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Lady Goodman
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25 posted 10-22-2012 06:40 PM       View Profile for Lady Goodman   Email Lady Goodman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Goodman

Well John, that was the reasoning of former President Richard Nixon...
moonbeam
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26 posted 10-23-2012 08:55 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:< The Szasz articile is a bit extreme, but I think he takes an extreme stance and makes a rational case. If you read further, you'll note that he makes no defense of criminals using psychiatric diagnoses either--he states a strong case and obvious need for social order.


I read to the end, and I agree that one shouldn’t default to a position where you automatically believe the shrinks.  On the other hand where you have a disorder which has been in evidence since early childhood, with no possibility of “faking” I think that the situation is very different.

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27 posted 10-23-2012 09:02 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:

Karen did not propose a position, she simply asked the question if might makes right?




And Rob, didn’t say she did PROPOSE – Rob said she “hinted at”.  And I’d be interested to hear anyone defend the proposition that might IS right.  It doesn’t seem tenable to me on moral grounds at any rate


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28 posted 10-23-2012 09:08 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
Has he been trialed by the law of his own country?   Or is it legal to hack into other countries' security in the UK?



The DPP is deciding on this now Ess.  No hacking isn't legal, but it's legal to have a fair trial.  
Lady Goodman
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29 posted 10-23-2012 11:27 AM       View Profile for Lady Goodman   Email Lady Goodman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Goodman



Huan Yi
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30 posted 10-23-2012 12:21 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Just how long has it been . . .
Ten years.  How reasonable is that?
How fair?  Is the defence to wait
for deaths and/or retirements to win
for them?
.
moonbeam
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31 posted 10-23-2012 04:09 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
quote:
________________________________________
But purely on the evidence of this thread it seems fairly certain that he’s already been convicted, with no mitigating circumstances allowed, and with a potential penalty far in excess of that that would be likely to be imposed elsewhere.
________________________________________

Moon, you should at least try to put a few periods between your contradictions.

Er, was that another joke Ron?  

Anyway, whatever! it makes perfect sense.  Some in this forum seem to have decided his guilt already, and, as perceived from the UK, mitigating health grounds are unlikely to be taken into consideration in any trial, and again, as perceived by the UK, the penalty is likely to be excessive.

And talking of contradictions, here’s a REAL one from you:

quote:
I would be the first to agree we can't convict a man without a trial.

Well, why are you in this case then?

quote:
Both Bin Laden and McKinnon are criminals seeking to escape justice.


A criminal Ron??!!  Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”!  Good grief, practically every post you and Huan make to this thread suggests that Theresa May was exactly right in refusing to extradite.

quote:
You accuse us of prejudging, but that is EXACTLY what you and your government are doing. You have both judged the man's guilt and decided what penance he should be asked to pay. Then you decided that your (pre)judgment should supercede what you "think" the judgment of the courts will be.

Yes I suppose you are right Ron – we are “prejudging”.  

We AREN’T prejudging McKinnon though.

However I guess we ARE prejudging  the “justice” he is likely to receive in the US.

Understandably I think.

McKinnon probably should be tried, though I’m willing to leave that decision to the DPP.  But why, morally, should we extradite him to be tried in an environment (the US justice system as influenced by the military)  where on occasions (those occasions generally associated with loss of face, chagrin, embarrassment and testosterone) it would seem an extradited citizen will not get a fair trial.

Huan has apparently decided already that Aspergers is “no excuse”, and you, incredibly, mentioned McKinnon and Bin Laden in the same sentence – a comparison I do not proposed even to grace with a moment’s more debate.  

But the fact that you both, intelligent and balanced members of the community without any particular face saving motive, are so certain he is a criminal without any trial having taken place, doesn’t bode well for the reception he’ll get from your hard bitten military security types who were made to look idiots by a foreigner.

quote:
The law is the law. You can either uphold it or seek to change it.  

Quite right and OUR law, including the presumption of innocence before guilt is proven, will no doubt be visited upon McKinnon in due course.

quote:
The law is the law. You can either uphold it or seek to change it.  

