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Alleged British Hacker Fears Guantanamo 661

Magnifico writes "The BBC is reporting that Gary McKinnon, a British man accused of breaking into the U.S. government computer networks, could end up at Guantanamo Bay. His lawyer is fighting his extradition to the United States arguing, 'The US Government wants to extract some kind of species of administrative revenge because he exposed their security systems as weak and helpless as they were.'"
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Alleged British Hacker Fears Guantanamo

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:12AM (#15121164)
    "'The US Government wants to extract some kind of species of administrative revenge because he exposed their security systems as weak and helpless as they were.'"

    How would he like it if someone broke into his flat and snooped through all of his drawers? Oh. I'm sure he'd thank the burglar for exposing his security weaknesses for him, right? Just doing a service?

    (Sorry, if you do a crime, don't whine about the time.)
  • by FinestLittleSpace ( 719663 ) * on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:12AM (#15121166)
    And am not exactly a fan of the Us Government, but you've got to be a bit of an idiot to 'test weaknesses'/hack the Us government's property. they're not gonna take it lying down are they?
  • by gamer4Life ( 803857 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:13AM (#15121182)
    That's more than most of the prisoners at Guantanamo get.
  • by C-Diddy ( 755183 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:14AM (#15121185)
    His lawyer is fighting his extradition to the United States arguing, 'The US Government wants to extract some kind of species of administrative revenge because he exposed their security systems as weak and helpless as they were.
    This sounds seriously like blaming the victim.
  • by Library Spoff ( 582122 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:16AM (#15121201) Journal
    I don't think he's moaning about "doing the time" he's just complaining about being treated as a "terrorist" and all the fun that involves.

    Jail time - fair enough. Guantanamo Bay, perhaps not...
  • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:16AM (#15121208)
    Having a trial by jury, then being convicted by them, then going through sentencing, and then having the option of appeal..... that's one thing.

    Getting shipped off sans due process to an offshore prison camp for an indeterminate sentence for something you weren't convicted of... that's something else entirely.
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:18AM (#15121217)
    He's not whining about the time he would have to serve if found guilty in a federal court which followed due process. What he's complaining about is that current US anti-terror laws make it possible for him to be held indefinitely without trial.

    The US has claimed he will be tried in federal court just like any other criminal, but the very idea that he COULD be held indefinitely without any sort of due process under the current law is troubling.

    If other countries believe the US will refuse to allow due process in any case it can label "terrorism," they will be unwilling to extradite criminals to us, which is a net loss for the cause of criminal justice.
  • Guantanamo is famous for tortures towards the prisoners. One thing is losing your freedom because you committed a crime. But towards an administrative crime (hacking), is it even logical that you get sent to one of the worst prisons in the world?

    Let's not forget about the Iraqi soldiers tortured and humilliated.
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:21AM (#15121247) Homepage Journal
    This sounds like a defense attorney hyping up any possible cause to get extradition denied. There was only an "unsigned and anonymous note" (allegedly) from the US embassy stating that he might be subject the executive order under which Guantanamo Bay operates, there's no substantive reason to believe that he'd actually go there.
  • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:21AM (#15121258) Homepage
    I seriously hope you arn't suggesting that you think it would be ok to indefinitly hold the burglar in your basement, exacting various forms of torture? If not, your analogy fails to be analogous. If you do, well...

    Not liking the actions of others does not give you a carte blanche to exact punishment of your choice.
  • Extradition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:21AM (#15121259)

    Us Brits consider the idea of being extradited to the USA's rape prisons, Gitmo or no Gitmo, to be about on a level as you Yanks regard being extradited to an Iranian prison.

    Isn't there something about "cruel and unusual punishment" in your constitution? And the sad thing is that this story is likely to get you guys making rape jokes instead of realising how shitty your country has become. You were once a great nation and you are throwing it all away.

    And no, I have no sympathy for this stupid script kiddy kook. But, as Dostoyevsky once wrote, "the degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons".

  • Keep in mind.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:22AM (#15121264) Journal
    That this is he lawyer talking. His lawyer is going to say whatever it takes to keep him there.

    Trust me, Guantanimo is not where they send Brittish computer hackers.
  • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:24AM (#15121292)
    Technically, I believe they are prisoners of war.

    No they aren't. If they were prisoners of war, then the Geneva Convention would apply. If they were prisoners of war, they would have been released once the war ended (are we still at war with Afghanistan? Didn't think so...)

    They're 'unlawful combatants', a new classification invented by the Americans which is roughly synonymous with 'unpersons'.

  • by Bromskloss ( 750445 ) <auxiliary.addres ... y@ g m a i> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:25AM (#15121299)
    Armed militants captured on the field of battle don't merit a trial.
    Really? Does that apply for both sides in a conflict, or just the ones you consider to be your opponents?
  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:27AM (#15121319) Journal
    Sorry, I have to call bullshit on that one.
    Unless you call three squares a day and 5 prayer breaks torture. OK, there has been some sleep depravation and one prisoner there did flush a Koran.

    I think you are confusing Guantanimo and Abu Ghraib, and even then, panties on the head is hardly torture.

    Besides, this guy's lawyer is talking out his ass. Guantanimo is where terrorists found on the battlefield go for interrogation. Not where Brittish computer hackers go torture.
  • This sounds seriously like blaming the victim.

    Except in here, the "victim" is the most powerful state in the worl, with the worst information security in the world. Did you recall that a few days ago an airport had to be shut down because they didn't patch their WINDOWS systems correctly and got infected?

    Or how about the FBI not having enough e-mail accounts? I could compare this hacker incident with a spy or thief entering a fortress thru the backdoor by simply turning the knob.

    Helpless Joe Users running windows on their homes, I can understand them being hacked. But a government agency, I'm sorry, that's too much to ask. Can you explain how BILLIONS (not millions, BILLIONS) were invested in weapons for invading IRAQ, and not having enough budget to secure a couple of machines AT HOME?

    Finally, the guy's an independent hacker, not a Jihad bomber. And they want to judge him for terrorism. That's just ridiculous.
  • by forgotten_my_nick ( 802929 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:30AM (#15121361)
    What about say a taxi driver who drives a 100 or so miles to drop a guy off in an area, is then picked up because he is a stranger in said area and handed over to the US troops saying he is a member of the taliban, the troops who give a $5000 reward for capturing him.

