I read today on the Free Gary website that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has made the final order for Gary McKinnon’s extradition to the USA, where he faces prosecution for hacking into defence computer systems. I’m not going to go into the whole story now – if you want to read about it, freegary.org.uk tells it all far better than I could. But I will tell you this: he’s facing 7 counts of “causing malicious damage to computer equipment”. The maximum he could get for that is 10 years on each charge. In other words, 70 years. When he was first arrested, the US authorities said if he didn’t cooperate they would push for the maximum sentence. So, when he is shipped out to America, it will be to face a possible sentence of 70 years imprisonment. And for what? For “hacking” into a computer network that wasn’t even password-protected! Madness!
Something else about this case that I think is dodgy: in this interview, Gary tells how he found on a US computer a list of “non-terrestrial officers”. There’s been a lot of speculation since about what this could mean. I’ve seen people claim that “non-terrestrial officers” means US servicemen who are not land-based. “It doesn’t mean little green men,” the doubters chortle.
Well, if it means so little, if it’s so damn innocent, then tell me this: how come, when I do a google search for “non terrestrial officers”, the only results are in articles about Gary McKinnon? If the US armed forces use the expression “non-terrestrial officers” to mean non-land based servicemen, why doesn’t that expression appear anywhere on the internet in that context?
Gary McKinnon is going to die in American prison because someone thinks he knows too much. And the UK government is sending him there – they may as well put a noose around his neck!