Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gary McKinnon vs Talha Ahsan: do we only extradite Muslims with Asperger's?

We must all rejoice with and for Gary McKinnon, an Asperger's sufferer who has spent eight years (yes, eight) on 'Extradition Row' and faced 60 years in a US prison on charges relating to hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers from his bedroom in North London. His mother Janis Sharp has campaigned long and hard against this injustice. His MP David Burrowes has made countless speeches on the case, and even threatened to resign from the Government if his constituent were extradited. The Media - especially the Daily Mail - have been tireless in highlighting the absurd injustices and inequities inherent in the UK-US extradition agreement (ie British citizens may be summarily extradited to the US and tried for crimes allegedly committed against the US in the UK, but there is absolutely no reciprocity).

The Home Secretary has effectively told the US State Department that British citizenship still means something: our liberal democracy and traditions of jurisprudence are founded upon centuries of hard-won rights and precious liberties, and these are still enforceable. If we should not surrender these to the European Union, His Grace is at a loss to know why we have done so to the United States.

Gary McKinnon has rights, and those rights will now be heeded.

But it is a curious citizenship which treats diverse ethno-religious groups differently. Mr McKinnon is ill with Asperger’s, and this fact was instrumental in persuading the Home Secretary to refuse the extradition request. But Syed Talha Ahsan also suffers from Asperger's, and is also accused of computer-related crimes - in his case helping to run a jihadi website in support of the Taliban.

Yet Mr Ahsan was extradited to the US on 5th October, despite no evidence having ever been adduced against him. He spent six years (yes, six) in a maximum security prison: no Habeas Corpus; no trial by jury. The Home Affairs Select Committee expressed grave concern at this manifest injustice, and Mayor Boris supported his right to be tried in the UK.

But, Asperger's or not, Mr Ahsan today languishes in a US prison, facing trial in a US court, while Mr McKinnon is free to be tried in an English court of law. Mr Ashan's MP is not making speeches in the House of Commons in support of his constituent. The Daily Mail is not dedicating a stream of articles to his cause.

Is it 'cos he is Muslim?


Blogger PJH said...

"But it is a curious citizenship which treats diverse ethno-religious groups differently. Mr McKinnon is ill with Asperger’s, and this fact was instrumental in persuading the Home Secretary to refuse the extradition request."

Was it? I though it was the 'suicide risk' he posed.

17 October 2012 at 10:22  
Blogger Jim McLean said...

@PJH - quite so. However, the basic problem remains and so does the impression that we favour white Britons over non-whites.

Nevertheless, each case should be seen on its own merits and in the proper context. That is why our extradition process needs to be reformed. It is not about childishly simple rules - e.g. if you have Asperger's we don't extradite you, or if you might kill yourself we don't extradite you.

McKinnon should have been extradited. Asperger's and suicide claims are not the problem of the US or UK. The guy knew what he was doing was wrong. End of.

I only hope that he is tried and sentenced in the UK for an appropriate amount of time.

We cannot afford to have emotional threats, nor can we go back to the IRA situation of hunger-strikes, threats of suicide, etc.

McKinnon is no hero.

17 October 2012 at 10:37  
Blogger Stewed Kimchi said...

Ahsan was also diagnosed as a suicide risk just like McKinnon.

17 October 2012 at 11:04  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

I think Theresa May has done the right thing, but quite possibly for the wrong reason - no doubt because it was a means of preventing deportation - but can you really stop the wheels of justice because someone is a suicide risk?

17 October 2012 at 11:38  
Blogger Sue said...

"Is it 'cos he is Muslim?" I doubt it. It's probably because he was helping raise money for terrorists who kill innocent people.

There is quite a difference.

17 October 2012 at 11:45  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

There are two vital differences between McKinnon and Syed Talha Ahsan.

1.It is vital to bear in mind, however, that there are many kinds of terrorist movements, and no single theory can cover them all. Not only are the aims, members, beliefs, and resources of groups engaged in terrorism extremely diverse, but so are the political contexts of their campaigns. 3 broad classes of terrorism: revolutionary, subrevolutionary, and establishment terrorism. This may not be perfect to base a reasoned argument on but it provides a useful framework for understanding and evaluating terrorist activities.
Mr McKinnon had no political/religious agenda other than supposedly the belief that USA was covering up ET Knowledge via Roswell etc. A pathetic individual that has joined the throngs of people like Atlas Shrugged here on our own blog, in search of conspiracy etc. Asperger's probably just heightened the feelings and as a by product these autistic individuals will gain knowledge of computer know-how the rest of us just get plain bored stupid with to develop into a successful hacker to uncover classified information.

Syed Talha Ahsan suffers also from Asperger's but his case involved allegedly setting up and helping to run a jihadi website in support of the Taliban. Call Ernst stupid but does this not cover political and religious agenda of terrorism or has the british jihads suddenly joined the UN peace corp as genuine purveyors of peace and goodwill.

We all know the Extradition was done to help get british born muslim terrorists off our shores to the USA as we have not got the guts or will to convict properly these 'british' * Laughable* citizens, such as the NHS DR who helped kidnap and threaten journlists in Syria, so as not to be able to claim 'uman rites' via the EU whilst based in Britain as Hamza etc have done. A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!!

" Habeas Corpus; no trial by jury." Should have happened but to link them both so loosely as identical in scope is ridiculous..
2. One is a looney tune in search of ET, a crashed saucer and a smoking fazer, the other promoting the joys of beheading, stoning, ignoring the rule of law and shooting little schoolgirls in the head anywhere on the planet they please.


17 October 2012 at 11:51  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

McKinnon poses no threat to our security and has no link to people who would like to destroy us. Lets cut the crap and get real here. If the US had any sense it would let us sort him out and offer him a job in their cyber security system.