Quite right again, so it’s a pity that the US didn’t have more respect for the UK’s plight when faced with REAL terrorists:

“It is perhaps worth remembering that during the bleak days of the Northern Ireland Troubles, when Britain was beset by IRA terrorism, the American courts repeatedly rejected or delayed numerous British government extradition requests for the return of suspected or convicted IRA fugitives. The justification often given was that the motivation of the IRA members was “political”.

The IRA, among other things, attempted to assassinate the entire Cabinet with the Brighton bomb, and murdered and injured innumerable British soldiers and civilians. Can you imagine, if a terrorist group repeatedly performed similar actions on American soil, the reaction of the US government to a country that sheltered its members or escaped convicts on the grounds that their actions were “political”?

The containment of terrorism requires strong international co-operation, and the memory of those dark days should not make us churlish in response. But we need to make sure that the terms of the Special Relationship do not include an inbuilt double standard. And in the meantime, no one in Britain should feel guilty for refusing to hand over a non-violent British computer hacker with serious psychiatric problems to the retribution of the US courts.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9622065/Gary-McKinnon-humanity-wins-out-over-spooks.html
Huan Yi
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32 posted 10-23-2012 04:35 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“While not admitting that it constituted evidence of destruction, McKinnon did admit leaving a threat on one computer:


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 …”


Is he dis-admitting this now; is this another abnormal thing?  Do you really believe this ten years and counting
is about him being innocent?

What if somebody had died?  Is that what it takes?


.
moonbeam
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33 posted 10-23-2012 04:50 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
  Do you really believe this ten years and counting is about him being innocent?  

No I believe it’s about a misguided, ill-conceived and vindictive pursuit, which deserved to fail, and hopefully has failed.

“It would seem that the hacker was clear-headed about one thing – the message he posted on the military’s website saying “Your security is crap”.

The sensible American approach to this cybercrime, one might have thought, would be to ascertain that he was not connected to any potentially violent groups, and – on discovering that he was basically an odd fellow conducting a UFO hunt on his own from a flat in north London – breathe a sigh of relief, tighten up on cyber-security, and let the miscreant face some proportionate punitive measure in the UK. The US government claims that McKinnon’s actions cost it over $700,000. That is a considerable sum, but one might equally consider the potential cost to the US had he not exposed the holes in its security, and those failings had been exploited by a more sinister hacker.”

(See telegraph link above)
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34 posted 10-23-2012 05:05 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
  What if somebody had died?  Is that what it takes?

The IRA, among other things, attempted to assassinate the entire Cabinet with the Brighton bomb, and murdered and injured innumerable British soldiers and civilians. Can you imagine, if a terrorist group repeatedly performed similar actions on American soil, the reaction of the US government to a country that sheltered its members or escaped convicts on the grounds that their actions were “political”?

Apparently it takes a lot more than people dying to get the US government to extradite CONVICTED murderers.  The US is in no position to postulate hypocritical “what if’s”.
Ron
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35 posted 10-23-2012 07:22 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And talking of contradictions, here’s a REAL one from you:

    quote: I would be the first to agree we can't convict a man without a trial.

Well, why are you in this case then?

Isn't that obvious, Moon? I would like to see the man stand trial.

quote:
A criminal Ron??!!  Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”!

Okay, I stand corrected. McKinnon is a suspect in a serious crime. He has been indicted by a Grand Jury in West Virginia and should be required to stand trial to ascertain guilt or innocence.

McKinnon is not, in the strictest sense, a criminal. He's a fugitive.

quote:
Quite right again, so it’s a pity that the US didn’t have more respect for the UK’s plight when faced with REAL terrorists:

I tend to agree. Extradition agreements should be honored by both sides without making prejudgments or excuses. I also agree that "the memory of those dark days should not make us (England) churlish in response."

Two wrongs still don't make a right.

quote:
The mental abnormality is a relatively unimportant, yet salient, issue.


quote:
On the other hand where you have a disorder which has been in evidence since early childhood, with no possibility of “faking” I think that the situation is very different.


