But Labour former home secretary Alan Johnson criticised the decision and claimed Mrs May had made a decision which was "in her own party's best interests but it's not in the best interests of this country".Well yes, this is clearly Mrs. May trying to get back in the public's good books. But you know what? Alan Johnson is bang on. We may feel that a potential upper limit of 60 years for McKinnon's actions is excessive in UK terms, but there's no denying that the US was well within its rights and the boundaries of reasonability in seeking his extradition.
He said: "Gary McKinnon is accused of very serious offences. The US was perfectly within its rights and it was extremely reasonable of them to seek his extradition."
Let's see who Gary McKinnon is:
Gary McKinnon (born 10 February 1966) is a Scottish systems administrator and hacker who was accused in 2002 of perpetrating the "biggest military computer hack of all time,"He's not an idiot savant living in his parents' basement. You can't hold down a sysadmin job if you're a moron. Sure, social ineptness is possible -- indeed, generally regarded as a plus -- but you've got to know what you're doing and be well organised. I'd totally believe a mild Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis, but again that's not exactly uncommon in the world of IT. And what about what he is claimed to have done? (I haven't been able to spot protestations of innocence and refutation of the US authorities' claims).
The US authorities claim he deleted critical files from operating systems, which shut down the US Army's Military District of Washington network of 2,000 computers for 24 hours. McKinnon also posted a notice on the military's website: "Your security is crap". After the September 11 attacks, he deleted weapons logs at the Earle Naval Weapons Station, rendering its network of 300 computers inoperable and paralyzing munitions supply deliveries for the US Navy's Atlantic Fleet.He may just have been "looking for UFOs" but he seemed to be willing to cause substantial chaos along the way.
The dominant reason for stopping the extradition was McKinnon's "depressive illness". I'm sure he has legitimate depression, but I expect the ten years of fighting extradition has been a substantial contributor there. Maybe we can regard the process as the punishment, but I can't help feeling that McKinnon has got away with a series of serious crimes mostly because of a general UK anti-American feeling.