random thoughts to oil the mind

Month: August 2009

Boris Johnson on the McKinnon Case

It’s all a bit late now. Boris Johnson writes about the Gary McKinnon case in The Telegraph and points out what anyone living under a rock wearing a bag on their heads could already see. McKinnon is charged with breaking into US military computers from his 56k modem, leaving messages, deleting files and causing general mayhem. He admits to all accounts of hacking in, though denies deliberate attempts at causing damage, claiming these charges were invented to pursue extradition proceedings. Quite what the prosecutors are trying to achieve with this man are unclear, given that his crazy quest for the secrets of little green men and free energy actually provided a service to the US military authorities in pointing out their lax security. As Boris Johnson points out, they could as well be offering him consultancy fees, as trying to clap him in irons. But how long does it take before someone is willing to stand up for common sense? And given the seemingly endless machinations of the legal process, will such calls even have an affect? Aside from highlighting the blatant partiality of the US-UK Extradition Treaty, these proceedings have once more underlined the spinelessness of the UK government when it comes to rectifying gross injustice, and defending its people against what can only be described as foreign tyranny. Watching paint dry, grass grow, the wheels turn in Whitehall: the simile edges ever closer to a regular place in our vocabularies.

In a multi-record breaking event, marred by controversy over the technology of the new swimsuits, the final day of the 2009 World Aquatics Championships featured a fairly typical line-up for the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay. Aside from Australia replacing Canada, and Brazil in place of Italy, the event could very well have been made for the G8. A fact no less marked than that the victors had a full replacement team to the one that qualified earlier in the day. Whoever said sport and money were a bad combination?

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