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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 19th August 2011, 04:08 AM   #441
Rolfe
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For the two-year anniversary

Well, it's that time again. The poison pens are being sharpened for the hate-fest. Why hasn't Megrahi had the decency to die yet? We should drag someone who is quite obviously seriously ill back to jail in a cold wet country a thousand miles from home. We should never have released him because new cutting-edge medical advances were in the pipeline that might have been expected to extend his life. Even, he should be kidnapped to the USA and subjected to another show trial before jailing him again, or killing him.

This makes me sick.

I just had the dubious pleasure of being wakened by a re-run (on the radio) of Kenny MacAskill's sick-making speech from 2009. It made me pretty queasy at the time, and it doesn't improve with age. (And I speak as a committed SNP member and supporter.)

What I really want to say today (well tomorrow but the news media are getting in ahead of the weekend) is that I have changed my mind a lot over the past couple of years about this issue. I originally believed Megrahi to be a Libyan secret service agent, who was up to some unknown but probably evil and nefarious activity on 20th December 1988, and may indeed have had "blood on his hands" - just not Lockerbie blood, as the evidence showed.

I've heard this from a number of other people too. Christine Grahame has said "He's not a clean potato, but then you don't frame a clean potato". Police officers have told journalists, "Don't waste your sympathy on Megrahi, even if he didn't bomb Pan Am 103, he has blood on his hands" (as if that in some way makes it OK to convict him for something he didn't do, while at the same time leaving the real culprits to get clean away).

I realise I've been struggling to maintain this point of view. It's pretty bad that our criminal justice system screwed up the Lockerbie investigation so comprehensively that it never brought the real bombers to justice, and that it jailed someone who had nothing to do with it. That the person who was jailed and monstered was not some sort of evil terrorist minion but just an ordinary person getting on with his ordinary life at the time isn't something I have been at all keen to contemplate.

However, that is the conclusion I am reluctantly espousing.

I have been very struck by the total absence of any evidence for Megrahi having been involved in anything at all beyond sanctions-busting, in the years before 1991 when he was indicted. All the so-called evidence of his infamy has come from people who were bribed (mostly) and threatened (Giaka, in part) by the CIA to provide evidence to order against the man they had decided to accuse. The little of that they even brought to court was shown to be fabrication.

There isn't a shred of evidence linking him with any of the atrocities of the Libyan regime, or with the planning of any violent or repressive operations. Much has been made of his using the Abdusamad passport on 20th-21st December 1988, but that passport was easily and legally traceable to him, and his entire movements during that 24-hour period speak not of a terrorist mastermind, but of someone engaged in very mundane business who simply had no clue that someone else was planning on blowing up an airliner that night.

I've been particularly struck by the contrast between what we know of Megrahi, and the extensive biographical information we have about the other set of suspects, namely Khreesat, Dalkamoni, Ghandafar and their colleagues. What a bunch of thugs! Their activites, bomb-making skills and horrifying record of violence are public property. There's nothing like that in Megrahi's past. But it seems as if we're just supposed to believe that "Libyan" says it all.

I didn't believe the story about him travelling to Malta on 20th December to find a joiner to supply and fit a banister rail, and other stuff like that. But the more I find out about all this, the more I'm coming to the conclusion that there wasn't much more to it than that. If he'd stepped on a crack in the pavement that day, we'd know about it by now. He didn't.

This makes me very, very depressed.

The reason I bumped this thread was really to link to an article in today's Guardian, which puts this point of view better than I can, because it is written by someone who knows Megrahi as a person and as a human being. The Lockerbie Bomber I Know

Originally Posted by John Ashton
The final reason for my near certaintly about Megrahi is my knowledge of the man himself. Who, then, is he if not the cartoon terrorist of contemporary mythology? Few have any idea: he opted not to give evidence at trial, and has barely spoken to the media. He was born in Tripoli in 1952, into poverty that was typical of the times in Libya. One of eight siblings, his family shared a house with two others, and his mother supplemented his father's customs officer's income by sewing for neighbours. As a young child he was plagued by chest problems, for which he received daily vitamin supplements at his Unesco-administered school. His main passion was football, which continues to absorb him.

After finishing school in 1970, he briefly trained as a marine engineer at Rumney Technical College in Cardiff, hoping to become a ship's captain or navigator. When his eyesight proved too poor, he dropped out and returned to Tripoli, where he trained as a flight dispatcher for the state-owned Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA). Having completed his training and gained his dispatcher's licence in the US, he was gradually promoted to head of operations at Tripoli airport. Keen to improve his education, he studied geography at the University of Benghazi. He came top in his year and was invited to join the teaching staff on the promise that he could study for a master's degree in climatology in the US. When the promise proved hollow, he opted to boost his salary by returning to LAA.

