Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

for OFF DUTY and leisure topics: so chat about whatever you like except issues that should go into areas above this

Moderator: R C C

User avatar
falkor
Navigator
Navigator
Posts: 3184
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:48 pm
Class: 'Ranger Varient'
Location: Surrey

Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by falkor » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:59 am

they ask, we give
All European countries have extradition arrangements with the US; just some are more favourable to it than others, writes Gill Hornby.

By Gill Hornby
Published: 7:15PM GMT 27 Nov 2009

One rational response, on reading the fine details of Gary McKinnon's computer hacking, is to take off one's hat. This is a man who could sit in his girlfriend's auntie's living room in Crouch End and make a cursor move on a terminal over in Nasa. For those of us currently struggling with Windows 7, it is simply mind-boggling.

With no technical training, McKinnon was nevertheless able, for seven years, to ferret around in the networks of the most secret departments of the US government. Why is their system that vulnerable? They should have just offered him a job.

Instead, this week Alan Johnson looked at the medical evidence – McKinnon has Asperger's and depression – and decided, finally, that he must be extradited. The arduous campaign on his behalf has reached the end of its road. He now faces trial in the States, and up to 60 years in an American prison.

Over in Switzerland, meanwhile, the film director Roman Polanski is expected to be released from prison and into house arrest as early as next week. He too is facing extradition to the US – for underage sex – and has been for 30-odd years. But in that time, his homeland of France has offered him staunch protection. When he was arrested in Zurich in September, the French government protested volubly. And since then, we are told, President Sarkozy himself has been working on Polanski's behalf: according to a relative, he has been "super".

So what is the difference? All European countries have extradition arrangements with the US; just some are more favourable to it than others. The French, sensibly, will extradite a known criminal, but refuse to surrender their own citizens. We, however, enjoy that "Special Relationship". And unfortunately for Gary McKinnon now, and the NatWest Three in 2006, that relationship means that we have agreed to hand over anyone at all – the Americans just need a warrant. Of course, they wouldn't do the same for us. But then, they're not daft.

The Chilcot Inquiry into the lead-up to the Iraq War is unlikely to bring us any lasting result, but it is a useful refresher course in quite how things went wrong. We heard Sir Christopher Meyer's testimony, describing Blair's evenings with his buddy Bush down at the ranch, and how President got the upper hand over PM. We saw again the body language of the two – one swaggering, confident; the other gurning, a bit desperate, over-keen. That is the relationship – not "special" for us, particularly, more needy and weedy – that led us into the Iraq War, and into the absurdly unbalanced extradition treaty of 2003, of which Gary McKinnon is just the latest victim.

Vostapo
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:07 pm

Re: Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by Vostapo » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:22 am

Personally I believe McKinnon should indeed be extradited, and far too much has been made of his aspergers syndrome to try and get out of it. If for example he had been accessing the UK's PNC then there would be no question of a prosecution so why should this be any different?
Image

User avatar
HotelEcho1971
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:29 pm
Sacred: 'Ranger'
Location: In the cafe enjoying a brew

Re: Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by HotelEcho1971 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:53 pm

Vostapo wrote:Personally I believe McKinnon should indeed be extradited, and far too much has been made of his aspergers syndrome to try and get out of it. If for example he had been accessing the UK's PNC then there would be no question of a prosecution so why should this be any different?
I agree with this comment. There has been far to much noise made by his mother and the tabloid press about his disability, however he has broken the law and this needs to be resolved.
I also think the yanks should have better computer security and more firewalls to prevent this sort of incident happening in the future.

I understand he (McKinnon) may not understnad he has done anything wrong, apparently it's a by product of his syndrome, however there is still the matter of breaking the law to be considered.

As to him being a suicide risk, reported in some tabloid paper today I think, he will simply be put under 24 hour surveillance inside the prison. Mind you, if he does commit suicide in prison, I'm sure we'll hear all about it again from his mother.
The real leader has no need to lead--
he is content to point the way.
Henry Miller

User avatar
conedoff
Executive Officer
Executive Officer
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:42 pm

Re: Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by conedoff » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:02 pm

Vostapo wrote:Personally I believe McKinnon should indeed be extradited, and far too much has been made of his aspergers syndrome to try and get out of it. If for example he had been accessing the UK's PNC then there would be no question of a prosecution so why should this be any different?

Do not agree that he should be extradited, it should not be harder under agreements for US states to extradite between each other ( ie Arizona - California ) than it is for the extradition of a UK citizen. The treaty is not recipricol either - they ( the US ) certainly would not agree the same terms for one of there citizens.

If he is to go on trial for an offence commited in this country - He should be subject to UK law not US, because once we agree to this sort of thing as a country were does it stop ?


If its agreed to the UK government should seek extradition of all US major bankers, for the damage they have done to our economy

will it happen ? --- dont think so, but the damage the bankers did far outweighs 1oo billion fold, as a really conservative estimate the cost of repairing the firewalls Mr Mckinnon breached.


