Gary McKinnon and Freedom 97

On 10 May I blogged:

Poor Gary McKinnon provides an important test. The Tories and Lib Dems have said they would halt his extradition under Blair’s vassal state one way extradition treaty with the USA. New Labour apparently remain determined to extradite him – and that means Miliband and Johnson in particular. That should be food for thought for anyone considering New Labour leaders touted as more acceptable to the Lib Dems,

I am delighted today that Teresa May has called in the McKinnon case for consideration – something New Labour refused to do. It does appear that Conservatives and Lib Dems are going to keep their promises and stop the McKinnon extradition.

This is great news. Even better news is that page 14 of the full coalition agreement promises to change Blair’s vassal state extradition treaty in the UK. It is well understood that this was a grossly unbalanced treaty, allowing for extradition of UK citizens to the US, but not of US citizens to the UK. It is less often mentioned that the treaty, enshrined into UK law by Order in Council, debars the UK courts from any consideration of the evidence or merits of the case. The only power the courts have is to check the correct form of the extradition request.

This treaty is the perfect embodiment of Blair’s policy; total subservience to the United States and the abdication of any idea of natural justice. Those commenters on this blog who refuse to accept that this government is an improvement on the hateful New Labour crowd, increasingly sound like nuts.

In presenting the coalition agreement today, Nick Clegg started by talking passionately about freedom in the UK. That is a word New Labour almost never mentioned, except in the context of abroad. And when they spoke of freedom abroad, it was code for we are about to invade you and kill hundreds of thousands of people.

97 thoughts on “Gary McKinnon and Freedom

1 2 3 4
  • Suhayl Saadi

    That is excellent news. It illustrates just how domestically aligned (horizontally) to the rolling US war machine the previous bunch of ruling politicians had become. Shame on them! They really did trash the Labour Party and Britain. Now the same cardboard cutouts – Balls, Millibands Mark I and II et al – want to continue in the same vein, using the same, deliberately vacuous language that bespeaks a veil for power.

    I suspect that while, particularly with a clever Democrat Administration in Washington (as opposed to the preceding stupid Republican one) they will be allowed some leeway domestically, their room for manoeuvre in terms of foreign policy will remain limited.

    Still, credit where it is due. This is good news.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    I vowed I wouldn’t get an ID card and would not go on the national ID register which meant in a few years time I would not have been able to renew my passport. I’m overjoyed that this is no longer necessary. Gary McKinnon is a great development too. But seriously, what on earth were New Labour thinking?

  • Ishmael

    Its a better feeling. Maybe people are wondering when it goes bad. They have been very badly burned.

  • MJ

    Great news about Gary McKinnon. Great news about rolling back (some of) Labour’s police-state legislation. Great news about limiting the power of hedge funds.

    So much great news in the past couple of days. A cynic might think we’re being softened up for a whole bunch of bad news in the not too distant future. Let’s hope Osborne’s emergency budget will bring yet more great news.

  • Wasp_Box

    It does seem to be going rather well so far doesn’t it? Despite the dreadful legacy they will have to cope with, I do feel that we are, at least, getting our country back.

    I will never forgive Blair for his actions. Brown, on the other hand, was just a stain on the pants of history.

  • Alex T

    This is encouraging news, not just for Gary but for all of us. Any progress we can make to remove the cowboy boot that has been stamping down on our necks is a relief. I cannot understand why they have not given Gary a job at GCHQ, surely anyone who can break into the Pentagon would be more use to us there than rotting in an American prison. Bletchley Park showed us that we need unique thinkers like Gary working for us, not against us.

  • Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    Good news about McKinnon, but the whole hateful and slavish bill needs to be repealed as soon as possible. Said it before, but it still beggars belief how Labour voters keep on voting for the anti-civil liberties, pro-banking, pro-war, New “Labour” bunch who drove the economy of a cliff.

    The time is right for a re-run of the fifth season of “The Wire”, in which the newly elected Mayor Carcetti inherits a massive budget deficit and consequently has no funds to fulfill his election promises, thanks to the corruption and incompetence of the previous incumbent.

  • eddie

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    You are deluding yourself Craig, and it is quite amusing to observe. I can guarantee, within the year, once the cuts start to bite and Tory dogma takes control, that you will be slagging off this so-called government in the same old way as before. In the meantime it is fun watching you make an arse of yourself. Thanks.

  • Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    Eddie: What’s wrong with being thankful for these definite improvements on specific areas of New “Labour” policy? I don’t harbour any illusions, (and don’t see any evidence that Craig does either), especially where the Tories are concerned. The coalition is better than they would have been on their own. As for New “Labour”, thank God they’ve finally been chucked out and can’t reduce civil liberties any more than they already have done.

  • technicolour

    Eddie. I think Craig is reacting to events, which is the job of a blogger. Yes of course if “Tory dogma” takes control, he will be blogging against it (apologies, if I preempt him). He is independent minded, I think.

    As are you, in many ways. I really hope you Labour guys don’t get Miliband, but I don’t see any way out of it?

  • derek

    [email protected]:19

    As I understand it McKinnon does not possess any extraordinary computer skills. He used a simple script that searched for accounts with a default password. Effectively the doors were wide open.

    He was a silly sod for going in, but he sure isn’t a terrorist.

  • derek

    From the Guardian

    “Torture claims investigation ordered by William Hague”

    I think I can guess what Craig’s Blog post will be about tomorrow.

  • Clark

    I’m reminded of the man always seen carrying a paving slab around with him. When asked why he did that, he replied “‘cos it makes me feel so much better when I put it down”!

    There are indeed some encouraging moves by this coalition. Here’s hoping, eh?

  • Clark

    Of course Gary McKinnon needs to be made an example of. The alternative is that Microsoft admit that they have been supplying inherently insecure operating systems.

    “I found out that the US military use Windows,” said Mr McKinnon in that BBC interview. “And having realised this, I assumed it would probably be an easy hack if they hadn’t secured it properly.”

    Microsoft have immense power. Government departments use Windows, a closed system – which means that only Microsoft know precisely how to control Windows. Effectively, Microsoft potentiallly control all data held on Microsoft systems – they can potentially read, erase or modify it. That’s a hell of a big gun to be holding to the US government’s and military’s heads.

    The same situation exists here; Microsoft is international. McKinnon may well be tried in Britain – M$ won’t mind, so long as he is still made an example of.

    Governments should use Linux. It’s the only way to be sure…

  • angrysoba

    Outbreak of optimism shocker!

    That is very good news about the scrapping of ID cards and also that Gary McKinnon won’t be extradited. I think it is rather tender-headed to think he shouldn’t be prosecuted at all though. He was, after all, doing the cyber equivalent of breaking and entering which is illegal no matter how poor your security and locks are.

    But I think the best news is, as Derek has pointed out, that torture allegations are going to be investigated.

  • Clark

    Gary McKinnon should probably be given a token punishment, community service or something. His motivation was basically childish curiosity – and we wouldn’t harshly punish a child that worked out how to open the shed because he wanted to see if the lawnmower was in there. There are US claims of damage, but we’ve no reason to believe that he was malicious, so any damage was again probably due to the fragility of the systems.

    it’s funny how the US (and others) talk of some huge threat from ‘cyberterrorism’, and yet the only real example of unauthorised access is this sort of thing.

  • kingfelix

    I’m delighted for him. This is a farce to go along with the kid facing 20 years for hacking Sarah Palin’s email.

  • angrysoba

    “His motivation was basically childish curiosity – and we wouldn’t harshly punish a child that worked out how to open the shed because he wanted to see if the lawnmower was in there.”

    That’s true and if you came home from work and found me standing in your living room because I wanted to see what was in your house then I would hope not to be harshly punished.

    Anyway, I am against a harsh punishment but it is silly to think he is innocent.

    I just looked into him a bit more and was surprised to find he was a Truther. Surprised because he seems to be of the impression that the US’s highly sophisticated air security system should never have allowed the attacks to happen and yet McKinnon is unwittingly demonstrating a more obvious point: That such systems are nowhere near as effective or foolproof as have been touted. Quite the opposite, that such things as cyber-security as well as air security and US intelligence is bumbling, incompetent and very lax.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    I likewise just looked into this a little further.

    This sad case is a dimwit. Certainly he shouldn’t get too harsh of a sentence (of course, his fantasy of being sent to Guantanamo is just that), but a slap on the wrist is just out of the question. I just love this message he left:

    “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.”

    I take it that Craig Murray and 90% of the commenters at this site have absolutely no respect for the interests of the governments of the U.S./U.K. in protecting computer systems that serve as a backbone against global threats in the West. I mean, that’s just a given. Of course it follows that you don’t have a problem signaling to the world that it’s open season on computer security in the West.

    And maybe some of you think this idiot dimwit really had a point about UFOs.

    And maybe some of you think this idiot dimwit really had a point about a stand-down on September 11.

    Pretty soon all of you people will have to claim some late-stage Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    Far more importantly, it’s interesting to note that Craig Murray apparently won’t dedicate blog space to foreign residents in the U.K. who have been denied asylum. Who does he go to bat for? This “I am SOLO” asshole.

    How much google time will it take for me to find a poor chap who is about to be sent back from the U.K. for certain tortured imprisonment?

    I’m working on 2 asylum cases, Craig. Pro bono.

    Your guy is this “I am SOLO,” 911-denying UFO freak who was arrested in 2002.

    You’re just exploiting him.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    OK, I’ve read more about this.

    This asshole will plead it out, do 12 months of non-violent federal time, and then do 6 months in the U.K. He’ll be given three full meals and a place to sleep.

    What the fuck is wrong with the British left that they would care about this asshole and not care about asylum seekers?

  • angrysoba

    As it happens Larry, Craig Murray has done more than simply dedicate blog space to those denied asylum in the UK but has actively worked to prevent their deportation:

    “March 20, 2010

    A Life Saved

    The good news is that Alisher Khakimjanov was granted asylum by a judge yesterday after being refused by the Home Office and scheduled for deportation to Uzbekistan.”


    “January 25, 2008

    A Life Saved!

    I can’t really afford it, but I have just bought and opened a bottle of the best bubbly I can find in Shepherds Bush. Jahongir Sidikov has phoned me to say that the Home Office has just granted him asylum. You will recall that Jahongir had to physically resist deportation from Harmondsworth Detention Centre to certain torture and near certain death in Uzbekistan.

    Jahongir has no doubt, and nor do I, that the actions of readers of this blog were crucial in preventing this appalling proposed deportation.”

    And there are many more examples of this. Your criticisms in that regard are way off base.

    As for Gary McKinnon, there was talk of him being incarcerated for 70 years which is an absurd sentence for what he did.

    As I have already said I don’t agree with the idea that he did nothing wrong but I do agree with the idea that there are grounds for diminished responsibility and I would accept Simon Baron-Cohen’s (no, not Borat!) diagnosis of autism.

    I think the loopy conspiracy theory shit that grows like fungus in the comments boxes is a perfectly acceptable target but please leave Craig Murray’s human rights work alone.

  • Bugger (the Panda)

    -and now for the truth over Dr David Kelly,

    Remember him, Mr Blair?

  • angrysoba

    “-and now for the truth over Dr David Kelly,

    Remember him, Mr Blair?”

    And let’s look into reports that Elvis is still alive at the same time, shall we?

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.