There are no UFO’s in Prison

Call me mean, but I have some reservations about the petition to protect Pentagon Hacker Gary McKinnon. I’ve seen the list of musicians and famous figures that have come out against his extradition on the website for the technology tabloid magazine The Inquirer, which includes, but is not limited to “Terry Waite, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Pink Floyd Guitarist David Gilmour, artist and Scots national treasure Peter Howson, London Mayor Boris Johnson, elder statesman Tony Benn, and swinging sixties star Julie Christie.”

My reservation is not against this lot, who seem to be more concerned about the extradition and the sour prospect that McKinnon will spend 70 years in prison in he states. The crime was committed in the UK, his family all live here and I understand that most who petitioned, which includes 80 MP’s, did so on the matter that he should be on trial with his family.

These seem decent enough to me, but the comments made by Jane Asher, president for the National Autistic Society, made me a little concerned;

“Asher said she was “horrified” at the way Gary was being treated by the criminal justice system. People with Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism, might appear normal but are often “extremely vulnerable,” she said.

Experts have warned that if Gary were extradited to face a long sentence in a US penitentiary his mental condition could be so aggravated that he might take his own life. People with Asperger Syndrome suffer from something like social claustrophobia.”

Where everyone else petitioning seems to quietly accept that, whatever his condition, McKinnon is a criminal, of a high calibre since his crime is of very sensitive national security, Asher seems to disapprove of prison for McKinnon on the grounds that he suffers from a condition that makes him prone to disliking prison.

What makes me mean, and I’ll accept softly softly criticism, is that my immediate thoughts were ‘I think I must have this aggrevation’. My sympathy for McKinnon’s suffering due to the extradition does not extend to Asher’s lengths, and surely she’d agree that autism didn’t make him break the law in such a dangerous way.


One Response to There are no UFO’s in Prison

  1. Dave Semple says:

    Actually I think you’d be surprised. Aspergers can manifest as an obsessive personality, and one of the definite features of any part of the autistic spectrum is a failure to understand social norms and so forth. I can easily see – as did McKinnon’s legal defence team – where they might pin his actions on McKinnon’s conditions. Though I sound cynical there, it’s also quite likely that his Aspergers was to blame for his break of the law.

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