In 1986 he became a partner in a small company called ABH and was temporarily appointed LAA's head of airline security. The following year he became part-time coordinator of the Libyan Centre for Strategic Studies. His Scottish prosecutors aimed to prove that these roles were cover for his activities as a senior agent for the Libyan intelligence service, the JSO.

Megrahi maintains that his only involvement with the JSO came during his 12-month tenure as head of airline security when he was seconded to the organisation to oversee the training of some of its personnel for security positions within the airline. There is ample documentary evidence to support his claim that ABH was a legitimate trading company whose main business was the purchase of spares for LAA aircraft, often in breach of US sanctions. He admits that he sometimes travelled on a false passport, but insists that it was issued to give him cover for his sanctions-busting activities; unlike his true passport, it did not betray his airline background.

Megrahi says that it came as a complete surprise when, in November 1991, he and his former LAA colleague Lamin Fhimah were charged with the bombing (Fhimah was found not guilty). [....]

I'm encouraged that the Guardian has published this. I hope it will make a few people stop and think for a bit.

Here's a bit more food for thought.

Megrahi aged 46, a few months before being taken into Scottish custody.
http://plane-truth.com/Aoude/geocities/megrahi1998.jpg

Megrahi aged 57, after just over ten years in jail.
http://www.independent.co.uk/multime...ty_235884s.jpg

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 19th August 2011 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 20th August 2011, 02:25 PM   #442
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Story in Scottish Sun today - Dossier of doubt over Lockerbie

http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scot...Lockerbie.html
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Old 20th August 2011, 03:41 PM   #443
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There's apparently something similar in the Daily Mail, of all places. The Herald only had the usual guff about the compassionate release, spiced up by some Labour wonk declaring that Megrahi withdrawing the appeal was equivalent to a formal admission of guilt.

It's a shame only the gutter press seem prepared to take serious articles about this issue at the moment.

Unfortunately Mega has got the date of Gauci's selection of the picture that was supposed to be of Megrahi spectacularly wrong in that article. I'm strangely intrigued by this story of an earlier showing at which Gauci didn't pick Megrahi's picture. This could relate to what we were discussing in the Mystery Shopper thread.

The other problem with the article is that (probably for reasons of space), it isn't explained that if the identification was in error, the entire case falls. Without the identification, they have only tray 8849 on the Erac printout, and that is so tenuous it had to be bolstered by the alleged investigation to make anything at all of it.

Without the identification, Megrahi didn't buy the clothes, and he wasn't within a thousand miles of where the bomb went on the plane, and in short he had no more involvement in it than I had, not to mention a much better alibi.

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Old 21st August 2011, 05:14 AM   #444
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Yes, it appears that Mega has got the date of initial contact with Gauci by the investigation confused with the date that Gauci picked out the black & white photo of Megrahi.

However, if the suggestion by Mega about Gauci being shown a different photo six days before and not picking it, then that (again) seems to be following the allegation made by 'The Golfer' in this respect. Although, Mega also appears to be referring to comments made in the SCCRC report, who I'd thought had refuted those claims.

However, it has to be said, the public have only been privy to a very limited extract of that full SCCRC report. A mere 13 pages of 300, so perhaps elsewhere in that full report some credence was given to these allegations..


Originally Posted by ScotlandonSunday 24June 2007, Marcello Mega
[...]says that Gauci's first statement was altered, as he was shown the original version by a colleague, and that when Gauci was first shown photographs of both accused, he had failed to identify either of them.
Scotland on Sunday


I would assert that if Gauci was shown another photo of Megrahi, before he plumped for the fuzzy black & white one, then that would have been the Abdusamad pasport photograph, and critically, didn't pick it out despite it being an immeasurably more contemporary photo of the 'buyer' at the time of the incident.

More curiously where are these flurries of additional titbits of the SCCRC report emanating?

That is a quite a plainly shocking contrast of the man in those two photo's Rolfe. In fine fettle indeed...

In another article, apparently referring to the SCCRC report, the suggestion is also that Megrahi wwas the only Libyan in the line-up for Gauci prior to the trial at Zeist. A line-up to identify someone that half the world had seen plastered all over the front pages and televison screens for years. Worse still, the article alleges that one of the men in the line-up was 26, meaning he would have been 14 when he posed as a man of over 50 years old and made the exchange with Gauci.