I don't think you've been entirely clear, Moon, on just how unimportant or salient the Asperger's syndrome is to your perspective. Perhaps you could clarify that for us?

For the record, Asperger's isn't a dot on a line, but rather is a spectrum ranging from very mild to potentially debilitating. Some would bristle at hearing it called a "mental abnormality," and indeed, many professionals insist we call it a Syndrome and not a Disorder.

quote:
(Psychologist Valerie) Gaus doesn't view Asperger Syndrome as a disease. Instead, she believes it’s a “unique way of processing information” that creates not just vulnerabilities but “strengths that can help you succeed in life.” For instance, a person with AS might be “a very systematic thinker,” which makes it difficult to “interface with humans,” but also makes them a winning engineer, she said.

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/debunking-6-myths-about-asperger-syndrome/all/1/



Although discovered in 1944, Asperger Syndrome didn't become an official diagnosis until 1992. Anyone more than twenty years old has probably escaped diagnosis unless their life has been severely impacted by the condition. Posthumous diagnoses for Asperger's have included names like Albert Einstein, Amadeus Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickinson, Andy Warholl, Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll, James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Nikola Tesla, Alan Turing, W.B. Yeats, and a long litany of other less well known -- but equally productive -- names from history.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3326317/Albert-Einstei   n-found-genius-through-autism.html

http://www.autismtoday.com/articles/Einstein,%20Newton,%20Moz   art%20achieved%20genius%20through%20autism.ASP?cat=1

http://autismmythbusters.com/general-public/famous-autistic-people/

Asperger's, in short, isn't necessarily an excuse for the bad choices people make. Many of us live with it every day of our lives, all without invading or destroying the property of others. We know the difference between right and wrong, and when we cross that line it's not because we were forced to cross it by the way our brains are wired but, rather, because we made a choice to cross it.

Not that it should matter.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that DOES blur the lines between right or wrong, unlike Asperger's Syndrome, but we still don't let people use it as an excuse to break the law. Healthy or ill, society needs to be protected from people who would attack it. The former should be punished, the latter should be treated, but neither should be allowed the freedom to continue unfettered.

The guilt or innocence of Gary McKinnon shouldn't be decided by politicians. They have neither the expertise nor the necessary lack of self-interest. Politicians are too easily swayed by popular opinion, by emotional appeals, by their own ubiquitous need to be reelected at every turn.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9624829/We   -keep-Gary-McKinnon-but-lose-the-trust-of-the-Americans.html


moonbeam
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36 posted 10-24-2012 12:27 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
  I tend to agree. Extradition agreements should be honored by both sides without making prejudgments or excuses. I also agree that "the memory of those dark days should not make us (England) churlish in response."

Two wrongs still don't make a right.


I agree, they don’t.  And I admit also that there is more than a whiff of tit-for-tat thinking going on here in the UK.

That’s not really helpful, but it clouds the real point which is that we have little evidence to suggest that the US position has materially changed since the IRA days, particularly when it comes to extraditions that are “politically” motivated.  And here I agree with you totally.  Perhaps Ms May did have some political motivation, but then the US military sure as hell do.
  
All of which is a pity, because I also admit that things seem to be changing under Obama.  This case began under the previous (Yo-Blair) administration, and so it’s a bit ironic that the chickens have come home to roost just as you seem to have found in Obama a President who has the grace to deal with the rest of the world in a mature and decorous manner.

However, the amount of vilification that your lovely President comes in for every time he is perceived to be anything other than robustly dominant with foreigners, should be evidence enough that your country has some way to go yet on the way to understanding humility towards, and respect for, those weaker than you.

