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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Ahmed Jibril , Kenny MacAskill , Lockerbie bombing , Marwan Khreesat , Pan Am 103

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Old 22nd September 2010, 11:18 AM   #161
Bunntamas
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Ah, I wondered if/when you were going to "confess" to that.

I can stop pretending now!

Rolfe.
Thanks for holding my "cover" in confidence.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 11:37 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Recall a short exchange on the Robert Black blog, when several posters were speculating on Bunntamas's identity. Someone thought he might actually by Frank Duggan. I remarked,

".... on the whole I think he's probably just someone who has had his entire thinking moulded by Duggan and is merely following his lead. "

Bunntamas replied

"Thanks Rolfe. You are correct."

If he simply intends to go on parroting Duggan's canards then we probably don't have much of a conversation. However, I'm hopeful that phase may be past, and that we can actually talk about the evidence for our different views.

I wonder if Bunntamas will agree not to claim anything as fact that he knows only from Frank Duggan or other US officials.
Rolfe.
My reply was to confirm that I was not Frank Duggan. It was not meant to imply that my entire thinking is "moulded" by Duggan. I respect Duggan for everything he has done for and with the families. However, I am no one's puppet. I look at and listen to all the information that I am able to acquire, and form my own thoughts and opinions.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 11:43 AM   #163
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Fair enough.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 12:49 PM   #164
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Oh, and by the way, Bunntamas (yes, me) is a "she" not a "he".
Really? Crap. My presume male formula fails again. (Rolfe got me on it last year). Sorry then.

Quote:
I look at and listen to all the information that I am able to acquire, and form my own thoughts and opinions.
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, let's get to it then! I think we decided Gauci's "ID" and evidence for an unaccompanied bag from Malta are the best aspects to cover in the context of Megrahi's guilt. What do you find convincing there?
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Old 22nd September 2010, 03:32 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Really? Crap. My presume male formula fails again. (Rolfe got me on it last year). Sorry then.

Bwahahahaha!!

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, let's get to it then! I think we decided Gauci's "ID" and evidence for an unaccompanied bag from Malta are the best aspects to cover in the context of Megrahi's guilt. What do you find convincing there?

Hey, play nice.

I don't think we should pressurise Bunntamas to play on our pitch. We think it's as plain as the nose on our faces that the Gauci ID and the Erac printout were the only two items of evidence of any consequence linking Megrahi to the bombing. We've discussed them almost to a standstill.

Our understanding is that if either of these items appears to be credible, there is a case to be made for guilt. Going further, we note that according to the judges' reasoning, both items must stand for that to happen, because in their ruling one depended on the other. If the bomb didn't travel on KM180, then the weight of evidence shifts against Megrahi being the clothes buyer even without the SCCRC report. Conversely, if the SCCRC report is accepted and Megrahi was not the clothes buyer, then B8849 turns into a coincidental coding anomaly, again because of the shifting weight of evidence.

That's what we think. However, Bunntamas has a different perspective. We could do with a different perspective. Why not let her put her case in her own way, and see how it stacks up?

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 04:06 PM   #166
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bwahahahaha!!




Hey, play nice.

I don't think we should pressurise Bunntamas to play on our pitch. We think it's as plain as the nose on our faces that the Gauci ID and the Erac printout were the only two items of evidence of any consequence linking Megrahi to the bombing. We've discussed them almost to a standstill.

Our understanding is that if either of these items appears to be credible, there is a case to be made for guilt. Going further, we note that according to the judges' reasoning, both items must stand for that to happen, because in their ruling one depended on the other. If the bomb didn't travel on KM180, then the weight of evidence shifts against Megrahi being the clothes buyer even without the SCCRC report. Conversely, if the SCCRC report is accepted and Megrahi was not the clothes buyer, then B8849 turns into a coincidental coding anomaly, again because of the shifting weight of evidence.

That's what we think. However, Bunntamas has a different perspective. We could do with a different perspective. Why not let her put her case in her own way, and see how it stacks up?

Rolfe.
Fair nuff. I guess let's get to, as soon as convenient, figurngout what is germaine (sp) to the thread title.So far "we"have narrowed it down to pretty much those solid allegations - that a suspect bag came from his locale, and that he bought the clothes packed in the bag that blew up. If true, they're darn good points.

However, I'm certainly open to any other suggestions as to what directly supports this guy being responsible. Especially if Bunntamas is getting less sure of either of those ( gentle provocation ). But seriously, no pressure.I'm not even going to look at this again 'til late, and if there's nothing yet to add I'll be relieved.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 05:27 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bwahahahaha!!
I second that!!

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Hey, play nice.
Thanks Rolfe. So much for that chivalry thing, eh?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't think we should pressurise Bunntamas to play on our pitch. We think it's as plain as the nose on our faces that the Gauci ID and the Erac printout were the only two items of evidence of any consequence linking Megrahi to the bombing. We've discussed them almost to a standstill.
Yes. "discussing to a standstill" is a point I've made before. Lots of this stuff has been hashed and rehashed soooo much it seems rhetorical to dig it up and have the same argument, yet again.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Our understanding is that if either of these items appears to be credible, there is a case to be made for guilt. Going further, we note that according to the judges' reasoning, both items must stand for that to happen, because in their ruling one depended on the other. If the bomb didn't travel on KM180, then the weight of evidence shifts against Megrahi being the clothes buyer even without the SCCRC report. Conversely, if the SCCRC report is accepted and Megrahi was not the clothes buyer, then B8849 turns into a coincidental coding anomaly, again because of the shifting weight of evidence.

That's what we think. However, Bunntamas has a different perspective. We could do with a different perspective. Why not let her put her case in her own way, and see how it stacks up?
Rolfe.
Love to. But I've been out of town for a few days and am playing catch up on a lot of other stuff in my life. I'll do what I can, but can't promise anything compelling, and certainly not in the near future.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 02:12 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Yes. "discussing to a standstill" is a point I've made before. Lots of this stuff has been hashed and rehashed soooo much it seems rhetorical to dig it up and have the same argument, yet again.

I don't think that's entirely true. When I said "discussed it to a standstill", I was referring to the group of us who have been discussing here up till now, who seem to have reached a pretty solid consensus on the basics of these points, and got our collective heads round it all pretty well.

None of us entertains any serious suspicion that Megrahi bought these clothes. As far as that part goes, we haven't even had an argument - we're all in agreement. The discussion about the clothes has centred on trying to figure out where the purchase really does fit into the case - after all, that conspicuous purchase of brand new, locally manufactured, easily-traceable clothes within a few weeks of the bombing is quite strange any way you slice it.

Similarly with the "unaccompanied bag from Malta". We have a complete consensus with no dissent that whatever tray B8849 was, it wasn't that. Discussion has centred around understanding the baggage system at Frankfurt and what that tray actually does represent - a coding anomaly, or the Caruana luggage heading for PA103A while the family was busy upstairs changing their flight to Lufthansa, or even if it might have been fabricated.

So really, if you're coming from the position that Megrahi did buy the clothes, or that B8849 really was a magically-introduced bag from Malta, these are arguments we haven't had yet. There has been nobody here seriously prepared to make either case.

What I really meant was, these points of argument are "home ground" for us. The home team has an advantage. Therefore, we shouldn't pressurise you into playing on our pitch if you have "home ground" of your own which you feel better equipped to play on.

I think we do have to have the clothes purchase and the B8849 arguments at some point, because we don't even know your reasons for taking a contrary view to our own consensus. I just don't think we need to start there, if you have other points you'd rather make first.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Love to. But I've been out of town for a few days and am playing catch up on a lot of other stuff in my life. I'll do what I can, but can't promise anything compelling, and certainly not in the near future.

