ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Ahmed Jibril , Kenny MacAskill , Lockerbie bombing , Marwan Khreesat , Pan Am 103

Reply
Old 24th August 2010, 04:21 AM   #121
Buncrana
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 458
Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
As for your and others' demands that I produce info. on bomb planting at Luqa / Air Malta involvement, obviously the court noted there isn't enough.
BUT there certainly is enough of other circumstantial... oh, sorry, peripheral info. to substantiate the verdict of GUILTY and REFUSED at the first appeal.
Look, repeatedly parroting something, or putting it in block capitals, doesn't make something either true, or any more convincing. Although, perhaps we, albeit by minimal amounts, are actually moving forward here; acceptance that Megrahi did not refuse treatment, and now a tacit acceptance that there is no evidence presented that the bomb was loaded at Luqa. By Megrahi, or anyone else for that matter.

Further, no one is making 'demands' on you Bunntamas. We looking to discuss opinions, and if either of us can offer information which we were perhaps unaware of, missed, or otherwise, then hopefully we can realise a better, maybe fuller, understanding of what really occurred on 21st December '88 and in the months and weeks preceeding it. If you have no inclination for any of this, then that's your prerogative.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas
And yes, I know about the case w/ Air Malta / Luqa / Granada TV, and all the "alleged" phone tapping and interviews... blah blah.
BUT, think about the fact that Luqa security is/was run by the government. The same government whose prime minister warned Libya that they were going to be bombed by the US in 1986. The same government who allowed Libya to store arms, including TNT at the Luqa bunkers. The same government who, after they kicked the UK out of Luqa, allowed Libya to move on in. The same government that is making gobs of money off of Libya. Do you seriously think they wouldn't protect any allegations that might jeopardise that relationship ???? DUH....
Oh, Is that a distant echo of litigious warnings coming from somewhere in High Blantyre? I'm a shakin' in me boots now....
So, you seem completely happy to utterly dismiss actual facts about the three civil actions that Air Malta have been successful with, while in the same breath, make a veritable morass of spurious allegations and suggestions that because there was a close relationship between government, then that is the smoking gun which you utterly rely upon and find foundation for the Luqa ingestion theory??!! A massive cover up by all at Luqa Airport, and all the staff of Air Malta to cover for Libya? Oh, c'mon, now who's on Grassy Knoll territory?

Oh, and there's many things to be concerned of in High Blant'er, but litigation isn't one that springs to mind!!
Buncrana is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th August 2010, 12:40 PM   #122
Bunntamas
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Look, repeatedly parroting something, or putting it in block capitals, doesn't make something either true, or any more convincing.
Agreed. Trial verdict and first appeal refusal are enough.
See below for replies to your other comments similar to CL's comments.

Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Oh, and there's many things to be concerned of in High Blant'er, but litigation isn't one that springs to mind!!
I was referencing some comment blather re: (moronic) accusations of litigation against me that went on in R.Blacks blog. Sorry for not mentioning that previously.
Bunntamas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th August 2010, 01:15 PM   #123
Bunntamas
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Hey, you didn't disappear! Cool.
Miss me, didjya?

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
No, circumstantial was the right word. That - what the judges ruled on - is the central stuff I'd like to hear your detailed thoughts on.
Glad we got that circumstantial thing cleared up. Phew. I was sweating big over that one.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
It wasn't a demand, but a suggestion for something we know you'll be hard-pressed to support. Little surprise you don't try.
I already said there wasn’t enough information. So did the court. Why is this the the "golden nugget" to which you all cling so tightly when there is so much more information? And little surprise that you’re so ill informed that you are pining away for someone like me provide you with more information.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
...It worked only because it was required by the other dubious clues you refuse to discuss, all collectively painting an illogical and ridiculous plot.
Like the plot you reference above and continue to rehash over and over in this forum and elsewhere in your CTs?

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Evidence please? You're finally touching on core allegations. I've heard Giaka saying this, that it was Megrahi's TNT kept in Fhimah's desk. Even when you're addressing the dubious core evidence, you manage to make it a general point in your Libya fringiness, touching now on Malta in a disturbing way.
I’m not interested in adding to your pathetic CTs. You seem to do a fairly good job of CTs on your own (for whatever that's worth), in spite of your lack of knowledge of players, history re: Libya / Malta relations, etc. So, what I’m linking and referencing is not another conspiracy theory. I’m just saying, it’s not surprising that Malta / government controlled Luqa / Air Malta found no evidence re: bomb planting, considering the amount of money pouring into Malta from Libya and their tight relations.
Again, Just sayin’.

Doubt you've ever read Libertà Mhedda (Freedom Threatened), by Dione Borg, so I'll give you some insight.
Here’s an article http://archive.maltatoday.com.mt/2004/09/12/t2.html
from Malta Today referencing one of the editions. Interesting portions of the article include:
Reflecting the author’s concerns about Italian interests, the report notes that by mid 1984, Malta paved the ground for a new accord with Libya “thanks to the moral support offered by Mintoff to Gaddafi during the attempted coup on 10/11 May 1984.”
“The agreement was sealed in August 1984 and provided for cooperation in the field of intelligence and in the installation of a Libyan radio station in Bingemma,” the report states. “The agreement was eventually broadened to provide for the defence of Malta.”…

According to the report, in the 1984 agreement, the Libyan government had also promised “a Libyan plan for the defence of the Republic of Malta.”…
The report says that the agreement included the understanding that Libya would help the Labour government “in the case of external or internal threats.”
The document also sheds light on the “Task Force” based at the Luqa barracks under the orders of “Col Cachia.”
“Cachia can make contact directly and without asking for any authorisation with the control room and with every detachment, forts, etc. and with Castille (the Prime Minister’s office),” the report states. Task Force personnel were “recruited ad hoc, on the basis of trust and cultural requisites.” Hmmmm….wonder who that could have been?
The Task Force was also reportedly in charge of a new bugging and interception centre in Wied Rini, conceived back in 1982 at a meeting of high-ranking government officials involving the army and Xandir Malta (the national broadcasting service).
“The main task was to intercept any kind of communication (air, naval, terrestrial) on a vast range, including police communications (in fact nobody from the police corps was present for the meeting),” the report says.
The report also gives a remarkably detailed survey of Fort Mosta. This well-guarded and secluded garrison served as an arsenal of all munitions and explosives on the island, in a bid to keep them out of reach of potential insurgents. It also housed helicopter missiles, mortars, China-produced hand grenades, ammunition for Russian machine guns, Russian missiles, TNT, mines and North Korean munitions. The fort also had a helicopter landing pad.
The Armed Forces and police kept very low stocks of ammunition in their barracks which had to be returned day in, day out. On the other hand, weapons were kept at Luqa Barracks under the Task Force’s control.
“All weapons were returned to the barracks at the end of every operation. So in theory, no military or police officer takes the weapon home while off duty. In practice, however, those who are most loyal to the regime are always armed, day and night, at the discretion of their commanders.”
The report adds that in case of an insurgency, ammunition and missiles could be stored in the underground depot at the Luqa airport. These could be secretly carried through two carriage ways – one from the Task Force barracks and another one from the airport Helicopter Flights area.
“This passageway also makes it possible to transfer weapons from the Task Force barracks to the Helicopter Flights area"

I'm sure Buncrana, or someone else will say "oh that's an old article, I've read it, it doesn't matter. Go ahead. I've had about enough here of the blatherings and re-hashing of old stuff / evidence / circumstantial / periphery blah blah. Not surprising that the Justice for Megrahi petition was refused. Nothing that Black or any of you, or any one else has done is even a fraction of what the PA103 families accomplished. Wonder why? Because what you present is bluster. You ask for facts and evidence. Go find them yourself. Work with your government. We lobbied Capital hill, worked w/ many other governments, and fought like hell for years to get the Megrahi, the murderer convicted. Until YOU (sorry for the caps Buncrana, I feel they're necessary here) and all your crank friends can produce anything like what the families have, I suggest you go on your merry way.

