Australia to Extradite Former US Marine Over China Training

Image copyright: The Guardian

The Facts

  • The Australian Attorney-General’s Dept. has approved a request to extradite former US Marine Corps pilot Daniel Duggan to the US. He is accused of money laundering and conspiracy to export defense services to the PRC by training Chinese pilots.

  • This comes as Australia's Extradition Act 1988 and Australia's extradition treaty with the US required AG Mark Dreyfus to make a decision by Dec. 25 following a formal extradition order lodged on Dec. 9.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Any former military personnel that assists a foreign adversary, especially one like China, is a traitor to their country. The West cannot allow misguided, greedy, and naive pilots like Duggan to profit from weakening the US's military posture in Asia. All appropriate legal avenues to combat this crime must be taken to mitigate future incidents like this one.

Establishment-critical narrative

Though Duggan's actions may be morally and legally gray, his detention, and now extradition, is politically motivated as the US increasingly faces rising tensions with China. The case has been shrouded in secrecy since the start, and Duggan is being charged for actions that took place a decade ago. His treatment by Australian authorities has also been unjustifiably cruel, as he was held in isolation and classified as an "extreme high risk" inmate. There is more to this story than meets the eye.

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