While I was looking for breaking legal news in the UK for an upcoming post, I found a story about a 23 year old British man who is fighting the U.S. over efforts to extradite him and force him to face copyright theft charges. At first, I thought, “Wow…another terrorist has been found”. The more I read, though, the more bizarre the story became.
Richard O’Dwyer hosted a website that offered free internet TV. His profits, around $8,000 in USD a month, came from internet ads. And by the way – he wasn’t breaking any laws in the UK. Still, our country is dropping big bucks to force this kid to the U.S. to stand trial for copyright infringement. He’s being charged with two counts and faces five years in prison for each charge. Keep in mind – he broke no laws in his home country.
At first, I thought, “Oh, come on….does our international law enforcement teams have nothing better to do?” Then – when I found my way to Fox News about ten minutes later, here’s the headline I found:
Egypt to prosecute 19 Americans, after raids on rights groups
Turns out, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son was one of the 19 arrested for “receiving foreign funds illegally” and for “being involved in banned activity” in Egypt. Our Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with the State Department and no telling how many more federal agencies are moving Heaven and earth to prevent these 19 Americans, including LaHood’s son, Sam, from standing trial. They, too, face five years (just like O’Dwyer faces). Clinton is threatening to withhold “billions in aid” to the country if these folks aren’t released.
Ray LaHood is calling the possible prison time “very serious”. He’s worried about his son, who’s in his 40s. I
imagine Richard O’Dwyer’s mom is worried just the same. In fact, I know she is. The Daily Mail is reporting she was sobbing outside the courtroom after hearing the court system won’t be able to keep her son from being extradited, even though he’s done nothing wrong as far as the UK legal system is concerned.
So, this all comes full circle. Not only does the U.S. believe England should have stricter laws, it thinks Egypt’s laws are too strict. And we wonder why the rest of the world thinks this is the land of narcissism.