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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing , Pan Am 103

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Old 23rd August 2009, 11:26 AM   #121
Rolfe
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Well, yes, but nobody is being called a CTer (yet) for questioning this one. Every time it comes up, there's a lot of mainstream voices saying the conviction is unsafe. The trouble is that the longer the evasions and suppression of evidence go on, the more it's open to CTers to complicate the issue with irrelevant and fabricated complications.

I think an important thing to remember is that in all the miscarriage of justice cases there have been so far, there has never been any serious suggestion that the police were turning a blind eye to the real culprit, or that they thought the person they were fitting up was innocent. Time and time again, they manage to convince themselves that some random bystander is the culprit, and all the dirty tricks that happen after that are just how they try to make sure the right person is convicted.

The Damilola Taylor case is a good parallel again. There was evidence pointing to the real culprit. It was overlooked. Nobody thinks the police were deliberately trying to shield this person, or that they deliberately ignored that bloodstain. They went after the first set of defendants because they seemed like the best bet at the time.

There have been so many. Barry George. The Guildford Six. Several recent cases where re-examination of old DNA evidence has resulted in innocent people being released. Nobody calls it a conspiracy. It's incompetence, in a way, but really it's a problem of police culture. And it's compounded by a tendency, once the favoured suspect has been identified, to start ignoring evidence that suggests they might not be guilty. Especially if all it does is throw the case back into confusion, rather than identify another probable suspect. I think that may be behind the reluctence to look at stuff like the Heathrow breakin. Look, we've got this case put together that the bomb went on board at Malta. Don't spoil it now!

However, it was never proved where the bomb actually got on board. It could have been Malta (or maybe another feeder flight, who knows), or Frankfurt, or Heathrow. That's why I'm interested in the odd logic of the timing device - why the pressure sensor was necessary at all, and why the explosion went off so early even given that the plane was late.

This doesn't have to be any more of a conspiracy than the Jill Dando case was, or the Damilola Taylor one, or the Guildford pub bombings, or any of the others. Even the US bribery of witnesses could easily be explained by excessive enthusiasm to convict someone they believed had done it.

By the way, here's what the priest who lived in the only house left standing in Sherwood Crescent after the crash said in today's paper (and yes, he was in the house at the time, you don't get much closer than that).

Quote:
"I'm very, very pleased that Mr Megrahi has gone home,'' he said. "From the very beginning, following the investigation very closely, the whole thrust of it was towards Iran. Then suddenly that shifted and it switched to Libya. We were being told at the time by the American and British authorities that if we get the Libyans, it will lead to all the others.

"I was suspicious about this sudden switch anyway. As we can see, time has shown that it has certainly not led to the conviction of other people. I feel an innocent man was convicted."

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd August 2009, 05:23 PM   #122
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It's a pity about the quote laws around here, because one hardly knows where to start with this one. The caveat is that it's from the Sunday Mail, with is a tabloid rag, nevertheless it's interesting. Like Krakatoa is interesting....
http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/sco...8057-21618329/

Quote:
A CIA terror expert who worked on the Lockerbie investigation has claimed Megrahi would have been freed on appeal.
In an exclusive interview, retired case officer Robert Baer has revealed details of the secret dossier of evidence Megrahi hoped would clear his name.
Baer claims the appeal, which he worked on, could have done serious damage to our legal system.
And he insists Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill had little option other than to release Megrahi.
Baer claimed: Key witnesses - including Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci - were "manipulated".
Vital details freely available to intelligence agencies were withheld from the original prosecution.
Megrahi's appeal papers would have proven beyond doubt the bombing was orchestrated by Iran.
[....]
The 57-year-old, who lives in Colorado, said: "Your justice secretary had two choices - sneak into Megrahi's cell and smother him with his pillow or release him.
"The end game came down to damage limitation because the evidence amassed by his appeal team is explosive and extremely damning to your system of justice.
"There is hard evidence of other nations - Iran particularly - being responsible for this atrocity.
"The CIA knew this almost from the moment the plane exploded. This decision to free Megrahi was about protecting the integrity of your justiciary because the appeal papers prove Iran was involved.
[....]
"The decision serves everybody's purpose. I don't think anyone wanted to face the consequences of that evidence being heard at appeal.
"The Maltese witness was manipulated and perjured himself at trial.
[...]
"If I were the prosecutors, I would not afford Megrahi the opportunity to state what his appeal team discovered. The investigators in the original case did not get all the information we had.
"If I knew this stuff, you can guarantee MI5 and MI6 knew it long before his conviction.
"It is at least an act of omission not to tell the Scottish authorities.
"It would be very clear there was some form of prosecutorial misconduct in this case and that Megrahi did not get a fair trial."

Well well.

Rolfe.
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Old 24th August 2009, 04:58 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, yes, but nobody is being called a CTer (yet) for questioning this one.
I was in a conversation I had last week, my friend could have been joking but I can be very touchy about being associated with CT/Truthers etc.

If the bomb was put on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt and then Heathrow would the luggage get rechecked when it is transfered internally? Or are X-rays/metal detectors only used to check luggage at the first leg of the journey?
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Old 24th August 2009, 05:14 AM   #124
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The bomb was disguised as a radio-casette player. At the time, it's very doubtful that routine airport security scans would have realised there was something fishy about it. The operatives weren't given detailed instructions about looking for excessive electronic components in these things, or checking them to see if they actually worked. It was only after this incident that operatives were supplied with wiring diagrams to check these items against, and told to check whether they would play.

We've got used to attention being paid to electrical items in our luggage. But remember, this happened in 1988. This is why they pay particular attention to electrical items now.

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Old 28th August 2009, 06:13 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by bill smith View Post
Not people under direct 24-hour-a-day care. Are you really disputing this ?

He didn't have 24-hour-a-day medical attention, obviously. What a bizarre assertion.

