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

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Old 18th August 2009, 04:24 PM   #41
bill smith
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Originally Posted by twinstead View Post
Maybe he didn't report any symptoms?
Look it up Twinstead. Prisoners generally like time in the medical sections of prisons if only for the break in routine. The main symptom of difficulty urinating is considered important and recognisable. Al-M was right in the envelope for this extremely common disease. A simple blood test can often detect the condition.
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Old 18th August 2009, 04:30 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by bill smith View Post
Look it up Twinstead. Prisoners generally like time in the medical sections of prisons if only for the break in routine. The main symptom of difficulty urinating is considered important and recognisable. Al-M was right in the envelope for this extremely common disease. A simple blood test can often detect the condition.
What religion is the prisoner? After your perfect record of failure on 911 issues it seems super-nano-unlikely you will get close to being in the ball park on this one which is OK since I don't care if the bomber is dying! May it be as painful as my grandfather's death.
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Old 18th August 2009, 04:32 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Bobert View Post
Notice also how truthers think they KNOW EVERYTHING?
Of course if he died quick of prostate cancer the TM would find that odd.
They are playing the same game over at the LCF saying how odd one of the bodies looks that was pictured at the Pentagon.
Now they are experts in how a burned body should look.
the idea of a thread like that is disgusting

but the pentagon pictures reminded me of the "highway of death" from the first gulf war
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Old 18th August 2009, 04:41 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by beachnut View Post
What religion is the prisoner? After your perfect record of failure on 911 issues it seems super-nano-unlikely you will get close to being in the ball park on this one which is OK since I don't care if the bomber is dying! May it be as painful as my grandfather's death.
Easy on Beachnut. I suggest a more Buddhist influence on your thinking. The wheel goes round.
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Old 18th August 2009, 04:45 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by bill smith View Post
This is an entirely new angle coming from the current news bulletins. It will be interesting if we see the prostate cancer story being entirely withdrawn or transmogrified into something else.

Sorry? It's been public knowledge for many months that Megrahi has prostate cancer. Are you saying that you're now seeing something in the news suggesting he's been misdiagnosed?

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Old 18th August 2009, 04:54 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Sorry? It's been public knowledge for many months that Megrahi has prostate cancer. Are you saying that you're now seeing something in the news suggesting he's been misdiagnosed?

Rolfe.
Given that he has been under the 24-hour direct care of the British authorities for many many years I am saying that prostate cancer- probably he most recognisable of cancers should have been diagnosed years ago. I am not askng your opinion on this- it is completely self evident.
Prostate cancer incidentally develops slowly over many years and is not to be confused with cancers that develop more quickly.
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Old 18th August 2009, 04:55 PM   #47
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I'm kind of interested in the idea that successive governments - Conservative, Labour and now SNP - have become apparently reluctant to delve too deep into this affair once they have come into power. The SNP has form in questioning the Libya story, but Kenny is now looking like someone who doesn't want to talk about it.

Megrahi had an appeal filed until today. If he wanted to have a prisoner transfer back to Libya he would have had to give up that appeal. Many of the families didn't want that to happen because they still hoped to find out more. However, compassionate release doesn't require the desertion of the appeal. He could have gone for compassionate release and kept the appeal going. However, I just heard his advocate ask leave of the court that he desert the appeal because he believes it will help him get the compassionate release. This after a private meeting with our own dear Justice Secretary.

The interesting wrinkle is that if he died while the appeal was still outstanding, then any interested party could then take it up. However, if he deserts the appeal (as he has now done), nobody else can revive it after his death. Why has he been persuaded now to desert the appeal when this is not necessary for his release, and when his one goal for many years has been to prove himself innocent?

Are there really influential parties that simply do not want any more enquiry into this affair? Or is it simply that the Scottish justice system is too embarrassed to allow any scrutiny of a process it knows or suspects to have been deeply flawed?

Was the ludicrous treatment of Shirley McKie in any way related to a desire not to allow any flaw to be seen in Scottish criminal justice, against the background of the need to keep the lid on the Lockerbie affair?

There's a seething mass of CT right here, most of which is given serious credence by respected quality journalists and people prominent in public life. And asking questions is something anyone can do....

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Old 18th August 2009, 04:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by bill smith View Post
Given that he has been under the 24-hour direct care of the British authorities for many many years I am saying that prostate cancer- probably he most recognisable of cancers should have been diagnosed years ago. I am not askng your opinion on this- it is completely self evident.
Prostate cancer incidentally develops slowly over many years and is not to be confused with cancers that develop more quickly.

