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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Ahmed Jibril , Kenny MacAskill , Lockerbie bombing , Marwan Khreesat , Pan Am 103

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Old 5th November 2011, 11:35 AM   #521
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Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post

I will say that reading that Robert Black site and about Jim Swire when I was poking around, that it's almost like they want Americans to dislike them and Megrahi. I'm guessing this is a winning political strategy over there? Just blame everything on Americans and that brings sympathies in Scotland where it actually matters?

I wouldn't say that's true. I think they're more interested in finding out how criminal justice in Scotland was hood-winked to the degree it was. There's no wholesale sense of "Blame America!" Any unravelling of the travesty of Camp Zeist should start in Scotland. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities to point across the pond and declare, " Shenanigans! " but in terms of a miscarriage of justice that honour belongs to a Scottish court.


Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post

What is the best 'evidence' against him anyway? Everything I've come across is what I term 'negative evidence'--it comes across more as evidence of an incompetent or corrupt prosecution. I do it that way to avoid the tendency some have of adding up 'possibilities' or 'half-clues' until they add up to 'guilt' because that's silly in my view. The guy they thought was his 'partner' was actually in Sweden. That's a huge negative. The whole tenuous string from the clothes in Malta is ridiculous and frankly even if he did buy the clothes not all that indicative of being a sinister mastermind anyway.

Mr Megrahi appears to have convicted on the basis of Tony Guaci's evidence ie that Mr Megrahi resembles the purchaser of the clothes.



Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post

Frankly from my (highly limited) reading I don't think Libya was even involved, other than perhaps peripherally. I'm sure this piece must be well-known in the debate? Strange how that works out, I know something (peripheral) about that. I've got a theory the truth never got out on that one, and not for the reasons some would assume, and at any rate I know all sides of that are lying or mistaken about some things. Weird.

The "Romantic involvement" theory was investigated. Nothing doing. The "Unwitting Drugs Courier " theory was investigated. Nope, not that either. It is interesting that so much effort went into a theory that has a bomb transferring more than once between planes, with next to zero effort involved at the ingestion point of the device being London itself. I find that pretty weird.

On a lesser scale of import, but still in the Weird column: Why release the " Wanted/Reward " posters after the indictment? And related to that, why weren't alarm bells ringing in Scotland? I mean, there must have been an operational reason for that, but as far as anyone was aware the DOJ had put together an iron-cast case with loads of evidence.



Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post

The point I was trying to make was that I thought the information suggesting the possibility highly speculative, and frankly comes across as weird. I don't know where people are getting the idea that Megrahi is high up on some enemies list, thus couldn't get a fair trial even if it was possible to try him again, or that anyone would really want to. This isn't a political winner for anyone, and might open up scabs they'd rather stayed closed, and were it to come to light it seems to me it's been so long the ones who would most want to keep things hidden aren't in position to do anything about it. I made a mistake when assuming when this case was put together, apparently it happened under Bush the Elder, those guys are long gone and haven't exactly been flavor of the month in quite some time on either side for various reasons, and I'm not just talking about the politicians who might have been involved behind the scenes.

My only thoughts to this are that the revelation that, " Actually, sorry folks, we knowingly pinned the wrong guy and have been lying about it for 20 years " would definitely have ramifications. What those would be I couldn't say, but I'm sure there's a whole heap of 'interests' that would rather not find out.
I'm a cynical ol' soul, but I do know plenty of people who just assume that their govt ( in the UK at least ) tell them the truth....



Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post

Of course, I don't know anything about this one other than she's kinda hot, so I ought to believe everything she says--thus forget the rest of this post!


....even if the govt representatives in question aren't as cute.
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Old 5th November 2011, 11:45 AM   #522
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Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
Not a 'should' but a 'won't' as in ironclad, guaranteed. For the reasons stated there, it simply can't happen. Neither could it happen to Raffaele (extradition at least) were he to come here, which is not entirely impossible. Incidentally as Bruce Fisher posted this isn't just google-fu, there's people that don't post here that know, I'm just doing that part for fun and for the entertainment and information of others interested.

Oh indeed, I agree. For many reasons, including the fact that the case against Knox (although considerably more substantial than the case against Megrahi) is risible. However, my main thought is that the Italians aren't going to come after Knox again anyway.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
As for this one there's other factors making speculation far less clear-cut, as the 'different sovereigns' one is an exception, however as you noted it's kinda murky there too, so I wouldn't think so either, but that is complicated in more than one regard. He's Scotland's prisoner and on his deathbed, so how does he end up here? I don't even understand the argument being made. Blather from politicians is just that, non sequitur.

Frankly I've seen no reliable indications that it's even a remote possibility, merely dubious speculation. I will say that reading that Robert Black site and about Jim Swire when I was poking around, that it's almost like they want Americans to dislike them and Megrahi. I'm guessing this is a winning political strategy over there? Just blame everything on Americans and that brings sympathies in Scotland where it actually matters?

Robert Black's blog posts practically everything that emerges in relation to the Lockerbie case, including some stuff that may be little more than rumour. He doesn't present his own opinion much, it's mainly just, here is this article, discuss.

If any of it seems anti-American, that's because the behaviour of the American authorities at all levels in this case has been atrocious. Which doesn't make the behaviour of the authorities this side of the pond any better, and they get their share of stick too.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
You misunderstand me, I don't lack empathy for Megrahi, as a matter of fact that pic of him on his deathbed reminds me of my father who died of 'Multiple Myeloma' which ate his skull from the inside out. Something like that, they gave me a shiny pamphlet on it with high-quality paper, I didn't read it. There was (eventually) something about 17 tumors eating away his brain too.

At any rate he looked something like that, which means I also understand how the estimates can be off as well, as that happened too. First the good way, then the other way when the 17 tumors mysteriously appeared six months after being given a 'clean bill of health.' At first he lived longer than expected, then he was given 1-2 years and died within six months and it was a mercy when he did.

I'm very sorry to hear about your father, Kaosium, that is a horrible disease. My point is that Megrahi is so often talked about as if he's not an actual human being capable of suffering. "Michael" on Robert Black's blog is particularly bad for this, "why don't you support the US taking him into custody and going through all the evidence again?" Well, maybe because the man is dying and has been banged up in prison hundreds of miles from home and family for far too long already?

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
What is the best 'evidence' against him anyway? Everything I've come across is what I term 'negative evidence'--it comes across more as evidence of an incompetent or corrupt prosecution. I do it that way to avoid the tendency some have of adding up 'possibilities' or 'half-clues' until they add up to 'guilt' because that's silly in my view. The guy they thought was his 'partner' was actually in Sweden. That's a huge negative. The whole tenuous string from the clothes in Malta is ridiculous and frankly even if he did buy the clothes not all that indicative of being a sinister mastermind anyway.

There were a number of circumstances that were pulled together to suggest guilt.
  • The fragment of timer found in the wreckage was one of a special order produced for Libya two years previously (of course there is good evidence that fragment is not genuine)
  • The model of radio-cassette player used for the bomb was one sold widely in Libya (the identification of the model also has provenance problems)
  • Megrahi is Libyan, and believed to be attached to the Libyan security service (his exact connection with the Libyan security services is open to question)
  • A single entry in a Frankfurt luggage record could indicate that an item of luggage was transferred from KM180 from Malta to PA103, although there was no passenger for PA103 on that flight
  • The bomb was in the luggage container on PA103 that contained nearly all the luggage transferred from the Frankfurt flight
  • Megrahi was at the airport in Malta checking in for a flight to Tripoli at the same time KM180 was checking in
  • He was using a passport in the name of Abdusamad at that time, a passport issued by the Libyan passport office in order to allow him to travel incognito
  • Tony Gauci gave evidence that Megrahi "resembled" the man who had bought the clothes that were in the suitcase containing the bomb
That's it. Sounds good, doesn't it? The trouble is, it's a house of cards that falls apart when you examine it.
  • The Libyan provenance of the IED is very doubtful. The use of an MST-13 timer is just a nonsense in the context of the time of the explosion (which is pathognomonic of an entirely different type of timing device), and there is strong evidence suggesting the CIA planted the timer fragment. In addition, the identification of the radio model is questionable.
  • Even if the Libyan timer and radio are for real, they do not trace back to Megrahi. (He had dealings with the manufacturer of the timers, but not in relation to the timer purchase.)
  • There was cast-iron evidence that there was never any unaccompanied suitcase on KM180. That is the central problem with the entire case, one which was acknowledged by the trial court, but then simply handwaved away. The one-line entry on the Frankfurt luggage record wasn't the only unidentified item on that printout, and it could have been anything
  • Exactly what Megrahi is supposed to have done at the airport in Malta is entirely unclear - there's no evidence he did anything other than catch a plane in the normal manner, without even checking in any luggage
  • He didn't buy the clothes - he wasn't even on Malta the day the clothes were bought, and he doesn't resemble Gauci's original description of the purchaser in the slightest
You're mistaken about Sweden. It was Abu Talb who was in Sweden at the time. He says. Fhimah, who was Megrahi's co-accused, was on Malta that day. He just wasn't at the airport, which was a bit of a bummer for the Crown case, as he was the one who was supposed to have got the magic invisible suitcase on to the Frankfurt flight.

You're right about the insanity of it all though. Megrahi is supposed to be the sort of criminal super-mastermind who can get an unaccompanied suitcase with a bomb in it on to an aircraft at Malta, despite extremely stringent security precautions, so cleverly that there wasn't even any evidence to be found AFTER THE FACT, then he blew all that by going personally to a small shop only three miles from the airport and buying brand new, locally manufactured, eminently traceable clothes, in a transaction to conspicuous he might as well have been saying "remember me". He then wrapped these clothes round the bomb without removing the tags, and set the timer so early into a 7-hour flight that even if a delay didn't lead to a harmless tarmac explosion, it was highly probable the wreckage would come down on land. Then after showing himself at the shop, he also went in person to the airport when the bomb was due to be planted, for no readily discernible reason.

WTF?

In fact there is a humungous pile of evidence demonstrating that the bomb was actually smuggled into the baggage container at Heathrow, before the flight from Frankfurt landed. Heathrow security was a joke, and admitted to be a joke. But that was OK, because the bomb came from Malta!

And Megrahi and his false passport were nowhere near Heathrow at that time, provably.



Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
Frankly from my (highly limited) reading I don't think Libya was even involved, other than perhaps peripherally. I'm sure this piece must be well-known in the debate? Strange how that works out, I know something (peripheral) about that. I've got a theory the truth never got out on that one, and not for the reasons some would assume, and at any rate I know all sides of that are lying or mistaken about some things. Weird.

Oh yes. Not that particular piece of course, but that was the official theory at that time, immortalised even in books such as Emerson and Duffy's The Fall of Pan Am 103. The idea that the bomb had come from Malta didn't appear until August 1989, and the idea that it had been a Libyan operation wasn't official policy until the autumn of 1990.

Jibril and his PFLP-GC were hot suspects from very early in the inquiry, but we're told the trail went cold, and there was no evidence against them. Actually, the investigation was stalled from January to August 1989, because the British and German investigators wouldn't co-operate with each other. They were each protecting their own aviation industries and blaming the other's airport. A lot went into following up the idea that Karen Noonan and/or Patricia Coyle had been carrying the bomb in their luggage from Vienna, but that turned out to be a red herring. Heathrow was never investigated as the probable place of introduction of the bomb, which is probably why the trail went cold. Then from September 1989 they were obsessed with Malta as the place of introduction, and no wonder it all went completely cold - they were looking in the wrong place.

