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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 October 2010, 03:49 PM   #241
Rolfe
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I was thinking again about "evidence" that makes it look as if someone must be guilty when they're not. I mentioned Barry George before. He was convicted for the 1999 murder of Jill Dando, and had the conviction upheld at his first appeal, much to the surprise of many observers. It was only at his second appeal after he'd been in jail for eight years that he was acquitted.

He wasn't of interest to the police until about two years after the murder, when they'd failed to find a suspect by following up more promising leads. Then the police started digging into his circumstances, and eventually charged him.
  • He was a weirdo fruitcake
  • He had previous convictions for sexual assaults
  • He was nearby on the day of the crime
  • He once owned a replica handgun that was capable of being reactivated
  • He had been a member of the Territorial Army and a gun club
  • He had a large number of newspaper and magazine articles about Jill Dando in his flat
  • He had umpteen rolls of undeveloped film in his flat, which proved to contain pictures of women he had been stalking
  • He was behaving suspiciously soon after the murder, apparently trying to establish an alibi
  • There was firearms residue on his coat
And the thing that shocked everyone when it was shown on TV, the picture of him posing dressed as some sort of terrorist.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/...ygeorge460.jpg

Most of that was true. Some of it was only half-true - for example, he had applied to join a gun club and the secretary had told him to get lost because he was obviously a fruitcake. The Territorials had given him the bum's rush for much the same reason nearly as quickly. And again, he was a newspaper hoarder, and the articles about Jill Dando all dated from after her murder and didn't even look as if they'd been opened.

The firearms residue was the part that was overturned on appeal. The single particle was nothing more than explosives experts (oh God not Feraday again, surely....) sexing up their findings to support the prosecution.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/au...dando.ukcrime2

Quote:
There was a family history of epilepsy as well as "severe cognitive impairment". George had an IQ of 75, in the lowest 5% of the population, Kopelman added. "I am sure that Mr George has inherited a gene or genes which predispose him to epilepsy or cognitive impairment," he said. He scored even lower, in the bottom 1%, in memory and "executive" tests, Kopelman added. These were "measures of his ability to plan and organise himself and to carry out or execute various things".

The court heard that during the height of the Irish troubles in the early 1980s, George went to his sister's wedding in Ireland and claimed he was in the SAS - a boast that nearly came close to getting him beaten up. George could not even remember how many children his sisters had, important dates, or his medication, the court heard.

This was a murder so expertly carried out that no clues at all were left at the scene, and it bore many hallmarks of a professional hitman - certainly it was cunningly and meticulously planned. But never mind that, this pathetic inadequate with a chaotic lifestyle must have been guilty because he fantasised about firearms and the military and made a nuisance of himself to a lot of women.

There's a perfectly plausible CT attached to the original murder, too.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/au...dando.ukcrime3

Before George's second appeal there was no shortage of police officers insisting that they'd got the right man and any other opinion was ridiculous conspiracy theorising. Look, he was convicted and he lost his appeal. What more do you want? If you want more, just look at this photo and you'll realise what a cold, calculating killer he was! And he was a stalker and obsessed with Jill Dando, and he had a criminal record for sexual assault.

He didn't have prostate cancer and wasn't pressurised to drop his second appeal. The appeal court threw out the conviction.

Rolfe.
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Old 5th October 2010, 05:26 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I hadn't noticed the section about estimating the time of arrival at various points over the Atlantic, or that the flight path was quoted in ten-degree increments as the plane progressed to the west. With that information you could plot the entire planned flightpath in real time, if you had the right application.
Rolfe, I mentioned that I have experience with graphics, but you're clearly more adept at plotting maps regarding flight plans and putting all the coordinates together than I could ever imagine myself doing. You're quite brilliant, IMO.
Anyway, here is a site I found where you can (seemingly) actually input all of the variables. I haven't the time, nor any idea where to begin, but thought if you're so inclined, you might want to have a go at it, and see what you come up with.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's clear that the "solid green line" mentioned in the transcript is in fact the flight path shown on a production before the court. The odd thing is that I've never seen a copy of this, and we're having to plot it ourselves from the text references.
I didn't attend the entire trial, so I don't have copies of all of the production documents. Bummer. Wish there were some way to access them. Here in the US, once a trial is finished, it's public domain, unless the transcripts are sealed. I know the UK has a public information act similar to the US. I wonder if production doc's are available somewhere.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Nevertheless, I think we've got a pretty fair idea now, and it was somewhere between those shown in posts 232 and 233. Not going to be over clear water for well over an hour past take-off. (One hour 25 minutes to 59N 10W, which is out beyond Harris.) The more southerly routes are much the same. Although there's water in the middle on these, it would be a very chancy enterprise indeed to hit that with a detonation primed to go off at a certain time by the clock, and clear water isn't reached until the flight is beyond Ireland.

So why did Megrahi set that timer for seven o'clock, again?

Rolfe.
Who knows if Megrahi is actually the one who set the timer. Doubtful. I recall reading something somewhere about timers Bollier took back with him at some point having been set at the same time as the PA103 bomb. PLEASE don't qoute me on that, or hold me to it. As I said, I think I recall reading it somewhere. But I'm not sure. And probably shouldn't have even brought it up. But, if someone else recalls it, or something like that, I figure it's worth mentioning. I'll try to find it.
At any rate, by saying that Megrahi may not have set the timer, I'm not saying he still wasn't complicit in carrying it out. Sorry to end on a sour note. But.... well agreeing to disagree and all that...
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Old 6th October 2010, 01:53 AM   #243
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Venturing to step back in where I might be useful.

Great work all on the flight path stuff. I've never done that it on a pro level, but did a lot of flight path images and some FDR reading and plotting (the hard and rough way) for my debunks of the Pentagon flyover nonsense. I may take a crack at a graphic of what's been presented above.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Who knows if Megrahi is actually the one who set the timer. Doubtful. I recall reading something somewhere about timers Bollier took back with him at some point having been set at the same time as the PA103 bomb. PLEASE don't qoute me on that, or hold me to it. As I said, I think I recall reading it somewhere. But I'm not sure. And probably shouldn't have even brought it up. But, if someone else recalls it, or something like that, I figure it's worth mentioning. I'll try to find it.
I wrote about it here. Your recall is about right. I didn't think much of the allegation.
Quote:
Within a few days after this trip, Bollier told investigators, he had looked at one of these fully blank units handled by Hinshiri and found its screen showed a peculiar setting: “Wednesday,” being December 21, and a time - 7:30 pm - exactly 27 minutes after the detonation on board PA103. This could only come from Hinshiri’s hands, connected to his brain, and his brain to the bombing plot, Bollier apparently deduced.

At trial in June 2000 (Day 26) Edwin still swore by this find; “That is true. Yes. That the timer was programmed; that is true.” He says he removed the battery and told his partner, Mr. Meister about the unusual setting but did not show it to him. Meister, however, had already recalled at trial (Day 22) Bollier actually showing him the timer with its setting, which he agreed said Wednesday and 7:30. As the Zeist judges summarized in their Opinion of the Court, paragraph [46]:

We do not accept the evidence of either of these two witnesses about this alleged discovery. It was established, and Mr Meister was forced to accept, that the Olympus timer was incapable of showing a date. Moreover, the evidence of both witnesses about what they claimed to have seen and the circumstances in which they claimed to have made the discovery was so inconsistent that we are wholly unable to accept any of it.
But he was able to send me a picture, and it appears Bollier was right about day of the week display, while the judges had dismissed its ability to show a date. But the next WED after its alleged setting was the following day, 21 December. Close enough. The whole story is still, IMO, bonkers. Not the first time, of course.

Quote:
At any rate, by saying that Megrahi may not have set the timer, I'm not saying he still wasn't complicit in carrying it out. Sorry to end on a sour note. But.... well agreeing to disagree and all that...
Indeed, there's nothing I know of yet to say the timer wasn't set by someone else. I believe Megrahi is accused of assembling the bomb himself the night before the bombing, but even then, the timer could have been preset by someone else.

Whoever it was that set the MST-13, real or hypothetical, I think we can all agree they were or would be pretty stupid. Maybe not dumb enough to hand a revealing clue to jabberjaw Bollier, but still exceedingly dense.

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Old 6th October 2010, 02:16 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Sorry to end on a sour note. But.... well agreeing to disagree and all that...

Hey, disagreeing isn't a "sour note"!

I have to say this forum isn't big on agreeing to disagree (as in, well, we have different opinions, let's leave it at that). Even subjective opinions are liable to be vigorously argued into the ground before each side agrees they sufficiently understand the other's point to let it go. Do you think the films of LotR were better than the books? Prepare for the 50-page thread....

But disagreeing, even if argued very vigorously, isn't being "sour". It's what the forum is about. It's about debating the issues and presenting your point of view and listening to other people's points of view. Presenting your point of view coherently and with supporting evidence is what it's all about. We wouldn't be here otherwise!

Rolfe.
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Old 6th October 2010, 03:59 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Rolfe, I mentioned that I have experience with graphics, but you're clearly more adept at plotting maps regarding flight plans and putting all the coordinates together than I could ever imagine myself doing. You're quite brilliant, IMO.

Flattery will get you everywhere....