You think nobody else in Scotland has had prostate cancer remain undiagnosed before it has reached the metastatic stage? I'd introduce you to my cousin's husband, if only he wasn't dead.

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Old 18th August 2009, 05:01 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You think nobody else in Scotland has had prostate cancer remain undiagnosed before it has reached the metastatic stage? I'd introduce you to my cousin's husband, if only he wasn't dead.

Rolfe.
Not people under direct 24-hour-a-day care. Are you really disputing this ?
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Old 18th August 2009, 05:09 PM   #50
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Sadly, there's no mystery about this.

Quote:
MEN in Glasgow are up to four times more likely to die of prostate cancer than in other parts of the UK because GPs are failing to detect the disease early, a leading surgeon has warned. Up to 100 deaths could be avoided every year in the west of Scotland if men were given routine tests for the disease, according to Professor Hing Leung, a consultant urological surgeon from the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow. He said the region had some of the worst rates of prostate cancer deaths in the country and called for more "well man" checks to save lives.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, affecting about 2,500 patients each year in Scotland, and causing some 800 deaths. It mainly affects men over the age of 50.

Men show no symptoms during the early stages of the disease, but it can be picked up through routine blood tests.

However, Leung said doctors were not carrying out as many blood checks as they should. He said between 30 and 40 per cent of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer in Glasgow had cases that were so advanced they were incurable, compared with only 10 per cent in other parts of the UK.

In Glasgow and Lanarkshire, there are about 670 cases each year, and some 270 deaths. But up to 100 deaths could be prevented with better testing.

Leung said: "In the west of Scotland, patients come with more advanced cancer than anywhere else, because testing is not commonly used. We are still seeing a lot of patients who have advanced cancer and are beyond cure.

My cousin had no symptoms that were obvious to anyone but himself until he presented with back pain. Due to metastatic carcinoma. This is not unusual. We need a better screening programme, but there is controversy about how best to go about it.

Nobody in the west of Scotland is even faintly surprised by this diagnosis.

Rolfe.
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Old 18th August 2009, 05:16 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Sadly, there's no mystery about this.




My cousin had no symptoms that were obvious to anyone but himself until he presented with back pain. Due to metastatic carcinoma. This is not unusual. We need a better screening programme, but there is controversy about how best to go about it.

Nobody in the west of Scotland is even faintly surprised by this diagnosis.

Rolfe.
So I am entirely vindicated. Let's see if the news stories on the prostate cancer story continue or are ameliorated. (for instance 'a rare form of the disease') You know how it goes.
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Old 18th August 2009, 05:25 PM   #52
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You're vindicated? Sorry, where did that one come from? Where did the idea that the prostate cancer is a misdiagnosis come from?

Is this just some weird idea you've had all on your own, or is there actually any sensible suggestion to that effect?

Meh to the cancer story, it's the least contentious part of all of this. And I konw where the book is that I mentioned two years ago was buried in a box somewhere. Boxes all unpacked some time ago, books in good order in bookcase.

Maybe I can find some enlightenment there.

Rolfe.
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Old 18th August 2009, 06:57 PM   #53
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Rolfe, pay no attention to Bill Smith; he's the CT forum's current Village Idiot. I don't actually think he truly believes the stupidity he spreads here, I just think he likes yanking people's chains. No one's truly idiotic enough to think that 24-hour supervision means having begloved medical staff having fingers on a prisoner's prostate 24x7.

-----

You made reference to a book about this issue. Mind posting the title? I might be interested in reading it myself. I'm 100% unfamiliar with this topic.

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Old 18th August 2009, 07:25 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ElMondoHummus View Post
Rolfe, pay no attention to Bill Smith; he's the CT forum's current Village Idiot. I don't actually think he truly believes the stupidity he spreads here, I just think he likes yanking people's chains. No one's truly idiotic enough to think that 24-hour supervision means having begloved medical staff having fingers on a prisoner's prostate 24x7.

-----

You made reference to a book about this issue. Mind posting the title? I might be interested in reading it myself. I'm 100% unfamiliar with this topic.
Indeed.