They spent an entire year finding nothing at all on Malta except evidence that no unaccompanied suitcase was or could have been carried on KM180. But instead of reconsidering that theory, they decided to look at Libyans instead (prompted by the belated identification of the infamous timer chip as an item of Libyan provenance). Malta was crawling with Libyans, and unfortunately for Megrahi he was the one who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to allow them to fit him up for the crime.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
The point I was trying to make was that I thought the information suggesting the possibility highly speculative, and frankly comes across as weird. I don't know where people are getting the idea that Megrahi is high up on some enemies list, thus couldn't get a fair trial even if it was possible to try him again, or that anyone would really want to. This isn't a political winner for anyone, and might open up scabs they'd rather stayed closed, and were it to come to light it seems to me it's been so long the ones who would most want to keep things hidden aren't in position to do anything about it.

Maybe because various Americans up to and including Hillary Clinton have been shooting their mouths off about Megrahi being a high priority, and their implacable intention to get him out of Libya and punish him some more before he dies.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
I made a mistake when assuming when this case was put together, apparently it happened under Bush the Elder, those guys are long gone and haven't exactly been flavor of the month in quite some time on either side for various reasons, and I'm not just talking about the politicians who might have been involved behind the scenes.

The whole "war on terror" thing seems to have swept up the Lockerbie incident as well, even though it's unconnected. Megrahi is viewed by some as equivalent to Osama bin Laden, and one more evil Islamic terrorist to be monstered and eliminated. It's not about when it happened or who investigated it, it's about the political capital of getting one more Islamic scalp.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
Actually all things considered it might just get him his medicine and clear his name before he dies. That's not entirely impossible.

Do you really think that snatching a terminally ill man from home and family and locking him up in a US jail while awaiting trial for his life would be good for his health? (One of the reasons for releasing him from Greenock in the first place was a perception that if he was kept in jail he would simply "turn his face to the wall" and die.) Do you think he would get top-quality oncology care there? Don't you think sections of the US population would go bonkers at the news that "the Lockerbie bomber" was getting that sort of care, and it would be politically unsustainable?

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
What does seem less possible is that it could happen, that part hasn't yet been explained. The black-bag boys is possible, I just kinda doubt it, sometimes the guys at the top know things they don't say, and Obama and the State Dept guy seemed to be talking between the lines. Ignore what they had to say, ('we're not soft on terrorism!') filter it out, and then read the rest. With this guy, read what it says under 'political style' and note I didn't write it, a supporter might have!

Of course, I don't know anything about this one other than she's kinda hot, so I ought to believe everything she says--thus forget the rest of this post!

I do agree that it's quite possible the whole thing is simply hot air. I think Megrahi gave up all hope of clearing his name before he dies quite some time ago, and would far rather die at home in Libya with his wife and mother and children than be taken to the USA to stand trial again.

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Old 5th November 2011, 01:30 PM   #523
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It's all about this. (Abbreviated image of the Erac printout courtesy of Caustic Logic.)



Nobody knows why Koca coded tray 8849 for Pan Am 103A. If it was even Koca, we don't know for absolute certain that S0009 really does mean his station 206. Nobody knows what was in it. All that is known is that it was coded on the Vorfeldt during the time the luggage from KM180 was being coded, and that it was coded to go with the luggage for PA103A, and was delivered to that gate at the right time.

It's possible the S0009-206 correspondence is wrong - I don't know if anyone has ever checked up on that. I do know that some of the station designations from the Central Hall coding stations are not what they are supposed to be. If that were the case, it's possible that 8849 is genuine passenger luggage that came off a different incoming flight, duly accompanied by a passenger. There are 12 known passengers from 8 incoming flights whose luggage doesn't appear on that list at all. It's assumed they all collected their suitcases at the carousel and re-checked them, but it's possible one of them came through the system as 8849, and because of a misattribution of the coding stations, this was mistakenly thought to have come off KM180.

However, there's another wrinkle. We know that Maier, who was employed by Pan Am to x-ray all luggage coming from other airlines on to PA103A that afternoon, x-rayed 13 items, because he was keeping a log. We can count the items on the printout which he should have x-rayed, and there are 14 of them. We can put names (and tragic stories) to 12 of these items (Karen Noonan [3], Patricia Coyle [2], Thomas Walker [3], Om Dikshit and family [2], John Hubbard [1 unaccompanied item], Susan Costa [1 unaccompanied item]). We can make a damn good guess that the 13th was another unaccompanied item, a cardboard carton containing bottles of wine put on board by a Lufthansa stewardess. While that could have been 8849, it's much more likely to have been 5620, which was coded in Central Hall in a gap between two flights.

So it looks as if 8849 wasn't x-rayed. But if it was a suitcase bearing an Air Malta tag for PA103, it would undoubtedly have been x-rayed. I haven't written this down yet, and maybe I should resurrect the thread about the unaccompanied bag "from Malta" for this, but I wonder if the tray was empty.

Yes, I'm still worrying away at this, because this single line of printout is the central clue in the entire case. If we knew what was in it, the entire Maltese Double Cross would be exploded.

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Old 5th November 2011, 03:58 PM   #524
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The "Romantic involvement" theory was investigated. Nothing doing. The "Unwitting Drugs Courier " theory was investigated. Nope, not that either. It is interesting that so much effort went into a theory that has a bomb transferring more than once between planes, with next to zero effort involved at the ingestion point of the device being London itself. I find that pretty weird.

That's a very good point. That's what they were doing from January to August 1989, more or less. It was Khaled Jafaar, who thought he was couriering a suitcase full of heroin. Except, it really wasn't. It was Karen, or Patricia, we're not quite sure which of them, but Karen had a Jordanian boyfriend who might have given her a "leaving present". Except, it really wasn't that either.

Both theories centring round the bomb having come in on the feeder flight. All the while all that evidence was piling up pointing to Heathrow. Which they never even looked at.

Instead, they were busy blowing stuff up in Maryland, apparently with the object of supporting the assertion that the bomb couldn't have been in a case on the bottom layer. Just in case anyone noticed that Claiden's 10-inch estimate was indeed low enough not to rule out the bottom layer.

And carefully setting up a neato little piece of "evidence" of the presence of a digital non-barometric timer, that wouldn't have had to be loaded at the last take-off point. Just in case people noticed that their treasured theory that the barometric timer had accidentally failed to go off on the Frankfurt-Heathrow leg was beyond lame.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
On a lesser scale of import, but still in the Weird column: Why release the " Wanted/Reward " posters after the indictment? And related to that, why weren't alarm bells ringing in Scotland? I mean, there must have been an operational reason for that, but as far as anyone was aware the DOJ had put together an iron-cast case with loads of evidence.

There was a bit of spin to the effect that what they were really offering the reward for was information that would allow them to "extraordinarily render" the two men. They were supposed to be under house arrest in Libya, but the US authorities suspected they were actually out and about from time to time. They wanted to know when and where so they could send in the kidnap squad.

Could have been that too, I suppose. But it really, really, looks like a trawl for anyone prepared to say something incriminating about the named suspects.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
My only thoughts to this are that the revelation that, " Actually, sorry folks, we knowingly pinned the wrong guy and have been lying about it for 20 years " would definitely have ramifications. What those would be I couldn't say, but I'm sure there's a whole heap of 'interests' that would rather not find out.
I'm a cynical ol' soul, but I do know plenty of people who just assume that their govt ( in the UK at least ) tell them the truth....

After the "dodgy dossier"? What are you smoking? But yes, it was a cock-up of conspiracy proportions. I noticed this in the other thread.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The dribbling senility of the Scottish wigs is embarrassing: < paraphrase > We've no idea how it was done and also no ideas who did it, but that Libyan guy over there will do. Can we break for soup?

That's embarrassing, whichever way you slice it. Because that's pretty close to what happened.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
....even if the govt representatives in question aren't as cute.

Evil, vindictive bitch.

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Old 5th November 2011, 06:46 PM   #525
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
I wouldn't say that's true. I think they're more interested in finding out how criminal justice in Scotland was hood-winked to the degree it was. There's no wholesale sense of "Blame America!" Any unravelling of the travesty of Camp Zeist should start in Scotland. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities to point across the pond and declare, " Shenanigans! " but in terms of a miscarriage of justice that honour belongs to a Scottish court.
This might be fallout from the extremely irritating fact that for some recent reason Google now shows me literally dozens of mirrored sites for the same article and I have to wade through pages upon pages of stuff responding to the events of the past few months which were likely just reactions to (probably) meaningless blather and bloviating on the subject.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Mr Megrahi appears to have convicted on the basis of Tony Guaci's evidence ie that Mr Megrahi resembles the purchaser of the clothes.
Even if he bought the clothes I'm not convinced, and there's damn good reasons to think he didn't.


Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The "Romantic involvement" theory was investigated. Nothing doing. The "Unwitting Drugs Courier " theory was investigated. Nope, not that either. It is interesting that so much effort went into a theory that has a bomb transferring more than once between planes, with next to zero effort involved at the ingestion point of the device being London itself. I find that pretty weird.
Ah, I was interested in the (ultimate) who and why in that article, not so much the how.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
On a lesser scale of import, but still in the Weird column: Why release the " Wanted/Reward " posters after the indictment? And related to that, why weren't alarm bells ringing in Scotland? I mean, there must have been an operational reason for that, but as far as anyone was aware the DOJ had put together an iron-cast case with loads of evidence.
I came across something like that and was struck by the fact some agencies were offering big money but the FBI only 50K, is that what you're referring to?


Originally Posted by CTB View Post
My only thoughts to this are that the revelation that, " Actually, sorry folks, we knowingly pinned the wrong guy and have been lying about it for 20 years " would definitely have ramifications. What those would be I couldn't say, but I'm sure there's a whole heap of 'interests' that would rather not find out.
I'm a cynical ol' soul, but I do know plenty of people who just assume that their govt ( in the UK at least ) tell them the truth....
Well, I'd guess they wouldn't admit to knowing, they would be "shocked...shocked such a thing could happen. Plausible deniability and all that. This happened a long time ago, at least the construction of the case against Megrahi. Even the trial was a long time ago now, at least in politics.







....even if the govt representatives in question aren't as cute.[/quote]
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Old 6th November 2011, 06:57 AM   #526
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh indeed, I agree. For many reasons, including the fact that the case against Knox (although considerably more substantial than the case against Megrahi) is risible. However, my main thought is that the Italians aren't going to come after Knox again anyway.
I don't either think so either, and I'm also rather dubious that Megrahi will ever set foot in the United States, I don't even think they (the ones who matter) want that. Reasons below.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Robert Black's blog posts practically everything that emerges in relation to the Lockerbie case, including some stuff that may be little more than rumour. He doesn't present his own opinion much, it's mainly just, here is this article, discuss.
I think he also might be getting played a little.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If any of it seems anti-American, that's because the behaviour of the American authorities at all levels in this case has been atrocious. Which doesn't make the behaviour of the authorities this side of the pond any better, and they get their share of stick too.
Who was it? I mean the individuals, the ones actually 'working the scene?'

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm very sorry to hear about your father, Kaosium, that is a horrible disease. My point is that Megrahi is so often talked about as if he's not an actual human being capable of suffering. "Michael" on Robert Black's blog is particularly bad for this, "why don't you support the US taking him into custody and going through all the evidence again?" Well, maybe because the man is dying and has been banged up in prison hundreds of miles from home and family for far too long already?
I understand that, 'convicted terrorist' over here doesn't summon much sympathy, there will be 'Michael's.' However I don't think they're very representative on this particular issue.

I actually wouldn't think you would support it, however I don't suspect the situation is as dire as you do, and I'm still looking for indications anyone who matters actually thinks he could be extradited to the United States.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There were a number of circumstances that were pulled together to suggest guilt.
  • The fragment of timer found in the wreckage was one of a special order produced for Libya two years previously (of course there is good evidence that fragment is not genuine)
  • The model of radio-cassette player used for the bomb was one sold widely in Libya (the identification of the model also has provenance problems)
  • Megrahi is Libyan, and believed to be attached to the Libyan security service (his exact connection with the Libyan security services is open to question)
  • A single entry in a Frankfurt luggage record could indicate that an item of luggage was transferred from KM180 from Malta to PA103, although there was no passenger for PA103 on that flight
  • The bomb was in the luggage container on PA103 that contained nearly all the luggage transferred from the Frankfurt flight
  • Megrahi was at the airport in Malta checking in for a flight to Tripoli at the same time KM180 was checking in
  • He was using a passport in the name of Abdusamad at that time, a passport issued by the Libyan passport office in order to allow him to travel incognito
  • Tony Gauci gave evidence that Megrahi "resembled" the man who had bought the clothes that were in the suitcase containing the bomb
That's it. Sounds good, doesn't it? The trouble is, it's a house of cards that falls apart when you examine it.
  • The Libyan provenance of the IED is very doubtful. The use of an MST-13 timer is just a nonsense in the context of the time of the explosion (which is pathognomonic of an entirely different type of timing device), and there is strong evidence suggesting the CIA planted the timer fragment. In addition, the identification of the radio model is questionable.
  • Even if the Libyan timer and radio are for real, they do not trace back to Megrahi. (He had dealings with the manufacturer of the timers, but not in relation to the timer purchase.)
  • There was cast-iron evidence that there was never any unaccompanied suitcase on KM180. That is the central problem with the entire case, one which was acknowledged by the trial court, but then simply handwaved away. The one-line entry on the Frankfurt luggage record wasn't the only unidentified item on that printout, and it could have been anything
  • Exactly what Megrahi is supposed to have done at the airport in Malta is entirely unclear - there's no evidence he did anything other than catch a plane in the normal manner, without even checking in any luggage
  • He didn't buy the clothes - he wasn't even on Malta the day the clothes were bought, and he doesn't resemble Gauci's original description of the purchaser in the slightest
That's his kisses and cartwheels, isn't it? Looks impossibly suspicious to some, overwhelms all reason. The 'hero's welcome' didn't play too well either, but I can guess why that happened if what I (and it looks like others) suspect is more probably the case. I think I know how it goes with pariah governments.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You're mistaken about Sweden. It was Abu Talb who was in Sweden at the time. He says. Fhimah, who was Megrahi's co-accused, was on Malta that day. He just wasn't at the airport, which was a bit of a bummer for the Crown case, as he was the one who was supposed to have got the magic invisible suitcase on to the Frankfurt flight.
Sorry, I got mixed up, reading through the 'evidence' when I did recently was not unlike the Massei Report, my eyes kinda glazed over as I wasn't finding the bilge very enlightening. I got to thinking about what really might have happened.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You're right about the insanity of it all though. Megrahi is supposed to be the sort of criminal super-mastermind who can get an unaccompanied suitcase with a bomb in it on to an aircraft at Malta, despite extremely stringent security precautions, so cleverly that there wasn't even any evidence to be found AFTER THE FACT, then he blew all that by going personally to a small shop only three miles from the airport and buying brand new, locally manufactured, eminently traceable clothes, in a transaction to conspicuous he might as well have been saying "remember me". He then wrapped these clothes round the bomb without removing the tags, and set the timer so early into a 7-hour flight that even if a delay didn't lead to a harmless tarmac explosion, it was highly probable the wreckage would come down on land. Then after showing himself at the shop, he also went in person to the airport when the bomb was due to be planted, for no readily discernible reason.
Sounds familiar, 'Captain Megrahi' and 'Hapless Megrahi.'


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
WTF?

In fact there is a humungous pile of evidence demonstrating that the bomb was actually smuggled into the baggage container at Heathrow, before the flight from Frankfurt landed. Heathrow security was a joke, and admitted to be a joke. But that was OK, because the bomb came from Malta!

And Megrahi and his false passport were nowhere near Heathrow at that time, provably.

When was the likelihood of the bomb boarding at Heathrow raised and dismissed? If ever by officials, and if not, by others? That old Washington Post piece suggested Frankfort, I'm guessing that had to do with the Helsinki Alert thing?



Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh yes. Not that particular piece of course, but that was the official theory at that time, immortalised even in books such as Emerson and Duffy's The Fall of Pan Am 103. The idea that the bomb had come from Malta didn't appear until August 1989, and the idea that it had been a Libyan operation wasn't official policy until the autumn of 1990.
So, for the latter, definitely after August 2nd, 1990? If so, how much later would you estimate?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Jibril and his PFLP-GC were hot suspects from very early in the inquiry, but we're told the trail went cold, and there was no evidence against them. Actually, the investigation was stalled from January to August 1989, because the British and German investigators wouldn't co-operate with each other. They were each protecting their own aviation industries and blaming the other's airport. A lot went into following up the idea that Karen Noonan and/or Patricia Coyle had been carrying the bomb in their luggage from Vienna, but that turned out to be a red herring. Heathrow was never investigated as the probable place of introduction of the bomb, which is probably why the trail went cold. Then from September 1989 they were obsessed with Malta as the place of introduction, and no wonder it all went completely cold - they were looking in the wrong place.
So they never investigated the possibilities at Heathrow? Well, scratch that part of my question above! Is that possibly because security was so disorganized they might not have been able to find much? Just curious why that might be.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
They spent an entire year finding nothing at all on Malta except evidence that no unaccompanied suitcase was or could have been carried on KM180. But instead of reconsidering that theory, they decided to look at Libyans instead (prompted by the belated identification of the infamous timer chip as an item of Libyan provenance). Malta was crawling with Libyans, and unfortunately for Megrahi he was the one who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to allow them to fit him up for the crime.
So this would have been that point in fall of '90 then?


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Maybe because various Americans up to and including Hillary Clinton have been shooting their mouths off about Megrahi being a high priority, and their implacable intention to get him out of Libya and punish him some more before he dies.
I read it differently than you do. This is what she said when he was released to Libya two years ago. She could care less, it's Scotland's problem, she loves the victims, yadayadayada. A year later she could still care less, it's Scotland's problem, or Libya's problem, she just doesn't want it to be her problem. A year later she sends out her flapper instead to say 'now it can be Libya's problem, we don't care as long as it's not our problem.' Here's the most recent one I could find, she's still adamant that it's Scotland's problem, and she's most unhappy about the whole thing, it never should have happened yadayadayada....Rolfe she knows. This is all kabuki theater, they've been playing it since at least this moment. Her and her quartet of the 'outraged,' the Senators from her own party from New York and New Jersey who at most really want to sluff it back on Scotland, but otherwise don't mention it unless it comes up, generally on the anniversary. Libya is in ruins, the new government is making a public display of how much they disliked Quadaffi, if battleaxe Hillary Clinton wanted him that badly, it wouldn't have taken this long for it to happen.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The whole "war on terror" thing seems to have swept up the Lockerbie incident as well, even though it's unconnected. Megrahi is viewed by some as equivalent to Osama bin Laden, and one more evil Islamic terrorist to be monstered and eliminated. It's not about when it happened or who investigated it, it's about the political capital of getting one more Islamic scalp.
Here's where that's coming from, John Bolton,we'll call him a person of interest. He's a one man outrage machine and he's the one beating the drums for 'extradition'.

This is very interesting. Normally I'd figure he was just making political hay, as this ought to be an issue Obama is vulnerable on, however as you can see in those links his 'interest' in Megrahi goes back to the Nineties. Or it could have been simply 'realpolitick' as he fancies himself a hard nosed hawk of a foreign policy wonk and might have been just using it as an excuse to go after Libya, but he still won't shut up about it and seems very interested in seeing Megrahi extradited and executed even, which is just plain weird. Be advised reading this guy is probably going to be akin to violent pornography for you, so follow those links at your own peril!

This guy couldn't get confirmed to a (relatively) powerless post like ambassador to the UN even with a GOP-controlled Senate, and it appears he might be positioning himself for a place in Mitt Romney's campaign, I wouldn't be surprised if he's the ultimate source for Romney's 'extradition demands' even though that's entirely meaningless. He wanted to run a fringe presidential campaign but demurred in order to go on TV and demand the head of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi instead, it's an obsession with him it appears.

This is your guy, forget the silly Senators they're just mouthing platitudes so they can be seen as being 'tough on terrorism.' As can be inferred from the 'Kabuki theater' links above, Obama and Clinton know. Romney is just a primary candidate picking up what should be an issue with traction, after all to the unwashed masses of the US Megrahi is a guy convicted of killing ~250 people, about 180 of them American and ought to have been more severely punished. However the only one inside the beltway who really seems to give a damn is Bolton, and he's nobody right now, a talking head with a history.

Considering his obsession with Megrahi, I wouldn't be surprised if he has some history with this case originally as well. He was at the UN in an undersecretary position when this case was being put together, apparently when the focus of the 'investigation' switched from Iran-through-proxy to Libya, perhaps at the same time Bush the Elder was trying to put together a coalition against Iraq. A tenuous connection, but there has to be something that makes this guy breath fire on this issue, and has for literally over a decade now. Another possibility, I wonder if he knew one of the victims?


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Do you really think that snatching a terminally ill man from home and family and locking him up in a US jail while awaiting trial for his life would be good for his health? (One of the reasons for releasing him from Greenock in the first place was a perception that if he was kept in jail he would simply "turn his face to the wall" and die.) Do you think he would get top-quality oncology care there? Don't you think sections of the US population would go bonkers at the news that "the Lockerbie bomber" was getting that sort of care, and it would be politically unsustainable?
I don't think it's even an issue, Rolfe. Extraditing Megrahi to the US is just not something anyone with power is asking for. I have yet to hear the case on how it is even possible. No one seems to think so except Bolton and who he might be advising, and he's smart enough to know better, he also has a history with the case it appears, so the question is why is he doing it? This guy might just have a reason...

As for the latter that's kind of a NHS type issue that wouldn't really come up over here. Our politics are different on health care.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I do agree that it's quite possible the whole thing is simply hot air. I think Megrahi gave up all hope of clearing his name before he dies quite some time ago, and would far rather die at home in Libya with his wife and mother and children than be taken to the USA to stand trial again.
Rolfe.
The hot air is emanating from John Bolton, I searched your posts on this issue (could have done it wrong though) and didn't see a mention of him, so perhaps you were unaware, but he's the bogeyman you're looking for on the US end I suspect.
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Old 6th November 2011, 11:22 AM   #527
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I just noticed this bit.

So far as I know, and I have to say that I'm currently well ahead on points as regards knowledge of the facts of this case, neither Bollier nor anyone else ever "admitted" these timers were designed or intended for blowing up airliners.
Court Transcript Bollier Examination

[3869]
Q All right. Now, I want to ask you, then, a little bit more about the desert tests.
[3870]
Q And when you arrived at the desert, did you see MST-13 timers?
A Yes.
Q How many?
A I believe four.
Q Did you see who had custody of them?
A They just brought them to the airfield where the plane was -- where the tests started.
Q did you see MST-13 timers? days that you were there?
A They lasted two days.
Q And during those two days, were [3871] explosions detonated?
A During those two days, tests were carried out. On one day, a range test with an aircraft --
Q Mr. Bollier, the detail, we'll come to. Can you just answer the question. The question was
whether during those two days explosives were detonated.
A Yes. Bombs were detonated, aircraft bombs were detonated.

bold emphasis added
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Old 6th November 2011, 11:54 AM   #528
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And Fhimah was never involved in any rental of office space from MEBO. Bunntamas, stop making stuff up.
Rolfe.
You're the one making stuff up. I didn't say anything about Fimah in my previous post, to which you replied. I referred to Megrahi as regards the office space, and that he was not just traveling to Malta and Zurich seeking goods and services to build a staircase in his home.
Handwave as much as you want. Bollier / Mebo made timers, some in particular used in bombs designed to blow up aircraft, including PA103. Megrahi had more than just a minor acquiantence with him. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put all the evidence together and form a guilty verdict.