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
That sounds interesting. Can you give us any details just what you mean? I presume this is something other than the LAA security allegation you admitted might well be an erred memory. You're clearly driving at a very Duggan-esque notion, and dangerously close to slipping into full CT nutter mode. This innuendo suggestive of that ol' "axis of mailce between Tripoli and Valetta" that I've written about with a sarcastic sneer.
Nope. Not your “axis of malice” (yawn).
Edited by Tricky:  Edited for civility.

“As the British departure began, there was a mysterious arrival. At Luqa, a Libyan air force cargo plane discharged 44 men in civilian clothes who were lugging 4-ft.-long wooden crates. Government spokesmen insisted that the Libyans were "technicians" who had come to operate Luqa when British air-traffic controllers leave; their crates merely contained technical gear.”
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...7632-1,00.html

Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I wish Rolfe would get back soon. What the hell, it's been like a month, it seems.
Edited by Tricky:  Edited for civility.

Parting thoughts for now: Megrahi is Guilty

Last edited by Tricky; 25th August 2010 at 05:42 AM. Reason: quotes were messed up
Bunntamas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th August 2010, 05:46 AM   #124
Tricky
Briefly immortal
 
Tricky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: The Group W Bench
Posts: 44,252
Mod Warning A number of posts have been moved to Abandon All Hope for off-topic, bickering and other incivilities. Please discuss the issues and not each other.
Posted By:Tricky
Tricky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th August 2010, 10:02 AM   #125
Buncrana
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 458
Okay, fair enough Tricky, deletions accepted and apology offered.

I would mention though one post was merely illustrating the point that "conspiracy's", despite the assertions often made especially in relation to Megrahi, which is this discussion, are constantly revealed and admitted to. As was yesterdays confirmation of Government and police involvement in that conspiracy, albeit unconnected to Megrahi's case.

The other post was in direct relation to the SCCRC judgement, and given the weight of confidence afforded to the other aspects of Megrahi's legal determinations, it therefore should be applied to the commisions opinion. Ignornace of one legalistive body in favour another one, involving the exact same criminal conviction, is irrational.

What we have is pretty reasonable grounds for thinking the original verdict is flawed, as did the SCCRC in Megrahi's case.

Originally Posted by SCCRC
...the Commission formed the view that there is no reasonable basis in the trial court's judgment for its conclusion that the purchase of the items from Mary's House, took place on 7 December 1988.

[...] Other evidence, not made available to the defence, which the Commission believes may further undermine Mr Gauci's identification of the applicant as the purchaser and the trial court's finding as to the date of purchase.”
http://www.sccrc.org.uk/ViewFile.aspx?id=293

Of course, until it is investigated properly we won;t know more than that other than forming our own opinions on the original evidence and judgements made. Admittedly it's hard to resist speculating on alternative scenarios, and occassionaly drifting off-topic, but since the atmosphere is so hostile to people that question official accounts, and the perversion of the entire language surrounding 'conspiracy theory', I for one aren't going to give those who for whatever reason completely ignore clearly addressed uncertainties invoved in the conviction, as stated above, the satisfaction of debunking more 'unproven speculation' or simply using one legal judgement as a basis for argument while utterly dismissing another legal judgement.

However, as I said at the start: apology offered for any off topic or discourteous comments made.

Last edited by Buncrana; 25th August 2010 at 10:03 AM.
Buncrana is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th August 2010, 12:10 PM   #126
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Wow, that was a proper gutting. I was starting to have fun there, feeling liberated to speak my mind a little more fully. I apologize for my part (not actually sorry, just apologizing for bad form).

Reviewing what's in AAH, I'm not sure everything removed should've been, but it was getting tangled in bickery crap. At least one line of mine deserves it fully and I am sorry if its suction helped pull down anything else. But some learning, not about the issues but the arguers, is lost from public view. As Bunntamas says, consider the source.

Am I allowed to recap from a dispassionate distance the relevant points of what was moved?
(following post if it needs removed)

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 25th August 2010 at 12:12 PM.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th August 2010, 12:12 PM   #127
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Buncrana and I expressed unimpressed disdain at the above Bunntamas post prior to editing. I explained again with sarcasm how he hasn't addressed the central issues at all and his victory dance is sadly misplaced. Buncrana said "Oh dear. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic," and wondered why Bunntamas will flat accept without question one judicial ruling (the verdict) and ignore the other (the SCCRC's findings that that may well have been a miscarriage of justice). I'd add that of the two decisions, one was found quite likely a miscarriage of justice and the other is clean as a whistle. And Glenn B popped in to note "Wow. What a turnaround in such a short space of time. From pleasant and reasonable to frothing at the mouth and a new world record for logical fallacies in a few short days.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th August 2010, 02:18 AM   #128
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Part of the bauty of the JREF forum is that it tends to be self-moderating. On more reflection, I am sorry for my earlier (now invisible) comments to the extent they caused any pointless pain. Any pain of the "no pain no gain type" however, I will claim credit for.

To the extent I was just embarrassing myself, I thank Tricky for his help.

And since the post above stood, might I re-insert Buncrana's explanation, minus the last two paragraphs (perhaps, faintly, too personal). And let's accept more as a general concept that emerged than as a critique of any one person's views.

Quote:
Oh dear. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic.

And there we have it folks; the original trial said 'guilty' and the first subsequent appeal 'refused'. Case closed and nothing further merits discussion. "Guilty". So, the court under it's legislative powers of law has determined that the person is 'guilty' and there are no further questions to be considered. As pliant citizens assured that the law enforcement bodies and legal establishments do not, and cannot, ever be misguided, misdirected or wholly incorrect, and as such fully accede to their decisions - at all times.

Oh, but wait, au contraire, we also have a comission established under these same legal procedures with granted statutory powers on lawful matters which has concluded that there are indeed many significant questions of a previously said judgement associated with a conviction to be considered. This body, the SCCRC, have discovered that bribes, previously consistently denied by the prosecution and investigating authorities, were paid to key witnesses who appeared at the original trial, that statements made by key witnesses contradicting assertions made in the original court were concealed from the court and defense, while documents have been diliberately withheld from the court carrying considerable bearing on the nature of the case and conviction.

Still, as a pliant citizen, I will choose to ignore this legalistive body in favour of the original one. It suits and helps me uphold my preconceived prejudices and at every point that may be raised in the future I will refer all to my conviction that the original conclusion is only something to be questioned and examined by kooks and cranks.

