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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 8th October 2010, 06:45 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
How 'bout: "a guy walks into a bar in the late 80's with a bombeat radio....."



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Old 8th October 2010, 06:53 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
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.
Seems to me, the Scottish people have also become victims in this mess.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
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.
Yes. No offense, but it still astounds me that after all of the wars from waaaayyy far back to Bannockburn , Robert the Bruce, and all of the other fights for sovereinty, Scottish devolution didn't happen until 1997-99. Astounding. And yet it still seems Scotland has a way to go in their devolution. Hopefully, the Scottish people will have a hand in it going forward. Hopefully. I sincerely wish you the same liberties we have. Americans do their fair share of griping about this country, and yet many don't have the wherewithal to begin to know how to stand up and be heard in our system. Honestly, I didn't really know how, until I became involved in this case. Thankfully, however, there is a way, and we can. And I for one, can say I, along with my fellow PA103 family members did, and will continue to do so. Again, I hope you some day can do the same.

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Old 8th October 2010, 07:07 PM   #283
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Well, let's not get into a Britain-versus-America political discussion. That way lies forum fights that never end.

Scotland was an independent country until 1601, when sadly the Scottish king inherited the English throne. He was thrilled with his new position, left immediately, and never returned to Scotland. The Scottish parliament was left in an impossible position, with the monarch of the country actively working for the opposition. The gory details of Darien are documented elsewhere, but the result was that in 1707, the Scots were forced to agree to an incorporating union.

The sociodynamics of this are frankly poisonous. Many people in Scotland have been persuaded that we're inherently stupid and incompetent and don't deserve to be a nation. We got the parliament back after nearly 300 years, but it's lacking in the powers it needs. Many people are trying very hard to keep it that way.

Most of the Megrahi affair in 2009-10 has been about this. Scottish opposition parties desperate to take any line they think will make the SNP look bad. Westminster governments both Labour and Conservative doing the same. They're happy to hang Scotland out to dry by bad-mouthing us to Obama, so long as it helps oppose Scottish independence. The parliament responsible for our foreign affairs is hell-bent on selling us down the river. Darien again, almost.

Yes, I wish my countrymen would get off their backsides and stand on their own feet, but there are too many people invested in keeping the "Scottish cringe" alive and well.

Just a bit of background, and we should let it drop. But the politics of this whole thing is poisonous no matter which jurisdiction you look at.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th October 2010, 07:08 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, let's not get into a Britain-versus-America political discussion. That way lies forum fights that never end.

Rolfe.
Got it. Signing off for tonight.
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Old 8th October 2010, 07:20 PM   #285
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Yeah, it's way past time for my beauty sleep.

Just one thing I wanted to say, to try to get back on track.

Did you know why the Malta baggage handlers didn't come to Zeist? Or not? What was your point in posting that passage from the transcript?

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Old 9th October 2010, 01:21 AM   #286
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never mind, not worth it.

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 9th October 2010 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 9th October 2010, 04:27 PM   #287
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Sigh. I know.

I had such high hopes for this conversation. I really want to gain an understanding of why the US relatives are so convincted that Megrahi is guilty. What are they seeing that I'm not? I was hoping for new insights and a different perspective.

It's entirely up to Bunntamas if she doesn't want to go into these issues of course. I had thought she did, and that this was why she had engaged with us elsewhere and joined the forum. I don't understand why it should be impossible to explain the evidence that underpins this view.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas
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.

Indeed, if you feel this is making you depressed, then it's not a good conversation to have.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas
A) Yes, I just don't have the time to debate with you all at the lengths and detail to which you require and

Fair enough. But even addressing one or two points would be good.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas
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.

This is where I take issue a little bit. Indeed, the evidence has been well-rehearsed. However, it seems that you fit the pieces of the jigsaw into an entirely different from the one we see. I was hoping for some insight into how you see it.

And what does "not come to any tangible results on your end" mean? It seems to me that it is we who have proposed the rational arguments and the plausible explanations for the evidence and events. Why do you reject that we have "tangible results"? If you merely insist that nothing short of the quashing of the conviction is a "result", then I'm not sure why we're having the conversation to be honest.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas
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.

And here we come back to it again. What is this combined evidence? I don't understand why it's so hard to provide even a summary of it.

You can't surely believe that that anonymous DIA cable extract, which even you realised was clearly fabricated, is evidence of anything. I'm completely struggling to understand how Megrahi's wife's behaviour or an anonymous woman on Facebook, are evidence of guilt. But we seem to be hearing more about that sort of thing than we are about evidence.

I'll just finish by asking my past question again. Why did you post the extract from the transcripts about the Malta baggage handlers boycotting the trial? What was the point you were trying to make? Were you not aware of the reason for the boycott?

Rolfe.
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Old 9th October 2010, 11:40 PM   #288
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This is how it works, I think.
---
No proof for a bomb bag from Malta = okay, since everything else stacks up.

The everything else stacks up like so:
- Yes there is evidence for another perpetrator and method that was concealed by investigators, but everything against Megrahi stacks up better anyway.
- Sure, Gauic's first description of the buyer doesn't match Megrahi, but everything else works nicely.
- His description of the date clearly doesn't match, but he must have remembered the day wrong, since everything else...
- He never identified Megrahi at all, but everything...
- Sure Giaka's one third of the original stack-up was ruled bogus, but the remaining two thirds...
- No direct evidence for any accomplice at the airport, but every...
- Huge question marks over forensic evidence like PK/689 and PT/35(b), but ev...
- No logic to setting the timer for 7:03, but ....
- In essence, there's no case, but everything else stacks up nicely against Megrahi.

No, best not to get into the details at all. Man convicted = for real guilty, and that's it.

As soon as the conviction is officially overturned and the rest of the world has accepted it was wrong, then is the time to discuss whether the man was wrongly convicted. Then it might seem possible. But until then, it's clearly just ineffectual crankism.

Like those Barry George didn't do it people, the O.J. Simpson did do it people, and all the other complainers. Courts do not make mistakes, they create reality. Get with it.
---
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Old 10th October 2010, 01:35 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Did you know why the Malta baggage handlers didn't come to Zeist? Or not?
What difference does it make?


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What was your point in posting that passage from the transcript?
Rolfe.
My point was that if the baggage handlers really believed they had nothing to do with it, and nothing to hide, then in my opinion, it would have behooved them to trial and testify about their lack of knowledge on the Luqa bag, regardless of what happened with the investigation prior. Initially they did agreee to come to Zeist, then they changed their minds. What made them change their minds? Was it the Maltese government? Yes, I recognize the latter is speculation, as is (I think) any reason following alleged harrassment during the investigation. Speaking of which, what evidence on tapping, harrassment, etc. do you have? And what evidence to you have that this is the reason they chose not to come to Zeist? I've read articles about Maltese (and Libyan) security tapping Maltese citizens and businesses long before Lockerbie. Articles, however are not evidence. What's yours re: the investigation and refusal to testify at Zeist?

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Old 10th October 2010, 03:19 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
What difference does it make?

I just wondered. You posted an excerpt from the transcript with no meaningful comment at all, so I wondered what point you were trying to make.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
My point was that if the baggage handlers really believed they had nothing to do with it, and nothing to hide, then in my opinion, it would have behooved them to trial and testify about their lack of knowledge on the Luqa bag, regardless of what happened with the investigation prior. Initially they did agreee to come to Zeist, then they changed their minds. What made them change their minds? Was it the Maltese government? Yes, I recognize the latter is speculation, as is (I think) any reason following alleged harrassment during the investigation. Speaking of which, what evidence on tapping, harrassment, etc. do you have? And what evidence to you have that this is the reason they chose not to come to Zeist? I've read articles about Maltese (and Libyan) security tapping Maltese citizens and businesses long before Lockerbie. Articles, however are not evidence. What's yours re: the investigation and refusal to testify at Zeist?

Oh, if articles aren't evidence, then I don't think many of us have a great deal of evidence about a lot of things. It's a long time since I read about the Zeist boycott, and I've read so much I can't immediately recall the source for that. I'll see if I can find it.

I have to say, though, that I find your conspiracy theory that the Maltese government masterminded the introduction of the bag at Luqa and intervened to prevent the baggage handlers giving evidence to be improbable in the extreme.

The baggage handlers had given evidence before, and had given statements. There appears to be no hole or inconsistency or suspicious area in this evidence. Why would they be unable to repeat the performance at Zeist?

Maybe in your opinion they should have shown up on demand. Maybe they should. However, since their evidence appeared to have been pre-judged to be lies, no matter what they said, I can see why some irritation might have set in. And possibly even some alarm, given what Cannistraro was saying about them having been "suborned by a hostile intelligence service".

People may have many reasons for behaving in particular ways. For looking at their shoes when scrutinised by a stranger in the Ladies' room. For only posting a fraction of their defence material on the internet. For signing or not signing a petition. For putting things on a Facebook page. Just because in your opinion they should have done something different, doesn't mean that your interpretation of their motives is the correct one.

If you would like to see a real demonstration of someone squirming and evading and actually falisfying evidence, take a look at the testimony of Thomas Hayes, trainee chiropodist, some time.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th October 2010, 04:02 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, if articles aren't evidence, then I don't think many of us have a great deal of evidence about a lot of things.
Exactly.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I have to say, though, that I find your conspiracy theory that the Maltese government masterminded the introduction of the bag at Luqa and intervened to prevent the baggage handlers giving evidence to be improbable in the extreme.
Okay. So what? You've come up with quite a lot of theories as well in postings past, and I've not jumped all over you for doing so, like you and others do to me. I've stated my opinions. So have you. I've said before that I'm not trying to create a CT. It's just my opinon.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why would they be unable to repeat the performance at Zeist?
Again...Exactly.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Just because in your opinion they should have done something different, doesn't mean that your interpretation of their motives is the correct one.
I never said it was. Again, just my opinion.
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Old 10th October 2010, 05:01 PM   #292
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Bunntamas, we have our opinions and suspicions as to why the Maltese staff didn't want to appear at Zeist, and you have yours. Fair enough.


What do you think of the incompetence at Frankfurt with the German authorities failing to secure the records of that airport, taking 9 months before they passed on the computer printout, and the breach of security at the Pan Am gate at Heathrow on the 21st that wasn't known about until 2001?
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Old 10th October 2010, 05:38 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Bunntamas, we have our opinions and suspicions as to why the Maltese staff didn't want to appear at Zeist, and you have yours. Fair enough.
Thank you.


Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
What do you think of the incompetence at Frankfurt with the German authorities failing to secure the records of that airport, taking 9 months before they passed on the computer printout, and the breach of security at the Pan Am gate at Heathrow on the 21st that wasn't known about until 2001?
Assuming you're asking for my opinion, and not a CT, my opinion is that I think that security and management at both Frankfurt and Heathrow were dreadful, and yes, incompetent. Pan Am had been cited on numerous occasions by the FAA prior to the Lockerbie bombing, but no follow-up, or ramifications e.g. fines, which would have actually had an impact, and possibly created more strict security and management. The fact that systems were set up to purge records in such a small amount of time stymies me. However, even though there were terrorist activities occurring throughout the world, the focus was more on hijackings, as opposed to blowing up a civilian airliner. Remember, this was the late 80's. Bomb detection / scanning and sniffer dogs were in their infancy. Hard and painful lessons had to be learned in order to get where we are today on airline / airport security and records.

That said, I'll bounce a question back to you, regarding Bogomira Erac. Regardless of how long it took, why do you think she would risk her job, reputation, and personal security (this was, after all a terrorist act) and finally come forward with the baggage printout?

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Old 10th October 2010, 05:53 PM   #294
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Quote:
and the breach of security at the Pan Am gate at Heathrow on the 21st that wasn't known about until 2001?
I assume you're referring to the padlock at Heathrow? I'm not sure why it didn't come up until 2001. I'm not sure it didn't come up prior, however, it was obviously not introduced at trial. However, it was introduced at the appeal, which of course failed.
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Old 10th October 2010, 11:06 PM   #295
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I just swore off this futile discussion, but I see some specifics discussed, and I think we can all agree that's a good thing. Not holding my breath or anything, but...

Buncrana and Bunntamas having an exchange. I suddenly wish my name was Buntata, I feel like such a potato head after the earlier insults. But if I may stick my potato head back in, Buncrana asked this:
Quote:
What do you think of the incompetence at Frankfurt with the German authorities failing to secure the records of that airport, taking 9 months before they passed on the computer printout, and the breach of security at the Pan Am gate at Heathrow on the 21st that wasn't known about until 2001?
To be fair, the further delay was 6.5 months, according to the police reports from 2 February. Total delay from the complete failure of the police to secure anything relevant, to Bogomira's fortuitous locker-paper, to the same in Scottish hands was almost exactly nine months.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Assuming you're asking for my opinion, and not a CT, my opinion is that I think that security and management at both Frankfurt and Heathrow were dreadful, and yes, incompetent. Pan Am had been cited on numerous occasions by the FAA prior to the Lockerbie bombing, but no follow-up, or ramifications e.g. fines, which would have actually had an impact, and possibly created more strict security and management. The fact that systems were set up to purge records in such a small amount of time stymies me. However, even though there were terrorist activities occurring throughout the world, the focus was more on hijackings, as opposed to blowing up a civilian airliner. Remember, this was the late 80's. Bomb detection / scanning and sniffer dogs were in their infancy. Hard and painful lessons had to be learned in order to get where we are today on airline / airport security and records.
I have to note that only explains the alleged failure on the airport end, not the police end. Why is it perfectly understandable that German authorities, the BundesKriminal Amt (BKA) failed to secure a copy for investigative purposes prior to it being deleted? News reports and common sense have them investigating at the airport by Christmas eve at the latest. And there's exactly one thing they should have been looking for - the data for what wen onto PA 103A. Perhaps, if possible, the whole data tape so they could compare and narrow things down between flights.

Did they really just walk away empty-handed? The airport deleted its files within how many days? Officially everyone agrees it was usually seven days (or so). Why is it summarily glossed over in most accounts as a minor hitch solved by the locker-paper? What was the official explanation and the official protest over this amazing lapse? If I believed that, I'd suspect the airport people of trying to cover up what they either saw or feared in the data. That would be criminal. Maybe they were compelled to get in on the Malta cover-up on Libya's behalf...

I've got my own thoughts and opinions on it, but I admit I've got more questions than answers here.

Quote:
That said, I'll bounce a question back to you, regarding Bogomira Erac. Regardless of how long it took, why do you think she would risk her job, reputation, and personal security (this was, after all a terrorist act) and finally come forward with the baggage printout?
I know that wasn't to me, but I presume you mean she'd face a risk of trouble for taking an unauthorized copy of official data? That's a point I hadn't considered. Officially, she was asked for anything relevant to the feeder flight, since police had gotten nothing and the system's live data had been blanked out and replaced. This was late January. She said all the paper files normally kept had been purged prematurely as well. The backup tape the system's designer swears was used either wasn't made or deleted, or something.

None of this is explained very well anywhere I've seen. It's just a simple narrative where - somehow - this one lucky copy with nothing to compare and verify it by became the sole and only evidence of an unaccompanied bag from Malta. It's like a Disney movie where the scrappy outcast becomes the unlikely hero. It's inspirational. It's got a human interest angle that was played up from day one. Bogomira Erac, poster girl for workplace dilligence.

Honestly, if you want my opinion and conspiracy theory, I think the thing is fake. I think she came forward and vouched for it because she was assured it was for the nation's and the world's best interests, and was offered millions, but not conviction-based and outside the rewards for justice thing. This wasn't insider evidence, it was her job, so the payment would be secret. Some secret channel of the State Dept. perhaps. I suspect it was tailor made to implicate KM 180 despite it having nothing to do with anything. And this in turn was to point at Megrahi, who had been pre-selected as the best lever to pin this whole thing on Libya.

Then all parties agreed to disappear the stuff that would contradict it, hence Frankfurt airport's missing computer records. It explains everything, and is only as unlikely as it actually is.

That sounds extreme to you I'm sure, but it's my interpretation. And really it all comes down to small point - why is that one scrap of paper the only evidence we have?
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Old 11th October 2010, 02:05 AM   #296
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In fact, going over it again, it's clear Bunntamas doesn't even really offer much about the airport itself, just failures of Pan Am. I think we agree their security at Heathrow was abysmal, and at Frankfurt. But they didn't run the central baggage data system that recorded all bag movements in the conveyor belt system. This was the unfortunately (in American English) abbreviated FAG.

Bunntamas, or anyone else: I'd be willing to hear any explanation for how police failed to get hold of that on their own within the month of December. Was it a police or an airport failure, and of what nature? All source I've read start right before Bogomira produces her copy, as if no one looked at all until late January. Maybe you've got something to fill that in?
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:11 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post

That said, I'll bounce a question back to you, regarding Bogomira Erac. Regardless of how long it took, why do you think she would risk her job, reputation, and personal security (this was, after all a terrorist act) and finally come forward with the baggage printout?