Court Transcript Bollier examination:

Q Was anybody else involved in the running of the company ABH?
A Mr. Badri once brought Mr. -- the name of this accused over there.
Q You don't remember his name?
A Yes. Yes. Mr. Abdelbaset. He once brought Mr. Abdelbaset. After he had rented the office, he came with him and explained to us that he might be interested in taking a share in MEBO or try and have business dealings with us and that we would [3745] then obtain a commission of ten per cent. All business deals that ABH would close, we would have a ten per cent commission on. We issued contracts. I have them on me. I can present them to
you. But these contracts were never signed in this rented office. There was never any business activity. I had the key to the office. I had the key to the mailbox. But no business activities were taking place in that office in the course of a year. And then the lease was discontinued, and the residual rent was being paid of -- 10,000 francs was being paid. But the cheque -- the cheque, unfortunately bounced. Later on, however, the rent was paid. You ought to have the cheque in your files. I turned it over to the police at the time.
Q Are you telling us, then, that it was Badri Hassan who formed the company ABH?
A Well, he told me that this company that he had founded -- and this is the name that I registered -- that he was the owner, the proprietor.
Q You are telling us that your understanding was that he was the only proprietor of that company?
A That is correct.
Q Would you look for me at Production [3746] 1526, which is your first interview, 15th November 1990, in Zurich. Would you look at image C20, please. And I am interested in question 65.
Now, question 65 was about Mr. Badri Hassan, wasn't it?
A Yes.
Q And you were asked to explain what role, if any, he had in relation to timers?
A Yes.
Q And in your answer, you mentioned both Mr. Badri Hassan and Mr. Abdelbaset, didn't you?
A Correct.
Q Can you read to us your answer, please.
A Well, I have to focus on this first.
"Badri and Abdelbaset, whose telex numbers I have, wanted to found a company of ABH in Zurich. For this purpose we had rented to them an apartment for a year. The founding of the company never came about, and the rent was not paid in its entirety. One cheque bounced. It might be that this is how it was in the beginning. I can't quite remember it. Well,
Mr. Badri explained to us at the time that he wanted to do business, together with a friend, with this Mr. Abdelbaset, but eventually he rented it for himself under the name of ABH."
[3747]
Q Well, let's just start with the answer to the question. And what you said was that Badri Hassan and Abdelbaset wanted to found the company?
A Yes. That's just the way I understood it in the beginning; they wanted to found that company. But then Mr. Badri rented the office, and I don't know whether Mr. Abdelbaset eventually joined him. That, I don't know. Mr. Badri later confirmed to me that he was the sole proprietor of this company.
Q Well, didn't you go on in your answer, in 1990, not only to say that Badri and Abdelbaset wanted to found the company but that you leased them an apartment?
A That is possible. We never quite understood whether the two collaborated or whether ABH would receive orders through Mr. Abdelbaset. That, we have never quite understood. In part, we felt that the two wanted to do it together. But I think eventually they even fell out with each other, and I think the whole thing ended. I don't quite remember how it all was.
Q Well, the end we'll come to, but we are talking about the beginning at the moment. What I want you to focus on, Mr. Bollier, is the question which you answered, as we can see it on the screen. And in that [3748] answer you said that "We leased them an apartment," didn't you?
A That is correct. Yes. I don't remember -- I had wanted to ascertain that. At the time we sent the documents, a lease agreement, to the federal police -- at least wanted to do that. And -- but ultimately no lease agreement was signed. Everything was kind of up in the air, and there were never any activities in this company in Zurich. I have nothing else to tell you.
It might well be that we had felt that the two wanted to found a company, and the visit of Abdelbaset in Zurich seemed to be designed to achieve that. They wanted to buy shares in MEBO -- well, I can't really answer that. I'm very sorry.
Q Mr. Bollier, can I ask you to think about something with me for a moment. When I ask you a question, you give me all of the information that you know about that subject, and
sometimes it's a lot of information to understand at the one time. Now, all I was asking you about there was the answer that you gave, as we can see it on the screen. I wasn't asking about all of the other dealings that you had or didn't have with the company. We'll come to all of that. But can you appreciate that you need to focus on the question I ask you and only give the information about [3749] that question? Do you follow?
A Yes, that is correct. I must say that when I have answered the question in that way, that is how things must have been, and I stick to that.
Q Thank you. Now, did Mr. Abdelbaset come to Zurich with Mr. Badri Hassan, and did they both come to MEBO offices?
A Well, as I said, there is something wrong. Mr. Badri already leased these premises earlier, and then -- and that is true -- he came to Zurich with Abdelbaset to our company. That's how it was.
Q How many times did Mr. Abdelbaset come to your company in Zurich?
A I think twice. Three times at the most. But I cannot really remember. I think it was twice.
Q All right. Did you ever take items from Zurich to Tripoli for Mr. Abdelbaset?
A That is correct. Yes.
Q When you did that, whereabout in Tripoli did you leave the items for Mr. Abdelbaset?
A Once it was the 30 radio devices which we took with us to Tripoli. And then the driver took them away. I don't remember anything else. And the other items were sent with the Libyan Arab Airways. [3750]
Q So the time that you personally took items for Mr. Abdelbaset to Tripoli, do you know where they went to?
A No, I don't know that.
Q Are you sure?
A Well, as I said before, these radio devices were for the army, and the aerial radios -- well, I don't know where they went. So I really don't remember anything else. I cannot remember. There were very few supplies.

… Q So were goods left at Ezzadin's office for Mr. Abdelbaset?
A That may be. It may be that I took that there with the driver, but I cannot imagine that the goods remained there. I'm sure that the driver took them away and took them to Abdelbaset's office, because they were for Abdelbaset.
Q When was the last time you had any dealings with Abdelbaset?
A That was, I think, after building the antenna, in November 1987. I think that was the last time. [3754]
Q And was that the last occasion on which you saw him?
A That is correct. Yes. I mean, everything was put into the examination of witness protocol in Zurich. I would have to have another look at the protocol. I'm sure that what I said then was correct. I can't remember now. If I look at this now, I think the last time must have been in 1987, after the 4th of November, when the antenna was ready.
Q So that was an occasion when you saw Mr. Abdelbaset in Tripoli?
A That is correct.
Q And, as far as you can remember it now, that was the last time you saw him?
A That is correct.

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Old 6th November 2011, 12:15 PM   #529
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Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
I don't either think so either, and I'm also rather dubious that Megrahi will ever set foot in the United States, I don't even think they (the ones who matter) want that. Reasons below.

Thanks. That's interesting stuff you're coming up with, and I hope you're right.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
I think he also might be getting played a little.

I wouldn't be surprised. Bob Black is a lovely man, and very bright, and very sincere, and very knowledgeable about Scots law, but he has a fault of seeing the best in everyone, always trying to be fair, and it can leave him vulnerable to manipulation.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
Who was it? I mean the individuals, the ones actually 'working the scene?'

My bogey-men have been Duggan, of course, and then Menendez and Lautenberg and the rest of that group baying for Scotland's First Minister to appear before a US Senate committee like naughty schoolboys on the carpet for breaking the rules.

By that I mean recently, of course. As far as the original investigation goes, Cannistraro and Marquise spring to mind.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
I understand that, 'convicted terrorist' over here doesn't summon much sympathy, there will be 'Michael's.' However I don't think they're very representative on this particular issue.

I actually wouldn't think you would support it, however I don't suspect the situation is as dire as you do, and I'm still looking for indications anyone who matters actually thinks he could be extradited to the United States.
That's extremely encouraging, and I'm pleased to hear you say so. I don't imagine Megrahi's situation in Libya is particularly good, but his priority has been home and family for so long that I feel sure his preference is to remain there and try to make the best of it. At least he has his wife and five children, most of whom are grown up now. His daughter is a lawyer.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
That's his kisses and cartwheels, isn't it? Looks impossibly suspicious to some, overwhelms all reason. The 'hero's welcome' didn't play too well either, but I can guess why that happened if what I (and it looks like others) suspect is more probably the case. I think I know how it goes with pariah governments.

The false passport is maybe more akin to "she accused an innocent man!" Something apparently incriminating but with a different explanation. Megrahi had been issued with that passport in order to facilitate the wheeling and dealing he was doing on behalf of Libyan Arab Airlines - acquiring spare parts and so on to get past the sanctions in force at the time. It enabled him to do deals without it being obvious to the people he was dealing with that he was an employee of the Libyan airline.

I used to believe he must have been up to some clandestine mission on Malta that day, to explain his use of his passport. However, his movements were closely investigated, and there was nothing to suggest such a thing. It appears that the overnight stay on Malta was merely personal business. His own story is that he just picked up the first passport that came to hand as he left the house, and evasive though that seems, I've come to believe him.

Another oddity is how little he seemed to be hiding when he was on Malta. He stayed in his usual haunts, where he was known by sight by the Maltese people (especially in the Holiday Inn at Sliema, where he often stayed under his own name), and showed no sign of trying to conceal his movements. Just as he did two weeks previously when he was accused of having bought the clothes - he was using his own passport then, also.

As far as the hero's welcome goes, actually there weren't that many people there (a couple of hundred) and it seems to have been spontaneous, mainly his own tribespeople. Gaddafi apparently tried to prevent a huge display. Of course, Megrahi was something of a hero. The UN had imposed punitive sanctions on Libya for refusing to hand over the Lockerbie accused, sanctions that were really hurting and caused many deaths. Megrahi and Fhimah voluntarily agreed to surrender themselves for trial in a bid to end these sanctions. Of course they didn't believe they would be convicted, because they had been assured of a fair trial. Nevertheless, looking at it from that perspective, it was a rather selfless thing to have done.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
Sorry, I got mixed up, reading through the 'evidence' when I did recently was not unlike the Massei Report, my eyes kinda glazed over as I wasn't finding the bilge very enlightening. I got to thinking about what really might have happened.

What were you reading? The Opinion of the Court? It's not nearly as long as Massei, and really bloody interesting.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
Sounds familiar, 'Captain Megrahi' and 'Hapless Megrahi.'

The thing is, Megrahi is not an idiot. He studied marine engineering at Cardiff, but gave up because of poor eyesight. He later got a degree in geography from Benghazi university, and was set to go on to a Masters, which fell through because the university reneged on a promise to let him study in the USA. He did study in New York for a bit though, completing a course in civil aviation at Newark.

The idea that anyone with two neurones to rub together would have bought those clothes in the way he is supposed to have done, or sent a bomb off on a three-plane hop in northern Europe in midwinter, or set a digital timer to go off four or five hours earlier than common sense would have set it - it simply doesn't compute.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
When was the likelihood of the bomb boarding at Heathrow raised and dismissed? If ever by officials, and if not, by others? That old Washington Post piece suggested Frankfort, I'm guessing that had to do with the Helsinki Alert thing?

They had a lot to follow up in the initial stages, including the Helsinki alert and other warnings. However, the possibility of Heathrow being the point of introduction was essentially dismissed on 30th December 1988. At that time of course most of the evidence was still strewn around the landscape, and the not-Heathrow statement was apparently based purely on knowing that the baggage container involved in the explosion was the one that had held the Frankfurt luggage.

I don't know whether they even knew at the time that there had been some luggage on the bottom of that container before the Frankfurt bags were added. They didn't interview Bedford, who saw the bomb suitcase among these items, until 3rd January.

I've figured out that all the evidence showing the bomb was introduced at Heathrow was available by March/April 1989 at the latest. However, the investigation was fixated on Frankfurt, partly because of the Helsinki warning but as that was declared a hoax, mostly because of the presence of the PFLP-GC in Frankfurt, and the suspicions surrounding Khaled Jafaar and the controlled drugs delivery, and Patricia and Karen and the Jordanian boyfriend. Frankfurt was being obstructive at this time, refusing to release the baggage records they had for the plane, and pointing out that a barometric trigger such as Khreesat was using would have had to have been loaded at Heathrow.