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Anyway, here is a site I found where you can (seemingly) actually input all of the variables. I haven't the time, nor any idea where to begin, but thought if you're so inclined, you might want to have a go at it, and see what you come up with.

Actually, I tried that one at the beginning, but it's far too restricted. All it does is give you the Great Circle route between any two airports you name - that's the shortest distance between the two points, following the curvature of the Earth. As the site Buncrana found clearly demonstrates, actual flight paths vary from the Great Circle route, mostly to the north of it, depending on weather and traffic conditions. There seems to be a sort of broad corridor within which the plane will be assigned a particular flight path, possibly only a short time before departure, and still subject to change one it's in the air. PA103 on the fatal day was routed in the northerly part of the LHR to JFK corridor.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
I didn't attend the entire trial, so I don't have copies of all of the production documents. Bummer. Wish there were some way to access them. Here in the US, once a trial is finished, it's public domain, unless the transcripts are sealed. I know the UK has a public information act similar to the US. I wonder if production doc's are available somewhere.

I'm not aware of the production documents being available for public viewing. Although quite a lot of them are online, they seem to have been put there by people who had access to them at the trial, such as Edwin Bollier.

However, it seems to me we're answered the question as far as we need to. This flightpath taken from a couple of days ago is as near as dammit, if perhaps a little too far south where it passes over the Hebrides.



We can see that the plane wouldn't have been over water at all for at least another 15 minutes, and it wouldn't have been over the open ocean until it had cleared the Long Island, at least another 15 minutes after that.

We can also see that if it had been flying a more southerly route, it would have taken just as long to clear Ireland as it would have taken to clear the Outer Hebrides on the route it was actually on. Nobody setting that timer for 7.03pm could possibly have done it in the reasonable expectation the plane would crash in the open sea, even it it had departed implausibly promptly, and no matter which route it was assigned.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Who knows if Megrahi is actually the one who set the timer. Doubtful. I recall reading something somewhere about timers Bollier took back with him at some point having been set at the same time as the PA103 bomb. PLEASE don't qoute me on that, or hold me to it. As I said, I think I recall reading it somewhere. But I'm not sure. And probably shouldn't have even brought it up. But, if someone else recalls it, or something like that, I figure it's worth mentioning. I'll try to find it.

I think Caustic Logic has covered this in the post above. Bollier did say that. Bollier says an awful lot of things, some of them quite demonstrably untrue. I find it best to approach what Edwin comes out with from the position that it's probably invented unless there is independent confirmation of the facts, to be quite honest.

That one is a completely bizarre story that doesn't seem to relate to anything, and I'm way not convinced it's true anyway. The court was of much the same opinion.

Quote:
Moreover, the evidence of both witnesses about what they claimed to have seen and the circumstances in which they claimed to have made the discovery was so inconsistent that we are wholly unable to accept any of it.

That kind of sums up just about everything Edwin Bollier says.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
At any rate, by saying that Megrahi may not have set the timer, I'm not saying he still wasn't complicit in carrying it out.

Well, I was only saying Megrahi because we don't have any idea who else might have been involved in this plot (which I think is entirely fictitious anyway). And because I seem to remember that one of Giaka's little fairy-stories was actually seeing Megrahi setting a timer for 7pm, though I admit I'm not certain about that point.

My point is wider than that. No matter who set the timer for 7pm, with the intention that the case would be sent off on KM180 tagged for PA103, which wasn't due to push off from the stand until 6pm (so wasn't likely to leave the ground till about 6.10 at the very earliest), it's inexplicable. I cannot think of a single rational explanation for anyone deliberately setting an MST-13 timer for that time, in the context of this alleged plot, and that includes any reasonable variation of "they made a mistake".

Finding out the likely flight paths of a 747 going from LHR to JFK would be simplicity itself for anyone who had worked in the airline industry. But if the terrorists didn't even bother to do that, it's not rocket science. The window of the Atlantic crossing is a big enough target that a schoolboy could make a decent guess at an appropriate time, simply from knowing the departure and arrival times of the flight.

The most likely "mistake" would be to fail to realise that these flights are over land for quite a long time at the end of the journey, make too great an allowance for delays, and have the thing come down on Newfoundland. However, the most cursory glance at the Great Circle route shows this quite clearly, and points to 10pm as the sensible setting.

7pm quite clearly runs a significant risk of the plane still being on the tarmac when the device explodes, which isn't going to do anything much except leave an awful lot of clues for the investigators to pick over, and a bunch of shocked passengers waiting for Pan Am to find them a new plane.

And even if the plane didn't miss its slot, 7pm was highly likely to cause an explosion over land. Not so clever if you're making a positive effort to stock the suitcase with clothes that might be traced right back to a purchase made by the same conspirator who had to be present (for an unclear purpose) at the airport when the device will be smuggled on board. (For goodness sake, there are dozens of ways to source clothes that will never be traced back. It actually takes skill to figure out a way to do it so that they might be traceable!)

This is the point I'm making here. The precise identity of the person who set the timer isn't really the issue.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th October 2010, 04:09 PM   #246
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Bad habit, recapping stuff when the thread isn't moving much, but I think we lost the reason why the flight path was important. Because it showed that "I believe they were hoping that it would be over the Atlantic by the time the bomb went off" doesn't really fly when you examine the details of the route. It simply couldn't have been "over the Atlantic" no matter how early it had left or which route it took. With respect, you might as well declare they were hoping it would be orbiting Mars.

This was part of a larger point I was making that the alleged plot, that Megrahi was supposed to have been a part of, was irrational. Of course, people do irrational things all the time, and if it was proven that this had happened we'd have to deal with it, but it was by no means proven. It was simply speculated that this had been the plan, and then we were invited to believe this is what Megrahi actually did.

This is a plan which was masterly and impenetrable in one crucial respect, but in other respects was not just brain-dead but positively perverse. So perverse that it could only have succeeded by a series of incredibly lucky breaks (for the terrorists), that again we are simply invited to assume happened.

The introduction of the bomb to KM180 was the masterly part. Despite a prolonged and intensive investigation, no trace was ever found that the bomb or the suitcase were ever on the island of Malta. This is all the more impressive when one realises that the baggage security system at Luqa airport was surprisingly stringent. The small size of the airport worked in its favour, and the baggage was under constant supervision from check-in to loading.

Early suspicions that a terrorist had simply checked the bag in for PA103 then failed to board were quickly disproved - all checked-in passengers actually travelled. A complete set of baggage records was available to the investigators, and these showed also that the number of bags actually on the plane matched the number that should have been there from the passenger records. Detailed inquiry further revealed that none of the passengers was missing a bag - nothing that should have travelled had been left behind at Luqa to make way for the bomb bag.

Bunntamas, and the court, simply make an unsupported assumption that the terrorists must have managed it somehow. Nobody has ever suggested how, though. Bunntamas suggests on one hand that Megrahi was pleasant and well-liked, and could have charmed Maltese staff to overlook an extra bag and falsify the records. I have to say I really can't swallow this at all. But then she suggests that the Maltese police intimidated and threatened their own people to co-operate with this murderous Libyan plot. I choke on that one too, but in particular I want to know which is it? Foreign charm or home-grown threats?

It's quite clear that no supernumerary bag could have been smuggled on board KM180 without the active co-operation of the Air Malta ground staff. Who was it who was in on this, and never squealed in all that time, despite the horrific consequences? How many of them? Did they tell the priest when they went to confession that they'd helped a Moslem terrorist murder 270 people?

Who was the actual "bomber"? We know it wasn't Megrahi, because all he did was show up at the airport, check in, and catch his plane. Precisely why he was there or what role he played in the assumed plot, was never explained. No potential terrorist was identified as carrying out the air-side part of the plan, once Fhimah was shown not to have been at the airport that morning. Even if these charmed (or beaten) ground staff were all primed and ready to allow that extra bag on board and not count it, where did it materialise from?

[If I've got any of this wrong, I'll take corrections. However, I want facts, not hand-waving about "well I think it would have been easy enough". It's quite clear it would have been extremely difficult not just to do it, but to do it and remain completely undetected.]

If this actually happened, it's beyond masterly. It's right up there with the murder of Jill Dando in the annals of the untraceable crime. But then look at the rest of it.
  • The radio needed some clothes. The world is full of old clothes that could never be traced through their manufacturer. A second-hand shop. Even clothes the terrorists themselves had owned for a number of years would be impossible to trace. Raid a clothes-line, dammit! Or if you really feel this job needs brand new threads, go to a big chain store at a busy time and pay cash. This conspicuous purchase of brand new, locally-manufactured clothes from a small owner-operated shop at a quiet time, only three miles from Luqa airport, really suggests someone was trying to be noticed!
  • And the someone who was apparently trying to be noticed was someone whose presence at the airport at the actual time of introduction of the bomb was apparently essential. Someone travelling on a coded passport, indeed, but a passport that was legally issued and could be traced to him. This connected the clothes purchase and flight KM180, entirely negating the masterly concealed introduction of the bomb on to that flight.
  • Any bag that went on the route proposed, would have been x-rayed by Kurt Maier at Frankfurt. Kurt Maier had very good reason to be watching out for Toshiba radio-cassette players, and an attempt to bomb a flight headed for New York. It seems completely mad to assume Maier would miss this device, even though the court just assumed that's what had happened. Maier hotly denied that, though.
  • Even supposing Maier was going to miss the bomb on the x-ray, the path of the bag should have been clearly traceable back to KM180 through the complete set of Frankfurt baggage records, after the event. Maybe that's why the terrorists added the traceable clothes - they couldn't really have assumed the Luqa origin would go undetected anyway, no matter how many baggage handlers they charmed or threatened. Except all the Frankfurt baggage records mysteriously vanished. There's luck for you!
  • Baggage goes astray all the time. This one didn't, apparently, despite two changes of plane. Big assumption to make that it wouldn't, though. Lucky, again?
  • Lucky yet again that the Heathrow baggage crew just happened to load this case in a part of the container where the explosion would penetrate the hull. Were these guys sacrificing virgins to Lady Luck, or what?
  • Then despite loading the bag with clothes that seemed deliberately intended to be traceable, and potentially linked to KM180 though the purchaser's presence at the airport when that plane was checking in, the versatile digital timer was set for a time when there was a high probability the crash would happen over land, leaving all those incriminating labels - Yorkie, Big Ben, Anglia, Slalom, Puccini and so on - lying around on the grass waiting for the conscientious police to come along and pick them up. The huge gaping three-hour window over the wide Atlantic, right in the middle of the flight, was for some reason spurned, and instead a time was chosen that would have resulted in a futile explosion on the tarmac, if the plane had missed its Heathrow take-off slot, which it damn nearly did.
Bunntamas says, well I think he was just a really dumb guy. This isn't "dumb". This is something else I don't quite have a word for.

However, was Megrahi a "dumb guy"? What do we know on that score?
  • It seems to be correct that he studied at the University of Wales in Cardiff - I saw a reference to the photo on his student ID card in the discussion about identification, as I recall.
  • He told Francovich, "I finished the Air Transportation course in New York and obtained the American FAA licence when I was below the permitted age." Lying isn't hard, but I've never seen that rebutted.
  • He was Head of Airline Security for LAA when he was only in his mid-thirties. Do they make a point of appointing "really dumb guys" to jobs like that?
  • He moved on to a post with the Institute for Strategic Studies in Tripoli, again in his mid-thirties. Even if the seniority of that post has been exaggerated, this isn't a "really dumb" CV.
  • Why on earth would Gadaffi or his generals choose a "really dumb guy" to carry out this absolutely critical operation? The implication that all Libyans are dumb by definition doesn't fly - the IQ spread in the Libyan population is almost certainly the same as it is anywhere else.
Not only that, the combination of the really Blofeld-calibre introduction of the bomb, with the bizarre, apparently deliberate attempt to get the clothes purchase noticed, is doing my head in. Not to mention the string of pretty significant other risks that could have seen this bag exploding somewhere quite harmless at 7.03pm, and/or being easily traced through KM180 one way or another. What sort of a plot is it that gets one part uncannily right, then chances to blind luck for most of the rest of it, and even seems to be deliberately trying to be traced?

What is it that's so compelling, that we have to believe in this extraordinarily tall tale? I simply don't see it.

I would like Bunntamas to read this (sorry, lengthy) post in detail, considering every point. I'm entirely open to counter-arguments, but I have to say that the evidence presented so far has been in the same category as "Barry George must have murdered Jill Dando, did you see that picture of him in a gas mask brandishing a gun!" (Yes, and did you see the curtains, too?)

Now call me simplistic, but I rather think the reason the investigation could find no trace of the bomb or the suitcase on Malta is that it never was on Malta. The reason Kurt Maier didn't spot a Toshiba radio-cassette bomb in an interline bag being loaded on PA103A is that there was no such thing in any of those bags. The reason the time of the explosion exactly matched the characteristics of the bombs Khreesat was making, is that it was one of the bombs Khreesat was making.

OK, I have a simple mind. But that's how it looks to me. What am I missing?

Rolfe.
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Old 6th October 2010, 06:41 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bunntamas, and the court, simply make an unsupported assumption that the terrorists must have managed it somehow. [...] Bunntamas suggests on one hand that Megrahi was pleasant and well-liked, and could have charmed Maltese staff to overlook an extra bag and falsify the records. I have to say I really can't swallow this at all. But then she suggests that the Maltese police intimidated and threatened their own people to co-operate with this murderous Libyan plot. I choke on that one too, but in particular I want to know which is it? Foreign charm or home-grown threats?
Ahem.... The following is from the trial beginning at approx. [4928]
Quote:
However, in relation to the chapter relating to Luqa Airport, a much more fundamental difficulty has arisen. This is a chapter which would include evidence as to the procedures in place at the airport in 1988, and also to include specific evidence as to the check-in of passengers on the flight KM 180 to Frankfurt, which is referred to in the indictment. And it is
in the preparation of that particular part of the evidence, this chapter relating to Luqa Airport, that the Crown have encountered the only significant difficulty in relation to the attendance of witnesses.
The position is that the majority of witnesses who have been cited for that particular chapter have refused to attend. And, in addition, they have refused to give evidence by television
link.[…]
In these circumstances, the only remaining method by which their evidence could be taken would be by evidence in commission before the magistrate at the letter, pursuant on the issue of letters of request. And the Maltese authorities have assured the Crown that they would provide every assistance in convening and conducting such proceedings,
chyeah, right
Quote:
[…]LORD SUTHERLAND: May I take it, Advocate Depute, that the decision of the witnesses who have said they are simply not going to give evidence came as a surprise to the Crown?
MR. CAMPBELL: My Lords, the situation with these witnesses is that they form a group, and there have been delicate negotiations with them over a period of time. The initial difficulty was that they refused to be precognosced. Delicate progress advanced that, and in due course, they did agree to be precognosced. There have been protracted discussions about their giving evidence. That has involved the cooperation of the office of the High Commissioner and of the authorities in Malta, and there have been points where things looked really quite hopeful that they would come, but they have now given a final decision that they will not come. So against the decision -- their final decision not to come, there is a history of [4931] persuading them to come.

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Old 7th October 2010, 02:14 AM   #248
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Yes, of course. You know why that happened?

These witnesses co-operated at first. They gave interviews and statements. They described what happened that day. As I recall, they gave evidence to the civil action against Pan Am in the early 1990s.

However, things went sour, and then from bad to worse. The investigators wouldn't take no for an answer. The more the evidence hung together that there was nothing untoward about the loading of KM180, the more convinced they became that (one, some, all, I don't know) the baggage handlers were lying. That one or more of them was indeed involved in the terrorist plot, had got a 56th bag on the plane and falsified the paperwork.

The investigation became very intrusive indeed. People's private phone lines were tapped and their private conversations listened to. Mail was intercepted. I'm not sure, but I think polygraphs may even have been involved. Contacts and associates were followed up to try to establish some link between a baggage handler (any baggage handler) and Libya.

They didn't find anything.

They did, however, become extremely unpopular. The baggage handlers realised that nothing they could say would sway the investigators from their conviction that they were part of a criminal conspiracy, and that no absence of evidence would satisfy them that there was nothing to find. They got pretty cross. The whole thing escalated, to the point where the entire Lockerbie investigation team was thrown off the island for a short period.

The block refusal to give evidence at Zeist was the end point of a campaign of harrassment on the part of the Lockerbie investigation, which resulted in the baggage handlers banding together to take, in effect, industrial action. They boycotted the trial.

Very regrettable. But it isn't evidence. Indeed, the fact that the investigation was so intrusive and still failed to find even a shred of a hint of anyone having been involved in this plot is significant.

Evidence was of course available. There were statements available from before the bad feeling blew up. There was evidence admitted to the Pan Am inquiry. I don't know how much of that was admitted at Zeist, but it exists. This isn't a black hole of silence surrounding a conspiracy, this is a massive foul-up caused by inappropriate investigation methods. If the investigators had had even a hint of evidence to charge any of these people with a crime, they'd have done it. They never found anything, in spite of all that.

The absence of the baggage handlers from Zeist obviously makes it harder to follow exactly what happened. But it doesn't make it impossible. There is evidence from other Air Malta staff who did show up. There are their own earlier statements. So where is this hole in the evidence where the bomb bag could have been slipped in, that the Lockerbie investigation completely failed to identify?

Rolfe.
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Old 7th October 2010, 02:43 AM   #249
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Thanks, Rolfe. All I can add about the Maltese problems (not an area I've looked at much) is this note on how the short exile ended.

It was that Granada docu-drama, also aired on HBO (co-produced). Sorry to again link to my blog, but there's detail there on it. The relevant part here is this:
Quote:
Release Timing
The film’s airing in the UK and US in late November and early December 1990 is interesting. As noted above, it helped further ingrain a year-old idea of a Maltese bomb bag slipping through three airports.
<snip>
Also, the release happened to lines up well with the announcement to all international investigators, in the run-up to the second anniversary, that US and UK investigators had decided that Maltese bag was their big lead, and it pointed to Libya, not Syria, not Iran, not any Palestinians. In his 2006 memoir, Marquise writes of an early December 1990 conference (apparently on the 6th?) of investigators in Sweden, bringing Swiss police in for the first time.
“The night before the formal conference, Henderson and I convened the other police officials in a private room above the main dining area. The Swiss were introduced and the new direction of the investigation was discussed. Because the formal agenda had been drawn up in advance, much of it was devoted to the PFLP-GC cell in Germany. However, we had always said evidence would drive the investigation, not speculation. Now the evidence had pointed away from Dalkamouni and his PFLP-GC cell. Everything we saw pointed directly at Libya.” [Marquise, p 73]
The Germans were “relieved,” Marquise recalled, but the Maltese “were not as ready to accept the new scenario,” and “adopted the same philosophy which the Germans had employed for a time.” He writes that the "evidence that “the bomb bag … had originated in Malta ... had not yet been proven to the satisfaction of Maltese officials.” But the next day’s conference went smoothly enough, and “not one word of what was discussed at the meeting was ever leaked to the media, proving that this group of law enforcement officials was trustworthy."