First, I don't really see it at all as a risk to her in terms of her employment - she was, by any rational interpretation, actually getting the German police out of a rather deep hole through their apparent failure to secure the records. I don't think she did something outwith her authority by taking the printout. It was however, not usual for this to be done, although on this occasion it was a god-send for the German's. If she hadn't saved that copy, we would have been left with no evidence that a bag had been introduced at Malta, and no evidence whatsoever to show any baggage movements at Frankfurt on the 21st, meaning there would be absolutely zilch for anyone to investigate and a prosecution well nigh impossible.


She didn't "finally come forward", on returning from her holiday over Christmas and New Year, she quite readily volunteered the printout to her manager who then passed it onto the BKA. It was the BKA who were reluctant to produce this document to the investigators. Mrs Erac handed her printout over in late January '89, and no one was made aware of the printout until the BKA suddenly produced it in Aug '89, nine months after 103 and eight months after they had obtained it. Why?


Second, surely any workers reputation would be enhanced by exhibiting such attentive and conscientious awareness in her employment, realising that 103 had been fed directly by 103A from Frankfurt, thus securing a record that no one else throughout Frankfurt's security personnel and the German police had even given a passing thought to.


Third, on taking the printout and it then being passed to the BKA, she would still have had no inclination of the impact and significance the printout would latterly have. It detailed baggage that was destined for 103A, but not whether the bag was accompanied or not. So, on her producing the printout for the BKA, she wouldn't have foresight that she actually had a document directly linked to a terror plot.


Remember, this was at a time when Frankfurt and the German police were on high alert (elevated to severe I think we would say these days) for precisely this kind of attack, due to the warnings issued against that airport and US flag carriers flying out and the arrest of the PLFP cell 8 weeks before.


Further, we know from testimony at Zeist by commissioner Hans Juergen Fuhl that the German police were actually awaiting a particular passenger returning to Frankfurt who had travelled on 103A to Heathrow, not joining 103, and was due to return on Christmas Day.


So here we have the German police at Frankfurt, aware of passengers who flew on 103A, to such an extent that they are anxious enough to interview this passenger four days after Lockerbie, waiting for him at the airport no-less, but at the same time we're to simply accept that no records of the airport were secured by these same officers or anyone else at Frankfurt?

Does that sound plausible to you?
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:12 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
I assume you're referring to the padlock at Heathrow? I'm not sure why it didn't come up until 2001. I'm not sure it didn't come up prior, however, it was obviously not introduced at trial. However, it was introduced at the appeal, which of course failed.

Well yes, it wasn't seen as evidential during the appeal because, as you rightly point out, it was readily accepted by everyone already that Heathrow's security was woeful at best, negligent and complicit at worst. Thus, the break-in, whether known about or not, was inconsequential to this.


Despite it's apparent triviality at the first appeal, does it not concern you that this fact which taken together with Mr Bedford's early statement to the UK police about the 2 unidentified suitcases he observed in the container that housed the explosion, one suitcase at least was described by him as brown/bronze samsonite suitcase? Because if the samsonite that Mr Bedford's saw didn't contain the bomb, as the judges asserted at Zeist, then what became of this suitcase?


Bunntamas, I'll level with you, I may not agree with them but I understand how your suspicions are formed about the Maltese staff, but surely you can also appreciate why we have well founded suspicions and cynicism around the systematic discrepancies and incompetence that are all to evident at Heathrow and Frankfurt?
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Old 11th October 2010, 05:34 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Okay. So what? You've come up with quite a lot of theories as well in postings past, and I've not jumped all over you for doing so, like you and others do to me. I've stated my opinions. So have you. I've said before that I'm not trying to create a CT. It's just my opinon.

I've tried to give my reasons for the theories and opinions I've posted. If my reasons are irrational, then by all means "jump all over them". That's what debate is all about. It's OK to trash a bad argument - I offer any of my arguments to you for suitable trashing.

I still haven't found the source for the reasons for the Maltese baggage handlers boycotting Zeist, but I'll keep looking. The people I've asked have confirmed that this is also their understanding of the reasons, though they haven't yet found a hard-copy reference. One person involved with the trial said "From my own recollection speaking to one of them the Crown went out of their way to piss them off and they felt they were being treated as suspects."

I hadn't heard the part about the Crown going out of its way to piss off the baggage handlers. I wonder why the prosecution didn't want them to give evidence, hmmmm?

It is quite obvious, however, that the baggage handlers were being treated as suspects, whichever way you slice it. If this was all an elaborate charade, I completely fail to see why they couldn't just show up at Zeist and continue with the party line. I do, however, find it entirely understandable that a group of people who have told the truth and been helpful to the enquiry should finally balk at the idea of showing up to a court hearing where they knew they were not going to be believed and were going to be accused of being commplicit in 270 murders.

Bunntamas, although you aren't creating it (Vincent Cannistraro has that honour), this is a CT. The prosecution don't have a shred of evidence to suggest that the baggage handlers were lying. They haven't produced the slightest suggestion of how the bomb might have been introduced. It's perfectly clear they're completely at sea on this, despite the exhaustive efforts to find something. They're nevertheless postulating a wide-ranging and complex plot which simply beggars belief. Yes, it's a conspiracy theory.

What is this compelling evidence that the bomb must have been smuggled on board KM180? Apparently, because Megrahi was catching his flight for Tripoli that morning. Honestly, that's it! And what is the compelling evidence that Megrahi must have been mixed up in the bombing? Because he was at the airport when the bomb was smuggled onto KM180!

It's self-referencing circular logic.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Assuming you're asking for my opinion, and not a CT, my opinion is that I think that security and management at both Frankfurt and Heathrow were dreadful, and yes, incompetent. Pan Am had been cited on numerous occasions by the FAA prior to the Lockerbie bombing, but no follow-up, or ramifications e.g. fines, which would have actually had an impact, and possibly created more strict security and management.

Pan Am has been widely criticised. The fact is, if the bomb went on board at Heathrow, they were just as cuplable as if it went through the Frankfurt interline system. The FAI decided (apparently on instructions) that Kurt Maier had missed the bomb on x-ray. However, if he didn't, then Kamboj missed it. There's no difference.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
The fact that systems were set up to purge records in such a small amount of time stymies me.

Bunntamas, they weren't. Even on the evidence produced at Zeist, the records stayed live in the system for a week. The BKA were well aware that a flight "originating at Frankfurt" had crashed in suspicious circumstances long before that. There are numerous contemparary press reports of the BKA investigating the incident in the first week.

And then again, what about the airport's own security staff? They also should have recognised the need to retain records. Dammit, even if the crash had been a tragic accident, there would have been a need to retain records to account for missing luggage that might have been on the plane - rush tag baggage and things like that.

Bogomira Erac, at Zeist, described the system. She makes reference to the possibility of backing up the daily files to floppy disc. She also refers to paper printouts that came routinely from the teletype machines, but were usually thrown away at the end of the day. Paper doesn't spontaneously combust in a waste basket though. And yet apparently nobody even looked through the bins.

The designer of the Frankfurt computer system, who wasn't called at Zeist, has said that tape backups were routinely taken to aid in the search for mis-routed luggage, and would be kept for much longer than a week. He has also said that the system wasn't purged as quickly as a week anyway (that could be the same statement twice.) He was due to give evidence to the second appeal.

And it wasn't just the computer records that were missing. The paper loading records for PA103A vanished from the file. The records of the unloading of KM180 also disappeared.

The Frankfurt police refused to co-operate with the investigation for the first eight months. They repeatedly rebuffed requests from the Scottish police for the relevant baggage records, saying they didn't exist, or had been destroyed. They continued taking that line even after they had Bogomira's printout.

Don't you think there's maybe just a wee bit of a suspicion that something was being covered up at Frankfurt? I would respectfully submit that the evidence for that is a lot more substantial than the evidence for anything untoward happening at Luqa.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
However, even though there were terrorist activities occurring throughout the world, the focus was more on hijackings, as opposed to blowing up a civilian airliner. Remember, this was the late 80's. Bomb detection / scanning and sniffer dogs were in their infancy. Hard and painful lessons had to be learned in order to get where we are today on airline / airport security and records.

I'm afraid you're wrong there. Even a cursory search will reveal many airline bombing incidents, including some carried out by Ahmed Jibril and his appalling associates. The ploy of smuggling bombs on as checked-in luggage then simply failing to board had worked too often, hence all the bag-counting and reconciliation procedures at Luqa, and the x-ray machines at the bigger airports. Tricking an innocent passenger into carrying a bomb was also well-tried.

