No wheeling,dealing or trading to extradite Snowden: Obamahttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/no-wheeling-dealing-or-trading-to-extradite-snowden-obama/

No wheeling,dealing or trading to extradite Snowden: Obama

The United States won’t be scrambling military jets or engaging in high-level diplomatic bartering to get National Security Agency whistleblower

The United States won’t be scrambling military jets or engaging in high-level diplomatic bartering to get National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden extradited to the US,President Barack Obama said Thursday.

Dismissing him as “a 29-year-old hacker”,Obama sought to downplay the international chase for Snowden,lowering the temperature of an issue that has already raised tensions between the US and uneasy partners Russia and China.

Obama said the damage to US national security has already been done and his top focus now is making sure it can’t happen again.

“I’m not going to have one case with a suspect who we’re trying to extradite suddenly be elevated to the point where I’ve got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues,simply to get a guy extradited so he can face the justice system,” Obama said at a joint news conference with Senegal’s President Macky Sall.

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Snowden turned 30 last week. He was working as a government contractor with security clearance when he seized the NSA documents.

Snowden’s intercontinental efforts to shirk US authorities – taking him from a hotel hideout in Hong Kong to an airport transit zone in Moscow,where he’s believed to be holed up – has already undercut Obama’s efforts to strengthen ties with China and threatened to worsen tensions with Russia just as Obama is seeking Moscow’s cooperation on Syria. At the same time,Snowden’s attempts to seek asylum from Ecuador and other nations have underscored Obama’s limited sway in a number of foreign capitals.

Obama said he hadn’t personally called either Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping to request their cooperation.

“I shouldn’t have to,” he declared.

Obama said such matters are routinely dealt with at a law-enforcement level,calling Snowden’s extradition “not exceptional from a legal perspective”.

“My continued expectation is that Russia or other countries that have talked about potentially providing Snowden asylum recognize that they are a part of an international community and they should be abiding by international law,’’ Obama said,noting that the US doesn’t have a formal extradition treaty with Russia.

‘Snowden asylum document unauthorized’

QUITO: Ecuador’s diplomatic mission in London issued a safe-conduct pass so NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could travel to Ecuador to seek political asylum,but the action was unauthorized and the pass is invalid,government officials said Thursday. Ecuadorean officials have repeatedly expressed sympathy for Snowden,but have insisted they have taken no decision on granting him asylum. AP