However, the British investigation refused to countenance the idea, ostensibly on the grounds that the explosion had been too high in the container to involve the London-loaded items. They and the Americans did some controlled detonations in April with the object of proving this, but actually, 10 inches is low enough that London really can't be ruled out.

The evidence that the maroony-brown Samsonite Bedford had seen was actually the bomb bag came in piecemeal over several months, and it seems that as each bit emerged it was pushed aside because the investigators had made up their minds Frankfurt was the place to look. But Frankfurt and Malta are actually a bust, and it's the Heathrow evidence which turns out to stack up.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
So, for the latter, definitely after August 2nd, 1990? If so, how much later would you estimate?

Uh, not really. Thurman identified the timer fragment as having come from an order supplied to Libya on 30th June. And of course if that fragment was a plant, it was planted in the autumn on 1989, way before Kuwait was an issue. It just took until about September before the Libya idea really took root in the investigation.

I think there had been a desire to blame Libya right from the start, which was sidelined because all the evidence was pointing at the PFLP-GC. However, that didn't work out, because they were hunting the PFLP-GC on Malta from September 1989, and there was never going to be anything to find on Malta. The timer fragment was really introduced to get round the problem of the 38-minute explosion pointing to the Khreesat barometric timers - if you've found a bit of a digital timer, that's casts doubt on the theory. However, they picked a timer that could be traced to Libya, because Libya was always the popular fall guy.

If the Gulf War situation really did exert an influence, it was only to add urgency and particular relevance to something that was always a desired direction for the inquiry.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
So they never investigated the possibilities at Heathrow? Well, scratch that part of my question above! Is that possibly because security was so disorganized they might not have been able to find much? Just curious why that might be.

There's no evidence they investigated Heathrow. Orr said it was "almost certainly" not Heathrow on 30th December 1988. By April 1989, Leppard (whose book draws heavily on inside police sources) said that the investigators "had long since given up considering Heathrow". It's jaw-dropping, when you see how much evidence there was pointing in that direction.

I consider three possibilities. One that the British state as an entity was deeply averse to Heathrow being blamed, because of the consequences for BAA and the British aviation industry. Two was that if the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, the London Metropolitan Police (the Met) would certainly have been given charge of the inquiry. The Scottish police despised the Met and really, really didn't want to lose their big-ticket investigation.

The third is as you say. I can't believe they didn't do any investigating at all. However, if the security was as bad as Bedford and Kamboj imply, it may have been impossible for them to have made progress. This itself could have been embarrassing enough to turn their attention elsewhere.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
So this would have been that point in fall of '90 then?

They identified the timer in June 1990, and the indictments were issued in November. I still think the Gulf War thing was more happy coincidence than the root cause of the U-turn though. The roots of the Libya evidence go right back to at least the spring of 1989.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
I read it differently than you do. This is what she said when he was released to Libya two years ago. She could care less, it's Scotland's problem, she loves the victims, yadayadayada. A year later she could still care less, it's Scotland's problem, or Libya's problem, she just doesn't want it to be her problem. A year later she sends out her flapper instead to say 'now it can be Libya's problem, we don't care as long as it's not our problem.' Here's the most recent one I could find, she's still adamant that it's Scotland's problem, and she's most unhappy about the whole thing, it never should have happened yadayadayada....Rolfe she knows. This is all kabuki theater, they've been playing it since at least this moment. Her and her quartet of the 'outraged,' the Senators from her own party from New York and New Jersey who at most really want to sluff it back on Scotland, but otherwise don't mention it unless it comes up, generally on the anniversary. Libya is in ruins, the new government is making a public display of how much they disliked Quadaffi, if battleaxe Hillary Clinton wanted him that badly, it wouldn't have taken this long for it to happen.

I sincerely hope you're right.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
Here's where that's coming from, John Bolton,we'll call him a person of interest. He's a one man outrage machine and he's the one beating the drums for 'extradition'.

This is very interesting. Normally I'd figure he was just making political hay, as this ought to be an issue Obama is vulnerable on, however as you can see in those links his 'interest' in Megrahi goes back to the Nineties. Or it could have been simply 'realpolitick' as he fancies himself a hard nosed hawk of a foreign policy wonk and might have been just using it as an excuse to go after Libya, but he still won't shut up about it and seems very interested in seeing Megrahi extradited and executed even, which is just plain weird. Be advised reading this guy is probably going to be akin to violent pornography for you, so follow those links at your own peril!

This guy couldn't get confirmed to a (relatively) powerless post like ambassador to the UN even with a GOP-controlled Senate, and it appears he might be positioning himself for a place in Mitt Romney's campaign, I wouldn't be surprised if he's the ultimate source for Romney's 'extradition demands' even though that's entirely meaningless. He wanted to run a fringe presidential campaign but demurred in order to go on TV and demand the head of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi instead, it's an obsession with him it appears.

This is your guy, forget the silly Senators they're just mouthing platitudes so they can be seen as being 'tough on terrorism.' As can be inferred from the 'Kabuki theater' links above, Obama and Clinton know. Romney is just a primary candidate picking up what should be an issue with traction, after all to the unwashed masses of the US Megrahi is a guy convicted of killing ~250 people, about 180 of them American and ought to have been more severely punished. However the only one inside the beltway who really seems to give a damn is Bolton, and he's nobody right now, a talking head with a history.

Considering his obsession with Megrahi, I wouldn't be surprised if he has some history with this case originally as well. He was at the UN in an undersecretary position when this case was being put together, apparently when the focus of the 'investigation' switched from Iran-through-proxy to Libya, perhaps at the same time Bush the Elder was trying to put together a coalition against Iraq. A tenuous connection, but there has to be something that makes this guy breath fire on this issue, and has for literally over a decade now. Another possibility, I wonder if he knew one of the victims?

That is extremely interesting. You're right, I've never heard of the guy. To be honest my main interest is in how the investigation went so wrong and how we managed to jail an innocent man. I only pay attention to contemporary shenanigans when someone shoves it in my face, and nobody has shoved Bolton in my face until now.

There's no Bolton among the list of victims, but that doesn't mean anything. I haven't read your links yet, but I will. I just hope you're right and he's not getting any traction on the issue.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
I don't think it's even an issue, Rolfe. Extraditing Megrahi to the US is just not something anyone with power is asking for. I have yet to hear the case on how it is even possible. No one seems to think so except Bolton and who he might be advising, and he's smart enough to know better, he also has a history with the case it appears, so the question is why is he doing it? This guy might just have a reason...

I value your perspective, because it seems to me that the issue is being used as a stick to beat Scotland with, and we just see the sharp end of the stick without realising there isn't really that much concern in the USA. I wonder why Bolton has never come to my attention until now though? Now that he has, I'll see what I can dredge up.

Originally Posted by Kaosium View Post
As for the latter that's kind of a NHS type issue that wouldn't really come up over here. Our politics are different on health care.

I was thinking the opposite. Nobody here grudges prison inmates healthcare, because they get the same as the rest of us. They're not privileged. In fact, one argument against releasing Megrahi was that he would be well treated by the NHS, and nobody would ever have objected to that. I was thinking that in the USA, where many people cannot access treatment for lack of insurance cover, that there might be huge resentment if a "convicted terrorist" was being provided with treatment they couldn't get for themselves.

Maybe not though.

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Old 6th November 2011, 12:24 PM   #530
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Court Transcript Bollier Examination

[3869]
Q All right. Now, I want to ask you, then, a little bit more about the desert tests. …
[3870]
Q And when you arrived at the desert, did you see MST-13 timers?
A Yes.
Q How many?
A I believe four.
Q Did you see who had custody of them?
A They just brought them to the airfield where the plane was -- where the tests started.
Q did you see MST-13 timers? days that you were there?
A They lasted two days.
Q And during those two days, were [3871] explosions detonated?
A During those two days, tests were carried out. On one day, a range test with an aircraft --
Q Mr. Bollier, the detail, we'll come to. Can you just answer the question. The question was
whether during those two days explosives were detonated.
A Yes. Bombs were detonated, aircraft bombs were detonated.

bold emphasis added

OK, I see that. It's not very clear, though. There were four timers. Some bombs were detonated, over a period of two days. How the timers related to the bombs is not explained.

"On one day, a range test with an aircraft.... aircraft bombs were detonated." I don't know what Ebola means by that, and I don't imagine anyone else does either. He doesn't even say that one of the timers was employed in that particular test. It's highly unlikely he's talking about setting a timer to bring down an aircraft in flight with a timer-detonated bomb. And nobody mentions "airliners" at all. I would imagine they're talking about blowing up military aircraft on the ground.

I don't think that comment justifies the assertion you made about the timers. They were designed to set off bombs with a time delay - that's pretty versatile.

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Old 6th November 2011, 12:44 PM   #531
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Why Megrahi and Fimah rented office space from Edwin?

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
You're the one making stuff up. I didn't say anything about Fimah in my previous post, to which you replied. I referred to Megrahi as regards the office space, and that he was not just traveling to Malta and Zurich seeking goods and services to build a staircase in his home.

You did mention Fhimah. Was that a mistake for Badri Hassan? OK, we all make typos from time to time.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Handwave as much as you want. Bollier / Mebo made timers, some in particular used in bombs designed to blow up aircraft, including PA103. Megrahi had more than just a minor acquiantence with him. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put all the evidence together and form a guilty verdict.

Court Transcript Bollier examination:

Yes, yes, I've read all that boring stuff.

Bollier/Mebo made timers, for blowing stuff up. Timers designed to introduce a delay before whatever it was went bang. The target could be anything. The previous passage you quoted seems to include something about blowing up a military aircraft on the ground, but even that is only one possible application of what they were "designed" for.

The MST-13 was not designed to be hidden in a radio-cassette recorder and sent off on a commercial airliner to bring it down. It wasn't even a particularly suitable instrument for that purpose, for a number of reasons, including the size of the intact units. An intact MST-13 could not have fitted inside that radio, for a start.

It was possible, if you "took the radio out", as Bollier said, but the radio was not taken out. The investigators assumed that the timer had been removed from its casing and the naked circuit boards wedged in beside the radio speakers. It would have been a jury-rigged sort of device - hardly what the timers were "designed" for.

As for the rest of that, it's all a big so what. Why not accuse Badri Hassan? He's the one who was the main player in this ABH thing. Megrahi seems to have been trying to make money out of the deal without getting very close to it. An investment opportunity. Which wasn't very profitable by the sound of it.

That arrangement had no known connection to the supply of the MST-13 timers to the Libyan government, which happened in 1986, before the ABH venture. It's just as I said. Megrahi was acquainted with Bollier. He had a business relationship, or rather he had a business partner who had a business relationship with Bollier. We know all that. It doesn't implicate Megrahi at all in the bombing of Pan Am 103.

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Old 6th November 2011, 12:56 PM   #532
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Thanks, Kaosium, I've had a look at these Bolton links. He really, really hates Democrats I think! He's mainly using the issue for political point-scoring, but as you say, it is a bit of an idee fixe with him.

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Old 6th November 2011, 03:52 PM   #533
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
OK, I see that. It's not very clear, though. There were four timers. Some bombs were detonated, over a period of two days. How the timers related to the bombs is not explained.

"On one day, a range test with an aircraft.... aircraft bombs were detonated." I don't know what Ebola means by that, and I don't imagine anyone else does either. He doesn't even say that one of the timers was employed in that particular test. It's highly unlikely he's talking about setting a timer to bring down an aircraft in flight with a timer-detonated bomb. And nobody mentions "airliners" at all. I would imagine they're talking about blowing up military aircraft on the ground.
Actually, if you would READ the transcript, he spent three days in the Libyan dessert with the (former) Libyan regime, blowing up aircraft (regardless of your previous statement above that this never happened - guess you're not as far ahead as you think you are). And yes, Ebola (chuckling at the fact that you've picked up my moniker for him) does testify about blowing up aircraft, in flight. Airliner vs. military plane - do you think they were testing so they could blow up their own military? You're waaay off into the weeds on stretching that one. Duh...
I didn't post the screeds of cross examination. The references to the testimony are in my post. Look up the details yourself. Unless you'd rather continue handwaving and blathering on about non- existent "evidence" you've gleaned from Goolge, the media and conspiracy theories. Suit yourself.

