ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi , Ahmed Jibril , Kenny MacAskill , Lockerbie bombing , Marwan Khreesat , Pan Am 103

Reply
Old 12th March 2010, 07:32 PM   #1
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Did Abdelbaset al-Megrahi blow up Pan Am 103?

I believe we need another thread on this. The one I started in 2007 is very long now, and goes down a lot of dead ends on the way. Also, we haven't had anyone prepared to stand by the conviction of Megrahi on the evidence produced in court, until now. The other threads are essentially dealing with the question of what other explanations might fit the facts, assuming Megrahi wasn't guilty.

McHrozni has been arguing, in the mystery shopper thread, that Megrahi was actually guilty of the bombing. This is a fairly major derail, because he's not apparently trying to defend Gauci's identification of Megrahi, but rather going off into other aspects of the case.

So here it is. I'm quoting McHrozni's main point, and I hope he will come to this thread to argue it.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
The evidence suggests, very strongly, that Megradi [Megrahi] had motive, means and opportunity to carry out the attacks. Near as I can tell, no one else had the motive, means and opportunity to carry out the attacks. If that is true, he carried out the attack - no one else who could would want to.

And then again,

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
You can't claim the only man in the world could do an act that did happen (Lockerbie bombing in this case) didn't do it, unless you can show another person who could've done it.

We haven't really got much further than that, so I don't see a problem with starting again.

As I see it, the points of evidence put forward as connecting Megrahi to the bombing were as follows.
  1. Tony Gauci, after much vacillating and changes of mind (and a "reward" of $2 million), said the person who bought the clothes believed to have been in the bomb suitcase "resembled [Megrahi] a lot".
  2. Evidence was led to suggest that an unaccompanied suitcase had arrived at Frankfurt airport from Malta on KM180. Megrahi was at Luqa airport in Malta when KM180 was checking in.
  3. Megrahi had business dealings with Edwin Bollier, Stazi agent and proprietor of the company that manufactured the timing device believed to have triggered the explosion, timing devices that were sold to Libya.
That, frankly, is that. Yes, he was a Libyan intelligence officer (I think, though it is said that was never proved). And yes, Libya did some very bad things. But while these facts may be relevant once actual evidence has linked Megrahi to the crime, they don't add up to anything without it. James Bond might equally stand accused!

The Gauci evidence was the part highlighted by the SCCRC when they declared a possible miscarriage of justice and gave leave to appeal. There were other points (the report refers to six grounds for appeal but then only lists four), but the Gauci part was all they made public.

Originally Posted by SCCRC
New evidence not heard at the trial concerned the date on which the Christmas lights were illuminated in the area of Sliema in which Maryís House is situated. In the Commissionís view, taken together with Mr Gauciís 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.

The tracing of the suitcase back to an alleged point of origin at Luqa was never sound. It wasn't part of the grounds for appeal because no new evidence was unearthed about it, but that doesn't make the original decision any more reasonable.

Originally Posted by Court judgement
The absence of any explanation of the method by which the primary suitcase might have been placed on board KM180 is a major difficulty for the Crown case, and one which has to be considered along with the rest of the circumstantial evidence in the case.

Not only that, but the evidence presented to suggest that an item of unaccompanied luggage came off KM180 (even though it didn't go on in the first place) was very weak, and open to a number of alternative explanations. The theory that Megrahi planted this bomb depends absolutely on the bomb having been put on board at Luqa, because he was at Luqa that morning. However, that inference is strikingly weak.

The third point above is actually quite tenuous. Bollier manufactured the timing devices and sold them to Libya in 1986. There is no evidence that Megrahi was involved in this transaction, or ever had one of the timers in his possession. The devices were scattered abroad over the following couple of years, with two being found in Togo and two in Senegal. In fact, the Megrahi/Bollier connection seems to be little more than, Bollier dealt with Libya a lot, and Megrahi was one of the Libyans he dealt with.

So, that's about it, as far as the main points go. This is the evidence McHrozni believes supports Megrahi's guilt, and more, apparently makes him the only person in the world who could have carried out the bombing.