17 October 2012 at 11:57  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'Ahsan was also diagnosed as a suicide risk just like McKinnon.

Sure - but Ahsan would have probably opted for a bomb vest and take 50 people out with him.

17 October 2012 at 12:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

" Dreadnaught said...

McKinnon poses no threat to our security and has no link to people who would like to destroy us. Lets cut the crap and get real here. If the US had any sense it would let us sort him out and offer him a job in their cyber security system."
We fully concur. *Gulp*


17 October 2012 at 12:03  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Just a few comments/observations:
1 - The extradition system is flawed and needs fixing. Problem is that this would mean having a politician in place who would be willing to stand up to the US. Neither Cameron nor May strike me as the types.
2 - McKinnon's MP spoke out but Ahsan's didn't. Surely there needs to be questions asked about what said MP was doing, or rather NOT doing!
3 - This morning, on Radio 5, they had a guy (who happened to be Muslim) talking about how wrong it was that a white man gets preferential treatment. However I don't remember seeing anything in the news about people protesting and getting their message across to try and stop Ahsan's extradition. Surely the Muslim community should also look to itself as being in part to blame for what has happened.
4 - And finally, Theresa May should hang her head in shame for the poor job she has done regarding this case. She will claim a backbone over McKinnon, but all that is undone by the way that Ahsan's case has been dealt with.

17 October 2012 at 12:09  
Blogger IanCad said...


As much as I dearly love America, I would go further and ban all extraditions to the US.
The depraved state of the US justice system is entirely incompatible with the our notions of equity and consistency in sentencing and incarceration.

17 October 2012 at 12:18  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The irony of course is that he has admitted his guilt. So we now have defined justice as preventing a man from being held accountable for the crimes he admits he committed. Why? Because his motives were pure? Because he might kill himself? Because Aspergers Syndrome is now a recognized legal defense for a crime?

I think the real difference between McKinnon & Ahsan is quite clear. The former isn't perceived as a threat ... in Britain. The British gov't is quite pleased to throw dangerous people at the US despite the depraved state of the US justice system. "Handle him please." But McKinnon didn't actually do anything serious. Like (say) hack into a MOD computer system. I wonder where he would be right now if he had done that.

Ah, well. Perhaps he'll get five minutes on the naughty step. I am sure the US gov't will content with such punishment.


17 October 2012 at 13:01  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'Gulp' indeed Mr Blofeld :-)

17 October 2012 at 13:19  
Blogger John Magee said...

I agree with HG and those here who are angered by criminal extraditions from the UK to the USA and not vice versa. Without knowing the details this concept appears absolutely wrong and must be changed.

I hope the people here who correctly protest the inconsistent UK to the USA extradition policy involving Gary McKinnon also protested, for moral reasons, the extradition of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali- Megrahi from the UK to Lybia. This man was part of a radical Muslim terrorist group who blew up a jet headed to the USA from London at Christmas time 1988 killing 270 people as well as innocent people on the ground in the village of Lockerbie. Ali-Magrahi was set free for "compassionate reasons" and lived as a free man in Lybia for several years.

From the British side an example of the unfairness of this one way street extradition policy are the Provisional Irish Republican Army members still free in the USA while they should be sitting in jails in the UK for their crimes which killed police and civilians in Ulster as well as bombings they are responsible in England in the 1970s and 80s.

You can thank the liberal Democrats and some Catholic Irish American politiciians like late Teddy Kennedyand for this outrage.

The one way extradition policy is correctly condemned by fair minded British citizens yet extraditions from the UK of Muslim terrorists like Abu Hamza al- Masari (the one eyed radical Muslim preacher)and four other radical Muslims was welcomed by the British Government. The lifting of a burden for UK taxpayers was good news too.

Britain's Home Office and the U.S. Department of Justice welcomed the decision.

"We will work to ensure that the individuals (Muslim terrorists) are handed over to the U.S. authorities as quickly as possible," said the Home Office.

Syed Talha Ahsan's hacking helped Islamic Jihad who's object is to kill people. McKinnon's hacking activities seem harmless. Of course the Pentagon doesn't see it that way and I think they have a valid point too.

It does appear there is a double standard for the extradition of Muslim terrorists. It's easy to get rid of them and let someone else foot the bill to keep them in their prisons for the rest of their lives for their brutal crimes and plans.

@Ian Cad

I respect you for always being a fair minded person here.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "The depraved state of the US justice system is entirely incompatible with the our notions of equity and consistency in sentencing and incarceration".

In the USA all accused are still innocent intil proven guilty, are guaranteed a fair trial, and judged by a group of 12 of their peers. The USA faces hudge social problems and rising crime rates, a lot of it by criminal gangs. The UK faces similar social problems and rising crime rates today.

The USA legal system is fair. We are not North Korea.

17 October 2012 at 16:21  
Blogger Timjam68 said...

Perhaps we can get Christopher Tappin back now

17 October 2012 at 16:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I heard the police had accidently tazered a blind man in Chorley today I was hoping it would be Blunkett

This small victory has not revoked the ludicrous extradition deal he agreed

17 October 2012 at 17:46  
Blogger William said...


Yes it is. Dreadnaught and Blofeld have the explanation why I believe.

Also, I vaguely remember that the reason the extradition arrangements are so asymmetrical is that although they were drafted more equitably, when push came to shove the British legislature passed the new arrangements but the US legislature did not.

