Friday, 31 July 2009

US government security chimps are just as bad as UK legal chimps

When I was a law student, I remember reading cases about the Human Rights Act 1998 about drug dealers, terrorists, criminals and general undesirables who managed to manoeuvre behind New Labour’s delivered promise to ‘Bring rights home’. Most of these cases were about foreign nationals or immigrants seeking to block extradition for crimes in their countries of origin.

Extradition in these cases was always blocked because there was a possibility however slight that they may have had it worse if returned to their countries of origin than they would in the UK. Torture was always a favourite and still remains so even if we have treaties in place with countries not to torture returned prisoners. Illness is always another good excuse to remain in the UK. If the treatment a person is likely to receive in their country of origin is wore than the treatment they are likely to receive here then again we will keep them. Capital punishment is another bar on extradition.

The common thread however it seems is that if you are not born in this country and you are a criminal then you can remain in this country especially if you are ill if you are shrewd enough to invoke the Human Rights Act 1998.

What seems to be a bit unfair is that our own home grown nationals are not afforded the same luxury.

Gary McKinnon who suffers from Asperger’s disease, a clinically recognised psychological disorder, has been accused of hacking into US military Networks including the Pentagon. The US government is adamant that it wants to prosecute him for it.

I find it incredible that we are allowing this travesty to continue.

Firstly this is a man who is in obvious need of protection. He is not a murderer. He is not a terrorist. He is not a drug dealer or any other type of criminal really. His only crime is that he is brighter than the United States of America and all of its technology and cash!!!

If the US think it necessary to extradite this fellow and make him stand trial despite his psychological condition then we should have the courage to say no.

The fact is that the US is embarrassed. Like they were when 9/11 happened. They are too arrogant to consider the possibility that anyone could be able to infiltrate their security. They cannot prosecute the majority of the thousands of people who violate its borders every year. They have been unable to find anyone to blame for 9/11.

In this instance, one man with a psychological illness and a PC in his bedroom has infiltrated their military IT systems and because they are able to trace him, they want to throw the book at him. Not only that but they have undoubtedly applied political pressure at the highest level or the fact that this man is even being considered for extradition in these circumstances should not even be in question.

Time to stick up for our own. Time to stick up for the innocent. Time to tell the US to bugger off and question the chaps who are costing them millions of dollars every year to protect their national security before they start picking on those who exposed their weakness.

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