...oh wait, it's Bill Smith.
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Old 29th August 2009, 05:13 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by St.Michael View Post
I was in a conversation I had last week, my friend could have been joking but I can be very touchy about being associated with CT/Truthers etc.

If the bomb was put on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt and then Heathrow would the luggage get rechecked when it is transfered internally? Or are X-rays/metal detectors only used to check luggage at the first leg of the journey?
In 1989 Air Malta apparently stated that the number of baggage items loaded into the hold was equal to the number checked in by passengers. i.e. there was no unaccompanied suitcase at the Malta end.

It also strikes me as bizarre that a timed bomb would have been put through a baggage transfer system involving three flights, a delay to any of which could have thrown the timing way out. 'Argument from incredulity' I suppose, but it would have been a strange way to go about it.
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Old 29th August 2009, 05:43 AM   #127
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If you want to hear what the man himself says about it all, here's the interview.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/h...-home-1.825148

Originally Posted by Abdelbaset al-Megrahi
“I was supposed to receive a fair trial and I was supposed to be subject to fair procedure. From day one of the trial there were delays and delays from the Crown Office. I was supposed to receive the documents and the papers. Regarding the indictment, by law I was supposed to receive it within 110 days, but I was waiting more than 400 days. It was abnormal.

“The SCCRC found at least six grounds of appeal and said there were six grounds on which it may have been a miscarriage of justice. From that point we asked the Crown for more documents and more papers. We received only some of them and they were still redacted. Most of the pages were black and I think this is shameful. They were supposed to give us everything.”

Referring to the revelation by former MP Tam Dalyell that police notebooks recording the bombing’s aftermath were destroyed, he said: “It is very strange that the police forces that dealt with the case – and there were more than 400 officers – it is very strange that their notebooks went missing. When one officer was asked about the notebooks, he said they were all destroyed. I find this very strange. Surely the decision to destroy the notebooks of so many people is a decision that someone must have made? This is not fair and a big question mark about the case.”

He is also deeply critical of the Court of Session proceedings, where a special advocate was appointed to represent him because of the confidential nature of many pieces of evidence.

“I met the special advocate just one time and when I met him he said he doesn’t know anything about the documents and he said that he is not entitled to get in touch with me once he does know about it. Where is the justice in that? He is meant to represent my interests yet he cannot talk to me about a piece of crucial evidence. It could be of benefit to me and to the case, but they just say it is top secret and I am not entitled to see it or to see him again."

Rolfe.
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Old 30th August 2009, 12:42 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
In 1989 Air Malta apparently stated that the number of baggage items loaded into the hold was equal to the number checked in by passengers. i.e. there was no unaccompanied suitcase at the Malta end.
Further - Air Malta ended up suing UK tv company Granada for libel after yet another suggestion that the case went on in Malta. The case was settled out of court in Air Malta's favour.

Meanwhile, only 2 weeks after the bombing, strong testimony emerged stating that the case went on Pan Am 103 at Heathrow.
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Old 30th August 2009, 03:26 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Further - Air Malta ended up suing UK tv company Granada for libel after yet another suggestion that the case went on in Malta. The case was settled out of court in Air Malta's favour.

Meanwhile, only 2 weeks after the bombing, strong testimony emerged stating that the case went on Pan Am 103 at Heathrow.

I'm half way through the Private Eye report you recommended.

https://secure2.subscribeonline.co.u..._downloads.cfm

It seems to be relating the standard "CT" that I've heard piecemeal from so many sources. It's impossible to tell how sound the journalism is, but it's not exactly just the Eye, is it?

It seems to me that a lot of that was the basis for the appeal application that was lodged with the SCCRC. The SCCRC press release claims to have investigated various points and found no evidence to support them - such as the suitcase with the hole in it, or the suitcase full of what might have been drugs. The grounds for appeal that were granted were all to do with Gauci's dodgy identification I think.

On one hand, it's easy to dismiss all the detail as CT, and suspect that in fact the investigation simply didn't find the evidence necessary to pin the crime on the Palestinians, so they just went after the Libyans who happened to be handy. Compare Barry George and the Jill Dando murder.

On the other hand, this isn't a bunch of misfits in their Mum's basement "just asking questions" based on laughably preposterous premises. This is a lot of serious journalists writing in respected publications (no, I don't necessarily include Private Eye in that but I do include the Herald). It's not reasonable just to dismiss it as a "CT" in the 9/11 mould simply because "debunking is what we do".

I do think it's unreasonable to believe that the CIA or whoever has subverted the SCCRC and who knows how many investigators and so on. What I don't know is just how well it might have been possible to "disappear" evidence so that a subseqent investigation wouldn't find it.

I'd really love to see this lot given the Gravy treatment, and then see whether anything was left standing.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th August 2009, 04:58 PM   #130
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OK, finished it. The sting is in the tail. Appendix 3.

Quote:
Report on and evaluation of the Lockerbie Trial conducted by the special Scottish Court in the Netherlands at Kamp van Zeist
by Dr. Hans Köchler, University Professor, international observer of the International Progress Organization nominated by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the basis of Security Council resolution 1192 (1998)
Santiago de Chile, 3 February 2001/P/HK/17032
Quote:

4. As far as the material aspects of due process and fairness of the trial are concerned, the presence of at least two representatives of a foreign government in the courtroom during the entire period of the trial was highly problematic. The two state prosecutors from the US Department of Justice were seated next to the prosecution team. They were not listed in any of the official information documents about the Court’s officers produced by the Scottish Court Service, yet they were seen talking to the prosecutors while the Court was in session, checking notes and passing on documents. [....]

5. This serious problem of due process became evident in the matter of the CIA cables concerning one of the Crown’s key witnesses, Mr. Giaka. Those cables were initially dismissed by the prosecution as “not relevant,” but proved to be of high relevance when finally (though only partially) released after a move from the part of the defense. Apart from this specific aspect – that seriously damaged the integrity of the whole legal procedure –, it has become obvious that the presence of representatives of foreign governments in a Scottish courtroom (or any courtroom, for that matter) on the side of the prosecution team jeopardizes the independence and integrity of legal procedures [....]

10. A general pattern of the trial consisted in the fact that virtually all people presented by the prosecution as key witnesses were proven to lack credibility to a very high extent, in certain cases even having openly lied to the Court. Particularly as regards Mr. Bollier and Mr. Giaka, there were so many inconsistencies in their statements and open contradictions to statements of other witnesses that the resulting confusion was much greater than any clarification that may have been obtained from parts of their statements. Their credibility as such was shaken. It seems highly arbitrary and irrational to choose only parts of their statements for the formulation of a verdict that requires certainty “beyond any reasonable doubt.”

16. On the basis of the above observations and evaluation, the undersigned has – to his great dismay – reached the conclusion that the trial, seen in its entirety, was not fair and was not conducted in an objective manner. Indeed, there are many more questions and doubts at the end of the trial than there were at its beginning. The trial has effectively created more confusion than clarity and no rational observer can make any statement on the complex subject matter “beyond any reasonable doubt”. [....]

19. The undersigned would like to express his humble opinion – or hope, for that matter – that an appeal, if granted, will correct the deficiencies of the trial as explained above. It goes without saying that all will depend on the integrity and independence of the five judges of an eventual Court of Appeal operating under Scottish law.

That is just so much dynamite. Not only that, it gives more credibility to the case as presented by Private Eye. I find their points regarding the timer device absolutely fascinating, putting a point of view I hadn't previously heard explained.

I've always known the verdict was unsound, but really just because a number of people I respected who were familiar with the details said so. My previous main attempt to understand the details (the Rollo book) was a bust because that book is rubbish. The Private Eye account was what I was really looking for.

I can feel myself turning into a Twoofer as I type.

I'd really like to see Gravy tackle this one.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 03:15 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by St.Michael View Post
If the bomb was put on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt and then Heathrow would the luggage get rechecked when it is transfered internally? Or are X-rays/metal detectors only used to check luggage at the first leg of the journey?

Going by the Private Eye account of the trial, which I think must be factually accurate, there was no evidence at all that the bomb was put on board at Luqa. I listened to the radio dramatisation of part of the trial and there was an attempt to show that it was possible to get round the checkin at Luqa, that there was a route round the back (I think through the Ladies' toilets) that Fhimah had used in the past to get diplomatic baggage on to planes. However, there was no evidence that Fhimah had been anywhere near the place on that particular day, and no evidence that any suspicious baggage was present on that flight. (Oddly, the Luqa checkin girl, who knew Fhimah very well, was not asked in court whether she'd seen him that day.)

In fact there seemed to be watertight evidence that only 15 bags were checked on at Luqa, all were matched with passengers who actually flew, all 15 were checked off at Frankfurt with no discrepancies, and none of these was booked to travel on the the USA. Which is why Air Malta won its libel action, one assumes.

However, things were a bit murkier at the Frankfurt end. The timing and records from the baggage clerks were unclear, and it couldn't be shown that it was impossible for a bag which had magically materialised from the Luqa flight to have been checked on at Frankfurt. It wasn't the sort of evidence you'd give anyone a parking ticket on, though.

What was impressive was the evidence of the man who did the x-ray screening of the luggage going on to Pan Am 103A at Frankfurt. He had been specifically warned to look out for bombs disguised as radio-cassette recorders, because of the warning which had been received earlier that month, describing a plot to do exactly that. (Which was dismissed by the security services as "coincidence".) He said he was confident that there was nothing of the sort on any of that luggage, because he was looking out for it, and if he'd seen anything at all suspicious he'd have called security and had the case opened. (He could have been lying to cover his back, I suppose, but nobody seems to have suggested this.)

The Heathrow location was where the most likely hole in security existed. One baggage handler gave evidence that when he came back from his break, while luggage for Pan Am 103 was being loaded, two new pieces of luggage had materialised from somewhere that he hadn't seen before. One was a brown Samsonite suitcase. It then got confused, because he claimed to have discussed this with a colleague, whose account differed. However, it seems to be the only credible mention of a Samsonite suitcase anywhere in the evidence.

I remember hearing in one account that the judges were dismissive of the idea that terrorists would even try to breach security at Heathrow "because that is well known to be very tight". Uh, no not really, and part of the new evidence that's being taked about is evidence of a breakin at Heathrow the evening before the disaster.

Another point made in the Private Eye account was that the luggage scrutiny at Heathrow wasn't anything like as rigorous as at Frankfurt, because Heathrow hadn't had the warning about a possible radio-cassette bomb passed on to them that Frankfurt knew about.

So I can see why the argument is being made that Heathrow is the most probable location for the bomb to have been introduced into the baggage system. The judges seem to have decided that the relatively small disagreement between the two Heathrow baggage handlers was enough to dismiss that account of a brown Samsonite suitcase, nevertheless the confused accounts of baggage going every which way at the Frankfurt checkin was enough to decide that it had come on there from the Malta flight, even though there were no discrepancies in the Air Malta records, and the Frankfurt x-ray scrutiny appeared to have been very much more rigorous than the Heathrow scrutiny.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 03:51 AM   #132
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Rolfe, just wanted to say kudos on this slab of useful research. I really should know this story better, and add something, but it looks like the injustice is correcting itself a bit at the moment and some very smart people are looking at it.
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:12 AM   #133
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I too have nothing useful to add to the thread, but I'm following it because it's fascinating. Kudos, Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:54 AM   #134
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Of key witness Tony Gauci (the Maltese shopkeeper who supposedly sold a strange assortment of clothes - and an umbrella, a subject well worth discussion in itself - to the suspect. Clothes which included types found at Lockerbie) :

* " In all the interviews with police on this subject Mr Gauci was quite consistent on two points. The man was about fifty years old and more than six feet tall. During these interviews the police were hoping for an identification of their suspects, Abu Talb and Mohammed Salem, a Palestinian based in Malta. Later in the proceedings, as we have seen, their suspect changed, though the two basic descriptions by Gauci did not change at all. It was only when he came to give evidence that the shopkeeper became vague.


Q. What age would you say he was?

A. I said before – below six... , under 60. I don’t have experience. I don’t have experience on height or age.



In 1989, he was quite prepared to estimate the height and age of the man, but when he came to the trial he was not so sure about either."

Megrahi is 5'8" and was 37 at the time.

* from the Private Eye report by Paul Foot.

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Old 31st August 2009, 05:17 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
That puzzles me too. Ktesibios is absolutely right that that technology already existed (I only would have said 7490 instead of 4017 - I fiddled a bit with an earlier generation IC's in the begin of the 80s ).The prosecution claimed that the timer was triggered on the second leg of the journey - from Frankfurt to Heathrow - gaining height. So that means that between the pressure sensor and the timer there's a counter that counts how many times the pressure sensor has triggered before it triggers the timer into action. If you can count to 2, you can also count to 3.

Another thing that puzzles me is the timing. The plane exploded over land because it was delayed. However, the delay was only 25 minutes according to wiki. That means that even if the flight had been on schedule, it would barely have left the Scottish air, or not, falling down somewhere on the Outer Hebrides. As you said before, if you want the plane to go down over the Atlantic, you'd rather plan the detonation for just before the time it would reach North America, as planes never depart too early but frequently too late.

The Private Eye account says stuff that makes better sense of that.

The complications surrounding the alleged use of the MEBO timer and the pressure sensor that could count weren't really explored in that article. Just why any plotter would go for such a complicated scenario doesn't seem to have been explained by anyone. An alternative explanation that made a lot more sense was laid out though.

Going back to the Palestinian connection, apparently Palestinian terrorists had a history of using something called a "sugar-cube" timer which, for reasons not wholly explained was very restricted in what it could do. Essentially the sensor would detect the drop in pressure occurring when the plane reached cruising altitude, and then the timer would trigger the bomb 43 minutes later. No counting of pressure-rise incidents at all.

Guess what, Pan Am 301 exploded practically bang on schedule for 43 minutes after such a pressure device would have been triggered following the Heathrow take-off.

The article didn't explain why the 43-minute restriction. However, assuming that was built into the device, it would explain the odd timing of the explosion - much too early for an attempt to get the plane to disappear over the Atlantic whichever way you slice it. It was just a device to make sure the plane had taken off and was on its way before triggering the bomb, and there was no particular attempt to delay this until it was over the ocean.

This is where the CT starts to get complicated. The reason the MEBO timer was implicated was that a small fragment alleged to be a part of one was found in the wreckage. That's the bit of evidence that attracts the CTers. The provenance seems to be questionable, according to the Eye. It was found in the collar of a bit of a shirt that was retrieved from the ground, however that piece of evidence had its label altered by a policeman. There's also an oddity surrounding the page numbering of the notes of the forensic expert who was looking at the exhibits, just when that piece of evidence came up. This is the piece of evidence that was spirited away to America, and was never tested for explosive residues (something about cost, or resources, though that seems ridiculous).

If there's actually any significance to any of that, rather than just general bungling, it does point to conspiracy rather than cock-up.

As far as I can make out, that little fragment is all that was ever found of the actual bomb. Even if the suggestions that it was planted are unfounded, it's hard to know how sure anyone can be that it was a part of the device it was alleged to be part of, given how small it was. Also, there was evidence that devices of that nature were supplied to the East German Stazi as well as Libya, which could then have found their way into the hands of Palestinians.

All very confusing, really.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 06:44 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

As far as I can make out, that little fragment is all that was ever found of the actual bomb. Even if the suggestions that it was planted are unfounded, it's hard to know how sure anyone can be that it was a part of the device it was alleged to be part of, given how small it was.
A little under 1cm x 1cm, in fact.
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Old 31st August 2009, 06:47 AM   #137
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Of course, the real conspiracy theory is that al-Megrahi is in fact Scottish. His real name is the giveaway - Ally McGrachey.
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Old 31st August 2009, 07:05 AM   #138
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Well, he apparently now speaks "English" with a pronounced Glasgow accent!

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Old 31st August 2009, 07:25 AM   #139
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I had a very fragmented idea of this whole tale, gleaned from numerous individual articles focussing on various different aspects of the puzzle. The Private Eye article pulls most of that together, and makes the anomalies and question marks a lot easier to understand. (Nevertheless there are still several aspects it didn't cover, such as a babygro that is said to have been recovered intact but was later presented shredded at a later date.)

My understanding that Megrahi's conviction was unsafe was always separate from my thoughts about the CT. It's so much easier to assume that it was cock-up rather than conspiracy, and that failing sufficient evidence to bring the Palestinian suspects to trial, all concerned had simply gone after the Libyans who happened to have been in Malta at the wrong time, because it looked as if it might be possible to build a case against them to come to court.

Some of what the Eye reports is almost certainly barnacle. Extra bits growing on the factual skeleton, and obscuring it. However, the suggestions of a deliberate cover-up of the evidence against the Palestinians are quite wide-ranging.

On the one hand, this all has something of the air of "no smoke without fire" about it. On the other hand, just how many people is it being suggested were actually pressurised by the CIA to conceal/change evidence? I'm not sure, but I've a feeing it might be getting up there with the 9/11 NWO theories, which would make it just a tad unlikely.

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Old 31st August 2009, 08:02 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
.....
On the one hand, this all has something of the air of "no smoke without fire" about it. On the other hand, just how many people is it being suggested were actually pressurised by the CIA to conceal/change evidence? I'm not sure, but I've a feeing it might be getting up there with the 9/11 NWO theories, which would make it just a tad unlikely.

