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Gary McKinnon should have been extradited - Spectator Blogs

16 October 2012

5:22 PM

16 October 2012

5:22 PM

See them there? That’s Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne rallying for Gary McKinnon before the last election. This alone should have been enough to persuade the Daily Mail to rethink its mighty campaign on behalf of Mr McKinnon. Apparently not, however, and so the Home Secretary today passed her responsibilities to Paul Dacre and bravely agreed with the editor of the most powerful newspaper in Britain. Accordingly, Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the United States.

Technically, Mrs May found that extraditing Mr McKinnon would breach his human rights. Relying on the much-hated (not least by the Daily Mail) Human Rights Act the Home Secretary concluded that the combination of McKinnon’s Aspergers’ and his apparently persuasive threat to kill himself if extradited meant that she had no choice but to thwart American efforts to put him on trial in the United States. Annoying Washington is less dangerous than angering Mr Dacre.

Poor old Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan eh? Their appeals against extradition to the US did not enjoy such powerful patrons. No wonder there’s more than a whiff of double-standards about this case, not least since Ahsan also has Aspergers.

Now, as David Allen Green observes, if McKinnon’s suicide-threat is credible then the Home Secretary may have acted correctly. But as he also notes denying the extradition on those grounds and no others suggests the legal case for McKinnon’s extradition, absent any complicating factor such as his health, was watertight.

As it should be. McKinnon was not, whatever some people want you to believe, some innocent kid who inadvertently blundered into the Pentagon’s computers in search of evidence of UFOs.  On the contrary there is ample evidence – not the least of which comes from his own statements – that his hacking was a politically-motivated action. It Was McKinnon who left a message on a US army computer he had infiltrated which read:

“US foreign policy is akin to Government-sponsored terrorism these days … It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year … I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels … “

Indeed, part of his defence was that he could not receive a fair trial in the United States because his political beliefs would make that impossible. But, as Lord Justice Maurice Kay wrote in 2007:

The relevant question under section 81(b) is not whether Mr McKinnon did what he is alleged to have done by reason of his political opinions. It is whether his political opinions (whatever they may be) are such that he would suffer prejudice at the hands of an American judge and jury. There is no evidence and absolutely no reason to suppose that Mr McKinnon might suffer prejudice of this sort.

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Nor, despite what people seem to believe, would McKinnon have potentially faced the death penalty had he stood trial in the United States. Nor, for that matter, would he even have necessarily served his sentence in the United States. An agreement or understanding that he would be imprisoned in the United Kingdom was easily obtained.

As for the notion he should be tried in England, not the United States. Well, the District Court judge put that well too:

The CPS did consider whether to launch a prosecution in the UK and for good reason decided against it. The defendant intentionally targeted computers in the US; his actions resulted in criminal damage being suffered there, as well as causing very considerable disruption to the workings of those computers resulting in interference and disruption to military activities in the US. It is not my task to determine which state has the better right to prosecute, but for what it is worth my view is, unquestionably, if the defendant is to face prosecution, it should be in the US.”

The crime – and McKinnon does not deny committing crimes – was committed in the United States. It targeted US military hardware. The damage was done in the United States. That McKinnon did this damage from a computer in the United Kingdom seems wholly unimportant to me.

Suppose, by way of a comparison, you lived on one side of a border and lobbed bricks through the window of your neighbour whose house lies on the other side of the border. In which jurisdiction should you stand trial for the damage you have caused? It seems to me you should stand trial in the jurisdiction in which the damage was done.

