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“”"The Americans have a secret spaceship?" I ask.
"That's what this trickle of evidence has led me to believe."
"Some kind of other Mir that nobody knows about?"
"I guess so," says Gary.
"What were the ship names?""I can't remember," says Gary. "I was smoking a lot of dope at the time. Not good for the intellect."
|—Jon Ronson interviews Gary McKinnon, 2005|
Extradition and terrorism
Whether or not these claims are true is unclear. Regardless, the U.S. authorities want to extradite and charge him with terrorism offences, and accuse him of causing $800,000 in damage. McKinnon insists that he actually caused no damage, and in fact left messages on the hacked systems informing their operators of security weaknesses. For a hardened cyber terrorist intent on bringing down the United States, it is unusual that he had no more than a dial-up internet connection.
Somewhat of a recluse, diagnosed as having Asperger's syndrome, he is far from the international terrorist certain U.S. agencies claim him to be. Although he may be a 9/11 truther, that doesn't seem to justify extradition proceedings.
When Gary McKinnon hacked into U.S. Space Command computers several years ago he learned of the existence of Solar Warden, a manned spaceflight program active since the 80's which McKinnon says was also under the authority of the U.N. He was than charged by the Bush Justice Department with having committed "the biggest military computer hack of all time", and stood to face prison time of up to 70 years after extradition from UK. A NASA representative confirmed to a Huffington Post reporter this was their program and that it was terminated by the President.  McKinnon also says he investigated a NASA photographic expert's claim that at the Johnson Space Center's Building 8, images were regularly cleaned of evidence of UFO craft, and confirmed this, comparing the raw originals with the "processed" images.  McKinnon would have faced up to 70 years in jail.
His extradition was recently blocked by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, and he was to stand trial in the United Kingdom. The charges were dropped in December 2012. McKinnon had expressed fears that he would have been sent to Guantanamo Bay.
- See the Wikipedia article on Gary McKinnon. (That is, if you are interested in all the politicking around his extradition.)
- Game over, Jon Ronson interviewing McKinnon for the Guardian (2005)
- An interview with Wired magazine
- The NASA Hacker, BBC Click
- "UK | Hacker wins court review decision". BBC News. 23 January 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7846442.stm. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- Gary McKinnon extradition to US blocked by Theresa May
- BBC:Hacker Gary McKinnon will not face UK charges
- 'Hacker' extradition case reopens, BBC News, 14 February 2006