You'll find him even more annoying than me, Rolfe
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Old 18th August 2009, 07:40 PM   #55
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I have a distant memory of Iran being blamed before they shifted blame to Libya.
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Old 18th August 2009, 07:55 PM   #56
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Well, the question is, how strong is the evidence that linked the Libyan operatives to the flight compared to whatever evidence exists that links Iran? Again, I haven't studied conspiracy charges in the Lockerbie bombing, so I'm unsure what the conspiratorial narrative is supposed to be.
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Old 18th August 2009, 09:14 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Why was the plane half-empty, going from Europe to New York only 2 days before Christmas?
Is that even true?

There were 243 passengers and 16 crew on board. Certainly not full, but probably not "half-empty" either. Seating capacity for the 747-100 version seems to vary between 366 and 452 depending on configuration. Also, it was mid-week and 4 days before Christmas. Would the flight normally be booked out? It was Pan Am's 3rd flight that day from Heathrow to New York, according to the Wikipedia article, and presumably there were quite a few other carriers on the same route.

Perhaps this is connected to the so-called "Helsinki warning"?

Quote:
On 13 December, the warning was posted on bulletin boards in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, USSR and eventually distributed to the entire American community there, including journalists and businessmen. As a result, a number of people allegedly booked on carriers other than Pan Am, leaving empty seats on PA103 that were later sold cheaply in "bucket shops". PA103 investigators subsequently said the telephone warning had been a hoax and a chilling coincidence.

Link

Although by that account shouldn't the plane have been full of people who'd got "last minute" tickets?


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, and I don't know why this is under 9/11 CTs in the first place.

The thread was started before the sub-forum was split into 9/11 CTs and CTs. I've asked the mods to move it.
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Old 19th August 2009, 02:07 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by ElMondoHummus View Post
Rolfe, pay no attention to Bill Smith; he's the CT forum's current Village Idiot. I don't actually think he truly believes the stupidity he spreads here, I just think he likes yanking people's chains. No one's truly idiotic enough to think that 24-hour supervision means having begloved medical staff having fingers on a prisoner's prostate 24x7.

I don't think Megrahi was on 24-hour supervision anyway - or no more so than any other prisoner. Dammit, my cousin's husband was under 24-hour supervision by his wife, and he didn't present to his doctor until he was suffering back pain. Which was way too late.

Megrahi had the misfortune to be banged up in the NHS region with the worst detection rate for prostate cancer in the British Isles. And unlike the USA, we don't give our terrorist prisoners better healthcare than the general population gets. It wouldn't surprise me if one of Megrahi's prison warders got terminal prostate cancer himself because he didn't recognise the signs and didn't do anything about it.

Originally Posted by ElMondoHummus View Post
You made reference to a book about this issue. Mind posting the title? I might be interested in reading it myself. I'm 100% unfamiliar with this topic.

I got the book out last night, and it's called Lockerbie: A Bum Rap? The author is David Rollo.

I'm afraid it's as I remember - terrible. It's little more than a pamphlet, with short chapters, and the author can't make a coherent argument to save his life. I suspect the facts are reasonably accurate however the book lacks any presentation or clear narrative. There may well be something better available.

The thing that interests me a little is that the book, published in 2001, is by way of being an internal SNP production. Not an official Party document of course, but written by a member who was previously a Party officebearer and printed by the SNP-supporting Scots Independent. And yet now we have an SNP government in power, and Kenny MacAskill the Justice Secretary seems to be behaving similarly to government ministers of the other parties when they were in power, and possibly facilitating a cover-up.

I don't know whether it's just a matter of perception and that everybody starts behaving like this when they get into government even if there's nothing to hide and they're not trying to hide it, or whether they're just trying to prevent the Scottish justice system from getting egg over its face because the thing was badly handled at Camp Zeist, or whether they're trying to keep the blame pinned on Megrahi even though he's a patsy for internal reasons, or whether they're caving to pressure from the USA, which wants the blame pinned on Megrahi even though he's a patsy.

The connection to the Shirley McKie affair is peripheral, but that's interesting too.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th August 2009, 02:38 AM   #59
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As BillC mentioned 2 years ago Private Eye did an investigation on this, and their special report from 2001 is available to download for £5.00 Lockerbie Report
I read most of the Private Eye stuff when it came out, and remember finding it reasonably convincing, but I didn't really analyse it.
On the other hand Nick Cohen (the most annoying running dog Blairite lickspittle in the world) says in his Observer article that Megrahi was fingered early on in the investigation, but doesn't provide any back up for it. Given his tendency to parrot the government position on any 'War for the Future of Civilization' stuff I'm not inclined to place too much credence on his opinion.

