AlterNet: By Alex Kane: 4 Cases of the U.S. Sheltering Vicious Criminals that Reveal Total Hypocracy on Snowden!
Russia's decision early this month to grant National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden temporary asylum in the country has led to a chorus of U.S. officials and media personalities denouncing Vladimir Putin. "Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife," said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on August 2. "Putin is acting like a schoolyard bully." David Satter of the conservative publication National Review used the occasion to write that "Russia, unlike the U.S. has no rule of law." But the cries for Russia to grant the request to extradite Snowden to face certain imprisonment and harsh punishment has exposed U.S. hypocrisy. There have been a number of cases in recent years when countries asked the U.S. to extradite suspected criminals back to their countries. But when it comes to those who committed crimes in the service of U.S. policy, America refuses those requests. As the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald pointed out in a recent column, the U.S. shelters a number of people who are accused of crimes more heinous than Snowden's even if the country making the request has an extradition treaty with America, which Russia does not have. Here are four egregious cases where the U.S. has refused extradition requests. 1. Robert Lady. After the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks, the Bush administration granted the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to snatch people off the streets and whisk them to other countries for interrogation and torture. With the help of 54 countries, CIA operatives around the world implemented what was known as Bush's "extraordinary rendition" program. Robert Lady is one of those operatives. In 2000, Lady arrived in Milan, Italy to become the CIA's station chief. Three years later, he oversaw an operation that would become one of the CIA's station chief. Three years later, he oversaw an operation that would become one of the CIA's worst debacles in recent history. Lady and his team of operatives began working with Italian intelligence agents on the case of Abu Omar, an Egyptian cleric and former member of a banned Islamist group who had successfully sought asylum in Italy. The U.S. and Italy were gathering intelligence on him because they suspected he had ties to terrorism. But higher-ups at the CIA pressured Lady to spurn his partnership with Italian intelligence and strike out on his own, though Lady tried to convince the CIA that wasn't a good idea. In 2003, CIA operatives led by Lady kidnapped Omar off the streets of Milan. They whisked the cleric off to Egypt where he faced harsh interrogation and torture. As Amnesty International noted, Omar said that Egyptian security forces hung him "head down , feet up. hands tied behind my back, feet also tied together, and I was exposed to electric shocks all over my body." He was beaten on his genitals with a stick and kept in a rat-and cockroach-infested cell that reached extreme temperatures. Omar was released in April 2004 only to be re-arrested after telling friends about his ordeal, and was kept in solitary confinement. He was finally released for good in 2007.