Originally Posted by Sunday Express

Secret documents prepared by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s lawyers show Dutch officials struggled to find volunteers who resembled the terror suspect.

The pool of lookalikes included white Europeans, men who were significantly taller or shorter than Megrahi and one who would have been 14 at the time of the atrocity.

Even so, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci – the Crown’s key witness who was paid £1.2million to testify – still struggled to pick out Megrahi.
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/...dentity-parade


The full SCCRC report was delivered, in totality, to specific and very limited parties, including I presume Mr Megrahi. Given the precarious nature of his security in Tripoli growing ever more uncertain, the leaking of any of it's details it may well serve as his only hope of ever revealing the truth quite shortly.

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Old 21st August 2011, 05:56 AM   #445
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The Sunday Express seem to be using these not-so-secret reports:


http://www.megrahimystory.net/downlo...9-12-2008.pdf?

and


http://www.megrahimystory.net/downloads/Professor%20Steve%20Clark's%20report%2018%2012%200 8.pdf?


Of course, there could be more, but I found these to be eye-poppingly informative.



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Old 7th September 2011, 03:24 PM   #446
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Tom Halpin?
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Old 8th September 2011, 10:44 AM   #447
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No.

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Old 26th September 2011, 05:17 AM   #448
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The pendulum appears to be swinging the other way- away from Megrahi now.

From MSNBC;

"LONDON — Scottish prosecutors have contacted Libya's interim rulers for help in tracking down information which could lead to others being charged over the 1988 bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44667192...d_news-europe/

So, is this a continuation of an increasing voice of doubt regarding Megrahi? Or, is this carefully orchestrated, based on the crown's nagging doubts of its own?

I'm quite happy to see the trend.

If it now becomes 'safe' for various individuals to now publicly admit they have been sitting on facts, evidence, or other details crucial to the investigation of this case, perhaps other theories of the bombing, discussed here at length by us all, will begin to be officially discussed, or even considered.

And that would be a very good thing, indeed.
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Old 26th September 2011, 09:36 AM   #449
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Well at the very least, one would be entitled to investigate who had ordered Megrahi to do it.

If you believe Megrahi did it, of course. And if you didn't, you'd be looking for evidence as to who actually did.
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Old 26th September 2011, 10:37 AM   #450
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
Well at the very least, one would be entitled to investigate who had ordered Megrahi to do it.
Unless, of course, you are content with the assumption that Ghaddafi ordered it, because Ghaddafi is a bad guy, and that´s what bad guys do.
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Old 26th September 2011, 02:46 PM   #451
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As far as I can make out, that news is all about finding out who else (supposedly) conspired with Megrahi. They're not questioning his guilt at all.

He was never convicted of putting the bomb on the plane. He couldn't have done that. He didn't go airside that morning. The prosecution couldn't say what he had actually done, at all. Just that he had been at the airport at the time they believed the magic invisible suitcase had been levitated on to KM180, so he had to have been mixed up in it somehow. He was only convicted of being an accessory.

So, they have kept the investigation technically "open", saying that they were always looking for new leads. However, people have given them new leads, but if these don't involve Libya, they are ignored. The purpose of keeping the investigation open seems mostly to be able to use that as a reason for fobbing off all questions and criticisms.

First they went after Musa Kusa, and they even interviewed him, but it's pretty obvious they got nothing at all from him. Which rather enraged the relatives who believe in the Libya-dun-it story, because Musa Kusa was always fed to them as being the top mastermind who was behind it. But he wasn't arrested or detained, but instead was sent on his way with goodwill.

Now they're making noises about looking for more evidence to re-try Fhimah, who was acquitted. At one point they hinted they had such evidence. This is actually quite scary, for anyone who is concerned about the power of the state going mad. This behaviour is exactly why the ancient prohibition on double jeopardy was enacted.

They have no interest in looking at any other modus operandi than the invisible levitating suitcase at Malta fantasy. All the rhetoric is designed to cement the idea that that was definitely how it was done into the public narrative. Actually realising that the bomb was never anywhere near Malta and that they should have been looking at Heathrow airport from about day 13, isn't on the agenda.

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Old 26th September 2011, 02:50 PM   #452
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Anyway, they're on a hiding to nothing.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...78P10A20110926

Quote:
The investigation into the 1988 bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland is closed and Tripoli will not release more evidence that could lead to others being charged, Libya's interim leaders said on Monday.