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Old 19th August 2009, 03:02 AM   #60
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Actually, the plot got even thicker this morning.

Remember, I said that Megrahi could not be considered for a prisoner transfer to Libya if he had an outstanding appeal. He has consistently maintained his innocence and was extremely reluctant to desert his appeal. However he is also reported to be desperate to see his wife and children again, and his elderly mother. Dilemma.

Then came the question of a compassionate release. In Scotland, any prisoner whose doctors estimate has less than three months to live is eligible for compassionate release. Megrahi is now in that situation. He doesn't have to abandon his appeal to be eligible for that.

Last week all the news was that he was likely to be granted compassionate release. Many people supported this, if for no other reason than that there seems to be genuine doubt over his guilt and if indeed he has been framed it would be sad if he had to die in jail. However the view in America was strongly against this.

Strangely, though, although it wasn't necessary for the compassionate release, Megrahi yesterday applied to abandon his appeal, saying that he believed it would improve his chances of getting home. Some of the victims' families were very unhappy about that, because it means that the appeal is dead, whereas if Megrahi had died while the appeal was still in progress they could have elected to continue it, as interested parties.

Why did Megrahi abandon the appeal? Hillary Clinton was making a big fuss last night, putting pressure on the Scottish government to keep him in jail in Scotland. But of course with the appeal abandoned, the question of a prisoner transfer is again on the table. Was Megrahi persuaded to abandon the appeal so that he could be dealt with by prisoner transfer rather than compassionate release?

Except, no, that's still not possible. It emerged this morning that Megrahi's appeal against his conviction is not the only appeal ongoing in the case. Back in at the time of the original conviction the Crown lodged an appeal against sentence (saying that 27 years was too short). However, that has been dormant ever since because appeal against conviction takes priority over appeal against sentence. But since that appeal is still active, prisoner transfer cannot be considered.

Well, appealing that a 27-year jail term is too short for a prisoner with less than three months to live is a bit pointless, and maybe the Crown will just drop it, and we'll be back to - do we give him compassionate release (in which case why did he have to drop his appeal?) or will we send him to Libya as a transferred prisoner, or will everybody cave in to Hillary and keep him here.

It does seem as if a lot of people wanted that appeal dropped. The reason it took so long was the refusal of the Crown to allow the defence team sight of certain documents it believed would aid Megrahi's case, which the Crown persistently said it would not do for reasons of national security. So far as I know these documents have never been released despite many applications and some rulings in Megrahi's favour.

The general opinion is that the UK and the US intelligence services have been engaged in some particularly unsavoury activities surrounding all this, and they really, really want the lid kept on it. And I'm not just quoting the tinfoil lunatic brigade here, this is all over the quality press and the main BBC news and current affairs programmes. Here's a newspaper letter from today, written by a respected correspondent who is politically aligned with the SNP.

I actually don't know what to think. I just find it so surprising that the CT enthusiasts aren't all over this like a rash.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:16 AM   #61
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"Palestinian connection" seems to me to be the most plausible and supported by the evidence - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/736490.stm - particularly the seizure of identical radio-bombs from a Frankfurt-based Palestinian cell weeks before Lockerbie. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_...eories#PFLP-GC)

That also seems to be the defense team's case.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:50 AM   #62
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The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission considered his prosecution top have been based on some seriously flawed evidence, hence them granting him an appeal. It was exceedigly likely that he's have been acquitted at a re-trial.

Their full statement is online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h...wlockerbie.pdf - the sections 4 and 5 are most pertinent as they lay out in detail the evidence against al Megrahi, and the SCCRC's grounds for doubting it.
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Old 19th August 2009, 06:33 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by ElMondoHummus View Post
No one's truly idiotic enough to think that 24-hour supervision means having begloved medical staff having fingers on a prisoner's prostate 24x7.
Perhaps he's just a little naive, and thinks that is what happens when one drops the soap in the prison showers.
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Old 19th August 2009, 06:54 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by volatile View Post
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission considered his prosecution top have been based on some seriously flawed evidence, hence them granting him an appeal. It was exceedigly likely that he's have been acquitted at a re-trial.

Their full statement is online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/h...wlockerbie.pdf - the sections 4 and 5 are most pertinent as they lay out in detail the evidence against al Megrahi, and the SCCRC's grounds for doubting it.

Thanks Volatile. Interesting to compare that with the Rollo book, and the more recent things that have come to light.

