Hong Kong minister rejects US accusations of deliberately delaying Snowden’s arrest

It’s too delicious to not post.  From the SCMP in part:

Hong Kong’s justice secretary said on Tuesday the United States had failed to provide crucial information necessary to support its request for the arrest of whistle-blower Edward Snowden before he had left the city.

The missing information included things as basic as a confirmation of Snowden’s full name and passport number, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said on Tuesday.

“Up to the moment Snowden left the city, the US government had not replied to the Department of Justice’s request for the necessary information,” he said.

There was no legal basis to restrict or ban Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong
Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung.

“Therefore, it was impossible and there was no legal basis under Hong Kong law for the Department of Justice to ask a Hong Kong judge to sign off on a provisional arrest warrant,” Yuen said. “[Thus] there then was no legal basis to restrict or ban Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

Yuen’s public remarks – his first on the Snowden case – came after the White House said it was disappointed with the city’s failure to arrest the fugitive whistle-blower who has made public information detailing US internet spying programmes around the world. [snip]

The name used in US government diplomatic documents was Edward James Snowden, the US Department of Justice referred to him as Edward J Snowden, and Hong Kong’s Immigration Department had him recorded as Edward Joseph Snowden, Yuen said.

“I couldn’t say the three names were consistent, so we needed further clarification. Otherwise, there would have been legal problems with a provisional arrest warrant,” Yuen said.

The US also failed to explain to Hong Kong authorities how two of the three charges the US mentioned in its arrest request fell within the scope of a US-Hong Kong rendition of fugitive offenders agreement signed in 1996.

(Accused by the US of ‘stalling’, Hong Kong counters with this history):

Yuen said that on June 21 – two days before Snowden left — the Security Bureau wrote to the US government asking it to clarify reports that the US had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong.

On the same afternoon, Hong Kong’s Department of Justice e-mailed and sent by speed-post to the US its request for further information to support the US request for the provisional arrest of Snowden.

As of Tuesday, Hong Kong had not received a reply from the US to this request.

This piece at naked capitalism came from the SCMP through ExPat through correntewire to….NC.  Yves adds this toward the end:

Yves here. There’s another layer I believe may have been operating in this contretemps. Various reports of how upset American officials were about Snowden exiting take the tone, “We were working with the HK officials, they didn’t tell us anything was wrong.” Even if that was true, look at the underlying assumption: the US and the HK government agreed Snowden was extradition material, it was just a matter of formalities to get him back to the US. It’s almost as if they assumed there was an agreement in principle and any details could beworked out or fudged as appropriate. This is basically a dealmaking view of the world: the important people will sort matters out. By contrast, the HK bureaucratic rigidity looks to be much closer to how Americans think laws work: rules are rules, and they are applied strictly and impartially (mind you, that is not to say the bureaucratic approach didn’t also serve HK’s political needs).
Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/a4-paper-please-and-do-remember-to-spellcheck.html#ucqDB37eTO5vRl6l.99

Kgb and THD were of the opinion that i’d been too cynical about the use of the letter that they’d drafted to Alexander about the inaccuracies (read: lies) their fact sheet on section section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the part of the law that underpins the agency’s PRISM data collection program.  kgb was of the opinion that their questions would have to be answered, leading to…more.

What HuffPo is reporting is that the NSA simply deleted the page; guess that’s their answer for now.

Adding a few links from a piece or two downstream for easier access (back in time):

‘On the Espionage Act charges against Edward Snowden’ (Glenn Greenwald) He indicates that he’s working on ‘more stories’, but wanted to weigh in on this travesty. The piece just rolled out of him whole, I swear. He breathes this stuff…

‘NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers (washington’s blog w/ Tice video)

Greenwald’s: PRISM, partisanship and propaganda:

Lee Fang: contractors have alredy abused their power.

Kgb999 hopes Glenn Greenwald will release the rest of the PRISM slides. (complicated tech explanations, but smart as hell)

Thomas Drake : ‘Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution’

From today’s Margaret Kimberly piece, ‘Freedom Rider: The World Says Yes to Snowden, No to Obama’


4 responses to “Hong Kong minister rejects US accusations of deliberately delaying Snowden’s arrest

  1. amazing times. We’re circling the bowl.

    The top leaders of the USA aren’t familiar with this kind of thing;

    Much more accustomed to the Tony Blair, and now Cameron,….. happy to have been of service, is there anything else I can do or will that be all for you today?….. approach.

    should have flown over with a plane and dropped a pallet load of thousand dollar bills into the Hong Kong spokesman’s yard. That always works doesn’t it?

    The time slot of the sole global superpower didn’t last very long did it.

    Twenty years.

  2. it’s as though the US can’t quit parodying itself. love the pallet drop imagery, mafr. but seriously, i’ve been wondering which sorts of carrots, which sorts of sticks might have been offered, especially to putin. we’ll never know, of course until some nsa contractor hacks…well, never mind.

    hello, general alexander. hope life’s absurd enough for you at this point. the world is now watching you.

  3. links from BAR:
    Marsha Coleman’s ‘RUN SNOWDEN RUN! Dirty Lies, Dirty Wars, Dirty Secrets’

    Zounds; Bruce Dixon’s ‘Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Harriet Tubman Didn’t Turn Themselves In, Why Should Edward Snowden?’

    Willmer J. Leon III’s ‘VP Cheney, the Pot Calling the Kettle Black?’

    Norman Pollack’s ‘Edward J. Snowden and the Exposure of Voyeuristic Fascism’ (and further ‘Self-Pacification of the American Citizenry’
    (haven’t read any of them yet, promise to be excellent)

    Atlantic Wire’s ‘Which of these ‘facts’ is the NSA lying about’ (hat tip juliania through her Common Dreams link)

  4. BAR is excellent, wendye, thank you for your links! I am enjoying how creatively this story is being written and in parallel these very hot days am just starting to read ‘Founding Brothers’ by Joseph J. Ellis, bearing in mind that he wrote this small volume in 2000 when it would have seemed to many of us that democracy was a fait accompli, although the discerning among us already saw clear signs of rot. I remarked on FDL that it would seem the Brits now have their victory in the Revolutionary war, since they have more data being collected than the NSA, a race to the bottom in no uncertain terms.

    It is lovely that the rest of the world sees very clearly the irony of the situation into which our ‘leaders’ have well and truly blundered. And it still remains to be seen if further founding brothers can be found here to attempt the righting of the revolutionary ship. We’ve already got a few who will go down in history as having made that attempt. You go, guys!

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