Another Human Rights Farce

Once again the Human Rights Act has been used to circumvent the law of the land and allow someone to get away with a crime that they should have been locked up for. In this particular case I am referring to Gary McKinnon, who has just escaped extradition to the USA for hacking into government computers and causing $700,000 worth of damage.

Asperger’s syndrome doesn’t seem to have effected his speech or mind judging by this interview!

His defence team cited medical reports that he suffered from asperger’s syndrome and depression and if he were to be shipped off to America to face justice there he would likely commit suicide.

The Home Secretary

After eight long years of trying to get the courts to agree to extradition, the Home Secretary Theresa May has finally changed her mind and quashed the extradition order on humanitarian grounds. Personally, I don’t give a damn if he has asperger’s syndrome or any other syndrome, the one thing that comes to mind is the old saying: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!”

If his medical state is not 100% then I am sure the American justice system would have taken that into account and he would receive whatever medical treatment he needs. They would not be able to do otherwise with an English prisoner in an American jail. If anything happened to him while in prison there the political fallout would be great.

The One That Got Away

I am quite convinced that McKinnon knew full well what he was doing when he hacked into the American Defence Department and NASA computers. You don’t just stumble into such systems by accident, it takes planning. It is not something just anyone can do, it takes a huge amount of computer knowledge to get past sophisticated security systems in such places. Let’s face it, you or I wouldn’t stand a chance! So I just don’t believe all this hogwash that he was ‘looking for evidence of UFO’s’ and didn’t know what he was doing.

But now after an eight year long struggle he has finally achieved his aim of avoiding extradition, but the question still remains if he will face justice on the charges in a UK court. For that we will have to wait and see. Actually it is more likely he will be hired at a grossly exaggerated salary by some computer firm as has happened to hackers before. Sometimes I despair!

Roy.

7 Responses to “Another Human Rights Farce”

  1. Roy,

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. You wouldn’t punish a baby for dropping and breaking your favorite mug. You put all mugs out of his or her way. As they have done with Mr McKinnon (he is banned from using a computer and has no internet access). For sick people you DON’T DRAW A LINE. You help them.

    Or lock them up (in your world).

    Like

    • Hi again Jeff,
      Nice to have you back. I agree about putting ‘all the mugs’ out of reach and I guess that banning him from computers is a necessary measure, if not at all certain he will follow instructions. There is no shortage of computers. Let me put it in plain words for you, he committed a crime and for that he must pay the price. If a farmer can get a prison sentence for defending his property from a pair of towrag thieves and then McKinnon gets away with his crime, where is the justice? You should know as well as I that the justice system is already a farce, but lets face it, even if he goes to prison for six months or a year he will (a) have paid his debt to society and the law, and (b) the prisons are like holiday camps today anyway so why should he get away with it. I am sure that if he does serve time his mental state will be taken into account and he will get all the help he needs. As things stand, if he is not prosecuted he won’t even have a criminal record, and that will make him as white and clean as the rest of us who have not committed a crime. That is not fair on law abiding citizens. Like I said in the post, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime!”
      Asperger Sydrome does in fact allow people to behave normally and manifests itself in “abnormalities of social interaction and communication that pervade the individual’s functioning, and by restricted and repetitive interests and behavior”. Everything I have read, and it is plenty, does in no way indicate that a sufferer will NOT know what he is doing or when he is breaking the law. Due to this it is my contention that he should be punished for his crime. The sentence is up to the courts.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

      Like

  2. Roy,
    I love your writing Man, I really do but you couldn’t be more WRONG!

    1. The Human Rights Act does clearly state that an individual has a Right to Life. The Home Secretary is invoking that right on Mr McKinnon’s behalf (even though McKinnon is likely to reject said rights if he is sent to the USA). Your view that he won’t be tortured is naive in the extreme. Lest you forget, United States Law takes precedence over all International Human Rights legislation. So if you think he wouldn’t be tortured, please remember this.

    2.You clearly don’t know anyone who has (or, dare I say, anything about) Aspergers Syndrome. I do know someone and the syndromes symptons do make for some extraordinary and extreme behaviours. Yes, I accept that McKinnon was of sound mind (as indeed my friend is) but it’s cruel of you to say that you don’t care. I urge you to research this affliction – I promise you will have change of heart.

    3. I’m sure that you know full well about the imbalance that exists between The UK/USA extradition treaty. When sending a British Citizen to US soil, virtually no evidence is required. And absolutely no proof. To extradite a US Citizen for crimes to the UK, the mountain of evidence is so big that it almost doesn’t happen.

    Roy, if Mr McKinnon broke into the Bank of America branch (in Canary Wharf), London E14 (I think!) and stole $700,000, he would have been caught arrested, charged and convicted AND SENTENCED by The Metrpolitan Police/Crown Prosecution Service and NOT THE NYPD.The currency of the cash is irrlevant. The JURISDICTION is. The offence took place here and HERE is where is should be dealt with.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight with you – you’re just talking nonsense!