Rolfe.
And as a person with a track record (or 'form' as it's known in UK crimespeak ) for over-enthusiasm for CT's, I'm trying to tread more carefully than usual.

However - a question for you Rolfe. One where you can act as theoretical debunker-in-chief here :

As a student of this subject, can you point to just one substantial piece of evidence that incriminates Megrahi to the confidence level of 'beyond reasonable doubt' ? And I don't mean that piece of evidence should - in itself - be sufficient to secure a conviction in court, merely that it should be solid enough to reach (say) an 80% chance of actually being true ? Then, perhaps, any such evidence could be analysed piece-by-piece to see how it adds up?

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Old 31st August 2009, 09:42 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
As a student of this subject, can you point to just one substantial piece of evidence that incriminates Megrahi to the confidence level of 'beyond reasonable doubt' ? And I don't mean that piece of evidence should - in itself - be sufficient to secure a conviction in court, merely that it should be solid enough to reach (say) an 80% chance of actually being true ? Then, perhaps, any such evidence could be analysed piece-by-piece to see how it adds up?

I think it's overstating the case to label me as "a student of the subject". As I said in the OP, I've been aware that there were huge doubts over the conviction since Camp Zeist in 2001. However, my information was piecemeal, from many different articles read over the years since the tragedy, many of which assumed basic knowledge that I either didn't have or had forgotten. I came to the CT section here looking for more information, and was a bit stunned to find nothing. Given that here we have an exploded airliner full(ish) of American citizens, middle eastern terrorism, obvious problems with the "official version" and some pretty well-grounded undebunked claims of a CIA coverup, I'm still astonished that the Twoofers aren't all over it like a rash.

Anyway, I'm not aware of any credible evidence to link Megrahi to the crime.

Giaka made a number of allegations, however his evidence was thrown out by the court as having been quite obviously fabricated to placate and curry favour with the CIA. Now, there are various allegations flying around that as well as keeping him on the payroll and supplying him with goodies, the CIA also offered him $4 million if he gave evidence that led to a conviction. If Private Eye is even close to accurate, Giaka just made it all up to please the CIA, who wanted him to implicate Megrahi and Fhimah. (Since Giaka's evidence was the only thing connecting Fhimah to the crime, Fhimah was duly acquitted. And that was a "not guilty", by the way, not a "not proven".)

A connection has been alleged between Megrahi and Bollier, who worked for the company that produced the MEBO timing devices. I'm fairly sure Megrahi had a strong connection with the company, at least. I'm not wholly clear about what has been proved about this, but I don't think it was ever shown that Megrahi took delivery of such a timer. And then of course that line of enquiry runs into the questionable provenance of the timer fragment.

Then we have Tony Gauci. Tony Gauci said that he sold the clothes found in the suitcase with the bomb to a man who was at least 6 feet tall and over 50 years old. He tried to pinpoint the day by saying that it was raining (he remembered the purchaser also buying an umbrella for that reason), and he was alone in his shop because his brother Paul had gone home to watch the football. He also said that this happened before the Christmas decorations were put up.

Paul Gauci looked at dates of football matches and said he thought this was probably 23rd November, but 7th December was also a possibility.

Meteorological data showed a light shower on 23rd November, but no evidence of rain on 7th December. However, when pressed, the met office said that while there was definitely no rain at Luqa that day, they couldn't completely exclude "a few drops" possibly having fallen in Sliema, which is three miles away.

One of the points stated in the SCCRC report which was grounds for the appeal was in relation to the Christmas lights. At the trial, it was asserted that the lights were either not yet up, or were in the process of going up, on the day the clothes were sold. It was said they were habitually put up "15 days before Christmas", which would be 10th December. However, it appears there is actually evidence they went up a month before Christmas, in late November, which would again push the date of the sale to the 23rd November rather than 7th December.

The problem is that Megrahi had an unbreakable alibi for 23rd November.

It seems to be absolutely agreed that without Gauci's evidence, there is nothing that would come even close to standing up in court. And it was precisely Gauci's evidence that the SCCRC said was grounds for appeal.

Now, as well as the allegations that Giaka was offered $4 million if he gave evidence to secure a conviction at Camp Zeist, there are allegations printed in respected media that Tony Gauci was given $2 million and Paul Gauci $1 million. I understand the brothers are now living in Australia, though whether there is evidence of them having that sort of money I don't know. The move to Australia seems to have been recent.

Megrahi was a senior officer in the Libyan secret service. His work took him to Malta fairly frequently. He had connections with the company that made the timing devices, a fragment of which was allegedly found in the wreckage of flight 103. He was in Malta using a false passport on the morning of the crash. He was also in Malta on 7th December, and could have purchased the clothes if that was the day they were sold.

However, he was never shown to have possessed one of the timing devices, it appears impossible for anyone to have got that suitcase bomb on board the plane at Malta, and it appears that 7th December was not the day the clothes were sold. He is also nowhere near 6 feet tall, and was 36 at the time. Gauci never identified him with any degree of certainty, he only said he was quite like the purchaser, but 10 years too young.

And a Libyan intelligence officer swanning around with a false passport is not exactly uncommon.

This has all the hallmarks of someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and quite possibly up to no good in some other respect unconnected with Pan Am 103.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 01:44 PM   #142
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Here is the link to the "listen-again" of the Saturday Play "Lockerbie on Trial", broadcast on 29th August (repeated from 2001). It's available till mid-afternoon on Saturday 5th September. I don't know how to save it as a file - I should have recorded it on casette tape when it was broadcast!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...rbie_on_Trial/

Quote:
Few would have predicted the verdict in February 2001, when Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was convicted and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah acquitted of blowing up Pam Am flight 103. The prosecution are sure they have got their men, but a succession of witnesses who prove to be CIA double agents, convicted terrorists and arms dealers with shady histories begin to undermine a case which is skilfully and passionately contested by the defence.