Scottish prosecutors had asked Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) to give them access to papers or witnesses that could implicate more suspects, possibly including deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.

However, Libya's interim justice minister Mohammed al-Alagi turned them down, telling reporters: "The case is closed."



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Old 26th September 2011, 04:36 PM   #453
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Anyway, they're on a hiding to nothing.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...78P10A20110926
Rolfe.

Shamefully, I have to admit that this report briefly made me laugh out loud.

The NTC convinced NATO countries to spunk billions of cash, that it does not have, in changing the regime that runs Libya's oil wealth.

They have kinda done the Scots a favour by saying "It's a done deal. Go away." After all, they could have said, " Okay, remind us just how it was Libya's fault? "

Mr Megrahi could not conceivably have been convicted of the crime with the case presented by The Crown. Any evidence contributed contra to 'our belief in the conviction as sound' since then has been waved away.
[ I'm paraphrasing what I believe to be the current Scottish Governments line. Please don't ask for a direct quote.]

The Scottish Government need only do one good thing in this matter. That is, open up the SCCRC report and deal with the fall-out. I'm expecting the usual fudge and, therefore, confirmation that 'The Edinburgh Establishment' is happy to be seen as decades old and irrelevant to the wider world.
( Okay, so I'm expressing a bias against blokes in wigs and robes, but I'm generally pretty open-minded )

Big-up to the JFM. You don't need NATO warplanes, but then a sledgehammer to crack a nut, I would say, is rather ill-advised in the long-run.



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Old 26th September 2011, 05:11 PM   #454
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Intriguingly, the late evening BBC news trailed that it was going to give us the latest news of the moves to find more evidence about the Lockerbie bombing. This was after that Reuters article appeared, and you're not telling me that the BBC doesn't keep an eye on Reuters.

But when the item appeared, it was just a repeat of what had been broadcast earlier, that the PtB were requesting the Libyan rebels to find them evidence to go after poor Fhimah again. Not a word even hinting that they'd been given the bum's rush.

Note though, the word is that the case is regarded as closed. I don't think Libya is in the market for "clearing their name". That's rather more than I imagine their fledgling relationship with the West would survive.

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Old 26th September 2011, 07:50 PM   #455
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Edit: Never mind.

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Old 26th September 2011, 09:22 PM   #456
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I'm going to posit that the Libyan NTC declaration of 'case closed' on the official Megrahi culpability could have the effect that some very ticked off American relatives of those lost on PA 103 might awaken and begin to dig deeply into cause and effect.

I live near the border with the United States, and I very much admire the way they, as a people, become very determined truthseekers when doors are closed in their face. They'll go around, under, or through all obstacles in pursuit of closure when their families have been harmed.

This 'case closed' declaration could be just what the PA 103 investigation needs.
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Old 27th September 2011, 01:46 AM   #457
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The problem is that the American relatives think they know what happened, beyond dispute and beyond reason. The invisible levitating suitcase was really levitated on board KM180 at Malta, by Megrahi +/- Fhimah, because their officials said so, and damn the evidence. And it is a very big ask to challenge that sort of certainty, especially when people have so much emotion invested in it.

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Old 28th September 2011, 09:08 PM   #458
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The problem is that the American relatives think they know what happened, beyond dispute and beyond reason.
The relatives stand on REAL evidence that was produced in a court of law.
Not on Google "evidence" produced by CTers.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The invisible levitating suitcase was really levitated on board KM180 at Malta, by Megrahi +/- Fhimah, because their officials said so,
Uh, no. Actually, because all of the REAL evidence combined (e.g. Megrahi working for the now ousted Libyan regime, who his boss was, - cough - Abu Salim prison massacre -cough, stair case carpentry and dodging sanctions my arse, renting space from the Ebola....the list goes on) produced a GUILTY verdict in a court of law.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
and damn the evidence.
Again, Google "evidence" does not equal REAL evidence.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And it is a very big ask to challenge that sort of certainty, especially when people have so much emotion invested in it.
Rolfe.
If anyone is "levitating" it's the non-evidence here, and noted above that has produced absolutely nothing of "real certainty".

Mod WarningBreach of rule 12 removed.
Posted By:Cuddles

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Old 28th September 2011, 10:33 PM   #459
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Edited by Cuddles:  Moderated content removed.


~B.
Your ranting, virtually incoherent criticisim of other posters in such an emotional, unsubstantiated fashion for making reasonable, reasoned, justified arguments based on items like court transcripts just seems lazy.