Three days later, however, HBO would re-air half of that new direction, the bag that Maltese authorities still couldn't see even after the first UK airing of Why Lockerbie? just days before the conference. Air Malta would of course take the issue to court as we started out, but Maltese investigators just acquiesced; on December 10, the day after the American re-broadcast in case that matters, "Henderson reported the Maltese were ready to let us back in to work, possibly as soon as December 17." [Marquise, p 73]
Ahem? Hmmm!
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Old 7th October 2010, 04:12 AM   #250
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It's an interesting sequence. We've decided on some extraordinarily weak evidence that there was an unaccompanied bag on KM180, and on no evidence at all that it was the bomb. Thus, the bomb must have been loaded at Luqa no matter what anyone there says. There was literally nothing the Maltese could say or do or produce in evidence that would convince this investigation otherwise. How do you prove a negative in this situation?

So we interview and we take statements and we do it all again and we investigate people and follow up their private business and listen to their private conversations, and still we find nothing. We get even more pushy, because we know that bomb went on there. But still nothing. It becomes obvious to these witnesses that they are actually suspects, and that the investigation is hell-bent on incriminating them.

In the end, we piss off the people we're investigating so much that they tell us to bugger off and refuse, en masse, to co-operate any further. They boycott the trial.

Hooray, a result! These people obviously have something to hide, we were right all along!



I think part of the problem was the repeated legal findings that the bomb bag interlined into Frankfurt. The first one of these was the FAI, which was in progress during the events Caustic Logic described above - I think it ran from October 1990 to February 1991. No evidence even faintly suggestive of Malta was led at that inquiry. The Erac printout wasn't mentioned. Instead, the Frankfurt interline origin of the suitcase had to be inferred purely from the alleged positioning of the bag in the container.

This inference was beyond tenuous. There simply isn't any evidence to support it at all. It is clear from the sheriff's findings that he has been told to arrive at that conclusion. Even more bizarrely, the evidence as to the positioning of the bags in AVE4041 led at the FAI is in direct contradiction to the evidence led at Zeist. Some of it is simply false, to the extent that I suspect deliberately false evidence on this point was advanced to get the desired conclusion even though the Erac printout was deemed to be inadmissible.

How much that outcome influenced the Pan Am case, I don't know. By that time, everything the FAI had conveniently decided was much more set in stone. Bogomira Erac gave evidence (anonymously), and Malta was the key. Despite evidence from the Malta baggage handlers on that occasion, the Malta origin was rubber-stamped. It's not hard to see why. By that time, the investigation had identified an actual suspect at Luqa airport, and Giaka had entered the picture. Giaka saw Megrahi and Fhimah with the suitcase at Luqa, and he saw Megrahi priming the bomb and setting the timer, no less!

So that settled it. The baggage handlers were definitely lying. Must have been. The indictments were issued in November 1991. The Pan Am lawsuit couldn't test Giaka's credibility of course, but was it really likely to find against the conclusions of the investigation that had led to the suspects being indicted and the Libyan stand-off? Hardly.

Of course in both these inquiries, the defendant was Pan Am. Pan Am's only defence to this was to fall back on Aviv's drug bag-switch theory, which had been consigned to the Outer Darkness as a conspiracy theory, and nobody was going to listen. There was nothing in it for Pan Am to highlight the Bedford bag and a possible Heathrow introduction, because they would have been just as culpable in that situation.

The official position was that Kurt Maier, employee of Alert Security, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pan Am, had missed the bomb. But if the Bedford bag was the bomb, then what? Sulkash Kamboj, employee of Alert Security, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pan Am, had missed the bomb. Hello, square one!

The UK investigators were absolutely dead set against any suggestion that the bomb had been introduced at Heathrow - to the point where they concealed the evidence of the break-in from the Zeist court. And they controled the FAI. The Frankfurt end was reasonably happy with the interline theory, because security responsibility for that luggage was Pan Am's, not theirs. Pan Am was hung out to dry, but it would have been hung out to dry anyway. There was certainly no benefit to Pan Am from advancing the Heathrow introduction theory and shiffting the blame from Maier to Kamboj. They were on the hook either way.

Thus the meme that this bomb was carried on KM180 became deeply ingrained in the mythology of the investigation. The FAI said so, the Pan Am case said so. John Bedford? Who he?

Stalemate for eight years. We know someone at Luqa was lying, because Giaka saw it all. That's a fact, end of story. No need to consider any other explanation.

The Luqa baggage handlers were invited to Zeist on the basis that they would be shown to be lying, because Giaka's evidence would prove that. No wonder they declined. By the time it was Giaka who was shown to be the liar, it was a bit late.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th October 2010, 08:59 AM   #251
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I think it's also worth contrasting and highlighting the openness and willingness exhibited by the authorities and staff at Malta, certainly in the nascent stages of Malta being implicated, which bears in sharp contrast to the obstructive, suppressive, and quite frankly deceitful actions, of the authorities at Frankfurt and Heathrow.

Air Malta produced all records requested of them, which investigators then scrutinized, interviewing all the staff and even tracking down the passengers who flew on KM180. Luqa airport themselves also happily assisted the investigation and displayed the procedures and systems in place which demonstrated the rigorous baggage and passenger reconciliation performed before any flight departed.

Meanwhile at Frankfurt, throughout the first 9 months of the investigation, tensions had reached near breaking point between the Scottish investigating team and the German authorities. Despite the main feeder flight for 103 originating at Frankfurt the day of the bombing, Frankfurt operating a sophisticated computer tracking system (designed to reduce passenger insurance claims from lost baggage at one of the world's busiest airports), a plethora of warnings of a bomb attack issued against that airport, and disseminated among relevant staff, and a bombmaker and gang had been uncovered just outside Frankfurt, the German's claimed that, after a week, all the records pertaining to that days baggage movement around the airport were purged, vanished, and gone, and nobody in the police or Frankfurt's security itself, had thought to secure the records before this had occurred.

We now know this to be nothing more than a blatant lie. Apart from the conflicting evidence given by a German engineer who helped install and program the system at Frankfurt, which was due to be submitted at the second appeal, claiming that back-up tapes of the records were always kept, and it was a longer period than 7 days before the system would purge any of these records. We also know of German investigators who were "stepping up their investigation and security" only 6 days after the fall of 103, and there is also statements where German authorities became aware of an Iranian passenger who travelled on that feeder flight on the afternoon of the 21st, stayed in London and German law enforcement were awaiting his return at Frankfurt airport to question him on any connections to the bombing he may have had - on Christmas day, only 4 days after 103 had been bombed. And yet, the investigators from the Scottish police, representatives of Pan Am security and Heathrow security, were told there were no relevant records available from Frankfurt relating to that day to be examined.

Only to then find out subsequent to all of this, the German's had fortuitously managed to obtain a copy of a single computer printout, showing an albeit small snapshot of that days baggage movements, but nonetheless it revealed the possible indication of an unaccompanied bag arriving at Frankfurt, and making it's way towards the feeder flight 103A. An unaccompanied bag, a cardinal sin to be loaded onto any airline, and should set alarm bells with any member of staff. Especially investigators searching for the possibility of a unacommpanied bag containing a bomb being interlined through Frankfurt airport.

Warnings issued….a PLFP cell uncovered with radio bombs primed with barometric timers??

So, what did the German authorities do with this absolutely crucial piece of information they have managed to obtain after all the frustration of having not secured the original records apparently? Well, they then sit on this information for nearly 8 months and don't tell a soul, and then suddenly produce it 8 months later. They had had this printout, showing an apparent unaccompanied bag, since February of 1989, and didn't tell anyone let alone pass it to the appropriate investigation team.

Utterly bizarre is being kind, and to be highly sceptical is only natural.

Heathrow were hardly better. Security on the whole at the airport was woefully inadequate, which was openly admitted by all concerned. Security passes for airside access were unaccounted for, the baggage holding sheds were left completely unattended for long periods before loading baggage on the aircraft were commonplace, and the tight schedules, notably between the arrival of the feeder 103A and departure of the Jumbo 103 to New York, which was at best about 20-30mins, also wouldn’t allow for any security checks to be performed on any baggage that was due to be transferred between the two flights. One such passenger boarding at Heathrow is testament to this as he missed the call for the flight, but his bag, now unaccompanied, remained on board 103 as its wheels left the Heathrow runway.