Obama is a refreshing exception, and I daresay that one day, if he is re-elected, the machismo culture that permeates some sections of your culture and political/military hierarchy may begin to modify.  When that day comes other countries may feel more comfortable about entrusting their citizens to your justice system in cases of this kind.

quote:
quote:
________________________________________
The mental abnormality is a relatively unimportant, yet salient, issue.
________________________________________
quote:
________________________________________
On the other hand where you have a disorder which has been in evidence since early childhood, with no possibility of “faking” I think that the situation is very different.
________________________________________
I don't think you've been entirely clear, Moon, on just how unimportant or salient the Asperger's syndrome is to your perspective. Perhaps you could clarify that for us?


Yes I can.  I have never thought that Asperger’s should be an automatic bar on anyone standing trial, and to that extent it’s unimportant in the main question of whether he should stand trial at all.  It is however a potential factor in deciding whether the US is a fit jurisdiction for him to be tried in.

The second comment of mine which you quote was directed specifically at Karen’s article and was therefore a general observation about mental disorder and “faking”.  However since you raise the issue again it’s worth exploring I think.

Asperger’s I believe is now recognised as being part of the autism spectrum, rather than as a specific disorder.  That makes it doubly impossible for me to say anything at all about McKinnon’s situation or culpability in this respect.  All I can do is speak from personal experience and extrapolate the possibilities.  

My nephew sits in a dim room 9 a.m. till midnight most days in front of his computer.  Any attempt to make him leave the room, go to school or do anything he doesn’t want to do results in very distressing self harm.  He has been like this for the last 10 years. He is now 17, and worse than ever.  He has no qualifications, no social life, no friends – his life such as it is revolves around a computer screen; and he is very adept at many aspects of computing.  The only person who hasn’t effectively given up on him is his mother.  The authorities and social care don’t want to know.

I won’t go into any more details, but suffice it to say that I have absolutely no doubt that he would be capable of not understanding the implications of some of his actions in cyberspace, and of imagining he is some sort of powerful entity out there in the ether (sorry terrible syntax, but you know what I mean).  An extension of one of his games maybe.  The whole cyber thing definitely plays into his mental problems so that he might well have no conception of the seriousness of something he did.  In contrast he would, I am sure, be totally aware of, and therefore knowingly responsible for, “real life” wrongdoing such as hitting someone or stealing.  

I have no idea of whether McKinnon is like my nephew, but if so, then attitudes such as some of those displayed in this discussion would certainly make me resist any extradition to the US.

Finally, the more I read about this the more I have doubts about the so called “evidence”.

Can someone really do $700,000 worth of damage by hacking?  Isn’t this the cost of sorting out the insecure network following the breach?

From the moment McKinnon started posting ridiculous claims (which Huan has several times quoted) it should have been quite clear that a nutter was at large.

The absurd claims about "damage", the portrayal of McKinnon as some sort of "super-hacker", and the threat of hugely disproportionate punishment all tell a story here. It's preferable for people involved to exaggerate his capabilities and hang him out to dry, than to admit to their own criminally negligent failings that endangered US national security.
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37 posted 10-24-2012 03:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I have no idea of whether McKinnon is like my nephew ...

No, Moon, you don't. Neither do I. And neither do your politicians. That's exactly why it should be handled by the courts.

quote:
Can someone really do $700,000 worth of damage by hacking? Isn’t this the cost of sorting out the insecure network following the breach?

Damage from a data breach can easily exceed that, Moon, and by magnitudes of order. Especially when some yahoo starts arbitrarily deleting files. Imagine what it would cost you in time and money if you lost just the contents of your wallet? Whether it happened in this instance I don't know. Neither do you. Again, that's exactly why we have courts.

quote:
The absurd claims about "damage", the portrayal of McKinnon as some sort of "super-hacker", and the threat of hugely disproportionate punishment all tell a story here.

I don't think you're in a position to answer any of those concerns, Moon. Neither are your politicians. That's why we generally don't let the public, the press, or the politicians judge the guilt or innocence of the accused. That's why we have courts.