    JB

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    • PS. The United States Department of Defence is the worlds’s 2nd (yes SECOND) largest employer on our planet. With all of the financial, technical and technological resources at their disposal they failed to deploy a strong enough “computer firewall” to stop a partially unwell computer geek from North London from getting through it. The USA need to look at themselves and leave us to handle Gary McKinnon. JB

      Like

    • Hi Jeff,
      Thanks for your comments and I appreciate your frank opinion, and am glad you like the blog. If this post is not something you can agree with perhaps I should file it in the ´Nonsense´ department? Just kidding.
      1. I agree that the Human Rights Charter does state that everyone has a ‘right to life’ and so it should, but what sticks in my craw is the misuse of this, and in particular the ‘right to family life’ that has been so misused in the past. I am sorry, but I cannot agree that McKinnon would be tortured in the States, I just don’t believe it. He is not a terrorist suspect and has not even committed murder, he is a hacker.
      2. You are right in that I do not know anyone with asperger’s syndrome, but if I may say so, some of the people I do know occasionally exhibit ‘strange behavior’ so there is nothing unusual about that. I am not denying the affliction, and not that he has it, I just believe that he knew what he was doing. You need sophisticated equipment to break into the systems he did, plus a lot of knowledge in computer systems so for my money he knew full well what he was doing.
      3. Yes he committed the offence in England and Yes he could be tried here, but he didn’t cause $700,000 worth of damage here. The question is, and I repeat, will he be tried here for the offence? – It seems unlikely after eight years.
      4. I agree 100% that the US should be able to stop someone like McKinnon but like the systems, hackers are getting more and more advanced day by day. Like I said, it takes a lot of savvy and sophisticated equipment to break into systems like the US Defence Department and NASA. People like Anonymous have been into just about any system they choose for no matter how much money and time you spend on security there is always someone who will find a way in.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

      Like

      • Jeff Black Says:

        Roy,

        McKinnon knew what he was doing but he didn’t know it was wrong. That’s one of the things that Aspergers does. To be honest, I don’t care if he did $7 Billion in damage, my point stands. McKinnon did that damage from HERE. If McKinnon threw stone across the Atlantic and broke a window in the White House. he broke the law HERE. I don’t want a sick man punished in a foreign country for something he didn’t know was a crime when he did it.

        And if any computer system can be accessed (as you suggest) , then the worlds second largest employer (the US Department of Defence) should find other ways to hide their secrets. I don’t want him criminalized at all. Warn him and send him on his way.

        You appear to not know much about extradition. Most countries don’t extradite to a country where the person is likely to receive the death penalty. If the expert medical opinion is that suicide is a possibility, then Mrs May is totally correct in her decision. McKinnon’s death is possibility if he is sent to the USA.

        I cannot explain this any more simply – I think you want to pick a fight and I shouldn’t take the bait. Peace. JB

        Like

      • Hi Jeff,
        So what you are saying is that because McKinnon didn’t know what he was doing was wrong because he suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, he should be given a slap on the wrist and sent on his way? So in the same vein you are saying that a sufferer could also get away with murder because he didn’t know it was wrong? Where do you draw the line?
        It really doesn’t matter much to me where he is tried for the offence, I just have my doubts that he will face trial and receive a just sentence even here due to all the hullabaloo that has surrounded his case. I don’t think any hacker should be let off with a warning because they cause havoc on the web and we need to send a strong message to anyone who plays this game. People have had money stolen from bank accounts, their identities stolen and who knows what else by hackers. Should they all be let off with a warning? I know he is not a criminal in the true sense of the word, but he is one never-the-less because he broke the law.
        I will agree with anyone who says that a seventy year sentence is ridiculous for this crime but I believe that is more Press speculation than fact, and as for those who say he will receive the death sentence, that is pure ludicracy! There has never been any question of McKinnon receiving a death sentence.
        I agree that the extradition procedure is unfairly weighted, it always has been, because the Americans are loath to hand over their people for trial in any country, but if the end effect was to damage YOUR property in the USA you too would want the culprit to receive justice in your courts. I think that is perfectly natural.
        I am not saying the system is perfect, far from it, but McKinnon should receive punishment for his acts, because there have already been others like Ryan Cleary (arrested shortly after McKinnon) who initially claimed to have Asperger’s as a defence against prosecution. He was quickly shot down on that one. But if we follow your argument, then all criminals can claim the same defence and perhaps in some cases get away with murder.
        No-one is looking for a fight here and we can just put this down to a difference of opinion, which thank God we are all entitled to in our country. There are after all many more cases of injustice that we should be concerned about. For too long bad people have run rings around the law in our country, and I name Abu Qatada and Abu Hamsa among the worst. People like Mohammed Ibrahim (When The Law Is An Ass – 17/12/10) who got away with murder because to send him to jail infringed his ‘right to family life’ (Article Eight of the Human Rights Charter). The list is endless, and while this doesn’t have any direct impact on the McKinnon case it gives an indication of the way UK Law has been manipulated by individuals using the Human Rights Charter to escape justice. So let’s just agree to disagree on this point and I hope to see you back in the future. It’s always a pleasure to hear your views.
        Best Regards,
        Roy.

        Like

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