Interviews taken early into the investigation revealed a worrying account given by 103's chief baggage loader John Bedford that he had observed the addition of two unknown suitcases, which he had questioned his colleague on at the time, in the container which was identified by the investigation to have been the container which had contained the explosive device. Worse still, he had told investigators, that at least one of these bags was a bown/bronze Samsonite style suitcase. To confound all these evident transgressions, a breach of security at the Pan Am gate had also been reported earlier on the 21st by a Heathrow security guard, and this break-in was then suppressed from the investigation and from all the evidence presented at the original trial at Zeist, until 2001 after the trial had concluded.

There's certainly room for harsh and justifiable criticism's of these two airports procedures, systems and staff indiscretions as discovered by much of the investigation. Thus, if any airport or airlines staff are to be berated and have suspicion cast upon them, I would suggest that Luqa and the Air Malta officials are not the ones for this to be vented towards. Suspicions and fingers should, quite evidently and reasonably, be pointed at the other two airports involved in this atrocity.

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Old 7th October 2010, 02:38 PM   #252
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Those are very good points, Buncrana. It's been a feature of the investigation that the airports with the diabolical security flaws and the actual, demonstrable evidence of a cover-up, are given an incredibly easy ride. The one that had the documentation for that day and could show procedures had been followed - that's the one they decide to go for.

The Maltese origin of the clothes and the apparent provenance of B8849 seem to have dazzled the investigators completely. And this was well before the switch of the focus from the PFLP-GC to Libya. The original hypothesis was that the PFLP-GC had interoduced the bomb at Malta. They worried and worried at Malta to the exclusion of all else.

But B8849 could easily have been a coding anomaly. And a case-full of clothes can go twice round the world in a month. Or even in two weeks. But it wasn't in the Brits' interest to look at Heathrow, and the Germans weren't letting anyone look at Frankfurt, so they kept at it.

Then they found a plausible suspect there. But I sometimes wonder. If they had investigated every passenger checking in for a flight at Frankfurt about three o'clock, or every passenger checking in for a flight at Heathrow a couple of hours later, what would they have found? Not necessarily anyone actually linked to the bombing, but how many plausible suspects might they have found, plausible suspects who could somehow have a case built up against them.

Yes, I wonder.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 01:01 PM   #253
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A Scottish parliament e-Petition has been opened, calling for a full public inquiry into the Zeist conviction.

I have started a thread on this in the Current Affairs forum area.

Rolfe.

ETA: The petition asks for the country of the signatory. Choices are Scotland, England, Wales, N. Ireland or Other. Those entering Other are then asked to enter their country as free-text.

Sir Teddy Taylor has checked "Other" then entered "United Kingdom". Aw, bless!
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Old 8th October 2010, 02:48 PM   #254
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So, how do you think it will stand up against other previously (pro Megrahi) failed petitions and polls such as this one - I gather that one didn't turn out as hoped. And this one Wow. Eighteen signatures.
I'll save the embarrassement of posting Charles' poll, which garnered, I think much less than 50 signatures. Which one was it that also failed? I'm losing count. You know, the one on / to which CL was so boasting about posting his name? Maybe it was the one noted above, in the Firm article, on which CL's name doesn't appear, that got snubbed.
And in contrast, have a look at the the number of signatures on this one and this one. Hmmmmm..... Can't wait to see how this latest one turns out. Maybe the polls will change as a result of the media that Swire has been [expletive]ing lately. Time will tell.

And by the way, where is the Megrahi / Megrahi family, any other Libyan, or Maltese supporter signature on any of the pro Megrahi petitions? Why are they absent and their absence un-noted here, or anywhere else for that matter?

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Old 8th October 2010, 03:20 PM   #255
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Just noticed your new thread on this Rolfe, so I'll bump this comment there as well.
~B
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Old 8th October 2010, 03:25 PM   #256
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
So, how do you think it will stand up against other previously (pro Megrahi) failed petitions and polls such as this one - I gather that one didn't turn out as hoped. And this one Wow. Eighteen signatures.
I'll save the embarrassement of posting Charles' poll, which garnered, I think much less than 50 signatures. Which one was it that also failed? I'm losing count. You know, the one on / to which CL was so boasting about posting his name? Maybe it was the one noted above, in the Firm article, on which CL's name doesn't appear, that got snubbed.
And in contrast, have a look at the the number of signatures on this one and this one. Hmmmmm..... Can't wait to see how this latest one turns out. Maybe the polls will change as a result of the media that Swire has been [expletive]ing lately. Time will tell.

And by the way, where is the Megrahi / Megrahi family, any other Libyan, or Maltese supporter signature on any of the pro Megrahi petitions? Why are they absent and their absence un-noted here, or anywhere else for that matter?
I think this one will fare better. But it's admittedly an uphill battle.
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Old 8th October 2010, 03:34 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I think this one will fare better. But it's admittedly an uphill battle.
Agreed. It's an uphill battle for the "Megrahi is innocent" side. Sad to see everyone here putting so much effort into what you all believe, regardless of whether or not I agree. I commend you for your efforts (when they're not snide) But, it seems, no longer how much, or for how long you regurgitate the issues and points, for now, the case is what it is, per the judgment and appeal (again, regardless of outside court opinion and non-heard 2nd appeal), and it would appear that, per previous polls the public, internationally, have spoken. We'll see what happens with the latest.

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Old 8th October 2010, 03:43 PM   #258
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Sad to see everyone here putting so much effort into what you all believe, regardless of whether or not I agree. I commend you for your efforts (when they're not snide)
Well, thanks. I think it'd be sadder yet if we were just keeping quiet, but at least you acknowledge we're genuine in all this. That's important. We're all just real people who've adopted different beliefs, and we can still discuss them together, to some extent.
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Old 8th October 2010, 03:44 PM   #259
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Conversation on poll comments I made here moved to Rolfe's new thread in current affairs, noted above.
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Old 8th October 2010, 03:45 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
So, how do you think it will stand up against other previously (pro Megrahi) failed petitions and polls such as this one - I gather that one didn't turn out as hoped.

Huh, a poll in this forum, which is mainly populated by Americans who know nothing about the case except what they hear on the US media!

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
And this one Wow. Eighteen signatures.

Er, I don't think you get that. That letter wasn't open for anyone to sign. It was only signed by people who were invited, as having sufficient standing in the matter. I see they even left out a couple of pushy nonentities who were trying to muscle in on it.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
I'll save the embarrassement of posting Charles' poll, which garnered, I think much less than 50 signatures. Which one was it that also failed? I'm losing count. You know, the one on / to which CL was so boasting about posting his name? Maybe it was the one noted above, in the Firm article, on which CL's name doesn't appear, that got snubbed.

Well, if you don't post the links I can't comment. However, you know what I think of Charles.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
And in contrast, have a look at the the number of signatures on this one and this one. Hmmmmm..... Can't wait to see how this latest one turns out. Maybe the polls will change as a result of the media that Swire has been [expletive]ing lately. Time will tell.

Newspaper comments pages full of loudmouthed ignorant Americans. Gosh, what a lot of them there are!

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
And by the way, where is the Megrahi / Megrahi family, any other Libyan, or Maltese supporter signature on any of the pro Megrahi petitions? Why are they absent and their absence un-noted here, or anywhere else for that matter?

Well, you're wrong for a start, because I noticed a couple of Libyan names on the open letter. I see one already on this new petition. This is a Scottish thing though, it's only natural most signatories will be Scots.

As for Megrahi's family, do you really think that would be appropriate?

Where will this go? Probably nowhere, because the committee is perfectly at liberty to chuck the thing in the bucket if it feels like it, and it probably will. However, that doesn't constitute proof Megrahi is gulty any more than the other peripheral irrelevancies that have been brought up.

You know, Bunntamas, when a campaign is mounted against government inertia and complacency, it's usualy the case that many initiatives are ignored. That's life. One just tries another initiative. Sneering that such initiatives haven't immediately caused the walls of Jericho to collapse isn't much of a win.

Why are you so set against having the findings of the SCCRC properly tested in court?

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 03:57 PM   #261
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Okay, I was trying to follow "protocol" by furthering comments in the new forum you linked above, but it looks like we're continuing here.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Huh, a poll in this forum, which is mainly populated by Americans who know nothing about the case except what they hear on the US media!
Ummm.... if the poll is mainly populated by "Americans who know nothing about the case..." why was the poll created in that forum?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Er, I don't think you get that. That letter wasn't open for anyone to sign. It was only signed by people who were invited, as having sufficient standing in the matter. I see they even left out a couple of pushy nonentities who were trying to muscle in on it.
Sufficient standing according to whom? You think CL has sufficient standing in the matter? LOL! And so what. It still failed.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, if you don't post the links I can't comment. However, you know what I think of Charles.
Ha! Yep, I do know. Didn't think it was productive to go down that rabbit hole. Hence I didn't post the link.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Newspaper comments pages full of loudmouthed ignorant Americans. Gosh, what a lot of them there are!
Yikes. I agree Americans can be loud mouthed and ignorant. However, think the same argument could be made for Scots and Brits. And have you forgotten that PA103 was mostly occupied by Americans who have been rightly outraged about the atrocity and the following events? I've seen many nasty, ignorant, loudmouthed comments (which seem to out number the Americans') by scots and brits who have zero involvement in this case. But we digress.....