Quote:
  • Anthony Gauciís evidence that the purchaser of the items resembled
    the applicant ďa lotĒ.
  • Evidence from various sources that Mr Gauci sold the items on 7
    December 1988, a date on which the applicant was proved to be in
    Malta staying in a hotel close to Maryís House.

These are the first two counts of evidence against Megrahi. According to Rollo, Gauci originally described the purchaser of the clothes as "over six feet tall" and "about 50 years old". Megrahi is 5 feet 8 inches and was 37 at the time. Gauci only identified Megrahi much later after his picture had been widely circulated by the US Department of Justice.

I have also read recently that the date of 7th December has been seriously questioned, with a more likely, earlier purchase date suggested at a time when Megrahi was not in Malta.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th August 2009, 08:22 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm just so surprised that, given the apparently good reasons to suspect a conspiracy to frame Megahi and a coverup to protect whoever actually did it, this one isn't being crawled over by the CTers just as much as the Twin Towers.
Because they haven't found a way to connect it to Bush and Cheney.
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Old 19th August 2009, 03:12 PM   #66
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Well, compassionate release is set to be announced formally tomorrow, so Megrahi can go home for Ramadan which starts on Friday.

The Crown appeal is still in force, so a prisoner transfer is not on the table.

Megrahi's legal representative was interviewed saying his client was pressurised to drop his appeal. Why this was done is unclear, because it was not necessary for him to be released.

Newsnicht is discussing the politics of all this at the moment. It's being emphasised that the desertion of the appeal by Megrahi means that the evidence the Crown was resisting releasing will now never be seen. "We will never get to the bottom of what happened now."

By the way, the TV just quoted Prof. Karol Sikora, who is a hugely respected cancer specialist, saying that Megrahi has a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer which is no longer responding to treatment.

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Old 19th August 2009, 04:55 PM   #67
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My 2 cents on this matter.

I have never been very convinced of the guilt of this guy, but I haven't looked into it either over the years. Reading these two threads on it, and the wiki pages, it seems that the main evidence against him consists of:
1) baby clothes that were traced to a Maltese shop; the shopowner gave a totally different description of the buyer and only later changed that to fit the description of the accused;
2) pieces that allegedly were part of a timer; the employee of the manufacturer who testified to that in 2007 confessed to having perjuried himself, and to have handed an intact timer to the investigators before the trial.

Great. This seems like a classic case of "tunnel vision" by the investigators and the prosecution. Once you have a suspect that fits your preconceived notions, you go fit the evidence to that. Like with the Guildford Four. I'm not saying this is a British phenomenon, it's a global phenomenon - I could give a handful of (recent) Dutch cases too.

I haven't read the actual verdict (yet), but I remember how my dad, who followed the news on it at the time much more closely, summarized it to me: "the Court concluded that Al Megrahi couldn't have done it without Fhimah. They found Fhimah not guilty and Megrahi guilty."

At the time, there were numerous groups with an axe to grind against the US. Libya, Syria, Iran have been mentioned, as well as various Palestinian and other terrorist groups sponsored by one or more of those states. Why Libya? I don't know, but they were the most popular fall guy at the time for the US government. Remember the US/UK bombing of Libya two years earlier, in 1986, in which Khadafi's adopted daughter died? In any case, it's a bloody shame that the case was handled so flawed. And why did it take the review commission four years to investigate if they'd allow a new appeal?

Someone remarked why Libya extradited the two guys. You may remember that after the Lockerbie bombing and Libya was pointed at as the culprit, an international embargo was instituted against Libya which must have cost them a fortune.

Someone mentioned the Vincennes downing an Iranian airplane as possible motive. Could be. An interesting comparison between the two cases is also how much less an Iranian life is worth than an US life.

And as to the prostate cancer: in most cases, it grows indeed very slowly and you can get 120 and not die of it. However, a few percent of the cases is a very aggressive form that grows quickly.
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Old 19th August 2009, 05:05 PM   #68
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As I understand it, you've pretty much got it. Including the 1986 events, and the shooting down of the airbus.

Megrahi, very probably, was thrown to the lions to get various other people off the hook.

BTW, I mentioned this to my assistant this morning while we were waiting for something to happen, and he said he was serving on HMS York in the Persian Gulf and saw the airbus come down. Initially, the British ship was reported to have shot the plane down, though this was soon corrected. Calum said that the American ships in the area then simply buggered off, and he spent the next two weeks fishing body parts out of the Persian Gulf, matching up legs by pairing the shoes.

