- The Washington Times - Monday, June 10, 2013

Leading Republicans in the House have called for the extradition of the man at the heart of the National Security Agency information scandal, Edward Snowden, who is in Hong Kong.

The United States and Hong Kong have an extradition treaty, but the treaty makes exceptions for political offenses.

“If Edward Snowden did in fact leak the NSA data as he claims, the United States government must prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and begin extradition proceedings at the earliest date,” said Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, in The Guardian, a British paper. “The United States must make it clear that no country should be granting this individual asylum. This is a matter of extraordinary consequence to American intelligence.”

Mr. Snowden has been in Hong Kong for 10 days, openly giving interviews to The Guardian and seeming proud of his whistleblowing activities. Civil rights activists are hailing him as a hero of sorts.

“As a whistleblower myself, this is one of the most significant leakers in my lifetime and in U.S. history,” said Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department attorney who represents whistleblowers, in a Reuters report.

Thomas Drake, an ex-NSA executive and whistleblower on waste at the agency, described Mr. Snowden in The Guardian report: “He’s extraordinarily brave and courageous.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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