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, you're wrong for a start, because I noticed a couple of Libyan names on the open letter. I see one already on this new petition. This is a Scottish thing though, it's only natural most signatories will be Scots.
Okay, I'l give ya the "couple of Libyans" How many of them are Megrahi's family? Friends? As for "this is a Scottish thing", wow. If that's so, how is it that Libyans have signed it? Do you think the entire world revolves around scotland on this issue? Do you think that Megrahi and his other supporters, the ugly Americans and the rest of the world are not capable of news, internet and other media? Do you doubt that Swire, Black, Megrahi's counsel and others close to him are keeping Megrahi and his family abreast of this? If I were Megrahi's kin, I would be doing everything I could, to fight for my father, brother, son, whatever he is to his family in order keep this in the front of the media and not let this die. That's what I did for my father. Guess what. We got an ivestigation, a trial, and we are still fighting. Yes, I have seen the points in objection on the former. Not the point here. Point is, why aren't Megrahi's family and friends fighting harder? I stood next to his wife in the ladies room at the trial. I wanted to catch her eye and give her a look of understanding that we're all in this together, and that I didn't blame her for whatever her husband did. She looked at her shoes then, and throughout the entire trial, when she wasn't watching what was happening beyond the glass in the court room. I'm sure she was counseled not to look at other family members, and I recognize cultural issues about not looking at others in the eye. Still....

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
As for Megrahi's family, do you really think that would be appropriate?
Why not??? His daughter has stated in the media that she wants to study law as an inspiration by what her father has been through. And Megrahi himself published (or had published by others) a bleeding web site with all of his arguments. If he really wants to portray his innocence, why isn't he and/ or his family fighting as hard as all of the involved families are, much less folks like those here on JREF, Black's blog, those who comment in the media who aren't even involved in this case?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Where will this go? Probably nowhere, because the committee is perfectly at liberty to chuck the thing in the bucket if it feels like it, and it probably will. However, that doesn't constitute proof Megrahi is gulty any more than the other peripheral irrelevancies that have been brought up.
Well, I for one, would like to see more about the pubilc opinion at this stage in the game, as well as what influence if any, Swire's recent letters in the media have had and prior to the second appeal being dropped, I still wanted to see the alleged evidence that was to be presented by the defense. The American family members did not sit still and allow their government to simply "chuck the thing". I, along with my fellow family members lobbied our government. I wrote countless letters. I bent the ears of as many as I could find who might help move our case forward. I went to the UN. My family hired attorneys before any settlement money from Libya, taking that risk that if we lost, we would have to pay legal fees. Even after our case was thrown out of court on Foreign Soverein Immunities actions. Guess what. We continued fighting, and got that legislation ammended. And we got our day in court. Because we believed in what we were doing and persevered. I find it very sad.

I have a great deal of respect and warmth in my heart for the Scots who treated my mother and me with such warmth when we visited Lockerbie. They could have just as easily been resentful toward the Americans and their airliner who rained chaos, death and destruction on their small town. I was very fearful of this upon our arrival. But they weren't that way at all. They were beyond kind and supportive.

However, going forward other Scots and Brits who support Megrahi sit by and waste their time bitching on the internet as opposed to actually getting involved and doing something with and about their government.
So, again, it's doubtful, but we'll see if this petition proves anything.

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Old 8th October 2010, 04:09 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Why not??? He published a web site with all of his arguments? If he really wants to portray his innocence, why isn't he and/ or his family fighting as hard as all of you are?
Can you please elaborate on that point, when you get a chance, and explain its significance? If you had to answer the question yourself with a best guess, what would you say?
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Old 8th October 2010, 04:30 PM   #263
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Deleted, because I think this is a complete digression that's going nowhere.

Caustic Logic is right. Why do you think Megrahi is behaving the way he is? And as an ancillary question, is there any way he could behave, or could have behaved in the past, that you wouldn't declare supported your assertion that he's guilty?

Forum polls and newspaper comments pages do not a coherent argument make.

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Old 8th October 2010, 04:47 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Can you please elaborate on that point, when you get a chance, and explain its significance? If you had to answer the question yourself with a best guess, what would you say?
I think, at the same time you were posting this comment I edited my comment above. Please advise, if I haven't elaborated enough.
~B
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Old 8th October 2010, 04:52 PM   #265
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Bunntamas, could I counsel a deep breath and a step back? You noted that in your fight, you had setbacks, you lost at one stage. I don't think anyone was pointing fingers at you, calling you pathetic and sneering "LOL" at the time though.

The petition is only a petition. It shouldn't and doesn't threaten you. It's only been open since this morning. It's gone from about 120 signatures to 210 while I've been posting on the forum. It's a bit early to be pointing and sneering, whatever.

I don't know why you're so angry. The petition is only asking for an independent inquiry into the verdict. Why does this upset you so much?

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Old 8th October 2010, 04:57 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Caustic Logic is right. Why do you think Megrahi is behaving the way he is?
I asked you first. No, I asked you first.... really? must we dance down the adolescent CL path? I Dunno why Megrahi hasn't come forth, outside of the obvious that he is allegedly ill. BUt that's no excuse for his family not to fight for him. Maybe they're just happy he's home and they want to crawl beneathe the sidewalk (or sand dune, or whatever) and be done with all of this. I know there were many times my family and I wanted to say, this is killing us. Let's just give up. But we didn't. Maybe in Megrahi's case, coward is,a s coward does, and it'a trickle down effect into the family.
Sorry if that doesn't adhere to your
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
wouldn't declare supported your assertion that he's guilty?
Am I now not allowed to state my position? Geez.

SO, back to the initial question that I asked, which was: why isn't Megrahi and / or his family stepping up? What do you think?

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Old 8th October 2010, 05:04 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bunntamas, could I counsel a deep breath and a step back?
Thanks Rolfe. Your counsel is always appreciated.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You noted that in your fight, you had setbacks, you lost at one stage. I don't think anyone was pointing fingers at you, calling you pathetic and sneering "LOL" at the time though.
Ummmmm... I think CL has made some very sneering remarks, both here and on his blog, which he has since removed, appologized for, and contradicted his apology by stating that he was "mad" at me. And yes, I think that deserves a LOL. That is all I was referring to in my above remarks. It wasn't meant to create a whole new row. It was simply meant to, as you counsel, please move forward sans sneer.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The petition is only a petition. It shouldn't and doesn't threaten you. It's only been open since this morning. It's gone from about 120 signatures to 210 while I've been posting on the forum. It's a bit early to be pointing and sneering, whatever.
Oh, I'm not at all threatened by the petition. In fact I'm quite looking forward to the results, and whether or not opinion has changed, per past petitions and polls, and as a reault of recent (noted above) media events.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't know why you're so angry. The petition is only asking for an independent inquiry into the verdict. Why does this upset you so much?
Seriously, I'm not angry. I'm just expressing my views. Sorry if I come across that way.

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Old 8th October 2010, 05:07 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
SO, back to the initial question that I asked, which was: why isn't Megrahi and / or his family stepping up? What do you think?

You want the honest truth? I don't think the Libyan government wants the conviction overturned. I think the Libyan government was putting pressure on him to withdraw the appeal. I think that's what the bizarre terms of that PTA were all about - to allow Libya to pressurise Megrahi to drop the appeal.

I think he thought he could go home and continue a campaign to demonstrate his innocence, but after he published some initial parts of his defence material he was told to stop it.

Why? Politics. The world has moved on in the past 10 years - no, the past 20. Libya doesn't want the clock turned back, it doesn't want the USA angered even more, it wants to move on. It doesn't want to re-open old wounds and de-stabilise the international agreements it has negotiated in recent years.

That's what I honestly think. Of course it's speculation, but you did ask.

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Old 8th October 2010, 05:24 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Thanks Rolfe. Your counsel is always appreciated.

I sympathise with you very much indeed, you know that. But some of us, myself and Buncrana in particular, have posted reams of stuff in this thread that we hoped you were reading, commentary and exposition on the evidence, and you didn't post apart from highlighting the industrial action the Maltese baggage handlers took when they collectively decided to boycott Zeist.

We commented on that too, and explained the background to their decision. It was regrettable, but I can see why they felt the way they did. They realised that Giaka's statements about having seen Megrahi and Fhimah with the bomb on Malta were going to be used to brand them not just as liars but as complicit in the plot. They were absolutely furious about not being believed, and the increasing intrusiveness of the inquiry even though nothing was being found. They may even have been afraid.

We posted all that, and you still didn't respond. Busy, I thought. She has studying to do. She has a life. She'll read it and come to comment when she's ready.

But then this e-Petition is started, and suddenly Bunntamas bursts all over two threads, posting furiously, and I'm not even sure what your point is to be honest. Would you think better of everyone if the petition hadn't been started?

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Ummmmm... I think CL has made some very sneering remarks, both here and on his blog, which he has since removed, appologized for, and contradicted his apology by stating that he was "mad" at me. And yes, I think that deserves a LOL. That is all I was referring to in my above remarks. It wasn't meant to create a whole new row. It was simply meant to, as you counsel, please move forward sans sneer.

OK, we've done some go-out-and-come-in-again before, we can do it again. I'll just observe, mildly, that Caustic Logic doesn't have a monopoly on sneering round here. And that in this thread, recently, he hasn't said anything to justify censure as far as I can see. So if you have a gripe with him, take it outside.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Oh, I'm not at all threatened by the petition. In fact I'm quite looking forward to the results, and whether or not opinion has changed, per past petitions and polls, and as a reault of recent (noted above) media events.