~ B

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Old 6th November 2011, 03:59 PM   #534
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You did mention Fhimah.
I don't recall doing so. Quote please.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

Yes, yes, I've read all that boring stuff.
In case you've (conveniently) forgotten, all that "boring stuff" determined the destiny of Megrahi.

Here is my hand waving back. Buhbye.

~ B.

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Old 6th November 2011, 04:09 PM   #535
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Actually, if you would READ the transcript, he spent three days in the Libyan dessert blowing up aircraft (regardless of your comment above that this never happened), and he does testify about blowing up aircraft, in flight. I didn't post the screeds of cross examination. As you're allegedly so "far ahead of the game", and can look it up yourself, unless you'd rather continue handwaving.

I didn't say it never happened. I said the MST-13 wasn't "designed for blowing up airliners". Which it wasn't. It was a timer, designed to delay an explosion until the operators could get clear, or the desired time, or whatever. Any explosion. Or you could have used it to start your video recorder at half past six a week on Tuesday, if you liked.

It was not designed to be incorporated in radio-cassette IEDs which were exactly like Khreesat's apart from the timing device. It was too big. It was too specialised, and it was too distinctive.

It doesn't matter what the hell they were doing in the desert for three days. Megrahi wasn't there, and he never had any of these timers, and I don't even see an assertion that the timers were involved in the aircraft explosions - only that there were four timers, and that one of the things they blew up was an aircraft.

That transcript is 3000 pages long. I should know, I formatted it and gave you the pdf. If you have a specific part you want to quote, quote it. Remember, this thread is about Megrahi's alleged role in putting a bomb on KM180 at Malta airport. Not about whether Edwin Bollier was selling munitions to Libya. Which he was, of course.

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Old 6th November 2011, 04:13 PM   #536
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
I don't recall doing so. Quote please.



I did quote it. Right above what you quoted. I even bolded it for you. If you meant to type Hassan and typed Fhimah himself, OK. It doesn't matter.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
In case you've (conveniently) forgotten, all that "boring stuff" determined the destiny of Megrahi.

Boring stuff about an office Hassan rented from Bollier, which has nothing at all to do with Pan Am 103. Get back to me when you find something that actually connects Megrahi to the actual bombing.

Edwin Bollier knew hundreds of people. He must have known scores of Libyans. They didn't all blow up Maid of the Seas. Why pick on Megrahi?

I'll say it again. If Megrahi didn't buy the clothes from Tony Gauci, and if the bomb never travelled on KM180, HE IS INNOCENT. It doesn't matter who he rented an office space from, or which passport he picked up, or what sort of relationship he did or didn't have with the JSO. If he didn't buy the clothes, and the bomb wasn't on the Air Malta flight, HE IS INNOCENT.

He didn't buy the clothes. The bomb was never anywhere near KM180. That being so, the rest is fluff.

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Old 6th November 2011, 04:52 PM   #537
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Actually, if you would READ the transcript, he spent three days in the Libyan dessert with the (former) Libyan regime, blowing up aircraft (regardless of your previous statement above that this never happened - guess you're not as far ahead as you claim), And yes, he does testify about blowing up aircraft, in flight. Airliner vs. military plane, Do you think they were testing so they could blow up their own military? Duh...
I didn't post the screeds of cross examination. The references to the testimony are in my post. Look up the details yourself. Unless you'd rather continue handwaving and blathering on about non- existent evidence and conspiracy theories. Suit yourself.

~ B

The way I read the rest of the relevant testimony is that, for two days, the Libyan army were interested in using some kind of radio control to detonate a bomb in an airborne target from one of their own planes. There's something about setting off a device ( which apparently needed two timers ) 150m from the ground, from an aircraft 5km high. I'm not sure they actually managed that, but spent a day seeing if it was possible. I could be wrong, but the only blowey-uppy stuff seemed to involve a device sitting next to a plane.

It all seems improbably daft and overly complicated, then the Crown hit the nail on the head a bit later on with regards to Edwin Bollier:

[3918] (Mr Turnbull asking the questions)
Q Yes. And having seen that what you said no more than two or three minutes ago is nonsense, you then decide to make something else up; is that correct?
A That is correct.


Erm, he's just fessed up to being a liar. Under oath.

Now, there are many words to use to describe a man like Ebol. The least libelous that come to my mind are: Amoral Arms-dealer. Less politely, a scumbag. To me it seems that he's treated his time at Zeist as one big game. His self-contradicting explanations of his adventures with the Stasi, Libyan colonels, MST-13 timers and blue coloured baby outfits are exasperating. Fair play to all at the trial for not just straight-up walking up to him and punching him on the nose.

However, his acquaintance with Mr Megrahi, while real, seems fairly innocuous. I think the Crown should have pretty much dismissed Mr Bollier in much the way that was done with Mr Madjid Giaka, but they did need to infer this n that. ( Surely someone on the stand has something relevant to say against the accused? )
Mainly the IED that brought down PA103 had an MST-13 that could only have come from Libya. Also that Mr Bollier knew Mr Megrahi. Ergo, Mr Megrahi planted the bomb? That's too much of a stretch for me to find convincing.
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Old 7th November 2011, 02:38 AM   #538
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Ah yes, Edwin. We all know Ebola, currently running round the internet making up fairy-stories in support of Megrahi's innocence.

He seemed to be on the other side, at Zeist. The general thrust of his testimony was hostile. Then afterwards, he changed his tune and became supportive, even to the point of instigating that Lumpert farce. Why?

I have a suspicion he knew there was big money available for people who gave crucial evidence against Megrahi. We know the Gaucis were paid an eyewatering sum for Tony saying Megrahi wasn't the man who bought the clothes but looked a little bit like him(!). We know Vincent Vassallo was offered a bribe to implicate Fhimah, but turned them down. Edwin does drop hints about being offered money too. I think he thought he'd get paid like the Gaucis were paid, but in the end nobody coughed up. So he changed sides, in the hope of being paid by Gaddafi for securing Megrahi's release.

How that explains his current activities, God only knows. Maybe it's become a hobby with him....

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Old 7th November 2011, 03:09 AM   #539
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The way I read the rest of the relevant testimony is that, for two days, the Libyan army were interested in using some kind of radio control to detonate a bomb in an airborne target from one of their own planes. There's something about setting off a device ( which apparently needed two timers ) 150m from the ground, from an aircraft 5km high. I'm not sure they actually managed that, but spent a day seeing if it was possible. I could be wrong, but the only blowey-uppy stuff seemed to involve a device sitting next to a plane.

Thanks for that. If I thought it was the least bit relevant, I'd read it, but it seems about as relevant as last month's shopping list. We know Edwin supplied about 20 of these timers to Libya. We know they were used for military purposes, during the war with Chad I think. So what?

This really came up because Bunntamas claimed, wrongly, that the timers were "designed for blowing up airliners". There's nothing there that I can see about blowing up airliners, and the things were definitely not designed to function as part of the sort of device that blew up Maid of the Seas. Could have been used for that, maybe, if you took the components out of the case and wedged them in beside the radio speaker, but very much not designed for the job.

And that entire story doesn't feature Megrahi at all, not even as a bit player. His relatively innocuous acquaintance with Ebola just doesn't seem to be incriminating in any way. The entire story sounds like Megrahi wanting to make some money on his own behalf out of the wheeling-dealing he was doing as part of his job.

The complete lack of any credible evidence of Megrahi ever having anything to do with explosives or bomb-making or even front-line military activity is quite striking.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
It all seems improbably daft and overly complicated, then the Crown hit the nail on the head a bit later on with regards to Edwin Bollier:

[3918] (Mr Turnbull asking the questions)
Q Yes. And having seen that what you said no more than two or three minutes ago is nonsense, you then decide to make something else up; is that correct?
A That is correct.

Erm, he's just fessed up to being a liar. Under oath.

Oh, he says whatever he thinks is to his best advantage at any time. He has put a lot of very useful primary evidence up on the web, but you have to look at the evidence itself because you can bet your bottom dollar Edwin's interpretation of it will be one big fairy-story.

So I have no idea whether anything he said about the blowey-uppy stuff in the desert is true or not. I suspect it's heavily embellished, at best. It's interesting Bunntamas wants to take Edwin as gospel when she thinks it suits her, but only a few pages ago she was castigating me for having used a couple of images of primary evidence from his web site, because he's such a liar....

The main point is though, even if that entire story is gospel truth (what are the chances...?), it has precisely nothing to say about Megrahi being involved in blowing up Maid of the Seas.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Now, there are many words to use to describe a man like Ebol. The least libelous that come to my mind are: Amoral Arms-dealer. Less politely, a scumbag. To me it seems that he's treated his time at Zeist as one big game. His self-contradicting explanations of his adventures with the Stasi, Libyan colonels, MST-13 timers and blue coloured baby outfits are exasperating. Fair play to all at the trial for not just straight-up walking up to him and punching him on the nose.

As I said, I think he thought he was in like for Gauci-quantity money. And that he could say what he liked so long as it was helpful to the prosecution at the time. I'm just a bit surprised he didn't make up something really incriminating.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
However, his acquaintance with Mr Megrahi, while real, seems fairly innocuous. I think the Crown should have pretty much dismissed Mr Bollier in much the way that was done with Mr Madjid Giaka, but they did need to infer this n that. ( Surely someone on the stand has something relevant to say against the accused? )

You're right, nobody had anything to say against the accused except Giaka. And we know he was lying his head off. And Tony, of course. Who constantly said that Megrahi was too young to be the man who bought the clothes, and only looked a bit like him, but managed to say it in such a way the judges felt they could decide it was him all along. I think Tony really believed the cops must have got the right man, and if he said he really couldn't remember what the hell the mystery shopper looked like after so long, he'd be responsible for letting this "bad man" go free.

Whatever you think of Ebola, he only testified to having had business dealings with Megrahi unconnected to any tining devices. I think they were trying to get him to testify that Megrahi was a military officer, because they were asking him is he'd ever seen Megrahi in a military uniform, but nothing definite came of that either.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Mainly the IED that brought down PA103 had an MST-13 that could only have come from Libya. Also that Mr Bollier knew Mr Megrahi. Ergo, Mr Megrahi planted the bomb? That's too much of a stretch for me to find convincing.