As for the notion McKinnon could not receive a fair trial in the United States? Well that too is poppycock. If it weren’t or if we did not think the Americans could just about manage to organise a non-kangaroo court we would not extradite anyone to the US. Nor would McKinnon necessarily have been too harshly punished in the US. As the judges made clear in that 2007 ruling:

As in our jurisdiction, the Canadian courts require exceptional circumstances if a bar to extradition is to be established on this basis. They use the test of whether the potential sentences in a requesting state would “shock the conscience” of Canadians. We find that a useful yardstick in the present context. We do not consider that it has been achieved in this case. In our view Mr Lawson has tended to understate the gravity of the offences which Mr McKinnon is alleged to have committed. At the same time he has tended to overlook the fact that, if prosecuted and convicted, the equivalent domestic offences include the offence under section 12 of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

Quite. So it is just as well for McKinnon that he now has just the kind of “supervening illness” that permitted him to appeal, yet again, his extradition. Poor man. I hope he recovers. But, illness or not, he is not an innocent child bewildered by all this fuss and most of the arguments against his extradiction seem, to these layman’s eyes at least, largely bogus.

This being so, I am surprised by the reaction of some conservative commentators. Benedict Brogan, for instance, salutes Home Secretary thus:

By rejecting the extradition order on Gary MacKinnon – the first time a Home Secretary has blocked an extradition – she has won the admiration of those Tory backbenchers clamouring for a more robust and unilateralist approach to issues of national sovereignty. She has allowed the Government to present itself as a fair-minded ally of the underdog.

Alternatively, the Home Secretary has pandered to the anti-American snobbishness of the mob. And, anyway, when did “national sovereignty” mean it’s fine to attack our allies’ defence infrastructure?

Finally, everyone seems to agree that the US-UK extradition treaty is “unbalanced“. But is it really? I am no expert in these matters but found this ConservativeHome piece by Ted Bromund rather interesting:

[T]he principles of the 2003 Treaty are sound and fair, and are in fact a model for the entire U.K. extradition system. The Treaty is based on dual criminality – that is, no Briton can be extradited to the U.S. for something that is not a crime in Britain. It has a proportionality standard, meaning that no Briton can be extradited to the U.S. for unpaid parking tickets. And it has an objective evidentiary standard that is as nearly identical for both countries as our different systems allow. For extraditions from the U.S., the standard is ‘probable cause,’ which has a clear meaning in the U.S. legal system. For extraditions from the U.K., the standard is ‘reasonable suspicion,’ which has an equally clear meaning in Britain. The only difference is that the U.S. standard is contained in the Treaty itself, whereas the British one is contained in Britain’s underlying legislation, the 2003 Extradition Act, as amended.

Is he right? In any case, Gary McKinnon is fortunate to have such powerful supporters. By which I mean, naturally, Paul Dacre and not Nick Clegg.

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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Nice blog.

  • support worker

    This Man Should Have been extradited. He admitted it . It just goes to show if your a not right you can get away with anything.

  • PhotoBear

    Yes indeed he should have been extradited, but that’s not what’s most upsetting about all this. I had an open mind when I first heard about the case. Neither a big fan of the Pentagon on the one hand nor the self-appointed crusaders (Assange et al) on the other. But we were misled. This jingoistic crusade on his behalf, painting America as something it is not, portrayed McKinnon as a helpless and autistic UFO geek. Is highly orchestrated and deliberate and ultimately successful campaign was based on lies. When faced with the prospect of being extradited to the US to face his crimes (and there is no doubt he broke the law knowingly and on purpose) he, his mother, the Daily Mail and all the obvious organisations peddled a lie that we and the T. May all bought. Shame on us. McKinnon was a politically motivated activist who took direct action against the US military, repeatedly and with the objective of disrupting its operations. It is no surprise that the American authorities take this seriously. British authorities would do the same. Indeed, consider how we have reacted to a Russian citizen being killed on British soil by another Russian citizen. The Russian state does not believe in extradition and the men responsible for this odious murder are going to get away with it. Our government took that incident very seriously indeed, as it should have. Gary McKinnon got away with it too. No we should ask ourselves why…

  • Anonymous Coward

    Massie, do your damn research will you ? So many paragraphs about the criminal damage. The CPS reviewed the US evidence of damage and said it amounted to nothing more than hearsay – this fact negates most of your so-called article. I say so-called because you’ve just strung together a lot of quotes and obviously not thought clearly or deeply. Useless.