Seriously, I'm not angry. I'm just expressing my views. Sorry if I come across that way.

OK, let's go out and come in again. I would far rather discuss the evidence than post sterile back-and- forth about whose online poll trumps some other online poll.

As I said, I'm not expecting this petition to achieve anything much on its own. These e-Petitions are just a device for the parliament to make the plebs think it's listening. This one is just another way to keep the profile up. The government and the opposition parties are absolutely adamant that Megrahi's appeal will never be heard, and that there will never be an inquiry, and it will take more than this to change their minds.

Rolfe the realist.
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Old 8th October 2010, 05:47 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I sympathise with you very much indeed, you know that. But some of us, myself and Buncrana in particular, have posted reams of stuff in this thread that we hoped you were reading, commentary and exposition on the evidence, and you didn't post apart from highlighting the industrial action the Maltese baggage handlers took when they collectively decided to boycott Zeist.

We commented on that too, and explained the background to their decision. It was regrettable, but I can see why they felt the way they did. They realised that Giaka's statements about having seen Megrahi and Fhimah with the bomb on Malta were going to be used to brand them not just as liars but as complicit in the plot. They were absolutely furious about not being believed, and the increasing intrusiveness of the inquiry even though nothing was being found. They may even have been afraid.

We posted all that, and you still didn't respond. Busy, I thought. She has studying to do. She has a life. She'll read it and come to comment when she's ready.
Nope. Didn't comment. Sorry. I tried going back into my reams of stuff that I've collected over the years. Depression overcame me, and I recognized that I had spent many years on this and was headed down a very dark path...again. I know My father would want me to move on and have a life beyond dwelling on his death.
That, and
A) Yes, I just don't have the time to debate with you all at the lengths and detail to which you require and
B) it just wasn't worth it to re-hash all of the stuff that has already posted here and elsewhere over many years, and still not come to any tangible results on your end.
Bottom line is, neither of us has hard evidence about the loading of the bag at Malta. Neither did the court. Combined evidence, as the court concluded, however, in my opinion still speaks volumes. Maybe not to you, but to me and others, I believe it does.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
But then this e-Petition is started, and suddenly Bunntamas bursts all over two threads, posting furiously, and I'm not even sure what your point is to be honest. Would you think better of everyone if the petition hadn't been started?
Noting my above comments, I already stated that I'm looking forward to the results of the petition. So, I don't understand why you're posing the question about me possibly thinking that the petition shouldn't have been started. I don't think that. And I never said it.

My interests lie in moving forward. Thus, if something new arises on the case, I will jump in. I will comment about points and issues going forward. Again, I see no point (as I've noted numerous times in comments past) in re-hashing points that have been covered for twenty plus years. My goal is to comment on what may create results. I don't think my comments above were either "bursting" or "furious". In fact I think they were quite heart felt, even agreeing with CL in one of them. Perhaps they were viewed as "furious" because I have backed off and not commented to such an extent in awhile.
Might I counsel you in backing off in accusations of my alleged bursting out in fury and your reaction to my comments a bit, please?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
OK, we've done some go-out-and-come-in-again before, we can do it again. I'll just observe, mildly, that Caustic Logic doesn't have a monopoly on sneering round here. And that in this thread, recently, he hasn't said anything to justify censure as far as I can see. So if you have a gripe with him, take it outside.
Got it. You chose to elaborate on the request that I made not to "sneer" (and by the way, he has not been so innocent in his recent posts - yet I have ignored him), and I explained. That's it. End of story. Good lord, can we move past this already?


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
OK, let's go out and come in again. I would far rather discuss the evidence than post sterile back-and- forth about whose online poll trumps some other online poll.

As I said, I'm not expecting this petition to achieve anything much on its own. These e-Petitions are just a device for the parliament to make the plebs think it's listening. This one is just another way to keep the profile up. The government and the opposition parties are absolutely adamant that Megrahi's appeal will never be heard, and that there will never be an inquiry, and it will take more than this to change their minds.
Rolfe the realist.
Well, I believe the poll was created by Robert Black's Justice for Megrahi Foundation....Group, or whatever it's called. Per your comment above, do you think he has, or is a "device for parliament?"

Hmmmm......

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Old 8th October 2010, 05:56 PM   #271
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Bunntamas, anyone can apply to the parliament to ask them to put up an e-Petition. It's a device the parliament has introduced to make it look as if it's listening to the proles. You make of it what you can. The Justice for Megrahi committee has decided to mount an e-Petition. They clearly think "every little helps" to keep the case in the public view.

However, the parliament, with a few individual exceptions, is absolutely adamant that it will not have that appeal heard, or give the relatives the independent inquiry they've been petitioning for since 1989. For whatever reason, I believe because they don't want to have the justice system look stupid, and they absolutely categorically don't want to re-open 270 murder cases.

So the committee can take a look at it and say, OK we looked, no way. And that's what will happen.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 06:04 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Bunntamas, anyone can apply to the parliament to ask them to put up an e-Petition. It's a device the parliament has introduced to make it look as if it's listening to the proles. You make of it what you can. The Justice for Megrahi committee has decided to mount an e-Petition. They clearly think "every little helps" to keep the case in the public view.

However, the parliament, with a few individual exceptions, is absolutely adamant that it will not have that appeal heard, or give the relatives the independent inquiry they've been petitioning for since 1989. For whatever reason, I believe because they don't want to have the justice system look stupid, and they absolutely categorically don't want to re-open 270 murder cases.

So the committee can take a look at it and say, OK we looked, no way. And that's what will happen.

Rolfe.
Sad.
I'm not familiar with Scots law. Here in the US democracy means that if enough people bitch loud enough, and long enough, and push our representatives hard enough, we can accomplish changes in our laws and actions by the people we've elected to lead our country. No offense, but I had no idea Scotland was such a dictatorship.

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Old 8th October 2010, 06:12 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Depression overcame me, and and recognized that I had spent many years on this. My father would want me to move on and have a life beyond dwelling on his death.

Now that's certainly true. I hope you do have a life, though. If this is depressing you, then obviously it's not good.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
That, and
A) Yes, I just don't have the time to debate with you all at the lengths and detail to which you requireand
B) it just wasn't worth it to re-hash all of the stuff that you all have already posted over many years, and still not come to any tangible results on your end.
Bottom line is, neither of us has hard evidence about re: Malta bag. Neither did the court. Combined evidence, however, in my opinion still speaks volumes. Maybe not to you, but to me and others, I believe they do.

No, nobody has any evidence at all about any Malta bag, and that's a fact. If the combined evidence speaks volumes to you, could you explain these volumes to the rest of us?

Did you read my post about Barry George? The combined evidence was supposed to have spoken volumes there too. He had previous convictions, he was a borderline stalker, he was obsessed with the military and guns, lots of other stuff. And there was that dreadful photograph, which looks quite appalling. All that was true, but he still didn't kill Jill Dando.

I think you're doing the same with Megrahi. I think you're focussing on the peripherals, some of which are true but some of which may not be, when what is lacking is a concrete connection to the actual crime. However, I'm open to be persuaded otherwise, if you will try to put your case.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Noting my above comments, My interests lie in moving forward. Thus, if something new arises on the case, I will jump in. I will comment about points and issues going forward. Again, I see no point (as I've noted numerous times in comments past) in re-hashing points that have been covered for twenty plus years. My goal is to comment on what may create results.

I don't envisage any progress, then. The discussion in this thread is regarding whether or not Megrahi was involved in bombing the plane. If you don't want to address any of the points I or others are making, then it's a bit futile.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
I don't think my comments above were either "bursting" or "furious". In fact I think they were quite heart felt, even agreeing with CL in one of them. Perhaps they were viewed as "furious" because I have backed off and not commented to such an extent in awhile.
Might I counsel you in backing off in accusations of my alleged bursting out in fury and your reaction to my comments a bit, please?

Oh dear, two nations divided by a common language. "Bursting" as in suddenly half a dozen posts after a week's silence, "furious" as in typing "fast and furious". That's all.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Got it. You chose to elaborate on the request that I made not to "sneer", and I explained. That's it. End of story. Good lord, can we move past this already?

Oh, please!

I commented earlier that I hoped that we appreciate where you're coming from and how you feel, and I also hoped that you understood now where we're coming from. We genuinely believe Megrahi has been a victim of a miscarriage of justice, and we're more than a little hacked off at the official blind eye that's being turned to the whole thing.

We're also deeply disturbed that the real terrorists have been able to get away with this atrocity for more than 20 years, because the politicians don't find it convenient to look at the truth.

Now I propose to respect your position, and I hope in return you will respect mine.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 06:17 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Sad.
I'm not familiar with Scots law. Here in the US democracy means that if enough people bitch loud enough, and long enough, and push our representatives hard enough, we can accomplish changes in our laws and actions by the people we've elected to lead our country. No offense, but I had no idea Scotland was such a dictatorship.

Mmm, I've read enough in the US Politics section to suspect it's not quite as easy....