17 October 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Listening to Radio 5 this morning. Heard Nicky Campbell interview a couple of Johnny Muslims, one of whom was his brother. Not very happy chaps at all, even by Islamic standards. Had no appreciation there is a difference between a man accused on inciting, aiding and abetting terrorism and some half baked loser hunting for UFOs in the Pentagon. Mac the Nitwit penetrated the US defence place when prompted for a password, typed in same word, and there it was. The secret doings of the free world before him. Absolute madness. Deserves a letter of thanks from the President for detecting appalling security blunder, so he does, not racking…

Anyway, one hopes this story runs and runs. Continues to remind the innocent the link between Islam, Violence and Terrorism in peoples hearts. Always worth being reminded of that, we must never forget it though fat chance of being allowed to these days with ambassadors being murdered and schoolgirls being shot, what !

By the way, you would think with Aspergers, they would have made the Islamic blighter an imam. Or do they still reserve that position strictly for thicko psychopaths. Perhaps some gentle soul from the ‘Religion of Peace’ could put the Inspector straight…

Tally ho !

17 October 2012 at 18:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Afterthought. That Ashan fellow. Six damn years on remand in chokey !

Why didn’t presenting his gaoler with a writ of habeas corpus work. It used to, you know. That’s that damned EU again. Either that dream turned nightmare or Satan himself, it will be one of the two. We should have shipped the blighter out in 2008. Costs the tax payer money to put people up in cosy maximum security you know…

17 October 2012 at 18:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Another afterthought.

They wanted your man to stand trial in the UK. Presumably because we don’t give people 50 to life, unlike our American cousins.

heh heh

17 October 2012 at 18:36  
Blogger non mouse said...

Really, Your Grace, the political water is too muddy and bloody. I cannot believe that we plebs are meant to see what the sharks, alligators, barracudas, piranhas, or even frogs, are feasting on.

Mind you, I don't think any of the party is taking place essentially "'cos he [the foreigner] is Moslem." The important point is rather that the rulers of his faith support a major part of the movement to destroy Western Civilisation (including our concept of Justice).

I do believe, though, that the apparent inconsistency between the two cases you cite arises because the person with the foreign name is alien to Britain; if that's the definition of "racism" so be it. We should remember that nations tend to be the homes of specific ethnic groups. Artificially labelling someone "British" does not change his physical or metaphorical DNA, but surrendering large tracts of Britain to his people changes every aspect of our national DNA. And that is assuredly a major object of the exercise.

To view the problem obversely, as to McKinnon: How would Arabs/mozzies treat him if, as one of hordes of invading Scottish Christians, he'd had taken up a middle-eastern citizenship and hacked into (say) Iranian security from a base in some allied Arabic desert? Who would then jump up and down and squeal "Racist"?

So: if we want Britain to remain British, and if we think it wise to regain our sovereignty, we should not harbour the enemy of our friend and ally just because the enemy has invaded our country... Quite the opposite.

There's muddier stuff, however. To argue for British/US reciprocity in the matter is to assume that our two nations not only exist in their traditional forms, but that we also support each other's sovereignty. Perhaps, though, we should be asking: "Is the US really our friend or ally?" Or: "Is what remains of British Government a friend to the US?" After all, invaded and governed as we are by the euSSR -- while we pay millions a day for the privilege of letting them change our DNA: why should the USA trust us? Then again, how can we trust the US: infiltrated as it is by franco-german ideologists and all its own illegal immigrants? To what extent is the USA complicit in our demise as its ally? To what extent, for example, does it implicitly approve seconding of the RN to frogs?**

If the US and Britain could be sure of our standing with each other, I would support reciprocity in security and deportation policies. If we had such reciprocity, then I would not want special treatment for McKinnon. But as it is, the questions are all a waste of time... even if McKinnon stays in England, he's not subject to inherently British justice...

The rest of us are, in addition, suckered into accepting the enemy's terms of argument.

Meanwhile, we're supposed to amuse our tiny selves with Shameron's play-acting at pmqs. How utterly consistent with the sham -- that he should get away with refusing to answer questions from a so-called representative of the plebs[= (common) people] while also posturing on the issue of "plebgate."

**btw, I do think the US is becoming increasingly frogophile, as is the Far East.

17 October 2012 at 18:50  
Blogger John Magee said...


Why, why why, did the British people ever allow your sane, beautiful, sovereign island homeland to get sucked into the EU?

Was this concept of a Euro Empire accomplished behind closed doors by your politicians slowly over decades after WW II?

You must be familiar with the boiling frog story describing a frog slowly being boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually

17 October 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

{AHEM}. Anybody been killed yet over this ?

17 October 2012 at 19:13  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

"Ah, well. Perhaps he'll get five minutes on the naughty step. I am sure the US gov't will content with such punishment."

Why not? Their citizens seem quite all right with Israel blowing an American ship out of the water, so what's a hacker more or less?

17 October 2012 at 19:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John. A burning question !

One thinks of that Indiana Jones film where the NAZIs have opened the Ark of the Covenant. Seemed a good idea at first, and indeed, all looked wonderful...

17 October 2012 at 19:17  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


More to the point, if one of your citizens hacked the MOD, jihadist or not, do you think we'd be seeing him handed over to the sentimental UK Justice System?

17 October 2012 at 20:14  
Blogger IanCad said...

John Magee @ 16:21

All the safeguards of an enlightened society are established in the US Constitution.
Sadly it is but a document that, when convenient, is brushed aside.

The confinement of Americans of Japanese descent during WW2 is an obvious example.

Lincoln invading the South and closing down the press was most certainly an affront to the spirit of it.

Exccessive punishments such as a life sentence prior to execution has to violate the cruel and unusual punishment clause.

The recent case of Alan Stanford, who was subject to horrible violence while awaiting trial is something that would not be shrugged off over here.

150 years for Bernie Madoff? Surely that is equating theft with murder.

Raj Rajaratam of to the pokey for insider trading! How that is a crime I know not. We all try to make money on information we believe is exclusive to us.

Abu Hamza's sticks were never taken away from him during his custody here. How come the US authorities find that a threat?
The man is awaiting trial. To subject him to torment and indignity prior to conviction is a gross transgression of established legal procedure.

Loss of liberty is the most usual punishment for violation of the law.

It is a dreadful thing.

To add to it the deprivation of human and sensory contact suggests to me that advocates of such cruelties place little value on liberty.

The Florence Federal Pen where, likely, some of our subjects are bound, is a disgrace to the USA.

No such thing should be tolerated in the land that has been such a beacon of hope and freedom to the rest of the world.

I believe that our government should only extradite it's subjects to countries whose sentencing guidelines broadly mirror our own.

I have to say that excludes the USA.

17 October 2012 at 20:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

IanCad. When one is investigating reasons why a fellow has a hook instead of a hand, one of them is that the hand was blown of while handling a detonator during bomb construction. How’s that for damned bad luck !

Though we can hopefully count on more than the fingers of one hand the number of lives saved by that act of Karma...

17 October 2012 at 21:05  
Blogger IanCad said...


I can't argue with that second paragraph!

Weren't both of his hands blown off, and wasn't he on the US side then? One of its best chaps in fact?

17 October 2012 at 21:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

IanCad. Well into the realms of ‘dirty’ war now old fellow. Best look away – you’ll want to sleep tonight...

17 October 2012 at 21:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Incidentally chaps. Do consider in your prayers tonight the fate of 5 British marines who have been charged with murder. Granted, seeing off Johnny Murderous Armed Afghan Insurgent is not to be encouraged, so we are looking at a case of exceeding authority with severe reprimands as a punishment.

Let us hope that the powers that are take mercy on men who have witnessed the deaths of colleagues in a war we really shouldn’t be sending our fine young men to, and to which we seem to be having one hand tied behind our backs. Where are our bloody howitzers !

The response is “Hear us, oh Lord” if you are RC minded...

Onwards and upwards, what !

17 October 2012 at 21:45  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Hot off MSM

Just heard the FBI have arrested a chappie whose name is not english/french/german/italian/slavic/scandanavian/chinese/japanese etc sounding, for trying to blow up the NY federal reserve bank...*It's only full of IOU's, numbskull..What a numpty*.

Perhaps its a cunning AQ masterplan to send lots of Asperger's islamic jihadists types, on the off chance that they will be considered mentally unstable instead of murdering B^&T*rDs and that he was actually only looking for the Ark of The Covenant held below the NYFRB as per Indiana Jones 1 to wind up Israeli's.
Abdul, aka Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, thought he had purchased 1 ton of Semtex whereas he was actually trying to detonate 1 ton of Tippex. WHAT A BIG MISTAKE!! *Chortles and Guffaws*
I know how the fellow feels as last night I swallowed a bottle of Tippex instead me intended swig from me bottle of Viagra. This morning, I woke up with an enormous correction. Boom Boom! now THAT is what Abdul the Bulbul-Ameer was hoping for but thankfully was !

Such clever fellows, those Arabic lot but it only goes to show their ignorance is exceeded only by their stupidity, thank God...


17 October 2012 at 23:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

but thankfully was (!)

1st class idiot who has yet to master the soup spoon..

17 October 2012 at 23:19  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 October 2012 at 23:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


More to the point, if one of your citizens hacked the MOD, jihadist or not, do you think we'd be seeing him handed over to the sentimental UK Justice System?

I see no reason such extradition should not be allowed. There are countries to which I would not wish to see a US citizen extradited. Britain is not on that list. In any case, technology now allows crimes to be committed remotely. I would want to prosecute the perpetrators of financial frauds performed over the Internet despite the fact that said perpetrators are based in (say) Nigeria. I think the offended country has jurisdiction because the both the victim and the crime reside in the offended country. Surely law enforcement in the UK would agree.

The problem here is not one of guilt, however. Nor is it a problem of sentimentality. Nor is it about jurisdiction. The problem derives from conflicting perceptions about the nature of the crime. The US would prosecute this crime as a compromise of US national security. The UK is going to prosecute it as a coventional crime of hacking. The perception of the seriousness of the crime is much greater in the US than in the UK because the crime inflicted no damage on the UK. And you can see that perception clearly displayed in the comments on this thread.

So let's assume the UK has standing to prosecute (Probematic.) Let's assume McKinnon would be convicted (Also problematic.) The level of punishment exacted by the UK will be orders of magnitude less than would be exacted by the US because the Criminal Justice system in the UK would be punishing a far different crime with far different motivations. That's why McKinnon's lawyers were so determined to keep him out of the US. His conviction was a forgone conclusion. But in the US he would have received a sentence commensurate with the damage he inflicted on the US. In the UK he will be punished (if at all) based only upon the seriousness of his intentions.


17 October 2012 at 23:36  
Blogger Roy said...

I am glad that the British government thinks that supporting terrorism is a more serious crime than looking for UFOs.

17 October 2012 at 23:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


I can accept that you might not have a problem with the US extraditing to the UK, but the reality is that it very rarely does so of its citizens, regardless of the severity of the charge.

It is entitled to do so - it is a sovereign nation, and its protection of its citizens is in many ways exemplary. Only this week a friend of mine (and US citizen) had genuine reason to be grateful for their life as a result.

I understand that in the US, a UK request for extradition involves a process that requires probable cause to be established in a US court. This generally results in US citizens being tried in the US, and not extradited or having the extradition request denied. The UK is likely, on the advice of a HoC committee, to implement the same here - which will result, presumably, in fewer extraditions.

That said, the most egregious extradition treaty in which we find ourselves locked is not by any stretch of the imagination that between the US and the UK, but the European Arrest Warrant.

