The shattering of Gary McKinnon
by Joanne Summerscales.
27th August 2008
What special talent, ability and secret does this arch cyber criminal have over any or all others to date who have slunk into the hallowed halls of ‘Hackers-R-Us Inc?’ Is he the author and perpetrator of death, torture, a paedophile, wealthy vicious arms dealer, embezzler, marauding racketeer, and self-serving megalomaniac, working for some dark government? Let’s have a reality check.
The answer to the above is “none” to the first sentence and “no” to the other. Indeed, Mr McKinnon comes across in the many interviews and descriptions of him, as a mild-mannered, humanitarian, with a penchant for truth, who got a bit too confident, and like a bungling burglar, did the one job too many and got caught. He doesn’t fit the profile of a cunning, dangerous, rogue sociopath, because he’s not, he’s just a guy who hacked into some government computers, in good company with hundreds of others over the years. When faced with his deeds, he has put his hands up, admitted the crime, described how he did it, and complied with authorities. However, he, like many others before him, is well aware that governments often kept certain knowledge from the rest of us unwitting ignoramuses in the interests, it is trotted out, of ‘national security’. A blanket term played like some lullaby upon the unsuspecting population of planet Earth, seemingly with our permission, since it is still occurring, by people who were seemingly voted in to office.
In this case Mr McKinnon has obviously trodden on toes. Rather than getting the six months sentence to be served in the UK as initially advised it seems the US not only wanted him extradited, they were not going to play lawfully, (extradition treaty remains unratified) and threats of 70 years in prison, $2million fines, and treatment as a terrorist – which could mean Guantanamo incarceration. This man has seriously and inadvertently upset a rather large puss called Uncle Sam, whose might is set to smite him, as his role of mouse plays out. And we all have to ask why? What specifically could cause such an incongruous, unreasonable reaction for such a crime? Why has it taken the US so many years after the initial indictment was made, to act?
Paul J. McNulty, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia authored the indictment, of November 2002, though he too, was not far away from finding himself in hot water and having to answer to Congress for his part in certain shenanigans. This is the man who said "Mr. McKinnon is charged with the biggest military computer hack of all time," which is clearly nonsense. Let’s put this into perspective, and look at some other cases.
4 The ‘Phonemasters’ were an international group who the FBI brought to justice in 1995. They hacked into the networks of several companies including MCI WorldCom, Sprint, AT&T, and Equifax credit reporters, with around $1.85 million in business losses. Hmmm, now that’s a fair bit of stealing! The sentences for this group ranged from 41 months to 18, perhaps making the crime worth it!
4 Then we might consider Mathew Bevan, feted as "possibly the single biggest threat to world peace since Adolf Hitler" really?! He also hacked into sensitive US sites, similarly looking for evidence of UFO’s. He was caught in 1995, demonstrating beyond doubt that the national security computer system was in a sorry state, and vulnerable. Even today, there has been little change. Except perhaps, as Mathew says, huge budgets are obtained in the name of greater security, and clearly going somewhere else….and the public fear factor is given a nice tweaking in the upward direction.
4 Kevin Mitnick, whom the Department of Justice called 'the most wanted computer criminal in United States history' for his hacking activities between 1982 and 1992. He served five years, eight months in solitary confinement.
4 Adrian Lamo Broke into organisations such as the New York Times and Microsoft between 2002-2003 using internet connections at coffee shops and libraries. He had to pay $65,000, serve six months of home confinement and two years' probation.
4 A ‘FRONTLINE’ report (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/hackers/interviews/anon.html) looks at the case of Vladimir Levin, famous in hacker circles for stealing $10 million from global Citibank accounts, and only punished with a sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine in the region of $240,000.
4 If we needed any other examples, there is also reported by ‘FRONTLINE’ the story of a 16 year old who was told he’d go to prison for six months for hacking into US sensitive areas….plus they also confiscated his Star Trek book! By process of deduction, we can see that there seems to be some anxiety about the ET scenario.
So is there a deliberate ‘allowing’ by System Administrators to see what people are looking for, or how many get in? Is this the government’s way of leaking information or disinformation? Is it part of a Psyops programme, and if not, as mentioned by most hackers, why are the System Administrators and their Managers never held to account? And what about all those others from various countries that were hacking at the same time, why weren’t they arrested? It doesn’t make sense, and the fact that this is post 911/Homeland Security et all does not equal either the paranoia or viciousness with which the US is chasing Gary McKinnon.