But sure, in Westminster they will just give topics they don't want to address the body-swerve, and that's the end of it. Pressure groups have variable success depending on how well aligned their aims are with the aims of the party in power.

I had hoped it would be better, not necessarily in Holyrood, but with an SNP government. I'm deeply disappointed by the way they've handled the Megrahi case.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 06:19 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh dear, two nations divided by a common language. "Bursting" as in suddenly half a dozen posts after a week's silence, "furious" as in typing "fast and furious". That's all.
Okay. Language and all that. And yes, I do have a life. Sorry. I didn't realize you all were waiting with baited breath for my next comment "after a week's silence" Sigh.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, please!

We're also deeply disturbed that the real terrorists have been able to get away with this atrocity for more than 20 years, because the politicians don't find it convenient to look at the truth.

Now I propose to respect your position, and I hope in return you will respect mine.

Rolfe.
I deeply respect your opinion. It saddens me that your government will not listen to its people, and seemingly (and I may be wrong here, but) that the people may not be doing enough to make the government listen. And I thank you for respecting my opinion. But with comments like "oh please!" it's difficult to to maintain rapport. Again, sad.

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Old 8th October 2010, 06:27 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Mmm, I've read enough in the US Politics section to suspect it's not quite as easy....

But sure, in Westminster they will just give topics they don't want to address the body-swerve, and that's the end of it. Pressure groups have variable success depending on how well aligned their aims are with the aims of the party in power.

I had hoped it would be better, not necessarily in Holyrood, but with an SNP government. I'm deeply disappointed by the way they've handled the Megrahi case.

Rolfe.
Well, considering the fact that MacAskill and you have clearly stated that this is a Scottish matter, then I'm not sure how Westminster figures in. Unless of course there was that alleged deal. And of course the points you've made above about Megrahi being stifled by his government. Oh, what a wicked web.
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Old 8th October 2010, 06:33 PM   #277
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This is where I was going with the Malta baggage question. It's from a documentary that was aired in 1998, before the Zeist trial.

Originally Posted by Silence over Lockerbie
SHELLEY: Whatever the supergrass says though, Air Malta has a perfectly preserved set of records from flight KM180 which flew to Frankfurt on 21st December 1988. Tickets give details of who each passengers was and their final destination. Other documents show exactly how many bags were checked in and loaded on to the plane that day. The documents show no inconsistency.

WILFRED BORG (Operational Co-ordinator Air Malta): [snip explanation of the Malta system, and how their records were complete and available and supplied to the investigation.]

SHELLEY: But investigators preferred to rely on incomplete and inconclusive records from Frankfurt Airport. What these show that as an unaccompanied bag was loaded on to Pan Am 103A, around the same time luggage was unloaded from the Air Malta flight.

WILFRED BORG: What the Frankfurt records indicate, and again the word is 'indicate' is that at the time that the Air Malta flight was being off-loaded from …..in Frankfurt, a bag was coded in and stationed 206 I believe, and routed to go via…..to London on to Pan Am. Now apart from the problem that the Frankfurt documentation is inaccurate, and incomplete, there is no tangible evidence in there which positively identifies the bag as coming from Malta.

SHELLEY: That was a view shared by Lord Fraser, the former Lord Advocate, almost a year after the bombing. In a statement on 5th November 1989 he said: "The Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway has advised me that he cannot substantiate reports about unaccompanied baggage having gone from Malta to Frankfurt let alone unaccompanied luggage with a bomb in it."

That's a view still held by the former Head of British Airways Security who was employed by Air Malta to review security on flight KM180.

DENIS PHIPPS (Former Head of Security British Airways): It is my personal opinion that the bomb which destroyed Pan Am 103 did not originate from the airport at Malta.

SHELLEY: While it might have been expected that security at a small airport on a holiday island like Malta would not rival that of a large international airport like Frankfurt, Denis Phipps discovered that quite the opposite was true.

DENIS PHIPPS: At Luqa there was a complete set of records of what had occurred, and that from those records and from questioning the staff involved, that there had been a complete chain of supervision and care over the baggage from the point it was checked in to when it was loaded. Now if we try to follow the same trail at Frankfurt what was not available were records of who had been responsible for looking after those same bags once they arrived at Frankfurt, or indeed how many bags had arrived and been handled and where they'd gone and what happened to them. Did the bag containing the bomb go on during this period of time.

VINCENT CANNISTRARO: They have vindicated themselves on paper in terms of the security procedures, but if their security personnel are suborned by hostile intelligence service, and they are completely vulnerable to whatever that hostile service would want to put on their aircraft, with baggage tags, without baggage tags. Once you have basically infiltrated the security apparatus there is no barrier to doing exactly what Fhimah and Megrahi did.

SHELLEY: According to the US State Department fact sheet Fhimah played a key role in getting the bomb suitcase on KM180. It's claimed he used his official status as station manager for Libyan Arab Airlines at Luqa Airport to bypass security.

DENIS PHIPPS: I'm satisfied that the aircraft was kept under proper supervision by Air Malta staff while it was being loaded, that the head loaded supervised the closing of the doors and I do not believe that for one moment that the loading staff would have permitted such a thing to happen.

SHELLEY: Air Malta may very well produce screeds and screeds of documentation which proves on paper that no unaccompanied bag left on flight KM180, but if, as Vincent Cannistraro argues, the system was suborned then that argument really doesn't matter at the end of the day, does it?

MICHAEL MANSFIELD QC: Well it's an extraordinary argument that Cannistraro is putting forward. If on the one hand you show by documentation, by interviewing baggage handlers, which I understood happened here, by examining the person who was supervising the whole of the baggage handlers….you're able to show it's a watertight case, then they say 'oh, it could have been suborned'. If you on the other hand have no documentation, and you aren't able to show what cases went on….they say 'ah, ah, very suspicious, why haven't you got the documentation?', so it seems on the CIA approach to life, you can't win unless you've got a particular hypothesis which is theirs, namely the Libyans did it therefore everything else flows from it.

And I think one has to be extremely careful about this, because if essentially on that thesis it would mean that the documents in Malta have all had to have been forged, it would also mean that the chief supervisor obviously has been paid off and so on, and they have no evidence, it's all very well to say all this, what are they saying, that the head supervisor of Air Malta is in the Libyan pocket, is being paid, there's no evidence of this at all. These are accusations it seems to be without any foundation at all.

Essentially, Air Malta have done everything they can. They have a secure system for handling and checking luggage, and they keep records, and all these records were present and correct. Repeated, intensive investigation found nothing to put a dent in it.

In contrast, all the Frankfurt records disappeared within days of the disaster. Nothing was supplied to the investigation. Then a full eight months later, the Frankfurt police produced a tiny excerpt of the records they said had been retained privately. Although they said they'd had that since January, they didn't produce it until August.

This excerpt was much too restricted to allow the data to be properly interpreted. The suggestion of a possible bag from Malta was tenuous, at best. The absence of the full set of records meant that this could neither be confirmed nor denied.

The investigators chose to prefer this partial, unclear and frankly questionable record from Frankfurt to the full, clear and open records from Malta. Because Cannistraro has decided that the entire Malta staff has been suborned. As Mansfield says, it's extraordinary. There's nothing the Maltese staff can possibly say or do that will be believed.

Is it any wonder they made a collective decision to boycott Zeist?

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 06:35 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Okay. Language and all that. Sigh.

But with comments like "oh please!" it's difficult to to maintain rapport. Again, sad.

Here we go again! You said, can we move past this already? And I said, Oh, please! As in, please can we move past this already!

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 06:39 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Here we go again! You said, can we move past this already? And I said, Oh, please! As in, please can we move past this already!

Rofe.
Oh... Duhh.... Sorry. Thought you were commenting about me... my comments.... about comments.....blahhheerrrrbbbhhh....
Anyone got a good joke to lighten things up here?
How 'bout: "a guy walks into a bar in the late 80's with a bombeat radio....."
Sorry. Bad. Bunny. Sick Bunny. Bad, BAD Bunny.

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Old 8th October 2010, 06:42 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
It saddens me that your government will not listen to its people, and seemingly (and I may be wrong here, but) that the people may not be doing enough to make the government listen.

Well, the e-Petition is one thing to try. But the system isn't easy to work. Jim Swire seems to have worn himself down trying to get what he sees as justice. Of course, there are far fewer British victims to bear the load than there are US. I was going to say, for which we might be thankful, but that's not true. It doesn't matter which nationality you are, you're all victims.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Well, considering the fact that MacAskill and you have clearly stated that this is a Scottish matter, then I'm not sure how Westminster figures in. Unless of course there was that alleged deal. And of course the points you've made above about Megrahi being stifled by his government. Oh, what a wicked web.

I was commenting on UK politics. The Westminster parliament is a very difficult ship to turn, as I said. That was the parliament the UK victims' families fought to a standstill for ten years, and got nowhere. The first refusal of a full inquiry happened in 1989.

The Scottish parliament wasn't even inaugurated until 1999. The first two governments there were Labour, just like the Westminster government was. No chance of much change then. And they're all a bunch of tenth-rate town councillors anyway. Then the SNP got in in 2007. I genuinely hoped for better, and it has been better, but then when the Lockerbie business blew up again last year, they behaved just as badly as Labour had, and the Conservatives before them.

Sigh.

Rolfe.
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