Great article by Katy over at Baroque in Hackney on the pathetic decision by Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, not to stop Gary McKinnon’s extradition. That’s despite the fact that earlier this month, the Commons' Home Affairs Committee said the move should be halted owing to McKinnon’s "precarious state of mental health."
I dealt with the extradition treaties here a few months ago. Basically, no matter how often Alan ‘poodle’ Johnson says he can’t halt the extradition on medical grounds, what he means isn’t “can’t” but “won’t”. Johnson clearly sees himself as a future Labour leader, perhaps even a future Prime Minister and doesn’t want to get on the wrong side of the U.S.A. He seems to me to be a typical New Labour politician – without principle, ready to act as far as possible purely to his own advantage, and governed by faith in fudge and soundbite. His predecessors of decades ago must be spinning in their graves.
Let’s hope the European Court of Human Rights makes the correct decision.
As an aside: some of the comments on Katy’s post, however well argued, seem to me to betray a cluelessness about Asperger’s Syndrome. Yes, Gary McK has had a job, girlfriend etc and wasn’t formally diagnosed with AS until adulthood, but he was born in days when people weren’t diagnosed until adulthood. He’s obviously a highly intelligent individual with lots going for him. The job, the girlfriend, home, and all the rest of it combined to give necessary routine and stability. But these things, and his coping mechanisms (he’s clever enough to have devised plenty), will simply conceal the extent of his difficulties, which will be very real. Take that all away and you’ll have a very different scenario, but that’s what the U.S. prosecutors want to do.
Also the point isn’t that Gary McK is incapable of making a plea at a trial. It’s that the stress and the removal of all his support networks will be catastrophic and could result even in suicide.
The people who should be prosecuted are the idiot U.S security team who didn’t bother to create login passwords and enabled hackers around the world to look in on top secret data. No one in the prosecution team has suggested prosecuting them. Odd, that!