In an Interview with Martha Stansell-Gamm, head of the U.S. Department of Justice's Computer Crime Section, the excellent ‘FRONTLINE’ reporter asked her about the very worst situation she had seen, regarding hacking. Here is what she had to say:
“What happened was the phones went down in Worcester, Massachusetts, for something like six hours all over town. The communications went out from the regional airport. And apparently, the airport used the communication system not only to make phone calls, but used it to communicate with incoming aircraft, and in fact that was how the aircraft turned on the runway lights as they approached the airport. So it was a horrible potential consequence for public safety. There were no crashes. As I understand it, nobody tried to call 911 while having a heart attack. But those kinds of damages are certainly foreseeable, and all of this damage resulted from a couple of high school students who were hacking telephone switches, which are, of course, computers.”
Compare the case of Gary McKinnon, and this unprecedented, intense pursuit.According to the US, by hacking into 97 computers, Gary caused $700,000 of damage, and caused the shutting down in February 2002 of Internet access to 2,000 military computers in the Washington area for 24 hours. McKinnon is accused of scanning networks for vulnerabilities and extracting admin accounts and passwords prior to using an inexpensive, widely and easily available software program called RemotelyAnywhere.
They (the US) tried to catch him off guard, and offered a deal, saying "If you incur the cost of the whole extradition process, be a good boy, come over here, we'll give you three or four years, rather than the whole sentence.” Gary would have acquiesced, and said “OK, give me that in writing.” They said, “Oh no, we can't do that.” So they were offering a secret trial, no right of appeal on the outcome, no comment to the newspapers, and nothing in writing. His solicitor, doing her job, advised him to take it, and when he said ‘no,’ she said, “Ooh, they're going to come down heavy." So, the gloves are off, and the claws out. One has to ask why? Why now? Why Gary? Why this case?
What is it that Gary saw that the US doesn’t want more noise about? Perhaps the answer lies in the orientation of Gary’s interest, searching for evidence of a cover up of free energy technology and UFO’s, prompted by having heard whistleblowers giving testimony via ‘The Disclosure Project’. This group, headed by Dr Steven Greer MD has collected more than 400 testimonies - some from the US military - that 'confirm' that extra-terrestrials exist. Gary McKinnon believed that the US government had information the public had a right to know about. "I believe that there are spacecraft, or there have been craft, flying around that the public doesn't know about. The US military has reverse engineered an anti-gravity propulsion system from recovered alien spacecraft, and that this propulsion system is being kept a secret.” He sees his own hacking as a "humanitarian act, only wanting to find evidence of a UFO cover-up and expose it. He called the alleged anti-gravity propulsion system "extra-terrestrial technology we should have access to". He wanted to find out why this is being kept a secret when it could be put to good use.”
Gary McKinnon was caught before he could find any confidential information on 'free energy', but he saw enough to believe the US authorities are suppressing what they know about aliens. He says he came across a document written by a Nasa official who claimed the agency has to airbrush UFOs out of satellite photos because 'there are so many of them'. He claims that he managed to capture almost two-thirds of an image of what he believes was either a UFO or a top-secret US craft operating in space. The picture was confiscated, along with all the other material McKinnon downloaded. The material included an Excel spreadsheet entitled 'non-terrestrial officers' and a list of names. 'It was a really weird phrase,' Gary said. “Maybe it was the secret development of a space force.”
The Exopolitical comment: The main issue Gary's case has got caught up in is of course the growing, draconian anti-terror laws and atmosphere. Gary repeated the feedback he'd had from some areas of US security personnel who "want to see him fry" in a US jail. The seriousness of his situation should Britain clear the route to a US trial should not be underestimated. It is likely Gary will be prosecuted under recent anti-terror laws which allow for a closed military hearing as currently being done in Guantanamo Bay detention camp. It's worth pointing out that the broader claims of many whistle-blowers, witnesses and Gary himself have recently been validated by astounding footage taken by a UK video astronomer.
The effect on Gary McKinnon’s life has been intense. He’s been living in limbo – unable to live or work easily. The stresses have had an impact, and he barely earned a living, as no IT company or anyone else wanted to take him on board, in light of unwelcome attention. He did get a Fork Lift Truck license and is earning his living driving one. But overshadowed by the specter of extradition, he’s had no respite from uncertainty and fear. But again we have to ask why? Why files have gone missing from Gary McKinnon’s Solicitors office, and why a laptop has been stolen from his Solicitor’s ex-associate’s car? Curious.