Incidentally, as to the "disproportionate punishment," I thought it was interesting that McKinnon was quoted in one article as expecting to get "three or four years in prison" for his (alleged) crimes. Clearly, that wasn't enough to dissuade him. He only grew anxious when faced with that "disproportionate punishment" that so seems to concern you. Perhaps if he had known what he faced, and perhaps if the next yahoo that comes along knows what to expect, a whole lot of time, money, and potentially lives can be saved. Punishment shouldn't be about vengeance, in my opinion, but it SHOULD be a deterrent to crime. A slap on the wrist, or in this case a free pass, serves only to send the wrong message.


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38 posted 10-24-2012 04:31 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
  quote:
________________________________________
I have no idea of whether McKinnon is like my nephew ...
________________________________________

No, Moon, you don't. Neither do I. And neither do your politicians. That's exactly why it should be handled by the courts.


~sigh~ Ron, I’ve never argued otherwise.  I don’t disagree with you.  I doubt our politicians disagree with you.  The issue that’s causing the debate isn’t WHETHER he should be tried, but WHO should try him.  

And maybe Ms May IS in the best position to determine that, don’t you think?

quote:
  ________________________________________
Can someone really do $700,000 worth of damage by hacking? Isn’t this the cost of sorting out the insecure network following the breach?
________________________________________

Damage from a data breach can easily exceed that, Moon, and by magnitudes of order. Especially when some yahoo starts arbitrarily deleting files. Imagine what it would cost you in time and money if you lost just the contents of your wallet?


Ok, you are the expert.  I’m happy to believe you. :

I take your point on the deterrent too.  I agree with it to an extent, although I’ve seen too many instances of sentences being apparently overly harsh to send a signal to future offenders, not to wonder how “fair” that is to the one who is being made an example of.  I’m not going to argue the point.

The nub of this interesting debate for me, has however been the central question of whether May was right to damage US/UK relations in pursuit of some morally right cause.  I still think she was.  I still don’t think that certain elements of US administration, military and society, have grown up enough to be trusted with the sort of judgements to be made in a case like this.  

If the guy was to be handed over to Obama clones to be tried, I’d send him tomorrow.  
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39 posted 10-24-2012 08:36 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The nub of this interesting debate for me, has however been the central question of whether May was right to damage US/UK relations in pursuit of some morally right cause.

The world needs people who are willing to do what's right rather than what is expedient. I don't, however, believe this is one of those times. Protecting the innocent is admirable and, yes, perhaps morally right (not an argument that usually interests me much). Shielding the guilty, however, is a mistake.

The articles I've read have said that McKinnon will almost certainly NOT be charged under UK law because of lack of evidence. Since the alleged crime essentially took place on US soil, it makes perfect sense that's where the evidence would be. I honestly don't know if your courts have subpoena powers sufficient to the case.

quote:
I still don’t think that certain elements of US administration, military and society, have grown up enough to be trusted with the sort of judgments to be made in a case like this.

Maturity has nothing to do with it, Moon. I already said I don't believe politicians should make judgments of guilt or innocence, and that's as true of our politicians as it is of yours. Both are too easily swayed by self-interest.

Both, in other words, are too inclined to do what is expedient, not what they believe to be right.

While it is up to our executive branch to pursue extradition, the judgment of McKinney would fall to the judicial branch. The fate of a judge in this country doesn't depend, one way or the other, on his verdicts. They are protected, by the system, from succumbing to their own self-interest. I won't pretend it's a perfect system, but it's a far cry better than letting politicians get involved. Yours or ours.

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40 posted 10-25-2012 11:37 AM       View Profile for Lady Goodman   Email Lady Goodman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lady Goodman

I don't really feel like I have anything more to add, I just wanted Rob to know, I really like you--I consider you my friend, so maybe I am guilty of disproportionate emotional assuage  when I choose to believe that you posted your initial argument because your good heart compensated in proportion to exactly how much trouble this kid could be in. And should be in.

Not as an example, but because it is that serious a breach of not just the laws of the United States, but the value of our word--our trust, when we need to place a global value of trust in our sanity and fair dealings regarding our (and possibly, no, make that probably, the U.K.'s national security as well.)