The Helsinki warning was about precisely that. An innocent Finnish girl-friend was going to be carrying a bomb. The BKA themselves caught Khreesat, Dalkamoni et al. with these barometric devices, quite clearly intended specifically to blow up aircraft. As a result a specific warning was issued for operatives to look out for Toshiba radio-cassettes in luggage. Kurt Maier had that warning and said he was alert for such a thing. (Kamboj said he'd mever heard of it, and indeed the document was found to be still sitting in the Department of Transport waiting for a better photo.)

What wasn't anticipated in the 1980s was the suicide bomber. The mad islamist jihadist hadn't emerged. The terrorists were assumed to be interested in not actually dying. What changed in 2001 was that even passengers who actually boarded the plane had to be suspected of possibly intending to destroy it.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
That said, I'll bounce a question back to you, regarding Bogomira Erac. Regardless of how long it took, why do you think she would risk her job, reputation, and personal security (this was, after all a terrorist act) and finally come forward with the baggage printout?

Why would she be taking any risk at all? Her story seems perfectly straightforward, apart from the astounding lack of any description of an investigation in her department in the days before she went on holiday.

She first heard of the crash while driving home from work, and at that time she believed the plane was a direct Frankfurt to JFK flight, because that was how it was being reported. The next day, she says everybody was talking about it, but says nothing about any security investigation either that day or before she left for her regular New Year holiday in Slovenia (which was at that time behing the Iron Curtain, by the way - she had emigrated to the west in the 1960s but still went home every year).

In the evening, when her shift was quieter, she decided to run off a printout of PA103 (not identified by any A on her system) to see if she could see anything unusual. She saw nothing apart from wondering why there were so few suitcases (not realising at that point that it wasn't actually a transatlantic flight), but instead of binning the printout, she decided to keep it as a souvenir - her little connection to the Big News Story.

Her return from holiday (she seems to have been away for two weeks) seems to have coincided with some investigation at the airport. Michael Jones says, "I went to Frankfurt airport on the 23rd of January 1989 to look for the documents in relation to the preparation of Flight 103 from Frankfurt to London, in particular the cargo and baggage loading plan, who was responsible for loading the plane and what their duties were. But these documents were missing from the daily file." This is exactly the time Bogomira says she remembered her printout, and I wonder if it was Jones's presence that reminded her she had it, and/or caused her to realise it might be important as everything else had vanished.

So she told her supervisor, who seems to me to be taking the fact that all the records had vanished extraordinarily calmly, and he said, well, better give that to the police.

How was she risking job, reputation, whatever, in that narrative? In fact, she ended up getting undeserved praise, from commentators who report that she was "quick-thinking" and had delberately saved the record as evidence.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
I assume you're referring to the padlock at Heathrow? I'm not sure why it didn't come up until 2001. I'm not sure it didn't come up prior, however, it was obviously not introduced at trial. However, it was introduced at the appeal, which of course failed.

It didn't come up because it was deliberately concealed from the defence. It's that simple. That's why it wasn't introduced at the trial. The security guard who reported it at the time was baffled by why he'd never been interviewed or called as a witness at Zeist, and went to the authorities about it after the verdict was announced.

You know what? We know the first appeal failed. Did you think we were discussing all this in the belief that Megrahi has been a free man since 2002? I find it odd that you have to keep repeating this self-evident fact.

The reason for dismissing the evidence about the break-in is really clever. (Well, ignoring what Hans Kochler says about Raymond Manly being on some sort of medication that made him a poor witness.) The appeal judges said, but it was already acknowledged that Heathrow security leaked like a sieve. It was no part of the prosecution's case that it was impossible to smuggle a bomb into Heathrow airside. In fact, we know there were thousands of airside passes issued, and nobody knew where most of them were. Anybody could have walked right in there any time they'd wanted to. The trial judges knew that. So we really don't think that knowing there had been a break-in would have altered their decision. Why would the terrorists have wanted to cut a padlock at midnight anyway, when they could just have walked in with a pass?

You have to go to the best law schools to come up with that one.

Bunntamas, I hope this doesn't come over as snippy, I really don't mean it that way. I do want to discuss the evidence, and if you're willing to do that, and it's not making you depressed, then I hope you'll give some of what we've posted some serious thought.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th October 2010, 12:55 AM   #300
Caustic Logic
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Originally Posted by Rolfe
One person involved with the trial said "From my own recollection speaking to one of them the Crown went out of their way to piss them off and they felt they were being treated as suspects."
Interesting. Obviously multiple sources, primary and otherwise, eventually ... but this makes sense. Just instinctively I wonder if the answer why they didn't show up was, ultimately, the crown didn't want them there. Live sworn testimony, perhaps renewed conviction and quintuple-checked facts, would have added some luster off the Air Malta end of things. Keeping that out, relying on stale records of past statements, etc. might help the Crown, as these people would be testifying against that staler yet printout from the locker.

Secondly, the effect of refusing to show up can, it's now proven, be seen as suspicious. I can't imagine the prosecution really believed the judges would be swayed much by that, but it might be worth a try as a bonus. And it has proven useful after the fact in the popular motifs of this epic cognitive dissonance.

Intentionally provoking just such behavior could explain why the Maltese wound up shooting themselves in the foot here - but considering how the Germans seemed to acquiesce to London's insistence on not hosting the bomb intro, how Libya has moved against the defendants' interests, and so on, it's also possible someone in Malta helped convince the baggage people they were too powerful, and it was best for them to sit it out. The people at the top would know this case just had to go forward, and people falling on their swords shouldn't be surprising.

I suppose that's a little out there, but FWIW.
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Old 12th October 2010, 03:26 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
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. [....]

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'm a bit hazy about what Bunntamas finds "very sad". One moment she seems to be pouring scorn on efforts to advance the case for a review of the Zeist proceedings, but the next she seems to be accusing those who believe in Megrahi's innocence of not doing enough. I'm also a bit embarrassed that I'm not really aware of what she and her fellow family members did, with their countless letters and lobbying the UN.

I know the UK families have been lobbying hard for a public inquiry into the disaster since 1989, and have been slapped down by government after government, on various pretexts and excuses. The beginning was of course when Paul Channon promised a full public inquiry in March of 1989, only to be choked off by Margaret Thatcher after she had that infamous phone conversation with George Bush.

I know that none of the families, UK or US, had any role in promoting the actual investigation, or the identification and indictments of the Libyan suspects. That was all down to the CIA, the FBI and the D&G, and they didn't need any encouragement.

I've heard a little bit about the negotiations to get the trial at Zeist, and by all accounts Robert Black and Nelson Mandela feature quite prominently. Jim Swire was also involved, making a trip to Libya to lobby Gadaffi personally on the matter. I haven't come across any accounts of US families' involvement at this stage.

I had the vague impression that the US families' involvement was related to influencing the US government to prevent US firms from doing business in Libya. However, I can't find any definite reference to this online.

Googling "Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act" with appropriate keywords brings up a number of relevant documents, of which this is possibly the most useful.

Originally Posted by Anthony J Seebok
Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2002
Last month, it was revealed that the Libyan government has been negotiating with lawyers representing a large proportion of the families who are suing Libya for the deaths of their loved ones on Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. [....]

In 1994, attorneys attempted for the first time to sue Libya for its alleged fault in connection with Pan Am Flight 103. However, the suit was dismissed. At the time, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) protected a foreign government from suit in the United States except under very limited circumstances. These limited circumstances - which were restricted to certain commercial contexts, or instances in which the foreign government had consented to be sued - were held not to apply.
Then, in 1996, Congress amended the FSIA to allow tort suits in American courts against nations whom the government had determined were "state sponsors of terrorism." That included Libya. So that same year, Lee Kreindler, one of America's preeminent aviation disaster personal injury lawyers, filed a suit on behalf of 117 families of the 270 bombing victims, against defendants including Libya [....]

The suit sought $20 million per victim's estate for wrongful death, $1 million per victim for pain and suffering, and $2 billion per defendant in punitive damages. Libya made a few attempts to have the suit dismissed, challenging the constitutionality of the '96 amendment to the FSIA, but they were turned back by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which held that Kreindler's suit could go forward. [....]

According to published reports, Libya has offered to pay $10 million per victim. In exchange, Libya wants three things. First, all the families must drop their suits. Second, the United Nations must drop its sanctions against Libya. Third, the U.S. must drop its sanctions against Libya, and remove Libya from the list of nations that sponsor terrorism. [....]

