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  #501  
Old 02-13-2020, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
...Also, even though she had only been in the UK for 3 weeks on this particular visit, she had previously worked in the UK for two years up to 2017, presumably as a CIA agent...
Huh. I would have thought that driving on the wrong side is something that would come back quickly, like riding a bike...
  #502  
Old 02-14-2020, 10:12 AM
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The previous two-year residence in the UK also is a rebuttal to the “why do we need a trial? It’s obvious what happened” argument.

This thread was started four months ago, has now reached over 500 posts, and we’re just now hearing about a significant fact that goes directly to the issue of her negligence.

Maybe, just maybe, the law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in England know more about the details of this case than posters on a message board, and that’s why they think a trial is warranted?

Wild and crazy thought, I know, but perhaps we should entertain it.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:30 AM
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Huh. I would have thought that driving on the wrong side is something that would come back quickly, like riding a bike...
In my experience, that happens best when there are visual queues, especially other cars driving on the "correct" side of the road. If you switch back and forth over a period of time, you won't get a sense of things being wrong without feedback.
  #504  
Old 02-14-2020, 05:17 PM
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If she lived in the UK for two years, the argument that she was "new to driving in the UK and probably confused" is shot to hell.
Agreed. But whatever her job was, I still don't see how her being - or having been - an agent makes things worse. She was, by all accounts on this trip a spouse visiting her husband, as previously stated. It seems to me that outing her as an agent is just a petty revenge, and a damned dangerous one at that.

Whatever they might hope for from the trial, I'm pretty sure death isn't a possible outcome.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:42 PM
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In my experience, that happens best when there are visual queues, especially other cars driving on the "correct" side of the road. If you switch back and forth over a period of time, you won't get a sense of things being wrong without feedback.
True, but part of the feedback can also be the car itself. That is, if you're driving a right-hand drive car, and drive on the right, you'll find yourself right against the curb with limited view of the left side of the road, which feels very weird.

Meanwhile, driving with the steering wheel on the "wrong", nearside, of the car feels generally weird, and it becomes a bit more understandable how someone could drive on the wrong side for a while.

IME
  #506  
Old 02-14-2020, 11:41 PM
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Agreed. But whatever her job was, I still don't see how her being - or having been - an agent makes things worse. She was, by all accounts on this trip a spouse visiting her husband, as previously stated. It seems to me that outing her as an agent is just a petty revenge, and a damned dangerous one at that.

Whatever they might hope for from the trial, I'm pretty sure death isn't a possible outcome.
If a foreign spy is involved in the death of a person in your country, and is whisked away and protected by the foreign government, it adds to the feeling that foreigners are doing bad things in your country and getting special protection.

The fact that apparently she is a foreign spy is part of the overall picture. It should not be concealed from the people of Britain, who are assessing whether their government is properly handling thus issue. Is the British government not doing everything it can, because the "special relationship" means HM's government has to kowtow to the American spymasters? That's a fair question for the British to be asking.

If protecting her spy cover was so important, and blowing it can put lives at risk, then wouldn't it have been better for her to plead to the charge, get a fine and community service, and avoid the chance that her spy status becomes public by protracted proceedings, as has actually happened here? If she's truly a dedicated spy for her country, wouldn't that have been a sounder course of action?

"My only regret is that I have but two wrists that can be slapped for my county...etc., etc."

Last edited by Northern Piper; 02-14-2020 at 11:42 PM.
  #507  
Old Yesterday, 03:17 AM
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In the UK that doesn't seem to be the case. There would be no separate charge of driving while intoxicated, because that is included as an aggravating factor in the charge of causing death by dangerous driving, and it affects sentencing.

For the record, I think it's unlikely she was drunk, but there may be other aggravating factors, such as texting on a mobile phone, or taking medication that causes drowsiness. It's significant that she was charged with the more serious offence of 'causing death by dangerous driving', rather than 'causing death by careless driving'.
There are actually four levels of offence for causing death by driving:

Quote:
THE OFFENCES
Causing death by driving is divided into four offences. These are:
 causing death by dangerous driving;
 causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs;
 causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving; and
 causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers.
https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...t-for-web1.pdf (PDF)

Anne Sacoolas has been charged with the highest level of offence, causing death by dangerous driving.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50870459
From the sentencing council leaflet:
Quote:
For dangerous driving the standard of the offender’s driving will have been so bad as to have created an obvious risk of danger.
As noted, once the threshold for causing death by dangerous driving is reached, there is no further higher charge of causing death by dangerous driving when under the influence of drink or drugs. However, being under the influence can be considered an aggravating factor when the judge determines sentencing. The lowest level of sentencing is for "Driving that created a significant risk of danger" and has a starting point, based on a first time offender pleading not guilty, of a three year custodial sentence. If driving under the influence or other aggravating factors were to raise the nature of the offence to "Driving that created a substantial risk of danger", the starting point rises to five years. The minimum guideline sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is two years. However, judges are not obligated to comply with this guideline. They may also choose to order a custodial sentence, and then suspend it.
https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...erous-driving/

TLDR: It's a very serious charge, and while prison time is not guaranteed, any sentence would be more than a slap on the wrist.

Last edited by Wrenching Spanners; Yesterday at 03:18 AM.
  #508  
Old Today, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
...
Is the British government not doing everything it can, because the "special relationship" means HM's government has to kowtow to the American spymasters? That's a fair question for the British to be asking.
...
If the person in question had been in the Witness Protection program, such that revealing her real name and status might result in her death and/or danger to her family, would you make the same claim?

People who work in the clandestine services look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives. It's not like soldiers, who get to go home and be safe. It may take a while for a soldier to *feel* that they are safe. For a member of the clandestine services, not only are they never safe, but everyone they worked with them could be identified by association. And everyone who rented them a room, or sold them groceries, or delivered their newspaper is at risk of "aggressive interrogation" just by dint having crossed paths with them.

That's why it is considered completely beyond the pale to advertise that status. None of us can predict what the unintended consequences may be.

So no, the British public does not "have a right to know" what her job was.
  #509  
Old Today, 01:28 PM
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The American policy of protecting the identity of their spies has no legal status in Britain. The British people certainly are entitled to question and critique the actions of their government, and to ask if their government is favouring foreign spies at the expense of due process in the British court system.

Having their cover blown by their actions in a foreign country is one of the risks that spies voluntarily assume.

Query: would you apply the same standard in the United States with foreign spies? If a Russian or Chinese spy is accused of a crime in the United States, would you say that the US government should protect the spy’s status from the American people?
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  #510  
Old Today, 01:32 PM
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Why would you choose adversaries for your question? Surely you mean "should the US protect the identity of British spies?".
  #511  
Old Today, 02:10 PM
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Beacause TruCelt made a sweeping claim that the identities of agents in “clandestine services” should have their identities protected. Chinese and Russian spies are in “clandestine services”, so by her claim, their identities should be protected.

If TruCelt wants to come back and restrict her claim to American spies, she can.

Plus, how can you be certain that the current US regime views Russian spies as adversaries, given that the President was willing to share highly qualified intelligence with the Russian Ambassador?

Just to clarify, that is not meant ironically/sarcastically on my part. If the President shares highly classified intelligence with the Ambassador of a foreign country, that strongly suggests that country is not an adversary.
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