    Meanwhile this guy spends a year or so in a camp in Afganistan, survive a train ride of hell (where many die), only to be shipped off to gitmo for 9 months to live in a cage and only then being released back to his country never once being charged of anything or going to trial.

    Of course hes the lucky one. There was another reported incident of a person being held for two years. When returning home to find because no one knew where he was he had no job, no home and his family were poor.

    And there have been over 200 such people let go from that camp and there are still many more in that camp under the same conditions not to mention children.

    But as Bush says "They are there because they are bad people". We also won't have to worry when they finally get approval for the death chamber because any mistakes can be removed.
  • by tenchiken ( 22661 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:31AM (#15121367)
    No one believes that, not even his lawyers who are just trying to play this up to keep his client from facing the music
  • by elliotCarte ( 703667 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:32AM (#15121381)
    And am not exactly a fan of the Us Government, but you've got to be a bit of an idiot to 'test weaknesses'/hack the Us government's property. they're not gonna take it lying down are they?

    I agree with parent completely. I mean, whether or not you agree with the US's tendencies to be (overly) vengeful, you're still an idiot to ignore those tendencies when deciding whether or not to 'piss them off', no? This holds true for other governments, terrorists, etc. as well. Like the US or not you're still an idiot to intentionally piss them off. Now, don't tell me the guy didn't think this would upset those responsible for the US gov. networks that he allegedly hacked. Please! What did he expect?

    If you poke a grizly bear in the ribs with a stick is it a fair response for the bear to tear your head off? No, that's not fitting to the offense at all, but if you know the bear will react that way and you poke the bear in the ribs anyway... that's just stupid. The US enjoys power driven at least in part by fear. If they overlook offenses against them that fear goes away. Do you think the US is going to send that message and give up that power? No, they like being feared and the power that goes with it.
  • by Funkcikle ( 630170 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:35AM (#15121401)
    This sounds seriously like blaming the victim.

    Which is perfectly fine in English law, to a certain degree.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:37AM (#15121434)
    The fact is that it is possible, and the current US laws violate fundamental principles of human rights and justice. Nobody should be extradited to the US while they have the ability to deny a fair and open trial, just like nobody should be extradited to China or North Korea.
  • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:37AM (#15121438)
    I believe it could happen to him. They would just have to label him a terrorist. I don't see anything far fetched about him going to Guantanamo and being held without trial.
  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:39AM (#15121451)
    I'm sure it will just end up being dealt with the way murder suspects are handled: the US will issue guarantees that he won't go to Gitmo. (With murder suspects, most civilised countries extradite to the US only on condition that if convicted, the suspect won't face the death penalty.)
  • Faith? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tinkerghost ( 944862 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:42AM (#15121472) Homepage
    Does it bother anyone else that the US said:
    Mark Summers, representing the US government, said there was no precedent to suggest the US would breach its promises, and the court should take on "faith" the undertaking.
    but I don't see anywhere where they 'promise' to try him in federal court - they have given him 'assurances' but no 'guarantee'. Sorry, as soon as somebody says "take my word for it but I won't write it down", you know damb well they have no intention of keeping their precious word.
  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:42AM (#15121474) Homepage
    In an adversarial system the lawyer's job is to do what he or she can, within the bounds of the law, to protect their client. How is this "sleazy"?
  • Re:5 grand? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by qwijibo ( 101731 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:43AM (#15121484)
    It's actually quite easy to have large amounts of damages in any large organization. The cost of the hardware is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

    Once the machine has been compromised, they need to take it down. There is a cost associated with downtime. There is the time needed to build a new system to provide the same services. There is the time needed to correct the security problems. (Some would argue that this was just development time that was previously deferred by management decisions.) All of this is time just associated with correcting the problem caused by the compromise.

    After that is done, there will be a committee formed to investigate the causes of the compromise. This committee will probably spend hundreds of man-hours on discussing the problem. There will be policies enacted to make sure the scapegoat path of responsibility is more clearly defined in the future. The cost of implementing and communicating these policies can't be calculated, so an estimate may be used, such as: 2 hours * total number of people in the organization * average salary.

    Sure, the root cause of the problem is that there were insecure systems. However, the organization will always argue that the security wasn't a problem until the attacker came along. This is how they come to the conclusion that all of the associated costs were caused by the attacker. Taking responsibility for deploying insecure systems and failing to maintain them is the kind of thing that will prevent someone from ever being promoted into a position of responsibility.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:43AM (#15121491)
    Either Al Qaeda is an entity that the US is at war with, in which case they are POWs, or it is a criminal organization, in which case they are criminals.

    You can't say "they are neither, so we can treat them how we like". They are either POWs or criminals, and should be treated as such.
  • by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:44AM (#15121498) Homepage
    Huh? Are you nuts? It might be just me, but there's this bit about "cruel and unusual punishment" in that old document... it's called the "Bill of Rights". Ever heard of it?

    For morons like you who don't understand what this means, it essentially boils down to the requirement that the punishment for a crime has to fit the seriousness of the crime. You can't get a death sentence for stealing a pack of bubble gum, for example; and that's not just because the law doesn't allow for it. It's because such a law would be unconstitutional.

    That being said, there's another issue here that so far, everyone seems to be glossing over: the fact that he's facing extradition to begin with. Doesn't the UK have laws against computer crime, too? If so, why does he have to be extradited, much less to a country that does not extradite its own citizens to the UK? (Yes, the extradition agreement between the UK and the US is one-way - does anyone still want to tell me that Blair isn't Shrub's lap dog?) And if the UK does NOT have laws against this... well, then he didn't do anything illegal, and cannot and should not be extradited. (Otherwise, using the same reasoning, China could ask for the extradition of people speaking out against its government in other countries, too, for example, and I think that most people would agree that that's not something that should happen.)

    And finally, you can't blame him for being anxious. Bush has shown time and again that he doesn't care about whether what he does is legal or not (in fact, he has openly SAID that he considers himself to be above the law); given that, I'm not surprised that the guy is worried.

