The embattled spying bureau will get new leaders as Edward Snowden’s surveillance disclosures continue to embarrass and expose the Obama and Bush administrations.
Vice-admiral Michael Rogers, the commander of the US navy’s tenth fleet and its Fleet Cyber Command, will take over from NSA Director Keith Alexander, who reluctantly became a global figure in the wake of the Snowden revelations.
Richard Ledgett, the head of the agency’s investigation into Snowden – who publicly floated the prospect of an amnesty for the former contractor – will become the NSA’s new deputy director and top civilian leader.
The appointments, both long anticipated, were announced by the Pentagon on Thursday.
Rogers is a longtime cryptologist in the Navy, whose informal turn it was to nominate a director for the NSA. Alexander is an Army general; and his predecessor, Michael Hayden, hailed from the Air Force.
Rogers has a resume studded with experience in cryptography and electronic eavesdropping that are central to the NSA’s charter. Tenth Fleet, inert since World War II, was reactivated as the Navy’s cybersecurity command and based at Fort Meade, the base of operations for the military’s infant Cyber Command – which Rogers will also head, pending Senate approval – and the NSA. Rogers also served for two years on the military’s Joint Staff as intelligence director, a prestigious Pentagon post.
But his low-profile commissions have not provided him with a platform to articulate his views on the propriety and appropriate scope of the bulk surveillance of a large swath of world communications, the subject of Snowden’s disclosures that have been published in the Guardian, the Washington Post and other news outlets worldwide.