I’ve long since quit watching CNN but sometimes when I’m flipping through channels I catch a little piece of it here and there. The other day I was subjected to an outraged, absolutely outraged Wolf Blitzer confronting Scotland’s equivalent of our Attorney General over the release of the man convicted of being the main perpetrator of the Lockerbie plane bombing. Wolfie just went on and on about “mass murderers!” and the like, totally ignoring the fact that our own country is engaged in the business of slaughtering far more innocent people, in an ongoing consistent fashion, than any terrorist’s wildest dreams.
Nevertheless, there was never any doubt whatsoever in Wolfie’s little shrink-wrapped brain about the actual guilt of the man in question. No, he was the “lone gunman”, he was the absolute nexus of evil in this case, right? The Scottish guy was pretty interesting, he never wavered, never bought into the emotion, and was quick to admit that yes, this was the man convicted. He never said the guy did it, he just said he was “convicted”. Which is certainly true. He was convicted.
Well why don’t we take a little trip into The Memory Hole about this case, just for the pure rollicking heck of it, not that it will matter, but I’d just like to share a few little tidbits regarding this case that most people don’t even think about anymore, except of course for the families of those killed, as Wolfie was pointing out ad nauseum to the Scottish fellow.
It was claimed some time ago that key evidence in the Lockerbie case was in fact planted by the CIA:
Crucial evidence against two Libyans for the Lockerbie bombing was planted by the CIA, it was claimed in the Commons yesterday.
A fragment of circuit board alleged to have been part of the bomb’s timing mechanism is the sole item of physical evidence linking the two Libyans to the December 1988 bombing. But Tam Dalyell, Labour MP for Linlithgow, declared: “I have come to suspect that the timing device in question was not that of Pan Am 103 but a different timing device that the CIA had picked up from the Libyans … I have been driven to the conclusion that the device was a CIA plant.”
Mr Dalyell, a long-standing critic of US and British government insistence that Libya was behind the attack, said an analysis of the fragment had shown it had been exposed to a temperature of 4,000deg C. But a Swiss police specialist had cast doubt on this, saying the explosion would have lasted only a fraction of a second in outside air temperatures of about minus 40C.
Accusing the Crown Office, the Scottish prosecuting authority, of failing to follow up the right leads, Mr Dalyell said – to strident denials from Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, the Scottish Office minister – that it had allowed itself for six years “to be suborned by political pressure into failing to carry out its duty”.
He said this was a “wicked” dereliction of duty that brought shame on Britain.
Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter in the tragedy, describes the ruling of Megrahi as the most disgraceful miscarriages of justice in history, blaming both the Scottish legal system and US intelligence.
“The Americans played their role in the investigation and influenced the prosecution,” Swire told the Scotsman Newspaper.
Top level UK diplomats tend to agree with him, such Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya.
“No court is likely get to the truth, now that various intelligence agencies have had the opportunity to corrupt the evidence,” Miles told the BBC.
The spectacular decision of the SCCRC is certain to give a second life to the dozen of alternative theories of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Nearly two decades later, the case is back to square one.
Back to square one
Let us give Lord Sutherland, Lord Coulsfield and Lord Maclean some credit. After hearing 230 witnesses and studying 621 exhibits during 84 days of evidence, spread over eight months, the three judges of the Lockerbie trial almost got correctly the date of the worst act of terror in the UK.
In the first line of the first paragraph of the most expensive verdict in history they wrote: “At 1903 hours on 22 December 1988 Pan Am flight 103 fell out of the sky.” As a matter of fact, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded on December 21st 1988.
Michael Scharf is an international law expert at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Scharf joined the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence in April 1989. He was also responsible for drawing up the UN Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on Libya in 1992.
“It was a trial where everybody agreed ahead of time that they were just going to focus on these two guys, and they were the fall guys,” Sharf wrote.
“The CIA and the FBI kept the State Department in the dark. It worked for them for us to be fully committed to the theory that Libya was responsible. I helped the counter-terrorism bureau draft documents that described why we thought Libya was responsible, but these were not based on seeing a lot of evidence, but rather on representations from the CIA and FBI and the Department of Justice about what the case would prove and did prove.”