    Sure, he did something wrong, and most likely, he committed a crime under UK laws. But that doesn't mean that his human rights and the constitutional rights he enjoys in the USA and all that simply vanish; and most importantly, it does mean that his dignity simply vanishes.

    The Germans have a clause like that in their constitution: "Die Würde des Menschen ist unantastbar" ("human dignity is inviolable") - it's the first clause in their constitution. Maybe it's time we get an amendment like that, too, so that concentration camps like the one on Cuba will be illegal. Well, not that the criminals running the country now would really care, of course...
  • by the_doctor_23 ( 945852 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:46AM (#15121517)
    After the CIA abducted and tortured [] a German citizen, who was on vacation in Macedonia,
    I think his lawyer has reason to be concerned about the well-being of his client.
  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:47AM (#15121523)
    Just to shoot this meme down,

    There is no "meme" to shoot down. Under the Geneva conventions you are either a combatant (in which case you are entitled to a POW status) or a civilian (in which case the occupying power has another set of obligations towards you). There is no such thing as an "unlawful combatant". That is an invention of the Bush administration and indeed blatantly in violations of the conventions. Under the Conventions, a non-uniformed individual who does not qualify as a combatant, and who is conducting combat operations is simply a civilian criminal to be dealt with using civilian court system.

    It is that simple.

    There is no such thing as an "unlawful" combatant, who has no rights whatsoever and who is to be shipped to a Gulag. The whole idea is a pathetic admission on the part of the US that it is no longer even pretending to uphold its so-called "ideals" and is simply now engaged in "might is right" approach to building a hegemony.

  • by mhollis ( 727905 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:55AM (#15121609) Journal

    At Guantanamo, the prisoners don't have any rights to a trial or access to the American Justice system -- until the US Supreme Court decides that it is not Constitutional for the Executive branch to accuse, convict and execute the sentence on a person with no trial. I figure he'd be there for about 20 years with no trial until this Supreme Court wakes up.

    What he ought to fear is an overseas detention compound [] as this is where one British releasee suffered torture, not at Gitmo.

    While I agree this is a ploy by his lawyer to try this case in the Court of Public Opinion (at least in England where Guantanamo is not very popular), the US apparently doesn't torture prisoners there. They torture them elsewhere because Guantanamo is under too much public scrutiny

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:56AM (#15121617)
    Hummm. The problem is, what is your definition of "illegal combatants"? We were in a war prior to our invasion of Iraq, Yes? With who? Not with a proscribed nation, but with Al Qaeda. They are a nation, but losely tracked. By being in a war, we have given them that status of soldiers. Basically, they are legal combatants. That is the fact. Just because a group of lawyers says that they "illegal" does not make it so.

    Plain and simple, they deserve the generva convention as POWs, or from the fact that we used to be civilized.
  • by dougman ( 908 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:59AM (#15121654)

    "The US said Mr McKinnon had assurances he would be tried in a federal court."

    "But defence lawyers said his human rights could be breached if he was sent to the US."

    And the reason for their thinking: "Defence lawyer Edmund Lawson said the US Embassy in London had provided an 'unsigned and anonymous' diplomatic note and said Mr McKinnon was still 'vulnerable' to such an order."

    Given the fact that this guy is a national security threat, he should be lucky to get tried in court and NOT be going straight to Guantanamo. What he thinks he did is irrelevant. How does he know someone wasn't piggybacking on him? How do we know that he didn't give information to anyone else? I agree that Guantanamo might be a bit extreme if the guy had hacked in and defaced the IRS site or a state information portal. But the second you get into military (TFA says he hacked into Naval weapon station Earle) all bets are off. If he were to get off easy the message will be sent to our enemy: "Hack all you want and if you're caught just claim you were showing vulnerabilities and looking for UFO information".

    His lawyers would do well to just try to get in writing that he'll get a court trial - they're not going to stop him from being sent to the US.

  • by theweatherman32 ( 961688 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:00PM (#15121673)
    If Gary's name was Muhammad, I wonder how that would change things. Even if he was just a nice suburban kid with no connections and no intentions to do anyone any real harm, a couple of good media pieces and you'd have instant enemy of the state. There is no responsible way to handle the power to convict without trial.

    Sometimes its good to be a Mc.
  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:03PM (#15121718)
    Why doesn't he just fly to New York and turn himself in?

    The purpose of Gitmo is to keep those prisoners in a place where they are not actually in the US and thus they can be deprived of many of their Constitutional rights (an argument I don't agree with, by the way, your rights to be protected from our government do not diminish at our borders).

    So, if he were just to fly into the US, he would be on US soil, and none of these shenanigans apply. And there's no legal method for extraditing him off of US soil.

    The most he would have to fear is federal (pound-me-in-the-ass) prison. And from the article, i sounds like he deserves it.

    It also sounds like he has a very high opinion of himself, making himself out to be some kind of nemesis to the US government. This guy appears to have huge delusions of grandeur.
  • by Dutchmaan ( 442553 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:04PM (#15121726) Homepage
    Al Qaeda operatives, officials note, did not fight according to the laws of war and, as a consequence, are not entitled to the privileges of honorable soldiers -- one of which is trial before court-martial.

    You make a dangerous assumption.. the assumption that if they are being held then they are guilty. Trials exist for a reason.
  • by Danny Rathjens ( 8471 ) <<gro.snejhtar> <ta> <2todhsals>> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:04PM (#15121728)
    We have always been at war with Oceania.
  • by GuloGulo ( 959533 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:06PM (#15121745)
    What I always think about when discussing these cases, and you probably should too, is that "there are no guilty men in prison". In other words, prisoners say shit that isn't true.

    Now, I understand there is a lot of anti-US sentiment in the world, some of well deserved, but when did people start taking prisoner's accounts as gospel.

    Prisoners lie, we know that. How are they suddenly credible?

    And please don't take this as defense of Bush, etc. That wasn't the point, please don't respond to that.

    I just want to understand why people are in such a rush to believe things that could well be fabrications.

    The answer, of course, is more transparency. I think until we have that, the "truth" about what is happening at Guantanamo is impossible to know.
  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:09PM (#15121781) Homepage Journal
    Can you name even one person who has been "shipped off sans due process to an offshore prison camp" who wasn't captured in a war zone under arms while not wearing a uniform?

    Uh... the definition of a secret court is one that no one knows about, so it's safe to say that no, no one does. That's the point.

  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:13PM (#15121814)
    but as terrorists, they are not mere criminals

    Yes they are mere criminals, just as every terrorist was since, pretty much forever, like say when somoene tried to set the Colliseum on fire in Ancient Rome.

    This whole idiotic American mindset of "The Commies are coming! Throw away all laws! The Commies are coming! Give up all your rights! The Comm... The Terrorists are coming! ..." is truly infuriorating. Only piss-covered coward idiots, or assholes hell-bent on using those idiot's animalistic fear to get in power, would engage in such "thought".

    in addition, full criminal trial protections could compromise investigations and interventions needed to stop future terrorist attacks

    Total bullshit. Terrorist attacks can happen everywhere, all the time, anytime, nearly any public place, and there is nothing you, or the DHS, can do about it, short of locking the whole population up, or establishing a 24/7 surveilance of all citizens. Any idiot can get a can of gasoline and a spray gun and march into a mall setting people on fire. Any idiot can rent a truck and drive into a park running hunderds of people over before he can be stopped. Any idiot can get a truck, load it with rocks and slam into an Amtrack train. And so on, ad infinitum! Terrorism is a tactic and there is no way one can win a "war" on a tactic!

    And the only reason to claim that "9/11 changed everything" (besides spoiled brats, otherwise known as Americans, believing that the whole universe revolves around their asses and that when terrorism happens everywhere else, that's just sad but normal, but when it happens in the US its the end of the world and all rules have to be thrown out) is to deprive poeples of their rights under a pretense of protecting them from some bogeymen. That is the very same reason Stalin and Hitler have used on their countrymen!

    The way to fight terror is courage and cosistency, demonstrating to the terrorists that they cannot affect one's ideals and principles, no matter what they do. But what does Al-Queda get for the cost of 19 pairs of box cutters? Wholesale abandonment of the supposedly most cherished American principles of "habeas corpus", freedom of the press, unreasonable searches, personal liberties and the like in favour of fascist surveilance and arbitrary imprisonment in a Gulag. Osama must be laughing his ass off at such a spineless attitude.

    Or do you want to be in the next September 11?

    You are far far far more likely to die in a car accident (47,000 deaths a year in the US) then anything like 9/11, which by the way, took 10 years of planning, culminating in the apex of Al-Queda's technology: the $1.25 boxcutters, and that was before your stong, steely eyed, swaggering "protectors" were around to "protect" you from these boogeymen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:15PM (#15121840)
    We follow the requirements of treaties regulating POWs, etc. These enemy combatants didn't follow the rules of war - hence no protection. Even the UN isn't complaining!

    How about not having a tactical military force able to engage following the rules of war? How about the fact that people imprisoned, were so, before a formal war was declared? Unless you count 9/11 an act of war against 'anyone not on our side'. How did prisoners in Iraq not follow the rules of war? Stooping down to a brutal level is not a good thing for a civilized nation to do. If anything, the US should, by their actions, show the world how a prisoner should be treated.

    People can allege anything. I can allege North Korea is using microwaves beamed from a satellite to control my thoughts - that doesn't make it true. People attempt suicide for many reasons, including guilt. And if we didn't force feed people, we'd be accused of letting them starve to death.

    That's what court of laws are for. To determine if any allegations are true and to punish accordingly. If the allegations are baseless, it will be thrown out of the court. How many prisonors in guantanamo have been through a proper trial before sentenced there? But dismissing this right because "People can allege anything" is downright scary...

    Oh and about terrorist acts: Every one in the world condemns them, even the trolls you'll see posting anti-US bullshit. But, when engaging in a war, it's funny that you believe you'll have no victims. I propose you rethink why you are at war in the first place.
  • by BitterAndDrunk ( 799378 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:15PM (#15121841) Homepage Journal
    There have been a few radio documentaries on NPR and other places about Guantanamo. Facts such as:
    • Many of the alleged terrorists in Guantanamo were picked up in the bounty program in Pakistan
    • One satirist from Pakistan was recently released and has interviewed repeatedly on conditions that are, without a doubt, torture
    • The "tribulnals" to determine whether or not someone belonged there were farcical kangaroo courts, with defendants unable to view evidence against them or cross examine alleged eye witnesses because those documents were "classified"
    Make no mistake, Guantanamo is another stain on America's conscience, and makes the phrase "Land of the Free" ironic at best.
  • by Des Herriott ( 6508 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:23PM (#15121918)
    Can you name even one person who has been "shipped off sans due process to an offshore prison camp" who wasn't captured in a war zone under arms while not wearing a uniform?

    Well, there were the 38 detainess who were released in March 2005 because the US government decided that they were not enemy combatants. None of these people received compensation for unjust imprisonment, and none of them have ever been told why they were arrested.

    Or how about "Adel" - le/2005/11/13/AR2005111301061.html []

    Or how about the five Chinese detainees who have been found not to be enemy combatants, but are still sitting in Guantanamo? l []

    The United States has chosen to put those people into jail rather than execute them. That is a favor that the US is doing out of the kindness of its heart. Your welcome.

    "Kindness of its heart"? Fuck off. Guantanamo is a fucking embarassment to the USA, and you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to defend it.
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:25PM (#15121942) Journal
    These enemy combatants didn't follow the rules of war - hence no protection. Even the UN isn't complaining!
    Where do you get your news from?

    The UN has been complaining from Day 1 & is still calling for the shutdown of the Guantanamo prison camp. enemy+combatants []

    To top it off, your logic is somewhat circular: enemy combatants have no rights to due process, they allege horrible treatement, but since they're enemy combatants we expect them to make such allegations.

    You notice how your logic all hinges on the assumption that these guys are are 'enemy combatants' aka terrorists? A title, which by definition, prevents that accusation from being examined.