Not that the first few minutes of the file are actually the end of the previous programme - "Any Answers".

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Old 31st August 2009, 02:07 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Going back to the Palestinian connection, apparently Palestinian terrorists had a history of using something called a "sugar-cube" timer which, for reasons not wholly explained was very restricted in what it could do. Essentially the sensor would detect the drop in pressure occurring when the plane reached cruising altitude, and then the timer would trigger the bomb 43 minutes later. No counting of pressure-rise incidents at all.

Guess what, Pan Am 301 exploded practically bang on schedule for 43 minutes after such a pressure device would have been triggered following the Heathrow take-off.

The article didn't explain why the 43-minute restriction. However, assuming that was built into the device, it would explain the odd timing of the explosion - much too early for an attempt to get the plane to disappear over the Atlantic whichever way you slice it. It was just a device to make sure the plane had taken off and was on its way before triggering the bomb, and there was no particular attempt to delay this until it was over the ocean.

My bad. Not a "sugar-cube" timer, an "ice-cube" timer. No wonder I couldn't find anything when I googled it!

Here is an article from the Independent dated 2003, which covers the issue.

Quote:
Why, for instance, did Western investigators suddenly focus on Libya, when for several years they believed that two Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist groups - the Frankfurt-based PFLP-GC and the lesser-known PPSF - were responsible? Why, Mr Swire has asked, did flight 103 explode 38 minutes after take-off from Heathrow en route to New York - a timescale that has the exact hallmark of the sort of "ice-cube" timer that the PFLP-GC had used before? What does one make of the evidence presented by the prosecution?

Why did the CIA need to pay its star witness, Abdul Majid Giaka, $2.7m (£1.7m) to give evidence? Why was that evidence only forthcoming after he had received the money?

Why did the Scottish judges choose to accept part of the testimony of the Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci, who sold Megrahi clothes that were later found wrapped around the bomb? Why was the court persuaded when he admitted he could not definitely identify the suspect?

This article by Dr. Ludwig de Braeckeleer appears on more than one site. It's dated 2008, and takes the SCCRC report into consideration also.

Quote:
At the trial, a German witness named Gobel explained in detail how the PFLP-GC bombs recovered at Frankfurt had been made.

Scientists at the BKA central physics laboratory in Weisbaden found that the pressure switch took about 7 minutes from take off, if in the fuselage of a 747 flying a normal passenger flight profile as 103 did that night, to switch to the ‘on’ condition.

The pressure inside a 747 fuselage is auto-regulated to about the equivalent of 8,000 ft above sea level. The baggage hold and passenger compartments are always at the same pressure as each other.

Gobel told the court that the range of timings available among the ‘ice-cube’ timers they had recovered ranged between about 35 and 45 minutes. NB. It is essential to realise that the user has no means of altering or resetting their running time.

It's all very, very confusing.

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Old 31st August 2009, 02:29 PM   #144
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Two more very useful pages here.

The original 90-paragraph judgement from the 2001 trial
.

A site covering the original 2002 appeal.

Also, once more....

The press release outlining the grounds for appeal determined in 2007.

One thing I'm confused about is the credibility of Jim Swire. He's widely respected, he's obviously intelligent, and he knows the case inside out. The thing that makes me wonder, is the web site of his campaign. http://www.lockerbietruth.com/

There's buggerall there. A front page, three short supplementary pages with stuff three people involved said about it, and a page taking pre-publication orders for a book he can't seem to find a publisher for.

Hmmmmm.

If you can't find a publisher these days, then you have two options. Self-publish, using a site like this. http://www.printondemand-worldwide.com/ This ought to circumvent any reservations a conventional publisher would have about legal ramifications.

Or put the damn thing up on the internet, and if you're really keen to make a buck from it, put it behind a pay-wall.

The site just seems to have "CT" all over it. And Jim Swire seems to be the main proponent of the "ice cube" theory.

There are an awful lot of people who have taken a lot of interest in all this, and nobody's really sure about anything.

However, I certainly can't see where the evidence is that Megrahi did it "beyond reasonable doubt". And listening to the dramatised version the BBC broadcast only two weeks after the verdict, neither can the editors of that little lot.

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 02:51 PM   #145
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'I'll Reveal True Identity Of Bomber'


"AN AMERICAN citizen is to be named by the Lockerbie bomber as the man who really carried out the terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103.

Megrahi’s early release from prison on compassionate grounds.

Lawyers for the bomber were to argue that an 'elusive' terrorist codenamed Abu Elias planted the bomb in December 1988, causing the deaths of 270 innocent people.

Megrahi is now expected to identify the man behind this alias.

The Scottish Sunday Express tracked this man down to his home in the US, and he strongly denied having anything to do with the atrocity.

However, we can reveal that he has connections to at least two international terrorists and a Palestinian terror group, as well as links to the US intelligence services."

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/...tity-of-bomber
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Old 31st August 2009, 02:59 PM   #146
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I can tell you're not familiar with the Express, but you never know - it could be right.
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Old 31st August 2009, 03:41 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
-snip-
Given that here we have an exploded airliner full(ish) of American citizens, middle eastern terrorism, obvious problems with the "official version" and some pretty well-grounded undebunked claims of a CIA coverup, I'm still astonished that the Twoofers aren't all over it like a rash.
I'd suggest this is because Megrahi was so obviously fitted-up that it's an unattractive propostion even for a dedicated CTist. Just too mundane?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Anyway, I'm not aware of any credible evidence to link Megrahi to the crime.
Me neither. I'd be very interested, though, to hear otherwise from anybody.

Incidentally I totally agree with your description of the "barnacles" attached to the case presented by Paul Foot. Why do people do that? It's not as if he needed to sex it up to sell it to Sun readers. They were never going to be in sight anyway.
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:04 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I'd suggest this is because Megrahi was so obviously fitted-up that it's an unattractive propostion even for a dedicated CTist. Just too mundane?