Published Date: 27 October 2008
By David Maddox
CAMPAIGNERS yesterday renewed calls for the United States to answer fresh questions over a Lockerbie bombing suspect.
Former Labour MP Tam Dalyell and Edinburgh law professor Robert Black urged the Scottish and UK governments to answer reports there is evidence Abu Nidal was a US agent.
They have long believed Abu Nidal, who died in Iraq in 2002, and his Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine General Command were responsible for co-ordinating the bomb that blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie on 21 December, 1988 with the loss of 270 lives.
Intelligence reports, said to have been drawn up for Saddam Hussein’s security services, said Kuwaitis had asked Abu Nidal, whose real name was Sabri al-Banna, to find out if al-Qaeda was present in Iraq.
The reports referred to Abu Nidal’s “collusion with both the American and Kuwaiti intelligence apparatuses in co-ordination with Egyptian intelligence”.
And campaigners said the latest evidence adds weight to the claims that Libyan secret agent Abdelbasset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi – who was found guilty of the atrocity in 2001 – and the Libyan government were scapegoats to cover up a wider plot.
Mr Dalyell said the reports added weight to the theory that Lockerbie was a “tit-for-tat” attack for the shooting down of an Iranian passenger airliner by the warship USS Vincennes in 1988, and was allowed by the US administration.
He said the claims that Abu Nidal was working for the Americans would explain some of the mysteries that surrounded the Lockerbie outrage. These included a notice that went up at the American embassy in Moscow warning diplomats not to travel on Pan Am flights, and senior South African figures being “hauled off” the plane before its final flight.
The diplomats were replaced by students, who lost their lives.
Added to that is the mystery over why then prime minister Margaret Thatcher overruled her transport secretary, Cecil Parkinson, and stopped a public inquiry into the attack. It has been claimed this was because the US administration did not want an inquiry.
In a joint statement issued yesterday, Mr Dalyell and Prof Black said: “If the American public had known of a link with Abu Nidal, and had known that the US government knew enough to pull VIPs off the plane and let home-going students take their place, there would have been fury at a time of transition between the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Snr.
“The fact that the Iraqi government either executed Abu Nidal or forced him to commit suicide suggests they had discovered he was an American spy.”
Mr Dalyell and Prof Black – who with Lockerbie relative Dr Jim Swire persuaded the Libyan government to hand over Megrahi for trial – said they were “deeply and personally concerned” about the Libyan, who is suffering from cancer.
Gee, all of this during the transition period between Reagan and George “Poppy” Bush Sr. Poppy’s name sure seems to crop up a lot whenever there’s some big international “crisis” or attack or assassination going back for, oh, a couple three generations now.
Our American media will never report any of this, because to them America never EVER does anything wrong, we’re always the “shining light of freedom” in the world, right?
Well hold onto your hat, because supposedly there’s a real bombshell on the way:
AN AMERICAN citizen is to be named by the Lockerbie bomber as the man who really carried out the terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103.
Christine Grahame MSP, who visited Megrahi in Greenock prison and campaigned for his release, is believed to be considering naming the man in the Scottish Parliament chamber.
She said: “It is apparent that US intelligence has known or must have known the primary suspect of the Lockerbie bombing was alive and living safely in Washington.
“There has been a suggestion made that he is in some way an ‘intelligence asset’ for the US and that is why he has been allowed to live in peace.
“He must be deeply relieved that Megrahi was forced to drop his appeal and that he will never face justice for this atrocity.”
Yesterday, Megrahi promised that before he dies he will present new evidence gathered for the appeal which will exonerate him. He said he will call on the British and Scottish people “to be the jury”.
The man Megrahi believes was Abu Elias now lives in a suburban neighbourhood near Washington’s Dulles airport, just a few miles from the White House and the Lockerbie memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. He even has his own Facebook social network page.
Zounds! I guess now that Megrahi’s out of prison, and presumably somewhat safe in Libya, he’s free to talk. Or maybe not.
We’ll see what happens.
It’s funny how when you get more information than the American media provides you, things can suddenly sorta make sense.