And Bolivia makes three

It looks like forcing down the Bolivian president’s plane on its return from Russia was a big blunder that has backfired badly on the US. It has angered many of the governments of that region, bringing back painful memories of how the US treated them in the past.

The Bolivian government has now joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering Snowden asylum and the government has also threatened to close the US embassy in retaliation.

If you want to see what an extradition request looks like, you can see the full text of what the US government has already filed with Venezuela, even though Edward Snowden has not even gone there yet. The three charges make Snowden liable for up to thirty years in jail and $750,000 in fines, although it is quite possible that the government will tack on more charges if they ever get their hands on him.


  1. Corvus illustris says

    it is quite possible that the government will tack on more charges if they ever get their hands on him.

    Capital charges, of course. That restriction on charging treason in the silly old 18th-c. document is so outmoded–our Democratic congresspeople realize that already. We can fix that later by legislation, which post 9/11 is every bit as good as constitutional amendment. Meanwhile, we got the Rosenbergs with tools readily available for use on Snowden.

  2. says

    It strikes me that, if somehow he is extradited to the US, he won’t be able to get a fair trial at all. They’ll probably do everything they can to have a super-secret trial, completely removing his right to a jury.

  3. coragyps says

    What are you asking there, slc1?

    Is there some way to help support Snowden financially? Surely he needs outside funds.

  4. slc1 says

    The issue is, how is he going to get there without flying over a portion of US territory where the plane carrying him could be forced down. According to Singham, the US will stop at nothing to capture him and would have no qualms about forcing a plane carrying him to land at a US airport.

  5. smrnda says

    Maybe Snowden could travel by ship instead of by plane, making him harder to track?

  6. says

    I don’t think any planes are going to be forced down; a US satrapy might refuse to allow a plane into its airspace, but as long as it’s not low on fuel that’s not a problem – unless the US can control all the airspaces out of Russia or into Venezuela.

  7. says

    OK apparently I didn’t. Serves me right for not using preview. I meant to post

    No moral 1st world country would extradite someone to the US, since the US has capital punishment and engages in torture.

  8. slc1 says

    Prof. Singham doesn’t see it that way. If I were Snowden, I wouldn’t count on the US refraining from forcing down a plane that crossed US territory.

  9. daved says

    That wouldn’t make him harder to track, and it would leave him exposed for far longer than the few hours a plane ride would take.

    If I were Snowden, and I were on a ship, I’d expect a group of SEALs to board the ship in the dead of night, kidnap me, and take me off to US custody somewhere. The best case scenario is he winds up back on the US mainland, in jail. The fact that he’d been kidnapped would make no difference. If a fugitive winds up back on US soil, no matter how he got there, he can be arrested and prosecuted.

    The worst-case scenario is he winds up at Gitmo or some black prison and is never heard from again.

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