“Edward has said he took his final government contracting job with Booz Allen Hamilton in Hawaii to gain access to sensitive NSA information,” Markon reports. “But his father said Edward told him that his previous contracting job had been eliminated because of the federal budget sequestration.”
So no sequester would mean no access, which would mean no leak.
In a parallel universe in which there was no sequester, Snowden might be just another contractor collecting checks, instead of an internationally notorious fugitive camping out in the Moscow airport.
So much for those theories that the sequester had little impact.
Every presidency has its “power couples” holding down top jobs in the executive branch. The Obama administration’s second-term examples include:
●Tony Blinken, deputy national security adviser, and Evan Ryan, a top aide to Vice President Biden who was nominated this month to be assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.
●Katie Beirne, the new deputy White House communications director, and Brian Fallon, the Justice Department’s new head of public affairs. Both are former top aides to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
●Heather Higginbottom, counselor to Secretary of State John Kerry and former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Danny Sepulveda, deputy assistant secretary of state. Higginbottom is being talked about as a possible deputy secretary of state.
●Josh Earnest, White House principal deputy press secretary, and Natalie Wyeth Earnest, assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs.
●Jamie Smith, deputy White House press secretary, and Eric Pierce, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs. They’re new parents — Lincoln Rose Pierce Smith is not quite 3 months old.
Sometimes half of a power pair leaves the government. Doug Lute is a top National Security Council aide awaiting confirmation as U.S. ambassador to NATO, but Jane Holl Lute is no longer deputy secretary of homeland security.
The appropriately named Samantha Power, a senior NSC aide while husband Cass Sunstein was head of the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is expected to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Sunstein, meanwhile, is teaching at Harvard Law.
Cathy Russell, chief of staff to Jill Biden, has been nominated as ambassador at large for global women’s issues, but her spouse, former national security adviser Tom Donilon, has moved on to the Council on Foreign Relations.