Thinking about it, he couldn't have been much more than 20 at the time. We don't think about these aspects of it very often.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th August 2009, 05:32 PM   #69
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Reading about this case, and writing a couple of comments here made me thin of another thing that does not rhyme.

The alleged timer was some exclusive Swiss make that was only sold to Libya and the GDR. Why would that had been needed? Even twenty years ago, any kid with a soldering iron could solder together a half-decent timer from standard components. Timing was absolutely not critical in this case. The objective was that the plane would blow up somewhere over the Atlantic, it is supposed - well, that's a four hour time span.

Am I missing something?
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Old 19th August 2009, 05:39 PM   #70
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Depends where the bomb was put on board. It was supposed to have been transferred from a Malta flight at Frankfurt, then landed at Heathrow before taking off again. There was talk of pressure sensors too.

It was supposed to blow up mid-Atlantic of course, and the evidence vanished. Lockerbie as such was a mistake.

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Old 19th August 2009, 05:54 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Depends where the bomb was put on board. It was supposed to have been transferred from a Malta flight at Frankfurt, then landed at Heathrow before taking off again. There was talk of pressure sensors too.
Old BBC article on the pressure sensors. My point about the timer was that it didn't matter whether it went off in 4 hours or 6 hours - it didn't have to be very accurate.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It was supposed to blow up mid-Atlantic of course, and the evidence vanished. Lockerbie as such was a mistake.
The plane was delayed in Heathrow, that's what caused it to explode over Lockerbie instead of the Atlantic.
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Old 20th August 2009, 02:34 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Old BBC article on the pressure sensors. My point about the timer was that it didn't matter whether it went off in 4 hours or 6 hours - it didn't have to be very accurate.

The plane was delayed in Heathrow, that's what caused it to explode over Lockerbie instead of the Atlantic.

Thanks for reminding me about that bit, I'd forgotten a lot of the detail. It does seem unnecessarily complicated, and I've always thought so. I never realy understood why the pressure sensors were necessary in the first place. It almost suggests a lack of confidence in the timer, that it couldn't be started right from the inception to reliably hit the window when the plane was over the Atlantic. And even with all that complication, it still went a bit wrong.

I suppose, again, it depends on where the bomb actually left the control of the terrorist. If it was put on board at Heathrow, then a simple timer would surely have done it. However, if it was put on board at Malta, how far in advance would the timer have to be set for? What sort of technology that was easily available in 1988 would allow that sort of delay to be set. So maybe, that's why the pressure sensors, so that the timer didn't start until it was within its "range" for the detonation point.

I'm still confused though. According to that article, it was the drop in pressure on the Frankfurt leg that started the timer. But of course the plane still had its stopover at Heathrow, and it was there that the delay occurred, after the die was cast, so to speak. It does seem odd, to go to such lengths, but still leave such an obvious possibility for error. Why not go for a flight that didn't have a stopover after the timer was started?

It fairly peripheral to the question of who did it nd why and why is there such a blatant coverup going on, but it makes it difficult to know whether we're dealing with some Middle Eastern version of Q, or a bunch of improvising amateurs.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th August 2009, 06:09 AM   #73
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www dot lrb dot co dot uk/v29/n12/mile01_.html

This is a good article. Virtually everything I've read about the Lockerbie case has nudged me more and more to the thinking that Megrahi is likely an innocent man-- this is an excellent encapsulation of many of the reasons why.
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Old 20th August 2009, 06:17 AM   #74
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Well, Kenny McAskill just released him on compassionate grounds about half an hour ago. The official line is that the conviction stands and this is entirely a response to the terminal nature of his illness. Oh, and that the decision to drop the appeal was entirely Megrahi's own.

So he wasn't pressurised to drop the appeal as a quid pro quo for the compassionate release, how could you think such a thing! And nobody would even have thought of putting such pressure on the man, because there's nothing at all that anyone wants to cover up about this, and no worries about what might come out in another examination of the evidence.... oh no of course not.

Rolfe.

ETA: Here is the linky. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n12/mile01_.html

The article has the narrative drive missing from the Rollo pamphlet. Of course it's hard to make up one's mind without reading a number of different viewpoints, but I really can't see this as a safe conviction "beyond reasonable doubt".

