Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lockerbie's Dirty Secrets Ignored

Misplaced outrage over the release of the Lockerbie Libyan and the wave of political posturing are hiding the shameful dealings in the aftermath of the atrocity. The casualty is justice and the truth about the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which now will never be known.

US relatives of victims of the 1988 bombing were quick to express their anger and disgust after Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill released the 57-year-old Libyan, who is dying of cancer, on compassionate grounds.

But that is in sharp contrast to some of the victims’ families here in the UK, who believe there has been a miscarriage of justice and an appeal would have been the only way to find out the truth.

Al-Megrahi’s release has been on the cards for some time in a carefully orchestrated plot to stop his appeal, hide the truth over the bombing and to get hold of Libya's oil and gas.

That appeal would have laid bare failings in the original verdict and the manipulation of evidence.

Blair's slimy 'deal in the desert' with Libyan dictator, colonel Gaddafi, started the ball rolling. The deal was sealed when Libya formally admitted responsibility paving the way for al-Megrahi’s release.

Justice minister Jack Straw rushed through the prisoner transfer deal. Brown and Obama rushed to be Libya's new best friend in a rush to grab the oil. Mandelson was caught out in cahoots with Gaddafi's son who also has ties with Prince Andrew.

Everything hinged on cosying up to Libya to secure trade, oil and gas deals. Al-Magrahi told Libyan TV his release was tied to those deals according to The Times.

But an appeal would open up old wounds. Halting the appeal in its tracks would prevent a major embarrassment to both the UK and US governments and Scottish justices who returned the original guilty verdict.

Any hopes that an al-Megrahi appeal would go ahead in his absence was never going to be allowed to happen. Dutifully he dropped his appeal in return for safe passage to Libya to die with his family.

Theories over the motives and perpetrators centre on who was behind the bombing and which country was pulling the strings. A CIA intelligence report from December 1988 makes no mention of Libya. Instead it points to a pro-Iranian group (opposite, click to enlarge).

One of the most widely held theories is Iranian revenge using Syrian-based terrorists in retaliation for the shooting down of the Iran Air Airbus by USS Vincennes in 1988. Libya was only later brought in the frame when both Iran and Syria needed to be kept on-side for the US-led Iraq-Kuwait war.

Al-Megrahi’s trial and conviction was a travesty of justice based on spurious circumstantial evidence.

Doubt on the conviction has been cast by some families of the bereaved and some journalists, most notably by investigative journalist Paul Foot. Attempts have been made to re-open the case amid allegations that Libya was framed.

Key testimonies of two witnesses in the pay of the CIA were crucial. But one was a notorious liar and paid informer, the other a dodgy Maltese shopkeeper who allegedly identified al-Megrahi as the man who bought clothes said to have been packed round the bomb.

Some forensic evidence appeared to have been tampered with and evidence withheld, including a serious breach in security in Heathrow at the Pan Am baggage area on the day of the bombing.

None of these disturbing issues have been aired in the media frenzy and political outpourings of outrage following al-Megrahi's release and jubilant welcome home. Tory leader, David Cameron is demanding to know why Macavity Brown is keeping his head down and hiding away from the diplomatic fall-out.

The deep outrage, anger and disgust would be better directed towards the UK and US governments and the justice systems that have conspired with years of hypocrisy and deceit to deny the full facts over the Lockerbie bombing.

Eleven Lockerbie residents were killed along with 259 air passengers when the Pan Am flight exploded in mid-air, at the time the worst mass murder in UK history. Without a full public inquiry demanded by the bereaved families of some of the victims, that truth will never be known.

Picture: Al-Megrahi in Libya with Col Gaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Even though he is dying,he should not be trusted and he should still be monitored.