Well, I doubt very much that the IED that brought the plane down had a timing device called an MST-13. But even if it had, there's no connection to Megrahi there other than him being Libyan, and knowing Bollier in a context not connected to the timers.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th November 2011, 02:30 PM   #540
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Actually, if you would READ the transcript, he spent three days in the Libyan dessert with the (former) Libyan regime, blowing up aircraft (regardless of your previous statement above that this never happened - guess you're not as far ahead as you think you are). And yes, Ebola (chuckling at the fact that you've picked up my moniker for him) does testify about blowing up aircraft, in flight.
Like Bunntamas, in his questioning of Bollier Mr Turnbull seems fixated on the idea of blowing up aircraft. It's clear, though, that by 'aircraft bomb' Bollier means bombs carried and dropped by aircraft, not bombs to blow up aircraft. As CTB has pointed out, these were for some reason to explode 150m above the ground, being detonated by remote control. The MST-13 timer was there to prevent accidental detonation inside the plane:

Quote:
A On the next day, the actual test occurred. The task was to have two aerial bombs and to detonate them by remote control at an altitude of about 150 metres. The plane was to go up to 5,000 metres. Then the bombs were detonated, first one and then the second one. And these were then detonated in the air.
Q I see.
A But I wasn’t in the aircraft myself. I was on the ground.
Q I understand. And what was the function of the MST-13 timer in this second test when the bombs were detonated in the air?
A It was as follows: I saw on the first day how the aeroplane acted on starting, how the propellers moved, and how the aircraft vibrated. It was shaking. Then the timers were attached so that the Motorola receivers should not be triggered off through vibration. Otherwise the plane itself might have [3892] exploded. In other words, the aeroplane with this type of control was able to take off without the bombs becoming sentitive [phonetic]. We had put the timer for about one hour. And after one hour in the air, the bombs were ready for remote-control detonation, which meant that if the aircraft with the bombs for some reason or another had to land again, the bombs could not have exploded.
Q I see. So does that mean that the MST-13 timer was connected to the bomb?
A The MST-13 timer was between the command receiver and the bomb. Without the timer becoming active, the command receiver could not detonate the bomb.
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Old 7th November 2011, 02:57 PM   #541
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Oh, I see. I didn't read all the detail of that because I just can't see what it has to do with the price of fish. We know the Libyans had these timers. We know Edwin (yes, I think Ebola is a damn good nick for him, well done Bunntamas) manufactured and supplied them. We know they were used to regulate the timing of explosions. None of that is disputed in the slightest.

What is disputed is that Megrahi either bought the clothes from Mary's House, or smuggled a bomb on board KM180 at Luqa. Indeed, what is disputed is that there was any bomb on KM180. And as an aside, it's also disputed that the bomb that blew up PA103 incorporated an MST-13 timer, though that's actually a bit of a side issue.

Leading evidence that isn't disputed and doesn't implicate Megrahi in anything always was a bit pointless, I thought. But it was all about painting Libya as evil, and Megrahi was Libyan, case closed.

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Old 7th November 2011, 03:47 PM   #542
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, I see. I didn't read all the detail of that because I just can't see what it has to do with the price of fish. We know the Libyans had these timers. We know Edwin (yes, I think Ebola is a damn good nick for him, well done Bunntamas) manufactured and supplied them. We know they were used to regulate the timing of explosions. None of that is disputed in the slightest.

What is disputed is that Megrahi either bought the clothes from Mary's House, or smuggled a bomb on board KM180 at Luqa. Indeed, what is disputed is that there was any bomb on KM180. And as an aside, it's also disputed that the bomb that blew up PA103 incorporated an MST-13 timer, though that's actually a bit of a side issue.

Leading evidence that isn't disputed and doesn't implicate Megrahi in anything always was a bit pointless, I thought. But it was all about painting Libya as evil, and Megrahi was Libyan, case closed.

Rolfe.

Well, I reckon Bunntammas brought up Mr Bollier's desert adventure as a means to give you a poke. It is entirely possible that she just enjoys the little pic of HeadBashingOnKeyboard.

Although the desert tests as described are a complete side issue for those advanced in the study of why Mr Megrahi is The Lockerbie Bomber ( and I do understand why ), it is entirely handy for some of us newbs to get entangled in the inferences that have the believers of his guilt so darn sure. In fact, it's a rare thing to have an instance of 'incriminating evidence' from one such believer laid out for me to read through and ponder.

Unfortunately, the witness it comes from is a master of the absurd. I mean, I thought the story about the mystery spook and the Spanish letterset typewriter was a good 'un, but the story of the recovery of the invoice for the Stasi MST-13s was comedy of the highest order. Trying to overcharge the Libyans for Olympus timers makes me chuckle even now. I mean the guy's precious in some ways, but mostly precious mental. The judge at the end of each day of Mr Bollier's testimony says ( and I'll paraphrase this for ol' Wiggy ) " That's quite enough of this ****e for one day, thank-you very much"

The impression I'm left with is an ever increasing sense of just how desperately poor that conviction is. I started out a few months ago thinking it might have been a bit shaky. These days, in turns, I'm stunned, saddened, angry. What a mess the whole sorry affair is.

Mr Megrahi is not The Lockerbie Bomber.
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Old 7th November 2011, 04:40 PM   #543
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Well, I reckon Bunntammas brought up Mr Bollier's desert adventure as a means to give you a poke. It is entirely possible that she just enjoys the little pic of HeadBashingOnKeyboard.

Possibly. It's a better point than the one about Megrahi's wife not meeting her eyes in the Ladies' room at Zeist, or the one about the LAA employee with a Facebook page suggesting she had the hots for Megrahi. It's not as good as the statement about Megrahi and Fhimah and Jibril's desert training camp, but that turned out to be pure invention unfortunately. It's maybe on a par with "but Megrahi once spoke about maybe going to Chad, and an airliner that crashed a year later had called at Chad." Possibly true, but utterly irrelevant.

I'm still waiting for any evidence at all that there was an unaccompanied suitcase on KM180. And no, "I think it would have been quite easy" doesn't count.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Although the desert tests as described are a complete side issue for those advanced in the study of why Mr Megrahi is The Lockerbie Bomber ( and I do understand why ), it is entirely handy for some of us newbs to get entangled in the inferences that have the believers of his guilt so darn sure. In fact, it's a rare thing to have an instance of 'incriminating evidence' from one such believer laid out for me to read through and ponder.

The more people who study different aspects of the case, the better we all become informed. Your detail about the aircraft bomb tests is useful, and now added to my store of information.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Unfortunately, the witness it comes from is a master of the absurd. I mean, I thought the story about the mystery spook and the Spanish letterset typewriter was a good 'un, but the story of the recovery of the invoice for the Stasi MST-13s was comedy of the highest order. Trying to overcharge the Libyans for Olympus timers makes me chuckle even now. I mean the guy's precious in some ways, but mostly precious mental. The judge at the end of each day of Mr Bollier's testimony says ( and I'll paraphrase this for ol' Wiggy ) " That's quite enough of this ****e for one day, thank-you very much"

In my investigation of the Frankfurt baggage records, I have used a small amount of information put on the web by Edwin. Some of this is simply facsimile images of court productions not otherwise available. (Yes I know he has manipulated some of these images, but it's possible to tell which ones are original.) There is also a couple of fairly small factoids, which clarify the official identification of trays 5070 and 8042. In that case, the flights of origin are given by Leppard, but not the passengers concerned. Edwin names the passengers, in the course of trying to refute the official identifications. I think he's wrong, and for these trays the official identification is correct, but I'm grateful for the extra detail of the passenger names.

Bunntamas flew at me like a tigress for having the temerity, dishonesty, whatever, to take anything at all from Bollier the serial liar.

Some slight double standards going on here I think.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
The impression I'm left with is an ever increasing sense of just how desperately poor that conviction is. I started out a few months ago thinking it might have been a bit shaky. These days, in turns, I'm stunned, saddened, angry. What a mess the whole sorry affair is.

Mr Megrahi is not The Lockerbie Bomber.

Yes. It's horribly depressing. The whole thing is a cluster of epic proportions. It makes the recent Italian prosecution of the two students for the murder of Meredith Kercher look well-founded and rational.

It's the stone-wall official denials that there's any doubt about the conviction that drive me to chew the crockery. I could have handed Ming Campbell a mouthful of knuckle when he started on it in my actual presence. I don't care how politically expedient it was, and I don't care whether you think Megrahi has BO or once cheated on his taxes, you don't jail a man for a crime he didn't commit.

I wish Bunntamas and her group would take of the blinkers and see how they have been manipulated and betrayed by the very people they trusted to help them - just the same way the Kercher family have been manipulated and betrayed by Maresca and Mignini. How their natural grief and rage has been used to monster absolutely the wrong person, while letting the real culprits go free.

Because that's the rest of the scandal. The people who actually did this are still out there. We even have an inkling of who they are. But so long as people who can't bear to look at the facts cling to the belief the bomb was carried on KM180, they're going to stay out there, laughing fit to bust every time someone refers to Megrahi as "the Lockerbie bomber".

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Old 17th November 2011, 08:42 PM   #544
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ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz....
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Old 18th November 2011, 02:14 AM   #545
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz....




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Old 18th November 2011, 05:46 PM   #546
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As a further thought to the well argued points made by Bunntamas, here's why the Scottish legal system is now working itself to apoplexy:

 No evidence to entitle a finding as to who shared the common criminal
purpose;

 No evidence to entitle a finding, in particular, that the purchasers of MST-13 timers shared the common criminal purpose;

 No evidence to entitle finding as to when the common criminal purpose was formed;

 No evidence of any specific act carried out in furtherance of the common criminal purpose, except for the appellant’s purchase of the clothing;

 No evidence of the intention and motive on the part of the appellant or generally regarding the purposes of the Libyan Intelligence Services (JSO);

 No evidence of any connection at any time between the appellant and explosives or terrorist activity;

 No evidence to entitle the finding that anyone who shared the common criminal purpose had the necessary skills to construct this IED;

 No evidence as to when or where the IED was constructed;

 No evidence as to how the IED was introduced to Malta, or whether it
originated in Malta;

 No evidence of what happened to the MST-13 timers supplied to Libya in 1985-1986;

 No evidence of any connection between the appellant and the timers;

 No evidence as to the source of the Samsonite suitcase which housed the IED.

The only conduct by the appellant which could be characterised as an act of assistance in the commission of the crime was the purchase of the clothing found within the IED suitcase.


Like I say, the Scottish judiciary are spinning themselves to distraction to make sure this case cannot be heard. The parliament in Edinburgh cannot make burying this fast enough. It's no odds to Bunntamas, but it's an *****' huge deal to Scots and anyone living in, or visiting, Scotland.


I would argue to the mods that this thread should very soon move out of Conspiracy and into Non-USA. Big, and probably bad things, are happening to Scots' Law. Lord knows it weren't perfect to begin with.



ETA: Source material
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Old 19th November 2011, 03:04 PM   #547
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And that being so (and it is so), once you understand that Megrahi was not the man who bought the clothes, there is literally not a shred of evidence against him.

The thrust of the Crown case was that, if Megrahi bought the clothes, then it wasn't credible that he didn't know what they were to be used for. Because he was such a suspicious character, cue all the irrelevant and fabricated "evidence" they threw at him. Now even though much of that so-called evidence was either invented or exaggerated, I'd actually agree with the logic. If he bought the clothes, I for one wouldn't be worrying for another second about whether he deserved to be in jail. (Whether that alone would be enough to justify a life sentence, I don't know.)

But if he didn't buy the clothes, he did nothing that connects him with the atrocity. Even if the bomb was actually loaded at Luqa that morning, what did Megrahi do? Nothing. He caught a plane, like presumably hundreds of other passengers who were there at the time.

So I can see why the defence isn't so concerned with the routing of the bomb, as with the clothes purchase. But dammit, if it could be figured out what was or wasn't in tray 8849 at Frankfurt, the whole thing would be blown right open.

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Old 19th November 2011, 03:07 PM   #548
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Originally Posted by CTB View Post
I would argue to the mods that this thread should very soon move out of Conspiracy and into Non-USA. Big, and probably bad things, are happening to Scots' Law. Lord knows it weren't perfect to begin with.

No hope. Around here, if you're challenging mainstream authority, you're either a woo or a conspiracy theorist. Mostly that's true, but there is a firm belief at JREF that it's always true.

Anyway, the thread would just be infested with trolls who have no intention of finding out about the evidence and only want to bay for Megrahi to be kidnapped to the USA, subjected to a double jeopardy trial, and sentenced to death.

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Old 20th November 2011, 06:45 PM   #549
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
No hope. Around here, if you're challenging mainstream authority, you're either a woo or a conspiracy theorist. Mostly that's true, but there is a firm belief at JREF that it's always true.

Anyway, the thread would just be infested with trolls who have no intention of finding out about the evidence and only want to bay for Megrahi to be kidnapped to the USA, subjected to a double jeopardy trial, and sentenced to death.

