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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing , Scottish politics , US-Libya relations , US-Scotland relations

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Old 19th August 2009, 02:57 AM   #1
E.J.Armstrong
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[Ed] Convicted Lockerbie bomber released

'...The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton piled more pressure on the Scottish Government today over whether to free the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing by issuing a fresh call to keep him locked up.

Mrs Clinton said it was "absolutely wrong" to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, adding: "We are still encouraging the Scottish authorities not to do so and we hope that they will not." ...'

from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...n-1774170.html

Unfortunately for Mrs Clinton and all the US senators none of their pressure will work as the Scottish Government acts only in the interests of the Scottish people - not the US.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:06 AM   #2
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Well some of us would be slightly more cynical and state that "The Scottish Government acts only in the interests of gaining independence for Scotland."

That aside I think that considering the number of USA citizens killed in the terrorist attack it is entirely right and proper that the USA government should make whatever statements it seems fit to do regarding its opinion on the issue.

I think her words were entirely appropriate, if she had criticized the Scottish justice system that would have been inappropriate however she didn't merely expressed the USA government's opinion on the matter.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:07 AM   #3
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To be fair, I think it's perfectly fine for the US to express an opinion on the sentencing of someone convicted of killing lots of Americans. I'd want the British government to do the same in reverse.

Now, it's rather obvious that al Megrahi isn't actually guilty of the crime he's festering in gaol for, but that's by the by. The US government is still allowed an opinion.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:08 AM   #4
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As usual, I agree 100% with Darat.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:29 AM   #5
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By all means let this terrorist go to die a peaceful and pain-free death, just like his vcitims.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
By all means let this terrorist go to die a peaceful and pain-free death, just like his vcitims.
He didn't do it. But that's beside the point. If we resort to torture, basically, we're little better than the terrorists whose actions we claim to despise.

Guy'll be dead in weeks. Who is he a threat to now, even if he is guilty? What good does it do anyone, what good does it do society, to let him rot to a miserable death? Does it bring back the dead? Does it deter any future would-be-terrorists? Seriously - what is the point of gloating over a dying man who's guilt is pretty contentious anyway? Unless you think society benefits from inflicting pointlessly sadistic acts on those who have wronged it, I can't see the good in making him die in prison.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:37 AM   #7
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Please note that there is also an active thread on this in the Conspiracy Theories forum area.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=85523

Please feel free to contribute.

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Old 19th August 2009, 03:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
He didn't do it.
Just like so many in jail.

Someone dying in a prison hospital bed is not being tortured.

I don't have any sympathy, sorry, but respect your opinion.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Just like so many in jail.

Someone dying in a prison hospital bed is not being tortured.

I don't have any sympathy, sorry, but respect your opinion.
Fair enough. But seriously - cui bono? What's the point of not releasing him? Of what benefit is it to society, to anyone? Keeping him in gaol clearly not a deterrent, he's certainly not a threat to anyone or anything, and he's soon dead and suffering already. What is the point of keeping him locked up?
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:49 AM   #10
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By the way, Lionking - The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission considered his prosecution top have been based on some seriously flawed evidence, hence them granting him an appeal. It was exceedigly likely that he's have been acquitted at a re-trial.

Their full statement is online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h...wlockerbie.pdf - the sections 4 and 5 are most pertinent.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
Fair enough. But seriously - cui bono? What's the point of not releasing him? Of what benefit is it to society, to anyone? Keeping him in gaol clearly not a deterrent, he's certainly not a threat to anyone or anything, and he's soon dead and suffering already. What is the point of keeping him locked up?
Justice.

Sorry that sounds OT biblical and all, but I can't bring myself to sympathise.

If our mass murderer, Martin Bryant were in the same condition, I would not want him released.

But you are closer, so do you think he will be released or not? I think it would be bad politics, so I doubt it.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Justice.

Sorry that sounds OT biblical and all, but I can't bring myself to sympathise.
What do you mean by "justice"? If it's karmic balance you want - and after all, that's basically what the concept of justice amounts to, even if you don't buy into the metaphysics - then, c'mon, the guy's dying of a horrible, painful cancer. What's the benefit of making him suffer more on top of that? I don't get why we should go out of our way, as a society, to be unnecessarily cruel, just for the sake of it.

There's literally no benefit to keeping him in gaol other than it supposedly makes us feel better about ourselves, about the universe. Sorry - but I can't buy into that. Making someone suffer just for our own self-satisfaction isn't something I want to be a part of.

Quote:
But you are closer, so do you think he will be released or not? I think it would be bad politics, so I doubt it.
Who knows. It seems to be fairly finely balanced. Given the strength of his appeal case according to the body tasked with judging it, I can see him being released.
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Old 19th August 2009, 04:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Well some of us would be slightly more cynical and state that "The Scottish Government acts only in the interests of gaining independence for Scotland."

That aside I think that considering the number of USA citizens killed in the terrorist attack it is entirely right and proper that the USA government should make whatever statements it seems fit to do regarding its opinion on the issue.

I think her words were entirely appropriate, if she had criticized the Scottish justice system that would have been inappropriate however she didn't merely expressed the USA government's opinion on the matter.
If this man committed the crime of attempting the murder of civilian men women and children why should he be treated in an overly humane way? Serious crimes require serious consequences.
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Old 19th August 2009, 04:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
What do you mean by "justice"? If it's karmic balance you want - and after all, that's basically what the concept of justice amounts to, even if you don't buy into the metaphysics - then, c'mon, the guy's dying of a horrible, painful cancer. What's the benefit of making him suffer more on top of that? I don't get why we should go out of our way, as a society, to be unnecessarily cruel, just for the sake of it.

There's literally no benefit to keeping him in gaol other than it supposedly makes us feel better about ourselves, about the universe. Sorry - but I can't buy into that. Making someone suffer just for our own self-satisfaction isn't something I want to be a part of.



Who knows. It seems to be fairly finely balanced. Given the strength of his appeal case according to the body tasked with judging it, I can see him being released.
I don't think you should be unnessarily cruel either. Give him medication for the pain. What I don't understand is this. Why allow a terrorist to go free?
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Old 19th August 2009, 05:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I don't think you should be unnessarily cruel either. Give him medication for the pain. What I don't understand is this. Why allow a terrorist to go free?
What good does keeping a soon-dead, very possibly innocent man in gaol do? What benefit does it serve? Keeping Megrahi in gaol means that we - the British public - are paying to keep a dying man away from his family for the last weeks of his life, for no reason other than it makes us feel better that he suffer at our hand.

How can you stand behind that, in good conscience? He's no threat to anyone, he's already suffering, and freeing him has no impact whatsoever on the likelihood of future attacks. Your line of thinking is simply self-gratifying, and sadistically self-gratifying at that.
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Old 19th August 2009, 05:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
Serious crimes require serious consequences.
I agree. But I have to ask a serious question: why do they? Why do you think "serious crimes require serious consequences"? What rational, considered reasons can we use to justify punishments? What end do you consider these consequences to serve? And how would allowing Megrahi the right to die in Libya with his family negate those goals?
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Old 19th August 2009, 05:05 AM   #17
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Lionking and Cainkane are arguing on the basis of Megrahi's guilt being certain. I'm not sure what the basis is for that certainty. I hope nobody is so naive as to think that every court verdict is always 100% in line with the actual truth of what happened. Agreed, there are some "smoking gun" situations where there is really no doubt whatsoever, but I cannot see that this is one of them. Indeed, if you look at the number of people who have studied the case in detail and and have no particular axe to grind, and who are of the opinion that he either didn't do it or probably didn't do it, I think you have to conclude that the case doesn't actually meet the "beyond reasonable doubt" standards of proof. In addition, there was an outstanding appeal based on actual evidence, which Megrahi was only persuaded to abandon yesterday because he had been persuaded that to do so would improve his chances of getting back to Libya. So I don't agree that one can simply look at his legal status as "convicted" and then proceed to judgement on the certainty of his guilt.

So my view is that there is a possibility he didn't do it, and indeed a reasonable possibility he didn't do it. And he's dying of a horrible painful disease, and it's his dearest wish to see his home and his wife and children again - and even more so his elderly mother who is too frail to visit him in Scotland.

If indeed he didn't so it, then it's only just that he be granted this wish, however it's organised in legal terms. And even if he did do it, then what are the practical reasons for not letting him go home? He's certainly not going to bomb any more airliners. The only argument is an abstract sense of justice - exactly the same sense of justice that demands his release, if he didn't do it.

Now if we keep an innocent man to die in prison, we commit a heinous injustice, and there is no mitigating factor. If on the other hand we release a terminally ill guilty man, the injustice of that is at least tempered by mercy shown to a dying man, no matter how great a monster.

Let him go already, Kenny.

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Old 19th August 2009, 05:17 AM   #18
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One aspect of this that hasn't been mentioned is that even if Megrahi did plant the bomb, he planted it as an agent of Libyan intelligence, presumably with the knowlege and consent of his superiors. Libya has paid (or agreed to pay) compensation to the victims, has sworn off state sponsored terrorism and is now the West's BFF again.
Since the punishment of the instigator of the attack has been completed and no further action is contemplated, it doesn't seem just to deny Megrahi his last couple of months home with his family.

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Old 19th August 2009, 05:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
If this man committed the crime of attempting the murder of civilian men women and children why should he be treated in an overly humane way? Serious crimes require serious consequences.
Putting aside his guilt or innocence, I would think showing humanity to someone like this would surely demonstrate and reinforce the difference between civilised nations and terrorists?

I don't think anything is to be gained by further punishing the man, and it would potential be a small PR gain for the 'West'?

If this 'War on Terror' really is a battle for hearts and minds then maybe the only way to win is to be overly humane? Certainly don't think it will help to keep a dying man in jail
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Old 19th August 2009, 05:43 AM   #20
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I have no objection to Hillary Clinton saying what she thinks. I have no objection to Kenny MacAskill listening to Hillary Clinton. I have no objection to Kenny MacAskill taking anything Hillary Clinton says into consideration. However, I have every objection to Kenny MacAskill caving in to pressure from Hillary Clinton just because she's American. I hope he doesn't do that.

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Old 19th August 2009, 05:44 AM   #21
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As usual, I agree 100% with Rolfe.
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Old 19th August 2009, 06:12 AM   #22
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Is it certain that he would be immediately sent to Libya after his release or would he be allowed to remain in Scotland? I've heard conflicting reports.
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Old 19th August 2009, 06:19 AM   #23
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Also, here's the thing about "compassionate release" - doctors are sometimes wrong. Manson Family member Susan Atkins requested a compassionate release in April 2008 because her doctors said she had less than six months to live. She's still alive.
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Old 19th August 2009, 06:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Also, here's the thing about "compassionate release" - doctors are sometimes wrong. Manson Family member Susan Atkins requested a compassionate release in April 2008 because her doctors said she had less than six months to live. She's still alive.
She's also "reportedly now paralyzed over 85 percent of her body, unable to sit up or be transferred to a wheelchair".

I'm sure the country would be better off if she was still in gaol, though.
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Old 19th August 2009, 07:01 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
She's also "reportedly now paralyzed over 85 percent of her body, unable to sit up or be transferred to a wheelchair".

I'm sure the country would be better off if she was still in gaol, though.
That's not the point though, her request for a compassionate release was based on the fact prison doctors said she had less than six months to live, they were wrong.

U.S. taxpayers are going to pay for Atkins treatment whether she's in prison or not, she's destitute. In the case of Megrahi why do I somehow believe that he will figure out a way to stay in Scotland if he's released? After all where you wanted to be treated for advanced cancer, Edinburgh or Tripoli?

In my opinion, when a prisoner serving a life sentence becomes too old or ill to continue to be a threat to society then it should be up to their vicitims or victim's families if they are to be released or not.
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Old 19th August 2009, 07:03 AM   #26
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Megrahi has never expressed the slightest desire to remain in Scotland. He could be lying of course, but disinterested people who have spoken with him have all reported that he is "desperate" to return home.

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Old 19th August 2009, 07:07 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
If this man committed the crime of attempting the murder of civilian men women and children why should he be treated in an overly humane way? Serious crimes require serious consequences.
Because I am not like him.
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Old 19th August 2009, 07:16 AM   #28
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Cross reference.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=151364

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Old 19th August 2009, 10:43 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
Fair enough. But seriously - cui bono? What's the point of not releasing him? Of what benefit is it to society, to anyone? Keeping him in gaol clearly not a deterrent, he's certainly not a threat to anyone or anything, and he's soon dead and suffering already. What is the point of keeping him locked up?
The same as execution -- it's society's way of expressing its revulsion at the obscenity of the act. This reason is frequently skipped over in discussions of issues like this.

You keep them in jail to demonstrate to others that "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime".


With your argument, why put them in jail at all? How will feminists sit with that argument for husbands? He murdered his wife, and he only has the one wife, so isn't likely to do it to another one even if he remarries, so why put him in jail?
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Old 19th August 2009, 10:59 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
After all where you wanted to be treated for advanced cancer, Edinburgh or Tripoli?
Don't think there is much treatment going on. He is dying.

Unfortunately it appears there is a deal being done where he withdraws his appeal and gets released under prisoner transfer (not possible if he was still appealing) rather than release him on compassionate grounds (which would allow the appeal to continue).

Probably ends the last chance to find out what actually happened and who is really responsible.
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Old 19th August 2009, 11:46 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by E.J.Armstrong View Post
Unfortunately for Mrs Clinton and all the US senators none of their pressure will work as the Scottish Government acts only in the interests of the Scottish people - not the US.
And it is in the interest of the scottish people to keeep locked up someone who is in the habit of dropping flaming plane wreckage on scottish hoomes while scottish people are in them.
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Old 19th August 2009, 11:56 AM   #32
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Habit, huh?
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:32 PM   #33
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Another silly and poorly thought out thread bashing the US by E.J. What fun!

A very good friend of my family was murdered in this attack, so I'm quite pleased with Secretary Clinton's efforts.
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:35 PM   #34
Bob Blaylock
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
Since the punishment of the instigator of the attack has been completed and no further action is contemplated, it doesn't seem just to deny Megrahi his last couple of months home with his family.

The punishment of a mass murderer is not complete, so long as the animal is still alive. The greatest injustice, in cases like this, is that as a civilized society, we are obligated to treat such savage beasts more humanely than they treated their victims.
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:38 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Jaggy Bunnet View Post
Don't think there is much treatment going on. He is dying.

Unfortunately it appears there is a deal being done where he withdraws his appeal and gets released under prisoner transfer (not possible if he was still appealing) rather than release him on compassionate grounds (which would allow the appeal to continue).
Not quite right (unless somthing has changed since I last read about it). The prisoner transfer looks exceedingly unlikely as there is still an outstanding appeal on his sentence and no moves to attempt to get that resolved before the decision on this will be made. So it looks like a dodgy deal where it was strongly hinted that dropping his appeal would facilitate his release on compassionate grounds.

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Old 19th August 2009, 12:39 PM   #36
Agatha
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Originally Posted by Bob Blaylock View Post
The punishment of a mass murderer is not complete, so long as the animal is still alive. The greatest injustice, in cases like this, is that as a civilized society, we are obligated to treat such savage beasts more humanely than they treated their victims.
It's the mark of a civilised society that we do.
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:46 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
I agree. But I have to ask a serious question: why do they? Why do you think "serious crimes require serious consequences"? What rational, considered reasons can we use to justify punishments? What end do you consider these consequences to serve? And how would allowing Megrahi the right to die in Libya with his family negate those goals?
Punishment is supposedly a deterrant against crime. The punishment should fit the crime and allowing a murder to go free is no deterrant.

I see your point. Believe me I do but to say I'm some sort of evil sadist because I feel he should be kept in prison is just wrong. How about the familys of his victims? How do they feel about this?

If he is innocent why was there no one to investigate and have the original charges dropped or have another trial and free him?

Maybe I'm just being a typical American but as I have said bad crimes require bad penaltys. Please don't tell me I lack compassion. I feel great compassion for the victims of crime. believe me. I do.
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Last edited by Cainkane1; 19th August 2009 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 19th August 2009, 12:57 PM   #38
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The compassionate release is not a new thing or something that is being done only for this guy. Others have been released under it.

Although I do not necessarily agree with the release, it is our business. Feel free to comment Hilary but do not criticize or attack should the outcome not be to your liking.

Considering this is the country that has Guantanamo, it is pretty ironic.
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Old 19th August 2009, 01:02 PM   #39
Vic Vega
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Originally Posted by funk de fino View Post
Considering this is the country that has Guantanamo, it is pretty ironic.
How so?
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Old 19th August 2009, 01:10 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Vic Vega View Post
Another silly and poorly thought out thread bashing the US by E.J. What fun!
When will bashed Americans exposed to this virulent anti-americanism stand up for their Dutch brothers, who are now facing an equally vile blast of anti-netherlandianism??
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