Just a veiw

User avatar
snafu
Gold Elite Legion
Gold Elite Legion
Posts: 2055
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:24 pm
Location: Butty Van

Re: Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by snafu » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:07 am

I totally agree with conedoff that the agreement over extradition is very one sided. I cannot see how this was allowed to happen (well I can but let's just pretend I can't :slbl: )

Having said that, this agreement is rightly or wrongly there, so we cannot now get out of it, if he broke the law.

One question I would put up is this. If, as his mother states, he is not capable of knowing right from wrong, understanding the consequences of his actions etc. and therefore should not be extradited. Why was he allowed to access the internet unsupervised in the first place?

Again just a view.
Life, don't talk to me about life.

User avatar
Chocolate boy
Elite Member
Elite Member
Posts: 1103
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: Cadbury world

Re: Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by Chocolate boy » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:41 pm

I dont know too much about this story and only heard it on BBC news today but from what little ive seen and read, Did what he is accused of doing cause anyone any harm other than show up flaws in US security?? If he has a Syndrome that caused him to do this, can or should he be prosecuted?? What about the story of the guy who strangled his wife in his sleep due to his sleep syndrome. Did he not walk free?? Surely what he did is far worse but since it was his medical condition and not premeditated can he be guilty of it??
Image

The last thing I want to do is insult you......but it is on the list

User avatar
Orinoco
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:53 pm
Location: Wherever There`s a Mess to be Cleaned Up

Re: Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by Orinoco » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:59 am

HotelEcho1971 wrote:There has been far to much noise made by his mother and the tabloid press about his disability
Do you know what Asperger's Syndrome is? Have you met anyone who has it?
HotelEcho1971 wrote:I understand he (McKinnon) may not understand he has done anything wrong, apparently it's a by product of his syndrome, however there is still the matter of breaking the law to be considered.
I don't know this guy (McKinnon) nor have I read much about the whole story but as a parent I would certainly take the stance his mother has.

Ever seen Rain Man (with Tom Cruise & Dustin Hoffman)? Hoffman plays Raymond Babbitt a "Savant" (a syndrome within the Autism spectrum). Asperger's Syndrome is also in the Autism Spectrum, people with it show significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. Although fictional would prosecuting Raymond Babbitt for "reading" (remembering) the cards have been fair, he was ultimatley cheating the system but did he know what he was doing was wrong?

I have met and worked with someone who suffered with Asperger's and life was far from straight forward for him and his family.
HotelEcho1971 wrote:Mind you, if he does commit suicide in prison, I'm sure we'll hear all about it again from his mother.

A VERY flippant and ignorant attitude, but hey you are entitled to your views however short sighted :slno:
If you try and don't succeed, cheat.... Repeat until caught.... Then lie

User avatar
falkor
Navigator
Navigator
Posts: 3184
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:48 pm
Class: 'Ranger Varient'
Location: Surrey

Re: Gary McKinnon and the special relationship

Post by falkor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:29 pm

Supporters flocked to his cause and he quickly became a walking lightning rod for the many criticisms of Britain's extradition agreement with the United States.
Image Gary Mckinnon
In a shock decision which has been hailed as a significant milestone for those who have campaigned against the perceived one-sided nature of Britain’s extradition agreement with its largest ally, Home Secretary Theresa May today confirmed that she would halt Mr McKinnon’s extradition because it would be “incompatible with his human rights”.

His supporters had long argued that he would be at risk of suicide if he was held overseas. After seeking medical and legal advice, Mrs May concluded that Mr McKinnon would not be fit to stand trial in the United States. Instead it will be up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether a trial should be conducted in the UK.

The Home Secretary also announced plans to introduce new rules which would give UK judges the power to decide whether an extradition suspect should be tried in a British court or abroad. The so-called “forum bar” would require separate legislation and is a direct challenge to Britain's faith in America's judicial decision.

In fact the government's decision to halt Mr McKinnon's extradition will likely cause friction in Washington who wanted to prosecute the hacker for breaking into a string of military and Nasa computers between March 2001 and February 2002.

Douglas McNabb, an expert on American law, told the BBC that US prosecutors would be “livid” with the announcement. “They take a very aggressive approach, extra territoriality - and they have been attempting to secure Mr McKinnon's body for close to ten years next month,” he said. “So they are not going to be happy at all.”

The timing of Mrs May's decision to announce plans for a forum bar sparked criticism from the families of two Muslim men who were extradited just two weeks ago to the United States on similar offences. Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan were both sought by US prosecutors for alleged cyber crimes committed on UK soil - in their case running a pro-jihadi website. Like Gary McKinnon, Talha Ahsan also had an Asperger's diagnosis and was considered a vulnerable adult at risk of suicide but the Home Secretary nonetheless ordered his extradition.

“I'm delighted for Janis and Gary but the government clearly waited for Babar and Talha to be extradited before they announced the forum bar,” Talha’s brother Hamja told The Independent. “It’s so upsetting because a forum bar would almost certainly have meant they would have been prosecuted in the UK, not the USA.”

Fahad Ansari, a human rights lawyer and Babar Ahmad's brother-in-law, added: “If Babar and Talha had hacked into US military computers, or if Gary McKinnon had been a Muslim, do you think they would have been saved from extradition? I really doubt it.”

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic