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,

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/05/the_mckinnon_te.html#comments

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

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  • Clark

    Angrysoba?

    You’re not making sense. I’m not going to argue about the cause of Dr Kelly’s death. I’m not presupposing duress; I’m presupposing the *possibility* of duress. Note my use of the word “may”!

  • Jon

    @angrysoba – there is a book’s worth of analysis on the death of David Kelly from Norman Baker MP. It does not conclude that he was definitely murdered, but it asks enough questions to make an independent investigation essential. I think Norman Baker is a reasonable person and an excellent researcher, and I am inclined to the view that Kelly was murdered.

    I would add that I don’t view the varying theories surrounding Kelly’s death in the same vein as 9/11 discussion, as some blog-disrupters would contend. I would suggest that the idea he was killed by the state is quite a mainstream view, and should be treated as such by opponents.

  • angrysoba

    “@angrysoba – there is a book’s worth of analysis on the death of David Kelly from Norman Baker MP.”

    I know. I have read it.

    “It does not conclude that he was definitely murdered”

    Oh yes it does.

    “I think Norman Baker is a reasonable person and an excellent researcher, and I am inclined to the view that Kelly was murdered.”

    I thought he was a reasonable person until I read his book but as I read it I thought it became more and more obvious that Dr Kelly wasn’t murdered at all and he based his “theory” on wild speculation.

  • Craig

    I had a career in which I had quite a lot of experience dealing with the families of those who died suspiciously, including in Uzbekitsan and in Africa. Sometimes the family campaign tenaciously. Sometimes they just want to mourn, draw a veil and move on and feel that “digging up the past” does no good. They don’t want further sorrow or mental disturbance.

    All of which is intuitive. Unless you know them well, you can’t say what is happening. And it is often wrong – and I suspect it is wrong in this case – to imagine that the family actually know the truth. Or, necessarily, want to.

  • Clark

    Angrysoba,

    shall I take it that you’re unconcerned that national governments and militaries use an insecure operating system, that a ‘trade secret’ takes priority over multiple national interests, and that a software company can hold immense power over multiple national governments?

  • Clark

    Craig,

    good point; another reason that the family’s opinion should not affect the extent of investigation.

  • steve

    David Kelly I am sure did not kill himself. The facts dont add up to link conspiracy nuts who saw elvis at the local chip shop with the scepticism of a number of highly qualified coroners and pathologists, the paramedics that first attended and a number of police officers is plain stupid. Men mostly dont cut wrists as a method of suicide they sit in cars with hosepipes to exhausts they jump in front of trains. the people most likely to cut wrists are females with no real intent to die but to seak attention and help. The blood loss mentioned by the paramedics was small. I have seen someone bleed out we are talking huge pools of blood imagine 3 to 4 milk bottles full! I dont know who killed him but he didnt kill himself that I am certain of.

  • angrysoba

    Craig,

    I’ll defer to your experience here but it goes beyond simply whether or not they have said they suspect foul play. Norman Baker also says in his book that Dr Kelly’s wife said he had been very depressed or down after the public grilling he received and yet dismisses her as being too sick to know what she was talking about.

    Instead he seems to turn to a few acquaintances of his at his local pub who said, “He didn’t seem the type to commit suicide.”

    I thought this seemed quite callous.

    But, as far as I know, Lord Hutton did say that the medical records would be available for those doctors who want to see them. His ruling that they be otherwise sealed for 70 years is NOT as had been said before unusual or weird but probably the best thing to do as it is a certainty that pictures of his autopsy, if released, would end up on the Internet so that amateur pathologists who moonlight as amateur structural engineers in their spare time can construct ingenious arguments over the manner in which he may have died.

    I submit that this is not something his family would want.

  • angrysoba

    “shall I take it that you’re unconcerned that national governments and militaries use an insecure operating system, that a ‘trade secret’ takes priority over multiple national interests, and that a software company can hold immense power over multiple national governments?”

