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The Bungling of Ed Snowden's Extradition: Four Explosive Questions the Press Hasn't Asked
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What is the truth of the US government’s attempt to extradite Ed Snowden from Hong Kong? According to some reports, he managed to secure his getaway only because of almost unbelievable incompetence by US officials.

The Sunday Times of London, for instance, reports that an extradition order presented to Hong Kong contained elementary flaws. It not only got Snowden’s middle name wrong but even failed to provide his passport number. Had the paperwork been right, the Hong Kong authorities would have had no alternative but to cooperate.

If the facts are as the Sunday Times states (and it quotes an apparently reliable sources in Hong Kong Justice Minister Yuen Kwok-keung), why has not all this made the front pages across the United States? After all an extradition order of this importance should have been dealt with at the highest levels. Washington moreover is a town crawling with detail-obsessed lawyers, several of the most persnickety of whom no doubt would have been involved in any cross-border request of this sensitivity.

The US side partially admits the Hong Kong allegations,according to New Delhi-based ndtv.com. which quotes Stephen Young, the US consul in Hong Kong, saying that at the time of Snowden’s getaway the American side was busy “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s” in what it took to be a normal process of communication under the two sides’ extradition agreement.

Young apparently added: ”They’ve been throwing out some arguments as to what was going on. But frankly I don’t think we had a good-faith partner throughout that process.”

Basically it appears that Hong Kong was looking for an excuse not to cooperate. But that should have been obvious from the start: Hong Kong has long been completely under Beijing’s thumb in foreign affairs and had not the slightest sympathy for Washington’s position.

Here are some questions that haven’t yet been asked but urgently need to be:

1. Who is the official — name please! — who had final authority in submitting the extradition order to Hong Kong?

2. Why did he or she submit an order without filling in Snowden’s passport and checking Snowden’s middle name?

3. Who introduced the erroneous middle name into the paperwork in the first place?

4. If the Hong Kong authorities acted in bad faith, what action will Washington take to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again?

(Republished from Forbes by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Edward Snowden, Government Surveillance 
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