Are you convinced?
1 Gary McKinnon admits hacking into seventy odd American computers ten years ago. That is a very bad thing to do. Lots of us have had our computers hacked and its serious stuff.
2 These computers included the US Department of Defence and the Pentagon. This is very bad in American eyes…..quite bad in British eyes…..and kinda amusing in neutral eyes.
3 He claims he was looking for information about Unidentified Flying Objects…..which is probably the best/worst excuse since the loyalist band claimed they were playing Sloop John B.
4 Gary McKinnon is 46 years of age….so ten years ago he was 36. Ahem.
5 For eight years, the American authorities have been trying to extradite Mr McKinnon to face very serious charges in USA. Mr McKinnon has been resisting this.
6 The Daily Mail is on his side. And that could be a problem for a fully paid up “lefty” like myself….but to be fair the Daily Mail was the newspaper which led the cause of the Lawrence family against the racist thugs who killed their son.
7 Gary McKinnon has Aspergers Syndrome. It does not seem to be one of those “Ernest Saunders has incurable dementia” cases. Mr McKinnon has been diagnosed by five doctors. It is genuine. Older folks will recall that Mr Saunders made a full recovery from the illness and was released from prison a short time into his sentence for “insider trading”. While congratulating Mr Saunders on his remarkable recovery, there is always a suspicion that maybe the diagnosis of “incurable dementia” was not quite accurate in the first place. Mr Saunders went on to lead a full and active business life for over twenty years and is still very much alive.
8 I dont like Mr McKinnon. My wife says this is not relevant.
9 USA and Britain have an extradition treaty but it seems to be unbalanced and USA is much more “protective” of its citizens. Not quite sure. Any good British defence counsel likes to portray USA as place where an honest Briton (usually in fraud cases) cannot get a fair trial. This outrages Americans.
10 The “perp walk”……that strange humiliating parade where prisoners in orange boiler suits walk in chains. In Western Europe we are a bit sensitive about that image and not exactly thrilled at sending people into that system.
11 Two weeks ago, five alleged islamist terrorist suspects …including Britons and one who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome…were sent off to USA. The BRitish Home Secretary did not feel it breached their “Human Rights” under European Law.
12 The British Home Secretary has ruled that the Human Rights of Mr McKinnon would be breached if he was sent off to USA. Her fellow Tories cheered this………yet they dont like European Human Rights legislation.
13 Mr McKinnon “WILL” commit suicide if the final ruling goes against him. That seems much more definite than “MIGHT” …….and I am sure that quite a lot of people feel suicidal if a ruling goes against them. Some even try to so do. Some succeed. But in itself a threat of suicide or a risk of suicide does not seem to be enough to affect the ruling. Many people in prisons in USA are on “suicide watch” and rather obviously those who have threatened suicide are watched.
What do we make of it all? A reasonable person might conclude that Mr McKinnon got away with it. But at the very least, I hope he is allowed nowhere near a computer. He is 46 years of age for Gods sake. If he wants to know about UFOs, his mother might want to invest in a box set of Star Trek DVDs.