I'm bored with the Edward Snowden story. He's been indicted now on Espionage Act charges, but it sure looks as if the governments of Hong Kong and China can either refuse his extradition or stall it for a considerable length of time:
Simon Young, a professor at Hong Kong University's faculty of law, suggested it was unclear whether Snowden would win or lose any attempt to fight extradition.He'll probably never be extradited, and we'll probably never change the NSA program. And there the matter will stand.
He said theft was listed in the U.S.-Hong Kong extradition treaty. "There is an offence listed in the treaty of unlawful handling of property, but this raises the question as to whether information is property and the answer is not clear," he said in an email.
... he added that "for legal arguments which I will not go into now, I am doubtful that offenses not specifically mentioned in either the treaty or FOO [Hong Kong's Fugitives Offenders Ordinance] will be the subject of surrender."
Young said that elements of the three alleged offenses "exist in neutral terms and cannot necessarily be said to be of a political character."
"But more important for this exception will be all the surrounding circumstances including the motivation for the prosecution, the unfairness of his trial at home and his likely treatment in custody," he added....
I'm getting restless. I want this to turn into a summer blockbuster.
In my version, money from the Chinese government and from radical Icelandic billionaires has enabled Snowden to retreat to an armed compound, like the one Marlon Brando had in Apocalypse Now, where he practices martial arts and speaks in Zen koans.
One night, President Obama sends in SEAL Team Six for an exfil operation. Snowden is taken alive -- he is white, after all -- and is returned to the U.S. to face charges.
He's convicted on all counts and is sent to a highly secure supermax. After nine months in the slammer, he engineers the first successful prison break in American supermax history, after he discovers that the private prison firm running the supermax secures all its electronics using the password "abc123."
Unbeknownst to the authorities, he holes up in the wilderness near Lincoln, Montana, where he writes and self-publishes an e-book memoir that becomes an overnight publishing phenomenon. The memoir, bearing rave reviews from Glenn Greenwald and Glenn Beck, shoots to the top of the New York Times e-book bestseller list; it makes Snowden a rich man, despite -- or perhaps because of -- the stipulation that all purchasers pay for the book using untraceable bitcoins.
Cynically pardoned by President Scott Walker on January 21, 2017, Snowden quietly leaves the U.S. He lives out his days in Arthur C. Clarke's old residence in Sri Lanka, where he is protected from harm by a phalanx of Buddhist warriors from Myanmar and surrounded by concubines and alt-pole dancers.
NSA surveillance is never curtailed.