Rolfe.

Well, I joined here to battle the woo and have seen, thankfully, a lot of it dispatched.

The biggest woo that remains is the Zeist judgement which seems supported, and argued for, by no person coming up with a better argument than " The judges said so "

The SCCRC is being disarmed. The reason is Lockerbie.

Miscarriage of justice? Oh, yeah. It's impossible to read through the trial, then the Opinion of the Court, and figure out just why he was convicted at all. The Opinion of the Court is Kafka-esque in some places. If it wasn't such comedy gold it might prove embarrassing for our learned men in charge. That it was disastrous for Mr Megrahi seems to be neither here nor there.

Recent developments in Scotland deserve a conversation of their own. IMO these developments are entirely to do with Mr Megrahi and are obviously current Social Issues and Non-USA. As it is, I don't think I'd be able to get it off the ground, especially as we are in confirmed Conspiracy territory. Give it a couple of weeks and shift it to History?

This is a shame because I've come to respect the input of many regular posters on other threads where I lurk n learn. There's a great deal of knowledge and it is generously shared. While I'd hate to be thought of as a Conspiracy Theorist I've been called a lot worse on the Lockerbie threads, although I still wonder if it's true that monkeys eat their own poo.

Like any justice system Scotland's is prone to error. The SCCRC, in it's short time, is a recourse against error. I just can't help the feeling that it's having it's teeth extracted because of Mr Megrahi's case.

It probably is too complicated to open up another thread if Rolfe's to be believed. There's a shedload of information to digest, and thrice as much disinformation to ponder then dismiss eg Mach Stem, labels, fletchettes, Gauci, Malta, Helsinki, octopus, Heroin, Bollier, Giaka, Erac, Hayes, etc, etc ad nauseum. It's all a distraction to what was not proved.

For me, it comes down to Mr Megrahi not being the Lockerbie bomber and yet a fundamental safeguard is being removed from all of us, albeit you'd spend plenty of years in the gaol before your case is taken on and considered. The SCCRC don't bother with you, and certainly don't bother the courts, if there isn't a good case to answer for.

Perhaps the sceptics of JREF can debunk this notion that I have: For every step that the Justice For Megrahi petition makes on it's way through the Scottish parliament committees, the judiciary are one step ahead in the process of making the whole exercise worthless.

[ if anyone's got a Latin version of: Spanner-In-The-Works, then I'd be glad to know it ]

I'd also appreciate someone playing Devil's Advocate to poke holes at my thought process. There must be something I've missed that others take for granted.

Anyhoo, if you think that "Lockerbie" is old news and settled then I think you're dead wrong. The repercussions rattle and batter at the notions I've held, and continue to hold, of ideals of justice. I'm not naive enough to believe that the system ever worked perfectly but I am curious to know who is really being protected or helped. [ teh Joooze, Lumogelati or Aleinz are not welcome answers ]
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Old 13th December 2011, 06:31 PM   #550
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Question for those who claim Megrahi and Libya were not involved in the Lockerbie bombing:

Do you also claim that Libya was not involved in the bombing of UTA Flight 772 which blew up over Niger?
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Old 13th December 2011, 10:15 PM   #551
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Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
Question for those who claim Megrahi and Libya were not involved in the Lockerbie bombing:

Do you also claim that Libya was not involved in the bombing of UTA Flight 772 which blew up over Niger?

No, because the generally accepted view is that Libya was involved, and I haven't seen any persuasive evidence that that Libya wasn't involved.
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Old 13th December 2011, 10:44 PM   #552
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Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
Question for those who claim Megrahi and Libya were not involved in the Lockerbie bombing:

Do you also claim that Libya was not involved in the bombing of UTA Flight 772 which blew up over Niger?
Nope, not me. I can't make any claim about it because I don't really know much about UTA 772. I've only really heard of it because of Tom Thurman doing his IED circuitboard-fragment analysis thing.

I guess I could look into France/Libya relations of the day to see what motive there could have been and what the proof is. The French court judgement surely couldn't have been as nonsensical as the judgement the Scottish court came out with at Kamp Zeist?
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Old 14th December 2011, 02:49 AM   #553
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Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
Question for those who claim Megrahi and Libya were not involved in the Lockerbie bombing:

Be careful. You are conflating two things that are not the same.

There is overwhelming evidence that Megrahi did not do what he was convicted of doing, which was introduce a suitcase bomb as unaccompanied luggage on to KM180 at Luqa airport on the morning of 21st December 1988. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that nobody introduced a suitcase bomb as unaccompanied luggage on to KM180 at Luqa airport on the morning of 21st December 1988. The crime Megrahi was convicted of did not happen.

That being so, Megrahi as an individual has an alibi for the bombing of PA103. He was in Malta, and then in Tripoli, that day, when the crime was carried out in London by person or persons unknown. There is no other evidence to connect him to the atrocity, therefore it is reasonable to conclude that he had nothing to do with it.

As to the question of whether Libya as a state had anything to do with it, matters are less clear. There is no tangible evidence to connect Libya to the bombing once Megrahi has been exonerated. However, "person or persons unknown" leaves quite a lot of scope. Libya was a terrorist state, and arguably had a good motive to want to attack a US airliner.

I take the view that the evidence pointing to the PFLP-GC group acting on behalf of Iran is very persuasive, and more persuasive than any theory that Libya was behind the crime. However, we can't say that Libya was not involved to anything like the same degree of confidence that we can say Megrahi was not involved.

Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
Do you also claim that Libya was not involved in the bombing of UTA Flight 772 which blew up over Niger?

I don't claim anything at all about UTA 772, because I know little or nothing about the affair. I do know that Charles Norrie (banned from JREF last year), whose brother was killed on that flight, concedes that there is credible evidence to blame Libya for that. But Charles is quite frankly barking mad, so I don't put too much store by his opinion.

If you want to know a bit more detail about the foreign policy ramifications of the Lockerbie case, you might do a lot worse than to read this.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/20...rn-policy.html

Rolfe.
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Old 14th December 2011, 09:14 AM   #554
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
No, because the generally accepted view is that Libya was involved, and I haven't seen any persuasive evidence that that Libya wasn't involved.
Yes. Thanks, Spitfire.

Originally Posted by CTB View Post
Nope, not me...

I guess I could look into France/Libya relations of the day to see what motive there could have been...
Indeed, if you do, I think you'll find there are specific motives that can be plausibly imputed. Quite apart from other general motives that might have existed.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Be careful. You are conflating two things that are not the same...
Not conflating. Just trying to be succinct. The potential distinction between the two is obvious, but is not in play when the associated claim vis-a-vis Libya is: "there is no tangible evidence to connect Libya to the bombing".

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
...I take the view that the evidence pointing to the PFLP-GC group acting on behalf of Iran is very persuasive, and more persuasive than any theory that Libya was behind the crime...If you want to know a bit more detail about the foreign policy ramifications of the Lockerbie case, you might do a lot worse than to read this.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/20...rn-policy.html...
The Jan/1, 2010 entry of the blog relays a report that Qaddafi personally admitted Libya played a role in Lockerbie. Though he said Iran was the original instigator of the attack.
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Old 14th December 2011, 09:38 AM   #555
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I find the question of who actually carried out the Lockerbie bombing a very interesting one. It is however a very difficult one to answer with any degree of certainty. The topic of the thread, however, is whether Megrahi bombed the plane. The answer to that is pretty easy to figure out.

You referred to this, without linking to it.
http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/20...mitted-it.html

One uncorroborated account of an off-the-record interview. With a madman. Forgive me if I don't leap up and declare all is revealed. I would also note in particular the end of the blog post, which reiterates what I have been trying to say all along.

Quote:
On the assumption that this account of an off-the-record conversation in 1993 is accurate, it in no way affects the wrongfulness of the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi. As I have tried (without success) to explain to US zealots in the past, the fact -- if it be the fact -- that Libya was in some way involved in Lockerbie does not entail as a consequence that any particular Libyan citizen was implicated. The evidence led at the Zeist trial did not justify the guilty verdict against Megrahi. On that basis alone his conviction should have been quashed had the recently-abandoned appeal gone the full distance. That conclusion is reinforced (a) by the material uncovered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and (b) by the material released on Mr Megrahi's website.

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Old 15th December 2011, 08:00 AM   #556
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I find the question of who actually carried out the Lockerbie bombing a very interesting one...
I agree. Indeed, for me, much more interesting than whether one particular Libyan agent or national in particular happened to have a role in it. YMMV.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
...Forgive me if I don't leap up and declare all is revealed...
You're forgiven. And your take on that is understandable, given your strongly invested opinions here.

Though I expect most people would agree that if Gadaffi privately admitted Libya was involved in the bombing, then it probably was.
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Old 15th December 2011, 11:04 AM   #557
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Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
Though I expect most people would agree that if Gadaffi privately admitted Libya was involved in the bombing, then it probably was.

Not necessarily. Even if he actually said that (which is questionable), there are any number of reasons why he might have made such a statement even if he didn't believe it.
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Old 15th December 2011, 11:34 AM   #558
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Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
I agree. Indeed, for me, much more interesting than whether one particular Libyan agent or national in particular happened to have a role in it. YMMV.

Indeed, my mileage varies. My interest is in how the justice system of my country managed to collude with the US CIA and DoJ to railroad an innocent man on evidence so weak it shouldn't have supported the issuing of a parking ticket.

I think monstering and incarcerating someone on fabricated and wildly over-egged "evidence" is at least as important an issue as who actually did it.

Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
You're forgiven. And your take on that is understandable, given your strongly invested opinions here.

"Strongly invested opinions" - is that what it's called when one has examined every aspect of the evidence in excruciating detail, and come to a particular conclusion based on that evidence? I'd be quite happy to debate the evidence with you if you have a contrary interpretation, but as it is, that just sounds like a random insult intended to dismiss an opinion you can't argue against on the facts.

Originally Posted by lane99 View Post
Though I expect most people would agree that if Gadaffi privately admitted Libya was involved in the bombing, then it probably was.

Note the bolded word. Gadaffi was a madman. This is one man's account of a private conversation. It has to be evaluated in context. And there just isn't the context to give it more weight than simply taking note of the claim.

Rolfe.
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Last edited by Rolfe; 15th December 2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 16th December 2011, 07:48 AM   #559
lane99
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Not necessarily. Even if he actually said that (which is questionable), there are any number of reasons why he might have made such a statement even if he didn't believe it.
It's possible there are some reasons why he would make the statement if he didn't believe it. But there aren't many reasons that make a lot of sense.

Excepting perhaps that Gadaffii would be trying to downplay Libyan involvement in something he believed they'd otherwise already be implicated in. And as the main instigator of the act.
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Old 16th December 2011, 04:46 PM   #560
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Look, this is one person's account of a private, non-recorded conversation. In what language? Do we know exactly what Gadaffi is supposed to have said - I mean his actual words? No we don't. Whatever he said, was he correctly understood and reported? We have no idea.

Remember the letter written, "accepting responsibility for the actions of our agents". Many people have argued that that is an admission of responsibility. It is nothing of the sort, if the actual words are examined. But if you just listen to the Americans, you'd think it says, yeah we did it.

Look at that recent interview with Megrahi, which was recorded. That didn't stop it being widely used to claim that he'd admitted involvement in the atrocity, when again he said no such thing, and that is perfectly clear when his exact words are examined. He says something like "the West exaggerated my reputation", apparently referring to the way he was portrayed as some sort of super-spy, when all he was was a wheeler-dealer fixer. This somehow got reported as him saying his involvement in the bombing was exaggerated.

So come on, how can anyone make anything of this vague story about a private conversation when Gadaffi said something in an unspecified language which an American decided to report as a admission of responsibility?

Let's have some actual evidence, not Chinese Whispers.

Rolfe.
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