Me neither. I'd be very interested, though, to hear otherwise from anybody.

Incidentally I totally agree with your description of the "barnacles" attached to the case presented by Paul Foot. Why do people do that? It's not as if he needed to sex it up to sell it to Sun readers. They were never going to be in sight anyway.
Paul Foot (RIP) was not the biggest fan of the US, and that may some go way to explain the "barnacles", though, with respect to the possibility of there being a US sponsored drug smuggling operation involved, the farmer stating that he found a suitcase full of "white powder" and the CIA officers on board the flight, might, to some, suggest there's more to it that pure speculation...
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:07 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
I can tell you're not familiar with the Express, but you never know - it could be right.
Unfortunately, I am familiar with The Express!
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:21 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I'd suggest this is because Megrahi was so obviously fitted-up that it's an unattractive propostion even for a dedicated CTist. Just too mundane?

Depends which view you take. If you think they just fitted up Megrahi in order to "get a conviction", then that is probably too mundane. Might make an episode of Ashes to Ashes, that's about all.

On the other hand, there's plenty meat on the story that the CIA fitted up Megrahi specifically to draw attention from Iran, the real culprit. Because Desert Storm was beginning, and Bush Snr needed Iran onside against Iraq, their ancient enemy. And that one might actually fly.

Then if you're a full-on twoofer, you can take in the barnacles as well. Cases full of drugs. Two CIA operatives on the flight. CIA sponsoring a drug-running operation, and I can't actually remember the details of where that one goes, but it's sanity itself compared to thermite and holographic planes and skyscrapers wired for demolition when nobody was looking.

I wonder if it's because if you start looking for Lockerbie analyses, you find quite sensible, mature, well-educated, knowledgeable people with serious doubts about it all, and maybe the twoofers don't fit in that sort of social circle?

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:24 PM   #151
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Funny how paranoid of being labelled CTs ya all are! Hee hee!
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Old 31st August 2009, 04:42 PM   #152
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I also found this page, an article by a Maltese journalist who attended the trial at Camp Zeist. This seems to have been written during the trial, before the verdict.

http://www.mathaba.net/news/news1/lockerbie/gauci.htm

Quote:
So now it's confirmed. After 19 statements by Tony Gauci, after an identification parade in April 1999 and after taking the witness stand during the Camp Zeist trial this week, he has not positively identified anyone that went to his shop and bought clothes, fragments of which were later found in the fields of Lockerbie months after the Pan Am tragedy.

Now we have learned that FBI where behind the first suggestion that Megrahi was the person who bought the clothes in Mary’s House. The Scottish investigators where invited to go to Malta and there a FBI officer would show him the photo of the suspect.

[....]

So there was no concrete identification of any person by Gauci.

Three more points that must be noted in Tony Gauci’s testimony are:
If the person that bought the items from Mary’s House was living at the Holiday Inn Hotel as the prosecution is claiming, less than five minutes away from the hotel, was it wise for the person who bought the items to walk to the taxi stand which is the same distance from the hotel and in the opposite direction? This point is very puzzling a lot and if the case were being heard here in Malta, the defence team would have a field day.

One of the points raised during Gauci’s testimony was regarding Christmas decorations. In his earlier statement to Scottish police he said that no lights where yet up. But in his testimony he said that lights where being put up. In Malta a month before Christmas, shops and streets are already decorated especially in shopping areas to attract Christmas shoppers.

[....]

Then there is the rain factor. The person, who bought the clothes, bought an umbrella because it was raining. On 7th December 1988, when the prosecution is alleging that clothes where both from Mary’s House it did not rain in the afternoon as checks with meteorological office will confirm. The day the defence is suggesting, from weather reports its seems that it was raining in the afternoon.

So Tony Gauci has not proved beyond reasonable doubt as requested by Scottish Criminal Law that Megrahi was the man who bought the cloths from his shop.

The index page for that citation looks seriously interesting too. News accounts and other material coming out actually during the trial.

http://www.mathaba.net/news/news1/lockerbie/

Rolfe.
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Old 31st August 2009, 05:50 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What was impressive was the evidence of the man who did the x-ray screening of the luggage going on to Pan Am 103A at Frankfurt. He had been specifically warned to look out for bombs disguised as radio-cassette recorders, because of the warning which had been received earlier that month, describing a plot to do exactly that. (Which was dismissed by the security services as "coincidence".)
Is there a primary source for this "security services" dismissal? Given the raid of a terrorist cell in Frankfurt several weeks before Lockerbie, in which a bomb concealed in a radio went "missing," it's a little had to tell what "dismissed ... as coincidence" means without context (not to mention, which security service?)
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Old 31st August 2009, 06:32 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Depends which view you take. If you think they just fitted up Megrahi in order to "get a conviction", then that is probably too mundane. Might make an episode of Ashes to Ashes, that's about all.

On the other hand, there's plenty meat on the story that the CIA fitted up Megrahi specifically to draw attention from Iran, the real culprit. Because Desert Storm was beginning, and Bush Snr needed Iran onside against Iraq, their ancient enemy. And that one might actually fly.

Then if you're a full-on twoofer, you can take in the barnacles as well. Cases full of drugs. Two CIA operatives on the flight. CIA sponsoring a drug-running operation, and I can't actually remember the details of where that one goes, but it's sanity itself compared to thermite and holographic planes and skyscrapers wired for demolition when nobody was looking.

I wonder if it's because if you start looking for Lockerbie analyses, you find quite sensible, mature, well-educated, knowledgeable people with serious doubts about it all, and maybe the twoofers don't fit in that sort of social circle?