Oh, no pressure. It's not as if it happened yesterday. And sometimes it's good to have periods where the issues just sink in, rather than having a ding-dong back-and-forth about it.

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 23rd September 2010 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 05:34 AM   #169
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This is an interesting, and is strikingly different given today's general attitude within the US, discussion about the events leading up to 21st December and the subsequent investigation.

There's not really anything new that we can take from the discussion, but it's from 1995, and involves Marina De Larracoechea who's sister died on 103.

Even at this stage the suspicion, disbelief and anger at the US, UK and German authorities assertions now made in the investigation regarding the two Libyan's, despite the overwhelming evidence than had been uncovered and reports produced by the investigation initially, is very apparent.

Opens in media player as MP3 - http://www.archive.org/download/WUC1...kerbie_vbr.mp3

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Old 24th September 2010, 12:02 AM   #170
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I had a listen to that. As you say, nothing new, but she certainly isn't toeing the party line.

1995, you say? I wonder if her views are a result of seeing a (bootleg?) copy of The Maltese Double Cross? It's not an uncommon point of view of course, but I was struck by her closeness to Francovich in some respects. In particular, she says the timer chip was found "in the deep deep forest" nearly two years after the disaster. This is a mistake Francovich makes, possibly because no better information was available at the time.

It chimes in neatly with the view that the idea of blaming Libya appeared de novo in the latter half of 1990. Which is certainly how it appeared, and fitted very neatly with the outbreak of the Gulf War. It's only when you get the whole story that the complications become evident.

First, the fragment was genuinely in the chain of evidence by September 1989, however it got there (and it wasn't recorded as having been found in the forest). Second, the provenance and chain of custody of that fragment would have given Francovich a heart attack if he hadn't had one already. And third, Reagan was trying to blame Libya by about day three.

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Old 24th September 2010, 04:38 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I had a listen to that. As you say, nothing new, but she certainly isn't toeing the party line.

1995, you say? I wonder if her views are a result of seeing a (bootleg?) copy of The Maltese Double Cross? It's not an uncommon point of view of course, but I was struck by her closeness to Francovich in some respects. In particular, she says the timer chip was found "in the deep deep forest" nearly two years after the disaster. This is a mistake Francovich makes, possibly because no better information was available at the time.

I presume this 'deep forest' assumption all stems from the discovery of the fragment usually being simply attributed to being found in or around the Kielder forest.


Originally Posted by Rolfe
It chimes in neatly with the view that the idea of blaming Libya appeared de novo in the latter half of 1990. Which is certainly how it appeared, and fitted very neatly with the outbreak of the Gulf War. It's only when you get the whole story that the complications become evident.

First, the fragment was genuinely in the chain of evidence by September 1989, however it got there (and it wasn't recorded as having been found in the forest). Second, the provenance and chain of custody of that fragment would have given Francovich a heart attack if he hadn't had one already. And third, Reagan was trying to blame Libya by about day three.

Rolfe.

I don't think there was ever any possibility that the US would explicity attribute the bombing on 103 to the Iranians, or any group who would be seen as working on the behest of Iran. The sabre rattling by the Reagan and Bush administration during this whole period was nothing more than precisely that.

It's was widely expected within the US govt and throughout the security departments that Iran would avenge the IR655 downing one way or another. How this revenge, in whatever form that may take, although Iran had quite forthrightly stated it's intentions, would be presented to the US public would undoubtly place Bush in an awkward predicament; initially the back channels in order to secure the release of the hostages held in the Lebanon were being primarily negiotiated with the Iranians or at the very least groups who were backed by the Iran govt., and with the end of the Iran Iraq war, Saddam was now viewed, not as previously thought to be someone who the US could openly support and manipulate within the region, but rather as wholly unstable and volatile.

Iran is also probably the largest and most significant military power with strong influence throughout the middle east region (outside of Israel), and the US public would have demanded a strong and unequivocal military response by Bush if the attack on 103 was laid squarely at the door of the Iranians.

Any possibility to shift the blame away from the PLFP, ultimately under instruction of the Iranians, and indeed any suggestion of involvement by Khreesat, would have been an underlying agenda which would be favored by the US govt - and to an extent I'm sure the Thatcher govt would be quite relieved that Britain would no also be obliged to support the US and become embroiled in any form of military engagement with a nation such as Iran. A war with Iran would make the subsequent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts look like a vicars tea party.

I would contend that to shift the blame off the Iranians and the PFLP-GC would have been considered very soon after the attack on 103 and very early into the investigation. It has been posited by some, Ashton and Foot certainly, that March 1989 appears the most likely period when any 'official' decsion as that may have been taken. Libya, and it's mad-dog leader, were a far less threatening accused perpetrator to deal with - politically it was viable, and in addtion would be readily accepted by the public in the US and UK already lectured in the transgressions and characteristics of Gaddafi and his support for paramilitary groups.

To add to the superabundance of coincidences already apparently evident in this case, I think the first Gulf War just so happened to come along as the whole premise of Libya's involvement and instruction of it's agents on the attack on 103 was already being formulated.

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Old 26th September 2010, 04:17 PM   #172
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Somehow, it became accepted that the fragment had been found in the Kielder Forest, even though it wasn't. But the main thing was probably Thurman's repeated public pronouncements that he identified the fragment in June 1990 (was it the 30th? - I'm forgetting). Somehow, this has been translated into him finding the fragment on that date, so the spectre of Americans combing the forest 18 months after the crash, and "finding" this highly convenient item just as the Gulf War was blowing up.

In fact, the Americans seem to have cooked the thing up a year earlier, and fed it into the chain of evidence in September 1989. Well before the Kuwait invasion. (I still wonder where Lumpert's story comes into this. It seems to fit, but then he starts wittering about a brown board and a scribbled "M", and it all gets pretty silly.)

The rest of that post, what can I say but yes, I agree.

Rolfe.
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Old 26th September 2010, 05:20 PM   #173
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It seems to me that we're a bit at cross purposes with Bunntamas, and I wonder if I can clarify things a little?

When asked about evidence against Megrahi, Bunntamas talks about his background and associates. When we talk about the lack of evidence against him, we're talking about evidence linking him to the bombing of Pan Am 103.

My reasons for believing Megrahi to be innocent as charged have nothing to do with believing he is or was a plaster saint. They have to do with not believing that the bomb travelled on KM180. If I thought there was even a balance of probabilities case that the bomb travelled on that plane, then I'd be quite happy to acknowledge that Megrahi was very likely to have been involved, even if his involvement couldn't be proved. Lacking such evidence, I cannot see why evidence that he was a Libyan secret service agent and consorted with other Libyan secret service agents should be considered to be incriminating.