    I don’t know what this is in relation to.

    Clark, could you please explain what you mean here…

  • Clark

    Angrysoba,

    you seem to have diverted this thread from Gary McKinnon onto Dr Kelly.

    I’m pointing out possible commercial interest in the McKinnon case – commercial influence overriding national security.

  • Clark

    I’m saying that the attention on Gary McKinnon is diverting us from the insecurity of these computer systems. The US claim to be concerned about ‘cyberterrorism’. To protect themselves from this, they wish to impose harsh punishment upon someone who got caught.

    But terrorist attacks show that some adversaries are prepared to sacrifice their very lives; making an example of McKinnon is therefore futile. The problem must be tackled at source, and you can’t do that if you insist upon using Windows.

  • angrysoba

    “you seem to have diverted this thread from Gary McKinnon onto Dr Kelly.

    I’m pointing out possible commercial interest in the McKinnon case – commercial influence overriding national security.”

    No, I didn’t initiaally raise the subject of Dr Kelly and I haven’t addressed “commercial interests” re:Mckinnon either so I remain perplexed.

  • Clark

    Angrysoba,

    you didn’t light the Kelly torch, but you did pick it up and run with it. Like you tend to.

  • Jon

    @angrysoba – we must have been reading different books. I thought the conclusions Baker came to were not conclusive, but perhaps I need to pull it out of the bookshelf again and re-read! 🙂

    I am appreciative as anyone of the need to respect the family’s need to grieve. But the public interest case in finding out what happened, given the various doubts, is significantly more powerful.

    I see you are conflating theories about the death of Kelly with 9/11 theories, which is why I pre-empted that by saying they are not comparable. It does the official story no credit to suggest holders of certain views are as “mad” as “truthers”.

  • ScouseBilly

    Angrysoba, do you have any thoughts on Robert “Roy” Greig’s “suicide”?

  • angrysoba

    “@angrysoba – we must have been reading different books. I thought the conclusions Baker came to were not conclusive, but perhaps I need to pull it out of the bookshelf again and re-read! :-)”

    He I am pretty sure concludes it was murder. The book I read states:

    p.208: “I had concluded in my mind, after analysing the facts and available information as carefully and objectively as I could, that David Kelly’s death could not have been suicide and therefore must have been murder.”

    But doesn’t firmly say who did it. He lists a number of possible culprits and tentatively rules some of those in and some of those out. His scenario involving a group of disgruntled Iraqis is, I think, deliberately disingenuous and his suggestion that Tony Blair, Janice Kelly and Lord Hutton knew the truth but covered it up out of a warped sense of patriotism/national security is bizarre at best.

    But, I think we’d better not pursue this much longer or I’ll be accused of derailing the thread.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Actually, I agree, Angrysoba, that the hypothesis about disgruntled Iraqis is bizarre and really quite unbelievable – though Baker makes it clear in the book that it is simply one hypothesis and that he is not asserting it the definitive theory.

    The whole thing seems murky – in particular the grainy yet exotic figure of Mai Pederson (a real life Mata Hari), who seems to pop up from time-to-time and issue statements that simply tantalise – and tantalising, it seems, may be her forte.

    Baker seems to have been misled, I felt, by a number of odd people who seem to pop into the narrative and direct him in various directions. I mean, it’s going to be very difficult to be ‘Poirot’ in such situations.

    So obviously, given that everyone is agreed that Kelly did not die of natural causes, either the official version is correct or Kelly was murdered. And if the latter, then someone somewhere is not telling the truth.

    I, and many others, including those not given to ‘conspiracy theories’ really do have serious doubts that it was suicide, not least from the impossibility of killing oneself by the transverse section of one’s ulnar artery.

    I don’t think Blair or anyone in the Government would’ve ordered his killing – as with the death of Benazir Bhutto, it doesn’t usually work like that.