17 October 2012 at 23:57  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Carl said

The US would prosecute this crime as a compromise of US national security. The UK is going to prosecute it as a coventional crime of hacking. (Quite right too.)
The perception of the seriousness of the crime is much greater in the US than in the UK because the crime inflicted no damage on the UK. (What on earth damage did the fool do to your security system. He looks like Spock's long lost sibling but without the logic or wherewithal and has tragically been involved in a mind meld with the Jedwards/Kardasians that has gone horribly wrong. .Were nuclear warheads flashing, with only minutes to launch because of his action, CIA operatives identities becoming visible to America's foreign enemies, putting life's at risk, access to highly sensitive documents was gained such as who killed JFK or whats in KFC that makes it sooo addictive. If he had been tried over in your neck of the woods nothing of truth would be revealed as to what real damage was achieved whereas we will enjoy your government squirming when asked by British justice to provide details of the exact damage inflicted on Uncle Sam's security if!! )

And you can see that perception clearly displayed in the comments on this thread.(HUZZAH for that) It's called British common sense!, old bean)


18 October 2012 at 00:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


You are correct that the UK was within its rights. I can't fault the UK for refusing to extradite in principle. I claim the right for my own country. I can't refuse it to yours. But what reason motivates the UKs refusal to extradite in this specific case?

1. Was a crime committed? Yes, it was. This is not a contested fact.

2. Did the defendant in fact commit the crime? Yes, he did. He has admitted it. Who in fact has denied his guilt?

3. Does the US gov't have jurisdiction to prosecute the crime? It certainly thinks so. If the defendant traveled to the US, he would be immediately arrested.

The only thing the US lacks is possession of the defendant. So why then is he not being extradited? The British gov't is not protecting an innocent man from malicious prosecution. The defendant is guilty as charged. What then? The answer is that the British gov't thinks he would be subjected to 'excessive punishment.' It is imposing on the US Gov't its own understanding of the severity of the crime. As in 'This act of espionage against the US committed by a British citizen from British soil is really not all that serious, and the Americans should just get over it."

Fair enough. The UK has every right to protect its citizens because of such a determination. Understand however that the decision has far broader implications for the US. The UK is protecting that citizen at the expense of US national interest. This is an act of espionage as far as the US gov't is concerned. It's not just a guy hacking into a computer looking for data on UFOs. And you don't get much more serious than espionage.

Which is why I mentioned the MOD. If McKinnon's target had been the MOD, the British gov't would be acting similarly to the US gov't and for similar reasons. The severity of the punishment might be attenuated. But the crime would be considered an act of espionage, and punished accordingly.


18 October 2012 at 01:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I believe you have confirmed my analysis of differing perceptions in every detail.


18 October 2012 at 01:26  
Blogger John Magee said...

Ian Cad

You get no argument from me for much, but not all, of what you posted. Keep in mind a few of your points occured when the USA was at war and the President does have Executive Privilidge and Emergency Powers in time of war.

The internment of Japanese citizens and aliens during WW II is a special case. In retropsect it was Constututionally and morally wrong but that's easy to say in 2012 and not in early 1942 in a country facing the very real possibility of Japanese invasion.

Because of this very real threat of a Japanese invasion of the USA Pacific West Coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941 in early 1942 President Roosevelt, using a President's privilidge of Executive Order, ordered a military zone extending from the Pacific coast inland about 300 miles as a designated military zone to stop a possible Japanese invasion. All Japanese civilians within that vast area were ordered evacuated and put into internment camps in western states like Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana. No Japanese civilians east of this military zone were interned. Please remember in December 1941 the nearly 1,400 mile long USA Pacific coast line was almost entirely defenseless and the Japanese could have easily landed almost anywhere on the Pacific coast or even taken their carriers and ships into ports like San Francisco and Seattle and taken those cities with no military opposition and advanced Japanese troops hudreds of miles inland with hardly a shot being fired at them. That would have cost the USA WW II and a permanent partial occupation of the USA by the Japanese and no military aid would have been available from the USA to help Britain fight Nazi Germany in Europe. This is not as far fetched as it might seem in 2012. Why the Japanese wasted time attacking Pearl Harbor and invading SE Asia when they could have easily invaded the USA West Coast and occupied vast areas of land without a fight is beyond rational thinking if you were pro Japan back then. In the 1970's all those still alive who had been in the Japanese internment camps got a cash settllemet and compensation for property confiscated in 1942.
Over 30,000 German and Italian aliens were also interned in those same camps and none of them ever got a penny in compensation for their losses.

The Japanese Government has never compensated Allied POW's and civilians who survived the living hell in Japanese POW and civilian internment camps during WW II.

Canada also interned it's Japanese on their Pacific west coast in British Columbia as well as their German and Italian aliens. I believe Britain interned German and Austrian refugees in camps on the Isle of Man during WW II. ids this true?

Yes, Bernie Masloff got 150 years. He deserves every second of that sentence for ruining the lives of thousands of people who trusted him with their life savings. I think that life in prison is a fair sentence for a man who stole people's retirement investments and ruined their old age.

How about the famous USA football player, O J Simpson, a man literally got away with murder after butchering his wife and her friend and found "innocent" by a rigged jury?

The USA's laws are not perfect. Juries and judges make decisions that I strongly disagree with and the wealthy can afford the best barristers but the poor also are guaranteed free legal help. That is the price of living in a free country. At least I don't worry abouty a Black Maria (Soviet police van)stopping in front of my house at 3 AM and hauling me off to a prison for what I post in a Blog or for criticizing the government.

The first ten amendments, The Bill of Rights, of the Constitution protect the people of the USA FROM the Government. You must understand how important this concept is.

The EU should look at the USA Bill of Rights as a model (based on the best ideals of the European Age of Enlightenment)to protect and preserve the freedom of the people of the EU. Instead, Political Correctness is their guide.