    Did you know that Amnesty International also has an anti-N. Korea slant and an anti-China slant and an anti-Iran slant? Actually, they're slanted against anyone they criticize.
    Anything we do, or don't do, will get criticized, unless we let them all go and wait for another terrorist attack.
    My dad always said there's three ways to do things: The right way, the wrong way and the Army way. Now when you say that, you have to count down from three fingers to 1. I'll let you guess which finger is still standing by the time you get to the "Army way".
  • by Garse Janacek ( 554329 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:29PM (#15121979)
    he should be lucky to get tried in court and NOT be going straight to Guantanamo.

    "Lucky?" Funny... I thought that fundamental human rights were supposed to be accorded to all humans, not just the ones who aren't suspected of being a national security threat... I know it doesn't work that way anymore, but does that mean we should talk about it like somebody shouldn't be tried before being punished? Cause I still think that a fair trial is an ideal worth shooting for...

    If he were to get off easy the message will be sent to our enemy...

    So, screw whether he's actually guilty, we will punish him severely to make an example of him to our enemies. Or wait, maybe we should just punish people who were actually proven guilty in court, and punish them by law, according to the severity of their crime, rather than to make them an example? You know, treat them like actual human beings instead of messages to the rest of the world about our superiority.

  • by Theatetus ( 521747 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:32PM (#15122001) Journal
    They had no real proof of torture or any other wrong doing (except holding terrorists without trials)

    Ah, you're close. What you meant is "except holding people they called terrorists without trials". They've released some of those people after 3 years (some of them, incidentally, British subjects), saying "oops, you really weren't an enemy combatant after all... somebody just turned you in to get reward money."

    You'd think they could have figured that out in a few days, at most a week. But years?

    The government says every person in Gtmo is an enemy combatant or a terrorist (those, incidentally, are two disjoint sets). Except for the few dozen they have released after a few years. Do you trust the government? If so, why not just do away with due process for all of us? If we can trust the government then the Constitution is an outdated, byzantine document.

  • by panthro ( 552708 ) <> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:35PM (#15122030) Homepage

    You've made your bigotry quite clear with your unapologetic ignorance and your IMO's, but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and take your post somewhat seriously for comment.

    They waged war against our country and are being kept alive only out of the restraint of the American government. [...] These aren't innocent bystanders. They're warriors commited to killing Americans.

    Because someone told you they did? Do you realize that the vast majority of the detainees there weren't even captured by U.S. forces, but rather by bounty hunters? The America you seem so intent on defending was founded upon, among other things, the ideas that one is innocent until proven guilty, and that all people are created equal. Many prisoners held at Guantanamo are detained indefinitely without charge or conviction. By conveniently choosing to afford rights only to your own citizens, you are nullifying the validity of your own ideology.

    These are non-uniformed combatants (to whom the Genevea convention most certainly does NOT apply). They could (and should IMO) be drug out and shot at a moment's notice, quite legally.

    While the Bush administration has sneakily avoided classifying the prisoners as POW to get around the Geneva convention (which no other government in the world has supported, mind you), the U.S. has in the past signed other international treaties that clearly ban what they are doing with Guantanamo. So no, it wouldn't be legal, not by a longshot.

    If you want to know torture, examine a Muslim prison where fingers, hands, eyes, tongues are removed. Feeding is optional. Ever seen a "stoning" (and no, I don't mean you and and your friends with a bong)? A beheading?

    Where are these Muslim prisons? Are you just making this up? Provide some facts, we don't want to hear your sensationalist bullshit. call this one of the worst prisons in the world demonstrates a remarkable ignorance of real prisons.

    Amnesty International called the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp the "gulag of our times", and the U.N. has called it a "human rights scandal". I won't comment on how bad it is relative to other prisons worldwide, but the existence of 'worse' prisons doesn't somehow justify the existence of Guantanamo Bay's.

  • by x2A ( 858210 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:35PM (#15122033)
    I think it's more the case that we aren't given chance to find out if these people are guilty or anything first. Most people who deny their guilt in prison HAVE had the chance to convince people, and they failed to, usually (one would hope) for good reason. That's the bit that Guantanamo Bay lacks, and that's what sparks people being so pissed off with America about; not that they're holding people who say they're innocent, that they're holding people who haven't even been given chance to say they're innocent.

    America's an absolute discrace, I find myself thinking more and more they deserve everything they get (I'll say hi to him in Guantanamo!)

  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:36PM (#15122044)
    Interesting. This article [] suggests that the US has signed an amended extradition treaty recently. Bit disturbing too.
  • by VendettaMF ( 629699 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:37PM (#15122052) Homepage
    That is because "legal combatants" are outside the rules for civilians. Anyone not a "legal combatant" is supposed to fall through to the baseline civilian courts.

    Anyone who can't see this is an idiot.

    Anyone who refuses to see/acknowledge this is evil.
  • by fortinbras47 ( 457756 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:38PM (#15122059)
    There is absolutely no chance McKinnon will end up in Guantanamo.

    (1) He is not a member of Al Qaeda.
    (2) He has never been a member of Al Qaeda.
    (3) He has not provided material support to Al Qaeda.
    (4) He was not captured on a battlefield.
    (5) He has not committed an act of war against the United States.
    (**6**) HE IS NOT AN ILLEGAL COMBATANT (an individual who has engaged in acts of war against the United States and violated the laws of war).

    To be held in Guantanamo, an individual MUST be an illegal combatant (violated the laws of war). There is no chance McKinnon falls under this category.

    Furthermore, the US government has explicitly stipulated that he will be tried under civilian courts.

    McKinnon's lawyers are simply doing their job and advancing any claim against extradition they can think of, but the argument is completely invalid.

  • by greenrom ( 576281 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:41PM (#15122100)
    No, it's not that simple. Here's how the Geneva Convention defines a civilian:
    Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause
    So if you're taking an active part in the hostilities, you're not entitled to geneva protections as a civilian. The definition of combatants are somewhat more involved, but here are the ones that pertain to people who are not members of a government's organized standing military:
    Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[ (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

    So if you're a combatant, but you don't follow the laws and customs of war or you don't identify yourself as the enemy, then you don't get Geneva protection. That's what "unlawful combatants" are. They're people who are participating in an armed conflict who aren't eligible for Geneva protection because of how they are conducting their combat operations.

    Now, in this case, I don't think anyone is suggesting that this hacker was participating in a war against the U.S. government. If he's extradited, he'll get a trial and probably go to prison if he's convicted, but he's not going to end up in Guantanamo.

