As a young woman in an increasingly volatile and complex world marred by violence, but borne aloft by revolutionary dreams, I am at once emboldened in hope by the insurgency of brave truth telling, of righteous civil disobedience against corrupt and ossified power, but at once I am equally as worried by the way insurgent saints of truth are being treated like mice in the maze of a Goliath American state that treats the whole world order as if it were its own extraterritorial jurisdiction and caliphate, whose subjects are treated with increasingly wanton whim.
Notorious names - Schwartz, Assange - correspond to notorious cases. While the case specifics encompass a varied range of actions and activities associated with subversion of US imperial strategy, they encompass and are united by concerted efforts to subvert imperial activism of the US state decidedly through electronic means - whistle blowing, data dumping, hacking - activity which, rendered through the realpolitik filter with which hawk politicians have been conditioned in the corridors of Yale and the pentagon, is tantamount to treason. Thinking logically it is obvious treason is an untenable accusation against those who - with the exception of Manning and Schwartz - have never been American citizens. Indeed such charges sullying the names of these renegades seems designed to inculcate fear and obedience to American objectives not just within but beyond domestic spheres of influence. Silencing dissent, then, can be seen as core imperial strategy.
But it stinks. For one evidence has not been presented to Lauri Love pertaining to his purported crimes. Moreover in a zeitgeist defined by Brexit negotiations steeped deep in the rhetoric of protecting parliamentary sovereignty it ought to worry us British courts are willing to yield to the whims of US courts who are willing to put Lauri Love away for ninety nine years for a crime which would yield only thirty two months in the UK.
The case of Lauri Love is the most recent in this litany of crimes against rancorous public dissent against American power. While it is almost identical to the case of Gary McKinnon there is hardly a whisper of his cause in the liberal media, perhaps because the media zeitgeist post wiki leaks has been to isolate and repress renegade digital activism. Like McKinnon and Schwartz, Love is threatened with extradition to the US to be tried for hacking US agencies and obtaining sensitive data, and like them he too faces severe psychological denigration which accompanies such pressure being placed on a sensitive autistic mind. If we accept that we must pursue a best practice approach in jurisprudence then questions about foregrounding the wellbeing of the accused during and throughout their trials must be asked, and reasonable adjustments insisted upon. In Lauri’s case a best practice approach and reasonable adjustments are simple. They consist in recognizing his human rights to a fair, humane trial on home territory.
To the ends of bringing a just end for Lauri-whose appeal will be heard at the end of this month - to fruition, activists have been campaigning for a fair, humane trial, sharing posts about his case and signing petitions. In Parliament over 70 MPs fielded objections to the courts’ decision to yield to American demands for extradition. Eschewing all negative connotations associated with the phrase, Lauri has rightfully and righteously become a cause de celebre behind which all lovers of freedom can rally and organize.
Time will tell how it goes for Lauri, but if he is extradited, the biggest crime and judgement falls upon the judgement of the British and American state.