18 October 2012 at 01:31  
Blogger Roy said...

The US authorities should be very grateful to Gary McKinnon because if a UFO hunting nerd had not exposed the pathetic inadequacy of US computer security and been caught doing so then Al Qaeda, the Iranians, Chinese and North Koreans would probably all be retrieving secret American documents without the US security services being any the wiser.

18 October 2012 at 08:23  
Blogger IanCad said...

John Magee,

Your points are well taken and I can quibble only somewhat with your post.

I am sorry to reveal that Black Maria's can now swoop down on us over here if we write or speak that which is deemed offensive.

We need to borrow your First Amendment.

Didn't Jay Leno suggest that, when Iraq was developing its new constitution; "We should give them ours. We don't use it anymore."

18 October 2012 at 08:24  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

@Carl Jacobs:
You seem to believe that, in terms of justice and proportionality, the UK justice system is fairer and more measured than the US. Not so. Only last week, someone was given a twelve week custodial sentence for making a bad-taste joke via Twitter. The Orwellian crime of 'causing offence' introduced by New Labour is an affront and disgrace to our nation. The new blasphemy laws equally so.

18 October 2012 at 08:25  
Blogger Roy said...

What about extraditing the bosses of Starbucks, Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple from the US to Britain in order to stand trial for tax evasion?

18 October 2012 at 09:00  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I'm picking up more on the background to this which is making me less convinced that this was the simple silliness of 'an innocent abroad' searching for a UFO conspiracy cover-up.

I'm reading that McKinnon who has admitted the hacking offence, not only hacked in, he deleted files and left messages condemning elements of US foreign policy displaying more of a deliberate aggressive political motive.

Furthermore, his 'Aspergers' had not in the past limited him into being appointed supervising an IT section as a source of employment and on the strength of more critical reportage, looks a bit lame as a point in mitigation. The fact that he may or may not be a risk to himself has little to do with his condition; which is generally expected to improve a person age; and who wouldn't feel they'd be better off dead than than being some horny gangsta's 'bitch' in Sing Sing.

It may still come to pass, that an emotionally driven publicity campaign as highly efficient as this, may later come to be regarded as nothing more than a Tory vote winning opportunity and con trick. The Islamists may be being handed a future get out of US jail free card yet.

I hope I am wrong.

18 October 2012 at 12:47  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Harold Shipman committed suicide while in prison. If this had been known, shouldn't he have been let off? After all, the thought he was doing those old ladies a favour and saving the NHS a lot of money.

Expect the 'I might have to commit suicide/look what you made me do' defence to be used a lot more in future.

No worries about peeing off our allies the Americans by refusing to allow McKinnon to face accountability. Never mind, who needs American intelligence and military support? Its not like the west faced any real danger or common enemies in the world today, eh?

18 October 2012 at 14:58  
Blogger John Magee said...


The USA Constitution is alive and well and serving our people every day.

TV comedians like Jay Leno should know this because they make their living thanks to freedom of speech.

This short paragraph written by wise men of British stock 223 years ago, the First Amendment of their Constitution for their newly created Republic, says it all:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The first ten Amendments of the USA Constition protects the people FROM their government.

Are you familiar with the books of the American/Russian author Ayn Rand? She left the USSR as a young girl in the 1920's and emigrated to the USA. She wrote novels championing the individual, capitalism, and freedom which were phenomenal best sellers. Ayn Rand was an atheist but I deeply respect her views and her novels are an inspiration for anyone who believes in individualism.

Ayn Rand quotes:

Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.

The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity

Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that's real power.

18 October 2012 at 18:50  
Blogger IanCad said...


Having been force-fed Dickens and Hardy at school, novels hold little appeal for me.

As a nominal Libertarian I did start to read Atlas Shrugged and gave up after about thirty pages. I thought it tedious and banal.

As with the accepted canons of all denominations and political persuasions I suspect that few of their acolytes have actually read them.

I have never yet met a Marxist who has read him.

I would bet that most Christians have never read the Bible from start to finish.

Further, the remarkable US Constitution, unique in its brevity and revered almost as gospel by most Americans, is surely one of the most over-referenced and under-read documents in history.

I am not ascribing any of the above to you John.
You are very well informed as your many interesting posts attest.

18 October 2012 at 21:20  
Blogger John Magee said...


I read non fiction. Mainly biographies, diaries, and memoirs. Seldom about famous people. It's fascinating to read how ordinary people lived through difficult times or under terrible circumstances and survived and carried on their lives.

One of the best diaries I remember reading was the WW II diary of a Norwegian named Odd Nansen, son of the famous Norwegian explorer and humanitarian. Yes, that was his real first name, apparently it is a common male name in Norway.

Faith, hope, and family seem to be the ingredients that inspires people with the will to survive.

Years ago I read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and it was a struggle to get through too but I liked the message. Atlas Shrugged is now a movie with the 2nd installment at the theaters this week. I did enjoy the first part and didn't fall asleep either.

Ayn Rand has become a sort of guru to some conservatives and I find that troublesome. She was an atheist and had no use for traditional art and architecture which is also bothers me. I do like her message of rugged individualism and the fact she hated Communsim and the USSR from her own experience living through the Russian Revolution and her life in that hell hole during most of the 1920s. She was at her best in debates and interviews.

At the risk of having this used as ammunition against me by several chronic Bible quoters here I must confess have never read the Bible nor do I have any desire to read it from cover to cover. Other than a few pasages from the Gospels and stuff I have seen in movies and on TV documentaries my religious education is poor (that will raise an eyebrow or two I am sure). I'll let better minds than mine to fight over the Bible's "true" meaning. It satisfies me to here quotes from the Bible at Mass on Sunday. I am of course a believer.

