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Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Lockerbie bombing

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Old 5th November 2010, 04:31 PM   #201
Rolfe
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Evidence?

Bunntamas, in this thread. Brian Flynn, Dan Cohen, a few others. Their writings aren't that hard to find.

Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Again, evidence? You really have no idea what each of the 270 families would want pursued at this point.

Not so many as 270 separate families. Several family groups were among the victims. Again, it's not hard to discover the opinions and aims of the UK families who want either an independent inquiry or a re-opening of the appeal. Jim Swire, Martin Cadman, John Mosey, Pamela Dix, Jean and Matt Berkley (Matt has also posted in this thread I think).

Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Some are satisfied, some are not. After all these years, if few others seem to still care, the families are all that still matters. I say good luck in finding justice. They most likely know more about the case than you do.

Just because you don't care (and not caring, why do you bother to post?), doesn't mean that few others care. The ePetition got 1,649 signatures despite being down for half the time it was supposed to be open, including the time when the actual publicity for the petition was organised. Quite a few people care quite a lot, actually.

And again, evidence that "the families" (a large and heterogeneous group) know more about the case than Caustic Logic does? Do you think the family of someone who died of an obscure disease must, inevitably, know more about that disease than someone who has made an intensive study of the condition?

So, Alt+F4, you don't care. Maybe it was a miscarriage of justice, but you don't care. You'd rather we didn't talk about it. It embarrasses you. The very idea that the US authorities railroaded the wrong guy 20 years ago is something you'd rather find excuses to bury, than face up to.

OK, we got that. Why do you bother posting in the thread anyway?

Rolfe. Feeling tetchy.
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Old 5th November 2010, 04:39 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
I never said they should have special standing in any court. In a murder proceding it's not unusal for the prosecution to consult with the victims or the families if they wish to further pursue a case that might have few avenues of approach left. I also think it is naive to believe that victims and their families are not privileged to information not available to those who get all their information from the media/Internet.

We're not talking about a prosecution here, we're talking about a defence. It may be a valid question to ask whether family members still want to pursue a weak case against a possible suspect, years after the event. But to give family members a veto over continuing a process to right a miscarriage of justice? No, that simply is not on.

I think it is absolute anathema, of McHrozni proportions, to imply that there is some sooper-sekrit evidence that the families have been told about, but which was not brought in front of the court. An accused person must be confronted with the evidence against them, and that must be done in the public court.

It's bad enough to have McHrozni declare that he "just thinks" the authorities have some sensitive information they won't make public that justifies them having framed Megrahi, but to have you maintaining that the families have been told some secret information that was never brought to court, and on that basis they should be able to veto further investigation - have you any idea how ludicrous this position is?

Actually, it has been shown again and again, and in this thread too, that the US families who are determined to hold to the theory of Megrah's guilt have absoutely nothing to base that on. Just read Bunntamas's posts.

I can see that you're extremely uncomfortable with the concept that Megrahi was framed by the CIA and the DoJ, but that's as pathetic a reason for ducking the facts as I've ever seen.

Rolfe.
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Old 5th November 2010, 04:45 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Just because you don't care (and not caring, why do you bother to post?), doesn't mean that few others care.
Please link to the post where I said I didn't care. That's right, you can't.

Quote:
The ePetition got 1,649 signatures despite being downfor half the time it was supposed to be open, including the time when the actual publicity for the petition was organised. Quite a few people care quite a lot, actually.
An ePetition? Really?

Quote:
And again, evidence that "the families" (a large and heterogeneous group) know more about the case than Caustic Logic does? Do you think the family of someone who died of an obscure disease must, inevitably, know more about that disease than someone who has made an intensive study of the condition?
Doesn't apply. These people were not killed by an "obscure disease".

Quote:
So, Alt+F4, you don't care.
Again, you are putting words in my typing that aren't there.

Quote:
You'd rather we didn't talk about it.
Show my post saying this.

Quote:
It embarrasses you.
Show my post saying this.

Rolfe, since you are so good at reading my mind please tell me now what the Lotto numbers are going to be tomorrow in NYC. Thanks in advance.
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Old 5th November 2010, 05:11 PM   #204
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Look, I agree I'm getting tetchy. I'm getting tetchy because all I see is people dancing around, unwilling to look the possibility/probability/near-certainty that Megrahi had nothing to do with the bombing of PA103 in the face and deal with it.

You said, "few people care". This would seem to include you, because you don't seem to care enough to examine the evidence or even read most of the thread. You just wander in with random, disconnected notions you think allow you to dismiss the concerns about the lack of evidence and the miscarriage of justice.

Yes, ePetition. An official Scottish Parliament ePetition, to be considered by a parliamentary committee. Funny thing, the official web site crashed just as the publicity organised to call for signatures was getting underway, and it stayed down for five days. An extension was offered, but two days after coming back online the webmasters themselves took the site back off-line and kept it there until the revised closing date was past. Still, 1,649 people seemed to care.

You're familiar with the concept of an analogy, I take it? Caustic Logic has spent over a year studying the evidence in the Lockerbie case in great detail. It's completely ridiculous to assert that someone who just happens to be related to someone who was killed in the disaster must know more about it than he does. Bunntamas has already demonstrated that she has some serious misconceptions and wrong information in this department, so on our sample of one, Caustic Logic is winning.

It's pretty simple. Either you believe the evidence against Megrahi is strong enough to support the conviction, or you don't. You seem curiously unwilling to discuss this aspect. Everything you post simply bristles with a desire not to acknowledge the possibility of a miscarriage of justice, but rather to find some peripheral reason why the case should not be pursued.

Some sceptic, is all I can say.

Rolfe.

ETA: 1,646 people. The petitions committee have obviously been through the signatories and the personal information they had to give in order to sign, and deleted three entries that weren't genuine.
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Old 6th November 2010, 01:00 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Please link to the post where I said I didn't care. That's right, you can't.
It's implicit in your drive-by dismissals, your lack of knowledge on the issue, and apparent lack of will to gain said knowledge.

Same for the other things you never said outright. "you don't care ... you'd rather we didn't talk about it ... it embarrasses you." One could read these things into your stance thus far, and you've done little to show otherwise. You are free to demonstrate these things are wrong. Can you cite the post where you showed that you cared, expressed encouragement for those who are willing to skeptically re-examine the case, or shown that you're willing to face up to the facts without embarrassment?

No? Didn't think so.

Quote:
An ePetition? Really?
What tone is that? Genuinely impressed, of sarcastically dismissive? What would you recommend that's better than an e-petition? What grounds do you have in this discussion to just dismiss things?

Quote:
Doesn't apply. These people were not killed by an "obscure disease".
Rolfe didn't say the PA103 victims DID die of a disease. Don't put silly words in peoples' typing. It's a parallel. How does it not apply? Are you saying there's no way someone could study this event, like one could a disease, and come to a reasoned conclusion? That might even be a better conclusion than a family member who insisted the cause of death was murder by Ninja assassins, and pressing for sanctions on Japan? Accepting a $10,000,000 yen pay-out from Tokyo on on just that premise?

Unless you can illustrate how someone besides family cannot learn much about this particular event, take Rolfe's statement at face value.

Originally Posted by Rolfe
It's completely ridiculous to assert that someone who just happens to be related to someone who was killed in the disaster must know more about it than he does. Bunntamas has already demonstrated that she has some serious misconceptions and wrong information in this department, so on our sample of one, Caustic Logic is winning.


I was dwelling on what this conduit of privileged knowledge might be. Something genetic, probably encoded into the DNA in a trans-dimensional holographic ... thing, perhaps yielding visions in dreams? So anyone related closely by blood to the victim of a crime can, ouija board style, divine special knowledge of their kin's demise. And then decide what should and shouldn't be done about it on the world stage. And everyone else can just shut up.

Alt+F4, any elaborations on the mechanism of the families' extraordinary insight, OR on the earlier line about Megrahi shielding the true bombers?

Quote:
Rolfe, since you are so good at reading my mind please tell me now what the Lotto numbers are going to be tomorrow in NYC. Thanks in advance.
This from the guy that presumes what we do and don't know.

Quote:
Evidence? ... You really have no idea what each of the 270 families would want pursued at this point.
You really don't know what I or Rolfe do or don't know. You could know some of it, if you followed the discussion. Rolfe named the names again, for you, above. This is no secret or wild guess, but a reading of the things various family members have actually said, with some extrapolation, of course.

You seem to dispute our assessment of the divided wishes of PA103 family members.

Counter evidence?

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Old 6th November 2010, 04:30 AM   #206
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Something I didn't mention last night.

Nobody cares? Really? Senators Menendez and Lautenberg and their hysterical colleagues seemed to care all right, just a few short months ago. They cared so much they were demanding that government ministers from a foreign jurisdiction should show up to be interrogated by their piss-ant committee. They cared so much, and we were told they cared so much, that Scotland's relations with the USA and her international standing had been damaged.

And just a few short months before that, so many people in the USA cared that there was a high-profile campaign to damage Scotland's economy by cancelling holidays to Scotland and boycotting Scottish produce. There were web sites set up where US citizens were encouraged to log on and say how much they hated Scotland over the affair of the "Lockerbie bomber".

All of this passionate caring was based on the assumption that Megrahi actually was the Lockerbie bomber (which he never was, anyway, he was only convicted as being an accessory to the plot). So nobody cares that all this rage and hatred was probably based on a completely false premise?

Oh, PLEASE.

So we should just let the families decide whether we should proceed any further to investigate what was probably the most blatant and serious judicial stitch-up in Scotland since the trial of James of the Glen in 1752? The people of the country whose laws and judiciary sanctioned and facilitated this show trial, this kangaroo court, don't have a voice, in Alt+F4's opinion?

Does he realise we have two representatives of the families actually present in this thread, Bunntamas and Matt Berkley? Bunntamas is deaf to any suggestion that the guilty verdict she clings to so passionately might in any way be unsafe, even though she can't even begin to explain how the verdict was justified on the evidence accepted by the court. Matt believes the judicial process was flawed and the conviction unsafe, and supports a re-opening of the appeal or (as the Scottish government seems to be manoeuvering to prevent that), an independent inquiry.

Which of them are you going to listen to?

Rolfe.
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Old 6th November 2010, 10:09 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
And even more interesting:

Quote:
In a December 2003 letter to the United Nations, Libya accepted responsibility for the Pan Am 103 bombing. (In the same letter, Libya also took responsibility for the September 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772, a French airliner destroyed by an IED after leaving Brazzaville, Congo, and making a stop in N’Djamena, Chad. All 170 people aboard the aircraft died when it broke up over the Sahara in Niger.)

I may be mistaken, but I think I recall reading that Megrahi had (prior to bombing PA103) traveled to Chad or the Congo. Such an innocent guy.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
HA! Oh, now I remember, it's in the indictment.

Quote:
(h) you ABDELBASET ALI MOHMED AL MEGRAHI did between 8 and 10 October 1988, both dates inclusive, at the premises occupied by Libyan Arab Airlines at Luqa Airport and Valletta, Malta and elsewhere in Malta attempt along with Mohammed Abouagela Masud, also a member of the said Libyan Intelligence Services, and others to the Prosecutor unknown, to travel to Ndjamena, Chad for the purpose of carrying out an operation on behalf of the said Libyan Intelligence Services

Maybe he was just collecting spare parts. Or rocks. Or something special for his wife, or girfriends at LAA, or maybe, dare I say.... explosives?????

Now I've got a bit more time, it being the weekend and all that, I've had time to follow this up. Bunntamas is suggesting that Megrahi went to "Chad or Congo", and this in some way incriminates him in the bombing of PA103. Turns out it was Chad, and it's a mention in the indictment. (The word Congo doesn't appear in the trial transcripts at all.)

I wanted to see what connection there might be between a journey to Chad, and the bombing of PA103. I ran a search on the transcripts for the word "Chad", and the extracts below cover all the instances of that word, in context. (Numbers in square brackets are the origial plage numbers.)

Quote:
One count of the original indictment
(h) Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi did between 8 and 10 October 1988, both dates inclusive, at the premises occupied by Libyan Arab Airlines at Luqa Airport and Valetta, Malta and elsewhere in Malta attempt along with Mohammed Abouagela Masud, also a member of the said Libyan Intelligence Services, and others to the [14] Prosecutor unknown, to travel to Ndjamena, Chad for the purpose of carrying out an operation on behalf of the said Libyan Intelligence Services;

So part of the accusation Megrahi faced at Zeist isn't that he went to Chad, it's that he attempted to go to Chad, along with other members of the Libyan intelligence services.

Quote:
During Edwin Bollier’s cross-examination
Mr. Turnbull: Mr. Bollier, did you have any information, either from Mr. Rashid or from Mr. Hinshiri, as to what use the timers were to be put [3791] to?
A Could you please repeat the question.
Q Did you have any information given to you, either by Mr. Hinshiri or Mr. Rashid, as to what the timers were to be used for?
A Yes, I received that, in part. I do not know at what date. I was told that they needed such timers during the Chad war. Libya was at war with Chad at the time, and they wanted to secure their camps there. It happened quite frequently that the Libyans had to leave their camps, and this -- and I believe they added some explosive charge to the camps. And if they were not to return to those camps after several days, everything would explode. So this was a purely military matter. [....]

Q And was that the use at the Chad border that you've just been telling us about?
A Correct. [....]

Q Let's just pause there for a moment before we do. The first use you were aware of was the one relating to the war with Chad; is that correct?
A That is correct. [....]

Mr. Burns: But in 1985, you did know that Libya was at war with Chad, didn't you?
A That is correct.
Q And Chad is on the southern -- or marches with the southern borders of Libya; is that right?
A That is correct. Yes.
Q And when you went -- you say you went to Sabha, that was in the context of a war proceeding with Chad, wasn't it?
A That was not in the war theatre; it was in the centre of Libya. But from there, some flights to Chad, military flights to Chad, originated.
Q But the military installation to which [4108] you went at Sabha involved work which was relevant to the Chad war, was it not? You knew that?
A I could assume that. I didn't have direct knowledge of it, but I could assume it, because this airfield, this military base, was located there.
Q Yes. Okay. So you supplied goods -- some of which had military purposes, some of which didn't -- through engineer Ezzadin; is that right?
A That is correct. Yes.
Q And you are involved in Sabha in a context relevant to the Chad war; is that also correct?
A No. I think this would be going too far. There was a series of military tests being carried out. I cannot tell you whether there was any direct connection to the war with Chad.
Q Okay. But the timers you've told us about, the MST-13 timers that you say you delivered, they, you understood, were going to be used in connection with the detonation of equipment in Libyan camps during the time that the Chad war was going on; is that right?
A This is what I heard. Yes.

So, Libya was engaged in a war with Chad. All this evidence is related to the timers, not to Megrahi. It's about the purpose for which Libya bought the timers from Bollier. A military purpose, related to an actual war.

This may colour the accusation that Megrahi tried to go to Chad. If his homeland was at war with Chad, then it's unlikely he was going as a tourist. If he went there, presumably it would have been for a military purpose. This seems to be the reason for the otherwise disconnected reference to Chad in the indictment. The prosecution had to prove that Megrahi was a member of the Libyan Intelligence Service. That wasn't admitted. But if he went to Chad with other members of the Libyan Intelligence Service, that would support the assertion.

Quote:
During Mr. Taylor’s demolition of Giaka’s evidence
Mr Taylor: If we could move to Production Number 808, please.
My Lords, the importance -- I beg your pardon. Could we have image 2, please.
My Lords, this section of the cables relates to one of the paragraphs on the indictment itself, namely, the question of Chad. And what is obscured at the top of the page is revealed in the latest extract of cables.
And the words which were concealed are these: Source comment, the exact dates that El Megri wanted to travel to Chad is unknown.
That was described as background information in the annotations.
And then below paragraph 3, Your Lordships see a blank rectangle. Now revealed is: 4. Source [6568] comment. It is unknown what El Megri's mission was and why Ashur and Maraby arrived in Malta two days later. Given Senussi's direct involvement in the four-man mission led by El Megri, it appears that the group was planning some type of special operation.
Now, that touches directly on the indictment. In the original form, when the annotation wasdelivered, it was described as "background information."
The final paragraph is -- remains blank. Originally it was called "no text," in the annotation. It is now called "administrative detail" and "filing details."

So, the allegation that Megrahi (presumably "El Megri" is "al-Megrahi") wanted to go to Chad comes from Giaka. The indictment included this little nugget, with a date attached. However, the original cable reveals that no date was given by Giaka.

Giaka's evidence was rejected in toto by the judges, apart from his assertion that Megrahi was a member of the Libyan Intelligence Service. This stuff about him wanting to go to Chad (not even actually going to Chad) was part of what ended up in the bin once Giaka was exposed as a lying scumbag who was being paid by the CIA to make stuff up to incriminate Megrahi.

There's only one other passage that mentions Chad at all.

Quote:
During Mr. Taylor’s closing submissions
Question: Did you have any information given to you, either by Mr. Hinshiri or Mr. Rashid, as to what the timers were to be used for?
Answer: Yes. I received that in part. I do not know at what date. I was told that they needed such timers during the Chad war. Libya was at war with Chad at the time, and they wanted to secure their camps there. It happened quite frequently that the Libyans had to leave their camps, and this -- and I believe they added some explosive charge to the camps. And if they were not to return to those camps, after several days, everything would explode. [10005] So this was a purely military matter.

Mr. Taylor is just quoting Edwin Bollier's evidence about the purpose of the timers.

So that's it. There's absolutely no evidence at all that Megrahi went to Chad. Only that one of Giaka's fairy-stories was that at some time Megrahi wanted to go to Chad.

The PROSECUTION lawyers did not utter the word "Chad" at any point whatsoever during the trial.

If he had gone to Chad, what would the purpose of such a journey have been? To collect expolsives? Bunntamas is just making that up. Libya was at war with Chad. He'd be more likely to have been delivering explosives! Libya had plenty explosives of its own, and was supplying explosives to other agencies - notably the IRA, who were being funded by US citizens at the time as I mentioned. There's absolutely no suggestion by anyone that the explosives used in the PA103 bomb had to be sourced from Chad.

But even Giaka didn't say he actually went to Chad!

I present this as an example of how little real grasp Bunntamas has of the minutiae of this case, and her unwillingness to do even basic research before posting blind accusations against Megrahi.

In fact, from the tone of her original post, it seems that she was trying to introduce some sort of accusation that Megrahi was invovled in the bombing of UTA772 (in September 1989), which had made a stop in Chad, because he was said to have gone to Chad in October 1988. In fact nobody has ever made any such accusation against Megrahi - his prior form in the matter of terrorist connections was precisely zero. The Libyans responsibe for UTA772 are known (ask Charles Norrie, whose brother died in that attack), and Megrahi has never been connected to it. Making a journey to Chad eleven months before the crash is a bit tenuous, even for this investigation.

It has certainly never been part of my argument that Megrahi was not a member of the Libyan Intelligence Service, though I don't believe that was ever proved other than by reference to the fictional tales of the liar Giaka. We're simply back to the question I asked before. Why accuse this particular member of the Libyan Intelligence Service?

Rolfe.
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Old 6th November 2010, 03:05 PM   #208
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What happened to all the people who were certain Megrahi was guilty?

Here's the tl;dr version of that.

Bunntamas noticed the words "Congo" and "Chad" in the account of the bombing of UTA772 in September 1989, which was indeed a Libyan atrocity. (Megrahi, by the way, has never been linked to this operation in any way.) She vaguely remembers that Megrahi may have travelled to one of these places at some time. She thinks this indicates he wasn't "innocent".

She then finds, in the original indictments, the assertion that Megrahi had, while in Malta a full eleven months before the UTA772 disaster (and nearly three months before Lockerbie) attempted to travel to Chad, on Libyan security services business. The reason for this being included in the indictment is unclear, but presumably it was intended to support the accusation that Megrahi actually was a member of the Libyan security services.

Bunntamas seems to have made no attempt to research what the Chad reference in the indictment was based on, or led to - or even to have noticed that it didn't even allege Megrahi actually travelled to Chad. We find, however, that the "wanted to go to Chad" story is merely one of the many tales told by Giaka, whose evidence was rejected by the court when it was shown he was a lying scumbag being paid by the CIA to make stuff up to incriminate Megrahi.

However, Bunntamas plucks from thin air the suggestion that the mention of a projected trip to Chad indicates that Megrahi was going there to collect - explosives!!! As if there wasn't enough Semtex in Libya itself to blow up Maid of the Seas a hundred times over.

This is the level of debate we're getting from the only member of the US families who's prepared to talk to us. Sneering innuendo which, when examined, turns out to have absolutely no relevance at all as regards evidence that Megrahi was involved in the bombing of PA103.

To conclude therefore that Bunntamas has "more information than anyone on the outside", that she knows more about the case than Caustic Logic, and that she must have privileged information not available to the rest of us plebs (and by that token, also concealed from the judges), is simply ridiculous.

The US relatives appear to nurture a poisonous hatred of Megrahi that blinds them to the enormous logical holes in the conviction. The fact that there is no actual connection to be found between his presence in Malta on the morning of 21st December and the explosion on the plane eleven hours later is handwaved aside in favour of vague smears and irrelevant innuendo.

However, Megrahi isn't the main focus of concern, really. The focus of concern is the miscarriage of justice itself. How did it come about that the Pan Am 103 investigation pursued a will-o-the-wisp case against an uninvolved Libyan (spy or not), and let the real perpetrators off scot-free? That must have been giving aid and comfort to terrorists everywhere for the past 20 years. What on earth possessed the Zeist judges to bring in a guilty verdict on that evidence? Why is there still so much political pressure to bury the whole thing and avoid re-opening the investigation to identify the real culprits?

Is there a genuine cancer at the heart of the Scottish criminal justice system of which this is only the biggest and most egregious example?

These are not questions that any hate-blinded American should be allowed a veto on.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th November 2010, 05:27 PM   #209
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I made a post earlier which I hoped might be the starting point for a real discussion of the evidence. A summary of what I see as the evidence for the bomb having been introduced at Heathrow, versus what I could make of the reasons you had posted for believing it had been introduced at Malta.

This really is the absolute crux of the matter, that and the Gauci identification which so far you haven't addressed at all. If we could discuss meaningful topics like this, perhaps the atmosphere would improve.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Just trying to drag this back to the point we were discussing, I'm repeating the evidence for the bomb being introduced at Heathrow, compared to what I understand Bunntamas's arguments were in favour of it being introduced at Malta.

Evidence for Heathrow.
  • It is absolutely undisputed that security at Heathrow was diabolical, and it would have been easy for a terrorist to gain access to the baggage area. For example, there were thousands of airside passes in existence, and nobody seemed at all sure who had them. All they'd have needed was one of these and a plausible uniform.
  • There was a very serious breach of security in that area only 18 hours before the flight departed, with a padlock "cut like butter" to give access to the airside space.
  • The container labelled up to collect interline baggage for PA103 was left unattended in that area for long periods during the afternoon.
  • A suitcase fitting the description of the bomb bag was seen in that container, in the approximate position of the eventual explosion, before the Frankfurt feeder flight landed.
  • The only suitcase fitting that description which was recovered after the crash was the one in little pieces that had had the bomb in it, and none of the relatives of the passengers whose luggage was in that container before PA103A got in (the interline passengers) reported their relative having owned such a case, or having unrecovered luggage.
  • Lord Osborne said of the suggestion that the bomb could have been introduced at Malta, "There is considerable and quite compelling evidence that that could not have happened."
Bunntamas's counter to that "considerable and quite compelling evidence", as I remember (and no doubt if I'm wrong she'll put me right), is....
  • Libyan Arab Airlines was in charge of security at Luqa airport in 1988.
    • No, it wasn't. Air Malta was.
  • "I think it would have been very easy to have got an unaccomanied bag on that flight."
    • OK, tell us how.
  • Megrahi was a charming fellow who could have persuaded someone to let him past security.
    • How do you cope with the fact that he didn't go airside that day, and no charmed person ever came forward or was exposed as having assisted him?
  • The Maltese government of the time was in the pocket of Libya, and would have threatened and beaten its citizens to aid and conceal the smuggling of the bag on to the flight.
    • Malta isn't like that now, if it ever was. Why have none of those threatened and beaten citizens come forward to explain what happened?
  • The Maltese baggage handlers refused to give evidence at Zeist.
    • The Maltese baggage handlers took industrial action on the matter, based on the intrusive investigation and baseless accusations they were subjected to.
I would also point out that the investigators spent a very long time and an enormous amount of effort trying to find some plausible means whereby that bomb could have been got past security at Malta, or evidence that this might have happened. They tapped private phone lines and tailed people and investigated all their friends and acquaintances, and they found nothing.

In the end, the prosecution had to admit defeat, and simply fell back on the assertion that the bomb must have been smuggled on at Malta, despite their inability to find any trace of that. This was the basis of their case. That's what the baggage handlers were so pissed off about - that they appeared to stand accused of complicity in the bombing, without the slightest shred of evidence, and that they were being asked to come to Zeist as witnesses when the prosecution clearly regarded them as accomplices.

This is the basis for my belief that the bomb went on at Heathrow. No, I can't place anyone at Heathrow that afternoon who might have been the culprit. However, anyone who has ever been to Heathrow knows what a huge, anonymous place it is. And nobody seems to have checked all the passengers boarding other flights out of that airport at the relevant time. Who knows how many shady characters might have been travelling somewhere that day, without going airside, without doing anything at all suspicious, but still available to be framed....

I would welcome a discussion of the relative strengths of these competing theories.

Or as I said in another post. On the basis of the evidence, I believe the bomb was introduced into the baggage system at Heathrow, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when Megrahi was verifiably in Tripoli. And on the basis of the evidence, I believe the clothes in the bomb suitcase were bought on 23rd November, when Megrahi was verifiably not on Malta, by a man of about 50, six feet or more in height, heavily-built and with a large chest and head. That is, not the 36-year-old, five-feet-eight, average-build Megrahi.

Given that these are my beliefs, based on the evidence, why should I think Megrahi had anything to do with it?

Rolfe.
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Old 7th November 2010, 03:57 AM   #210
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No response.

Bunntamas, I know you hate Megrahi, as do your colleagues in the US families group. It's understandable. You think he killed your father.

That doesn't make the evidence against him any stronger though.

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Old 7th November 2010, 09:54 AM   #211
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Why should I respond? You've already provided all of your own answers in your wall of text above. And even if I did respond, you wouldn't listen and certainly wouldn't agree. As another commentor stated previously, it's like smashing rocks against my head. Not my idea of fun.

Any idea what happened to the comment I made yesterday? It seems to have disapeared. Weird.

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Old 7th November 2010, 10:03 AM   #212
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Oh, I see... it got moved to "Abandon All Hope", along with two comments of yours. HA!

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Old 7th November 2010, 10:22 AM   #213
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AAH. Somebody probably thought we were bickering. Don't stress it. You can read my reply to you there too.

If you respond, of course I'll "listen" (read it, and try to understand). I do that with all your posts. It's my dearest wish to understand why you hold the position you do on this subject. Whether I agree with you or not depends on the strength of your arguments of course.

I've tried several times to respond to the question you asked a page or so ago.

Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Okay, so let's be honest Rolfe. On the basis of ALL of the EVIDENCE, do you really think Megrahi had absolutely nothing to do with the bombing of PA 103? REALLY?

Given that I believe the evidence shows the bomb was introduced at Heathrow airport and the clothes were bought on 23rd November by a man in his 50s, I don't understand your incredulity. Why do you imagine I should think Megrahi had anything to do with the bombing?

Your most recent contributions seem to have been, because he denies he had anything to do with it, and because I think he went to Chad at some point.

Please, you have GOT to have something better than this.

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Old 7th November 2010, 12:52 PM   #214
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ETA: Slight echo of just what Rolfe posted, sorry for any redundancy.

Bunntamas:

I'm getting no follow-up from Alt+F4 on his questionable statements. How about you?
Quote:
Note: There is NO EVIDENCE that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow.
Please explain why the evidence for this, as cited by Rolfe above, doesn't count as evidence? I'm not talking about 'no judges accepted the London theory as the mechanism," I'm talking what evidence did they dismiss to keep the focus on Malta.

From past statements, it seems like you agree the evidence for a Malta infiltration is slim, and so slim that the Maltese must have helped cover it up. So there had better be no more, and preferably less evidence for London. And you say it's zero. Can you use logic and evidence to eliminate every one of the points of evidence the rest of us are seeing?

Quote:
Okay, so let's be honest Rolfe. On the basis of ALL of the EVIDENCE, do you really think Megrahi had absolutely nothing to do with the bombing of PA 103? REALLY?
Do you still feel anyone here is being dishonest and just playing around?

Quote:
you wouldn't listen and certainly wouldn't agree.
You should know we listen and then disagree. Can you grasp why?

Quote:
Why should I respond?
Your credibility. You're not in free-ride territory anymore, where everyone will just agree with you because you've got the "normal" mindset. We've shown that mindset inherently wrong, with rigorous thought. You've shown stubborn, faith-based insistence.

Feel free to just leave that as your legacy, however, if you wish.
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Old 7th November 2010, 07:31 PM   #215
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Sorry, I should clarify "legacy." I meant as far as this forum goes. Obviously Bunntamas and the rest of the US family members have a legacy well beyond the avoidance of the evidence on display here.
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Old 8th November 2010, 03:41 AM   #216
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I've been reading more from the group who argue that Megrahi's conviction was sound. Richard Marquise, Frank Duggan, some of the Scottish police. Almost to a man, they cite Giaka's stories as factual evidence against him, especially the part about his being seen at Malta airport with a brown Samsonite suitcase the day before the bombing.

Now it's clear to me that Giaka was exposed as a lying fantasist who was not only making stuff up to incriminate Megrahi (and Fhimah), he was shown to be doing that because the CIA and the DoJ were paying him to do it. The judges were perfectly clear that they took this view, and disallowed all that evidence.

This is confusing me. Are those who support the conviction doing so because they reject the evidence (accepted by the judges) that Giaka was lying? Are they saying that the conviction is actually sound because of evidence the judges specifically disallowed?

I haven't heard Bunntamas give any opinion on the Giaka debacle. Or on whether she still feels the position that Megrahi bought the clothes from Tony Gauci can be supported. It seems to me that these aspects would be far more appropriate topics for debate than specious speculation about whether Megrahi may have travelled to Chad at some time in 1988.

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Old 8th November 2010, 09:27 AM   #217
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Mod WarningSome incivility has crept into this thread recently. Please mind Rule 0 and Rule 12.
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Old 8th November 2010, 12:02 PM   #218
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Bunntamas, it's been suggested I re-post part of my reply to your post which was moved to AAH. I've removed the first sentence, which was a reply to your relocated post. (Sorry it's slightly out of order, but I think the points are still relevant.)

Lately, you've been making posts that sometimes seem to defy reason. What on earth was that supposed to be about, that reference to Chad? Nobody in Libya would have had to go to Chad to acquire explosives. Libya and Chad had only just come to the end of a long war at the time of the PA103 disaster.

Other things. You post an article full of factual errors which simply states as fact the very pieces of evidence we've been showing are false, and appear to be suggesting that the fact that Megrahi denies having been involved in the bombing is some sort of indication that he actually did it - on the grounds of "he would say that, wouldn't he?" That's just ridiculous.

You find a single sentence in a letter written by Kenny MacAskill to Jack Straw in 2007, in which Kenny is trying to insist that Megrahi be excluded from the Prisoner Transfer Agreement, and is arguing against any idea of Straw's that the Libyans might need to be given some wiggle-room on that, and interpret it to mean - what? That Kenny was actually advocating concessions to the Libyans? I couldn't even follow that bit.

You ask me, apparently in all seriousness, if I really, truly believe that Megrahi had nothing to do with the crime - as if you hadn't read anything I've been writing these months. As if there's some evidence everyone here but you is failing to see, which incriminates him. And as if I have some weird perverted reason for falsely accusing my country's justice system of having railroaded an innocent man.

I don't understand most of that. I really don't. I wanted to know what your reasons were for still believing that Megrahi is guilty, and you tell me he denied the crime and he maybe went to Chad once.

So could we maybe go out and come in again, again, and get back to discussing any evidence you might be aware of that actually links Megrahi to the bombing of Pan Am 103?

Rolfe.
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Old 8th November 2010, 02:36 PM   #219
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Quote:
Lately, you've been making posts that sometimes seem to defy reason. What on earth was that supposed to be about, that reference to Chad? Nobody in Libya would have had to go to Chad to acquire explosives. Libya and Chad had only just come to the end of a long war at the time of the PA103 disaster.
I know you didn't ask me, but I had a thought that might help. If the two contries were at war, and Megrahi was going, or trying to go somewhere within Chad, it might have been some Libyan forward base area, like a place where explosives for the war might be kept. And as the war ended, this stuff had be taken back home. So someone has to go get it, to be re-used for other things.

That might make sense, with ot without any evidence of purpose for his trip. And we're still down to the fact that, as you found, he didn't go to Chad, was just reported by Giaka to have tried.

Also, sorry for my post above - a little closer to the line than was needed. I apologize for any undue friction, and only hope that the reasoned discussion of this important issue will continue/start.
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Old 8th November 2010, 02:48 PM   #220
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Well, I don't know, because Bunntamas never explained what she meant. (It seemed to start off with a reference to the UTA772 bombing, because that plane took off from Chad, but that didn't happen till September 1989, and Megrahi was never implicated in it anyway.)

I don't know whether Megrahi was a Libyan intelligence agent or not, but I'm quite willing to accept that he was. I also don't know what sort of a person he is, or what his past involved. I don't know if he went to Chad or not, on an intelligence mission. Or anywhere else come to that.

I only know he appears to have had an alibi for the Lockerbie bombing.

I don't think Lockerbie was a Libyan operation in the first place, but even if it was, it would be necessary to show some connection to the actual crime before accusing any particular Libyan of carrying it out. This is what is lacking in the Megrahi conviction, once you strip away the prosecution games.

Even if we had positive evidence that he ate babies or something, he should not be convicted of a crime there is no evidence he had anything to do with.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th November 2010, 02:58 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Even if we had positive evidence that he ate babies or something, he should not be convicted of a crime there is no evidence he had anything to do with.

Rolfe.

Oooh, baby-eating. In that case, I'd say mmmmaybe blaming him for PA103 would be justified.

But that's pretty hypothetical, and besides him deserving it, it would cover for those who really did it. And none of us wants to cover for the real terrorists. So yeah, we should stick with who is actually suggested by the best body of coherent indicators. And that emerges between West Germany and London, with no connections to Malta or Libya. And we don't have a firm grasp on just which person, except for likely "Abu Elias."

At the least, until someone forwards a worthy debunk of the PFLP-GC-London evidence, it would be irresponsible to settle on anything else. Simply falling back on questioned legal technicalities just isn't adequate in this case.
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Old 8th November 2010, 03:34 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Oooh, baby-eating. In that case, I'd say mmmmaybe blaming him for PA103 would be justified.

No, no and a thousand times no. I know you don't really mean it, but this sort of thinking is the antithesis of justice.

The lazy police have played this game far far too often. Joe Bloggs is a black-hearted villain, let's just railroad him for the latest crime, chalk up another "solved", move along. Then you get to the stage of blackening the character of someone tangentially connected to the crime to justify fitting him up, and you're there.

I DO NOT CARE what Megrahi may or may not have done in the past (while taking note that we have no evidence at all of any previous involvement in terror, or even in any crime). If there is no evidence that he was connected to the bombing of PA103, then we CANNOT justify blaming him for the crime.

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Old 8th November 2010, 03:48 PM   #223
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I suppose the problem with any argument looking to assert Megrahi's guilt based on the evidence presented at Zeist is that it's wafer thin - at best - and utterly non-existent in many other areas. Implication of guilt by inference upon suggestion based on a possibility, simply struggles to be supported by rational argument. Even when proposed by their Lordships conclsuions.

Problem number 1 comes about with any reliance on the identification made by Tony Gauci. This is immediately compounded by the plethora of contradictory statements made during the subsequent years of questioning by the investigators. The basis of argument becomes even more untenable if accepted that his initial recollection, made nine months after the fact, would (naturally) be viewed as the most reliable and yet it is at the early stage of his statements where he most certainly does not describe someone who fits the size and characteristics of Megrahi himself.

Argument could be made that since Gauci has recalled the actual clothing sold quite remarkably during the first interview, and that would indicate he indeed found the sale memorable enough to recall the items purchased and this lends weight and validity to his first statement given during the nascent stages of the investigation around Mary's House. However, if we are to accept his memory was dependable in recalling the items sold, then that same trust should be granted to his recollection of the buyer, and that description simply does not define Megrahi in any shape or form.

Originally Posted by SCCRC
Additional evidence, not made available to the defence, which indicates that four days prior to the identification parade at which Mr Gauci picked out the applicant, he saw a photograph of the applicant in a
magazine article linking him to the bombing.

[..] Other evidence, not made available to the defence, which the
Commission believes may further undermine Mr Gauci’s identification
of the applicant
To stretch incredulity further by relying on this argument, and one were to accept the possibilty of Gauci's identification despite its apparent discrepancies, the premise is again diminished by Gauci indicating that the date of sale was at a time when Megrahi was not on the island. According to Gauci, it was raining, the Christmas decorations in the town were not yet up and his brother was absent from the shop. If the sale had indeed occurred on the 7th, then meteorological records showed no rainfall on that day, the Christmas decorations were put up on the 6th of December and his brother would not have been away watching a football match as it had taken place earlier in the day.

Originally Posted by SCCRC
[...] the Commission formed the view that there is no reasonable basis in the trial court’s judgment for its conclusion that the purchase of the items from Mary’s House, took place on 7 December 1988.

[...]In the Commission’s view, taken together with Mr Gauci’s evidence at trial and the contents of his police statements, this additional evidence indicates that the purchase of the items took place prior to 6 December 1988. In other words, it indicates that the purchase took place at a time when there was no evidence at trial that the applicant was in Malta.
SCCRC Decision


And no discussion of financial "reward" to the Gauci brothers even need be discussed.
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Old 8th November 2010, 04:24 PM   #224
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That's why I don't think the question of the money given to the Gaucis is all that important. The investigation didn't get very good value for its $3 million, really.

Tony seemed quite conflicted in the later stages of the investigation, and even more so at Zeist itself. He said he wanted to be fair, and sure of what he was saying. Then he merely said Megrahi resembled the purchaser. I think on one hand he really had no idea whether Megrahi might have been the purchaser by that stage, considering how many photos he'd been shown. And of course he'd described a man in his 50s, and by then Megrahi was 47. But on the other hand Paul was coaching him to perform for the money. So instead of coming clean and saying he really couldn't say, or indeed that it definitely wasn't Megrahi, he said something relatively non-committal.

That wasn't an identification, and on top of that it was the wrong day, and it should have been discounted even if Tony had paid his own air fare from Malta to Holland and never received so much as a sandwich from the investigators.
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Old 9th November 2010, 08:00 AM   #225
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What Buncrana says illustrates the weakness in some of the more extreme conspiracy theories I think. The case, which was painstakingly put together including (definitely) testimony from bribed and pressurised witnesses and (possibly/probably) fabricated physical evidence, fell apart.

Giaka was exposed as a lying fantasist, and virtually all his evidence discounted. That should have been enough to stop the trial then and there, especially considering that the revelation included the fact that the CIA had wilfully solicited the perjured evidence from him.

Gauci never positively identified Megrahi as the purchaser of the clothes, and the judges acknowledged that. Even without the discrepancies regarding the date of the transaction, all the "too young", "not the man but he resembles him" and so on should have torpedoed that part as well.

The only evidence suggesting unaccompanied luggage on KM180 was tray B8849, and in the context of the unbreakable security records at Malta that should have been ruled to have been a coding anomaly. (And even if there was doubt about its being a coding anomaly, the second leap of faith that it was the bomb suitcase had no evidence to support it.)

The most mindboggling thing in this entire bizarre saga is how that lot ended up as a guilty verdict. Before that announcement, the entire press pack was busy drafting articles on the double acquittal.

The accused petitioned for a non-jury trial because they believed any Scottish jury would be biassed against them. They believed that a judicial bench would be able to put aside prejudice (literally, pre-judging) and decide on the evidence alone. It's difficult to say whether they were wrong about the first part, because we don't have a jury verdict to act as a control. There's no doubt juries do some bloody incomprehensible things on a regular basis.

But be that as it may, the written opinion of the court reveals an astonishing desire to convict on the part of the judges. Time and time again, an unlikely or tenuous explanation which supports guilt is elevated into virtual certainty precisely because it supports guilt. Prime examples are the 7th December purchase date, the alleged impossibility of a coding anomaly at Frankfurt, and the relocation of the Bedford suitcase to "a far corner of the container" before the thing is concluded to have been mysteriously lost in the crash and no relative realised such a bag was missing.

If the judges hadn't decided to go with this "sacrificium intellectualis" (Kochler), then all the plotting, bribery, fabrication and so on would have been entirely for nothing. Which of course raises the question of whether the judges were got at.

Robert Black thinks not. First, he relates a heavy rumour circulating in Scots law circles that despite the "unanimous" verdict, the judges were anything but unanimous. One judge is said to have wanted to convict both, and one to acquit both. (I'm not sure if the third was also in the "acquit both" camp, or whether he was in favour of convicting Megrahi only.) However, it was recognised that a split verdict was politically unacceptable, and a compromise had to be reached. That compromise was a guilty verdict against one of the accused. No matter that this required redrafting the indictment, and was a non-sequitur in the context of the original allegations of conspiracy and the necessity of someone being placed airside at Malta that morning.

Robert Black explains this inexplicable verdict in terms of the position of Lord Advocate, and the judges being unwilling to go against the wishes of their "superior officer" who was also the prosecutor. Another consideration is that the judges might have believed a double acquittal to be politically unacceptable following the eight years of political certainty that Libya was guilty, and the damaging (and indeed lethal) sanctions that were imposed on the country as a result. In particular they may have been unwilling to piss off the USA, which clearly wanted convictions.

So, they could obviously have decided to go with the politically acceptable verdict despite the evidence, with no outside pressure being applied at all. They could even have done it more or less unconsciously (as Robert Black believes), men of the establishment doing what they believed was expected of them.

However, that doesn't sit well with the suggestions that the whole thing was minutely stage-managed to get the convictions. Oh yes it was stage-managed, but that went completely pear-shaped, only to be rescued by three judges acting entirely independently? How lucky can you get, really.

Alternatively, is it possible that one single judge, the one who was pressing for the double conviction, was indeed got at? To propose a guilty verdict against Fhimah on that evidence is beyond ludicrous. But it could be the sort of thing you'd do if you wanted at least one conviction to come out of it, so that you could bargain away Fhimah's conviction against Megrahi's.

It has to be one of the two, and I'm damned if I know which. I don't suppose we'll ever find out, either.

Rolfe.
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Old 10th November 2010, 05:08 AM   #226
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And I guess it wouldn't be interrupting much to note that Richard Marquise will be speaking at Syracuse University over in NY tomorrow. My appeal to curious students there is already the #2 hit for "Richard Marquise" + Syracuse.

Anyone around there who's certain of Megrahi's guilt should go hear the robot talk. Should be sorta-informative and all soothing.
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Old 10th November 2010, 03:41 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
An ePetition? Really?

Yes, really.

http://www.holyrood.tv/popup.asp?str..._petitions.wmv

(This is just for information, there is a separate thread on the petition.)

Rolfe.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:45 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Anyone around there who's certain of Megrahi's guilt should go hear the robot talk. Should be sorta-informative and all soothing.
Nice plug for Marquise. I'm sure you're well versed on the ol' addage of "there's no such thing as bad press".
That said, I'd rather hear Marquise speak than read (much less respond to) your blather any day.

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Old 11th November 2010, 01:07 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
Nice plug for Marquise. I'm sure you're well versed on the ol' addage of "there's no such thing as bad press".
That said, I'd rather hear Marquise speak than read (much less respond to) your blather any day.
Brilliant "blather"-response. Thanks for the bump.
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Old 11th November 2010, 03:13 AM   #230
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Richard Marquise deals in certainties - his certainties, which don't have much resemblance to reality as she is spoke. I imagine if these are the certainties you want to have reinforced, it would be soothing and non-challenging to listen to him.

What I would like Bunntamas to think about, is why the people in the upper echelons of the Lockerbie affair in the US continually misrepresent and outright lie about the evidence? One commentator on CL's blog has addressed this in some detail.

Originally Posted by Fullinquiry
If Syracuse students want to truly honour their fallen alumni they should ask Marquise why he doesn't tell the full story regarding the date of purchase. Why does he need to lie? Why is he so afraid of explaining what the Court heard instead of putting his spin on the date of purchase and representing his personal view as fact? Of course there is only one answer - the facts point far more to November 23, 1988 as the real date of purchase - a day Megrahi was not on Malta, and that means Richard and his team DID NOT follow the evidence as he so strongly maintains they did.

This is the simple truth. The evidence points overwhelmingly to the clothes being purchased on 23rd November 1988, a date when Megrahi was verifiably elsewhere. For Richard to continually state as fact that the purchase took place on 7th December is simply dishonest. If he wants to support that day as the day of purchase, he should explain his reasoning, which he never does.

Richard might reply (if he deigned to reply) that the judgement of the court stated that the purchase date was 7th December. That is true, though only a partial answer, because the main thrust of the published part of the SCCRC report was that there was "no basis in fact" for that finding, and that the evidence (including new evidence not available to the court) pointed to 23rd November.

However, if Richard is relying unquestioningly on the decision of the court, we then have to raise the question of his reliance elsewhere on the evidence of Giaka. "Megrahi and Fhimah brought a brown Samsonite suitcase through customs at Malta on 20th December." "Megrahi discussed the feasibility of bombing an airliner with another JSO officer." "Fhimah kept explosives in the drawer of his dest at Luqa airport." And so on.

These bald, apparently factual statements are also used by Marquise to justify his assertion of Megrahi's guilt. They are all part of the evidence given by Giaka, which was rejected in its entirety by the court because the revelation that he was making it all up for money at the instigation of the CIA and DoJ was absolutely incontrovertible.

This is the standard of Richard Marquise's argument, and one really has to ask why he finds it necessary to resort to such dishonesty? Just as he resorted to outright lying when questioned by Gideon Levy about the bribe money paid to the Gauci brothers, making statements about their never having asked for money and never being promised money which are shown to be completely untrue by the contemporaneous police notebooks which have been produced.

I've referred elsewhere to Frank Duggan's dishonesty, which is an order of magnitude worse than Marquise's. In that infamous radio interview with George Galloway, Duggan is verifiably wrong in pretty much every factual statement he makes. Not just spinning, but wrong. I'm assured by others that this isn't because he's woefully uninformed about the specifics of the case he's being paid to represent, on the contrary he has in fact been corrected on these points on numerous occcasions. Nevertheless he continues blithely to repeat these falsehoods, usually on platforms where his word is accepted unquestioningly and those who know he's lying can't challenge him.

Why is this, do you think?

Rolfe.
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Old 11th November 2010, 06:14 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by Bunntamas View Post
"there's no such thing as bad press".

Au contraire.

Nearly 3 years ago, I took the time and respectfully sent a lengthy email to the editor of The Daily Orange, the Syracuse campus newpaper. Below is a copy of the main points I raised...

RE: Lockerbie Remembrance

Dear Sir,

I wish heartfelt sympathies to all connected with Syracuse University at this time in their remembrance of those souls who were killed on Pan Am 103.

I recently picked up on your article of 10/29/07, however, it is with some disappointment that after a search on your website, I find no reference to the extremely important developments which have taken place in Scotland over the last few months with regards to the Lockerbie case. These crucial developments have been virtually ignored by the mainstream US media, which in itself is curious, but given the University's particular interests in the tragedy, I would have expected it at least worth comment from this publication.

For the avoidance of any doubt or confusion, I will briefly outline the developments which have taken place in the Scottish Courts recently:

1/ June 28 2007. The man convicted of bombing PanAm 103, Mr Megrahi, has had his case recommended back to the Appeal Court, after a Scottish Judiciary board, the SCCRC (Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission), found there to be 6 grounds for a possible "Miscarriage of Justice". [http://www.sccrc.org.uk/ViewFile.aspx?id=293] - only 4 of those grounds have been released to the public.

2/ August 29 2007. A crucial prosecution witness has signed a statement claiming perjury at the original trial, and claims that he worked with investigators from the US and UK in alleged fabrication of evidence. Namely, the Swiss-made timer alleged to have been instrumental in the explosion causing the disaster. [http://i-p-o.org/IPO-Lockerbie-nr-28Aug2007.htm]

3/ October 02 2007. Scotland's 'The Herald' newspaper publishes an article claiming that the SCCRC, in their investigations, have found that documents casting doubt on the the Libyan man's conviction, have been withheld from the defense team at the trial. Of greater concern is that the article reveals that the Scottish Crown Prosecution team signed an agreement with the US government stating they would view the documents, without the Defense team's knowledge of these documents, and their possible validility to the original trial. If true, this would represent a grave breach of the Crown's legal and ethical obligations.

[ http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news...727540.0.0.php ]

4/ October 03 2007. 'The Herald' newspaper reports that the pivotal Crown Prosecution witness at the trial, Tony Gauci (the Maltese shop owner were the clothes which surrounded the bomb were said to have been bought) was offered substantial payment for his testimony at the Court in Zeist. The SCCRC opinion is that this would cast doubt on the credibility of the statement, more-so given this was not revealed at the time of the trial, the newspaper reports.

[ http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news...730667.0.0.php ]

5/ October 06 2007. 'The Scotsman' Newspaper has a story to the effect that another witness at the trial in Zeist was offered 'payment' by the FBI of $4m and a 'new life in the US' if he would give a statement confirming the sale of the Swiss-made timers to Libya. The report states he refused this offer.

[ http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/inte...?id=1597732007 ]

7/ October 10 2007. The well informed writer David Horovitz of 'The Jerusalem Post', has written an article confidently stating that, in view of the developments, he expects the Libyan Mr Megrahi to be freed on his appeal.
[ http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satelli...cle%2FShowFull ]

8/ October 11 2007. A Procedural Hearing took place today in respect of Mr. Megrahi at Edinburgh's High Court in Scotland.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/Lockerbie/...189685,00.html ]

9/ October 23 2007. After nearly an astonishing 3 months, the first report on these developments has finally appeared in the US media, although I would far from term it mainstream. A website, Media Monitors Network has published an article by Ambassador Andrew Killgore, publisher of the influential Washington Report on Middle East Affairs which does not blithely assume the guilt of Megrahi and Libya for the Lockerbie bombing. [ http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/46864 ]

I am sure you will have found these articles of some significant interest to The Daily Orange, and hope, despite the painful issues and memories it raises, it is deemed worthy of discussion or opinion through your publication.
Once again, I would like to pass my sincere thoughts at this time to all at Syracuse University, especially all those who lost a loved one on that tragic day in 1988, and my best hopes and wishes for the future.
Yours sincerely,

End.

So concerned with these developments, the The Daily Orange couldn't even muster a response to me. Nevermind out of courtesy and civility.

Being willfully ignorant and blinkered deserves no sympathy and I would suggest that The Daily Orange encapsulate and define in this instance precisely what 'bad press' entails.
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Old 11th November 2010, 03:53 PM   #232
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I don't understand this complete closed-minded certainty on the part of the entire US contingent. It's fairly obvious why the original investigators don't want to take off the blinkers, of course. And I can understand some individuals being so desperate for someone to blame that they can't bear the idea that they don't actually know who to blame. But everyone? Even those not personally involved such as Syracuse staff members of the present day, over 20 years on? Is there really nobody on the US side of the discussion who has looked at the evidence with an open mind? Academics might be expected to have that mindset, or at least some of them....

Perhaps what surprises me most is the lack of any serious attempt to persuade us that we're misreading the evidence and there is a reasonable interpretation that fits with Megrahi's guilt. Or indeed, the lack of any attempt to debunk our stated reasons for believing he didn't do it. I'd have imagined that among all these people on CL's side of the pond there would at least be some who had a rational position on the evidence that they could articulate. If such people exist, they're keeping a very low profile.

From my point of view, it would be an enormous relief to learn that the Zeist court had been honest all along, and delivered a just verdict. The motivation for me to believe that is very strong. But I can't, not on that evidence.

People blandly declaring that the clothes were bought on 7th December and that Gauci recognised Megrahi as the purchaser and that it's definitely known that there was an unaccompanied bag on KM180 that morning, don't cut it. Not even if they are called Richard Marquise or Frank Duggan. Anyone with an internet connection can find out for themselves that none of these things is true.

Why is it only on the Brit side of the pond, the side where the miscarriage of justice was actually perpetrated, that people seem to be prepared to look at the actual evidence? (Pace Caustic Logic, you know what I mean.)

Rolfe.
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Old 11th November 2010, 06:05 PM   #233
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I wonder if it's worth pointing out to Bunntamas that many more people read these threads than ever post in them. Sometimes an argument has its best effect on people who haven't even participated.

Bunntamas, you're sidestepping requests to address the evidence and present your own case by declaring that we won't listen and we'll just hand-wave it away. The fact is, if your arguments are bunk and your evidence tenth-hand hearsay then it's not going to be treated with much deference, that's true. However, if you think you have a good case, and surely you must think that, then it's not necessary to convince CL and Buncrana and me in order to achieve something. If uncommitted people read your side of the debate and are convinced by it, then it was worth doing.

At the moment, all that's going on is that the three of us are presenting rational, well-referenced arguments, and you're declaring that you don't want to present your case. What are people reading the thread supposed to think?

Rolfe.
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Old 11th November 2010, 09:21 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I wonder if it's worth pointing out to Bunntamas that many more people read these threads than ever post in them. Sometimes an argument has its best effect on people who haven't even participated.
Hi Rolfe. Your many posts on the issue have convinced me something went seriously wrong in the Megrahi conviction. I signed the e-petition during the extension period granted because the site was down.

Now I'm from Canada, not the US, but you can take comfort knowing at least one person on this side of the pond supports your position in the case. It's not like wrongful convictions have never happened in the past. Here in Canada there have been three high profile cases: Donald Marshall, Jr.WP, David MilgaardWP, and Guy Paul MorinWP. (Weird ... all three of them have last names that begin with "M"—just like Megrahi.) Before them was Steven TruscottWP, a teenager who in 1959 was almost hanged.

In all these cases, investigators decided first they were the likely culprits, then built their case around them. Fortunately for all of them, the convictions were overturned and three of them received substantial settlements from the government. I imagine there are yet many in prison in the western world in similar circumstances but with unhappier outcomes.

If local police can railroad an innocent person to a murder conviction, imagine how much more pressure an entire government can bring to bear. Indeed, in the Megrahi case there were two governments against him: the US and Scotland.

As for people being unwilling to review evidence in disagreement with their beliefs, sadly that is part of being human. You're a veterinarian; you probably see lots of woo every day. And we've both seen it in the US health care debates that were prominent on this board a couple of years ago.
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Old 12th November 2010, 08:14 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Hi Rolfe. Your many posts on the issue have convinced me something went seriously wrong in the Megrahi conviction. I signed the e-petition during the extension period granted because the site was down.

Thanks for that. When I started looking at this, I was prepared for the doubts about the conviction to turn out to be as debunkable as "9/11 was an inside job!" At the very least, I expected the situation to be debatable, with a plausible case to be made for guilt, even if a plausible case might also be made for innocence.

Not so. Despite much bluster (from Marquise, Duggan and others) about there being an enormous amount of incriminating evidence, this simply isn't the case. Not only that, we've failed to elicit any rational discussion of how the evidence available may be interpreted to imply guilt.

I spent quite a long time feeling I must be missing something. I constantly expected someone to come to one of the threads with an explanation I'd overlooked, demonstrating why it might be rational to believe he did it. But nothing. Not from Marquise, not from Bunntamas, and certainly not from Frank Duggan. I don't think I've ever encountered a conviction with so little evident justification.

I think that's what's so frustrating about the whole thing. Discussion and argument are healthy and hopefully advance understanding all round. Having one's apparently reasonable points met with either a resounding silence, or "I just don't agree," with no elaboration, is extremely disconcerting.

