The funny thing about international extradition laws: there really aren’t any. Technically, there is a law, but the vast majority of the pandering you see back and forth on these issues is possible because the law doesn’t really narrow down much at all where this is concerned. Pretty much, countries negotiate this out as situations arise, and it’s not so much about law as international relations. So, essentially, a country out there deciding whether or not to extradite Edward Snowden, the now infamous “whistleblower” to some, American hero to others, might base their decision solely on whether they need something from the United States and feel this could put them in a better bargaining situation.
All that being said, a lot is being made right now of Venezuela being Snowden’s ultimate destination for political asylum. Well, on the surface it sounds realistic enough, right? Venezuela had a long record of problems with United States’ policy during Hugo Chavez’ reign, so, like so many other countries, they probably treasure the implications of offering political asylum to someone from the United States, the nation that has forged its reputation around granting others the same thing from the opposite side of the spectrum. We at Common Sense Conspiracy have a few thoughts on the possible Venezuela move that we want to share with our readers. Of course, this is speculation; no one not on the inside of this knows the nuts and bolts of what is going on right now for sure. However, we do think we might be able to shed a little bit of light on the thought process of all parties involved.
You may have noticed the rhetoric has changed a bit in the media the last few days. What was hellfire and brimstone against Snowden by Congress and President Barack Obama in the opening days of this drama has subsided a bit. They have softened up a little, not throwing out 24/7 threats to Snowden on every news channel they can get their hands on. Why? Well, perhaps they are trying to lull Snowden into a sense of false security. Or maybe they, being the upstanding politicians that they are, have finally come to terms with the fact that the American people are not nearly as condemning of Snowden’s actions as the government is, and therefore, it is in their political best interest to circle their wagons. They do that you know. Election time is always a factor in every decision these guys make… maybe not morals, the best interest of the nation, or any of those sorts of things, but election time ALWAYS figures in. Hey, at least they are consistent.
For Snowden, we have to wonder if he is stupid enough to show up in Venezuela when the entire media is happily reporting that this is his best shot at asylum. Since Hugo Chavez’ recent death, the United States and Venezuela have been trying to play a fun game of reconciliation without either showing any signs of weakness. It doesn’t mean the two are one happy family now, but it does mean that we might be seeing a high-stakes poker game unfolding. Could it not be that the American government is encouraging Venezuela to accept Snowden with open arms because they could then put it on the table as a bargaining chip? How much trouble is it for the United States Special Forces to walk right into just about anywhere and take out Snowden once his whereabouts are known? Could Venezuela be waiting to bury that dagger in Snowden’s back?
Having said all of that, Snowden has been pretty smart about things so far. The word on the street is that he is still holed up in a Moscow airport, but no one really knows this for sure. Perhaps Russia did Snowden the huge favor of spreading just that message while he has slipped out the back door and is safe somewhere that is never going to be suspected by the media. He’s played this game two or three steps ahead of the enemy so far, and we find it difficult to believe that he would now just walk into Venezuela expecting the United States to stand staring with their face against the glass window at the border. He knows just as well as we do that he’s a dead man once they know where he is. His only true “political asylum” is political anonymity.
So, the chess board is all set up. The opening moves have been made. Even a few pawns have been taken. Where do we go from here?
Snowden, it’s your move.
(Special thanks to a fellow, we’ll call him Marsalis, that helped inspire this interesting line of thought)