    But the killing – if it was that – seems to have been made to look very clumsy. I think – for what it’s worth – he was killed by lethal injection and then the ‘incision’ was made either immediately post-mortem or, more likely, while unconscious just ante-mortem.

    Who dunnit? The usual suspects? Dunno.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Furthermore, it really is extremely unusual for such information to be sealed for 30 years (information not aired during the Hutton Inquiry), or 70 years (post-mortem info.). It really is not acceptable in any case, but certainly is such a politically important case. And then Hutton didn’t even tell the public that he had done this so that it’s come out only now! The whole dynamic leads one to the suspicion – even if unfounded – that it has nothing to do with family sensibilities and everything to do with someone somewhere needing to continue to lie.

  • Clark

    Angrysoba,

    I take it back; you didn’t derail the thread. Murkrosoft pwn’d our governments and no one even wants to think about it, ‘cos they’re all reading this on Windows.

    And McKinnon can’t get a fair trial whichever side of the pond he lands on, for the same reason. Such is the market penetration of Windows that no one even realises that a reasonably secure system can be built, so they think that the only defence from hacking is by harsh punishment for hackers.

    When Dr Kelly said he’d be found dead in the woods, he wasn’t expressing his intention to kill himself, was he?

  • Clark

    And wasn’t Hutton instrumental in keeping to the official line on the Bloody Sunday massacre for a couple of decades?

  • angrysoba

    “Furthermore, it really is extremely unusual for such information to be sealed for 30 years (information not aired during the Hutton Inquiry), or 70 years (post-mortem info.)”

    I’m not sure about that. Given that this was a government enquiry, wouldn’t such records automatically fall under the “30-year rule”?

    http://www.30yearrulereview.org.uk/background.htm

    “Is everything released to the public at 30 years?

    Not everything does get released when transferred to The National Archives. The Freedom of Information Act has reduced the number of records that can stay closed, but a very small proportion of material remains closed for a defined period. Examples include murder files, which remain closed until the children of the victim are 100 years old, in order to protect them from exposure to distressing personal information. Other records which remain closed relate to current defence or security, foreign relations etc..”

    If you did want to know more it might be worth trying to make an FOIA request. (I’m sure Norman Baker and Rowena Thursby have been doing that already). Otherwise it would be worth talking to those witnesses whose statements have been sealed or those medical personnel who were involved in the autopsy etc…

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, Mata Hari was real – though as you say whether the woman was a spy is debatable. She’s become such a legend that one thinks of her as not being real any more, but of course she was!

    Yes, one could try leveraging some of the detail and I’m sure someone will have tried the FOI route; I don’t know the rules on that though, presumably they’ll have thought of that possibility already. But as Clark says, it’s really not good – if there’s nothing to hide, then why hide anything? The act of sealing information itself raises suspicions. And yes, Hutton does not exactly have the best reputation in this area.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And anyway, this – according to the state – ‘was not a murder’. They can’t have it both ways. One senses that the ‘case’ is most definitely not closed as far as the public is concerned. There should have been an ‘Open’ verdict.

  • angrysoba

    Yes, I thought someone might raise that. But the rules are not meant to be used exlusively for murder but murders are examples in which the details of the case may be upsetting for the family.

    Hutton certainly has cited concerns for the family in his concealing the photographs and other autopsy information. Whether you believe him on that is another issue.

  • Anonymous

    Clark – “Such is the market penetration of Windows that no one even realises that a reasonably secure system can be built, so they think that the only defence from hacking is by harsh punishment for hackers.”

    shorter – I think the basic problem there is that computer OSes are marketed as commodities.

    longer – I used to get junk email from people I know, and I used to warn them that somebody/thing’s got into their machine and is using their data; and then I used to get wound up by the (as I learnt) depressingly predictable reaction – “But what can I do ? It’s a /virus/ !”, like it’s just caught a cold, these things happen, no-one can do anything about it, maybe it’ll get better. Final conclusion, I’m an impossible nerdy bore for having some idea they ought to f&*(^”! /fix/ the thing. People don’t want to think about how the system works, is what I mean, they just want it to do what they want, work on what they bought it for. They were sold a product, they expect it to work. And they have a point; except, it doesn’t. Hence the botnet industry etc.