My reasons for believing the bomb was introduced de novo at Heathrow airport are as follows.
  • The only sighting of a brown/bronze hardshell Samsonite-type suitcase before the explosion occurred was at Heathrow before the Frankfurt feeder flight landed.
  • That case has a questionable provenance, appearing from nowhere while the container was unattended, and possibly not having been x-rayed.
  • The only known brown/bronze Samsonite identified after the explosion was the bomb suitcase - no unexploded case of that description was recovered, or even reported missing by a relative.
  • Heathrow security was as leaky as a sieve, and it would have been quite easy for a terrorist to have walked up to that unattended container and placed a suitcase in it.
  • Positioning of the bomb in the container was crucial to the success of the attack, and a Heathrow introduction is the only place where that could have been influenced at all - in fact the mystery suitcase was seen very close to the eventual position of the explosion.
  • The 38-minute detonation is highly consistent with a Khreesat-type device using a barometric timer, and the only place such a device could have been placed was at Heathrow.
My reasons for not believing that the bomb travelled on KM180 are as follows.
  • Even if we agree that Libya had huge influence with the government of Malta in 1988, it's hard to see how ordinary Maltese citizens - western, ex-British colony, generally disliking Libyans, and devoutly Catholic - could have been induced to co-operate in a terrorist plot carried out by a Moslem state.
  • It's also hard to see how such a plot could have remained completely undetected, despite ten years of intense, intrusive investigation. Bear in mind that Megrahi himself could not have got the suitcase on the plane, as he never went air-side, but we don't even have an ID on a possible accomplice.
  • In fact, there is no evidence at all that the bomb was ever at Luqa airport, or on the island of Malta, or within a thousand miles of the island of Malta.
  • However, even if we assume it was possible for a massive Maltese conspiracy to have completely covered up the introduction of the bomb at Luqa, many problems remain.
  • The idea that any conspiracy that pulled off this extraordinary feat would have given the whole show away by making a completely unnecessary, bizarrely conspicuous purchase of brand new, locally-manufactured, easily-traceable clothes only two weeks before the bombing and only three miles from the airport where this fiendishly untraceable introduction was planned, is little short of ridiculous. (And that the same person who had to show his face at the airport - for no known reason - would also have purchased the clothes is even more preposterous.)
  • Once on the flight from Malta, even more hazards faced the operation.
  • Bags get lost all the time, and flights get delayed - this supposed plan assumed none of that would happen, in Northern Europe, in December, during the Christmas rush.
  • The route of the bomb bag should have been easy to trace through the Frankfurt baggage records - who knew all these records would mysteriously vanish within days of the crash?
  • Any bag taking the route in question would have been x-rayed by Kurt Maier, who was specifically on the alert for booby-trapped Toshiba radios. He should have spotted that bomb. This supposed plot would have had to assume he would be asleep at the wheel.
  • Positioning of the suitcase in the container was crucial to the explosion causing sufficient damage to destroy the plane, however a Luqa (or Frankfurt) introduction would leave that entirely to chance.
  • A Luqa introduction assumes the use of a simple timer with no barometric component. Any plot using such a detonator set for 7.03pm would have failed utterly if the plane had missed its take-off slot at Heathrow for any reason. A Luqa introduction logically implies an explosion around midnight GMT.
I confess I cannot see how any evidence confirming that Megrahi was a Libyan security operative and consorted with other Libyan security operatives, some of whom were connected to other atrocities (but not to PA103) can overcome this. There were many, many terrorist groups active in 1988. There were several terrorists with much more heinous backgrounds than Megrahi specifically linked to PA103.

So, Megrahi was a Libyan security official. He had no known background in terrorism or bomb-making. He was catching a flight from Malta to Tripoli that morning, travelling on a coded diplomatic passport.

That's it. There's nothing else to connect him to the explosion on PA103, 11 hours later and over 1,000 miles away. Nothing at all. I don't understand why we're supposed to accept that he did it.

Rolfe.
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Old 27th September 2010, 12:06 AM   #174
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
My reasons for believing the bomb was introduced de novo at Heathrow airport are as follows.
  • The only sighting of a brown/bronze hardshell Samsonite-type suitcase before the explosion occurred was at Heathrow before the Frankfurt feeder flight landed.
  • That case has a questionable provenance, appearing from nowhere while the container was unattended, and possibly not having been x-rayed.
  • The only known brown/bronze Samsonite identified after the explosion was the bomb suitcase - no unexploded case of that description was recovered, or even reported missing by a relative.
  • Heathrow security was as leaky as a sieve, and it would have been quite easy for a terrorist to have walked up to that unattended container and placed a suitcase in it.
  • Positioning of the bomb in the container was crucial to the success of the attack, and a Heathrow introduction is the only place where that could have been influenced at all - in fact the mystery suitcase was seen very close to the eventual position of the explosion.
  • The 38-minute detonation is highly consistent with a Khreesat-type device using a barometric timer, and the only place such a device could have been placed was at Heathrow.
Excellent summation, Rolfe. And may I note this doesn't even include the famous Heathrow break-in. That and its late revelation (after the trial) became a little too central to Megrahi's first appeal. I consider it strong supporting evidence for the above, but it's been too-often put up front all alone. For example this is the only London clue mentioned in that piece of carp "Sent Home to Die" video, just like Jim Swire is presented as the only person left with any questions. (Isolate and neutralize seems to be the formula there)

But of course this isn't the focus of this thread, nor of any wise criminal defense.

Quote:
My reasons for not believing that the bomb travelled on KM180 are as follows.
  • Even if we agree that Libya had huge influence with the government of Malta in 1988, it's hard to see how ordinary Maltese citizens - western, ex-British colony, generally disliking Libyans, and devoutly Catholic - could have been induced to co-operate in a terrorist plot carried out by a Moslem state.
  • It's also hard to see how such a plot could have remained completely undetected, despite ten years of intense, intrusive investigation.
  • I could take Bunny's side in a rhetorical fashion here, based on what I've seen and infer of her stance. It's not necessary for anyone in Malta to have helped the attack succeed. Mainly what's been implied by Bunny is co-operation in a cover-up after the fact. This in itself is pretty extreme, but is after all what we're suggesting about the British and American authorities.

    The devil will of course be in the details.

    Quote:
    Bear in mind that Megrahi himself could not have got the suitcase on the plane, as he never went air-side, but we don't even have an ID on a possible accomplice.
  • In fact, there is no evidence at all that the bomb was ever at Luqa airport, or on the island of Malta, or within a thousand miles of the island of Malta.
Well, "no evidence" is the kind of phrase I hate hearing my adversaries say, so... No evidence that's direct, conclusive, and credible. Giaka's tale of Megrahi and Fhimah with a brown hard-shell Samsonite is fairly direct, but obviously not credible. The Frankfurt printout is what we're left with, and there's a whole thread here dedicated mostly to the flaws and question marks over that.

Quote:
  • However, even if we assume it was possible for a massive Maltese conspiracy to have completely covered up the introduction of the bomb at Luqa, many problems remain.
  • The idea that any conspiracy that pulled off this extraordinary feat would have given the whole show away by making a completely unnecessary, bizarrely conspicuous purchase of brand new, locally-manufactured, easily-traceable clothes only two weeks before the bombing and only three miles from the airport where this fiendishly untraceable introduction was planned, is little short of ridiculous. (And that the same person who had to show his face at the airport - for no known reason - would also have purchased the clothes is even more preposterous.)
  • Once on the flight from Malta, even more hazards faced the operation.
  • Bags get lost all the time, and flights get delayed - this supposed plan assumed none of that would happen, in Northern Europe, in December, during the Christmas rush.
  • The route of the bomb bag should have been easy to trace through the Frankfurt baggage records - who knew all these records would mysteriously vanish within days of the crash?
  • Any bag taking the route in question would have been x-rayed by Kurt Maier, who was specifically on the alert for booby-trapped Toshiba radios. He should have spotted that bomb. This supposed plot would have had to assume he would be asleep at the wheel.
  • Positioning of the suitcase in the container was crucial to the explosion causing sufficient damage to destroy the plane, however a Luqa (or Frankfurt) introduction would leave that entirely to chance.
  • A Luqa introduction assumes the use of a simple timer with no barometric component. Any plot using such a detonator set for 7.03pm would have failed utterly if the plane had missed its take-off slot at Heathrow for any reason. A Luqa introduction logically implies an explosion around midnight GMT.
  • Quote:
    I confess I cannot see how any evidence confirming that Megrahi was a Libyan security operative and consorted with other Libyan security operatives, some of whom were connected to other atrocities (but not to PA103) can overcome this. There were many, many terrorist groups active in 1988. There were several terrorists with much more heinous backgrounds than Megrahi specifically linked to PA103.

    So, Megrahi was a Libyan security official. He had no known background in terrorism or bomb-making. He was catching a flight from Malta to Tripoli that morning, travelling on a coded diplomatic passport.

    That's it. There's nothing else to connect him to the explosion on PA103, 11 hours later and over 1,000 miles away. Nothing at all. I don't understand why we're supposed to accept that he did it.
    And the standard answer is: "well, however unlikely or ridiculous it seems, it's proven to have happened." But no one has a good answer to "proven by what?"

    I feel at this point you've conveyed about all that needs established, in a short span, about where the discussion now stands. I'd really like to see if Bunntamas can provide something to at least challenge and shake up the status quo here.

    Happy Monday all
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    Old 27th September 2010, 06:07 AM   #175
    Rolfe
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    Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
    Excellent summation, Rolfe. And may I note this doesn't even include the famous Heathrow break-in. That and its late revelation (after the trial) became a little too central to Megrahi's first appeal.

    Well, I include the break-in under the heading of Heathrow security being as leaky as a sieve. It was fully accepted by the prosecution that practically anybody with the contacts and the will to do it could have entered the interline baggage shed that afternoon and placed the suitcase in the container. So while the break-in may advance "anybody could have" to "somebody probably did", that's really all it does. Also, the break-in isn't necessary to the scenario. Anybody with the right pass, and there were thousands of the things in circulation, could have walked right in, no bolt-cutters necessary.

    The lack of security at Heathrow is downright scary. Nobody was counting the cases to see if they had the right number for the number of cases booked on the flight, and nobody had the baggage under guard or observation. The airside baggage sheds were anything but secure. And even though the break-in was known about, no action was taken about it. That seems to be the main reason for concealing it from the inquiry. In hindsight, Heathrow could have been deemed grossly negligent for failing to institute extra security precautions or even stop flights leaving in response to that.

    The situation at Frankfurt was similar. No counting of cases, nobody knew how many cases were supposed to be loaded, and the perimeter security was again leaky. And there we have the added complication of a known DEA-sanctioned drug-smuggling exercise which circumvented the x-ray stage. The DEA tell us there was no such delivery happening on PA103 that day, but on the other hand one of their known couriers was on the flight.

    In contrast Luqa counted the cases obsessively, and could provide evidence to show that no extra item of luggage travelled on KM180. The luggage was also said in evidence to have been under guard continuously from check-in to the aircraft doors being closed.

    The decision to choose Luqa as the airport where the bomb was introduced, postulating a pretty huge conspiracy theory to get round the records showing that no such thing happened, is frankly irrational.

    Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
    I could take Bunny's side in a rhetorical fashion here, based on what I've seen and infer of her stance. It's not necessary for anyone in Malta to have helped the attack succeed. Mainly what's been implied by Bunny is co-operation in a cover-up after the fact.

    I don't agree. The evidence is that if an extra suitcase had been counted at Luqa, whistles would have been blown and passengers would have been asked to come and identify their own cases so that the extra one could be fingered. None of that happened. This couldn't have been a terrorist getting the case past Luqa security then everyone closing ranks to conceal it. It must have been done with active co-operation of quite a few people, if it was done. That's what I mean by ordinary Maltese people - baggage handlers and so on, the people counting those cases.

    I'm not sure people in the USA necessarily understand the situation in Malta. It's portrayed as being almost a Libyan satellite state at this period, with the loyalties of the population being with Libya. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here's the relevant section of the Wikipedia entry on the island.

    Quote:
    Malta achieved its independence on 21 September 1964 (Independence Day) after intense negotiations with the United Kingdom, led by Prime Minister George Borg Olivier. Under its 1964 constitution, Malta initially retained Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Malta and thus Head of State, with a Governor-General exercising executive authority on her behalf. In 1971, the Malta Labour Party led by Dom Mintoff won the General Elections, resulting in Malta be declared a republic on 13 December 1974 (Republic Day) within the Commonwealth, with the President as head of state. A defence agreement signed soon after independence (and re-negotiated in 1972) expired on 31 March 1979.

    Malta adopted a policy of neutrality in 1980. In 1989, Malta was the venue of a summit between US President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, their first face-to-face encounter, which signaled the end of the Cold War.

    On the 16th July 1990, Malta through its foreign minister, Guido de Marco applied to join the European Union. After tough negotiations, a referendum was held on March 8, 2003, which resulted in a favourable vote. General Elections held on 12th April gave a clear mandate to Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami to sign the Treaty of accession to the European Union on the 16th April in Athens. Malta joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. Following the European Council of 21 June to 22 June 2007 it joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2008.

    Part of the British Empire for a long time, then the Commonwealth. Very westernised culture. Look at the names - ordinary western names like Tony, Paul, Godfrey, Wilfrid, or very devout Catholic names like Emmanuel and Saviour. Look at the names of the clothing manufacturers - Big Ben, Yorkie, Anglia and so on. The Scottish detectives ran around England for a while before they realised these were all Maltese companies.

    Maltese people are a byword for devout Catholicism. If anyone remembers the case of the conjoined twins Mary and Jodie Attard in 2000 and the massive "right to life" controversy that surrounded their separation, they were from Malta. Typical Maltese, the parents were entirely guided by the teachings of the Catholic church, even though following these teachings would have caused the deaths of both twins. (Jodie survived because of a court order overriding the parents' wishes, possible because the birth took place in England.) Devout Catholics don't much care for Moslems, I have to say.

    Even though the ties with Britain were loosening in the 1970s and 1980s, they weren't cut. Malta has always been a very popular Mediterranean holiday resort for British tourists, and there was never a crimp in this. Republic or not, Prince Philip made an official visit to the island in late 1989 or early 1990 (the Scottish cops pretended to be an advance security detail for that when they started investigating there).

    The ordinary Maltese didn't much like the Libyans, either. Libyans travelled there in quite large numbers for the shopping, but Tony Gauci referred to them as "Libyan pigs".

    The Maltese government may well have had a cosy and profitable relationship with Libya at that time. That is however a very far cry from what's being suggested, that ordinary Maltese airport workers were willing to assist in a Libyan terrorist operation that cost hundreds of innocent lives (and could have cost Maltese lives including the lives of their own colleages if the bomb had detonated prematurely on the first leg), and continued to cover that up successfully for many years afterwards despite the horrific outcome and an extraordinarily intensive investigation by police and security forces.

    Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
    Well, "no evidence" is the kind of phrase I hate hearing my adversaries say, so... No evidence that's direct, conclusive, and credible. Giaka's tale of Megrahi and Fhimah with a brown hard-shell Samsonite is fairly direct, but obviously not credible. The Frankfurt printout is what we're left with, and there's a whole thread here dedicated mostly to the flaws and question marks over that.

    Well, allow me to be a little provocative. I say "no evidence" to see if someone will come in and declare either of these items to be evidence. So far, nobody has.

    I haven't heard anyone trying to maintain that Giaka was telling the truth, and that includes Marquise and Cannistraro. (I haven't heard anyone try to explain or excuse the fact that the CIA and the DoJ actively solicited these lies from Giaka, using a combination of threats and bribes, but that's another story.)

    I also haven't heard anyone try to defend the assertion that tray B8849 really does provide strong or even moderate evidence that Maltese security was indeed circumvented. Even if it wasn't a fabrication (which I keep an open mind about, given how convenient a coincidence it turned out to be), it's tenuous beyond belief. It could have been any old case (or bag of golf clubs or crate of wine) checked in for PA103A (not necessarily for the transatlantic leg, even), that went slightly astray in the Frankfurt baggage system, and was just chucked in among the KM180 luggage rather than go to the bother of coding it separately. Lacking the full set of records, we haven't a prayer of guessing what it was, and to assume that this line in the printout (and remember the printout itself has a very peculiar provenance) conclusively trumps the watertight set of baggage records from Luqa requires a special sort of sophistry obviously only available to Scottish judges.

    Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
    And the standard answer is: "well, however unlikely or ridiculous it seems, it's proven to have happened." But no one has a good answer to "proven by what?"

    If the premise of the argument is simply that a court never gets it wrong, no matter how irrational their judgement or their published reasoning, then we don't have a discussion. I hope we can move beyond that.

    Rolfe.
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    Old 27th September 2010, 07:00 AM   #176
    Matt Berkley
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    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    ....I haven't heard anyone trying to maintain that Giaka was telling the truth, and that includes Marquise and Cannistraro....

    Rolfe.
    Part of the way through a series of comments I made on Professor Black's blog entry of 25 August is this:

    "Mr Marquise has also written, in the context of the strength of the case against Mr Megrahi, about other evidence which the judges did not accept. A Malta Today article [from 2009] by him is of that nature....

    Marquise: "Many, including some in Malta, doubt the strength of the evidence against Mr Megrahi and Libya. I hope to set that record straight..."

    Marquise: "a senior Libyan official asked a Libyan Arab Airline (LAA) employee about the feasibility of getting a “bag” onto an American or British flight leaving Malta."

    Judges: "we are quite unable to accept this story"....

    Marquise: "Evidence was elicited that the Station manager of LAA in Malta kept explosives in his desk..."

    Judges: "we are unable to place any reliance on this account"


    Marquise: "Frankfurt Airport records showed that a lone bag had been transferred from Air Malta Flight 180 to Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21..."

    MB: Did they show that in the sense of proving it definitively? Or is it more true to say that a document was presented which appeared to show a bag from the relevant coding station at a relevant time?


    Marquise: "This board was traced to timers, only 20 of which were ever made. All had been given to Libyan officials."

    Judges: "the two prototypes were delivered by Mr Bollier to the Stasi..."...


    Marquise: "Megrahi, using false identification, came to Malta on December 20, 1988 with the former LAA Station manager who had made notation in his calendar to “get ‘taggs’ from Air Malta for Abdelbaset Abdul Salam."

    MB: The reference to tags in Mr Fhimah's diary was not part of the evidence used by the judges, as they made clear.


    Marquise: "He was described as carrying a “brown suitcase” similar to that which blew up Pan Am Flight 103..."

    Judges: "We are ... quite unable to accept the veracity of this belated account" "


    Here's the first quotation again.

    Marquise: "Many, including some in Malta, doubt the strength of the evidence against Mr Megrahi and Libya. I hope to set that record straight..."
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    Old 27th September 2010, 07:29 AM   #177
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    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

    If the premise of the argument is simply that a court never gets it wrong, no matter how irrational their judgement or their published reasoning, then we don't have a discussion.

    Rolfe.

    Yes - there are some laughably bad arguments.

    Paul McBride's in the Youtube video "Christine Grahame MSP v Paul McBride QC on Lockerbie Evidence doubts" (6m 40sec in) is
    "3 senior judges + 5 senior judges + abandonment = all we need to know".

    Alistair Bonnington's argument on the BBC website is that the relatives should shut up because there has been thorough investigation (even though the first appeal and the Commission came to different conclusions!)

    Geoffrey Robertson's is that he lost two appeals.

    Bill Aitken thinks Mr Megrahi admitted guilt.

    Perhaps there's room for a comedy play with verbatim quotes, or at least a comedy collaboration of favourite humorous statements.
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    Old 27th September 2010, 09:29 AM   #178
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    Welcome to the forum, Matt!

    I didn't realise that Marquise had come out so recently and tried to maintain that Giaka was credible. I challenged him some time ago on Robert Black's blog to summarise this "overwhelming evidence of guilt" he was going on about, and I got a reply. Unfortunately all he said was the the judges brought in a guilty verdict and that was all he needed to know.

    I note that he's coming out with that one in the pages of a newspaper, where he isn't going to be subject to challenge or correction. It's a typical tactic of the politician, to present discredited evidence as if it's fact, and hope that the majority of readers won't notice any challenges or corrections that might surface later.

    I had tended to class Mr. Marquise as a victim of cognitive dissonance. He really believes he got the right guy and can't contemplate any evidence he didn't. However I note someone else on the Black blog posted stuff about other investigations he was inolved in suggesting that it might be a little more complicated than that.

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    Old 27th September 2010, 11:59 AM   #179
    Rolfe
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    Originally Posted by Matt Berkley View Post
    Yes - there are some laughably bad arguments.

    Paul McBride's in the Youtube video "Christine Grahame MSP v Paul McBride QC on Lockerbie Evidence doubts" (6m 40sec in) is
    "3 senior judges + 5 senior judges + abandonment = all we need to know".

    Alistair Bonnington's argument on the BBC website is that the relatives should shut up because there has been thorough investigation (even though the first appeal and the Commission came to different conclusions!)

    Geoffrey Robertson's is that he lost two appeals.

    Bill Aitken thinks Mr Megrahi admitted guilt.

    Perhaps there's room for a comedy play with verbatim quotes, or at least a comedy collaboration of favourite humorous statements.

    A lot of that sounds like "stick fingers in ears and hum real loud". They know what they want to believe, don't confuse them with the facts. Except it's not as simple as that with Bunntamas, so it's very difficult to tell. It can be very very difficult to challenge and re-examine long-held beliefs. Deciding to take a new, long, hard look at the evidence can't be an easy decision for anyone. Maybe easier just to repeat the mantra.

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    Old 27th September 2010, 12:19 PM   #180
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    I wonder if some of the disconnect stems from a misunderstanding of why certain evidence was led at the trial?

    Suppose we had CCTV footage of Megrahi buying those clothes. It might still be open to the defence to declare that buying cothes isn't a crime, and it hasn't been shown that my client put them in the bomb suitcase, or knew they were intended for that purpose.

    Suppose we found conclusive retrospective proof that tray B8849 didn't just come from KM180 but was the actual bomb. It might still be possible for the defence to say, well, my client was only catching his plane for Tripoli that morning. He was never shown to have done anything else while in the airport.

    The prosecution had to cover that eventuality. They had to show that if Megrahi bought the clothes, then he must have known what they were for. They had to show that if the bomb went on board KM180, it was likely that Megrahi's presence in the airport at the same time was related to this. To do that, they brought forward all the evidence about his associations and connections, to show that he wasn't the sort of person to have been innocently involved in the operation.

    And that's entirely legitimate. However, the relevance depends entirely on the basic connection with the bomb suitcase being made, either by identifying Megrahi has the clothes buyer or identifying tray B8849 as the bomb en route from KM180. If neither of these connections stands up, then these consequential points have no relevance to the case.

    I don't know how to get round this. I don't know how Megrahi can be incriminated without substantiating at least one of these connections. And so far as I can see, neither can be substantiated.

    Rolfe.
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    Old 27th September 2010, 01:23 PM   #181
    Caustic Logic
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    Originally Posted by Matt Berkley View Post
    Part of the way through a series of comments I made on Professor Black's blog entry of 25 August is this:

    "Mr Marquise has also written, in the context of the strength of the case against Mr Megrahi, about other evidence which the judges did not accept. A Malta Today article [from 2009] by him is of that nature....

    Marquise: "Many, including some in Malta, doubt the strength of the evidence against Mr Megrahi and Libya. I hope to set that record straight..."

    Marquise: "a senior Libyan official asked a Libyan Arab Airline (LAA) employee about the feasibility of getting a “bag” onto an American or British flight leaving Malta."

    Judges: "we are quite unable to accept this story"....

    Marquise:"Evidence was elicited that the Station manager of LAA in Malta kept explosives in his desk..."

    Judges: "we are unable to place any reliance on this account"


    Marquise: "Frankfurt Airport records showed that a lone bag had been transferred from Air Malta Flight 180 to Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21..."

    MB: Did they show that in the sense of proving it definitively? Or is it more true to say that a document was presented which appeared to show a bag from the relevant coding station at a relevant time?


    Marquise: "This board was traced to timers, only 20 of which were ever made. All had been given to Libyan officials."

    Judges: "the two prototypes were delivered by Mr Bollier to the Stasi..."...


    Marquise: "Megrahi, using false identification, came to Malta on December 20, 1988 with the former LAA Station manager who had made notation in his calendar to “get ‘taggs’ from Air Malta for Abdelbaset Abdul Salam."

    MB: The reference to tags in Mr Fhimah's diary was not part of the evidence used by the judges, as they made clear.


    Marquise: "He was described as carrying a “brown suitcase” similar to that which blew up Pan Am Flight 103..."

    Judges: "We are ... quite unable to accept the veracity of this belated account" "


    Here's the first quotation again.

    Marquise: "Many, including some in Malta, doubt the strength of the evidence against Mr Megrahi and Libya. I hope to set that record straight..."
    Welcome to the forum, Mr. B! Other than the point relying on a pointless story from Bollier, pure brilliance. Marquise can be astounding in his duplicity, actually citing Giaka's dismissed "clues" (red) as late as 2009? No shame, these people. He can't even get the facts of his lies straight.
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    Old 27th September 2010, 01:40 PM   #182
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    Perhaps we should say, for the benefit of others, that Matt is also a "Lockerbie relative", like Bunntamas. He lost his dear brother on Pan Am 103 that evening. Alistair Berkley was only 29 years old.

    Matt posts under his own name so I know he won't mind me saying this.

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    Old 27th September 2010, 02:03 PM   #183
    Caustic Logic
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    Yes, that's not obvious to everyone. Good thinking.

    Also as a side note, in the spirit of having two family members here now (off and on) I've added to my post "Debate call: anyone?" American family member Bob Monetti. I hope he catches this one way or another and comes over here. He seemed a good choice as he's clearly intelligent, I think seems easy-going and good-humored, and spoke to STV recently. He says he followed the trial closely, has an open mind, finds the evidence against Megrahi is "obvious," and still hasn't seen even the smallest bit of evidence it could have been anyone else. I'd like to hear that elaborated on a bit.
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    Old 27th September 2010, 02:07 PM   #184
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    You've been a bit mean to Bunntamas in that one! Not that I don't understand why, given her original approach. But people change their approach, and that's good. Web pages can change too you know....

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    Old 27th September 2010, 03:05 PM   #185
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    Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
    He says he followed the trial closely, has an open mind, finds the evidence against Megrahi is "obvious," and still hasn't seen even the smallest bit of evidence it could have been anyone else.

    I was thinking about that. It sounds completely insane, from one point of view. But from another, not so much.

    I suspect Mr. Monetti simply accepts as proven fact that the bomb bag travelled on KM180. If you take that view, the rest follows. If I thought the bomb had travelled on that route, I would at the very least be regarding Mr. Megrahi with an extremely fishy eye. (I actually don't think you could convict on that alone, given that he didn't buy the clothes and didn't appear to do anything at Luqa that morning except catch a plane for Tripoli, but I wouldn't be shouting too hard that I was certain he was innocent in that situation.)

    If you believe the Malta introduction is proven fact, indeed you have no evidence against anyone else insofar as putting the bomb on the plane is concerned. This seems to me to be the settled position of most of the US relatives. It has to be, really. The minute you realise the bomb was probably never anywhere near Malta, you have to face up to the fact that Megrahi actually has an alibi.

    It always comes down to the Erac printout, and the preposterous tower of pure speculation that little scrap of paper is being asked to support.

    Rolfe.
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    Old 27th September 2010, 03:07 PM   #186
    Caustic Logic
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    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    You've been a bit mean to Bunntamas in that one! Not that I don't understand why, given her original approach. But people change their approach, and that's good. Web pages can change too you know....

    Rolfe.
    Not updated enough, true. That's next.
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    Old 27th September 2010, 03:29 PM   #187
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    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    You've been a bit mean to Bunntamas in that one! Not that I don't understand why, given her original approach. But people change their approach, and that's good. Web pages can change too you know....

    Rolfe.
    Thanks Rolfe. I'm not bothered by CL's "mean" thing. I consider the (seemingly adolescent) source. I also think he's really just attempting to follow that media junkie line; considering his cries for help, on Black's blog, because very few contribute / comment on CL's blog. And after that last post, who can blame them? Maybe some day CL will learn that adage about catching more bees with honey than vinnegar.

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    Old 27th September 2010, 04:11 PM   #188
    Caustic Logic
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    Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
    Thanks Rolfe. I'm not bothered by CL's "mean" thing. I consider the (seemingly adolescent) source. I also think he's really just attempting to follow that media junkie line; considering his cries for help, on Black's blog, because very few contribute / comment on CL's blog. And after that last post, who can blame them? Maybe some day CL will learn that adage about catching more bees with honey than vinnegar.
    Do I really seem like a teenager? Okay, don't answer that. Let's stick to the subject. I've updated that post.

    But if we're going to stay off subject, which might be the only way to get any discussion... what is it about that last post that keeps people away? You might be right, and I have noticed how people won't debate with me. What's the vinegar, and what would be honey in comparison?
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    Old 28th September 2010, 01:25 AM   #189
    Caustic Logic
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    On further thought I guess you meant my second to last post, where I ripped on Marquise? I'm not worried about chasing him away. He'll talk to the big TV shows and occasionally, with veiled contempt, at Prof. Black's blog. But he wouldn't stoop down to chat with obnoxious ol' me on my lowly blog. And that might even be because of my obnoxiousness and lowliness, who knows?

    Look, I see you are too busy to formulate a detailed contribution to the subject yet, but taking even a few minutes for a quick insult doesn't help your position any. In my experience, people who focus on me and my flaws rather than what I'm saying usually wind up walking away from the talks with the excuse that they won't talk to me. It can be valid, of course - some people are just not worth it. But it can also be a way of avoiding inconvenient ideas.

    But look at it this way - I represent ideas. I may not be a great representative, but I think you know what the ideas are by now. Don't let yourself be one of those cheesers that looks for an excuse to again deny them (not that you would, just saying, from past experience with others).

    And for once I'm not alone in the discussion. If I'm a serious distraction or problem, you can just put me on ignore mode and I disappear. But Rolfe has tried with good faith and sensitivity to reach out and meet you half way. Please discuss the ideas with her, when time allows, and not because I said to. And Eddie (Buncrana) is also not me and I don't think quite so annoying.

    That's all for now.
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    Old 28th September 2010, 01:32 AM   #190
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    Well, Adam, you do advertise yourself as "Caustic". It's the approach you've chosen to take. You've defended it as productive in the past. Who can say, on that one. You've certainly produced far more analysis on that blog than I've ever attempted. But if you choose to take the "caustic" approach, then you can't be wildly surprised when people show all the signs of ruffled feathers.

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    Old 28th September 2010, 02:54 AM   #191
    Rolfe
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    Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
    Thanks Rolfe. I'm not bothered by CL's "mean" thing. I consider the (seemingly adolescent) source. I also think he's really just attempting to follow that media junkie line; considering his cries for help, on Black's blog, because very few contribute / comment on CL's blog. And after that last post, who can blame them? Maybe some day CL will learn that adage about catching more bees with honey than vinnegar.

    It's his style. I have no idea what age he is. I wouldn't have called his posts on the Black blog "cries for help", really - he's just trying to advertise his blog, lots of people do that. It hasn't turned into a forum for discussion, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    I'm quite happy to regards the Bunntamas who posted here and on the Black blog before about 15th September as somebody else. But I guess there was quite a bit of vinegar there too. Actions and reactions, and all that.

    I just think the energy spent sniping at each other could be better spent examining the arguments, and each of us trying to understand the point of view of the other.

    Rolfe.
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    Old 28th September 2010, 03:34 AM   #192
    Caustic Logic
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    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    Well, Adam, you do advertise yourself as "Caustic". It's the approach you've chosen to take. You've defended it as productive in the past. Who can say, on that one. You've certainly produced far more analysis on that blog than I've ever attempted. But if you choose to take the "caustic" approach, then you can't be wildly surprised when people show all the signs of ruffled feathers.

    Rolfe.
    Not personally worried or surprised. I just didn't want to mess up a possibly fruitful discussion or be accused of doing so.

    The caustic has, I think, helped me figure things out on a technical level, but not so much with the social parts. Including "debate calls." I fail at some things, 'salright.
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    Old 28th September 2010, 06:24 AM   #193
    Rolfe
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    Please, let's all of us just stop getting personal and start looking seriously at the evidence. And if anyone slips up and gets personal anyway, ignore them and still look seriously at the evidence.

    Rolfe.
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    Old 28th September 2010, 06:43 AM   #194
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    It's good to see Bunntamas back and great that Matt has joined the discussion. It is a very emotive subject for very obvious reasons and I sincerely hope Bunntamas found no offense in anything I previously said, it certainly wasn't intended, and I'm sure her and Matt can be very valuabe and constructive to the discussions.


    And so, back to the matters at hand.

    I find it really quite astonishing that given the comparatively provincial and what might be expected inferior systems in place at Luqa Airport, where in fact really rather thorough procedures were in place with regards to passenger luggage, and the criticisms and accusations made towards it in contrast to the blinding obvious shortcomings relating to the security and subsequent investigation that were evident at Frankfurt and Heathrow.

    Luqa Airport and Air Malta provided all the information and documentation that could be produced with regards to KM180 it's passengers with the corresponding luggage carried, and has still found itself castigated and tarnished as the carrier of the unaccompanied bag which contained a bomb. Yet in stark contrast, we have Frankfurt, a major international airport hub utilizing a highly advanced computer monitoring system, failing to apparently secure any records whatsoever relating to flights and baggage movements on the day in question, to only then eight months into the investigation inexplicably provide a very limited extract of these records.

    Unlike Air Malta, authorities at Frankfurt were proving uncooperative in the investigation, evident in the BKA's assertion that although they claimed all records from Frankfurt were lost, missing, gone, had fortuitously retrieved a copy of PA103A's baggage movements from one of Frankfurts technicians and then decided to sit on this information when investigators were desperate for leads to the perpetrators. Moreover, this is also ignoring the exposing of the PLFP group in October, their subsequent release from German custody, and the array of warnings issued against this airport in the weeks before December 21st.

    Meanwhile, the security at Heathrow was clearly woeful at the time, baggage reconciliation non-existent, and a reported breach at the Pan Am security gate suppressed for over 10 years from investigators. Or at least the court. This breach at Heathrow may be, in the end, immaterial to the introduction of the bomb-bag onto 103, but like the German's claims of all records 'lost or purged', and withholding of the Erac printout for eight months, is indictative of improper and flawed security much more deserving of rebuke than Luqa.

    After discounting the dollar hungry stool pigeon Giaka's statement about a brown samsonite, Heathrow is the only place where one such suitcase was indisputably observed by a baggage handler, in the container known to have contained the device, precisely in the position determined the explosion occurred, and had arrived in the baggage container through unknown means.

    All these events and circumstances are somehow concealed, overshadowed or simply brushed aside by the presupposition that Air Malta's records have somehow been falsified with a plethroa of workers involved in covering up the introduction of an unaccompanied bag, and essentially glossing over the fact that not only are they hiding the true record of that day but are now also apparently support the murder of 270 innocent people.

    I really find this totally incomprehensible.

    To make accusations of Luqa, if people really do believe this is where the bomb was introduced, even if there appears a distinct lack of any such evidence of it happening, is one thing However, to then remain silent, as the US, UK and German govts have throughout, as have the investigators and judges at Zeist, about the clear failings in overall security at both Heathrow and Frankfurt on the day of the bombing, not to mention the stifling of inquiries by law officials in Germany and silence on breaches of security in London, is a completely other thing, and I find it totally inexplicable.

    Perhaps someone can explain their thoughts on this?
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    Old 28th September 2010, 09:51 AM   #195
    Rolfe
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    This has always amazed me too. Heathrow was admitted to be wide open to anyone who wanted to walk in and put a suitcase in a container, and there was no effective means of spotting if this had been done. And yet there is no scrutiny whatsoever of the provenance of the luggage that should have been placed in AVE4041 within the interline shed. None at all. There were only a few cases, belonging to a few passengers, and yet we don't know who these people were, where they interlined from, or what luggage they were carrying.

    Despite the definite sighting of a good candidate for the bomb suitcase in that luggage, we know of no investigation as to whether the case Bedford saw could be identified as the legitimate property of one of the interline passengers, or whether one of these passengers might have been the victim of a bag switch at their airport of origin, or whether indeed the bomb could have been interlined into Heathrow as unaccompanied luggage in just the way it was alleged to have been interlined into Frankfurt.

    When we compare this to the citation of almost all the passengers on KM180 to show up at Zeist and explain where they were going and with how many suitcases and whether these all showed up at their destination, it's positively bizarre.

    Similarly with Frankfurt. They "lost" all the baggage records. The lot, apparently. Not just that the computer files were allowed to be overwritten a week after the disaster without anyone thinking that maybe they should take a backup copy, the backups that should have been routinely saved were missing. The routine hard copies that were printed out and then tossed were never even searched for. Other paper records also disappeared, including the loading plan for PA103A, records of the unloading of KM180, and all paper records of the baggage that didn't go through the automated system (which included first-class baggage and baggage where there was only a short time between the planes). All they seem to have preserved were the interline writers' sheets and the coders' worksheets, which were completely useless on their own. That was fortuitous though, because the Erac printout could never have been interpreted without them....

    The Frankfurt police and airport security knew virtually from the moment the plane crashed that the flight had "originated" at Frankfurt. They knew there had been a threat to bomb a Pan Am flight from Frankfurt to the USA (the Helsinki warning). They also knew all about the PFLP-GC and their cell in Frankfurt, putting together bombs designed to bring down aircraft. The German nation isn't exactly known for its inefficiency. And yet they were so far off the ball they failed to secure any meaningful baggage records at all for the entire day in question.

    They then spent the next eight months being blatantly obstructive to the Scottish police. When they did manage to secure a privately-retained copy of a tiny portion of the lost records, they continued to deny that such a thing existed for a further six months. And yet there is no criticism levelled at the Frankfurt authorities either. Instead of criticising Heathrow and Frankfurt, and scrutinising their appalling security for signs of the bomb being introduced, everyone turns to Malta, the one airport that actually has both a good security protocol and properly-kept records for the day, and alleges a huge conspiracy to introduce the bomb there and cover it up. And they persist in this allegation despite years of intensive and intrusive investigation failing to find a shred of evidence to support it.

    A preview of this can be seen in the findings of the FAI in 1991. It is quite blatantly obvious that the sheriff has been told that he is supposed to bring in a finding that the bomb suitcase came in on PA103A and originated from an interline flight into Frankfurt.

    Quote:
    Mr Hardie [advocate for the Crown] said that while the Crown made no submission that the bag containing the device came to Frankfurt as an interline bag it would not “seek to discourage” such a finding. That would indicate that Alert employees at Frankfurt had failed to identify the radio cassette player under x-ray and might raise questions as to the training and competence of these employees and the desirability of relying on x-ray alone. It might justify a finding that had Pan American not relied on x-ray alone, the accident might not have occurred. There might also be room for a finding that the Alert management failed to pass on significant information to their employees.