It's rather pathetic really. I think I could present a more plausible scenario inferring guilt on the convicted that some of those who claim without any hint of irony that it is they who are utterly convinced of the guilt wholly based on the original judgement set out by a legal body - but will quietly and without shame ignore the latter conclusion made by another legal body under the same legislative powers.

As I said, it'd be funny, if it weren't so tragic.
Buncrana - is that second to last paragraph really just two sentences? :P

And I think we're done with this episode. It's a good point for me to step back, not least because I'll have to anyway for a bit. I'll be working on some other projects with friends the next couple weeks, with busy days and at leastone weekend on the road. So I will only be in and out at points. Good news for civil discussions, huh?

On Rolfe's continued extended total absence, I guess Europeans take longer holidays, huh? And they call them holidays even though the word clearly implies a day. We Americans callit full on vacation if it's more than a day, and sometimes we go all out and take off a week, maybe two.

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 26th August 2010 at 02:32 AM. Reason: to edit
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th August 2010, 03:35 AM   #129
Buncrana
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 458
The fact remains, there are a list of serious doubts in this case as long as your arm and the investigation was shamefully inadequate with a conviction built upon inference upon inference. More recently the The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) found that witnesses had been bribed, statements by crucial witnesses had been withheld from the court by investigators and prosecutors, and other evidence including document(s), previously undisclosed but known about by the police, state and crown office for over 10 years, which carried significant information which could impact on the safety al-Megrahi's conviction. To some though, this is all just fine apparently.

Of course some people are simply not interested in engaging with the issues that were raised by the SCCRC conclusions. The unyielding insistence that the original court found Megrahi "guilty", and he dropped his second appeal, are in my opinion, simply not good enough reasons to turn the other way and erase the doubts over Megrahi's conviction from history.

Further, there is no conspiracy theory in taking this position, unless you wish to ascribe the members of the SCCRC as proponents of 'conspiracy theories', merely people, and lots of them, pointing out the inadequacy of the original investigation and trial. Nor is there any need for those who question the official narrative must provide some kind of alternative account complete with evidence, or 'shut up'.

The flaws that concern people, and the SCCRC, is with the 'evidence' that is currently presented.
Buncrana is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th August 2010, 03:55 PM   #130
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I wish Rolfe would get back soon. What the hell, it's been like a month, it seems.

It's been a fortnight. I extended my holiday by four days after some opera tickets I would cheerfully have killed for just fell into my hand. (I spent 20th August attending a performance of Das Rheingold, after visiting the Wagner museum in the morning, and I don't think the words "Lockerbie" or "Megrahi" crossed either my mind or the mimds of anyone else within 50 miles, all day.)

I have now lost the time I was going to spend doing some much-needed housework before I go back to work, what a shame. And I have a pile of laundry that won't go away unless I make it go away. And I slept on the floor of the Zeebrugge-Rosyth ferry last night, in my clothes. The things I do for art....

And I'm slowly catching up. I may be some time yet though. PM me if Bunntamas actually says something relevant.

Rolfe.

ETA: And Buncrana and I are going to the theatre tomorrow - hey, Rolfe has a date! We'll tell you all about it later.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 28th August 2010 at 03:57 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th August 2010, 07:31 PM   #131
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
As for your and others' demands that I produce info. on bomb planting at Luqa / Air Malta involvement, obviously the court noted there isn't enough.

So you agree? There's no evidence at all to show the bomb travelled the Luqa-Frankfurt-Heathrow route?

What evidence do you have that Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was involved in the Lockerbie bombing at all then?

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
BUT there certainly is enough of other circumstantial... oh, sorry, peripheral info. to substantiate the verdict of GUILTY and REFUSED at the first appeal.

Er, no. If you have no evidence that the bomb travelled the route as specified, then you have no evidence at all to implicate Megrahi. None. The court decided there was evidence that the bomb travelled that route, and this was part of the circular logic on which the case was based. No Luqa loading, no conviction.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
And yes, I know about the case w/ Air Malta / Luqa / Granada TV, and all the "alleged" phone tapping and interviews... blah blah.
BUT, think about the fact that Luqa security is/was run by the government. The same government whose prime minister warned Libya that they were going to be bombed by the US in 1986. The same government who allowed Libya to store arms, including TNT at the Luqa bunkers. The same government who, after they kicked the UK out of Luqa, allowed Libya to move on in. The same government that is making gobs of money off of Libya. Do you seriously think they wouldn't protect any allegations that might jeopardise that relationship ???? DUH....
Oh, Is that a distant echo of litigious warnings coming from somewhere in High Blantyre? I'm a shakin' in me boots now....

So, again you imply you have no evidence at all to substantiate this proposition? This isn't even circumstantial evidence you're coming out with. It's innuendo and conspiracy theorising.

I don't want you to tell me you're convinced Megrahi was an evil man who was up to his neck in bloodthirsty Libyan terrorist operations. I don't want you to tell me that the Maltese govermnent had a cosy and profitable relationship with Libya at that time. These things may be true (the second, very probably, the first, I have no idea). The point is that on their own they have no bearing on the topic of the thread, which is, "did Abdelbaset al-Megrahi blow up Pan Am 103?"

I'm quite sure we could come up with lots of international terrorists with ruthless, bloody backgrounds who were up to all sorts of mayhem in the 1980s. The PFLP-GC would just be one of them. The IRA another, by the way, suppied with Libyan armaments.

You don't accept an account of Ahmed Jibril's bloody atrocities, or Abu Talb's for that matter, as "circumstantial evidence" that they carried out the Lockerbie atrocity. But indeed, just as good a case could be, and indeed has been, made for that group introducing the bomb on their own home patch of Frankfurt.

If I were to tell you all about Jibril and his mates, and the bombs they were making, and their casing the joint at Frankfurt airport, and the connections one of their number had with Jordanian intelligance and thus the CIA, and how most of them were released almost immediately by the BKA, would you accept that as evidence that they were able to get the bomb on board at Frankfurt? What about if I told you about the BKA, and how they immediately sprang into cover-up mode at Frankfurt airport to conceal the introduction of the bomb?

You would dismiss it all as speculation, because there is no hard evidence for the bomb being introduced at Frankfurt. And quite right too. But here you are, doing exactly the same thing. Smears and innuemdo, that just because a particular group is involved in terrorist activities (let's accept this for the sake of argument), then they must have carried out this particular terrorist attack.

That's not evidence, Bunntamas. That's conspiracy theorising.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th August 2010, 02:01 PM   #132
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Yay, Rolfe's partially back! You missed being in an amazing and revealing discussion, but most of it's there to read. As I guessed, you're no more impressed than the rest of us with this limp conspiracy theorizing on the fringes of a supposedly proven case.

Sorry, just a quick note. Picked up extra hours at work today and must get to them.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th August 2010, 04:56 AM   #133
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
I hope Bunntamas comes back, because I genuinely want to debate with him. However, if he does, I also hope he's prepared to debate, as opposed to making unsubstantiated assertions and then being a bit rude - which is all he's done so far.