If you want to make a case for some "nod of understanding" because of a mental ...condition, aberration, diagnosis--it really doesn't matter now. Which is why I brought up Thomas Szasz in the first place, btw. The anonymity of the internet, seemingly anonymity provides a false sense of security toward people who do seek to empower themselves through that very guise, and the implications of that--the profound consequences of what once would be akin to simple adolescent rebellion in the form of that empowerment is indeed, when it branches out to a potential end-of-the-world scenario, is, I grant you, something all nations should now--should have always--been deemed as that certain something sacred.

The ramifications of this do indeed spin my head, but surely Rob, my friend, you can't expect gratitude from the United States for what we can only hope is an anomaly of a ...prank? Or a 'simple misstep' of someone trying to breach the sacred trust of the entire world, on one boy's moment of misguided curiosity? (Forgive my  misspellings, I have a live active virus in my brain, and if that virus enabled me to somehow have new avenues opened in my head that enabled me to breach national security, I should face the consequences accordingly.)

Would you hold the United States culpable if there had been, what would have been, an completely plausible reaction to that breach of security?

Begin another thread, if you feel you must, regarding extradiction, and the laborious intent of all that entails internationally.

The U.S. faces such decisions within our own government over lesser matters quite regularly as we grant each State rights of governing, and those rights quite often conflict with our Federal Constitution. We defer to the Supreme Court on these matters, but as it stands right now, there is no reliable global supreme court.

I suggest you start another thread, or several other threads, since there are many implications involved in this one that would allow you to rant, rave, flame and complain, or even philosophize regarding the delicacies of mental competency, etc.

But surely, my friend, and I do call you my friend, you must realize that such a breach of security in these tumultuous times is moral treason against the entire world.

I sigh. Surely you do understand that, right?
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41 posted 10-25-2012 12:52 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
  quote:
________________________________________
The nub of this interesting debate for me, has however been the central question of whether May was right to damage US/UK relations in pursuit of some morally right cause.
________________________________________

The world needs people who are willing to do what's right rather than what is expedient. I don't, however, believe this is one of those times. Protecting the innocent is admirable and, yes, perhaps morally right (not an argument that usually interests me much). Shielding the guilty, however, is a mistake.

The articles I've read have said that McKinnon will almost certainly NOT be charged under UK law because of lack of evidence. Since the alleged crime essentially took place on US soil, it makes perfect sense that's where the evidence would be. I honestly don't know if your courts have subpoena powers sufficient to the case.


Actually, I don’t view this as May either shielding the guilty or protecting the innocent.  Like I say, I don’t think this is what this has been about.   After all, as we have both agreed, we do not know if he is guilty or innocent at this stage.  No, the moral judgement she had to make was simply whether he would be treated “fairly” (a word I admit is slippery) in the US;  or, more correctly, whether it was morally right to send him to a place where by mid-October, as sizeable proportion of the UK had decided he would be treated unfairly.

As to whether her motives were politically motivated as well, see below.

I’m a bit out of my depth in discussing the mechanics of the transfer of evidence and the power to co-opt witnesses as between different jurisdictions.  Commonsense would suggest however that, now the prospect of an extradition has faded, the US might be willing to be much more co-operative in providing evidence to our prosecuting authorities.  For this reason, might not the previous lack of evidence now be ameliorated?

The following is an extract from a recent Daily Mail article (not the most unbiased of papers!):

“The maximum sentence would be five years. On every one of the 97 occasions on which Mr McKinnon is alleged to have hacked into military computers, he was at his Wood Green flat, using only a modem and a primitive computer borrowed from his then girlfriend’s aunt.

US authorities allege he caused £500,000 damage to their computers, a sum he fiercely disputes.

In interviews in 2002, the Metropolitan Police clearly told Mr McKinnon there was sufficient evidence for a prosecution and he provided them with a detailed written confession.

Most of the evidence against him is held in the US. However, it is understood that British police are still confident they could bring a case against him.
Any prosecution would almost certainly require the co-operation of the US authorities, who are deeply unhappy at yesterday’s decision.

