Extradition or Rendition: How Will the U.S. Get Snowden Back on U.S. Territory?

Email a Friend
From and

President Obama explained his administration's position on Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton contractor, who leaked information on N.S.A. surveillance projects.

Snowden took questions from Guardian readers in a live chat yesterday as well. He explained his choice of Hong Kong:

“There was a distinct possibility I would be interdicted en route, so I had to travel with no advance booking to a country with the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained. Hong Kong provided that.”

Meanwhile, Justice Department officials said last week that they are preparing criminal charges against Snowden. Republican leaders’ have made clear they agree with designating him as a criminal. Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Fox News Sunday said:

"I think he's a traitor... and I think it's one of the worst occasions in my memory of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security interest of the United States."

The Los Angeles Times has reported that officials are trying to move as quickly as possible, to prevent Snowden from leaking any more information.

The question is, how exactly will they have Snowden returned to the U.S.? Extradition? Or some other method?

Ashley Deeks, a University of Virginia law professor and former State Department adviser on matters of extradition explains the Obama administration's options.