Rule of Law or Rule of Excuses?

So he’s got enough brains to hack into the Pentagon computers, but not enough to stand before a court of law and answer for himself? He has a disease that somehow makes it impossible to do this. How convenient.  If you could bottle this disease and sell it, you’d make a fortune from all the people who want to wriggle and squirm their way out of the criminal justice system.

It’s not as if he’s even denying it, so he’s not looking for a trial. His mum is all over the telly, admitting that he did it. She says he didn’t want to sell state secrets; he just wanted to know about UFOs. So that’s alright then. It’s a bit like robbing the bank and then arguing that you weren’t after the money, you just wanted some of them nice rubber stamps they have for punching a mark on used cheques. This makes no sense at all. It would still be a robbery.

Now we’re told that there’s a new medical report where the doctor doesn’t argue that his disease makes it impossible for him to attend court, the doctor is arguing that it is “almost certain” that he will commit suicide if he has to go to court. Since when have medical practitioners reinvented themselves as clairvoyants? I tell you what, why don’t we release everyone from jail who threatens to commit suicide. That way the jail overcrowding crisis would be over because they’d all be completely empty.

Now we’re being told that Keith Vaz as the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, says that “because of the precarious state of his mental health, the committee is of the view that he should not be extradited to the USA”. So Keith isn’t concerned with the suicide threat or the extradition is unfair threat, or the UFO defence. I wonder if he has any idea of what this bloke was up to. Over a period of one year he persistently attacked NASA and Pentagon computers leaving notes such as, “US foreign policy is akin to government sponsored terrorism these days… I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels.” As an example of his vandalism, on one day, he mounted an attack that shut down Internet access to 2,000 military computers for 24 hours. What’s this got to do with UFOs? He’s so far cost the US $700,000 through his vandalism. What’s that got to do with UFOs?

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne attacks the home secretary for his decision. “It is appalling that this government places a higher value on a deeply unfair extradition agreement than it does on the welfare of a British citizen.” So he’s not following the UFO line, the mental health line, the suicide line. He’s on the extradition line.

The last time we had an expensive PR campaign like this was from a bunch of investment bankers who were accused of stealing millions of pounds during the collapse of the Enron Company. Their campaign was so successful at persuading people that they were being treated unfairly, regardless of the facts, that a number of Tory MPs publically joined their campaign to argue that they should avoid extradition.  Bizarre!

It’s not for Keith Vaz to decide the rule of law in this country. Nor is it Alan Johnson. It’s not for PR professionals or the tabloid press. It’s not for mothers of sons who have committed crimes, to decide the rule of the law. It’s the job of the courts to decide these matters and that’s where it should stay. The job of the Home Affairs Select Committee is to point out this fundamental principle to anyone who needs such guidance. Maybe the committee should do their job properly from now on.

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