Last week the US government organised for the arrest of a Chinese national while she was transiting through Vancouver international airport. The Canadians dutifully complied because what else would they do when they’re told what to do by their betters? The individual arrested just happens to be the CFO of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou. She was arrested for something to do with US sanctions.
Although now released on $10 million bail, she still faces extradition to a New York City courtroom, where she could receive up to thirty years in federal prison for allegedly having conspired in 2010 to violate America’s unilateral economic trade sanctions against Iran.
Ms Wanzhou is a Chinese national of some importance. She was not on a trip to the US at the time. But she has been arrested for breaking US law. The question that I have is this – since when did US law become international law applicable to any citizen of any country at any time that the US chooses is convenient?
Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon. As a result, local American courts have begun enforcing gigantic financial penalties against foreign countries and their leading corporations, and I suspect that the rest of the world is tiring of this misbehavior.
Back in my home country of Australia there is an old saying as regards to getting unexpectedly busted – ignorance of the law is no excuse. It’s usually a fair cop, but when this is extended to foreign nations it seems a bit Empirish in a Star Wars sense if you see what I mean and I think you do.
Let us know consider the curious case of Julian Assange. US brings new charges against Julian Assange in war logs, State cables case.
Prosecutors are bringing a slate of new charges against Julian Assange, including alleged violations of the Espionage Act, raising the stakes for his prospective extradition from the United Kingdom.
A grand jury in Northern Virginia has returned a superseding indictment with 17 more charges against the WikiLeaks founder that follow an earlier case brought against Assange in connection with the alleged help he gave to Chelsea Manning to compromise U.S. government computer networks.
Assange is being charged for what officials call his “alleged complicity in illegal acts” involving Manning and “for agreeing and attempting to obtain” information that compromised national security.
Excuse me for my obvious legal naivety since nobody else is talking about this matter, but how on earth are these charges applicable to Assange? He is not an American citizen. He was not on US soil at the time of the charges. I expect based on this precedent that next they’ll be leveling the charge of treason at him. It would make about as much sense as any of those other 17 charges.
Assange’s lawyers don’t seem to give a toss about this aspect so maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree. But this has parallels with the Wanzhou case; how is it possible that US law is applicable to foreign nationals outside US territory? To call this an overreach is somewhat of an understatement. Somebody please enlighten me because last time that I checked there was no global court run by the USA.
If I have a serious legal point here then Julian, you owe me a few beers, mate.