] all the lack of firm resolve to ensure the constitution is playing is playing the role it should… it's virtually impossible, I think, to change that paradigm," he said.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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