The Evil Empire

Incredibly, in the USA it’s actually a crime to use basic computer skills to access military information that isn’t adequately protected. We say ‘information’ rather than ‘secrets’ because to call something a secret and not put in place the means to keep it so is wishful thinking and a little bit laughable.

Laughable? It’s very serious (according to Labour’s Alan Johnson). No, seriously.

Oh, all right then. It’s hilarious. The Pentagon, with an annual budget of $700 billion, can’t even defend its own computer systems against a man looking for UFOs. Does it sack its IT specialists and get some better ones? And give the man a medal for identifying the lapse in security? No, it tries to get him extradited. Because he isn’t American and he doesn’t live in America. Nor was the ‘crime’ committed there.

Now the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US are being reviewed. Surely the question ought to be why they’re allowed any at all. Because if US courts are anywhere near as flawed as their computers, no-one can honestly expect justice from such a bunch of malignant clowns.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the US enjoyed worldwide sympathy and goodwill. It squandered both faster than it burns oil. Its record in overthrowing democracies that make the wrong choices and in wading in where it isn’t wanted is shameful. No British government should surrender sovereignty to an organisation where it’s expected to act as junior partner to this shady regime.

The counter-argument used to run along the lines of ‘at least we’re not the Russians, look at their human rights record’. Now it’s more likely to be ‘at least we’re not the Chinese, look at their human rights record’. No, we’d rather look at Uncle Sam’s, thank you very much. If it’s that good, what’s to fear in recognising the International Criminal Court like most of the world? The US is one of only three states – along with Israel and Sudan – to have signed the Rome Statute and since reneged, in its case less than a year before the invasion of Iraq.

The decline and fall of the American empire is inevitable. Its average IQ is now 19th in the world and facing some stiff competition. (The top 10 nations are either east Asian or central European.) Then there’s its unsustainable energy footprint. As well as a defence budget five times its nearest rival, accounting for over 40% of world military expenditure and draining away 5% of GDP, to do little more than irritate, annoy and occasionally enrage. It’s a pity that the day of reckoning won’t come soon enough to secure justice for the maybe millions who lost loved ones in its numerous crusades to impose ‘freedom’ at the point of a gun.

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