Rolfe.
I'd step back from suggesting Paul Foot was a twoofer. A leftist? Beyond doubt, but more in the Noam Chomsky model, i.e. a critic of US foreign policy, but not one to believe the US would initiate terrorist attacks against its own citizens. WRT CIA drug smuggling, back in the late 80s and early 90s it wasn't that far fetched to believe the CIA would provide aid and assistance to drug smugglers, at the very least it turned a blind eye to its Contra assets affiliations with drug smugglers, and this may have fed into Foot's barnacles ...

As you say, the barnacles are sanity compared to thermite, etc, given that the farmer saw the case of powder, there were CIA operatives on board the plane and the mysterious disappearing body. There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation to it all, but on the surface it's odd. But these details are barnacles when it comes to the guilt or otherwise of Megrahi.
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Old 1st September 2009, 01:06 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
Funny how paranoid of being labelled CTs ya all are! Hee hee!
JihadJane illuminates, as ever.

The label is no worry at all. But I was a CTist once upon a time, and I find it useful to consider whether I'm slipping into that mode of thinking again. So if it turns out that Megrahi is much taller than 5'8" or Gauci never actually stated the customer was at least 50, that's fine. Even though it puts a huge dent in the position I'm currently holding.
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Old 1st September 2009, 06:38 AM   #156
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Oooh look!

Quote:
Either way Lockerbie is fundamental to what we're meant to be doing as part of the meta framework of "911 Truth" - until we as a community of activists broaden our research and move on from the narrow lens we see all too often on various media/online forums we're never going to make headway and by default we do the work of CoIntelPro type ops ourselves.

ETA: Look at this, from the second page! This is a new one on me.

Quote:
There IS a conspiracy here - it is that MI6 has been pushing the line that it was an Iranian-backed group which carried out the attack. This line has been spread by their stooges in the MSM, and recently resurfaced when a former senior police officer went public about his concerns there had been a miscarriage of justice, and that the Iranians had sponsored the attack. The timing of this claim was interesting - the officer had waited until last year to make this claim, and did so at a time when Western governments were trying to ramp up the threat of Iran as a pretext for an attack.

Rolfe.
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Old 1st September 2009, 07:44 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
ETA: Look at this, from the second page! This is a new one on me.
Soooo..... the government fitted up the wrong people, and then made sure lots of people *kinda* think it *may* have been a miscarriage of justice, in order to later drum up rumoured suspicion for another fabricated culprit. While doing this, they will prevent the original patsy from being properly exonerated, and will maintain, at the highest levels of diplomacy, that they are convinced that his conviction is safe.

That's definitely what happened. Crazy triple-bluff! Those sneaky government BASTARDS!
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Old 1st September 2009, 01:04 PM   #158
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Not sure. The range of speculation is impressive. I think that one is citing David Shayler, asserting that the Libyans are genuinely guilty and all the stuff about Iran and the Palestinians is disinfo.

Here's another on the same page.

Quote:
Deliberate interference by MI6 should come as no great surprise to anyone, with its known close links to the CIA. Furthermore, like the CIA, MI6 was long ago deeply penetrated by agents of the State of Israel, prime suspects in the Lockerbie bombing. This was commented on earlier by the author in the investigation into WPC Yvonne Fletcher's murder outside the Libyan Embassy during 1984.



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Old 1st September 2009, 01:18 PM   #159
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I'm watching The Maltese Double Cross, the 1994 film that was banned in the USA.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?...54996287567609

I noticed one discrepancy with the Private Eye account. Dr. Fieldhouse is interviewed in the film, and complains that he labelled 58 bodies, and later all but two of his labels were removed and replaced by others. He says nothing at all about having labelled a 59th body that disappeared.

There's so much hearsay you just don't know where to start. However, Martin Cadman does give his account of having been told by a US official that both governments know who did it but they'll never tell. I'd read that, but it underlines it seeing him actually relate it to camera.

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Old 1st September 2009, 01:53 PM   #160
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I found the explanation of the Baby-gro inconsistency (it was blue not pink).
http://www.sundayherald.com/news/her...494316.0.0.php

Quote:
Al-Megrahi s team also found inconsistencies in the evidence surrounding a child s baby-gro, which the prosecution had claimed was wrapped around the Toshiba radio cassette which exploded in mid-air in the hold of the London Heathrow to New York flight.

The charred fragments of the child s clothing were apparently shown to the trial suggesting it was very close to the initial explosion.

However, statements casting doubt on the credibility of the cause of the blast came from two mountain rescuers whose evidence that they found an intact baby-gro was submitted to the SCCRB. The statement read: In the statements noted from these witnesses, they are both adamant that they remembered finding an intact baby-gro.

So that's what they one is about. I can't see how it relates to the price of fish. If the baby-gro was bought in Malta, and the rest of the evidence shows that the clothes bought in Malta were in the suitcase with the bomb, then where exactly would this be going?

Here's another take on the timing of the explosion.
http://www.indopedia.org/Pan_Am_flight_103.html

Quote:
British forensic experts identified the timing device from a 0.4 inch (10 mm) particle found in Lockerbie, and the CIA provided information about a previous batch of such timers that were found with terrorists in Senegal. The information from the CIA allowed investigators to trace the MST-13 timer to a Swiss manufacturer, Edwin Bollier of MEBO AG in Zurich, Switzerland. It emerged at trial that Bollier had sold 20 such timers to a Libyan intelligence officer days before the bombing. The timers were capable of being set to between one minute and 999 hours

It is possible the terrorists intended the plane to disappear into the Irish Sea and had timed the IED to be detonated accordingly, but due to heavy winds that night, PA 103 was delayed for 30 minutes before flying north over Scotland, instead of by its usual western route over Ireland.

I still don't see why they would aim for the Irish Sea rather than the middle of the Atlantic. This account does acknowledge that the delay was relatively short and there was no way the plane would have been over the Atlantic at the time of the explosion even if it had been bang up to time.

Rolfe.
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