  • by weg ( 196564 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:42PM (#15122113)
    Statement 1:

    "...make it possible for him to be held indefinitely without trial."

    Statement 2:

    Maybe he should have thought about this BEFORE he decided to commit the crime.

    Ever heard something about "not guilty unless proven guilty"? If there's no trial, then in my opinion it follows immediately that he didn't commit the crime (or at least, that he cannot be charged for it).
  • by gallwapa ( 909389 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:44PM (#15122129) Homepage
    Case and point: Jose Padilla

    Arrested on US soil. He wasnt charged until Nov 22, 2005. Held for YEARS before he was allowed counsel...

    As an American, this crap pisses me off to no end.
  • by dr_turgeon ( 469852 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:45PM (#15122142)
    If they want to keep fighting for generations, their "soldiers" will remain incarcerated for generations. Innocents get killed in war, and they also get jailed unfairly. As soon as the insurgents stop fighting then everyone will get the fair treatment that they deserve.

    In other words, "they" set US policy, "they" control the limits of our democracy, "they" have already won. :'(

    We must refuse to play nice until everybody loves us again!
    Things were perfect before...
  • by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:47PM (#15122155) Journal
    They're 'unlawful combatants', a new classification invented by the Americans which is roughly synonymous with 'unpersons'.

    Umm, you'd be a PoW only if you fought in uniform.

    These were non-uniformed combatants who were fighting - they definitely wanted our soldiers dead, and they did not belong to any one side. What the hell would you do with them?

    Hence the term unlawful combatants. The Geneva Convention only applies to uniformed combatants, and only those would get treated as PoWs.

    Islamic fundamentalism has brought a new kind of war, so we came up with a new way of handling new kinds of militant idiots.

    Cause and effect.
  • Jose Padilla (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chmcginn ( 201645 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:48PM (#15122163) Journal
    1) The US can request extradition, but US residents are protected by the constitution

    Not [] entirely []. As far as the (some innocent, some not) people from Afghanistan, Iraq, wherever... well, I feel bad for them, but I also feel bad for all the kids starving in China, or dying of AIDS in Africa, or... well, you get the picture.

    But criminal though he may be, and terrorist, probably... Jose Padilla is an American citizen. The fact that it took three years of legal wrangling to force the government to charge him with a crime is everything the constitution was written to prevent.

  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) * on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:56PM (#15122245) Homepage Journal
    Amnesty International has an anti-US slant

    Yeah, they hate Freedom!
    OR, Amnesty International has an anti-'unjust detention' slant, and the U.S. happens to have fallen in the 'bad guys' camp on this issue. That would of course mean that U.S. isn't magically perfect and incapable of wrong-doing, which is obviously an insane position to take. Obviously, anyone who criticises the U.S. actions has an irrational bias!

    if we didn't force feed people, we'd be accused of letting them starve to death.

    One word: Gandhi .
  • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:00PM (#15122280) Journal

    (1)There is no proof most people in Guantanamo are members of Al Qaeda.
    (2)There is no proof most people in Guantanamo were ever members of Al Qaeda
    (3)There is no proof most people in Guantanamo provided material support to Al Qaeda
    (4)There is proof that most people in Guantanamo were not captured on a battlefield
    (5)There is no proof most people in Guantanamo committed acts of war against the US
    (6)The term 'illegal combatant' is illegitimate. People are either soldiers, or civilians. A civilian attempting to harm or kill people is breaking the law and should be tried by a civilian court.

    To be held in Guantanamo, an individual MUST be declared an illegal combatant.

    Please, try looking at Guantanamo Bay from an objective perspective.

    I will agree entirely with your final statement - his lawyers are attempting to keep him out of the US, by any legal means necessary, and scare stories about Guantanamo are one of those means. And the argument is entirely invalid, albeit only because British citizens in Guantanamo get out again pretty sharpish on account of UK Government pressure - the US would rather stick this guy in jail for a few years.

  • by weg ( 196564 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:04PM (#15122321)

    These enemy combatants didn't follow the rules of war - hence no protection.

    Has it ever come to your mind that "the rules of war" are made up by the powerful nations? Take the example of the international criminal court: The USA will not ratify the international criminal court [] unless it is made sure that US soldiers cannot be tried for war crimes. Furthermore, the USA simply stated that everybody arrested in Guantanamo is exempted from the Geneva conventions. Why? Well, because.
    While a little bit of collateral damage (i.e., a few hundred dead civilians) is perfectly acceptable when a missile misses its target, its against "the rules of war" to blow yourself up in midst a crowd of civilians. Certain countries are not allowed to own atomic weapons. Which countries define who's allowed to? Well, the countries that already own atomic weapons.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:10PM (#15122377) Journal
    But while we are still at war with Al Qaeda

    How, exactly, are you 'at war' with Al Qaeda? It is not a country, it is a (very small) group of individual terrorists. In the UK, we were 'at war' with the IRA in much the same way for decades. While I was growing up there was a report on the news of a terrorist bombing every few weeks. There were also reports of trials being given to captured terrorists.

    We did not start the hostilities

    Oh, yes. Someone else invaded Afghanistan and Iraq without international support and under the condemnation of the UN. And you just, uh, went along to help?

    Innocents get killed in war, and they also get jailed unfairly.

    And the principles on which your country was founded be damned.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:18PM (#15122458)

    No, that's not fitting to the offense at all, but if you know the bear will react that way and you poke the bear in the ribs anyway... that's just stupid. The US enjoys power driven at least in part by fear. If they overlook offenses against them that fear goes away. Do you think the US is going to send that message and give up that power? No, they like being feared and the power that goes with it.

    So the important question is, "what should the UK do?" Right now the UK is standing between the bear and the man. Knowing that the Bear might kill the man, and being responsible for his welfare as one of their citizens should they give him to the US? I think they absolutely should not. Until the US adopts reasonable human rights laws in compliance with international agreements why risk handing him over? Just convict him in the UK. If the US wants any extraditions to go forward in the future when there is any doubt about US laws and behaviors then they can fix the bloody problem. Why encourage a country to act like an rabid animal? The UK should seriously consider whether or not they should hand him over. If they do, it should be with guarantees that he will be treated in accord with accepted international humans rights agreements as monitored by an independent third party.

  • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:29PM (#15122564)
    These were non-uniformed combatants who were fighting - they definitely wanted our soldiers dead, and they did not belong to any one side. What the hell would you do with them?

    If they're not soldiers, then they're criminals. Assault With A Deadly Weapon. Manslaughter. Attempted Murder. Making an Affray. Riot. Conspiracy to Cause Explosions. Destruction of Property. Hell, throw in some violations of the civil aviation code while you're at it. There are plenty of things they're guilty of, if what they did wasn't a legitimate act of war.

    In which case you arrest, charge and try them, and if they are found guilty you sentence them to a punishment of some kind; otherwise, you let them go.

  • Sigh..... No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheNoxx ( 412624 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:43PM (#15122669) Homepage Journal
    This might get long winded, but it's on a particular subject that I find to be rather serious, so please, bear with me.

    Amnesty International does not have an anti-US slant. You are mistaking their opposition towards detaining masses of people without due process and torturing them to get information from them as bias against the United States. The unprovoked abuse of prisoners is not an accusation by Amnesty International, but rather, by the FBI, and most would consider this the tip of the iceberg, as the government is in the business of media-friendly-spin. Do a google search, it's fairly well known... how it is that people get this idea in their heads that life is peachy keen at a concentration camp, I'll never know. Oh, and of course they are fed and given semi-clean quarters; anything less would be a giant target painted on the United States and its military for international ridicule, and as we're on thin ice enough as it is, they are at least smart enough not to be so brashly cruel. Starvation, beatings, sleep-deprivation, and other torture techniques can be blamed on a myriad of inter-prisoner problems. As long as you sweep the cells and wash the dishes, you can stave off accusations of abuse for years.

    Furthermore, we have broken the rules of warfare outright by keeping so many "enemy combatants" imprisoned without allowing them any access to the outside world, let alone any rights of any kind... but as we already told the U.N. it has not power over us, there is no one to bring us to trial. As the link between Iraq and bin Laden has already been disproved, again and again, one does wonder how exactly an Iraqi soldier has broken the rules of war, mmm? By fighting against us? Not only that, but holding soldiers from the old Taliban regime is a rather grand stretch unless, by due process of law, you can prove they had ties to bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Otherwise, they were doing their job as soldiers.

    In fact, the term "enemy combatant" was invented to weasel out of calling our opponents "soldiers", thus giving the military the barest sliver of justification for breaking the rules of warfare. If they were legally defined as "soldiers", they could not be held without due process, legal counsel, or access to the outside world, including friends and family. Abuse would be out of the fucking question, let alone torture.

    I would say the greatest obstacle towards understanding the reality of the situation for so many of my fellow Americans is our innately violent tempers. I remember a majority of the people I spoke to for weeks after 9/11 speaking about simply bombing or nuking the country with the responsible group out of existence, not joking in the slightest. I often wonder how many people will ever realize how dark and evil such a thought is?

    Anyway, my opposition does not mainly come from any objection towards violence, far from it: violence is simply another form of interaction between entities, and is quite necessary to make sure the bloodthirsty don't have their way with the world. My opposition comes from the extremely dishonorable behavior exhibited by the military by slithering out of the rules of the Geneva Convention by using the term "enemy combatant", and for the light-heartedness with which we invaded Iraq, and our insulting behavior towards the UN. Honor is a serious thing, whether or not people push past their misconceptions of it. As if all of that weren't enough, I can't help but feel that the desensitization of the American public through television and such hasn't created apathy, but rather, a willingness to accept brutality as a way of life rather than working towards something better. I hear it echoed every time someone tells me "The only reason you can criticize your government is because we live in a civilized society, why don't you try that in (insert random violent government/country)." Idiots. Where do they think this society came from? Just by luck, just by our birth on this land? We live in this society because we made it as best
  • by Straif ( 172656 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:45PM (#15122685) Homepage
    What you're complaining about is essentially the role of GITMO; evaluate questionable personnel captured on the battfield (admittedly sometimes by mistake) and determine if they pose a threat to the US either domesticaly or abroad. Once they have been cleared, which in no way is a sign of innocence, just a belief that they are no longer a threat, they are shipped back to their country of origin. Many of those release have been tried and found guilty in the courts of their home country based on the actions that lead to their being sent to GITMO in the first place and at least 12 released detainees have been recaptured or killed while taking part in further actions against the US.

    As for the Chinese, the very article you cite does more to prove the case for the kindness of the US that disprove it. The US does not want to send them back to China because they may face persecution for their political or religous beliefs. They also do not want to give them asylum within the US because that would lead to a precedent that no one wants to see set so until such time as they can find a safe place to send these 'prisoners' they will hold them at GITMO. This has happened several times before as prisoners have outright refused to board awaiting planes because the felt safer at GITMO than at home.

    Chances are these Chinese, now cleared, are being treated quite well, with stories more akin to these kids [] than of the images you seem to have stuck in your head.

    But you seem to be all for the US sending them back to China where the meaning of the word 'torture' still resembles the one in the dictionary as opposed to the type of 'torture' their may receive in US hands, like 3 squares a day, prayer rugs, all the Korans they can handle, and most likely access to the sports facilities.
  • by DrCode ( 95839 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:53PM (#15122753)
    then why not adopt "Islamic" laws such as cutting of hands for petty theft and stoning for adultery?

    We seemed to have adopted the methods of our former adversary (ship "enemies of the state" off to the gulag), so what you're suggesting doesn't sound all that implausible.

  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:32PM (#15123115)
    To say that he did is just completely wrong. The concept of an unlawful combatant (or more correctly, an enemy combatant) has been around for a long time.

    "Enemy" and "unlawful" are worlds apart. An enemy combatant is covered by the Thrid Geneva Convention and entitled to a POW status. Also the fact that the US Supreme Court rules itself above any international agreements and laws is not exactly working in US' favour here. The US governments have commited a great number of violations of such laws over the years, and this is precisely one of the reasons why no one takes their "commitment" to law outside of its borders seriously. And even inside, as the internment of the Japanese Americans during WWII clearly indicates. Simply put, the USs attitude towards the Geneva Conventions, Nuclear Nonpoliferation and other treaties is that these laws apply to everyone else but not to the USA, who is entitled to do whatever it pleases and call it "legal".

