Who’s up for breaking into an American bank in an overly complex heist (I mean this bank has amazing security), coming back here, saying our ears went pop and getting away with it? Hell, we could kill a couple of people too!*
We’re happy to extradite to a multitude of other countries, but not to the U.S. all of a sudden. One of the five extradited the other day, Talha Ahsan, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2009 according to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (lest some self-loather of the UK/US claim some kind of conspiracy). Why didn’t he get the same treatment? His mum didn’t want him extradited either. Perhaps he was just a little too brown.
Is it just that we don’t trust the American justice system (with which we have more in common than a lot of our EU partners)? I’m sure they have Asperger’s Syndrome in the States, so why the suspicion that he wouldn’t get a fair trial there? Unlike seventy years ago, he wouldn’t be looking at a death sentence for what he’s done, so the old ‘can’t send him there, he may get executed’ doesn’t apply (actually, seventy years ago, he would almost certainly have been executed in the UK too for such a crime). Is it the worry about a potential sixty year prison sentence?
Our Home Secretary has as good as said ‘we don’t trust the American justice system to handle a mentally ill person correctly’. Nice one.
So, ultimately, the fact that he’s clever enough to commit a serious breach of security of an allie’s security system counts for nothing? He can do something like that and yet is seemingly unaware of or exempt from the consequences? Do people seriously buy the blanket idea that mental illness instantly exempts from prosecution? Mental illness is not black or white. That’s an extremely patronising attitude towards people with disability and is frankly downright offensive! Yay, I get to play the ‘offended on someone else’s behalf’ card!
Admittedly, I am no expert in Asperger’s, but nothing of what I have read about the syndrome fits this case. Clumsiness, yes; obsession with miniscule details, yes; social awkwardness, yes; strange linguistic behaviour, yes; hacking into ultra-secure defence systems, erm…. let me see… nope.
If he’s in a situation where he can hack into the Pentagon, I’d say he’s clever enough to understand the illegality of his actions. He didn’t steal a can of feckin’ Tizer from Asda!
In actual fact, the decision not to extradite him was taken on the basis that he might commit suicide. So there you go, extraditees to be – threaten to kill yourselves and you’re laughing, or, if not laughing, then like Gary McKinnon following today’s decision, smiling a big, juicy smile. Oh, he understood that verdict well enough then.
Since when did we make legal decisions on the basis of an accused’s potential actions? Must have been around the same time we curtailed free speech to prevent causing potential offence to anyone – unless they’re exempt from the right to be offended of course – Germans, Spanish, ginger-haired people, small people, tall people, baldies, and the Chinese.
Still, at least it’ll be interesting to watch some of the usual EU-loving, anti-American suspects thanking Theresa May through gritted teeth. I bet that really hurts.
What’s that? News just in… Assange is feeling a bit down and threatening to take his own life.
*Legal, humourless disclaimer: This comment is meant for illustrative purposes only. I don’t intend to do this, but if my mind goes squiffy, all bets are off, right?