I think if either the Gauci identification or the origin of the suitcase at Luqa could be made to stand up, then the case would be very arguable. However, both appear to be on very shaky foundations. It appears that the original reasoning was circular - Megrahi must have been the buyer of the clothes because Megrahi was in a position to have put the bomb on KM180, but at the same time, the bomb must have been on KM180 because that's where Megrahi (who bought the clothes) was at the time. Uh, right....

I'm going to bed now, but I think we have the start of a discussion.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th March 2010, 11:32 PM   #2
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,496
There is definitely a case to make! It was made, loud and clear, and repeated by British police and authorities, American investigators and politicians (about all of them), the Kamp van Zeist judges, the "maintream media," and so on...

And to get to the conclusions that Megrahi himself sent the bomb suitcae knowingly to Flight 103, they followed, what? the Yellow Brick road? Who can speak up in defense of the best and brightest of Western Civilization?

Who can just say it again that he convicted Lockerbie bomber was rightly convicted and most likely had... some... role...(??) in the bombing. ? Be specific - what role based on what clues? - if at all possible.

Motive, means, opportunity? What kinds of explosives did the Libyans have access to? Radios? Grievances? Circumstantial stuff, speculation, off-topic rants, anything goes except that last one.

Don't worry I won't be badgering anyone much this weekend. Let's just see some sane, reasoned re-affirmations of why the "official story" is just fine here.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 08:30 AM   #3
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
One thing I meant to say is that I think we should keep any discussion of tampering with or fabrication of evidence out of this thread. That really is speculation and suspicion, no matter how well-founded, and nothing has ever been proved.

I don't think the case stands up even if the MST-13 timer and the Horton fragment and the Erac printout are all completely on the level. So I think we should concentrate on that aspect.

Rolfel
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 10:07 AM   #4
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
As I see it, the points of evidence put forward as connecting Megrahi to the bombing were as follows.
  1. Tony Gauci, after much vacillating and changes of mind (and a "reward" of $2 million), said the person who bought the clothes believed to have been in the bomb suitcase "resembled [Megrahi] a lot".
  2. Evidence was led to suggest that an unaccompanied suitcase had arrived at Frankfurt airport from Malta on KM180. Megrahi was at Luqa airport in Malta when KM180 was checking in.
  3. Megrahi had business dealings with Edwin Bollier, Stazi agent and proprietor of the company that manufactured the timing device believed to have triggered the explosion, timing devices that were sold to Libya.
That, frankly, is that. Yes, he was a Libyan intelligence officer (I think, though it is said that was never proved). And yes, Libya did some very bad things. But while these facts may be relevant once actual evidence has linked Megrahi to the crime, they don't add up to anything without it. James Bond might equally stand accused!
You're a bit too obnoxious for my taste to start another discussion with you, but let me point out that James Bond is/was/would be a part of MI-6, which to my knowledge, never bombed airliners over UK. Therefore he couldn't be a suspect here.

Secondly, you're apparently mistaking legal evidence for investigative evidence. In an investigation, everything matters: rumors, hearsay and other inadmissible pieces that can't go in court. Megrahi was connected to the bombing before Gaucis' testimony. That's why his testimony became questionable in the first place - he saw is picture in a newspaper before identifying him as the shopper.

The case of Lockerbie bombing is suspect because some of the evidence is suspect. If the evidence presented stands, then the case stands.

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 11:52 AM   #5
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Quote:
Have you any idea how ridiculous that comparison is? We're not talking about a spaceship, we're talking about the surface of the Earth, with all it's 6 billion people on board.
It's called reductio ad absurdum. You're claiming that it is never a question if someone else could be the cultprit. I have demonstrated an option in where it would be. I'm glad you agree your idea was wrong. Now I will apperently have to show you some more likely options. I really thought you'd be smart enough to figure it out, I explicitly said we didn't have such an extreme case, but alas, at least I'll know why to ignore you.