The extradition threat, in the background since 2002 suddenly became very real in 2005, when the home secretary cleared the way. After various appeals followed, since the start of this year it began to feel that time was running out for the former system administrator. His appeal to have the extradition stopped was turned down by the High Court in April, and his hopes likewise dashed with the House of Lords in July. So Gary McKinnon’s last chance is the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which appeal is to be heard within two weeks, again unusually speedy, when normally it takes two years! This new date takes us to the 28th of August…..it is not looking good, and now we know the outcome is negative, and as this petition was done mainly via fax there was no possible personal representation, with enough weight, for Gary McKinnon to have any chance at all. I wonder who it will be next. Time to get behind Gary and let him and his know there are those who care, and believe that the course of the action of the US and the UK is not being lawfully executed. We all need to have serious concerns about Human Rights issues here.
The UK-US Extradtion Treaty, as yet unratified in the US, is a one-sided, ‘Do as we want, or else,’ piece of legislation. Clearly biased in favour of the US;
4 it is gives retrospective powers,
4 it is not required to provide evidence– claiming it has Constitutional protection, but as the UK doesn’t, we are ‘at liberty’ to FOREGO this important safeguard.
4 If it was a UK request, we would have to provide evidence.
4 Further, the US is not accountable to any European or International court, and has shown contempt for rulings in the past.
4 And any breach of human rights that might occur following extradition or ‘mutual legal assistance’ to the US would not be judicially reviewable! (It beggars belief!)
4 there were ‘lapse of time limitations’ the treaty no longer includes this
4 Ne bis im idem – double jeopardy – where a person cannot be retried for the same offence whether convicted or acquitted, though this can be ignored where a trial took place in a 3rd state!
4 The new treaty, allows the Secretary of State to consent to “detention, trial or punishment” (rather than simply prosecution) of the extraditee for any offence, not just an extraditable offence, by waiving the principle of specialty. Article 18(1)(c) appears to allow for the possibility of the Secretary of State consenting to indefinite detention in Guantanamo Bay for an offence other than that which a person was extradited for once that person has been returned to the US. (This is a very worrying development – we should be aware of)
And if you are wondering how this piece of outrageous legislation got through our parliament, well it didn’t, not really, it was done through the auspices of Privy Counsel, with virtually no opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny . And the timing is effective too. Future bilateral agreements will have to be approved and debated by the House of Lords. We have to ask whose side our government is on? Thanks to Ben Hayes of www.statewatch.org for much of this insight.
Gary McKinnon believes he is caught between two conflicting schools of thought in the US, and is a far from being the ‘biggest military computer hacks’ of all time. One is that he has embarrassed the US government and it might be best if the whole thing was forgotten, while others feel he should be made an example of. He believes he should be tried in the UK. “Since 2002 my life has been a sentence in itself," he says. As far as Gary McKinnon is concerned, the UK government has not covered itself in glory over this affair. He feels an affinity with the NatWest Three, extradited to the US for different reasons, but subject to what many people feel is a one-sided extradition treaty. But he has his supporters.
The UK Exopolitics field is a dramatically increasing global organisational structure which is developing systems in all areas of life to pro-actively educate people regarding how best to interface with off-planet intelligences and civilizations. It states that UK researcher Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA on the wrongful charge of hacking computer networks when in fact, his goal was actually to discover the truth about free energy systems and the UFO cover-up. Gary was primarily driven by the fact that these energy systems exist and "we have the elderly dying each winter as they cannot afford fuel bills". Further, Dr Steven Greer recently announced he continues to plan a safe, escorted landing with extra-terrestrial intelligences in conjunction with an [undisclosed] G7 nation. Dr Greer has, for over a decade, trained groups of people (including governmental people) on protocols for direct liaison with off-planet cultures with significant success.
Further, questions you should ask of yourself and other government officials are these: “What are the consequences of blindly continuing to stumble along ignoring the fact that we have advanced intelligences attempting communication with our planet? What happens economically and socially to us as a species, when contact with these entities becomes obvious to even those of us with the most ostrich-like tendencies? We would strongly suggest that we are at a crucial point in human history right at this moment. We have a choice to openly explore issues of galactic diplomacy in a mature, pro-active fashion or face an inevitable situation of collective shock and turmoil.” As David Griffin from Exopolitics UK suggested in a letter to the UK parliament in 2007.
That in itself is an excellent delivery of what many now believe will happen in the not too distant future, and no matter how governments try to mask this potential scenario, they cannot stop the near haemorrhaging of information from people from all walks of life, military, governmental et al, that have had the strength to come forward and give of their knowledge of things Ufological and ET matters, and Gary McKinnon’s case highlights the level to which the US at least, will go to silence the more prominent speakers on these matters. This might be open to conjecture of course, but at the moment, there seems to be no other logical and rational explanation for the behaviour of the US and for that matter the UK in the light of the evidence, background and historical perspective of the Gary McKinnon case.
The above reflects the research and work the Exopolitics.org.uk body and thanks to all those who continue to support Gary and his family and keep this case in the public eye.