Spencer Ackerman in Washington
theguardian.com, Friday 13 December 2013 21.54 GMT
The National Security Agency's top civilian employee is leaving abruptly, as the agency continues to be swept by turmoil over its controversial surveillance powers.
John Inglis, who has spent nearly eight years as the deputy director of the NSA, is retiring weeks after Washington speculation placed him as a top candidate to be the first civilian to run the agency.
Inglisí departure, first reported by Reuters and Foreign Policy magazine and independently confirmed by the Guardian, is set for the end of the year. In a few months he will be joined by his boss, US army General Keith Alexander, who is also stepping down after eight years. The moves give President Barack Obama an opportunity to reshape the leadership of a spy agency that has sparked one of the most intense diplomatic crises of his presidency.
The NSA said on Friday that Inglisí imminent retirement was part of a long-scheduled transition and was not indicative of further departures.