Your credibility has suffered, most certainly fatally.
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Old 28th September 2011, 10:54 PM   #460
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The problem is that the American relatives think they know what happened, beyond dispute and beyond reason. The invisible levitating suitcase was really levitated on board KM180 at Malta, by Megrahi +/- Fhimah, because their officials said so, and damn the evidence. And it is a very big ask to challenge that sort of certainty, especially when people have so much emotion invested in it.

Rolfe.
At the risk of straying slightly away from the thread- I think this concept goes directly to why some Americans wish to see Megrahi 'do the time for his crime'.
Here is an illustration of the American fighting spirit I refer to, from a U.S. National Public Radio interview;

SUSAN COHEN: Well, I encountered really terrible, terrible therapists. They seemed to encourage denial, and I am a fighter by nature and am very angry over my daughter's death. She should have been saved, there should have been airline security. Since then there should have been justice in going after the terrorists and the countries that sponsor terrorism, and this anger of mine, which I consider to be reasonable and- and- and even strengthening, bothered the therapists, so that they tried to talk it away or imply there was something wrong with me. Well, how could I not carry this tragedy within me all the time? And I believe that fighting for justice is the right thing to do, and that's what I've done for seven and a half years. 1

I think this reflects the deep desire of most Americans to seek out truth and justice, even if it takes many, many years.

1. TWA Crash Haunts Parent Who Lost Daughter at Lockerbie., Weekend Edition - Saturday (NPR), 07-27-1996.
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Old 29th September 2011, 12:41 AM   #461
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Of course Mrs. Cohen is right. The problem is, she is aiming her ire at the wrong target. Airport security at Malta was unimpeachable, and while the probability seems to be that interline luggage was not reconciled to passengers at Frankfurt in 1988, there's no evidence that Maier's x-ray missed anything.

The situation at Heathrow, however, was self-evidently deplorable. Witness after witness stood on the stand at Zeist and described how anybody at all could have walked in there and put anything they liked anywhere they liked. And that's before you get to the break-in that was swept under the carpet so they could keep the planes flying that day. But somehow this fantasy-suitcase from Malta, that nobody saw and nobody counted and Maier somehow looked straight through, allowed all that to pass without criticism. And we can all just ignore the mysterious suitcase that was really seen and really reported, right there where the explosion happened. To bury the truth of Lockerbie in order to protect the business interests of BAA seems a shocking thing to do, but that's what the evidence indicates was done.

The problem is, some people need a real person to hate. Megrahi is a real person, in custody, who can be vilified and demonised and used as a channel for all that hate. Abu Elias (not his real name), Hafez Dalkamoni, Marwan Khreesat, Ahmed Jibril and the rest of that horrible crew aren't real in the same way. We can't relate to hating them, as names or fuzzy photographs. And they haven't been brought to book for the crime, which makes hating them a bit unsatisfactory. We don't know exactly who did what, or whose hand placed the suitcase in the luggage container. (OK, Megrahi's hand wasn't the one that did that even in the official version, but never mind.)

I'm afraid there's too much emotion clouding this issue for a lot of people. It's very easy to understand, but it doesn't make getting at the truth any easier.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th September 2011, 06:17 AM   #462
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It seems Libya has changed its position, according to this story from William Maclean of Reuters..

http://www.canada.com/news/Libya+rea...417/story.html

Quoting from this story;

"TRIPOLI - Libya's interim justice minister Mohammed al-Alagi said on Wednesday he was ready to work with Scottish authorities to probe the possible involvement of others in the Lockerbie bombing apart from the sole Libyan convicted for the attack."

The Libyans are co-operating because, according to al-Alagi;

"Alagi added on Wednesday that he welcomed the possibility of an investigation into the possibility of others' culpability because "this will lead to the acquittal of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who has been unjustly convicted in this case"."

At the end of August, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez called on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) rebels to let U.S. officials see Megrahi.

I find this statement quite interesting, again, from Menendez;
"we still do not know who ordered the bombing, who collected the intelligence to carry out the plan, who made the bomb and who — in addition to Megrahi — bears responsibility for this and other heinous attacks," said Menendez.1

Well, doesn't this get curiouser and curiouser.


1.Agence France-Presse August 30, 2011
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Old 29th September 2011, 06:54 AM   #463
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I think they're having their arms twisted, along the lines of "if you want to be in a favourable position with the western powers, bloody well do as we tell you." And then they try a bit of damage limitation.

