Gary McKinnon, the Briton who appears to have confessed to hacking into 90 unclassified Pentagon computer systems, is clearly something of a character.
His defense seems to consist of his insistence that all he was looking for was secret knowledge about UFOs.
This blog loves secret knowledge too. And has a very occasional penchant for the concept of an eye for an eye.
So, at great personal expense, I hired the famous one-eyed Sergei (I know his second name, but he has, you know, a regular job) to get in on McKinnon.
Yes, Sergei hacked the hacker.
Quickly, he found Mr. McKinnon's secret online diary, entitled Gary the Able Guy, and it tells a dramatic story. Although I have to say that Sergei's one eye isn't as round as it used to be, so he may have transcribed some, or even all, of this imperfectly. Still, these are the highlights of the words Sergei claims to have found, the private words of Gary the Able Guy:
"People out there will probably wonder why I (allegedly, of course) did this. Well, it's really simple. I used to think science fiction was enough to live for. I used to think I could rejoice in a pretend world of aliens and monsters, green-colored goo and space travel. And William Shatner.
For many people, this seems to be enough. Some of them get really good jobs. Like, you know, at Google and stuff.
But I wasn't like that. I wanted more. I wanted a bigger life. I wanted to know what it really felt like to nudge someone with a gungy green forearm and no nipples. I wanted to know if they really talked like cartoon characters, with their vowels removed and their consonants in some remote suburb of the Greek Alphabet.
I wanted to know whether aliens smell funny. No movie, no comic, no website ever talked about how aliens smell. I mean, do they wash? Do they use deodorant? After shave? Razor blades? Clarins' Eclat Du Jour skin cream? I had to find out.
There had to be someone who knew. And though I spent hours and days at my bedroom window, smoking a little pot while praying for an alien visitation, I was never lucky enough to receive one. Although I'm pretty sure I saw a few new planets when I smoked the whole "for medicinal purposes only" packet in one evening.
There was only one thing for it. I had to find out what the Americans knew. I had to find out whether the stories I'd heard about Roswell and Area 51 and Robin Williams were based on fact. Or whether some dumb Hollywood writer with a complex about his sticky-out ears had made it all up.
Look, I know this was a little unorthodox. But my teachers always taught me that knowledge knows no bounds. They taught me to reach for the stars. They also taught me to not get arrested. But Galileo got arrested, didn't he? So did Christian Bale.
I didn't just do it for me, people. I did it for the world. We have to know if there are green people out there. You know, REALLY green people. With green skin and green toes. Not just green fingers.
So, yeah, maybe it was a bit over the top to (allegedly, of course) hack into the Pentagon 90 times. But you want to know what I found out? I mean, that's the thing. No one's ever asked me what I actually found out. Not the really, really good stuff, anyway.
Well, you know that Donald Rumsfeld? I don't know how to tell you this but he's one of th..."
And that's where the diary ends. Perhaps that was the very moment that authorities burst in on Mr. McKinnon. Who knows what he was about to reveal? Would the sentence have ended: ".. one of the handsomest older men I've ever seen on TV"?
We can only wait to see if Mr. McKinnon one day writes a book and presents it on Oprah. Or the Discovery Channel. Or MSNBC (The Mars Saturn Neptune Broadcasting Corporation). Or Alien News Tonight.
For now, we can only wonder whether any aliens will turn up to a US Court to offer Mr. McKinnon solidarity. Stranger things have happened.
Well, at least in science fiction they have.