If it was possible to make the Gauci identification stand up, then I'd agree Megrahi was involved in the bombing. However, the Gauci identification collapsed beneath the waves some time ago and I don't see Bunntamas being able to revive it.

The only other piece of evidence remaining against Megrahi himself is the Erac printout. By itself it can't possibly amount to proof beyond reasonable doubt that he carried out the bombing. It is however somewhat suggestive, and it hasn't been discredited in the way Gauci has been discredited. If we could show that tray B8849 was indeed likely to have been the bomb suitcase coming through the system, that would be a start. It wouldn't prove that Megrahi was involved, but it would at least cast some reasonable suspicion.

I don't think it's possible to show that tray B8849 was likely to be the bomb suitcase. However, it's a discussion that could be had. I can't see any other point which could be made to try to support the proposition that Megrahi was guilty. I'm surprised Bunntamas doesn't seem to want to touch it.

Simply posturing that Libya in the 1980s was a terrorist state gets us nowhere. There were plenty terrorist groups active in the 1980s. They can't all have carried out the bombing.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th August 2010, 05:54 AM   #134
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
As I said, Buncrana and I met up in Edinburgh yesterday afternoon to see that Fringe play Lockerbie: Unfinished Business. We had an excellent afternoon, and I think I speak for him too when I say we were very impressed with the production.

It took the form of a monologue, with the actor/writer playing the part of Jim Swire. He was presenting it as a lecture, with some visual aids - starting from the original TV news footage from that evening when the plane went down, which we remembered seeing at the time, but this time seen from the perspective of a man who began to think his daughter might have been on that plane.

He took us through the investigation, showing the strong circumstantial evidence initially emerging against the PFLP-GC, and the enigmatic fiasco of the "Autumn Leaves" operation. He told us about the growing official reluctance to investigate the Palestinians, the fobbing-off and evasions and lies from officialdom that the families were faced with. He then described the sudden shift to announcing it was in fact a Libyan operation, soon followed by the indictments against Megrahi and Fhimah.

He went through the alleged evidence against the Libyans, and described his own efforts to persuade Gadaffi to agree to a Scottish trial, during which he had praised the fairness and impartiality of the Scottish justice system. The irony just hung in the air.

He then went through the trial, and showed how that alleged evidence was discreditied bit by bit until there was nothing left. He skipped over the discrediting of Giaka fairly quickly, but he was devastatingly effective in his demolishing of Gauci, simply by reading out the transcripts of Gauci's actual words.

He left the audience in no doubt that Megrahi was and is an innocent man, and said he hoped his cancer treatment allowed him to live as long as possible in the bosom of his family.

This may sound dry and academic, but it wasn't. Sometimes it was funny, as when he constructed a radio-cassette bomb using alleged Semtex, then broke off a bit and nibbled it - it was a slab of marzipan. Someties it was very moving, as when he showed us pictures of his daughter Flora, and spoke of his love for his daughter. He also played a tape of Flora singing, as a seven-year-old. She had a sweet, strong, tuneful voice, and it was very beautiful. (I couldn't help remembering the part of The Maltese Double Cross where the scene is originally the hot streets of Africa, and a singer begins to sing McCrimmon's Lament. The scene gradually shifts with the song to the bare uplands of Scotland. That song is of course from the Isle of Skye, from where the Swire family originally came, and where Flora is buried.)

Of course a whole lot of detail had to be left out, both in the interests of time and of comprehensibility. The play had to be understandable by people who knew nothing at all about the subject in advance, and I think he succeeded in that. The result could have been that the audience might have been left wondering if this was just some conspiracy theory that was being propounded, but the fact is that the details and the hard evidence are all there to prove him right, and easily accessible to anyone who wants to research it further and check out the thesis being presented.

I was doing an error count as it went, and came up with six points, none of which was especially important.
  • The plane was said to have been over half an hour late. It wasn't. It left the stand on time at 6pm and took off 25 minutes later. This is arguably not late at all, and at most only 10 to 15 minutes late.
  • The timer fragment was said to have been found in the "Calder Forest". It wasn't even found the the Kielder Forest, it was found in a field near Newcastleton.
  • The Bedford suitcase was said to have been placed on top of the interline baggage already in the container. It wasn't, it was placed flat on the floor of the container, in front of the other suitcases.
  • The shift to proposing Libyan responsibility was said to have happened in late 1991 (the date of the indictments). In fact there were newspaper articles talking about Libyan responsibility from late 1990, following on from the identification of the timer chip as a MEBO product supplied to Libya.
  • and the other two are so trivial I forgot what they were.
These are really trivia, and didn't affect the argument in any way. (If I'd been listening to Frank Duggan, it's a certainty it would have been a cricket score before half-time, and included many vital points that undermined his entire thesis.)

The possibility/probability that this was a conspiracy rather than just the investigators fitting up someone handy because they couldn't get the real perpetrators was strongly implied, but not gone into in any detail. I think that was right, because that's as far as anyone can reasonably go without resorting to speculation. He showed us that the US authorities seemed to have some reason for not wanting the PFLP-GC to be implicated, and that this seemed to be related to the sudden release of the Autumn Leaves detainees after one phone call from Khreesat to his Jordanian minders, who were closely connected to the CIA. He also showed us the evidence of the DEA controlled heroin shipments and that PA103 appeared to have been carrying such a shipment that day. He showed us that it was politically convenient for Libya to take the blame. But then he left it, which was nicely judged.

One thing which surprised both Buncrana and myself was the complete omission of any mention of the Erac printout, never mind the disappearing Frankfurt baggage records. To me, that is more and more becoming the central point of the case. It may have been deemed a complication too much for the time available, however with the screen and slide projector it would have been an excellent way to explain the circular reasoning as a diagram. I have noticed that the printout isn't something Jim Swire ever mentions very much though, which may be why STV thought it could get away with simply asserting the "record of an unaccompanied suitcase carried on KM180" as unassailable fact in its recent documentary.

All in all, though, it was an excellent production. I don't think anyone came out of it still thinking Megrahi's guilt was beyond question. The play is gathering awards and nominations. And yet, journalists still blitheley describe Megrahi as "the Lockerbie bomber".

I wish they would televise the performance.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 30th August 2010 at 06:01 AM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th August 2010, 01:27 PM   #135
commandlinegamer
Philosopher
 
commandlinegamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mazes of Menace
Posts: 8,577
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And yet, journalists still blitheley describe Megrahi as "the Lockerbie bomber".
Not unusual. If Joe Bloggs kills someone, the media will generally refer to him as the killer, or murderer; they don't usually qualify it as 'the person found guilty of the killing', etc.

Interesting though, the news hasn't really featured Megrahi for a week, and now it's hotting up in here again. Should be fun and games if the senators do decide to come over here next month.
__________________
He bade me take any rug in the house.
commandlinegamer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th August 2010, 01:34 PM   #136
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
  • and the other two are so trivial I forgot what they were.

Actually, I remembered one of them, and it's not so trivial. Benson/Swire repeated the assertion that PA103 was less full than it should have been, and that there had been an unusual number of late cancellations which allowed the various students to get cheap tickets at the last minute.

This seems to have been refuted. I can't find the link at the moment (Matt Berkley posted it on Robert Black's unsearchable blog a few weeks ago and I didn't bookmark it), but the Presidential Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism which reported in 1990 commissioned an investigation into this allegation. The results took the form of an academic paper, and the conclusion was that these was no evidence of any unsual booking or cancellation patterns on that flight. It wasn't full and wouldn't have been expected to be full, but due to the way bookings were handled it was possible some prospective passengers had been told at one point that a particular seat category was full, before the aircraft configuration was re-jigged to produce more seats in that category. The absence of staff from the US Moscow embassy was simply because the feeder flight from Moscow didn't run on Wednesdays.

I have never seen this debunked, and until I do, I accept it as genuine.

I don't like this allegation, because it has implications more profound than anything else that was presented. I think the suggestions of a post facto cover-up and misdirection exercise over Lockerbie are quite persuasive. However, this allegation implies prior knowledge that the aircraft was doomed, or at least seriously threatened, on the part of quite a lot of people. And yet none of them did anything but make sure they themselves and their loved ones weren't on the plane?

This takes it into LIHOP territory, with an improbable number of people knowing about it and having kept quiet about it. I would require a lot more evidence than I've ever seen to consider this as a possibility. I really wish people like Jim Swire would drop this particular point.

If I ever remember the sixth point, I'll get back to you.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 30th August 2010 at 01:38 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th August 2010, 01:37 PM   #137
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Originally Posted by commandlinegamer View Post
Not unusual. If Joe Bloggs kills someone, the media will generally refer to him as the killer, or murderer; they don't usually qualify it as 'the person found guilty of the killing', etc.

Though the more responsible press usually refer to "the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing". This is accurate, but I think the reason is that he was only convicted as an accessory because the best they could do was the implication that he was "mixed up in it somehow". There was no evidence he participated in putting the bomb on the plane.

Originally Posted by commandlinegamer View Post
Interesting though, the news hasn't really featured Megrahi for a week, and now it's hotting up in here again. Should be fun and games if the senators do decide to come over here next month.

Hah. Let them come.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st September 2010, 06:47 AM   #138
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
I was remembering something Soapy Sam said months ago. That Megrahi's conviction was the biggest stitch-up in Scottish judicial history since the trial of James of the Glen in 1752. I just looked it up, and that's about right. Our justice system certainly seems to have form in this area.

Quote:
James Stewart (also known as Seumas a' Ghlinne (James of the Glen) and brother of Ardsheil'), one of the last leaders of Stewarts, was arrested for the crime [the murder of Colin Roy "Red Fox" Campbell] and tried for the murder. Although it was clear at the trial that James was not directly involved in the assassination, he was found guilty "in airts and pairts" (as an accessory; an aider and abetter) by a jury consisting of a people from the locality where the crime occurred, including a number of jurors related to Clan Campbell. The presiding judge was Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell.

James was hanged on 8 November 1752 [....]. He died protesting his innocence [....].

I noted a reference to a revelation made in 2001, which I watched as a TV programme (damn programme was in Gaelic with English subtitles so I had to read it all off the screen).

Quote:
In 2001, Anda Penman, an 89-year-old descendant of the Clan Chiefs of the Stewarts of Appin, revealed what she alleged to be a long-held family secret. She said the murder was planned by four young Stewart lairds without the sanction of James of the Glens. There was a shooting contest among them and that the assassination was committed by the best marksman among the four, Donald Stewart of Ballachulish.

So, 250 years to get at the truth in that case. Hope the Lockerbie one doesn't take so long.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 1st September 2010 at 06:48 AM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2010, 03:30 AM   #139
Buncrana
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 458
I'd just like to reiterate Rolfe's thoughts on the play Lockerbie: Unfinished Business, (including an afternoon of coffee quaffing) it really was very good indeed in managing to illustrate the absurdity of Zeist while expressing the depth of despair and loss felt by any parent losing their child in such circumstances. Let's hope it gets a wider run accross the theatre circuit, perhaps even shown on television at some point. If anyone gets the chance to see it - highly recommended.

I've been having a browse back over the original Fatal Accident Enquiry conducted from October 1990 until Feb '91, and given the information and statements that have been discussed over all the threads on here, it's pretty astounding that given the weight of criticism that is noted to failures of reconciliation and screening at Frankfurt and Heathrow respectively, and that which we now know was apparent at Luqa, was concluded that Luqa had been the ingestion point of the bomb. The sheriff's themselves conducting the FAI state quite categorically on a number of occassions that had screening of baggage been combined with reconciling all baggage to an actual passenger already on-board the aircraft, and indeed any suspect baggage was identified, then a physical search of this baggage would be initiated, leading to the prevention of such the disaster. And yet, we now know, painstaking investigations revealed that rigorous baggage procedures were runnng at Luqa, with 3 seperate bag searches conducted, including a matching to passengers boarded, with the prospect of unaccompanied luggage being loaded onto a flight virtually impossible. Of course, 'virtually' would be the key word pounced upon by those at Zeist looking to present a method with which this did actually occur, in contrast to the haphazard and wholly insufficient methods that were absolutely evident at Frankfurt and Heathrow in allowing the possibility of an unacommpanied item onto the aircraft.

Link to FAI enquiry documents: www.gla.ac.uk:443/lockerbie/fai.htm
Buncrana is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2010, 04:00 AM   #140
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Thank you so much for that link, Buncrana - I'd only heard you had to go to Airdrie in person to be allowed to look at the things! Let's hear it for the internet!

I still can't remember what the sixth error point I noted was, but I think it was something else trivial.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2010, 04:35 AM   #141
Childlike Empress
Ewige Blumenkraft
 
Childlike Empress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ivory Tower
Posts: 14,862
I just read the Frankfurt thread and have a tip for you, but i think it better fits in this more general thread. DER SPIEGEL has their complete archive since 1947 online and has reported extensively about the german investigation. I'm not in the topic and did not know what to search for, but here's an interesting example from 1994 that caught my attention. Sorry if this isn't news.

It is entitled "Web with many Spiders" and reports about new investigations into Edwin Bollier, the swiss guy from MEBO who built the timer. He not only sold them to Libya but also to East-Berlin. The Stasi investigated him because they were surprised how fast he delivered all kinds of stuff, also from the USA. They found that he was at least a double agent, protected by "the CIA". Russian sources wonder that the americans didn't contact them after the USSR collapsed and "didn't ask a single question" about Bollier.
__________________
De-Putin-Nazify America!
...progress updates [1] [2] [...] [5]...

Last edited by Childlike Empress; 2nd September 2010 at 04:36 AM.
Childlike Empress is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd September 2010, 07:08 AM   #142
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Babelfish and I are struggling a little with that, even though I only returned from Germany last week. I just love the way the English phrase "smoking gun" in the German text is translated by Babelfish into "tuxedo gun"!

I see it's really all about the Mebo timer and the slippery Edwin. Nothing he says can be trusted a millimetre, so much so that I have him on permanent ignore on Robert Black's blog, where he is a regular spammer. I also don't believe he can't write coherent English if he wants to.

Now if you could find anything on the actual disappearing luggage records, that would be interesting!