Once I tried to read the Koran but it was a crashing bore after a few pages. I will rely on others to dig out the hateful and violence in it so that I can read those quotes and confirm my suspicions about the evil cult of Islam.

What little I read in The Book of Mormon struck me as a complete fairy tale. Yet Mormons are good people and I support Mitt Romney

Karl Marx a waste of time.

Imagine living in a Communist country and being forced to take Marxism -Leninism seriously as a secular religion and as required reading if you wanted to have any chance to advance in unrelated professions such as medicine, architecture, or science.

Here is a true story I once heard told by Soviet exile in the USA during the early 1970s tell during a TV interview. She was a student at Moscow University and the students in were asked (ordered) to an assembly where the phoney anti Viet-nam War American Communist Jane Fonda was to speak. It was of course her chance to trash the country that made her father a wealthy movie star which in turn gave her a lavish lifestyle. Fonda asked how many in the room were Communists. The woman who told the story said her boyfriend immediately said aloud so people around could hear, "only one, Jane Fonda"...

Too bad that fool Jane Fonda didn't understand Russian.

19 October 2012 at 01:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

In a just world, Jane Fonda would have been shot. Say, in 1972. Right after she made the photos and the radio broadcasts.


19 October 2012 at 05:23  
Blogger John Magee said...

Carl Jacobs

I agree.

Jane Fonda knew the Viet-Nam War wasn't an official war declared by Congress. That technicality got her off the hook for charges of treason.

Axis Sally, Tokyo Rose, and Rita Zucca got stiff prison sentences for their broadcasts to and Allied troops during WW II.

Jane Fonda finally found Christ about 12 years ago and is a born again Christian. Even though she still takes part in leftist activities like the "Occupy Movement" there is hope she will someday realize Christianity and the far left are not compatible.

19 October 2012 at 16:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

See Carl ... predestined or not, Jane Fonda, by living, was able to begin her journey to find Christ. I do hope she succeeds in in this.

Your summary execution would have denied her this opportunity. In a Just world every person will be given the maximum assistance and opportunity to overcome any barriers to responding to the call of God's Grace - which is to everyman and woman.

21 October 2012 at 00:52  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I am sure William Joyce would have agreed with you. Especially as he stood on the trap door with a rope around his neck. In the meantime, I am not sure what my father would have made of your argument. He was after all a soldier in WWII specifically charged with killing Germans, and thus depriving them of either maximum assistance or future opportunity. Should he have not done so? In the real world, it is sometimes necessary to kill for a purpose. Like for example when a soldier deserts in the face of the enemy and leaves his comrades to fight alone. Or when a man spies for the enemy during wartime and gets his comrades killed.

The problem with giving aid and comfort to the enemy during time of war is that the effects are diffuse and hard to measure. (Unless of course you were a POW who got tortured because of Jane Fonda but that's a different matter.) You don't see the people who get killed because of the indirect effects of her propaganda. You aren't focusing on the consequences she inflicted on her countrymen. You are focused on the consequences that justly attach to her criminal and treasonous behavior, and merely because they can be observed. I care more about the unobserved men she put at risk - men who because of her actions would also be deprived of maximum assistance and future opportunity.

The only reason she wasn't charged was because President Johnson didn't ask for a declaration of war in 1964 - a declaration he most certainly would have received if he had asked.


21 October 2012 at 01:48  
Blogger John Magee said...


Yes. As I posted above,Jane Fonda "found Christ" 12 years ago.Of course her version of Christiaity conveniently dovetails with her radical left wing political beliefs.

I'm not the Biblical scholar you are here but it's clear to me Jesus spelled it out clearly for all time when he held the Roman coin in His hand and gave his "Render on to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's" quote in the Gospels He wasn't on earth to talk about politics. He came here to save souls not the world.

I have yet to hear Ms Fonda condemn abortion, the murder of unborn babies, with same enthusiasm she condemned the Viet Nam War and the killing that happens during wartime.

When Ms Fonda walks with Christians, Orthodox Jews, and others in Right to Life Rallies that's when I will take her "conversion" to Christianity seriously.

21 October 2012 at 04:59  
Blogger John Magee said...


Please don' forget that the Army and other services advised LBJ to get out of Viet Nam in 1965 unless they could run the war rather the Congress or the President tying their hands and telling them what to do which dragged that senseless war on for another 9 years with tens of thousands of our soldiers dying for nothing and the cou8ntry divided and torm apart by the anti-war movement.

John F Kennedy sent the first combat troops to Viet Nam in 1961. The day he died on November 22, 1963 the USA had over 17,000 troops in that country. LBJ escalated that war after 1964 and it was Nixon who finally pulled out our troops in 1975.

What do you think about the two 1964 staged Gulf of Tonkin incidents LBJ ordered as an excuse to escalate that war. The outcome of these two incidents was the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression". The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam

21 October 2012 at 05:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Magee

What do I think?

My older brother was one of the casualties of that pointless war. It's strange how many of my early memories revolve around Vietnam in some way. I remember my Dad trying to talk him out of enlisting. I remember the day he left for Basic Training. I remember the day he left for Korea in January 1968 when there was fear of a war over the USS Pueblo. I remember getting pictures in the mail from him, and making packages for him. I remember listening to tapes he recorded, and recording tapes for him in turn. I remember seeing him on TV. I will forever remember watching my mother read the letter he wrote from a hospital in Japan after he had been shot. I remember the day in the Fall of 1969 when he simply got out of a Rambler at the end of the driveway and walked towards the house. I remember my mother running out to meet him. And I remember the two years he spent in the hospital. Coming home every Friday and going back every Sunday night.