    For what its worth, every person who is brought to gitmo has an opportunity to challenge the factual basis for their labeling as an enemy combatant before a tribunal.

    No they don't, the process appears to be arbitrary, probably due to the fact that next to no evidence exists against most of those captured, other then hearsay or unreliable accusations obtained via bribery and the like.

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:36PM (#15123159)
    What you're complaining about is essentially the role of GITMO; evaluate questionable personnel captured on the battfield (admittedly sometimes by mistake) and determine if they pose a threat to the US either domesticaly or abroad.
    Battlefield? What battlefield? There is no battlefield, because Congress has not declared war!. Contrary to what he (and, sadly, most of the citizens of this country) believes, the President does not have the power to declare war, and therefore all the "enemies" he's detained in Guantanamo are civilians according to the Geneva Convention, and we have no right whatsoever to keep them there without a public trial!!!

    The entire rest of the world ought to be punishing us with embargos and other economic sanctions -- we deserve it for letting the Bush Administration get away with something so blatantly unconstitutional and wrong!!
  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:40PM (#15123190)
    United States is ready and willing to do everything that is necessary to win, even if that means bending (or reinterpreting) some of our more cherished values.
    Destroying the Constitution to beat a bunch of Arabs that we don't give a shit about anyway is NOT a victory!
  • by karzan ( 132637 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:50PM (#15123311)
    So you've never broken a speed limit, lied to get out of jury duty, consumed alcohol before the age of 21, had sex before the age of 18, smoked a joint, or witnessed anyone else doing any of these things and not reported it (thereby aiding and abetting)? I congratulate you! You will be the last American left alive after all the others are brutally tortured to death for their crimes.

    By the way, in addition to the common law tradition that punishment should be proportional to the crime, the men who wrote the US constitution probably thought it was worth emphasising because each and every one of them were criminals--terrorists, in fact. Insurgents against their own British government. But obviously you don't think the protection should have been extended to them--so I guess maybe the constitution shouldn't have been written in the first place?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @03:00PM (#15123408)
    The above options seem to apply to most people in Guantanamo, seeing how most of them were just farmers and cab drivers snatched by bounty hunters working to maximize their profits.

    If they had done anything criminal, they would have had their days in court, long ago.

    Bush government is responsible for guaranteeing that they respect the human rights of everyone, they are signators to International Human Rights Treaties, and kidnapping, torturing, and punishing people without due course or trial is not abiding by those treaties.

    I dare say that every person on this planet deserves to have a fair trial before they are imprisoned or punished. This is the hallmark of civilization. Anything less is medieval. Torture is outright barbaric and a blatant crime against the treaties. Torture has never produced anything of value, only more enemies.

  • by deathy_epl+ccs ( 896747 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @03:11PM (#15123517)

    How does he know someone wasn't piggybacking on him?

    OK, I know this isn't entirely on topic, but WTF is this?!?!? Put down your cyberpunk novels and stop trying to talk like you know a damn thing about hacking.

  • by mattwarden ( 699984 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @03:22PM (#15123670)

    Alleged British hacker? This is outrageous. No person should be punished until they have been proven to be British beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • by dbrutus ( 71639 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @03:33PM (#15123818) Homepage
    The US could make the argument that he should be rendered to Guantanamo. It is not. It's saying he's getting a federal trial on hacking charges. He's accusing the US government of lying to the UK government in open court in the UK. If he's right, that's going to absolutely ruin *any* extradition request from anywhere to the US, going forward for a long time.

    It's highly unlikely he's going to Guantanamo and against the interests of the US government if they were to change their tune post extradition.
  • by HighOrbit ( 631451 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @04:38PM (#15124562)
    This guy is blowing smoke. If the USA thought he was the kind of guy that they put in GTMO, do you really think they would extradite him through the British court system? The fact that the the US Justice Department is pursuing this in British courts is a pretty good indication that this is a Judicial proceeding, not a covert intelligence operation. We extradite people through judical proceedings everyday. I'm not aware of a single case where a judicial extradition has resulted in the prisoner going to GTMO.

    If the US & UK goverments had decided this guy was going to GTMO, he would not be in the custody of the police and he would not be in court.
  • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @07:31PM (#15126074) Journal
    if the US army picks up a non-Afghani with an AK47 in Afghanistan, and the group of people he was with were just firing at U.S. troops and they weren't members of the Taliban, then what do you do with him? You don't want to release him (he and/or the people with were just shooting at US soldiers!!) But you aren't going to get a conviction in any civilian court. You have no proof that HE specifically actually shot at US troops. To prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt under the standards of a civilian court, the FBI would have to go in, search the entire area for bullets and shell casings, fingerprint the AK47 and all weapons in the area, check which weapons were fired, test if the weapons were fired recently, do ballistic tests to match weapons with bullets, and do this all with a careful paper trail so it will withstand challenges of sloppiness by the defense. This is NOT POSSIBLE in a warzone. Your argument includes the key phrase that matters to me: You have no proof So don't lock someone up indefinitely if you have no proof. Don't threaten them with military courts that have no jurisdiction. Take them to the civilian courts. Afghanistan has those, you know. He broke the law there, try him there. If you have no proof, then why are you holding him?
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @07:47PM (#15126168) Journal
    Ahmen. Thanks, that was the best to the point post about this whole business that I've seen on this board.
  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @08:48PM (#15126495)
    Well, if not unlawful combatants, the closest fitting description for terrorist found in war zones would be spies. And the convention allows for summary execution of spies caught in battle, so I would take Guantanamo if I were them.

    Err, what? How would you know a "spy"? "Hey! That there man, he is a spy! I say so! I saw him spy! I swear!" followed by summary execution. Right? If you are going that route, might as well forget about that whole Justice System thing and start shooting people you don't like.

    By the way, any "shortcuts" such as killing saboteurs on the battlefield have to do with battlefield conditions and cease to exist as soon as one is no longer in the heat of the battle, where there is no possiblity of trials and courts. Then a normal process must take over.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault