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Old 6th March 2014, 05:19 AM   #1041
SpitfireIX
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, this isn't very informative, but it suggests progress.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It also suggests that they've changed the title, from "If not Megrahi, then who?" to "Lockerbie: what really happened?".

Rolfe.

"The uploader has not made this video available in your country."
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Old 6th March 2014, 05:37 AM   #1042
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I wouldn't worry. It's only a 20-second teaser imparting precisely zero interesting information.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th March 2014, 02:05 PM   #1043
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Once again there has been an announcement that the film will be shown "soon".

Perhaps even before that, it has been announced that there will be a special showing in the Scottish parliament at 1 pm on Tuesday 11th March. Now I need to get the day off, or at the very least, the middle of the day. (I work about half an hour's drive from the Scottish parliament.)

I may get the opportunity to address the MSPs who will be present. This could get interesting. (Unless they cut me out of the film completely. That would be just my luck.)

Rolfe.
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Old 7th March 2014, 02:19 AM   #1044
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Once again there has been an announcement that the film will be shown "soon".

Perhaps even before that, it has been announced that there will be a special showing in the Scottish parliament at 1 pm on Tuesday 11th March. Now I need to get the day off, or at the very least, the middle of the day. (I work about half an hour's drive from the Scottish parliament.)

I may get the opportunity to address the MSPs who will be present. This could get interesting. (Unless they cut me out of the film completely. That would be just my luck.)

Rolfe.
Good luck.
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Old 7th March 2014, 06:35 AM   #1045
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Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
Good luck.

+1
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Old 9th March 2014, 03:37 PM   #1046
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This is looking a lot more promising. 30-second clip which actually does have a small amount of meat on it. Someone in Community said they say it broadcast on Al Jazeera America.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/...550598601.html

They're now saying Tuesday 11th, and it looks as if they mean it now.

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Old 9th March 2014, 07:38 PM   #1047
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
This is looking a lot more promising. 30-second clip which actually does have a small amount of meat on it. Someone in Community said they say it broadcast on Al Jazeera America.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/...550598601.html

They're now saying Tuesday 11th, and it looks as if they mean it now.

Rolfe.
Yeah, shows up now on my Cable (Comcast) guide at 8-9 PM U. S. Central Time.
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Old 10th March 2014, 03:41 PM   #1048
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Well, well, look what someone just tweeted to me.

https://twitter.com/bbcnews/status/443142680512827392

The pic is too small for me to read the text but I recognise all four of the photos.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th March 2014, 03:55 PM   #1049
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, well, look what someone just tweeted to me.

https://twitter.com/bbcnews/status/443142680512827392

The pic is too small for me to read the text but I recognise all four of the photos.

Rolfe.
Leaked document?

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-n...flight-3228265
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Old 10th March 2014, 04:08 PM   #1050
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None of that is news, to be honest. Everybody and his budgie has been fairly sure Iran paid Jibril to blow up that plane, for about 25 years. And the Mesbahi stuff was known about in 2000 and thought to be of little importance. I think the Mirror is putting 2 and 2 together and getting 202.

The Telegraph story has been fed by Al Jazeera though, and their investigators claim to have proof (or at least substantial confirmation) of what we all thought we knew already. Not convinced Talb actually did the deed though. On the other hand despite being in it I haven't seen the film yet.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th March 2014, 10:44 AM   #1051
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This was on the front page of the Daily Telegraph today, with more inside
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ormer-spy.html

While it may not be entirely new material the framing is especially interesting. Former CIA agent and author Robert Baer is quoted endorsing the Iran-PFLP theory, and the longer story inside covers ground that Rolfe has stomped over repeatedly.
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Old 11th March 2014, 12:03 PM   #1052
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Saw the film this afternoon at Holyrood. A bit underwhelmed because there was really nothing in it I wasn't already aware of. It was all hearsay, though Al Jazeera undoubtedly believe it and I'm certainly not saying they're wrong. An interesting contribution to the ongoing debate, that's for sure.

My own part was presented as assertion rather than proof with explanation, which is probably inevitable given the time constraints. Nevertheless there was enough there to show that the proof exists, so all in all a decent effort.

The main news is that Jim Swire stood up after the showing and announced that a group of relatives of the victims will be applying for a third appeal, within a few weeks. That got the journalists' attention.

Watch the film on Al Jazeera English at 8 pm (an hour from now) and judge it for yourself.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th March 2014, 04:06 PM   #1053
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Did anyone watch it? It was interesting and the production standards were high.

Something is striking me as anomalous. The thrust of the narrative was all about Abu Talb and the PFLP-GC, and their presumed responsibility for the atrocity. In that sense, there was nothing substantively new in the film, although there was some new detail of course. But the main stuff about the downing of IR655, Iran's vow of revenge, Iran commissioning and paying the PFLP-GC, the gathering of PFLP-GC experts in Neuss, Herbstlaub, the Miska bakery, Abu Talb's visit to Malta and his collection of Maltese-manufactured clothes, and Gauci's original impression that Talb might have been the man who bought the clothes (I don't think he was) was already an established narrative. In effect, Al Jazeera more or less dusted off the original investigation from 1989 and gave it another run. They had, or claimed to have, further evidence to corroborate that of course, but it was of course all hearsay.

What there wasn't, was anything substantive about a Heathrow loading, apart from my contribution. This doesn't entirely make sense. Chris Jeans contacted me in August or September last year, precisely because, as I understood it, his investigations had traced Abu Talb to London on the afternoon of the bombing. I was led to believe this was a central point in his film, and that it was because of this he was interested in including my segment - basically I could corroborate the Heathrow loading from the forensic evidence.

I remember having a telephone conversation with Chris in which I queried whether it was at all likely that Talb could have been the man who put the suitcase in the container, as surely that person would be trying to pass as a baggage handler and trying to be inconspicuous. Talb, I believe, had a pronounced limp. (Another reason I don't think he bought the clothes - Tony didn't describe the purchaser as having any mobility issues.)

Chris said, "but he was a warrior!" which threw me a bit - he was an evil murdering swine. But my point still stands. He wasn't the man for that job. John Ashton also expressed doubts that Talb had gone to London that day - something about him being under surveillance at the time. So I was mainly waiting for the part where they explained why they believed Talb had gone to London on the 21st, and what part they believed he had played in the actual introduction.

Nothing. It didn't come up. In fact, my own part was really the only section where a substantive case was made for the Heathrow loading. Other than that it was merely mentioned almost in a throwaway sense. The "sources" that said Heathrow - which was what was said in the Telegraph piece - referred to something else.

One feature of the film was an attempt to interview Khreesat in Jordan (the man has a Facebook page, believe it or not). He initially agreed to be interviewed, but then retreated and refused all contact. After Khreesat withdrew, a voice-over said that an associate of his had confirmed his involvement in Lockerbie and also said that Heathrow was the point of introduction. Be still my heart, that is not terribly convincing evidence I have to say.

But I know that the attempt to contact Khreesat happened in December, and that was confirmed in the film. In fact it was part of the reason the film was delayed - it was almost finished but they held it back to edit that part in. So as the film is now, the evidence Al Jazeera claim to have uncovered pointing to Heathrow is purely this last-minute December hearsay statement by Khreesat's "associate".

So why did Chris Jeans contact me in September, and film a segment in October, which he was keen to do because my forensic take on the suitcases backed up his thesis that the bomb had gone on at Heathrow - if Heathrow was only mentioned to his investigation in December?

I believe the original thrust of this film was going to be not just the old news about Talb and the Miska bakery and the Maltese clothes and so on, but evidence tracing Talb and the bomb suitcase to London on the afternoon of the bombing. Good grief, that was why they involved me! But although I stayed in, that didn't.

Something slightly odd about this, I think.

Rolfe.
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Old 11th March 2014, 05:50 PM   #1054
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I haven't watched it yet, it's on in 10 min. here. Is there anyone you can contact about the editorial decisions?
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Old 11th March 2014, 05:59 PM   #1055
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Editorial in your favor, Rolfe.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/...b-9184509.html
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Old 11th March 2014, 07:01 PM   #1056
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I think the "What Really Happened" investigation did a pretty good job. I think they good job of highlighting the timer fragment issue. I think they put the pieces together pretty well, and it seemed clear to me that the suitcase info you presented implicated the bomb as being placed at Heathrow. Maybe they cut back on it a bit to give more time to Baer, et al. in building the case. The placement of your interview after the multi-jump implication of implausibility of Malta being the point of origin helped boost the suitcase placement case. They then jumped into an Abu Tal Heathrow bit. Maybe an opinion from someone not familiar with the details would be good.
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Old 11th March 2014, 07:30 PM   #1057
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Interesting discussion afterwards on AJAM "Consider This" Richard Marquise was the lone "Official Story" defender (can't believe I'm using that term).
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Old 12th March 2014, 03:36 AM   #1058
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I'm in contact with the production team, obviously, but I don't think they'll be prepared to enter into a discussion of why they chose to present the material the way they did. It was all very hush-hush and quite fraught until more or less the last minute.

The film was supposed to be shown on 15th December, but this was repeatedly postponed - first to include the material relating to Khreesat's present whereabouts which they had only just obtained, and then because the Iranian government was kicking up rough about it. (The film accused Iran in pretty much exactly the same terms as a number of previous films have done, starting with The Maltese Double Cross in 1994 and most recently Todesflug Pan Am 103 which was shown a couple of weeks ago, so it's hard to see why they were so aerated about this one in particular.)

Sadly the producer, Chris Jeans, who filmed by piece with me, died on 22nd December of liver cancer. I think the film may have been re-worked by others since his death, so I'm not sure how true it was to his original vision. Nevertheless much of the narrative was still driven by personal hearsay evidence from his wife Jessica de Grazia, so it's probably still close to what he envisaged.

As I said, I understood from Chris that he had evidence placing Abu Talb in London on 21st December 1988, and that was why he was so keen to have me do a piece for the film. If he had that, it wasn't shown. The passing remark that Khreesat's associate said that Heathrow was the scene of the crime wasn't that strong.

Of course the thrust of the film was all about Mesbahi and the whole PFLP-GC thing. That was the story they wanted to tell. To a Lockerbie anorak, none of that is new, and predictably the Crown Office have simply stated that none of it is new nothing to see here move along folks. To the general public though, it was a very interesting and quite compelling narrative, and I'm not criticising them for concentrating on that.

There could have been a different thrust, though. The thrust that Heathrow was the point of insertion of the device, not Malta. That isn't a new allegation either of course, but up to now it has always just been a part of some general handwaving around, look the bomb could have started in Frankfurt itself, look at that suspicious character Khaled Jaafar, or it could have started at Heathrow, look at what Bedford said he saw, come on, you can't say the Malta introduction has been proved.

95% of the film was hearsay, presented by Jessica de Grazia and Robert Baer. They could very well be right, but simply relating a bunch of allegations you found in a report or that were made to you by various shady characters does not constitute proof. Actually, the bit I contributed was the one bit where there was solid proof, in the photos of the damaged luggage. This was brand new, and also absolutely compelling (if they'd edited in the whole of the explanation of the suitcase jigsaw).

They could have framed the film as "look, here is the forensic evidence that the bomb went on at Heathrow, it's clear as day, is it not a scandal that the original investigation completely missed that?" Then they could have pointed out that the reason for giving up on the pursuit of the PFLP-GC was at least partly that no evidence of their involvement could be found at Luqa airport. However, if we realise the scene of the crime was actually Heathrow, what do we find there?

I think that would be a much more powerful demonstration that the original investigation was completely wrong and Megrahi was innocent. However, the narrative that the change of tack from Iran to Libya was politically motivated is more dramatic, and it's where Al Jazeera were coming from in the first place, so it's not surprising that they wanted to frame the narrative that way.

In the end we're all more or less singing from the same hymn sheet, and it's more that a lot of detail is still missng than that there are serious doubts about the essential nature of the crime. We'll get there in the end but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it takes another five years.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th March 2014, 03:50 AM   #1059
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Interesting discussion afterwards on AJAM "Consider This" Richard Marquise was the lone "Official Story" defender (can't believe I'm using that term).

I've gone up against Dick Marquise before. Several times on Bob Black's blog, where he occasionally pops up asserting that the judges found Megrahi guilty so yah boo sucks. When he is challenged to state the evidence he believes proves Megrahi's guilt he just goes back to "we got a conviction and that's enough for me." When pressed on detailed points he simply disappears from the conversation.

Once, just before Christmas, we were on the same TV discussion, on Al Jazeera. Of course he was in America and I was in Edinburgh and the third interviewee was somewhere in the Middle East and the presenter was in Dohar. The format was simply that each person was asked to respond to something the presenter put to them, and then cut to the next person. Dick only got one shot I think, though I and the Arab chap got two each.

I tried to hammer home my belief that the bomb started at Heathrow, not Malta, and that this exonerated Megrahi. I think it came over quite well, though of course it could be no more than an assertion that this is what the evidence shows. Dick was shown that little clip of Megrahi on his deathbed where he was weakly protesting his innocence, and asked, can you really believe that man was guilty?

I thought that was a very poor line. Of course I could believe a thin, weak, dying man was guilty, if there was solid evidence against him! Even if he was protesting his innocence! It opened the floor for Dick to present whatever he chose as his best piece of evidence. He chose to declare that when first indicted, Megrahi had lied to a journalist about not being on Malta on 21st December 1988. Good grief, even I could have made a better case than that!

The format of the programme didn't allow any of the guests to respond directly to any of the others and so it was left at that. But there is no doubt at all that Dick Marquise is running on empty.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th March 2014, 05:44 AM   #1060
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I managed to catch most of the AJ programme when I got home last night and was slightly disappointed that much of it was simply a rehash of ‘information’ that’s been floating around since 103 came down on Lockerbie.

Certainly the programme (and the flurry of media reports recently) helps push the story into the public domain, and for that alone is welcomed, and undoubtedly Rolfe’s portion and interview regarding the Heathrow evidence and bombs introduction is critical in demonstrating the miscarriage of justice that occurred. Nevertheless, at times, the programme centred on too many of the old assertions, too much hearsay in the form of ‘intelligence’, ‘documents seen’, and ‘sources claimed’, many of who possess about as much credibility as Abdul Giaka.

As Rolfe says, Abu Talb was without doubt an unsavoury character and there are rafts of evidence which link him with PFLP members who were planning some sort of attack, more evidence that shows him around Malta at relevant periods of 1988 and some evidence that he was in possession of piles of clothing that was sourced from the same place as Mary’s House stock and the clothes that were (apparently) wrapped around the bomb on PA103.

But, just as with Megrahi, the Maltese shopkeeper description of the purchaser of the clothes said to be around the bomb, bears no real resemblance to Talbs actual characteristics. Taking into account the fact that he was also someone who was of significant interest to security agencies long before Lockerbie – which he would be also well aware of - and as with the other oddities around the clothes purchase, seems an irrational method to acquire items to plan to use in a bomb.

However, if the programme had, as Rolfe suggests, managed to place Abu Talb in London around the time of 21st Dec, or the programme had uncovered evidence which demonstrated his involvement at Heathrow, well that indeed may have carried major implications. However, I harbour many doubts about either the identity of the buyer of the clothes being Talb, or even that he had any direct involvement in the suitcases actual introduction at Heathrow.

I have no idea who may have been involved at the London end, but with Talb's propensity for attracting security, it seems unlikely he would have this kind of explicit involvement. There was so much more investigation which should have been pursued at Heathrow in 1989, perhaps uncovering details of suspicious individuals or someone breaching security, but which now given the 25 years that have passed, may be lost forever.

Rather than writers and producers (the Al Jazeera producers interview on Newsnight I thought was very poor) continuing their focus on potential culprits and shady characters, and instead concentrated the public's attention towards the irrefutable evidence at Heathrow, which proves beyond any doubt of Megrahi's innocence, and probe how all that evidence was missed or ignored, it would I’m sure prove far more constructive and fruitful.
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Old 12th March 2014, 05:55 AM   #1061
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Yay, Buncrana's back! Missed you. I meant to email you but life's been hectic and I'd need to fish in an old system for your email address. Email me, will you?

Something ought to be done with the suitcase jigsaw evidence, but people who have been working on this for some time follow their own train of thought and to them it's just some peripheral embroidery. I found this with one of the Al Jazeera people the other day. Someone tweeted to me that the Telegraph hadn't mentioned Heathrow, and I pointed out that it had done that in the print version but not in the online version. I then said it quoted "sources say" the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, and commented that I didn't need "sources", I had pictures.

At that, an Al Jazeera person (who is a nice guy really) tweeted "You get plenty credit in the film Dr Kerr". That wasn't really my point. It's not about credit, it's about credibility of argument. Photos of forensic evidence showing the bomb suitcase to have been in the position where Bedford saw the mysterious brown Samsonite at Heathrow do rather trump "some guy who won't be named or appear on camera told me Iran was responsible and the bomb was introduced at Heathrow" in my opinion.

But they go with their "source" because that's the way they work. We need a programme specifically concentrating on the baggage transfer evidence.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th March 2014, 06:17 AM   #1062
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The Crown Office are still doing their ostrich act. They have no alternative, really.

They're right that this programme presented nothing new. Other than my suitcase jigsaw, which wasn't presented in detail. It was Groundhog Day 1989. It may have lulled them into a false sense of security though. They may believe that an application for a third appeal will be based on this stuff, which is entirely hearsay and unprovable. It won't.

The new application will be based so far as I know on three main planks.

First, asking the new SCCRC investigation to accept the 2007 report of the earlier SCCRC investigation and allow referral on the grounds enumerated in that report. That is basically the Gauci identification evidence, plus stuff about the Crown failing to disclose important material to the defence.

Second, the suitcase jigsaw evidence showing that the bomb was in a suitcase known to have been present in the container an hour before the feeder flight from Frankfurt landed. Thus Megrahi was a thousand miles away from the scene of the crime.

Third, the metallurgy results on PT/35b showing that it was not from one of the 20 timers sold to Libya by MEBO. This is a relatively peripheral matter as Megrahi was never shown to have had one of these timers in his possession anyway, but SO much has been made of this piece of evidence over the years that discrediting it is a Big Deal. Discrediting it also breaks the link to the Libyan state.

The first point involves misconduct, but not necessarily a major conspiracy. It's just the normal corrupt cop behaviour where getting the witness to identify the person of interest is far more important than figuring out whether the person of interest was actually the person the witness saw.

The second point appears to be one of monumental incompetence. My main question on that is over the declarations from RARDE and the AAIB swearing categorically that the bomb suitcase wasn't on the floor of the baggage container. What was that all about? It's not at all clear why any of them came to that conclusion on the evidence before them, never mind why about six different people were all prepared to be so sure about it. The fact is, the bomb suitcase WAS on the floor of the container, so what was all that about?

The third point is the one that really flags up possible criminal conspiracy. It that thing isn't a fake made deliberately to look like a bit of an MST-13 circuitboard, it's putting up a remarkably fine imitation of being that. But really, that's not our problem. It's enough for the appeal to show that it wasn't what the Crown said it was. The rest is for a subsequent inquiry to deal with.

That is the meat of what the SCCRC will be asked to consider. Nothing about Mesbahi or Talb or Khreesat or any of their unsavoury colleagues. It's simple, it's demonstrable, and it's 100% exculpatory.

Then the Crown Office is going to have to take its head out of the sand.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th March 2014, 06:26 AM   #1063
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Hey Rolfe, hope you're well,! I'll drop you an email and I see life has been pretty hectic - especially as you keep on popping up on my old gogglebox!

Of course you're right, someone needs to focus on that Heathrow baggage evidence, and essentially everything else flows from there. I thought the portion shown last night with you and the baggage graphics was good, encouraging, but was quickly overwhelmed with all the other stuff from Baer and de Grazia. As you say, it felt as though the Heathrow stuff became periphery.

The BBC's Newsnight Scotland piece nearly had me apoplectic however. Not only was the general report poor and the interview was weak - dare I say boring? - but flaming Reevel Alderson's report opened with him asserting that "Pan Am 103 was nearly an hour late leaving Heathrow". The remote control was nearly through the TV goddammit!

Specifically what happened at Heathrow and that baggage jigsaw. Yes, we do need that programme.
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Old 12th March 2014, 06:48 AM   #1064
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I've more or less given up watching Newsnight because their referendum coverage is so biassed I really can't stand it. I would have been apoplectic too if I'd been watching last night. Reevel Alderson is as thick as mince and simply doesn't do his homework. He was also the journalist who decided that the main take-home story from the leaked SCCRC report was "Lockerbie bomber visited Malta for sex" and made that the BBC headline. He also spun that salacious little non-story as if it was incriminating (well, it was just character assassination), when in fact it was exculpatory. The judges said that they were entitled to decide he had travelled to Malta on 20th/21st December to bomb Pan Am 103 because they had been given no other reason for the visit (despite various things coming out in evidence about a business meeting and a shopping trip), and if they had been given a plausible reason they would not have been entitled to come to that conclusion. If he actually went to visit his girlfriend, but didn't want to reveal this out of respect for his wife, then that is in fact damning for the prosecution.

I've come to the conclusion that most journalists are lazy and not very bright, and you just have to feed them what you can and sigh and move on when they get it all wrong. Life's too short to agonise over it.

Al Jazeera weren't perfect either. The voice-over said I had traced every single piece of luggage on the flight. I specifically told them that was rubbish and of course I had done no such thing, but they kept it in anyway. (Also, Chris asked what the tune was I played on the recorder. I said it was The Rowan Tree. He said was it Gaelic, and both George and I put him right in no uncertain terms about the difference between Gaelic and Scots. Nevertheless, in the voice-over, it was "Gaelic music".)

That's just detail though, and of little relevance. Getting the flight time wrong is inexcusable. I mean, the plane's scheduled gate departure time was 6 o'clock. The pieces hit the ground at Lockerbie at five past seven. How fast does he think it flew? Where is this file of blatant misinformation about basic Lockerbie facts that the BBC seems to keep somewhere?

Rolfe.
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Old 12th March 2014, 12:34 PM   #1065
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The second point appears to be one of monumental incompetence. My main question on that is over the declarations from RARDE and the AAIB swearing categorically that the bomb suitcase wasn't on the floor of the baggage container. What was that all about? It's not at all clear why any of them came to that conclusion on the evidence before them, never mind why about six different people were all prepared to be so sure about it. The fact is, the bomb suitcase WAS on the floor of the container, so what was all that about?

This brings up a point upon which I apparently never picked up before. In the US, when an airliner is known or suspected to have been destroyed by a criminal act, the FBI takes over the investigation, and the NTSB simply provides technical assistance as needed (such as reading flight recorders). AAIB stands for Air Accidents Investigation Branch; should they really have been trying to determine the particulars of the bomb explosion?
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Old 12th March 2014, 02:08 PM   #1066
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No, they should not. You have picked up on an important point. Peter Claiden the AAIB inspector admitted in court that he had no experience in investigating bomb damage, but he certainly did volunteer opinions on that subject.

An interesting passage in the FAI transcript reveals Feraday denying that there was any cross-over between the RARDE (forensic) inquiry and the AAIB (accident) inquiry. The AAIB's remit was of course to figure out why the explosion had had such a catastrophic effect on the plane, and eventually if some modification to the plane might have allowed it to survive the detonation. Feraday tried to claim that RARDE had not sent its documents to the AAIB and there was arms length between them. However the two teams were working side by side. I presume they talked to each other, and probably even ate lunch together!

So it is interesting in that context to note that it was Claiden who first put forward in a report the statement that there had been another suitcase between the bomb suitcase and the floor of the container. That report was dated April 1989. The same statement was incorporated into the full AAIB report later. Excuse me, what business was that of theirs?

I suspect that the RARDE scientists, probably mainly Feraday because it seems to have been his mantra, fed Claiden that line at an early stage and encouraged him to include it in his preliminary report. But why would he do that?

In the end we have Claiden, his colleague Christopher Protheroe, Feraday, his colleague Ian Cullis, and also Hayes and I think Christopher Peel as well, all agreed that the suitcase wasn't on the bottom layer. Michael Charles of the AAIB is another - he signed the full AAIB report. And a Miss L. Jones signed the RARDE Joint Forensic Report. That makes eight individuals who either offered that as their own professional opinion (Feraday was "adamant" about it and actually asked for the transcript of the FAI to be altered to include this - to make it a certainty rather than a probability), or acceded to the opinion by signing a report including that statement.

But the bomb suitcase was on the floor of the container. Not quite flat, certainly, but undoubtedly it was the one on the bottom of the stack. So how come so many different people were prepared to stick their necks out and say it definitely wasn't, not even worth thinking about it?

This intrigues me very much.

Rolfe.
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Old 13th March 2014, 10:41 AM   #1067
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I don't know if I am late to the party or whether I have been ill-informed about this in the past, but to me the major revelation in the latest Al Jazeera documentary was the suggestion that there were these sort of "grand terrorist summits" in Malta - at which Iran, Syria, PFLP-GC and Libya all had representatives.

So, to Rolfe (and anyone else who might know): do these reported meetings have any authenticity or reliability? Because if they do, then the puzzle appears to me to fall into place considerably regarding the Libyan connection. I infer (if these meetings really did happen as reported) that Megrahi and Fimah were the Libyan representatives at these meetings. If so, they would have had knowledge of what was being planned, even if (as per the allegations) they did not actively take part in the planning or execution of the mission.

It also puts Megrahi's denials into context. I noted on the programme the portion of his deathbed interview where he emphatically denies having ever visited Mary's House (where the clothes in the bomb suitcase were bought). To me, this is true, in that Megrahi (and Fimah) were never involved in the practicalities of designing, preparing or executing the attack - and therefore of course Megrahi wouldn't have been the one buying the clothes.

Is it possible, therefore, that both Megrahi and Fimah had intimate advance knowledge of what was being planned, on account of one or both of them sitting on this "grand terrorist council" in Malta? If so, both could plausibly - and correctly - deny having had anything to do with the actual planning or execution of the bombing, but they would have known of its conception and planning, and would have implicitly sanctioned it in advance.

To me (unless I'm either being stupid/ignorant or have missed something significant), this all makes a lot of sense. I've long believed that this was a PFLP-GC attack authorised and funded by Iran via Syria. But what if the Libyans knew about it on account of their presence in the Malta meetings?

I am hoping that either Rolfe or someone else will have a strong, well-supported opinion on the veracity and reliability of these reports of the Iran-Syria-PFLPGC-Libya meetings in Malta. At the moment, I have no idea whether or not the informed, reasonable opinion is that the reports are flaky at best, or complete fabrications at worst. The Al Jazeera doc certainly treated the reports as fact, but that's a long way from corroborated, documented proof.
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Old 13th March 2014, 12:42 PM   #1068
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For some reason I can't find the doc on AJ English's youtube channel but it is here on their Balkan channel and following on their Turkish channel, both with subtitles.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 13th March 2014, 01:19 PM   #1069
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Thanks for that, CE. When I saw the preview the whole thing was squashed (and distorted) into a square in the middle of the screen, when I saw it live there was a news ticker on the bottom, and now subtitles!

People who are familiar with the whole Mesbahi story and Operation Bird are subjecting these parts to severe criticism which seems to be justified.

http://www.megrahiyouaremyjury.net/?p=1031

I gather John backed out from the production because he disagreed with the reliance on these unreliable sources. To be fair he warned me about that before I was filmed, but I judged it was worth the risk because it's very difficult to get anyone to pick up on the suitcase jigsaw and at least Al Jazeera wanted it. He actually said "I suppose you're smart enough not to let them put words into your mouth" and I heeded that. I'm happy with everything I say on camera.

What was a little disappointing for me was that my careful demonstration of the suitcase jigsaw (which I went through in complete detail four times in order to provide sufficient shots to present the whole explanation) was reduced to a bit of handwaving. It was made quite clear that I had a detailed analysis, and what I believed it proved, but the working wasn't shown. I think it was inevitable given the emphasis of the programme, but it was a bit of a lost opportunity.

I think the effect of the programme was mainly in its re-presentation of stuff that was widely discussed quite a long time ago, but which had fallen out of the public consciousness a bit. IR655, the PFLP-GC, Neuss, Autumn Leaves and the barometric timer issue were all reprised. A lot of the press excitement seemed to come from people to whom this was actually news. And of course Al Jazeera were hardly going to volunteer that it wasn't new material. So the headlines were good even though the foundation for the headlines was less bankable.

It's an eye-opener as regards the way the press treat this sort of thing. Most of the press were photographers who were behind their cameras and mainly interested in photographing Jim Swire. They were very definitely not looking at the screen. Linklater of course was watching, but he's a dishonest customer with an agenda. I don't see any sign that any journalist was actually watching the film to glean their story from that. The press reports seem all to have been based on Al Jazeera's press releases of how they wanted it to be interpreted.

As regards the Heathrow origin, there were two relevant points. One was Khreesat's "associate" who didn't appear on camera, but was reported in hearsay as stating that Iran was behind it and the bomb went on at Heathrow. Forgive me, but that's about the lowest grade of evidence you can possibly have. It was also about six words. The other was me, and I was presented as a "research scientist" who had "made a detailed study of every suitcase on the plane." (Not true, but that's what they said.) I explained that the damaged suitcases form a three-dimensional jigsaw which, when solved, reveals that the case with the bomb in it was the one Bedford saw in the interline shed an hour before the feeder flight landed. It was a reasonably lengthy segment.

Every single news outlet which has reported on the allegation that the bomb went on at Heathrow has sourced it to Khreesat's associate. Not one has mentioned forensic evidence. I can only assume that Al Jazeera didn't mention the forensic case in their press material, and the newspaper stories are taken from that.

You know, if I was watching that, the evidence-based claim which had nothing at all to do with what some extremely dodgy character allegedly said but wouldn't repeat on camera would be the thing that would jump out. But no, not a syllable.

Rolfe.
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Old 13th March 2014, 01:55 PM   #1070
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I fear that the 'suitcase jigsaw', and even the general Heathrow insertion theory, is far too complex to be presented in a serious news item or even a quite lengthy documentary.

Regrettably, we live in a sound-bite world
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Old 13th March 2014, 01:59 PM   #1071
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That's certainly true, but it was presented as a sound-bite, and quite well presented. I was right there with my ugly mug in front of the camera, and I said quite clearly that having analysed that evidence, it was my opinion that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow beyond any reasonable doubt. Or words to that effect. With a caption identifying me as a "research scientist".

Why don't you like that sound-bite, o denizens of the fourth estate?

Rolfe.
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Old 14th March 2014, 02:05 PM   #1072
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W00T!!! Somebody gets it. Let's hear it for Jennifer May.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.co.uk/...lockerbie.html

Rolfe.
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Old 14th March 2014, 03:01 PM   #1073
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It's a good review. I hope many read it.
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Old 14th March 2014, 03:14 PM   #1074
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I'd have preferred the Herald to Ireland's Big Issue, but Jennifer rocks.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th March 2014, 10:16 AM   #1075
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Bomb-maker Khreesat posts Lockerbie photos on Facebook

Quote:
The man investigators initially believed built the bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie 25 years ago maintains a Facebook page on which he recently posted pictures of the Lockerbie bombing and promised to write about the circumstances of the attack.

Marwan Khreesat, who now lives in Jordan, was arrested but bizarrely released by German police two months before the Lockerbie bombing as part of a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command cell found in possession of bombs designed to blow up airliners. [....]

In several posts relating to Lockerbie in recent weeks, Khreesat recalled his arrest two months before the December 21, 1988, bombing and posted pictures of the destroyed cockpit of the 747 after the explosion, the painstakingly reconstructed parts of the plane wreckage, and a radio-recorder like the one that held the bomb. He also asked a series of unanswered questions about the attack. “Who did the operation?” he asked in a post on the 25th anniversary of the blast. “Israel? Iran? Libya? Who carried the Toshiba explosive device [in which the bomb was hidden]? … Did the explosive device come from Malta airport like the American intelligence agencies say?… When will these riddles be solved.”

Last October, Khreesat posted that he intended to “write about Pan Am 103,” including “who was on the flight and the circumstances of the incident.”



Rolfe.
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