Oddly Libya's behavior reflects typical settlement practice in the United States. A standard feature of every settlement is that the defendant does not concede fault. Indeed, the right to disclaim fault is why one agrees to a settlement-that, as well as avoiding the uncertainty of a trial verdict, is why defendants pay good money to settle.

Thus, settlements in even the most controversial, heated tort suits contain language saying the defendant does not admit fault. [....]

Understandably, however, many of the Lockerbie families have said that unless Libya accepts responsibility for the murder of their loved ones, they do not want the money. This puts the families and the U.S. State Department on the same side of the sanctions question. All the U.S. and the U.N. wanted from the beginning was for Libya to accept responsibility. That is all many of the families want, too - or at least, for them it is a necessity. [....]

Further relevant links include
http://writ.corporate.findlaw.com/sebok/20030908.html
http://foreignaffairslaw.wordpress.c...eign-immunity/
http://www.uniset.ca/other/cs5/886FSupp306.html
http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticle...=1208169994101
http://www.diplomaticourier.org/kmit...php?newsid=174

So the effort, as far as I can tell, appears to have been directed at forcing Libya to accept responsibility for the bombing. Fine, if Libya really was responsible. However, getting Libya over a legal barrel so that the country had no real choice but to accept reponsibility, then making a great point of the significance of them accepting reponsibility, again seems a bit circular.

I only say this because Bunntamas brought it up herself. I don't know how much the legal fees would have been if the families had lost. However, dependants of the Lockerbie victims received about $2 million apiece from the Pan Am damages suit in 1993 (at least, I know that's what the Flannigan children got).

I'm just trying to understand this, but at the moment I'm not really clear how the actions of the US families are comparable to the present campaigns, in that they were aimed at extracting an admission of responsibility from Libya, and in that respect I suspect they were probably pushing at an open door, politically.

Trying to get the politicians to investigate the possibility that they were wrong all along is a bit trickier, I suspect.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th October 2010, 05:50 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Honestly, if you want my opinion and conspiracy theory, I think the thing is fake. I think she came forward and vouched for it because she was assured it was for the nation's and the world's best interests, and was offered millions, but not conviction-based and outside the rewards for justice thing. This wasn't insider evidence, it was her job, so the payment would be secret. Some secret channel of the State Dept. perhaps. I suspect it was tailor made to implicate KM 180 despite it having nothing to do with anything. And this in turn was to point at Megrahi, who had been pre-selected as the best lever to pin this whole thing on Libya.

Then all parties agreed to disappear the stuff that would contradict it, hence Frankfurt airport's missing computer records. It explains everything, and is only as unlikely as it actually is.

Mmm, Earth to Caustic Logic, you're getting quite a way ahead of yourself, I think.

I'm completely conflicted about that bloody printout. It's perfectly easy simply to dismiss it as a coding anomaly, and if we knew for definite fact that it's genuine and untampered-with, then obviously the evidence supports it being a coding anomaly. (By this I mean that a baggage handler with one or a few stray bags needing coded just shoved them in with the KM180 batch rather than take the trouble to have them coded separately. It's been pointed out very clearly that this could have been a pretty regular occurrence at Frankfurt, and so long as the bags were coded for the correct ongoing flight, the deviation from SOP wouldn't be discovered by management.)

If we had the complete set of records, we could test this theory. But we haven't, because they vanished. So we can't. We're left supposing. But to take that supposing and claim that tray B8849 must have been an unaccompanied bag carried on KM180, beyond reasonable doubt, is beyond ridiculous.

So, a coding anomaly, and maybe there were two or three on every flight (there certainly seem to have been two relating to PA103A, with the other one pointing to Warsaw). It's the sheer convenient coincidence of it that makes me wonder.

However, having read all Bogomira's evidence, and seen her being interviewed on TV, I can't dent it. She comes over completely genuine. The story is plausible and internally consistent. Maybe she really has missed her vocation on the stage, but she doesn't look like a shifty liar to me.

The other point in her favour is that she didn't go to the police directly, she went to her supervisor Kurt Berg, who took it to the police. So we'd have to postulate both Erac and Berg being in on any conspiracy to give provenance to the printout. (I would just say that from Bogomira's account, Kurt Berg is remarkably unconcerned about the missing records. He himself didn't give evidence.)

It seems to me that a more plausible CT about this might be that Bogomira's story is entirely true, but that tray B8849 didn't trace back to station 206 at 13.07 in the original. The printout shows no sign of tampering and looks entirely genuine. However, I can't see that it would be difficult for an organisation with the right resources simply to re-create the printout from scratch, exactly as it was but with that one crucial alteration. As Bogomira seems not to have kept a photocopy, there would have been little or no risk of detection.

This might explain the six-month delay in coming forward with the printout. On first examination in January/February it showed nothing of interest, so it was ignored. However, as pressure mounted on Frankfurt during the spring, with Aviv snooping around and finding out about the controlled drug deliveries, and Heathrow stonewalling all attempts to push the responsibility back there, the idea of pushing responsibility in the other direction may have occurred. If the bomb had come through the interline system, then it would have been PanAm/Alert's responsibility to have caught it, not Frankfurt airport's.

But how to do that, with all the records ostensibly destroyed? Well, how about that printout that busybody IT woman saved? That can be produced in isolation as her own little trophy, without having to admit to anything as regards the official records. It just needs a little tweak....

But why Malta, at that stage? The D&G constabulary had already visited Malta in connection with the Babygro in the spring of 1989, and it was probably well known in the inquiry that that item had a label reading "Made in Malta". Sounds good, Malta's a dodgy place, quite a plausible idea.

However, there's a problem with that scenario too. Wilfrid Borg has testified on more than one occasion that his attention was first drawn to KM180 by a request from the BKA for any files it had on flights feeding in to Frankfurt on 21st December. And that he received that request in February 1989. This sounds very much like the BKA following up the apparent provenance of tray B8849 pretty much as soon as they figured out the printout.

It's possible this enquiry was simply part of a routine survey of all airports with flights feeding in to Frankfurt that day, rather than being specifically triggered by B8849, but that's speculation. (We don't know what follow-up was done as regards the other unaccompanied bag/coding anomaly on the printout, which seemed to have come from Warsaw. The entire thrust of the evidence is, never mind Warsaw, Megrahi wasn't in Warsaw!)

Nevertheless, even if the enquiry was simply routine, Borg testifies that he handed over copies of the documentation to the BKA in February, so they must have known as early as then that there was no substance to the theory that the bomb came from Malta. So why did they decide to go for it in August?

Caustic Logic speculates that Megrahi's presence at Luqa was already known about, and that the intent to frame him was present even then. Buncrana has also opined that Megrahi must have pinged the radar of the security services with all his globe-trotting (plus Giaka having named him as a JSO operative in December 1988), so surely they had him under surveillance? However, it seems to me the evidence is against the inquiry knowing about "Abdusamad" at that stage. I think that came later. I think Malta was of interest because of the clothes, which seemed to corroborate the KM180 provenance of B8849 (whether a genuine coincidental coding anomaly, or an interpolation), and because Malta was the sort of place where any sort of questionable activity might well appear plausible.

I admit I'd like to know this for sure though. It appears that interest only lighted on "Abdusamad" in late 1990. Given the sort of place Malta was in 1988, it's actually not at all unlikely that someone connected with the JSO might have been boarding LN147 just about any morning you care to mention, once you start looking. And that it was simply Megrahi's rotten luck it happened to be him on 21st December 1988. However, if the investigation actually was aware of him being at Luqa that morning in early-to-mid 1989, that does put a whole different complexion on things.

So these are my thoughts on Bogomira and her printout and what was made of it. It's perfectly possible that B8849 was just a coding anomaly that happened to point to KM180, which was coincidentally from the island where the clothes were purchased, and it all snowballed from there. At first, in the light of the deeply tenuous nature of the inference that the tray really did represent a bag from Malta and the documentary evidence from Malta that there was no unaccompanied bag on the plane, the printout was dismissed. However, as the investigation progressed it was decided to press the connection regardless of plausibility, because it fitted several other agendas. Principally the agenda of not landing either Heathrow airport or Frankfurt airport with the mother of all lawsuits.

Rolfe.
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Old 12th October 2010, 08:55 AM   #303
Buncrana
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Allow me to consider if I were in the shoes of one of the Maltese staff, how would I feel about being called to Zeist given the manner that the investigation had taken?

We [Air Malta/Luqa] have shown to have been meticulous in our airport baggage procedures. We have supplied and produced all relevant documentation requested, as it was requested by the investigators. All the evidence produced categorically states that no unaccompanied baggage was aboard KM180 on the morning of 21st December.

While we have given consent to a full investigation of all Luqa's procedures, supplying statements from staff and presented full complementary records, we are satisfied that no unaccompanied luggage was carried, and the evidence and investigation itself supports this contention and the baggage security procedures that were followed. Indeed, various reports submitted from several security agencies involved in the investigation, including the FBI, have concluded that there is "no evidence of an unaccompanied bag from Malta."

However, despite the painstaking efforts made by all those at Luqa and Air Malta, and the relentless, at times unwarranted, methods employed by the Lockerbie investigation, we stand accused of forming an integral part of this atrocity, formed on baseless conjecture and prejudices. This is all the more contemptuous given the obstruction and duplicitous methods all too evident at the other airports said to have been subsequently en route for this unaccompanied bag. In the same FBI report it concluded that records from Frankfurt were "incomplete".

Still, we, the Maltese staff remain stood accused of, by incompetence or by complicity, facilitating the introduction of the unaccompanied bomb suitcase, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Arbitrary and conclusive guilt has been apportioned with no evidence produced, or method formed showing as to how this could have been instigated, and now seemingly nothing would, or could, dissuade or convince the investigation otherwise.

Speculation and prejudice has been substituted for evidence and justice. No matter how strenuously I can support my innocence against the accusations made since 1989, it is a futile exercise where apparently the bias of guilt has been pre-determined.

Well, really, what would be the point?
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Old 12th October 2010, 04:35 PM   #304
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I'm just completely heart-sorry for Bunntamas.

I don't know if she has allowed herself to think, seriously, whether it's possible Megrahi might not have carried out the bombing. But it must be a very very difficult thing to contemplate at all.

Here we are, with nothing invested one way or another in the outcome of the debate. If someone produced some absolutely unassailable lost CCTV footage, or maybe a time machine, and showed Megrahi putting the bomb on the plane after all, what would it be to me? Well, bugger me, I was wrong. Won't be the first time. Well, hooray, really. Camp Zeist wasn't a show trial at all. The Scottish criminal justice system was sound all along. We don't run kangaroo courts. Hallelujah!

But Bunntamas has invested an enormous amount of time and emotional energy over the past 20 years, on the basis that Megrahi murdered her father. She is a member of a close-knit social group, bound together by mutual tragedy, which relies on the fact of that guilt as its very raison d'etre.

If she's reading what we're typing, and following the reasoning, no wonder she gets upset. No wonder she feels depressed and in "a very dark place". It's horrible. I don''t know what it would be like.

I think it's wonderful that she's been prepared to enter the debate at all. I argue against her, yes, and even do it critically, but all the time my heart goes out to her because I can see the pain she's in. I hope she keeps reading and keeps debating, but I don't think we should underestimate the size of the stakes here.

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Old 12th October 2010, 06:16 PM   #305
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Thanks Rolfe. I'm out for a bit. See PM.
~B
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Old 13th October 2010, 02:50 AM   #306
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Allright then, if we can get on with the discussion: Did Abdelbaset al-Megrahi blow up Pan Am 103? Almost certainly not, as all who will openly confront the evidence saying so have long ago decided.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Mmm, Earth to Caustic Logic, you're getting quite a way ahead of yourself, I think.
Well, of course. We just seemed to be in a zone of offering opinions and beliefs without explaining everything behind them, so that's mine.

Sorry I didn't read your whole post carefully, but it seems you admit the coincidence of such an anomaly pointing right to Megrahi is a bit steep. I agree it's not insurmountable, but that's a real catch point for me. Too many coincidences, and I'm only trying to have more tolerance for them.

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... having read all Bogomira's evidence, and seen her being interviewed on TV, I can't dent it. She comes over completely genuine. The story is plausible and internally consistent. Maybe she really has missed her vocation on the stage, but she doesn't look like a shifty liar to me.
I'm not so sure. I don't see any obvious signs, not that I'm sure what they'd be even. But the story is weird, and her explanation, while more consistent than I first thought, doesn't undo that enough for me.

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The other point in her favour is that she didn't go to the police directly, she went to her supervisor Kurt Berg, who took it to the police. So we'd have to postulate both Erac and Berg being in on any conspiracy to give provenance to the printout. (I would just say that from Bogomira's account, Kurt Berg is remarkably unconcerned about the missing records. He himself didn't give evidence.)
It might be possible to argue around that, but most likely you're correct. If so, I'd suspect the more elusive Mr. Berg of leading the thing, with Bogomira the face for it. But again, this is just gut instinct stuff.

She might even be totally honest while the paper isn't - it was faked out with a new addition after she turned it in. I think Ediie suggested that she might be a cognate of the Horton story - an innocent piece of paper turned over in good faith, later swapped out to implicate Libya. That's got a plausible ring to it as well.

Looks like you've got the same idea.

Quote:
... tray B8849 didn't trace back to station 206 at 13.07 in the original.
If nothing else, just manually re-typed on a computer with the same printer and paper. It's a CT, but a promising one.

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This might explain the six-month delay in coming forward with the printout. On first examination in January/February it showed nothing of interest, so it was ignored.
Good twist I hadn't thought of. Hoever, passive ignorance of crucial evidence - especially showing nothing untoward on the Frankfurt end, would have to have some explanation. Why wouldn't they show it to the Scots as soon as they had it?

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However, there's a problem with that scenario too.
Gaa!

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Wilfrid Borg has testified on more than one occasion that his attention was first drawn to KM180 by a request from the BKA for any files it had on flights feeding in to Frankfurt on 21st December. And that he received that request in February 1989. This sounds very much like the BKA following up the apparent provenance of tray B8849 pretty much as soon as they figured out the printout.
Yes, that's right. So we're back to, most likely, the data being there at about the time it was said to exist. Either a quick alteration, or it was fake as it was handed in, or it was clean and showed a coding anomaly or other misleading clue, or the Cannistraro/Dugganista CT about Malta being "suborned" by Libya is correct.

Unless...

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It's possible this enquiry was simply part of a routine survey of all airports with flights feeding in to Frankfurt that day...
I don't recall just what Mr. Borg said, but it didn't rule that out, did it?

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Nevertheless, even if the enquiry was simply routine, Borg testifies that he handed over copies of the documentation to the BKA in February, so they must have known as early as then that there was no substance to the theory that the bomb came from Malta. So why did they decide to go for it in August?
Total speculation - someone who knew someone had secured, on the Scottish end I'd guess - a Maltese lead. This guy runs a shop there, trustworthy guy, who's got this idiot savant son who can memorize lists of clothing... learned in, say, July.

Quote:
However, it seems to me the evidence is against the inquiry knowing about "Abdusamad" at that stage. I think that came later. I think Malta was of interest because of the clothes, which seemed to corroborate the KM180 provenance of B8849 (whether a genuine coincidental coding anomaly, or an interpolation), and because Malta was the sort of place where any sort of questionable activity might well appear plausible.
But one problem - plausible and supported by evidence are two different things. In a nation of 400,00 (today), how many things would there be to find to fill in whatever blanks are left? Seems perhaps painting oneself into a tight corner, unless they knew what they were going to anchor onto, and knew it was there. Then the specificity helps. Malta? What on Earth could that tiny choke pint for Libya's access to Europe ... oh!

And again, there's a good chance the paper was made up TO point at Malta, and a good chance it's a coincidence that it seems to. If the latter, than the clothes pointing there too is quite a coincidence, given what a ripe target wound up being there at just the right time. If both are coincidental, that would be, I think, too steep for me. Without good reason, I feel one of these was made to support the other, at the very least. Dates as we know can be fuzzy, as to what REALLY came before what.

My gut instinct again says it was all to point there, even Abu Talb being drawn into it, and it was all to suggest Megrahi. But I've got insufficient reason to set that in stone or anything.
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Old 13th October 2010, 03:28 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm just completely heart-sorry for Bunntamas.

I don't know if she has allowed herself to think, seriously, whether it's possible Megrahi might not have carried out the bombing. But it must be a very very difficult thing to contemplate at all.
Well, she sure makes it look easy. I agree that it would only naturally be very hard to change one's mind on such a matter, enough that I never expected to see it happen, at least not without some serious adjustment. It's not the kind of thing you see happen at a discussion forum.

But we are a discussion forum community, and I've been getting tired of two things - trying to consider how or if Bunntamas will read this or that, and talking about Bunntamas. Family member of the victims, pandered to and fretted over enough already, not my concern. They can catch up when and if they're ever ready.

