McKinnon: Fought the Law and Law won?

The excellent legal blog Jack of Kent has performed a review of the McKinnon case in five parts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five.

His concluding post states:

In effect, the case against extradition has been a media construct, unconnected to the legal materials which are essential for anyone seeking to understand why the extradition process is still proceeding notwithstanding the passionate campaign against it.

the uncritical adoption of the campaigners’ approach in the media coverage of the case has severely limited the ability of those following the case to understand just why Mr McKinnon unfortunately still faces extradition and a sentence some eight or so years after the alleged offence was committed.

In hindsight, the refusal of Mr McKinnon to accept a plea bargain in 2003 seems a strategic and tactical mistake

Had the terms of the plea bargain been adhered to (and the US had every reason to adhere to it lest they discredited any offered plea bargain in future), then Mr McKinnon may have been back in the UK by 2004 to serve the remainder of his sentence, and released in 2005 or 2006.

Symptomatic of the failure of McKinnon and his supporters to face up to reality, and thereby prolonging the suffering is the “about section” at the Free Gary McKinnon webpage:

The unjust treatment of British citizens (and others) when facing the might of the US Military “justice” system, which practices detention without trial in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, and stands accused of making use of torture by allied regimes (“extraordinary rendition”) is an ongoing scandal. It cannot be excused even by a “war on terror”. It seems only just that Gary should face any charges in a British court, and to serve any sentence, if he is found guilty, in a British prison.

What has Guantanamo Bay and extraordinary rendition got to do with McKinnon’s case? Absolutely nothing. The Gary McKinnon bandwagon has rolled on and on, but arguably it has done more harm than good for the person it is allegedly trying to help.