  • paulus

    I can’t agree with you, if McKinnon had of hacked into the MOD and left smiley faces, the staff of the mod would have been hauled over the coals. and Mc kinnon would have walked. We were never sure if the Americans would have locked him up for years or not. His condition renders his child like, we would have never rendered a child.

    For them to even ask, just goes to show what stupidity is involved in the the treaty, Half a million pounds in wages lost in an organisation such as the pentagon is ludicrous as a pretext to lock some one up from a different country.

  • David S

    “The crime – and McKinnon does not deny committing crimes – was committed
    in the United States. It targeted US military hardware. The damage was
    done in the United States. That McKinnon did this damage from a computer
    in the United Kingdom seems wholly unimportant to me.”

    McKinnon’s acts were criminal under both UK and US law. The territoriality provisions of the UK Computer Misuse Act are specifically worded so as to allow prosecution in this country in cases where the actual damage occurred overseas.

    McKinnon was arrested under UK law, before any extradition request was made. He has admitted guilt under UK law, when interviewed under caution by police officers. If charges against him had been pressed under UK law he could have been convicted under UK law ten years ago. Justice would have been swift and he would have been tried and sentenced in the UK where he has a social network that would have improved his chances of successful rehabilitation.

    The fact that McKinnon did this damage from a computer
    in the United Kingdom might seem wholly unimportant to you, but it is important to the law. It is also important if you think that rehabilitation of offenders is necessary as well as punishment.

    • qvision

      McKinnon admits unauthorised access, not damage. The Crown PRosecution Service asked to see the US evidence of damage and said it amounted to nothing more than hearsay. You need to revise your argument now …

  • Nemo

    Alex, if Gary McKinnon had hacked into Chinese, Russian or Syrian military computer systems do you think he should be extradited to China, Russia or Syria, respectively? If not, why not? After all, these are “neighbors” too.

    You are entitled to your pro-US sympathies but not to act as the US government’s bully boy against a British citizen.

  • Colonel Blimp

    No, you should be tried in the jurisdiction where the offence was carried out.

  • QuestionEverything

    “But, as Lord Justice Maurice Kay wrote in 2007:” One mans opinion. Have all his judgements been sound? Is he holier than thou so to speak?

    “Nor, despite what people seem to believe, would McKinnon have
    potentially faced the death penalty had he stood trial in the United
    States.” Whats worse? Putting an animal to sleep to put it out of its misery like we do pets, or better to keep it alive so its suffering continues like Ian Brady?

    “Nor, for that matter, would he even have necessarily served his
    sentence in the United States. An agreement or understanding that he
    would be imprisoned in the United Kingdom was easily obtained.” Was not put in writing therefore no proof to fall back on if the deal was just simply a lure, likewise you acknowledge back rooms deals and judgments made before a trial has occurred, is that fair?

  • QuestionEverything

    Re “Suppose, by way of a comparison, you lived on one side of a border and
    lobbed bricks through the window of your neighbour whose house lies on
    the other side of the border. In which jurisdiction should you stand
    trial for the damage you have caused? It seems to me you should stand
    trial in the jurisdiction in which the damage was done.”

    Consider this:”The crime of treason presents an interesting moral dilemma. When
    someone betrays their own country for ethical reasons, they are
    considered to have committed an horrendous act: yet if an individual
    from an opposing nation acts in the same fashion, and benefits your
    country; theirs is an heroic deed. In this case we can say that each
    society may consider a person acting with the most altruistic of
    motives, deserving of the harshest of punishments.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/shaun.hollingworth Shaun Hollingworth

    Gary should NOT have been extradited. If the USA had a complaint, with something McKinnon (or anyone else for that matter) did whilst on UK soil, then the American authorities should simply make a complaint to the relevant UK authorities, which they can then investigate and then the USA should stand as the VICTIM.

    We should not have US jurisdiction imposed on us, whilst we, who are BRITISH citizens, NOT American ones, are physically in the UK regardless of what we do. Since when did we become American subjects and if so, when can we vote for the USA president ?

    If the deed is diabolical enough we can surely be tried and if guilty punished by our own authorities for it, thank you very much. That applies to ANY deed a UK subject might do, whilst located in his/her own country.