Quote:
In July 1988, five months before the Lockerbie bombing, a US naval commander aboard USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf shot down an Iranian airbus, apparently mistaking it for an attacker. On board Iran Air Flight 655 were 270 pilgrims en route to Mecca. Ayatollah Khomeini vowed the skies would ‘rain blood’ in revenge and offered a $10 million reward to anyone who ‘obtained justice’ for Iran. The suggestion is that the PFLP-GC was commissioned to undertake a retaliatory bombing.

We know at least that two months before Lockerbie, a PFLP-GC cell was active in the Frankfurt and Neuss areas of West Germany. On 26 October 1998, German police arrested 17 terrorist suspects who, surveillance showed, had cased Frankfurt airport and browsed Pan Am flight timetables. Four Semtex-based explosive devices were confiscated; a fifth is known to have gone missing. They were concealed inside Toshiba radios very similar to the one found at Lockerbie a few weeks later. One of the gang, a Palestinian known as Abu Talb, was later found to have a calendar in his flat in Sweden with the date of 21 December circled. New evidence, now in the hands of al-Megrahi’s defence, proves for the first time that Abu Talb was in Malta when the Lockerbie bombing took place. The Maltese man whose testimony convicted al-Megrahi has also identified Abu Talb. During al-Megrahi’s trial Abu Talb had a strange role. As part of a defence available in Scottish law, known as ‘incrimination’, Abu Talb was named as someone who – rather than the accused – might have carried out the bombing. At the time he was serving a life sentence in Sweden for the bombing of a synagogue, but he was summoned to Camp Zeist to give evidence. He ended up testifying as a prosecution witness, denying that he had anything to do with Lockerbie. In exchange for his testimony, he received lifelong immunity from prosecution.

Other evidence has emerged showing that the bomb could have been placed on the plane at Frankfurt airport, a possibility that the prosecution in al-Megrahi’s trial consistently ruled out (their case depended on the suitcase containing the bomb having been transferred from a connecting flight from Malta). Most significantly, German federal police have provided financial records showing that on 23 December 1988, two days after the bombing, the Iranian government deposited £5.9 million into a Swiss bank account that belonged to the arrested members of the PFLP-GC.
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Old 20th August 2009, 07:23 AM   #75
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Hmmmm. Thank you for that link. It explains the alternative theory (the CT if you like) in a way that I now understand. It's what I was hoping for when I bought Rollo's book back in 2001 or 2002.

I can now see why there have apparently been suggestions that Megrahi's illness may be a sham. I don't believe that, because there's a limit to the number of doctors you can buy off. And I do not believe that Karol Sikora is one of them. However, it's certainly extremely convenient for those who want to keep the lid on this.

The international ramifications are complex. If the appeal had gone ahead, it's possible that evidence might have emerged to show that the USA had deliberately suppressed evidence of Iranian involvement as a quid pro quo for Iran coming alongside in the first Gulf War. And that Libya had agreed to have two of its own nationals framed for the crime as a quid pro quo for the withdrawal of sanctions.

If Megrahi had been acquitted it would have opened the question of recompense to Libya for the miscarriage of justice and the millions paid to the relatives of the victims. It would also have allowed Megrahi potentially to sue for wrongful conviction, if a case can be made that the original trial was very substantially flawed.

Allowing Megrahi's death to draw a line under this is probably the dearest wish of many of those involved.

I can see that there has been politicking to get that appeal dropped for several years. First, the legal delays coming from the prosecution side have been inordinate. Then we had the "deal in the desert" where Tony Blair was clearly angling to be able to offer Megrahi the prisoner transfer option so long as he dropped the appeal. That went pear-shaped, because the Labour party unexpectedly lost the Scottish election only a week or two later, leaving the non-compliant SNP in charge. There were political reasons why the prisoner transfer was not a good idea, and Kenny McAskill outlined some of these in his speech.

The compassionate release has come as a great way out, because it avoids the problems inherent in the prisoner transfer scenario. Just one little snagette. There was no requirement to drop the appeal for that to happen. Which kind of removed the entire point of the whole thing.

Hands up anyone who thinks Megrahi wasn't told privately that if he wanted the compassionate release he'd better "choose" to drop the appeal? That's exactly what his own lawyer said had happened. Hands up anyone who thinks the person who did the telling wasn't Kenny McAskill?

The odd bit about this is that Kenny is an SNP Minister. The SNP were never part of the mainstream politicking about all this over the years. Received wisdom among party members was that Megrahi had probably been framed. Not only that, but that Shirley McKie was given such a hard time because the then Scottish government didn't want anything to get out that might suggest Scottish criminal investigation methods weren't 100% reliable while the Camp Zeist trial was going on.