    Way to hang Pan Am out to dry, Mr. Hardie!

    The intriguing thing is that the evidence about the Erac printout was not available to the FAI (despite its having been turned over to the investigation in 1989), and the word "Malta" does not appear anywhere in the text (despite the ongoing inquiry there, and Tony Gauci being shown the photospread including Megrahi's picture the day after the FAI closed).

    Thus the conclusion that the device was interlined into Frankfurt has to be based on something else. And the something else is an interpretation of the distribution of luggage within AVE4041 which is diametrically opposed to the interpretation presented at Zeist. (And diametrically opposed to common sense as well, as it happens.)

    So either the FAI was simply led by the nose and false forensic evidence was presented to it to achieve the desired findings, or the entire story about Karen Noonan's case being below the bomb suitcase and the Heathrow bags being randomly redistributed within the container when the Frankfurt bags were loaded, wasn't dreamed up by the investigators until more then two years after the disaster.

    If they were lying to the FAI to get the outcome they wanted, why are we trusting them to tell the truth at Zeist? Or if the whole theory about how the bags in that container were arranged wasn't arrived at for more than two years, how reliable is it, really?

    The whole thing is quite obviously geared to shifting the blame away from Heathrow in the first instance and Frankfurt in the second instance. Both airports were desperate not to end up carrying responsibility for the disaster, plus the inevitable lawsuit, and the loss of confidence on the part of the travelling public. And both airports were in a position to influence the direction of the inquiry. Indeed, the investigating authorities shared the motivation not to implicate their home turf.

    Too bad, Malta. Life sucks.

    Rolfe.
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    Old 28th September 2010, 02:00 PM   #196
    Rolfe
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    I wonder, do we all agree that if the bomb did not in fact travel on KM180, then Megrahi didn't do it?

    I can't see any other interpretation. We know where Megrahi was on 21st December 1988. He was catching a flight from Luqa to Tripoli that left around 9 or 9.30am. He spent the rest of the day in Tripoli as far as I know. He had no opportunity to smuggle the bomb on board at Frankfurt or Heathrow, or indeed at any other airport it might have come from.

    Buncrana and I and some other posters have explained many reasons why we don't believe the bomb travelled on that plane, and why we believe the evidence used to suggest it did is strikingly weak.

    I must say I would welcome a structured presentation of the case that counterbalances that, and leads to the conclusion that the bomb was indeed on that plane, or at the very least was probably on that plane.

    Rolfe.
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    Old 28th September 2010, 03:39 PM   #197
    Bunntamas
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    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    I wonder, do we all agree that if the bomb did not in fact travel on KM180, then Megrahi didn't do it?
    Sorry. I'm not there yet.

    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    I can't see any other interpretation. We know where Megrahi was on 21st December 1988. He was catching a flight from Luqa to Tripoli that left around 9 or 9.30am. He spent the rest of the day in Tripoli as far as I know. He had no opportunity to smuggle the bomb on board at Frankfurt or Heathrow, or indeed at any other airport it might have come from.
    Too much irony there for me to believe it's just a coincidence that Megrahi was on Malta that day, as well as on 7 December, his affiliations with MEBO, Libyan Secret Service, etc...... It's far too much for me to just brush off as just "he was just a bad guy doing something else, in the wrong place at the right time". No way. I think that's ultimately what the judges saw as well.

    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    Buncrana and I and some other posters have explained many reasons why we don't believe the bomb travelled on that plane, and why we believe the evidence used to suggest it did is strikingly weak.

    I must say I would welcome a structured presentation of the case that counterbalances that, and leads to the conclusion that the bomb was indeed on that plane, or at the very least was probably on that plane.
    Rolfe.
    I know this is going to seem like a ping pong match on evidence re: what was and what was not discovered. However, what I would like to see is the actual evidence that the bomb wasn't on KM180. Anybody have any? Court records from the Air Malta libel lawsuit? I know it was settled, but here in the US, court process happens leading up to settlement, and documents are recorded. Not sure about Malta / UK.
    Actual evidence? I know, I know, the Zeist court said they couldn't say, and you've all gone on and on about the "triple check" of bags. However, there was not a triple check of "bags". There was one check of bags, one check of head count on the plane and another check of the log (the latter of which you've all said is questionable). Hence, the bags themselves, were counted once, not thrice.

    Lastly, (and no, I'm not trying to create a CT with the following, but...) has anyone read about the amount of Maltese government and police corruption, including beatings and killings by the Maltese police during investigations (not necessarily relative to Lockerbie) that were taking place on Malta during the 80s and prior and following?
    I'm just sayin'.

    Last edited by Bunntamas; 28th September 2010 at 04:07 PM.
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    Old 28th September 2010, 03:52 PM   #198
    Bunntamas
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    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    It's his style. I have no idea what age he is.
    My point was not so much about his age as it was about his behaviour.
    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    I wouldn't have called his posts on the Black blog "cries for help", really - he's just trying to advertise his blog, lots of people do that.
    Really? I must have missed that. haven't seen anyone "advertising" their blog in comments on this topic and if so, I believe they're referencing a specific topic as opposed to trying to get traffic on their blog / site like CL does so often.

    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    I'm quite happy to regards the Bunntamas who posted here and on the Black blog before about 15th September as somebody else.
    whaaaat?? Are you referring to my "vinegar" behavior? If so, I agree. I walked into the lion's den. Got slapped around and roared back. Bad Bunny.

    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    But I guess there was quite a bit of vinegar there too. Actions and reactions, and all that.
    Yes. Indeed, I sprinkled vinegar too. But I wasn't trying to get people to come to any blog of mine. The latter of which was my point re: "catching bees".

    Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    I just think the energy spent sniping at each other could be better spent examining the arguments, and each of us trying to understand the point of view of the other.
    Rolfe.
    Totally agree. But I just couldn't let CL's blog rant about me go. That was a bit more than "sniping". Frankly, his reapeated "crap" comments were downright nasty. I gather they were a lame attempt at getting me to come back and comment on his blog. Ain't gonna happen. Goose is cooked.
    And yes, examining arguments about the topic and ignoring snipes going forward are good ideas.

    Last edited by Bunntamas; 28th September 2010 at 04:01 PM.
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    Old 29th September 2010, 01:55 AM   #199
    Caustic Logic
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    Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
    Originally Posted by Rolfe
    I wonder, do we all agree that if the bomb did not in fact travel on KM180, then Megrahi didn't do it?
    Sorry. I'm not there yet.
    Just to clarify, it's a hypothetical "if-then" construct. How else would Megrahi do it except via KM180?

    Otherwise, I'll continue stepping aside.

    Last edited by Caustic Logic; 29th September 2010 at 01:57 AM.
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    Old 29th September 2010, 02:13 AM   #200
    Rolfe
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    Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
    Totally agree. But I just couldn't let CL's blog rant about me go. That was a bit more than "sniping". Frankly, his reapeated "crap" comments were downright nasty. I gather they were a lame attempt at getting me to come back and comment on his blog. Ain't gonna happen. Goose is cooked.
    And yes, examining arguments about the topic and ignoring snipes going forward are good ideas.

    I'm sure we all said things that were less than sensitive or polite, earlier in the discussion. I know I did. I hope we can move on though, now that we know each other better.

    Adam is who he is, and if he's still showing a bad attitude, I could suggest you put him on ignore for a bit. That way you simply won't see his posts displayed - or not unless someone else quotes him. I know it might not be a perfect solution, as you may still be left wondering what he's saying, but it's an idea.

    Rolfe.
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