    Though, one ought to expect higher standards of big organisations, of course. In particular, “no-one even realises” – can this be right ? I mean, the case in question was a big important US govt. department; is it even possible that they could have hired an entire set of highly trained stunt admins and techies without including anyone who knows better ? I could find them several who know at least more than that, and I’m just a self-taught amateur.

    (I switched from W3.1 to linux around the beginning of ’95, “and since then I have used no other”, to borrow a phrase)

  • Clark

    Nameless,

    hmmm, what are the chances that they have competent IT people, who tell them to use a secure system, but due to the corporatisation of politics in the US they are told that they *have* to use M$; after all, M$ is a big US success story, isn’t it, and we have to show some loyalty, it’d hurt M$ image internationally if the US government and military were seen to chose a different system.

    So the IT people get pissed off, and say “it’s far more difficult to secure a system when you can’t read or modify the source code, and to be secure all users must do XYZ”, and they’re told “M$ is the best software company in the world; YOU make it secure, that’s what you’re paid for, so that I don’t have to think”!

    So McKinnon gets in easilly, and leaves pictures of aliens on their servers. McKinnon gets locked up, the IT people get repremanded or worse, and the people who give them the unfollowable orders continue to look important and get promotions, like after 9/11. And M$ continues to make lotsa cash.

    Thank god it was just McKinnon.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    But tell me, Angrysoba, man, do you really, in your heart-of-hearts, believe the official tale about David Kelly? Ulnar artery fatal haemorrhage, no fingerprints at all on the knife…

    I mean if this was Italy, we’d be saying, oh right, the N’Drangheta-in-collusion-with-the-state have been at it again! Or Russia, no question. It’s because it’s jolly old toytown Britain where no-one ever gets assassinated except by those nasty (once)-Red Bulgarians and Russians and well, organised crime in general. But the state…?

    Are we not naive about this type of thing? I’m not one to jump at the drop of a hat and yell: “Murder, Polis!” but really. There is a limit. The behaviour of the UK state over the death of Kelly was and remains questionable. One can make excuses – I’m not suggesting you’re doing this, btw, I realise you being rational and attempting to examine each aspect and that’s good – about/ for the state but then there are situations where one just has to throw one hands up and say: I smell a rat.

  • angrysoba

    Suhayl,

    Yes, I had my doubts before so I read Norman Baker’s book but as I read it I was surprised to see he made a far better case for suicide than I had heard until then.

    Of course he tries to dismiss all the evidence for suicide out of hand and all kinds of mystery in to the mix where there doesn’t really appear to be any.

    The stuff that bugged me was the bit about Robin Cook dying suddenly on a mountain top soon after damaging the government’s claims to WMD.

    This is all just ludicrous. Within months of the Iraq invasion it became clear that there were no WMDs. The idea that they were going to go round whacking people who pointed this out seems daft to me.

    I agree with those who say there is no comparison between 9/11 and David Kelly’s death as the idea of state complicity in anyone’s death is not a loony tunes position even if that state is jolly old toytown Britain rather than Lubyanka Russia.

    My honest belief is that David Kelly was terribly humiliated and publicly shamed and that he therefore committed suicide in a similar manner to his mother (with pills) and with a knife he had had from childhood and in a similar manner to that he had alluded to (in the woods).

    This is bad enough, I think, and the desire for so many to say, “It’s not enough to go to war on faulty intelligence or a lie we need to short-circuit the argument so that it’s unequivocal. Tony Blair killed David Kelly and Dick Cheney flew the planes into the Twin Towers!!!” shows that they themselves seem to want to “sex-up” their case against the US and UK governments which is, in the end, counterproductive.

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