American officials have made clear that they regard Mr McKinnon, 43, an unemployed computer programmer who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, as a serious offender whose case must be pursued rigorously in the US courts.
Following a recent explosion of cyber assaults on US military, intelligence and government networks, the authorities say they are more determined than ever to prosecute national security hackers vigorously.
A senior military officer at the Pentagon told The Sunday Telegraph: “US policy is to fight these attacks as strongly as possible. As a result of Mr McKinnon’s actions, we suffered serious damage and lost a lot of time and money.
“This was not some harmless incident. He did very serious and deliberate damage to military and Nasa computers and left silly and anti-American messages. All the evidence was that someone was staging a very serious attack on US systems.”
A US intelligence official echoed those comments. “He really caused us a lot of trouble,” he said last week.
Mr McKinnon’s lawyers contend that he encountered minimal security as hacked into the computers in 2001 and 2002 in search of evidence to prove his belief in UFOs and alien life, making little effort to hide his actions.
His case has become a cause célèbre in Britain, especially since he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism that leaves him particularly vulnerable to changes in his environment.
It has also become a lightning rod for frustrations about the UK-US extradition treaty, which British critics claim is one-sided – making it easier for the US to extradite suspects from Britain than it is for UK authorities to secure the return of accused criminals from America.
Based on the fact that secret government computers are not even connected to the Internet, (they have their own separate network, I’ve read) my pet theory is that the whole thing is a ploy of some kind. Perhaps McKinnon is playing a part: A poster boy to discourage hackers and convince people that NASA has UFOs.
Here is an angle I never considered until now…
What if I’m right about the fact that there is a secret government disinformation project world wide regarding UFOs, but what if… the project goal is not to make people think that military craft are alien UFOs (as I’ve always assumed), but what if aliens ARE real and the disinformation is to make people like me THINK that the aliens are just secret US craft?
All of the inside tidbits I’ve learned over the years about fastwalkers, underground bases, supposed Nazi UFOs could point to a reality that differs from mine: real aliens on earth. Gary could be part of the cover up, yes, but perhaps the real goal is to keep people from panicking. An event happens and they swing into action to sow the seeds of doubt. Fun job. I know, the Men in Black movies have already been made … but this would explain real events such as the flares shot up after the massive Phoenix triangle sighting, the absurd Roswell balloon debris after the crash of a disk, perhaps some crop circles, abductions, and most recently the hurling of something huge at Jupiter timed with the Apollo landings.
Am I actually starting to believe in aliens, that we’ve already made contact? Not yet. But what if I’ve been fooled after all? Perhaps the Disclosure Project is the real deal and not disinformation.