However, the alternative would be for them to refuse to provide evidence – unlikely considering how doggedly they have pursued the hacker over the past decade.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘We will carefully consider Gary McKinnon’s case and come to a decision as soon as possible.’”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl  e-2218872/Gary-McKinnon-extradition-US-outrage-hacker-wont-American-authorities.html#ixzz2AKEIGmLQ  

quote:
  quote:
________________________________________
I still don�t think that certain elements of US administration, military and society, have grown up enough to be trusted with the sort of judgments to be made in a case like this.
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Maturity has nothing to do with it, Moon. I already said I don't believe politicians should make judgments of guilt or innocence, and that's as true of our politicians as it is of yours. Both are too easily swayed by self-interest.

Both, in other words, are too inclined to do what is expedient, not what they believe to be right.

While it is up to our executive branch to pursue extradition, the judgment of McKinney would fall to the judicial branch. The fate of a judge in this country doesn't depend, one way or the other, on his verdicts. They are protected, by the system, from succumbing to their own self-interest. I won't pretend it's a perfect system, but it's a far cry better than letting politicians get involved. Yours or ours.


Of course you are absolutely right about politicians, but as I have already said, I don’t believe May IS making a judgement about his guilt or innocence.  She’s making a judgement about the forum in which his guilt or innocence will be judged.  

I suppose we can argue about whether she is competent even to do that!   You may well argue that even that decision will inevitably be politically motivated.  I probably won’t disagree with you, but unlike a politically motivated judgement about his guilt, which would certainly be a bad thing, I am not so sure that the same applies to a judgement about WHERE he should be tried.

You have repeatedly, and strongly, made the point that politicians are often (always?) motivated by self-interest.  That’s fine so far as it goes, but after all isn’t a politician’s self-interest almost always (and, some might argue, ideally) synonymous with the will of the majority of his or her constituents?  

In this case, perhaps May, sensing the feeling of the majority in the UK, and, perhaps with self-interest at heart, has indeed made the decision not to extradite based partly upon what she thinks most people feel about the chances of McKinnon getting a fair trial in the US are.

Is that a bad thing?

I don’t know.  It goes back I guess to my analogy about the rich and powerful family versus the downtrodden poor, and the perception that the US tends not to treat foreign suspects in a fair way.  Until Obama, precious little was done to correct that perception – in fact rather the reverse.  It is, though, a prevalent perception, and one which I suppose our politicians are bound to take notice of whether they actually believe it to be true or not.

In theory the judiciary in every liberal democracy should be independent of government.  In practice I think judges can be swayed, corrupted and be more or less nationalistic, just like anyone else.  I think judges in the US are perceived no differently to other US citizens by many foreigners: to be intensely proud (to a fault) of their country and fiercely defensive of the rightness of the US in all things!  Maybe that perception is wrong, probably it is simplistic as all generalisations inevitably are, but it sure isn’t helping in situations like the McKinnon case.    
moonbeam
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42 posted 10-25-2012 01:06 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Karen   Yes of course you are my friend - I certainly hope so anyway

quote:
  I suggest you start another thread, or several other threads, since there are many implications involved in this one that would allow you to rant, rave, flame and complain, or even philosophize regarding the delicacies of mental competency, etc.

But surely, my friend, and I do call you my friend, you must realize that such a breach of security in these tumultuous times is moral treason against the entire world.

I sigh. Surely you do understand that, right?

Somewhat worryingly, no I don't recognise that description at all!  

It's worrying because I do not reagrd you as your average run of the mill bible bashing belt far right Palin loving republican (that was a joke btw ) It's worrying because even you Karen as a "normal" American seem to have no conception at all of the gulf between the way a lot of people in Europe view these circumstances and the way you view them.  I haven't got a lot of time to explore this right now, but it's the gulf that worrying to me, rather than who is right or wrong.

I have to admit though, your post surprised me!

On the mental health thing, like I said above to Ron, it's not a big deal, I hope I explained above what I was getting at.  I certainly don't propose to rant! lol

Peace xox
 
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