Dr. Swire is the same in a way but obviously different in a way. I support what he's doing, only in part because he represents the underdog side, who almost always get my respect at least just for that. But beyond that, he doesn't need my devotion or deification. I've gotten gotten people (we know or can guess who) pissed at me before for calling him a loon. "Loveable loon," actually, and I could also preface it with courageous, brilliant, determined, and essentially correct, in general. But loon is a good word to follow them with. From the bit I know I think he's a little right-brained, impractical, new-agey, and so on, and FWIW as Bunntamas points out, he did take the money, which is not the ubder-noble (or independently wealthy?) gesture of a Martin Cadman. I didn't mean to come across as idolatrous over Swire above, just highlighting what I think is a telling attitude in our "discussion" partner.

I tend to try and identify with and understand people, and generally like them. I've got no real animosity, even for the people I feel are lying through their teeth about this mass murder. When you sense duplicity and cynicism and conspiracy as widely as I do (rightly or wrongly), you get zen and try to understand they probably think they're doing good, in some convoluted way. Humans are mostly good by individual nature, I think in my sheltered little life.

Now, collectively...

Bunntamas I appreciate as a person that's been put into what I consider a very confusing and paradoxical, and of course a deeply sad, spot that I'd rather not be in. Understandably, she's having a difficult time with the twist we've tried to add to that, and jeebus, I don't blame her. Nor for inevitably getting ticked off at the patronizing tone of me "playing all likeable" or anyone saying "aww, she's just having a hard time."

But nonetheless that is what I think is going on. And I don't advocate people blowing themselves up trying to do the near-impossible, so almost anything else for a while might be a good idea. And I advocate the same for me (or us?) - take a break from this particular cross-purposes discussion-ish thing.

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Old 7th March 2011, 09:23 PM   #308
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Interesting how all the bluster from the CTs has died down and become so quiet, considering all of the recent events in Libya.

Oh, the lost years on end that CTs have spent on the alleged "innocence" of Megrahi and the Libyan henchmen, who not only brutally murdered 270 victims on PA103, as well as at the LaBelle Discotheque and more terrorist acts committed by Libyans (and their cohorts from other countries, who trained the Libyans), and the continued to murders of innocent Libyans fighting for their freeedom from the likes of Megrahi's (previously) aligned tribes, including the most dearly held - Gaddaffi's.

The silence is almost as deafening as my laughter - and the thin line between that and the multitude of tears and blood shed because of this man, Megrahi, and his ruler, fellow tribesman for whom Megrahi kept silent until the end, when he could stand it no more, and threatened to tell all. Oh the irony.

Where is Megrahi now? Hmmmm.... do tell CTs with all of your intellect and walls of text claiming to be evidence. Do tell where Megrahi is hiding. Perhaps in the walls of Gaddaffi's fortress? Wait, no tent? No oxygen? Gaddaffi's body guards / nurses standing by? I bet they are, just ready for the right moment to "protect" their beloved, hero, Megrahi, and give him just the right "medicine" to keep him from telling all about his fellow tribesmen and "leaders".

I'm quite sure they'll lead him to where they want him to be. Just as they have, all along.

~B.

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Old 8th March 2011, 03:18 AM   #309
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Well, of course if you dredge up a thread nobody has posted in for months, it looks as if the discussion has died down. Except, the most recent posts were of course in different threads.

Bumping an old one is one way of commenting while avoiding any engagement with the current discussion though.

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Old 8th March 2011, 09:20 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Interesting how all the bluster from the CTs has died down and become so quiet, considering all of the recent events in Libya.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I have mostly stopped posting about Lockerbie because there is little else to say.

Follow through the threads here and you discover that there is no evidence that Megrahi did *anything* towards the bombing on PA-103.

Not only that but some evidence used at the trial was extremely suspect, and the trial was given expert witness testimony about it by non-experts with prior records of miscarriages of justice.

Quote:
Oh, the lost years on end that CTs have spent on the alleged "innocence" of Megrahi and the Libyan henchmen,
Henchmen? which henchmen??

Quote:
who not only brutally murdered 270 victims on PA103, as well as at the LaBelle Discotheque and more terrorist acts committed by Libyans (and their cohorts from other countries, who trained the Libyans)
This is a sceptic forum and discussion here revolves around evidence for the most part.

There is no evidence Megrahi is guilty. There is very little evidence we can look at now that we haven't discussed in detail already. Ergo there is little discussion here now.

Short of new evidence coming to light, as a result of the recent political events in Libya, or otherwise, that points to the real perpetrators, there isn't a lot else to say.
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Old 8th March 2011, 09:23 AM   #311
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Well, we could speculate about the cover-up and who actually did the deed, but that wouldn't really be appropriate for this thread.

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Old 8th March 2011, 08:01 PM   #312
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Deleted.

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Old 8th March 2011, 08:19 PM   #313
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Ambrosia, my dear, this forum is a Conspiracy Theory forum. Conspiracy theories are NOT evidence.

Henchmen??? Henchmen??? YES. Henchmen. Suggest you do some homework. Crawl out from under the JREF rock, Rolfe's walls of text and the FEW others who defend Megrahi, and look up – Sennusi – Gaddaffi’s brother-in-law and Megrahi’s former boss, Gaddaffi himself (Megrahi's close clansman), Swissy, JFM co-founder (if you don’t know who/what that is, I’m not surprised), Musa Kusa, The Iranians, who paid for the bombing, the Palestinians who tried to do it, but got caught in the Autumn Leaves sting operation in Germany, so they tossed the hot potato to the Libyans and trained the Libyans on how to do it. THOSE HENCHMAN.

But ya never know what those other Libyans, who have kept quiet for 40+ years and whose blood is now being shed in Libya may reveal. Particularly after they have been living for so long in poverty, and Megrahi is not dying in a hospital, but reaping the rewards for being a terrorist, from his terrorist henchmen

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1226017538437

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Old 9th March 2011, 12:26 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Ambrosia, my dear, this forum is a Conspiracy Theory forum. Conspiracy theories are NOT evidence.
This is the Conspiracy Theory sub-forum on the JREF forums. It's a collection of web forums in which the majority of participants are sceptics and people are encouraged to think critically and scientifically.

Most Conspiracy Theories, are in fact bunk. This forum takes great delight in shooting down in flames any posts that are not backed up with evidence, especially in this sub-forum.

There remains no evidence of Megrahis guilt. None, zero. If there was evidence that Megrahi was guilty there'd be a lot more posts on this topic pointing to that evidence and laying out the reasons why Megrahi is guilty.

The fact that there are few posters to any Lockerbie threads here in a well suscribed section of this web forum with very vocal particpants for the most part speaks volumes.

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Henchmen??? Henchmen??? YES. Henchmen. Suggest you do some homework. Crawl out from under the JREF rock
Read through these threads Bunntamas. I've done the homework.

Quote:
look up – Sennusi – Gaddaffi’s brother-in-law and Megrahi’s former boss, Gaddaffi himself (Megrahi's close clansman), Swissy, JFM co-founder (if you don’t know who/what that is, I’m not surprised), Musa Kusa, The Iranians, who paid for the bombing, the Palestinians who tried to do it, but got caught in the Autumn Leaves sting operation in Germany, so they tossed the hot potato to the Libyans and trained the Libyans on how to do it. THOSE HENCHMAN.
There are bad people in the world, some of those bad people are Libyan. If you have any evidence to bring up regarding Lockerbie and the other people you mention here then lets hear it.

You do have some facts wrong re: Autumn Leaves, you might want to do some homework there. That raid was 2 months prior to the bombing. Apart from anything else it's highly unlikely that there was enough time to retrain new people to carry out the actual bombing, there was also no need seeing as the people that were picked up as part of that raid were promptly released very soon after it for reasons we will probably never know. Read up on Khreesat and his links to Jordanian Intelligence.

At the time all this was happening "the Palestinians" i.e. the PFLP-GC cell under the command of Jibril was based in Libya they are "the Libyans" you are talking about.

Quote:
Megrahi is not dying in a hospital, but reaping the rewards for being a terrorist, from his terrorist henchmen

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1226017538437
Megrahi is being bought some nice toys after his release, so what? This proves that the Libyan powers that be feel bad about him spending all that time in prison and not a lot more than that.

Megrahi was a member of the Libyan Security forces. He did his patriotic duty for his country and was wrongfully convicted for mass murder.