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Old 29th September 2011, 07:27 AM   #464
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I think there's little doubt the NTC understands the sooner Libyan citizens see tangible benefits from their new government, the sooner Libya will stabilize, and, ipso facto, extend enchantment with the NTC.
Given that presumption, if they want to curry favour with the United States, and keep the oil cash flowing in, why make the statement that Megrahi was 'unjustly convicted'? Is this statement a mistake- a result of rookie diplomacy- or a signal that the NTC have some sort of backbone?
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Old 29th September 2011, 09:37 AM   #465
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I think they're trying to have their cake and eat it, basically. We'll see how that works out for them. As long as nobody fabricates anything, it shouldn't be an issue.

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Old 29th September 2011, 11:22 AM   #466
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Regarding the shaping of American perception towards Megrahi, Edward S. Herman explains the role of media bias in this October, 2009 piece on the Pan Am 103 bombing.

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3920

No desire to shift the focus of the thread away from discussion of facts regarding Megrahi. This is a post to illustrate the way the case was portrayed to the public in the U.S.A., potentially hardening Americans to the adoption of any alternative theories.

Another factor which affected Megrahi was, IMHO, the political situation. That would be for another thread.
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Old 29th September 2011, 01:43 PM   #467
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I hadn't seen that article before, so thanks. It's very good, and indeed pulls together several facets of the affair succinctly in a way I haven't seen in another publication.

You know, when you see the entire media circus just drop what it's been saying before (Megrahi may well have been falsely convicted) for no good reason and start to peddle an entirely contradictory line (mass murderer released when he should have rotted in jail), you do start to wonder about this illuminati conspiracy thing....

He does, however, repeat a point central to many of these discussions, which I don't believe is correct.

Quote:
But then there were political changes: Syria, where the PFLP was based, was important in negotiations for the release of U.S. hostages held in Lebanon, as was Iran, and after August 1990, Iran was seen as an important help in the Gulf War against Iraq. So, as investigative journalist Paul Foot (Private Eye, 5–6/01) observed, “The evidence against the PFLP which had been so carefully put together and was so immensely impressive was quietly but firmly junked.” A new culprit was needed, and Muammar Qaddafi and Libya suited well as general-service villains. It took little time for “definitive proof” to be redefined, and the media moved accordingly, with hardly a mention of the political convenience of the shift.

Of course he's referencing Foot, who is a major proponent of the thesis, presented it persuasively in an excellent article, then inconsiderately died so that he couldn't modify or refine his ideas.

The roots of the Libya accusation go right back to the earliest days of the investigation. There was a desire to blame Libya before a single shred of the evidence that would later implicate the PFLP-GC was gathered. The piece of evidence that sent the investigation haring off to Malta on a complete wild goose chase was genuine, and was acted on in the late summer of 1989. Although the timer fragment which ostensibly shifted the focus of the investigation to Libya wasn't identified until June 1990, arguably just late enough to be connected to the upcoming Gulf War (though Saddam didn't invade Kuwait until August), the actual item was definitely present in the chain of evidence from September 1989.

All the determined ignoring of the Heathrow evidence happened in the first half of 1989, really. After that, it was set in stone. The bomb came from Malta. They were still hunting the PFLP-GC then, but since they were hunting them in the wrong place, it's no wonder they didn't catch anyone. The trail had gone stone cold by late 1990, when the Libya idea reinvigorated it.

When you look at what happened then, the thrashing around looking at random Libyans and the almost accidental discovery of Megrahi's convenient visits to the island at times that allowed him to be drawn into the inquiry, it all seems pretty aimless. It turned out that there was indeed a Libyan whose movements allowed the blame to be pinned on him, but I can't see that this was a prerequisite of the hypothesis. The whole grand conspiracy theory is difficult to sustain at that point - it becomes much more like a classic Chicago Cop scenario. Here's a suspect who looks promising, let's railroad him. And they made it so.

