NSA Head Offered to Resign After Snowden Leaks

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander offered to resign after Edward Snowden identified himself as the source of leaked classified documents.

President Obama declined to accept Alexander's resignation, in part because White House officials didn't think the resignation would accomplish much other than giving the appearance that Snowden had "won." Even so, the resignation offer highlights the effect the leaks have had on the spy organization.

"It was cataclysmic," Richard Ledgett, who heads a special NSA Snowden response team, told the Wall Street Journal. "This is the hardest problem we've had to face in 62 years of existence."

The leaks have reportedly led to some changes at the NSA. Some programs, like the eavesdropping on certain foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have ended, and White House-requested recommendations from an internal review team investigating the NSA could come as soon as this week. And in a major potential shift, when Alexander steps down this spring, he might be replaced by a civilian, which would mark the first time non-military personnel has led the NSA.

[Image via AP]