On Obama’s cancellation of summit with Putin and extradition August 7, 2013Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, Criminal Justice, Whistle-blowing, Wikileaks.
Tags: civil disobedience, edward snowden, extradition, extradition treaties, glenn greenwald, john lewis, obama summit, putin summit, Richard Falk, roger hollander, russia summit, snowden asylum, vladimir putin, whistle blower
President Obama today canceled a long-scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal directive to hand over Edward Snowden despite the lack of an extradition treaty between the two nations. That means that US media outlets will spend the next 24 hours or so channeling the government’s views (excuse the redundancy) by denouncing the Russian evil of refusing extradition. When doing so, very few, if any, establishment media accounts will mention any of these cases:
[US refuses Bolivia’s request to extradite its former CIA-supported president, Gonzalo SÃ¡nchez de Lozada, to stand trial on charges of genocide and other war crimes after de Lozada hires Democratic lobbyists to represent him]
El Paso Times, December 30, 2010:
The US constantly refuses requests to extradite — even where (unlike Russia) they have an extradition treaty with the requesting country and even where (unlike Snowden) the request involves actual, serious crimes, such as genocide, kidnapping, and terrorism. Maybe those facts should be part of whatever media commentary there is on Putin’s refusal to extradite Snowden and Obama’s rather extreme reaction to it.
Other mattersFormer Bush-era CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden appeared on CNN this week and confirmed that our reporting on the NSA’s X-Keyscore program was accurate, telling the nation that we should all be grateful for those capabilities.
NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen has a superb essay on the behavior of the US media in NSA stories.
Foreign Policy CEO and Editor David Rothkopf becomes the latest establishment figure to recognize, as he puts it in a quite good column: “I have myself been too slow to recognize that the benefits we have derived from Snowden’s revelations substantially outweigh the costs associated with the breach.”
ssociated with the breach.”UPDATE
Civil rights hero John Lewis, in an interview with the Guardian today, praised Snowden for engaging in “civil disobedience” in the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and the Civil Rights movement.
Meanwhile, 150 press freedom and human rights groups from around the world issued a letter demanding that the US cease prosecuting Snowden on the ground that “Snowden’s disclosures have triggered a much-needed public debate about mass surveillance online everywhere” and “thanks to him, we have learned the extent to which our online lives are systematically monitored by governments, without transparency, accountability or safeguards from abuse.”
At a hearing yesterday of the Brazilian Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, at which I testified, senators not only uninformly expressed indignation at indiscriminate NSA spying on their citizens and support for Snowden, but some borrowed Snowden masks worn by college students in attendance and put them on their own face to show support.
Finally, Princeton University international law professor Richard Falk has an Op-Ed today explaining that the granting of asylum to Snowden wasn’t just within Russia’s rights, but was legally compelled.
Maybe Obama can cancel meeting with all of them, too, as punishment (along with Hong Kong, China, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba and Russia as countries who have been threatened). I think it’s becoming increasingly clear here who the rogue and lawless nation is in this case.
ABOUT GLENN GREENWALD
For the past 10 years, I was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. I am the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, more…)