The extradition of Gary McKinnon to the US is undemocratic, downright stupid and illegal

July 13, 2009

I’m angry because nobody read my post last November and if they did, it didn’t change a thing (so what’s new). So is Sarah Brown, Gordon’s wife, as well she might be, living with a tripehead. But we’re both angry today because yet another miscarriage of justice is poised to be committed in the name of the ‘War on Terror.’

In November 2008, Thus helped draw attention to the long-running battle against the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the US. Today, the government will decide whether to hand him over to the US authorities on dubious, if not outright illegal grounds, or see justice done and tell the US to grow up. So far, in thrall to an extradition treaty covertly passed in 2004 by Tony Blair and signed by David Blunkett (who now admits it was a bad idea), the UK government and House of Lords have done nothing to protect a UK citizen’s rights. With the utmost respect for Mr McKinnon and his mother, who enlisted Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon, in her campaign amongst others, this case is bigger than the illegal and grossly disproportionate detention of an Asberger’s sufferer. If McKinnon’s extradition proceeds, no UK citizen is safe from the predatory ravings of publicity-seeking US neocon nutters. Blair is possibly a loony and certainly has much to answer for. McKinnon is an exopolitics nut who was looking for evidence of UFOs and anti-gravity machines when he stumbled into Pentagon computers (which were inadequately password-protected). One of the above was and is a power-crazed sociopath whose legacy should be extradition and trial before the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The other is a harmless guy with mental health issues who has already suffered enough.

McKinnon hacked in to US military sites looking for evidence of UFOs nearly 7 years ago. He never denied that his hacking was extensive, acknowledged its criminality, but vehemently denied that it was motivated by malice. The US authorities claim his antics caused widespread damage to their defence networks. McKinnon asserts that he was not even a professional hacker – if anything, he alerted the Strangeloves to the frightening inadequacies of their technology and thus deserves a congressional medal. He was arrested by the UK High Tech Crimes Unit in 2002, who told him he would get a community service sentence, but things took a bizarre turn for the worse when the US authorities demanded extradition and trial in the US, which could lead to up to 70 years in a Supermax prison. Incarceration will almost certainly exacerbate McKinnon’s Asperger’s Syndrome, which in his case manifests itself as an ‘honesty compulsion’ that will get him into terrible trouble with fellow inmates. (It also means that he will not plea bargain to reduce the sentence for something he is certain he didn’t do).

The chances of either a fair trial or leniency have been thrown into doubt by reports that US authorities have said they want to see him “fry”. It bodes ill for the much-touted lenient and caring US approach – has anyone seen any evidence thus far? – that the Obama regime have not intervened. Never mind Thus, when the ultra right wing Daily Mail is openly campaigning against the one-sided extradition law in general and the McKinnon case in particular, and the Prime Minister’s wife is onside, even an American should be able to work out that pursuing this vendetta will not win friends abroad. The US is happy to allow Britons to lose their lives fighting its stupid wars. They have no right to demand unilateral rendition of our citizens. Allow McKinnon to be tried here, where he committed his alleged crimes, or tell us to our faces that you don’t trust our legal system. Anything less is anal rape – another thing that Gary will need to watch out for in a US prison.