    Even if it were (for some reason) deemed necessary and unavoidable for the foreign country (and yes, America IS a foreign country) to extradite a British citizen for an offence which occurs here, they should guarantee that the penalty be no more than the equivalent crime here. The simple fact is that McKinnon broke BRITISH law, not American law. He could not have broken American law, because he was physically in the UK, is NOT a US citizen and therefore not subject to US law. Just because the USA (as a country) became a VICTIM of alleged hacking doesn’t mean to say he broke their law. He wasn’t subject to it, so couldn’t have broken it.

    I don’t even think McKinnon even “hacked” the computers in the true sense of the word. He got in because the USA’s online security was so bad, and they wanted a scapegoat to blame, no doubt to prevent a few heads rolling in US government departments.

  • alastair harris

    you sum up why he should not be extradited very well – absolutely no chance of a fair trial.

  • http://sadbutmadlad.com/ SadButMadLad

    IANAL either so I can’t say if the lobbing a brick across a border is a crime in the country it lands in. But how about another example. I perform some action in another country that is legal. But that same action in the UK is illegal. When I come back home do I get arrested? Nope. Therefore the crime is where the person is.

    Alternatively I commit a crime in some other country, then escape back to the UK. Do I get extradited? Yes. Because the crime took place in the country where the person was.

    Or what about another crime at a distance. That of a financial crime The case of the Nat West three being a case in point. The crime took place in the UK but the victim was in the US and all the evidence was in the UK. They were still extradided unfairly.

  • PHILIP MEREDITH

    Being from the US…. leave this poor guy alone. He did us a favor by revealing secrets about our lying government.

  • shlhd

    should of sent the little twat over to face justice. Sick of hearing people crying about the dickhead. If he wants to kill himself let him, silly prick

  • shlhd

    the man’s a cunt

  • Norman Lamont

    Suppose, by way of a comparison, you lived on one side of a border and lobbed bricks through the window of your neighbour whose house lies on the other side of the border. In which jurisdiction should you stand trial for the damage you have caused? It seems to me you should stand trial in the jurisdiction in which the damage was done.

    I look forward to seeing Mr Blair in his remand clothes in an Iraqi jail

  • Dude503

    They should extradite you, you beardy twat, before McKinnon.

    • http://twitter.com/TheCrimea A. S.

      Reasoned argument from the Left. Impressive.

      • Dude503

        I’m no leftie, I don’t like beardy twats, and I don’t like Blair’s one-sided agreement with his torturing mates in the USA.

        McKinnon did nothing worse than access some files on a computer he should not have while sitting in his bedroom in England. He did no “damage”.

  • Vidocq

    The ironic thing about all this is that, in the aftermath of his arrest, McKinnon himself claimed that the UK courts had no jurisdiction over his crimes because the seers he hacked were in the United States.

    • Anonymous Coward

      No he did not.

  • Macd

    Surely the Pentagon should give him a medal for proving how lousy their security is. If he can get in so easily the Chinese etc must be having the time of their lives!

  • Daniel Maris

    Apply the common sense test. This is ridiculous. Kinnon is a harmless eccentric and the USA should have had such defective IT systems that allow eccentrics like him access to their stuff. If anything they should thank him for revealing how weak their defences were.

    Kinnon should now sue the USA for putting him at risk, owing to his medical condition.

    Also, many of us remember how the Americans NEVER gave up any IRA suspects. I still doubt they would.

    • Angee

      “Also, many of us remember how the Americans NEVER gave up any IRA suspects. I still doubt they would.”

      Too right.

  • Alan

    I’ve ripped off the piece below from Wikipediia. In the good old days we had warships to send to defend “british” no-hopers from foreign justice. Now we keep them home with their mummies. Civus Romanus Sum says Mrs May unless you happen to be a bit dusky.
    The Don Pacifico Affair concerned a Portuguese Jew, named David Pacifico (known as Don Pacifico), who was a trader and the Portuguese consul in Athens during the reign of King Otto. Pacifico was born in Gibraltar, a British possession. He was therefore a British subject. In 1847 an antisemitic mob that included the sons of a government minister vandalised and plundered Don Pacifico’s home in Athens whilst the police looked on and took no action. A more likely alternative was that the attack was fomented by the police. Mayer de Rothschild was visiting Athens, during the Greek Orthodox Easter, to discuss a possible loan, and the government, in order to coax him, decided to ban the tradition of burning the effigy of Judas, thinking that Rothschild would be offended. In Easter celebrations in Athens, some children burnt an effigy anyway, the police attacked them, and the escalating violence resulted in the raiding of the house. In 1848, after Pacifico had unsuccessfully appealed to the Greek government for compensation for his losses, he brought the matter to the attention of the British government.
    In 1850 the British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, a philhellene and supporter of the Greek War of Independence of 1828-1829, took decisive action in support of Pacifico by sending a Royal Navy squadron into the Aegean to seize Greek ships and property equal to the value of Pacifico’s claims, which had been decided by British courts, and were exorbitantly high. Palmerston did not recognise Greek judicial sovereignty in the matter, as the case involved a British subject. The squadron eventually blockaded Piraeus, the main port of the capital, Athens.
    Greece was a state under the joint protection of Britain, France, and Russia, and the imposition of the blockade caused a diplomatic conflict between Britain, on the one hand, and France and Russia on the other. France and Russia objected to the blockade and the French ambassador, Édouard Drouyn de Lhuys, temporarily left London. The affair also caused considerable damage to the reputation of King Otto in Athens. The blockade lasted two months and the affair ended only when the Greek government agreed to compensate Pacifico.
    At Westminster, both houses of parliament took up the issue with considerable energy. After a memorable debate on June 17, 1850, the House of Lords voted to condemn Palmerston’s actions. John Arthur Roebuck led the House of Commons to reverse this condemnation, which it did on June 29 by a majority of 46. Palmerston delivered a famous five-hour speech in which he sought to vindicate not only his claims on the Greek government for Don Pacifico, but his entire administration of foreign affairs. “As the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say, Civis Romanus sum,[1] so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him from injustice and wrong.”[1]
    Pacifico received 120,000 drachmas and £500 in the settlement.[2]

    • http://twitter.com/FrenchNewsonlin FrenchNews

      @Alan: A tale to warm the cockles of the hearts of all Empire Loyalists.

  • Alister_Troup

    The problem I have with extradition to the US, is that the likelihood of you getting a fair trial & process is low. First off you fought extradition so you’re denied bail as a flight risk, if somehow you get bail, you have fund housing/food/living yourself – you’re not allowed to work.second the trial will be months off never mind the fact that they’ve being waiting for you the prosecution will delay the trial to try to force you to accept a plea deal, thirdly any witnesses you want call will have to be flown in at your expense, and if there’s a delay to bad, you can fly them back? At you own expense. Of course any witness may need a visa (denied/delayed?) or may be advised that in the witness’s case the US extradition isn’t justified but if they’re in US then the US will prosecute them, so good luck getting witnesses. All the while your lawyers are racking up fees, leaving you broke. Once you’re broke on remand with no defence witnesses you’ll take a deal to get it over with. That’s the plan, pure and simple.

  • edlancey

    re the caption photo – Does Nick Clegg always look like that smug and self-righteous ?

    • Alan

      If I had Clegg’s EU and Parliamentry pensions to look forward to I’d look as smug as he does.

      • Daniel Maris

        If I was married to his wife I’d look smugly satisfied as well.

  • Anthony

    As an american I feel dismayed that a person hacked our defense system while our nation was in a time of mourning is free from justice. I understand that Mr.McKinnon had an illness and I also understand a mothers position in protecting her son…..but what about the thousands of mothers, Americans and British, who lost their sons, daughters, and husbands in the towers? While our country was trying to find those responsible, were delayed because of Mr.Mckinnons actions. Where is their justice? There was already an agreement to house Mr.McKinnon in a UK jail if he was found guilty. As for the thoughts of suicide, we have thousands of prisioners here that have the same thoughts but we have ways of preventing that. During those dark days in 9/11 the Uk stood with us and I thank you…….but is this the beginning of the end between our bonds?

    • Chris Morriss

      What on earth has an eccentric UFO-nutter got to do with the Sept 11th destruction? Your post is intemperate and misguided to say the least.

      • Anthony

        First off, my comment is not misguided at all. His alleged crimes happened duing a 13th month period between February 2001 and March 2002. One of the occasions WAS on September 11, 2001. He deleted weapons logs at the Earle Naval Weapons Station paralyzing over 3000 computers and paralyzed supplies for our Navy’s Atlantic Fleet. So dont lecture me on how this is not related to what happened on 9/11.

      • Jen The Blue

        Indeed it is! How will banging him in gaol for 60 years protect US citizens exactly?

        • http://twitter.com/TheCrimea A. S.

          So, your argument is with the U.S. law that he broke and not the extradition treaty?

          I wish you Lefties would get you minds in order, before offering us your immense wisdom.

          • Jen The Blue

            A.S. That’s the first time I’ve EVER been called a lefty! My friends will find that amusing. The clue is in the name “Jen The Blue”.

            I’ve been called many things in my time, but as a libertarian Conservative and devotee of Mrs. T, who would love to see David Davis as leader of the Conservatives, “leftie” has never been among them.

    • Johnny O’Nions

      I have to say that I agree with Chris Morriss.

      Enough already with trying to use 9/11 as justification for everything from invading Iraq to extraordinary rendition and torture. It has to be said, there are still many who think that US citizens should be looking a little closer to home to find those responsible for or at least complicit in the events of the 11th of September 2001.

      Whilst thinking of the mothers of the victims of terrorism perhaps we should also take time to remember the mothers of the victims of bombing campaigns on British soil in the seventies and eighties, sponsored in part by Americans who saw fit, through NORAID, to stuff the coffers of the IRA and who maybe should have been tracked down and extradited to the UK to face trial.

      The beginning of the end between our bonds? If only.

      • patricia

        Spot on Johnny. Memories have become very thin about the funds collected at Chicago and New York dinners in aid of the IRA and their bombs.

    • Barry

      Pure hypocrisy. You had little understanding of terrorism until it happened on American soil.

    • Anonymous Coward

      What has McKinnon got to do with the towers ? He was hacking before 9/11 and hacking after 9/11. If a burglar was robbing businesses near the twin towers at that time would you try and put some emotional connection between the burglar and the event ? There was no agreement to return him to the UK, he was told it was unlikely that he would be repatriated.

  • http://twitter.com/trick__track bea

    I consider extradition treaty as an absurd and, therefore, I agree with the decision on this case; however in the light of recent extraditions, especially, of Talha Ahsan (who suffers from exactly the same illness as Mr McKinnon, is an inspiring and rewarded poet and has been a peace activist, rather than a ‘terrorist’ as mainstream media seem to portrait him), it shows how unfair and RACIST gov and ‘justice’ system are in the UK (if not in the whole EU).. And this is disgusting and deeply disturbing and will cause, rightly so actually, a huge anger..

  • http://www.facebook.com/nick.shields Nick Shields

    Good grief! I have stumbled upon bad losers corner. Of course Gary McKinnon should not have been extradited, nor should it have taken ten years for this simple and just decision to have been made.
    The most meagre wit could see that.

  • AvaH40

    I thought the reason he was not extradited was for medical reasons.

    I don’t think the Tories are pandering to Dacre – not if you read the coverage in the Mail these days.

  • Degenerate76

    The US authorities’ intent to crucify this guy is evident in their claim he did $700,000 worth of “damage”. This is not the cost of “damage” he did, in most cases it’s impossible for a hacker to physically damage a system they penetrate. This was the cost of them fixing their hopelessly insecure network, which he was able to gain access to using nothing more than a script that tests for insecure passwords. They should have counted their blessings that his activities alerted them before it was exploited by real enemies of the US, who would have hid their activities much more carefully and made much more sinister use of the access than some harmless nut conspiracy theorist.

    The absurd claims about “damage”, the portrayal of Mckinnon as some sort of “super-hacker”, and the threat of hugely disproportionate punishment all tell a story here. It’s preferable for people involve to exaggerate his capabilities and hang him out to dry, than to admit to their own criminally negligent failings that endangered US national security. Bravo to Theresa May for protecting a UK citizen from being used as their scapegoat.

    • http://www.quidfit.co.uk/ John Mackie

      Precisely. Gary has low level ‘hacking’ skills. There are plenty of kids out there with the same. That the US networks were left wide open is the true disgrace.

  • Jen The Blue

    The truth surely is that he should not be extradited because the USA authorities would treat him as an evil terrorist rather than the strange and harmless UFO obsessive that he is.
    Whatever the excuse for not extraditing him it is the compassionate and correct thing to do.

    • http://twitter.com/TheCrimea A. S.

      Did you not read the above article?

      “US foreign policy is akin to Government-sponsored terrorism these days …
      It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on
      September 11 last year … I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the
      highest levels … “

      His intention was not to find suppressed evidence of UFOs, but a
      political and criminal act of hacking with its concomitant crimes.

      • FirstWorlder

        By stating “It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11”, he demonstrates only that he is a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorist. In other words, a nutjob, and not fit to stand trial anywhere,

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.warman Ray Warman

    Of course he should have been extradited. He makes no secret about hacking 90 odd times, Pentagon computers with highly sensitive data therein, so he’s a criminal.
    What difference to Assange and ‘phone hacking?

  • Baron

    Alex, you stand your ground, for it’s solid ground, you right, the guy should have faced the music in the US.

    The Home Secretary chose the wrong case with which to appease the backbenchers, and the guy who runs the Mail, it’s a sad day for British justice.

    Has there ever been a case here where a defendant would avoid trial because he or she exhibited suicidal intentions? And since when does committing suicide interferes with one’s uman rights, surely it should be the other way round, one’s uman rights should allow one to dispose of one’s life as one sees fit provided one’s sane to make such a decision.

    Baron smells a rat. The decision lands a blow to the messiahonly few weeks before the count. Could the Tories have offered Romney a helping hand? Do they know something we don’t?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527620670 Brad Brown

    Is the name of the paper you write for called the speculator?

  • Rahul

    Fraser – the extradition treaty is unfair and that’s pure fact? No old boy, that’s pure opinion, yours and a fair number of the uninformed British public. The facts are in Alex’s blogpost above which is spot on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

    Also: the fact that Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan have suffered injustices doesn’t actually mean that Gary McKinnon should too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

    “It is whether his political opinions (whatever they may be) are such
    that he would suffer prejudice at the hands of an American judge and
    jury. There is no evidence and absolutely no reason to suppose that Mr
    McKinnon might suffer prejudice of this sort.”

    Crikey, somebody hasn’t been paying attention to anything that’s happened in America for the last decade or so.

  • Gareth Nelson

    Bravo!
    As an autism rights activist i’ve long felt alone in speaking out against treating McKinnon differently from any other criminal while pointing out that he was in fact malicious, i’m glad to see a mainstream journalist “get it”.

  • Steveal

    At last, some sense on the issue!
    I must remember the suicide defence if I’m ever in trouble with the law…

  • http://twitter.com/Fraser_Whieldon Fraser

    Firstly I completely disagree with you on a completely illogical, emotional basis. Secondly, who really cares about the Mail? The newspaper magnates are a dying breed. But thirdly, you’re looking at the whole issue too narrowly. The dynamics of the relationship between 2 members of the G8 are slightly different to lobbing bricks over the border (partly because many countries would be very thankful if it was just bricks foreign nationals were chucking over the border and not bombs). The backdrop to this case is the extradition treaty b/w the UK and the USA that is unfair however much you argue and reason. That’s pure fact. And thirdly, I think I speak for the majority of people in Britain who when asked about the state of the USA’s defences: surely there are more important things to discuss? Or alternatively: good.

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