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Britain Under Fire From U.S. for Breaking Lockerbie Bomber Pledge

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Posted on Aug 28, 2009
Lockerbie bomber
AP / Scott Heppell

Heading home: Lockerbie bomber Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, left, boards plane at Scotland’s Glasgow International Airport to return to Libya on Aug. 20.

Earlier this month, the Scottish government released convicted “Lockerbie bomber” Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, afflicted with terminal prostate cancer, to live out the rest of his days in his native Libya—a move that reportedly went against a decade-old agreement with the U.S. that those found guilty of causing the 1988 airline tragedy would stay put in Scotland to serve their time.  —KA

Times Online:

A former Cabinet minister and two sources close to talks over the handover of suspects in 1999 told The Times that Robin Cook, then Foreign Secretary, promised Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State at the time, that anyone found guilty would serve their sentence in Scotland, where the airliner exploded with the loss of 270 lives.

A senior US official said: “There was a clear understanding at the time of the trial that al-Megrahi would serve his sentence in Scotland. In the 1990s the UK had the same view. It is up to them to explain what changed.”

Cook, who brokered the unusual deal by which two Libyan suspects, including al-Megrahi, would be tried by a specially convened Scottish court in the Netherlands, later described how Britain and the US had resisted pressure from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for those convicted to be allowed to serve their sentence in Libya.

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By jreed, August 31, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, what do they want from us…sympathy? He caused so many people to die…well, we’ll give him our “sorries” but not for what he did.

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By Lisa, August 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just pray he doesn’t harm any more people.

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By Tech, August 30, 2009 at 2:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s corruption at it’s worst.

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By Moremony services, August 29, 2009 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

hello, This article is just more of the same.I have seen but a few articles lately that even mention that there is some doubt about his guilt,let alone revealing the real truth.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

What an outrage that this perfectly innocent man was
allowed to go free! So it was for an oil deal, so what?
The guy was framed to begin with.

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By Gezelda, August 29, 2009 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And even if he was guilty, what earthly good would it do anybody to keep him locked up while he died of cancer, lonely and far from home to boot?  Would that make anybody happy?  We need do get a grasp of one important humanizing question:  “What if it were me?”  Answering it honestly would prevent a lot of mistakes.

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By PatrickHenry, August 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

I bet he didn’t do it.  He has no motive.  He is free, with the world media around him and he yet he denies he had anything to do with it.   

Qui bono?

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By mike112769, August 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

One thing that has drastically changed since the 90s: the standing of America in the rest of the world’s eyes. We have lost some serious goodwill over the last 20 years. After WWII, we could’ve gotten away with murder. The problem is, we tried to. We are no longer respected/feared as once we were.

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

The dumbist of the Kennedy brothers,

Hmmm, the dumbest of a smart bunch cant be all that bad…..C’mon FT, misspelling when accusing another of being dumb? Now that’s funny, I don’t care what anyone says…...grin

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By Folktruther, August 29, 2009 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

US foreign policy is based on violence, bribery and deceit, which is sanitized in the American media.  Bribery in trials, elections, and leaders of client states- per Paul Roberts, a former asst treasurer under Reagan-has been standard under the War on Communism in the 20th century and has increased under the War on Terrorism in the 21st.

Once a patsy is chosen in a case like Lockerbie, as illusstrated by the torture of random people imprisoned in Gitmo, every effort by the media and pols is made to keep them there, and denigrate them to legitimate past injustice by power.

In this case, Ted Kennedy joined a number of other Dem senators to prevent this prisoner from dying at home, to maintain the prestige of US imperialism.  A disgusting act by a disgusting pol. 

The dumbist of the Kennedy brothers, his major cowardness had nothing to do with his famous car accident, which only indicated that he coundn’t drive straight. 

He legitimated by his silence the murders of his brothers covered up by the most egregous fraudulence ever perpetrated historically in public relations frauds.  He was instrumental in destroying US unions in his support of deregulation in 1970’s and Nafta in the 90’s.

I post this here because TD does not permit me to comment on Scheer’s disgusting eulogy of Kennedy.

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By The Mad Loon, August 29, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Just one more big lie foisted on the public by traditional media lapdogs and their corporate masters.
Lockerbie was Irans response to the US’s shooting down of an Iranian passenger jet. However to admit this would have embarrassed the US gov, so Libya and an innocent man were framed denying the victims
families true justice.

This article is just more of the same.I have seen but a few articles lately that even mention that there is some doubt about his guilt,let alone revealing the real truth.

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

brewerstroupe, August 29 at 3:31 am

Thank you for giving those of us unaware of the possible innocence of this man the hidden facts of this case. I hope that some at least will realize exactly how manipulated are the opinions of the American public.

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By diamond, August 29, 2009 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

You’re absolutely right Brewerstroupe. Another example of fraud and corruption and the use of a patsy.  A man who used to work for the CIA admitted that the witnesses in this case were bribed to give evidence against the accused. al Megrahi is the Libyan version of Bruce Ivins who was also stitched up by the FBI - in his case for sending the anthrax letters in 2001 that were actually the work of the CIA. The really interesting question is why did they need a patsy?This almost always indicates Secret Service involvement in the crime.

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By jack, August 29, 2009 at 12:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

... explain what changed.

OK, the patsy wouldn’t roll over and to avoid genuine evidence getting into
court, a deal was cut.

it goes on and on, but the truth will never appear in a court of law, as only hysterical hyperbole spins through the MSM in the wake of “the deal” - same ol’ same ol’

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brewerstroupe's avatar

By brewerstroupe, August 29, 2009 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

The release of al-Megrahi came as a result of a deal whereby he dropped his appeal. That appeal would most likely have succeeded. Scotland was simply doing its part in covering up a huge mess made by Britain and the U.S. The ultra-reliable Gwynne Dyer told the story:

The Maltese shopkeeper who had identified al-Megrahi, Tony Gauci, turned out to be living in Australia, supported by several million dollars the Americans had paid him for his evidence.

The allegation the timer for the bomb had been supplied to Libya by the Swiss manufacturer Mebo turned out to be false. The owner of Mebo, Edwin Bollier, revealed that he had turned down an offer of $4 million from the FBI in 1991 to testify that he had sold his MST-13 timers to Libya.

One of Bollier’s former employees, Ulrich Lumpert, did testify at al-Megrahi’s trial that MST-13 timers had been supplied to Libya - but in 2007 he admitted he had lied at the trial.

GWYNNE DYER has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs for more than 20 years, but he was originally trained as an historian. Born in Newfoundland, he received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities, finishing with a Ph.D. in Military and Middle Eastern History from the University of London. He served in three navies and held academic appointments at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Oxford University before launching his twice-weekly column on international affairs, which is published by over 175 papers in some 45 countries.

The entire Lockerbie trial was chapter and verse of major powers subverting the judicial process to further a geopolitical agenda. Libya was the “demon du jour” of the times and it worked. A similar case can be found in the AMIA bombing in Argentina. This time it was Iran in the frame.
Gareth Porter has dealt to that one:

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By Paul, August 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s easy - the US made an agreement with the UK, but it’s no longer up to the UK to decide the issue, it’s up to Scotland.  It’s not unlike when someone makes an agreement with the US govt., but then finds out that as far as the current administration (whoever that is) is concerned the agreement was with the *previous* administration, not with the govt.

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By P. T., August 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

The British ruling class pursues its own interests (for example, Libyan oil).  The U.S. ruling class does the same thing (for example, oil wars).  That’s capitalism.

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