Not that the Gulf War didn't make this outcome politically desirable, but I don't think it was orchestrated that way. I think it was just convenient. I'm not even sure the investigation was deliberately turned away from the PFLP-GC angle for fear of the political consequences in relation to Syria and Iran. It's possible the entire debacle was entirely rooted in the knee-jerk shielding of BAA that started almost before all the bodies had been recovered from the fields.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th September 2011, 05:36 PM   #468
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

The roots of the Libya accusation go right back to the earliest days of the investigation. Rolfe

I would agree with this. Investigoogling's not everyone's cuppa T on the forum, but /google/newspapers will let you see the last throes of Reagan's admin up to all sorts of anti-Gaddaffi maneouvres. ie he's got WMD, he's a bad man, etc. There's even shooting-down of Libyan jet fighters, no questions asked. It's kinda spooky for it's displaced familiarity. The US newstitles are especially interesting. Head for the Philadelphia and Miami papers. It's a trawl, but it's worth it.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
When you look at what happened then, the thrashing around looking at random Libyans <snip>
Rolfe.
For me, it all turns on little ol' Malta. The US authorities already had a bona fide investigation running there thanks to the bombing of a disco in Berlin. There's Palestinians and connections to Libya. The US has nothing inside Libya, though. They do have Super Spy Madjid Giaka.

What he says makes the case. When you read the trial-by-media hype against the accused it's Giaka's testimony it all rests on.

It also breaks the case, because there actually isn't a case against Mr Megrahi. The Super Spy seems to be a mechanic with a fetish for surgery and somehow gets the CIA to pay for it. Now that's weird in and of itself. Giaka's so bad even the judges won't stand for it.


I'll big-up investigoogling because I found my way to court transcripts, court opinion, UN opinion, other informed opinion, other fruitcake opinion and much else besides. I've tried my damndest to cut through the woo. ( Thankfully, we've all been spared a 'no plane theory' )


So, yeah, Libya was in the frame from very early on. It just took a while for the investigation to start ignoring where the evidence was really pointing them. That's politics. If there's truth to be told you won't get it from a politician of any country.



CTB


ps I don't like CTs. FWIW, The CTB stands for Colour Temperature Blue, a joke that lx folk might get, but I now realise looks a little strange on a skeptic site.

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Old 29th September 2011, 06:59 PM   #469
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
As long as nobody fabricates anything, it shouldn't be an issue.

Rolfe.
LOL!!! Fabrication, as in Google / non existent "evidence"?

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Old 29th September 2011, 07:02 PM   #470
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Originally Posted by SnidelyW View Post
No desire to shift the focus of the thread away from discussion of facts regarding Megrahi.
Except for when you choose to lambast someone for expressing views about which you disagree. Hmmmmm.....
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Old 30th September 2011, 03:25 PM   #471
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
LOL!!! Fabrication, as in <snip> nonexistent "evidence"?

No evidence didn't bother the judges and they pretty much admitted so.

Politics, Bunntamas, not truth is wot swung it. Anytime you'd care to show from the trial ( which some of us are much better informed about from 'googling' ) and the court judgement just why is it that Mr Megrahi was pinned as the Lockerbie Bomber then I would listen and ponder through what it is that I've missed.

Respect of authority doesn't cut if for me, especially when that authority folds back in on itself and just pouts for effect. Also, when said authority absolutely relies on government and established stipend.

The Man-in-the-Wig Said So argument is childish. All I'm asking is, please, point to the uncontroversial evidence. Give me something that might lead me to think that the whole catastrophe was something more than a *************** caused by intelligence agencies taking their eye off the ball.

Bunntamas, you're a believer. What have you founded that upon?



CTB

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Old 30th September 2011, 04:54 PM   #472
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I've asked her that before, but all we get is that he knew people in the Libyan intelligence community, he had a diplomatic passport, and he knew "Ebola" (that last is quite a good one actually, I think I'll steal it, Ebola the Swiss Cheese, full of holes). And some irrelevancies that are scarcely worth mentioning - he was said to have wanted to travel to Chad at one point, and an air hostess posted lovey-dovey stuff about him on Facebook, and I can't really remember the rest. Oh yes there was an intelligence document from an informer who was so obviously making it up that it didn't even get to court.

Absolutely no evidence about how the bomb was ever anywhere near Malta, or what might have been done to get it invisibly on board KM180, untouched by human hands. And she won't even look at Gauci's evidence.

Now I brace myself for the onslaught, but I'm afraid we've been round this one several times already.

Rolfe.
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Old 2nd October 2011, 10:33 AM   #473
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
LOL!!! Fabrication, as in Google / non existent "evidence"?
With respect, the posters have set down very detailed discussions regarding the problems with the evidence presented during the trial. You have yet to respond substantively to any of them.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 05:54 AM   #474
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Rolfe, I wondered if you had seen this yet? From Reuters U.S. edition:
Quote:
Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people, told Reuters his role in the attack had been exaggerated and the truth about what really happened would emerge soon.

