Its St Georges day today. I notice Google hasn’t bothered to mention it again this year. Unlike St Patrick’s day of course. I’m afraid I hardly noticed. More seriously, its now exactly 6 weeks since Alan Johnston was forced at gunpoint into a car in Gaza. He is the BBC’s Gaza correspondent, the only western journalist to be permanently based in Gaza in Palestine. He has been reporting about the suffering of the Palestinians for 3 years now and was due to finish his stint at the end of March.
I wonder about the intelligence of the people who abducted him. Here was a man who was keeping the situation that the Palestinians were in, permanently in the public eye. And what to these intellectually challenged people do? – they remove him so he can no longer report on the situation. Very bright. They also alienate those who are sympathetic to their cause. – Like me.
There was a report a few days ago that the Palestinian Security people now know where he is being held and who’s holding him. If this is true its about time they did something about it. They also say Alan Johnston is still alive. Everybody certainly hopes so. What a mess the world is in.
St George died as a Christian martyr, I hope Alan Johnston doesn’t die holding the flame of truth and free speech in such a troubled part of the world.
Update Alan Johnston was released in the Gaza Strip after 114 days in captivity. See the BBC News item
Something really sad happened today. Gary McKinnon, the alleged Pentagon hacker, has lost his appeal against extradition to the US on hacking charges. Now this is a prime example of how the technology divide can cause unbelievable injustice. Basically the British establishment don’t understand technology, or any science for that matter. Its full of lawyers and economists and arts graduates who haven’t got a clue. Now the US military say Gary McKinnon is a cyber terrorist and they want to try him for breaking into the Pentagon computers and causing millions of dollars of damage to their computers. So the pathetic British establishment is kowtowing to the US like it always does and extraditing him to the us where he will serve 60 years for frankly having done absolutely nothing. And the disgusting thing is, its the UK government that is handing him over.
Here in the UK, some yob can murder someone in the street and end up getting 6 years for ‘manslaughter’ and and actually serve only 3 years. I’ve heard of even more lenient sentences. Yes, this same profession of legal people can’t overturn the most stupid extradition request to sentance a UK citizen to 60 years for doing basically nothing – “But the US military said it was terrible therefore it must have been”.
So what did he do? He clearly broke the law. He’s not denying this. Basically “he visited” 100’s of computers owned by the US military (Just like you are visiting this one) and when faced by a request for a username and password, he ran a program that tried lots of different passwords until he gained access. He then looked around at many files to see if he could find any information on UFOs. He didn’t actually cause any physical damage, he didn’t delete any files, he left everything as he found it.
However the Americans are so embarrassed by the ease with which he broke in, showing up their pathetic lack of security that they want to exact revenge. Basically he did them a favour – he showed how easy it was to gain access and caused a huge shake up in their computer security and caused them to make it half decent for a change. The UK authorities seem to have no-one who is prepared to take on the Americans. We have a weak Prime Minister who does everything they want and that seems to filter down to the rest of the establishment.