I also remember the scads of privileged middle-class children who didn't have the stomach for a fight, nor the honesty to admit their own cowardice. So they ran away. Or perhaps they hid out behind their deferments, and savaged the Vet as a murderer to salve their own self-image. He had to be a murderer or they were simply yellow-striped bastards protecting their own yellow-striped asses.

But mostly I remember a nation that sent its sons to war and then abandoned them in the field. If the war was pointless, it was because this nation deliberately chose to make it pointless. It willfully offered up 57,000 dead GIs and 110,000 crippled GIs to establish that the war should never have been fought in the first place. The pointlessness of the sacrifice was in the end the whole point - the manufactured evidence of the folly. Did it have to end that way? No, it didn't.

I hate that Mike-Foxtroting war. I hate the fact the honorable men bled and died while dishonorable cowards lined their silk-covered beds with women and drugs and money, and told themselves how brave and noble they were for their resistance. What bravery? The most dangerous thing they did every morning was decide which pair of socks to wear.

And people wonder why I think Jane Fonda should have been shot.


21 October 2012 at 06:18  
Blogger 5050noline said...

Dreadnaught 18Oct 12:47.

Understand that you are now picking up a few more important facts on Mr McKinnon, aside from the garbage contributed
by the Leftist US-haters.
Add to these that, as well as being a qualified IT administrator, he was compis mentis when he broke into US security nets to leave his hate messages
and cause damage by removing files. He admits to these actions.
They confirm the political motives for his hacking, rather than the contrived excuse of looking for Little Green Men.

He conducted his alleged crimes in 2001/2002, some six years before he was conveniently diagnosed with Aspergers by Mr Baron-Cohen,
whose politics you might care to research.
The whole matter has been a fiasco. A result of Press opposition to what they see as a one-sided treaty and a Government that made a disastrous
pre-election promise that it has fulfilled for internal political consumption at the tabloid level, and thereby prejudiced a long-standing and vital
international security liaison.
The man should go to jail for a very long time.

21 October 2012 at 18:11  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

21 October 2012 at 23:26  
Blogger 5050noline said...

John Magee

'I have a feeling this was the same story in the UK during the same time frame for people of my age and background.'

Just about sums up the situation in the UK, although it was 1963 when I was commissioned into the Royal Air Force, wherein I served for many years. I did not qualify for University in 1963, although I am considerably better educated than many who attend these days. Thus, I avoided the 'tenured left wing professors'.

I recently heard one of the 'edgy' entertainers of the so-called comedy Fringe around that time complaining about the deterioration in values and society in general.

By their lampooning of the persons and institutions in the 60's and 70's, with considerable financial reward to themselves no doubt, they have ensured this present state of affairs and lack of respect.

I lay the blame largely at their door and hope they sleep ill in their beds.

I share your concern at the creeping Islamisation of our countries. There appears to be no firm response.

22 October 2012 at 14:07  
Blogger John Magee said...


You said. "By their lampooning of the persons and institutions in the 60's and 70's, with considerable financial reward to themselves no doubt, they have ensured this present state of affairs and lack of respect"

Well said and right on the mark. Thank you!

Those are my sentiments exactly about that era and the self loathing and the never ending negative swipes the media and our entertainers had (have) for Britain, the USA, and Western Christian Civilization in general.

Are you familiar with the Cambridge Five traitors Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Alan Maclean, and Anthony Blunt? All of these traitors came from upper class wealthy British families who became Communists and Soviet agents during the 1930's.

The USA had their share of upper class establishment double agent traitors working for the USSR I will mention later.

During WW II Kim Philby rose to a high position in MI 6 while working as a double agent for the USSR. One of his treacherous acts was passing details of the infiltration plan by the British to free Albania from Communist forces to Moscow. As a result of this perfidy, all of the ex-pat infiltrators were killed as well as thousands of their family members living in Albania. Not only did Kim Philby betray the Albanian initiative to free the country from the communist yoke, he was also behind the betrayal of Draza Mihailovich, leader of Serbia’s nationalist military forces, the Chetniks, who were fighting not only the Nazis and their Croatian allies, but Tito’s communist Partisans as well. In the largest rescue of Americans behind enemy lines, Mihailovich’s Serb forces rescued over 500 downed American pilots, at great sacrifice to themselves, but Philby’s agents in the Cairo offices of British Intelligence fed disinformation to both the American and British leadership which portrayed the Chetnik leader as collaborating with the Nazis. As a result, the Allies switched their support from Mihailovich to the communist leader Josip Broz Tito.

The other four men listed above were also double agents for the USSR. Anthony Blunt eventually was given the position of Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures.

The USA had it's own privilidged establishment equilivants of these UK traitors. Many ended up working for the Roosevelt administration. One, Harry Dexter White was atcually a double agent for the Soviets during WW II and the most famous of all was Elger Hiss who was also a FDR aid and his advisor at Yalta who was later found gulity of his treachey as a double agent for the USSR and sent to jail.

All of these British and American Communist traitors came from establishment wealth and privilidge. All were also insufferable snobs who hated the lower classes their revolution was supposedly liberate.

I bring their names up because they were the tip of the iceberg of men who became leaders in high government positions and our universities in Britian and the USA during and after WW II and along with the Frankfurt School Marxist refugess to the USA from Nazi Germany in the late 1930's caused our two countries the social catastrophies we see all around us today.

The bright light was the USA FBI had all the communications between the Soviet Embassy in Washington and their Consulate in NYC monitored from 1940 until the USSR collapsed in 1991. The FBI could not let this be know duirng that era for national security reasons. The entirety of these Soviet messages are now available to the public and are called the "Venona Project" and are proof that all these American and British double agents working for the USSR were exactly the traitors they were accused of back in the 40's through the 60's.

22 October 2012 at 16:18  

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