Government defeats Tories in 'McKinnon' extradition vote
Labour political hacks fail to back hacker
An opposition motion calling for a review of the extradition treaty between the US and UK failed in Parliament on Wednesday after Labour supporters of US extradition target Gary McKinnon fell behind the party whip.
A total of 82 Labour MPs have supported McKinnon's campaign against extradition in three Commons motions tabled since 2005. But only eight defied the whips and backed a Tory motion calling for an "immediate review" of the extradition treaty. The treaty is widely criticised as one-sided because the US can request extradition from the UK without providing evidence while evidence is required in the opposite case.
Another 15 abstained, while 59 Labour MPS who previously supported McKinnon voted with the government.
As a result the motion was defeated by 290 votes to 236. The plight of McKinnon, diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome last year, and staring down the barrel of US trial followed by a lengthy spell in Federal prison, was central to the debate.
The Daily Mail, which has latterly started an an energetic campaign on McKinnon's behalf, is characteristically indignant at what it describes as the hypocrisy of "spineless" Labour MPs who deserted McKinnon's cause. It fails to note that Tory supporters of McKinnon would have likely opposed the same motion had it hypothetically been tabled by the government, and that many Conservative supporters of the motion were not necessarily backers of the UFO truthseeker turned military hacker.
This was not anything like a free vote.
Labour MPs who did cross the floor to support the Conservative motion included Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and Kate Hoey, a former minister. The other six Labour supporters were Jeremy Corbyn, Jim Devine, Lynne Jones, John McDonnell, Mohammad Sarwar and Alan Simpson.
During the debate, recently-appointed Home Secretary Alan Johnson claimed that he was only to intervene in extradition cases in a very limited set of circumstances, such as where an extradition target faces a possible death penalty sentence. He also rejected criticism that extradition procedures between the US and UK were "somehow unbalanced", the Daily Mail adds. ®
Why don't you look at the case before passing judgment? OK, I can't stand hackers - he has admitted to hacking in to the computers, and should be punished.
BUT, the computers he "hacked" into has NO or BLANK PASSWORDS! To post a message on this fair site, you need a password! You would feel that the largest military power on the planet would, at least, require passwords to access top secret servers? At least it was him breaking in, and not some unfriendly government. Maybe he actually did the US a favour, by highlighting the fact that sensitive data was so easily accessable?
Secondly, the US initially said - in court - that he had NOT done ANY damage to the systems he broke into. Yet in subsequent court hearings, apparently, he did. Strangely enough, the amount (in Dollars) of damage he did was EXACTLY the minimum amount required under US law to prosecute/extradite. Odd that.
Thirdly, if the extradition law was the opposite way round - with the UK Gov not requiring to provide information, but the US must - the US population would be up in arms! It's just unfortunate that the UK MP's are such a bunch of money-grabbing self serving spineless tossers.
Paris? Cause even she can spot bullsh1t!
I really don't get this case
He was in the UK. Hence he is subject to UK law. Hence he should be tried in the UK under UK law. Simple.
In the hypothetical case where, say, a UK citizen posts a bomb from the UK to the US, and this explodes and kills people, once again he has committed said offense in the UK, broken UK law and should be dealt with in the UK.
As soon as you allow this sort of thing, how can anyone be sure of which law they should be following? You could, say, post a comment on a forum which is perfectly legal in this country, but because the server is hosted in the US you are extradited and imprisoned (I know this is at least bordering on reductio ad absurdum, if not already there)
This smacks of the US govt's oppinion that it is the judge and jury for the entire world. How accurate the title of the 2004 film written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Our govt SHOULD stand up to them, but then do we really expect them to look out for their citizens interests anymore?
Government and Politicians
So, after everything that has taken place in Government and with politicians on the whole this year, no lessons have been learnt, and there is no change in site, and very little prospect of any kind of reform in the way the politicians operate.
They still bend over with a smile for the "whip". Shame on the Politicians, may you be all dammed come May 2010.