It might well be that Megrahi did some bad things under the guise of patriotism, it is almost certain that blowing PA-103 out of the sky wasn't one of them. There is no evidence that he had anything to do with it.
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Old 9th March 2011, 01:54 AM   #315
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Yeah, the Autumn Leaves operation.

That Autumn Leaves operation...

Marwan Khreesat, bomb maker for the Palestinians and agent of Jordanian security services according to Richard Marquise, head of the Lockerbie FBI investigative team. Meanwhile, Khreesat is also an asset to the BKA, and as Lord Fraser, Scotlands chief prosecutor commented, most likely involved with the CIA.

According to Marquise, Khreesat is a known expert bomb maker, and part of a group planning on attacking American targets is caught red-handed building barometric bombs inside Toshiba radios and then inexplicably released, without charge, and was thought to have left Germany for Jordan.

Richard Marquise then states that he does not know why Khreesat was released by the Germans, and it is a matter anyone concerned should take up with the German government to clarify. Oh well.. Mr Marquise simply offers an explanation for Khreesat's release may be as a result of his, although working for the Palestinian group and as a bomb maker targeting US trains, bases and aircraft, but was simultaneously involved with the Jordanian intelligence services who enabled his release from Germany.

Lord Fraser however, suggests that the only plausible explanation was that Khreesat was also involved with US intelligence thereby facilitating his release from Germany and subsequent to the bombing of Pan Am 103 the Scottish authorities could not gain access to interview.

Mr Marquise and many others appear quite indifferent to the fact that the German authorities had simply released a man of extremely dubious background while clearly engaged in activities to cause serious harm to American citizens and institutions.

Of course all of this was, and remains for those who only wish to see 'Libya' and 'Megrahi', inconsequential to the bombing of 103. The toshiba bomb Khreesat was assembling in Neuss just outside Frankfurt, but incoveniently disturbed by the persky Germans during the Autumn Leaves Operation, was then transported to Malta to be put together by Megrahi, loaded onto KM180 in a manner that no evidence was ever uncovered, and sent the whole damn thing back to Germany.

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Old 9th March 2011, 04:43 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Ambrosia, my dear, this forum is a Conspiracy Theory forum. Conspiracy theories are NOT evidence.

Any theory, "conspiracy" or otherwise, has to stand or fall on the evidence. There is no evidence at all that Megrahi had anything to do with the Lockerbie bombing. If you know of any, you haven't told us about it yet.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Henchmen??? Henchmen??? YES. Henchmen. Suggest you do some homework. Crawl out from under the JREF rock, Rolfe's walls of text and the FEW others who defend Megrahi, and look up – Sennusi – Gaddaffi’s brother-in-law and Megrahi’s former boss, Gaddaffi himself (Megrahi's close clansman), Swissy, JFM co-founder (if you don’t know who/what that is, I’m not surprised), Musa Kusa, The Iranians, who paid for the bombing, the Palestinians who tried to do it, but got caught in the Autumn Leaves sting operation in Germany, so they tossed the hot potato to the Libyans and trained the Libyans on how to do it. THOSE HENCHMAN.

Megrahi knew some very bad people, and was related to some very bad people. Does this mean he was a very bad person himself? I have no idea at all, because there is no evidence. Maybe he was. Or maybe he was just getting on with smuggling aircraft parts and so on, to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It's irrelevant. There are many bad people in the world. To find out which of them was responsible for a particular atrocity, you need some of that pesky evidence linking him to the actual atrocity. Evidence that you don't have.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
But ya never know what those other Libyans, who have kept quiet for 40+ years and whose blood is now being shed in Libya may reveal. Particularly after they have been living for so long in poverty, and Megrahi is not dying in a hospital, but reaping the rewards for being a terrorist, from his terrorist henchmen

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1226017538437

Mmmm. For someone critical about posts citing the "rag media", you seem rather partial to it yourself.

What is the source of that story? "They say." That's it. The reporter does not appear to have seen Megrahi, or the Lambourghini or the Humvee. The photo of the red sports car is stock publicity material. The only other photo is a 22-year-old one of Lockerbie after the plane landed on it. All the reporter seems to have seen is a part-built house, and even that is not pictured.

Though as Ambrosia says, Megrahi has been treated as a hero in Libya for surrendering himself to a kangaroo court in 1999 in order to end the crippling sanctions against the country, and for having served over ten years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Any preferential treatment he has received on his return needs to be seen in that light.

Good luck to the Libyan revolution. I hope they can rid themselves of a tyrant and avoid replacing him with another. But all that merely obscures the inconvenient truth that there is no evidence Megrahi had anything to do with the bombing of PA103.

Rolfe.
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Old 9th March 2011, 05:10 AM   #317
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The Libya took over Iran's plot theory has long-since been discarded. It was a transitional tool, and while there's no "official" take, investigators like Marquise, etc. currently cite this as a completely separate plot from the Iranian PFLP-GC thing. They had a six month old airliner downing to avenge but never did, and the Libyans instead bombed a US airliner at the same time to avenge a three-year old air raid.

Just in case anyone's confused and keeping that distinction vague to try and account for everything in one neat narrative. It's two narratives smooshed together, only one of them true.

And do't forget, to get back into that pesky evidence, the forensic kind of supreme importance in bombing cases...

The devices made by the PFLP-GC cell seized in the Autumn Leaves (Hertzlaub) raids had the same barometers, triggered usually about 7 minutes into a flight. A crude timer followed, with some for 30, 45, or 60 minutes after altitude trigger. If one of the 30-min units had been in the fifth device that remained live, mobile, and in its controllers hands (not released, Abu Elias was never caught) and it was loaded onto Flight 103 IN LONDON, it would detonate about 37 min. after takeoff. And Flight 103 blew up 38 min. after take-off.

AND, the only airport of the three Megrahi's bomb was said to pass through that actually had a documented (then covered-up) security breach - was Heathrow. Half a day before the bombing of all times, the worst breach Ray Manly saw in 17 years.

AND only two people reported seeing a brown hard-shell Samsonite suitcase potentially related to the bombing, and connected to no passenger on the flight. The fabricator Giaka reported on one Malta in Megrahi's possession - dismissed by the same judges who said guilty. The other ... Heathrow.

And of course, Megrahi and all his supposed bosses were nowhere near London that day.

Now, it's true that all of the above has been shuffled aside as coincidence to make room for the strange, winding, wispy little case that pointed to a more convenient villain. Legally, the Bedford report and the break-in were both amazing coincidences, and the Libyans for their own non-existent reasoning chose a time that so perfectly mimicked the implications of those things being NOT coincidental.

That doesn't mean it was right to shuffle it all aside. But hey, sometimes you can't make a (acceptable) legal omlette without breaking a few factual eggs.

Ambrosia, good to see you back! Feel free to blabber without reason if there's no great reason.
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Old 9th March 2011, 06:13 AM   #318
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Herbstlaub. Just sayin'.

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Old 9th March 2011, 06:34 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by Buncrana View Post
Yeah, the Autumn Leaves operation.

That Autumn Leaves operation...

Marwan Khreesat, bomb maker for the Palestinians and agent of Jordanian security services according to Richard Marquise, head of the Lockerbie FBI investigative team. Meanwhile, Khreesat is also an asset to the BKA, and as Lord Fraser, Scotlands chief prosecutor commented, most likely involved with the CIA.

According to Marquise, Khreesat is a known expert bomb maker, and part of a group planning on attacking American targets is caught red-handed building barometric bombs inside Toshiba radios and then inexplicably released, without charge, and was thought to have left Germany for Jordan.
Autmn Leaves resulted in 16 arrests, and two convictions for bombing US troop trains in 1987, the other 14 were released on "lack of evidence"

Marquise and the US investigators did infact interview Khreesat in Novmber 1989, 2 interviews each lasting 5 hours. They were forbidden to share this information with the Scots investigators, but did share some of it anway. You can read Marquis' account of this interview in his book Scotbom:Evdence and the Lockerbie investigation pg 53 to 55. In a later interview (Lockerbie Revisited ~22:20)Marquise claims not to have been present during these interviews.

Last edited by Ambrosia; 9th March 2011 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 9th March 2011, 07:01 AM   #320
Rolfe
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Actually I just noticed an error Bunntamas made, too late to edit my post. Megrahi isn't Gadaffi's close clansman. There was a BBC article last week saying the Gadaffi and Megrahi tribes (with different spellings) are now in conflict. The Megrahi tribe is a large and powerful one, but it's not Gadaffi's.

Bunntamas insists on scrupulous accuracy from us, so this needs to be pointed out.

Rolfe.
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