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th September 2010, 12:49 PM   #143
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Bunntamas has reappeared on Prof Black's blog, but seems unwilling to return here, which I think is a pity.

He posted a lot last night, and the exchanges were really quite singular. Repeated requests from multiple posters to explain the reasoning behind his persistent assertions that Megrahi is "GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY", but no dice. A lot of bluster and name-calling and irrelevancies, but no substance. His capacity for ignoring legitimate points and valid questions while giving vent to foam-flecked rants is really quite something.

The reason I'm posting this is that I find it a fascinating study. This is a genuine supporter of the Lockerbie Official Version, who claims (credibly) to have attended the trial and to have studied the case for 20 years. And he can't address a single point coherently, sticks his fingers in his ears, and shouts "GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY" as if that proves something. In short, he makes the average 9/11 twoofer look positively logical and reasoned.

Here's the link directly to Bunntamas's first post in the thread.

When I started looking at this issue, I thought there must be a rational case to be made for Megrahi's guilt, even if it was flawed. I thought we might find ourselves picking over details of actual evidence, discussing whether they were actually incriminating. I even tried at one point to make the best case I could for his guilt, myself. (OK, Buncrana laughed at me, but I tried!) It crashed and burned.

If this is all someone in Bunntamas's position can come up with, and I have to say Frank Duggan is even worse, then I for one have to concede that there's nothing.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 8th September 2010 at 02:21 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 09:33 AM   #144
Buncrana
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 458
I have to say I feel much the same as Rolfe. It's hugely disappointing that here we had the ideal opportunity for someone intimately involved in the whole tragedy of 103, lost a dear relative and while observing and following the investigation and trial was absolutely adamant that the proof was available, despite Zeist and all it's uncertainties, that Megrahi was after all behind the bombing of the Pan American Jumbo Jet.

I have followed the Lockerbie investigation and trial for quite some time now, as many of my family and friends would no doubt wearily testify to, and after reading the many books and articles written on the subject, watching the plethora of videos and documentaries, there was always a sense of doubt that such a miscarriage could, and would, be allowed to occur within a judicial system which we assumed was purported to function with honest and just fundamentals. Obviously, I was aware of other high-profile miscarriages that had ocurred throughout history, and most certainly that sometimes, just sometimes, the police, judges and jury get it very badly wrong, and innocent people are convicted of crimes they simply didn't commit.

Throughout this time I was also more than prepared to have someone present an argument and offer hard facts that would wholly expose the falsehood that so many had suggested, and I had believed, was wrong about the evidence discovered and the Zeist trials conclusion showing me that actually these themselves were fabrications cooked-up by people looking to simply attack and undermine the establishment and those in authority and advancing theories of secret agreements and groups meeting in smoke-filled rooms that furtively controlled our lives. Really, I had been duped. Such monumental injustices, lies and ulterior agenda's, were simply figments of imagination conjured up by people with no knowledge of the case and jumping to unsupported conclusions. And this was long before 9-11 truthers were cast to the fore.

The questions I continually asked myself over the years where: perhaps Tony wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, and over the long years that had passed, it could be just simply memory confusion that had made him seem a very weak witness? It does seem a very protracted and risky journey sending a bag from Malta to attempt a bombing of an airliner leaving London, but I'm no expert on these matters, so what do I really know? There's claims of all kinds of shenanigans with the timer fragment, but some of those claims are coming from someone else who has just about zero honest credibility, so that's probably another fantasist looking to blame someone else? And this 'covert drugs operation' theory espoused by some, is in the realms of some James Bond movie. All this will be put right, and if not the judges and investigators, then the government will show what a preposterous notion these assertions actually are.

However, time slipped-by, and no one was either prepared or able to put an end to the questions and concerns that had been raised over the years. All too often, I had approached a number of discussion forums throughout this whole time looking to raise the subject of Lockerbie, and it's controversies, only to be met with deafening silence, or a torrent of abuse. And so, after reading some of the discussions on Jref, which were erudite and civil, decided on joining these discussions, expecting in all likelyhood that finally, my concerns and fears about the whole shebang would be put to rest and explained rationally.

As it has turned out, after all that has been discussed, and the excellent contributions from several members on this forum, not only have all my worst fears appear confirmed, but Megrahi's conviction is actually a far more unjust than I had previously imagined, and the devious plot apparently concocted in order to secure this conviction. And being honest, I really am quite astounded.
Buncrana is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 03:18 PM   #145
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
As a Scot, do you feel at all threatened by this? I have to admit to a slight trepidation. Not that I imagine most trials are corrupt, but it undermines my faith in the system as a whole. It's not as if it's the only case. Look at what happened to Shirley McKie.

I followed that case closely before I started looking at Lockerbie in detail, indeed I recall poring over facsimiles of fingerprints on my office computer in 2004 or 2005. That's another example of the system being absolutely adamant against admitting a mistake, and as a result building a bigger and bigger heap of cover-up round it. One of the things said at the time was that the SCRB wasn't going to admit to any mistake in case it undermined the Zeist trial, which was in progress at the time the fingerprint misidentification happened. I'm not sure there's any connection to be honest, but the McKie case did turn into another campaign by a father for justice for his wronged daughter.

In retrospect, the SNP covered that up too in the end. Soon after they won the 2007 election they paid Shirley the full amount of her damages claim, thus keeping the case out of the courts. Maybe that's only sensible when you know you're going to lose, but it did rather bury the whole scandal.

I only started looking at Lockerbie seriously when the appeal was dropped. Until then I only had a superficial familiarity with it all, and I was relying on the appeal to reveal what it was all about. I was physically shocked when I realised Kenny MacAskill was twisting Megrahi's arm to drop the appeal as a quid pro quo for the compassionate release, when legally it wasn't necessary at all.

I could have believed this from Labour or the Tories or even their LibDem lackeys, but from the SNP? It's baffling. Prof. Black blames it on Eilish Angiolini's position as Lord Advocate, giving the government hardline advice to protect the reputation of the justice system, as a Labour loyalist. And the SNP for not having the guts to sack her.

It doesn't wholly convince me quite honestly. It's rotten to the core, and why Kenny MacAskill and Alex Salmond are prepared to stand up and declare the conviction is sound when they obviously know it's quite the opposite I can't figure.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 9th September 2010 at 03:21 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 04:59 PM   #146
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
And so, after reading some of the discussions on Jref, which were erudite and civil, ....

You're wrong, you know. Charles says "it is full of uncivil, arrogant opinionated no-hopers who have nothing to offer", "crude and unthinking" and "full of arrogant American loonies".

Comments from here.

Well, that's us telt!

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th September 2010, 03:50 PM   #147
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
I want to put a note in this thread. Since Bunntamas's appearance earlier in the thread, we have been in communication by PM. We have buried the hatchet, called a truce, agreed to draw a line and start again.

I want to say that Bunntamas lost his father at Lockerbie, as he said in a different thread, and I entirely understand how grief can come over as anger. He now says he's very willing to discuss the evidence and the issues as calmly as he can manage. I would very much like for this to be possible, unhindered by harking back to earlier outbursts from anyone.