So, thanks for posting.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
Now I'm from Canada, not the US, but you can take comfort knowing at least one person on this side of the pond supports your position in the case. It's not like wrongful convictions have never happened in the past. Here in Canada there have been three high profile cases: Donald Marshall, Jr.WP, David MilgaardWP, and Guy Paul MorinWP. (Weird ... all three of them have last names that begin with "M"—just like Megrahi.) Before them was Steven TruscottWP, a teenager who in 1959 was almost hanged.

There have been many high-profile cases in Britain, though of course most have been in England. Barry George, Sion Jenkins, Sally Clark/Angela Cannings/Donna Anthony, a series of alleged IRA bombers, among others.

The IRA cases all happened before Lockerbie, and one very disturbing feature of the Lockerbie investigation is that a senior forensic officer who was heavily criticised for misleading the court in one of these cases was the lead investigator in Lockerbie. Indeed, this guy (Thomas Hayes) left his job precipitately in the middle of the Lockerbie investigation, at a time coinciding with a major inquiry into that case, and re-trained as a chiropodist (a bit of an odd career move for a man with a PhD and a senior post in forensic science). It is his work that shows signs of possible fabrication of evidence, and his performance in the witness box at Zeist is a masterpiece of evasion and obfuscation.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
In all these cases, investigators decided first they were the likely culprits, then built their case around them. Fortunately for all of them, the convictions were overturned and three of them received substantial settlements from the government. I imagine there are yet many in prison in the western world in similar circumstances but with unhappier outcomes.

If local police can railroad an innocent person to a murder conviction, imagine how much more pressure an entire government can bring to bear. Indeed, in the Megrahi case there were two governments against him: the US and Scotland.

Mmmm, three by the time of the trial - the US, the UK and Scotland.

The main difference in Megrahi's case seems simply to be the enormity of the atrocity. I can't see why it should be any less likely that the wrong person was railroaded in a high-profile international terrorism case involving 270 deaths, than in a single murder, but many of the arguments seem to assume this.

As you say, there were very serious political pressures in this case that are absent from run-of-the-mill investigations, and these probably make it more likely, rather than less, that someone unconnected with the atrocity might be railroaded.

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
As for people being unwilling to review evidence in disagreement with their beliefs, sadly that is part of being human. You're a veterinarian; you probably see lots of woo every day. And we've both seen it in the US health care debates that were prominent on this board a couple of years ago.

Indeed, that is very true. However, people vary. There are groups of people who are irretrievable woos. But then there are others with a very rational mindset. What is so odd about the Lockerbie situation is the virtually complete absence of anyone in the USA prepared to re-examine the evidence with an open mind. Not just investigators and relatives but people less emotionally invested in the verdict. Indeed, I only say "virtually" complete absence because I know Caustic Logic is a Yank.

There is a point of view that believes the US Lockerbie relatives were "groomed" to believe Megrahi and Fhimah guilty. I understand they were segregated at Zeist and surrounded by minders. However, that was all ten years ago, and it's a big internet out there. I do find it surprising that in all these people - and there must be hundreds - nobody seems to be breaking ranks.

Still, even the absence of debate can become telling, eventually. I've got to the stage where absence of anything of any substance from Richard Marquise, Frank Duggan and even Bunntamas is quite a major factor in convincing me I haven't missed anything here.

Rolfe.
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Old 13th November 2010, 08:54 AM   #236
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Mod Warning Deep breaths, folks. Address the argument, not the arguer.
Posted By:jhunter1163
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Old 14th November 2010, 12:00 AM   #237
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Yay! Jhunter's a mod! And a fellow of sturdy skepticism who can sometimes see the truth even when it's on the apparently "crazy" side. Be happy to hear your thoughts on this, if you have any.

Sorry I've been cheesing on this discussion. "Better things to do" lately. Bluemountain, thanks for speaking up. Great illustration of what Rolfe was saying above. You show that the E is being put it the JREF.

I'm still waiting to hear who else on the sidelines might be convinced by the other side of the debate presented thus far, and speak up that they're swayed by it. But there's little need to score that here, I suppose, given the de facto cultural reality bestowed on that side. It's not a thing you have to think out and take a stand on, it just is.

I think Rolfe called the opposing camp "guilters," and in echoing 9/11 Truth people, it's apropos. The obvious difference is that one group opposes the official story, the other makes and upholds it. It has the support of legal reality since 2001, and political reality since 1991. Apparently that's sufficient grounds, in the cult of legalists and political thinkers, to deny even the most eloquent, detailed, and factually correct of arguments to the contrary. Mere words and ideas and actual truth cannot possibly compare to a legal ruling that lines up with the beliefs of the entire US and UK power structure. (Because we know it's a combo effect - note the supposed irrelevance of Scotland's second legal ruling on the matter)

Don't bother trying. Don't say anything. We have all the truth we need. It's over. Move on. That seems to be the mood music here, but it's not working anymore. The trance has been broken, the intellectual critical mass has been obtained, and more are starting to "get it" every day.

So in short, expect more of the same from both sides.
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Old 14th November 2010, 12:09 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Still, even the absence of debate can become telling, eventually. I've got to the stage where absence of anything of any substance from Richard Marquise, Frank Duggan and even Bunntamas is quite a major factor in convincing me I haven't missed anything here.

Rolfe.
Bingo.

As I said above, the trance is broken, but few in America realizes it yet. I can attest to me and my friends and family as at least being open-minded on it by now. We know of Robert Baer's serious doubts, and even activism, speaking with some of the family members. He's been quiet lately. There's Michael Scharf from the State Dept. who was shocked at the outing of Giaka, and has called the investigation "a whitewash" targetting "fall guys."

But among the family members, zero dissent. It really is odd, industrial in its totality, considering our supposed rebellious nature and penchant for individuality. We know the UK dissenters, and have so far mostly forgootten a Spanish dissenter, Marina de Larracoechea, whose sister was a stewardess on 103. Her 1995 interview here is quite insightful.

But in the land of the free, home of the brave, everyone boldly and individually will tell you just what they believe, and it's just what the government said, except for not being so soft on Libya and Gaddafi, soft on Malta, on Scotland, on Iran (for no stated reason), etc...
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Old 14th November 2010, 02:14 AM   #239
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For reference, 88 names and quotes for most

I'm updating that list today, added myself... And Ms. De Larr.... above. And finally filled in a quote for Noel Koch, who's remained at the Pentagon for years until recently. Just before the trial, in 1999, he had this to say to Ian Ferguson for Shadow Over Lockerbie:
Quote:
"It was decided by the two governments, by the United States and the United Kingdom, that Libya had been responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103. I have never believed that, and I don't believe the case will stand against the Libyans. [...] My own conviction from the outset was that the Syrians and Iranians were pre-eminently responsible for this."
http://americanradioworks.publicradi...ble_story.html

Well, he was wrong on one front. But I think that's the only one. So even in the Pentagon establishment, the CIA (Baer), and at State, a few non-comformists are willing to express their doubts, and with some conviction.

But among the families, that tight-knit and influential (on this issue) community, nada. I'm sure there are very good reasons for that being so, or it wouldn't be so. Just what these reasons are, and how they've manifested into reality, we can't really say for sure.
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Old 15th November 2010, 03:52 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
I think Rolfe called the opposing camp "guilters," and in echoing 9/11 Truth people, it's apropos. ....

Er, that was a slightly tongue-in-cheek reference to the terminology being used in the Amanda Knox thread. I have no particular wish to import it!

You make interesting points about the acceptance of a cultural norm. I'm no sociologist, and I don't pretend to understand it. I'm quite surprised by how solid it seems to be in this forum though, with a fair number of notable exceptions.

It's rather different in Scotland. Many people if not most are quite prepared to say, "I don't think he did it, actually." I think in most cases this is more due to realising that a lot of people who seem to know what they're talking about have expressed serious doubts, than having a complete grasp of the evidence themselves.

I think that's what that appalling STV film was all about - trying to change the Scottish cultural norm by pretending that a bunch of stuff that simply ain't so is accepted fact. I don't think it had much effect, mind you.

Rolfe.
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