Here is a more likely scenario: money was stolen from a safe using a key. There is but one key to the said safe. It is located in another safe, that only one person has access to. That safe was untouched. There is evidence the key was removed by this person (for lawful or for nefarious purposes) and no evidence anyone else came in touch with the key.
It is reasonable to assume this person was involved (willingly or not) in the theft, is it not? I'm quite sure the defense will be the one that will need to show another scenario was likely in such a case. Do we have any lawyers that would state their opinion?

Another, even more relevant scenario: an airliner is bombed by an almost unique bomb. There is only one organization that has ever fielded such a device, and that organization has a history of airline bombings that fit the profile of this bombing. The device is sufficiently complex, sufficiently unique and sufficiently unknown to rule out copying and a random match. An agent of the said organization is definitively placed at the airport when the doomed plane took off, with plentiful time to execute whatever plan he wanted. You're claiming it is unreasonable to demand another viable scenario from someone who is claiming the agent had nothing to do with it. In fact, you're calling it a stundie.

Another scenario that happened not far from me a few months ago: an alcoholic divorced mother was at home with her two toddlers for the night. In the middle of the night she called her father to come help her revive the kids. Both kids were dead by the time any help arrived - suffocated by a pillow. The apartment doors were locked from the inside, there was no sign of a forced entry, and the key of the apartment was in the inside keyhole the whole time, which effectively prevents the door from being unlocked from the outside - even with a key. All windows were shut from the inside (cold winter), again, no sign of forced entry. Needless to say, there was no evidence anyone else was in the apartment at the time.
You're claiming it's reasonable to assume someone other than mother would be a culprit, without providing who or why?
Even the mothers' defender would disagree with you, since he pointed to a neighbor as a possible culprit. Are you calling his defense a stundie as well?

The spaceship around the Moon was just to make you agree with the general principle: it is possible to have a case where there is only one possible suspect. Obviously the real cases are different. I toyed with the idea by presenting you with a flying airplane, a submarine, a deserted island, a rescue boat ... all would work, but I wanted to pick a sufficiently extreme version in order for you to agree with the principle more easily. Near as I can tell, it worked rather well, since you fell for the unlikeliness of the situation, and agreed that the principle was reasonable, even if the circumstances were not. As you see above, I can tailor an adequately likely situation, it just requires a whole lot more text, and you'd probably try to find a hole somewhere (and possibly even find it) before you'd agree the principle was sound, even though a slightly different set of circumstances would preclude that as well. Now you know why the Moon mission was chosen in that example.

McHrozni

Last edited by McHrozni; 13th March 2010 at 12:29 PM.
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 12:17 PM   #6
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
You're a bit too obnoxious for my taste to start another discussion with you, but let me point out that James Bond is/was/would be a part of MI-6, which to my knowledge, never bombed airliners over UK. Therefore he couldn't be a suspect here.

You're a bit humour-impaired today, don't you think?

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Secondly, you're apparently mistaking legal evidence for investigative evidence. In an investigation, everything matters: rumors, hearsay and other inadmissible pieces that can't go in court. Megrahi was connected to the bombing before Gaucis' testimony. That's why his testimony became questionable in the first place - he saw is picture in a newspaper before identifying him as the shopper.

Well, come on. What are you actually talking about? Do you believe Giaka was telling the truth? I've been waiting for someone to take that line explicitly, but up till now that's been in vain.

Do tell!

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
The case of Lockerbie bombing is suspect because some of the evidence is suspect. If the evidence presented stands, then the case stands.

Good, you're getting it. The evidence as presented does not appear to stand.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 13th March 2010 at 12:19 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 12:21 PM   #7
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Good, you're getting it. The evidence as presented does not appear to stand
Originally Posted by the very same Rolfe, only slightly earlier View Post
One thing I meant to say is that I think we should keep any discussion of tampering with or fabrication of evidence out of this thread. That really is speculation and suspicion, no matter how well-founded, and nothing has ever been proved.

I don't think the case stands up even if the MST-13 timer and the Horton fragment and the Erac printout are all completely on the level. So I think we should concentrate on that aspect.
You aren't very keen at following the rules of your threads, are you.

McHrozni

Last edited by McHrozni; 13th March 2010 at 12:32 PM.
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 12:44 PM   #8
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Sigh. You're not very good at reading for comprehension, are you?

The evidence as presented does not appear to stand.
I don't think the case stands up even if the MST-13 timer and the Horton fragment and the Erac printout are all completely on the level.


There's no contradiction there. The evidence doesn't stand in the normal way of examining these things. It's certainly interesting to debate whether certain items of evidence may have been tampered with. Such things have happened. However, it is absolutely unnecessary to show that any item of evidence was tampered with in any way at all, to cast fatal doubt on Megrahi's alleged guilt.

So let's do it the easy way.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 12:47 PM   #9
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Sigh. You're not very good at reading for comprehension, are you?

The evidence as presented does not appear to stand.
I don't think the case stands up even if the MST-13 timer and the Horton fragment and the Erac printout are all completely on the level.


There's no contradiction there. The evidence doesn't stand in the normal way of examining these things. It's certainly interesting to debate whether certain items of evidence may have been tampered with. Such things have happened. However, it is absolutely unnecessary to show that any item of evidence was tampered with in any way at all, to cast fatal doubt on Megrahi's alleged guilt.

So let's do it the easy way.

Rolfe.
Yes, let's do it the easy way.

You missed this part:
One thing I meant to say is that I think we should keep any discussion of tampering with or fabrication of evidence out of this thread. That really is speculation and suspicion, no matter how well-founded, and nothing has ever been proved.

And this part:
You aren't very keen at following the rules of your threads, are you.

Will you now manage to figure out what I was telling you?

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 12:52 PM   #10
A'isha
Miss Schoolteacher
 
A'isha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 15,220
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Yes, let's do it the easy way.

You missed this part:
One thing I meant to say is that I think we should keep any discussion of tampering with or fabrication of evidence out of this thread. That really is speculation and suspicion, no matter how well-founded, and nothing has ever been proved.

And this part:
You aren't very keen at following the rules of your threads, are you.

Will you now manage to figure out what I was telling you?

McHrozni
So please point out where, in this thread, Rolfe introduced "any discussion of tampering with or fabrication of evidence".
A'isha is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:01 PM   #11
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by ANTPogo View Post
So please point out where, in this thread, Rolfe introduced "any discussion of tampering with or fabrication of evidence".
Here:
Quote:
Quote:
The case of Lockerbie bombing is suspect because some of the evidence is suspect. If the evidence presented stands, then the case stands.
Good, you're getting it. The evidence as presented does not appear to stand.
McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:10 PM   #12
A'isha
Miss Schoolteacher
 
A'isha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 15,220
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Here:
Funny, I don't see the words "tampering", "fabrication", or anything remotely similar there. As Rolfe explained in post number 8 (which, unless you're in the habit of quoting and responding to posts you don't read, I know you saw), his position is that even from the point of view that every single piece of evidence is legitimate, that it still doesn't stand (ie, it doesn't conclusively prove al-Megrahi's guilt).

I happen to disagree with Rolfe on that, but your bizarre up-is-down, black-is-white assertion that Rolfe saying "let's not discuss whether the evidence was tampered with or not, because even if it wasn't it doesn't prove the case" is really a case of Rolfe attempting to discuss whether the evidence was tampered with or not is just...nonsensical.
A'isha is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:19 PM   #13
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by ANTPogo View Post
Funny, I don't see the words "tampering", "fabrication", or anything remotely similar there. As Rolfe explained in post number 8 (which, unless you're in the habit of quoting and responding to posts you don't read, I know you saw), his position is that even from the point of view that every single piece of evidence is legitimate, that it still doesn't stand (ie, it doesn't conclusively prove al-Megrahi's guilt).
Hm. It appears we might have had a slight misunderstanding.

By saying this:
The case of Lockerbie bombing is suspect because some of the evidence is suspect. If the evidence presented stands, then the case stands.

I was trying to convey the message:
If the evidence was not tampered with (stands), Meghradi is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If it was tampered with, the case is suspect and doesn't stand.


To which Rolfe replied:
Good, you're getting it. The evidence as presented does not appear to stand.

Which, from my point of view, can only mean that the evidence was tampered with, triggering this series of replies.
However, if Rolfe meant to say something else, then I apologize, it was a misunderstanding.

Quote:
I happen to disagree with Rolfe on that, but your bizarre up-is-down, black-is-white assertion that Rolfe saying "let's not discuss whether the evidence was tampered with or not, because even if it wasn't it doesn't prove the case" is really a case of Rolfe attempting to discuss whether the evidence was tampered with or not is just...nonsensical.
I agree it is nonsensical, but seeing how desperate Rolfe is for everyone to agree Meghradi was an innocent victim of the circumstance (or framed), I can imagine him grasping at any straw, including something this nonsensical.

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:28 PM   #14
A'isha
Miss Schoolteacher
 
A'isha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 15,220
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Hm. It appears we might have had a slight misunderstanding.

By saying this:
The case of Lockerbie bombing is suspect because some of the evidence is suspect. If the evidence presented stands, then the case stands.

I was trying to convey the message:
If the evidence was not tampered with (stands), Meghradi is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If it was tampered with, the case is suspect and doesn't stand.


To which Rolfe replied:
Good, you're getting it. The evidence as presented does not appear to stand.

Which, from my point of view, can only mean that the evidence was tampered with, triggering this series of replies.
However, if Rolfe meant to say something else, then I apologize, it was a misunderstanding.
Hmm...I think I see what you mean, and what happened here.

From his followup in post number 8, I took Rolfe's last reply there to mean not "Yes, the evidence was tampered with, therefore it doesn't stand", but instead "Even if the evidence was not tampered with, it doesn't stand [as sufficient to establish al-Megrahi's guilt], so therefore the case as a whole doesn't stand."

That is, while you were using "stand" to mean specifically "not tampered with", he was using "stand" in a much broader way, to mean "sufficient in a court of law to establish guilt even though un-tampered with" (the way the common phrase "that'll never stand up in court" means that it's insufficient evidence, not that it's fake evidence).

Though, naturally, Rolfe can speak for himself about what he really meant.

Quote:
I agree it is nonsensical, but seeing how desperate Rolfe is for everyone to agree Meghradi was an innocent victim of the circumstance (or framed), I can imagine him grasping at any straw, including something this nonsensical.

McHrozni
As I said, I disagree with Rolfe about al-Megrahi's guilt in the Lockerbie bombing. But I don't think he's doing what you think he's doing in this particular instance.

Last edited by A'isha; 13th March 2010 at 01:30 PM.
A'isha is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:34 PM   #15
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Ok, let's go out and come in again. Evidence doesn't have to be tampered with or fabricated, in order to fall. Most evidence is not tampered with, but evidence falls all the time. I sort of thought you understood that.

Quote:
I was trying to convey the message:
If the evidence was not tampered with (stands), Meghradi is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If it was tampered with, the case is suspect and doesn't stand.

I have already said, for the purposes of this thread, let's not rely on any suggestion or assertion that any evidence was tampered with. It's just not necessary.

You believe that the case against Megrahi is beyond reasonable doubt, in that case. Please return to the OP then, and explain why you think this evidence proves the case.

By the way, the guy's name is عبد الباسط محمد علي المقرحي‎
(I'm not that smart, it's a copy-paste from Wikipedia). It's usually rendered as M-E-G-R-A-H-I. If you read a bit more about the case, maybe you'll start to get it.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:35 PM   #16
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by ANTPogo View Post
As I said, I disagree with Rolfe about al-Megrahi's guilt in the Lockerbie bombing.

Excellent! I'd be very pleased if you'd go back to the OP and explain why you think the evidence is sufficient to prove guilt.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:49 PM   #17
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You believe that the case against Megrahi is beyond reasonable doubt, in that case. Please return to the OP then, and explain why you think this evidence proves the case.
He purchased a random and nonsensical collection clothes and an umbrella, which matched the clothes that were packed next to a bomb. He was definitively placed at the crime scene. He was a part of the intelligence apparatus of a country whose intelligence apparatus carried out similar bombings. The intelligence apparatus had access to the somewhat difficult to obtain explosives used in the bombing, and the timer that was used to delay the bomb. His intelligence agency had access to the bomb type that was used.

There is no direct evidence, but there is plentiful circumstantial evidence that points at his guilt. It is shown quite well that he could have executed the bombing if he wanted to (was ordered to). He was also on the airport at the same time as the plane that carried the bomb towards London (eventually). Freak coincidence is one possibility, true. But what are the chances he walked into a store bought a completely random array of clothes, which then just happened to match the clothing that was packed in a suitcase with the bomb again?

I'm sorry, if you assume the evidence was sound and still doubt his guilt, then I can't help you.

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 01:52 PM   #18
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by ANTPogo View Post
Hmm...I think I see what you mean, and what happened here.
Yes, it is the most likely explanation.

Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that English is my second language. I think I still do reasonably well, though

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 02:02 PM   #19
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,496
We're presuming here the evidence is legitimate, but we still can't get anywhere until people grasp what the evidence here is and what is stands AS, what it does or might say. Personally, I think accepting bad evidence cripples one's argument (witness the awkward "special defense of incrimination" with MST-13 and Malta, etc.) BUT, for sake of looking less "woo," we have

Clothes made in Malta. Ooooh, as if these couldn't be moved.

Okay, a genuine computer printout showing SOME bag from Malta sent on KM180 to Frankfurt and onto 103.

And yes, Megrahi was there.

The paper isn't 100% clear on the bag coming from Malta - it was simply coded at the right time and place that it could and probably should be from KM180. It might not be. (reasons are in the proper thread).

And we've got Gauci being willing to sorta implicate Megrahi as the buyer, on Malta, of the clothes. In what way are we accepting this as legit? His actual words, not the later "interpreatations?" If so, then it doesn't stand as clear at all and in fact specifically absolves Megrahi (reasons are in the proper thread).

And, should we consider what bad evidence (Gauci''s changing story) does for the case? How does exculpatory evidence get shifted like that (Nov 23 becomes Dec 7) absent some investigative will to deceive? And what would such a will do for the other few points?

Quote:
He purchased a random and nonsensical collection clothes and an umbrella, which matched the clothes that were packed next to a bomb.
Will youplease bring that up in the proper thread and illustrate how you know this? Over there you admit he didn't buy the stuff, didn't you? And here, again, he did. You haven't slowed down and started learning yet, have you? If you show any sign of being worth engaging any more, I'll do so, otherwise enjoy your runnin around flailing "yay I debunking!!" episode.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 02:10 PM   #20
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Will you please bring that up in the proper thread and illustrate how you know this?
I thought we're working on an assumption the evidence presented in the case is correct?

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 02:20 PM   #21
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
W
Clothes made in Malta. Ooooh, as if these couldn't be moved.

Okay, a genuine computer printout showing SOME bag from Malta sent on KM180 to Frankfurt and onto 103.

And yes, Megrahi was there.

The paper isn't 100% clear on the bag coming from Malta - it was simply coded at the right time and place that it could and probably should be from KM180. It might not be. (reasons are in the proper thread).
Look, by itself, no piece of evidence we have here is proof. The combined weight of all the evidence we have, if assumed to be legit, is barely enough to convince me. But since we aren't in a court, and we don't have to decide by the strict guidelines and laws that govern them (for a very good reason of not convicting an innocent man) I think he's guilty, even though some of the evidence is questionable. This is partially because the other option, that he was a victim either of circumstance or of framing, would require so many weird steps, including, for instance, another Libyan agent doing the deeds at the same time he was there without him knowing, that I just don't see them as likely.

If I'm wrong, then so what, it's not like my opinion will change anything. He won't be imprisoned for it, or killed. It's just an opinion of a random guy on an internet forum. If I were in a jury, I'd decide differently, I'd say not guilty or, if the old Scottish law would still apply, I might go for not proven (essentially the same as not guilty, but double jeopardy doesn't apply). But I'm not, and I think he did have a hand in the operation.