Al-Megrahi, released from a Scottish prison two years ago because he was suffering from terminal cancer, spoke to Reuters from a bed at his home in Tripoli. Looking frail and his breathing labored, he said he had only a few months, at most, left to live.

"The facts (about the Lockerbie bombing) will become clear one day and hopefully in the near future. In a few months from now, you will see new facts that will be announced," he told Reuters Television over the pinging of medical monitors around his bed.

"The West exaggerated my name. Please leave me alone. I only have a few more days, weeks or months."
<snip>
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Old 3rd October 2011, 08:51 AM   #475
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See here.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/20...er-harmed.html

Originally Posted by Robert Black
It is annoying that the summary that introduces this report states that Megrahi told Reuters "his role in the attack had been exaggerated". This is not, of course, what he said. But such is the laziness of the media, it is undoubtedly what will be headlined, as in this report on the BBC News website.

I am informed that the Arabic word used by Mr Megrahi in the interview was اخترع which translates, not as "exaggerate", but as "invent, concoct, contrive, think up, manufacture, fabricate".

ETA: I knew the minute I read that Reuters report, that it was in error. Megrahi had steadfastly and singlemindedly denied any involvement in or knowledge of the Lockerbie bombing, for the past 20 years. Including during eight years on house arrest after being indicted, during his trial in 2000, during his first appeal in 2001, during all the ten years he was in prison, and during the four-year SCCRC investigation into the safety of his conviction. When he was granted compassionate release, he was in the middle of a second appeal, again based on his absolute position that he had nothing to do with it.

During the time he was in prison, there was never any suggestion of a jail-confession. On the contrary, it was said that neither his fellow-prisoners nor most of the prison officers believed he was in any way guilty. A good number of journalists have talked to him at length, as has Jim Swire. He has never wavered from his assertion of innocence.

So, honestly, was he going to come out and admit involvement to someone from Reuters, now he's in his own home in Libya?

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 09:23 AM   #476
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The BBC TV news is now promoting this fallacy.



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Old 3rd October 2011, 11:02 AM   #477
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
So a guy in Switzerland using Google translator is more accurate than the native Arabic speaker who interviewed Megrahi and wrote the Reuters article? How does Edwin Bollier know which Arabic word was used, was he there? Did he see a video of it?

eta: even Al Arabiya reprinted the story, I guess they don't understand Arabic as well as the guy in Switzerland either.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 11:13 AM   #478
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The BBC has dropped that part of the story now. I was listening to BBC News 24 full-time because of waiting for the Kercher murder trial appeal verdict, and I actually heard it go - one time it was in the item, and on the next repeat it was cut.

The web page linked to above has been altered to remove the section in question. The nearest that's left is a side-bar quote saying "the West exaggerated my name". And I don't know where you get Ebola from in this. His name isn't mentioned in any part of the story I've met. Actually, the BBC TV item, as the story morphed to remove the "exaggerated" part, actually broadcast Megrahi's words clearly, in Arabic, with the camera on his face. So I imagine it wouldn't be hard for any Arabic speaker to know what he said.

The whole thing is silly. If he had really said that, it should have swept the main headlines worldwide. "Megrahi confesses to role in Lockerbie bombing, implies he knows all about the plot!!" Good grief, it would have been major. Twenty years the man has held firm that he had nothing to do with it, and the evidence backs him up, as he well knows, better than anyone.

A poor translation born of wishful thinking and preconceptions, slid into the middle of a fairly small story. Now removed by the BBC, though I imagine the US interests will be claiming "but he confessed he was involved" indefinitely, on the back of this.

Rolfe.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 11:19 AM   #479
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Interestingly, the BBC's website is now running a different headline to the one it initially published.


There's video, too.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-15153653


As for Ebol ? I wouldn't be too surprised to find he's got skills in Arabic. I'm not exactly clear if he provided Lockerbieblogspot with the translation, or if he is corroborating Prof Black's own understanding.




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Old 3rd October 2011, 12:00 PM   #480
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Edwin does speak Arabic, but Prof Black didn't say who told him Reuters had it wrong. Edwin also likes to pop up with "me too", as he seems to do in the comment. I don't read his comments as a rule.

Anyway, I don't see what Google would have had to do with it in any case. The interview was broadcast sound, not written. The version I saw from the BBC (on one occasion anyway) had Megrahi's own words in clear with no voice-over. And the camera was on his face so his lips could be read too. Any Arabic speaker could have reported what he actually said from that. Edwin or anybody else.

And the disappearance of the claim from the BBC web page and rolling news coverage says it all, really.

Rolfe.
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