Bunntamas is someone who attended the Zeist trial and has both access to resources we struggle to acquire, and a completely different perspective. We may believe he is mistaken - I certainly do - but he's not insincere. We can learn from each other. If we are all led by the evidence in pursuit of nothing but the truth, then we may find we are travelling together for more of the journey than we might have imagined.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th September 2010, 02:18 AM   #148
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Kudos, Rolfe, on reaching out like that.

I'm hesitant to say much, as this is heavy and not so much abouth the evidence and things I know... got a lot of thoughts, but ... and then by this time I'm tired anyway. I said my spiel at the beginning about the different stakes Bunntamas faces than the rest of us. And I'll give the guy more credit and credibility than I have in the past.I agree he seems genuine in the main way, if strangely formulaic in his patterns of avoidance. It's not right, but it's natural. What all these people and their kin were put through because of that bomb was terrible beyond words. And they don't even grasp or accept yet a second possible epic wrong caused by the leaders they trusted.

Beyond that, uh ... I did put an interesting new post on my blog - All Lockerbie theories, in context.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th September 2010, 09:10 AM   #149
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Recall a short exchange on the Robert Black blog, when several posters were speculating on Bunntamas's identity. Someone thought he might actually by Frank Duggan. I remarked,

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

Bunntamas replied

Originally Posted by Bunntamas
Thanks Rolfe. You are correct.

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

I wonder if Bunntamas will agree not to claim anything as fact that he knows only from Frank Duggan or other US officials. As far as I'm concerned, everything I've ever heard Frank Duggan say about Lockerbie is verifiably wrong. I suppose that can't be literally true, but if anything is going to be introduced with him as a source, I for one want to see a bit of confirmation.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th September 2010, 06:37 PM   #150
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,494
Well, you might be reading too much there, but I take that he's trying for a different approach and is to be highly commended for that. It's hard for anyone to change their mind on an entrenched issue, myself no exception. But in a case like Bunny's... I can try to sympathize, but couldn't ever know and shouldn't judge.

Also I wanted to thank Childlike Empress for the Spiegel links. I've been wanting to hear more from the German side,at least since reading this is Emerson and Duffy's book.
Quote:
“In a matter of days, news stories began to leak from Bonn and Frankfurt that security at Heathrow was far worse than at Frankfurt. British authorities were outraged. For days and weeks, as the families of those killed on the 103 watched this ugly game of diplomatic Ping-Pong, Britain and Germany fought a nasty proxy war through their TV networks and newspapers. Clearly, the feud was based on more than a technical dispute among forensic specialists. Some went so far as to assert that the bitterness of the dispute showed the extent to which the age-old cultural animosities between the two nations had still not abated after two world wars.”
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th September 2010, 05:26 PM   #151
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Oh, the feud between London and Frankfurt is well attested.

London were desperate not to carry the can, and the bomb being in AVE4041 seemed to give them the perfect get-out, if it wasn't for those pesky interline suitcases, let's ignore them. Franfurt were also desperate not to carry the can, and were not prepared to go along with the equation AVE4041 = Frankfurt.

Stalemate, but a stalemate Frankfurt were losing, partly because of the Brits being in charge of the investigation, and partly because of Aviv. So tray B8849 came as a blessed relief, to take the heat off both parties. OK, it came through Frankfurt, but as interline baggage. This was not the responsibility of Frankfurt, but of Pan Am. That'll do.

So both parties promptly turned the heat on Malta. Malta had far better security than either of them (big surprise, but true), and the only way to blame Malta was to invent a huge CT involving the entire ground staff being subverted. But they took that route.

They were still after the PFLP-GC, but the theory now was that the PFLP-GC put the bomb on at Luqa. They spent a year on this, near enough. No wonder they decided there wasn't any evidence of the PFLP-GC being the culprits. They were looking in the wrong place. Because they seriously didn't want to look in either of the probable right places.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th September 2010, 05:34 PM   #152
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Also, to support Bunntamas.

Remember, he REALLY BELIEVESMegrahi cold-bloodely murdered his father. And he views us as dilettantes, interfering in something that affects him deeply, although we have no personal stake.

He came in all guns blazing, in attack mode (and channelling Duggan as far as I can see), and of course he was asking for retaliation. But I can sympathise with his feelings. We need to cut him some slack.

He has already provided one piece of information that was new to me (though not to Buncrana), and that is the DIA cable transcript. This is the sort of support for the Official Version we have been asking for, and nobody else has been able to provide it. I'm not impressed by it, partly because I'm not convinced the intelligance is accurate, and partly because it's cherry-picked - there are other DIA cables with information that strongly supports a pure PFLP-GC operation.

But this is the discussion we should be having. Let's try to have it like civilised adults.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th September 2010, 06:01 PM   #153
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
I see a particular four-way split of possibilities in this case, and I think we should be careful to note which one any particular piece of evidence supports.
  1. The guilty beyond reasonable doubt verdict was justified by the evidence presented in court.
  2. While there was reasonable doubt that should have let to at least a "not proven" verdict, there's still a fair amount of evidence suggesting guilt.
  3. Although Megrahi was a Libyan secret service agent and possibly involved in who knows what sort of distasteful activities, the evidence is against him being involved in this one.
  4. Megrahi was merely a Libyan official with no particular record of anything untoward, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In my opinion, 1 is a complete non-starter. The amount of perfectly reasonable doubt here is quite astonishing.

I'd be interested in any evidence supporting 2, but so far I'm not seeing anything that looks as if it might stick.

I think much of what Bunntamas is alleging actually supports position 3, though he presents it as supporting 1 or 2.

My position is that I don't distinguish between 3 and 4. If he didn't do it he didn't do it, and justifying the conviction by declaring that he was probably involved in other unpleasant stuff is to completely negate the law and justice. I have no idea whether he is a completely injured innocent, or whether he has a background that would make us throw up, If he wasn't involved in Lockerbie this is a miscarriage of justice, end of story.

Note that it's always easier to frame someone with form. The Birmingham Six were friendly with IRA members. The Guildford Four were petty criminals who lived in a squat - and they confessed. Barry George was a socially inadequate fruitcake with fantasies about firearms and prior convictions for sexual assault. Even Sally Clark had a drink problem.

All of these people were convicted of crimes they didn't commit. Their past history was used to declare that obviously, they were guilty. But they weren't. And I didn't even mention the Maguire Seven, convicted at least in part on the fabricated evidence of one Thomas Hayes. Which resulted in his having to leave RARDE in the middle of the Lockerbie investigation and make a new life for himself as a chiropodist, but not before being responsible for a couple of pieces of highly suspect evidence that proved to be crucial fo the conviction.

So I just want to say, let's look at evidence actually linking Megrahi with the Lockerbie bomb.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th September 2010, 01:04 AM   #154
Ambrosia
Good of the Fods
 
Ambrosia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,331
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, the feud between London and Frankfurt is well attested.

London were desperate not to carry the can, and the bomb being in AVE4041 seemed to give them the perfect get-out, if it wasn't for those pesky interline suitcases, let's ignore them. Franfurt were also desperate not to carry the can, and were not prepared to go along with the equation AVE4041 = Frankfurt.