Now Kenny is in a position of power, and possibly in a position to have found out a lot more about what's behind all this. And he's chosen to toe the orthodox line, reaffirm that he stands by the guilty verdict, pressurise Megrahi into dropping the appeal before he dies (so that it can't be resurrected by the families of the victims who believe in his innocence), and hustle him out of the country.

I would dearly love to get Kenny in a very quiet spot with some thumbscrews.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th August 2009, 07:34 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Because they haven't found a way to connect it to Bush and Cheney.

'Scuse me, but it's bloody obvious.

Lockerbie happened in December 1988 right at the tail end of the Reagan presidency, and Bush snr took office less than a month later. The four years of the Bush snr presidency is the time when all the misdirection and shenanigans seems to have happened. And these shenanigans are said to be directly related to the need to get Iran on-side at the time of the first Gulf War of 1990 to 1991.

OK, not the Bush the current crew are after, and I'm not sure if Cheney figured much, but for goodness sake. A perfectly plausibe, viable and non-tinfoil-hat CT involving a Bush, a crashed airliner and the murder of hundreds of American citizens. And none of them are interested?

Rolfe.
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Old 20th August 2009, 08:43 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
A perfectly plausibe, viable and non-tinfoil-hat CT involving a Bush, a crashed airliner and the murder of hundreds of American citizens. And none of them are interested?
I think that's the problem. If they actually believed it, they might have to do something about it, rather than staying in the basement making YouTube videos. As George Monbiot put it, the virtue of a fake conspiracy is that it requires you do nothing.

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Old 20th August 2009, 03:49 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Thanks for reminding me about that bit, I'd forgotten a lot of the detail. It does seem unnecessarily complicated, and I've always thought so. I never realy understood why the pressure sensors were necessary in the first place. It almost suggests a lack of confidence in the timer, that it couldn't be started right from the inception to reliably hit the window when the plane was over the Atlantic. And even with all that complication, it still went a bit wrong.

I suppose, again, it depends on where the bomb actually left the control of the terrorist. If it was put on board at Heathrow, then a simple timer would surely have done it. However, if it was put on board at Malta, how far in advance would the timer have to be set for? What sort of technology that was easily available in 1988 would allow that sort of delay to be set. So maybe, that's why the pressure sensors, so that the timer didn't start until it was within its "range" for the detonation point.

I'm still confused though. According to that article, it was the drop in pressure on the Frankfurt leg that started the timer. But of course the plane still had its stopover at Heathrow, and it was there that the delay occurred, after the die was cast, so to speak. It does seem odd, to go to such lengths, but still leave such an obvious possibility for error. Why not go for a flight that didn't have a stopover after the timer was started?
Yeah, those are interesting questions. First of all, AFAIK, when it comes to a simple timer you won't even need an electronics gadget as I said before; a simple 2 pound alarm clock purchased at Woolworth will do the trick equally fine.

The theory of the pressure sensors seems a bit - ahem - pressing the things into a desired outcome. If indeed the suitcase entered the plane in Malta, then there's a big hole. The pressure sensor would have triggered somewhere over the Mediterranean when that plane had reached 8,000 ft altitude - after all, it had to cross the Alps. And if the system could have been programmed that it only triggered on the second trigger from the sensor, at the lift-off from Frankfurt, then why not on the third?


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It fairly peripheral to the question of who did it nd why and why is there such a blatant coverup going on, but it makes it difficult to know whether we're dealing with some Middle Eastern version of Q, or a bunch of improvising amateurs.
I don't think they were amateurs. Semtex, or C4, or any other plastic explosive, is not easily come by. Whoever provided for the explosive, must have had some confidence in the professionality of the perpetrator(s).
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Old 20th August 2009, 03:50 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I would dearly love to get Kenny in a very quiet spot with some thumbscrews.
There's nothing in the Geneva Conventions that forbids you, as a private citizen, from carrying out such a plan. Just sayin'.
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Old 20th August 2009, 06:31 PM   #80
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All I can say is this case makes my head hurt . Well, that, and why was there never a credible claim of responsibility if the motive was revenge?

As a side note, despite my generally conservative worldview, even if the evidence of al Megrahi's guilt were incontrovertible (which it's clearly not), I'd still be in favor of compassionate release. No matter what he might have done, it's not an excuse for ill treatment.
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