Stalemate, but a stalemate Frankfurt were losing, partly because of the Brits being in charge of the investigation, and partly because of Aviv. So tray B8849 came as a blessed relief, to take the heat off both parties.
Just a brief post about my thoughts on why this might have happened, yes it's speculation but it seems to fit the facts.

I think that the London-Frankfurt game of pass the buck is political and is being sponsored by both the US and the UK government.

The US cannot have Frankfurt seen as the ingestion point of the bomb, it would open a jumbo sized can of worms and could well involve the disclosure that that US is involved with illegal drug trafficking on some level, perhaps guns drugs for hostages, that kind of thing.

I think that the UK cannot have London seen as where the bomb getssintroduced because of airline confidence issues. As well as acepting blame Heathrow (and somewhere down the line the UK govt.) is going to have to pay billions in compensation for this, as well as potentially hit airline travel commercaially very hard. If the story leaks out that the busiest airport in the world let a bomb get sneaked into the airport the previous day by some terrorist armed with a simple hacksaw and some insider knowledge what does that do for consumer confidence?

I think that both the US and the UK conspired to pin the blame elsewhere, as it turned out on Libya, a convenient "terrorist state" via Malta and Megrahi.
Ambrosia is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st September 2010, 06:11 AM   #155
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
I think that's the rough bones of it, yes. Just exactly what was going on at Frankfurt to trigger the mass cover-up, apparently on knee-jerk reflex, I don't exactly know though. I'm not even certain if it had anything to do with the bombing, or if it was a completely separate operation they didn't want to be revealed.

The "I see no ships" attitude to Heathrow is absolutely jaw-dropping.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2010, 02:19 AM   #156
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Another thing that has struck me when looking at the court transcripts and comparing them with what Bunntamas has been saying, is the relative absence of specific allegations of mayhem against Megrahi personally. I have certainly missed stuff as I have not (yet!) read my way through over 3,000 single-spaced pages, but so far I haven't seen much that's specific.

However, I came across the evidence of a policeman who had investigated Khreesat, and the exact details of the precise terrorist acts he had committed was all there. Nasty stuff. I also read some of the evidence of Abu Talb, and it's the same. Bombings, deaths, specific dates and incidents mentioned. And Caustic Logic doesn't call Ahmed Jibril "the babykiller" for nothing. These were people with form as long as your arm, and Jibril giving suave interviews to documentary film-makers doesn't change that.

In contrast, what is being said about Megrahi? He knew or worked with people with unsavoury backgrounds and reputations. He was on a particular training course involving Jibril. (That's possibly the most serious allegation to be made so far, but I'm not sure how reliable it it.) He talked to somebody at a party.

I'm agnostic on Megrahi's background. I honestly don't know. I don't accuse him of being steeped in blood because I haven't seen any evidence. But at the same time I don't insist that he's a complete innocent because I don't have evidence of that either. And in a sense I don't really care. If he didn't have anything to do with Lockerbie he should never have been convicted, and the hell with whatever else he did or didn't do.

But let's get this a bit into perspective. If known past behaviour is a factor in considering whether someone might be guilty, Jibril, Khreesat and Talb are winning by a metric mile.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 22nd September 2010 at 02:50 AM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2010, 02:48 AM   #157
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Just a few excerpts. Khreesat first.

Quote:
Q Was there an explosion on that [322] aeroplane?
A Yes. I understand there was.
Q Do you remember the height that the plane was travelling at when the explosion occurred?
A 5,000 feet. That's my recollection.
Q Perhaps twelve or thirteen thousand?
A Twelve or thirteen thousand.
Q Would that help you? I'm obliged.
And I think some shrapnel came from the hold area into the passenger compartment and injured some passengers?
A It did. [....]
Q Did a trial take place under Italian law, in the absence of those three named individuals?
A It did, sir. [323]
Q Were they convicted?
A They were.
Q And were -- and were heavy prison sentences imposed?
A They were.
Q I think, in particular, Khreesat was sentenced to 18 years in prison?
A He was, sir.

Q All right. I'll move on.
Obviously the name of Khreesat and his activities had come under scrutiny by you in connection with that El Al explosion. And did you discover that he had been involved, in one way or another, in another two incidents involving aircraft?
A I was told that, yes, sir. [326]
Q And were these also as a result of improvised explosive devices?
A That's correct, sir.
Q I may have said this already; if I haven't, can I make it clear now by this question: When Mr. Khreesat underwent in his absence a trial in Italy and was sentenced to a period of 18 years, I take it that he didn't appear?
A No, he didn't appear.
Q So the sentence was imposed in absentia?
A It was, sir.
Q Do you know if that sentence was ever put into effect by him being caught?
A No, I don't think he was ever caught for it.

Q Now, coming on to your further inquiries in June of 1989, you've been asked a number of questions about Marwan Khreesat. And it is the case that you pursued a number of inquiries regarding Marwan Khreesat and other members of the PFLP General Council?
A Yes.
Q And in the course of your inquiries, you discovered evidence of his involvement in the Rome bombing?
A Yes, that's correct.
Q In addition, did you in the course of your inquiries discover that he had been implicated in the placing of explosive devices on two other aircraft?
A That's correct, sir.

Talb actually gave evidence in person (beginning page 8220), and he's a slippery customer who was in "deny everything" mode. The allegations in that section are pretty unpleasant though. Here's what another police officer said about him.

Quote:
Q Now, when you arrived in Sweden, I think you discovered that Abu Talb was already in the custody of the Swedish police; is that correct?
A That -- I believe that's correct.
Q Had he in fact already been convicted of [7121] terrorist bombings that he had carried out?
A I do not know the date of his conviction.
Q But you do know that he was convicted in Sweden in respect of three terrorist bombings carried out in countries other than Sweden, where he based himself?
A I do not recall that the bombings were in countries other than Sweden, but I do recall that he was convicted.

Another thing to note in Khreesat's Talb's personal testimony is the number of passports and other documents he had in false names, and the number of times he "lost" his passport (with all its travel stamps), including the classic "I put it through the washing machine in the pocket of my trousers" one. And these were truly fake passports, in contrast to Megrahi's Abdusamad one, which was actually a coded diplomatic passport issued to him legally.

I put this forward simply to give context to any suggestions that evidence of involvement in other terrorist incidents or association with individuals with a histpry of terrorism is in itself sufficient to prove that any individual carried out the Lockerbie bombing. There are many terrorists in the world, unfortunately. They quite clearly didn't all bomb Pan Am 103. Evidence of a concrete link between the suspect individual and the introduction of the Lockerbie bomb is essential before background even comes into it.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Professor Yaffle; 28th September 2010 at 04:22 AM. Reason: correct mistake (with strikethough)
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2010, 08:30 AM   #158
Bunntamas
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I want to put a note in this thread. Since Bunntamas's appearance earlier in the thread, we have been in communication by PM. We have buried the hatchet, called a truce, agreed to draw a line and start again.
Rolfe.
Just saw this. Thanks Rolfe!
Bunntamas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2010, 09:01 AM   #159
Bunntamas
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Oh, and by the way, Bunntamas (yes, me) is a "she" not a "he".
Bunntamas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd September 2010, 09:49 AM   #160
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,967
Ah, I wondered if/when you were going to "confess" to that.

I can stop pretending now!

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:14 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.