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 03:22 PM   #22
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I thought we're working on an assumption the evidence presented in the case is correct?

Could we just stop a minute and clarify this. We're working on the assumption that the evidence in the case was not tampered with or fabricated or otherwise falsified.

That means, basically, that Thomas Hayes really did pick that fragment of MST-13 timer out of the neckband of a shirt found on the ground at Blinkbonny Farm. That the piece of Toshiba instruction manual presented in court was the same piece of paper Gwen Horton found in her garden. That Bogomira Erac really did make a souvenir printout of the baggage records for PA103A, and that unedited printout is again what was presented in court. That the clothes that were "Made in Malta" were really found in a charred condition on the ground, as described. That nobody cut any hole in Charles McKee's suitcase, and nobody spirited away a suitcase full of heroin either, for that matter.

That doesn't mean we're working on the assumption that the conclusions and inferences drawn from that evidence by the prosecution are correct. That would make for a pretty pointless discussion.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 13th March 2010 at 03:23 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 03:47 PM   #23
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
He purchased a random and nonsensical collection clothes and an umbrella, which matched the clothes that were packed next to a bomb.

You already agreed that Gauci's evidence was so confused and uncertain as to be essentially worthless. You can't have your cake and eat it.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
He was definitively placed at the crime scene.

That depends entirely on what you define as the "crime scene". I think I already said, maybe a few times, that if it could be shown that the bomb suitcase definitely, or even very probably, went on board at Luqa, then that would be very strong evidence against Megrahi.

I also mentioned, maybe a few times, that not only was there no evidence of any unaccompanied luggage being loaded onto KM180 at Luqa that morning, the evidence positively excluded that as far as was reasonably possible. Air Malta was successful in at least two court actions against media outlets which asserted that the bomb bag went on board there.

[Sorry, I keep having visions of some sort of Warner Bros cartoon, with a Road Runner or something flying alongside that plane as it crosses the Med, and smuggling the suitcase into its hold - that's practically what we're being asked to believe happened.]

So no, the place where the bomb was introduced to the baggage system has never been proved to be Luqa airport. You have to deal with that before you can assert that Megrahi was "at the crime scene".

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
He was a part of the intelligence apparatus of a country whose intelligence apparatus carried out similar bombings. The intelligence apparatus had access to the somewhat difficult to obtain explosives used in the bombing, and the timer that was used to delay the bomb. His intelligence agency had access to the bomb type that was used.

Semtex! Difficult to obtain! Tell that to the hundreds of British citizens killed by the IRA, just for a start.

The only item in that list that's at all "Libyan" is the timer. Semtex is stock-in-trade of terrorists the world over. There wasn't a "bomb" as such, there was an "improvised explosive device". A radio, a timer and a blob of Semtex. The timer, yes. Interesting piece. Supplied to Libya in 1986, and scarcely kept under lock and key thereafter. Examples subsequently picked up in Togo and Senegal.

By the same token, you could make the identical case against anyone associated with any terrorist group in Europe, the Middle East or North Africa. Libya was scarcely the only player in the terrorist game in the 1980s.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
There is no direct evidence, but there is plentiful circumstantial evidence that points at his guilt. It is shown quite well that he could have executed the bombing if he wanted to (was ordered to).

What do you mean by that? It was never shown that he had ever laid a finger on any explosives or constructed an IED or handled an IED. You're just back to "well he was a Libyan spy".

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
He was also on the airport at the same time as the plane that carried the bomb towards London (eventually). Freak coincidence is one possibility, true.

You are making the assumption that the bomb was carried on KM180. I am trying to explain to you that this was almost certainly not the case.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
But what are the chances he walked into a store bought a completely random array of clothes, which then just happened to match the clothing that was packed in a suitcase with the bomb again?



You agreed that Gauci's evidence was essentially worthless. So you can stop repeating that Megrahi bought these clothes. We have no idea who bought these clothes.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I'm sorry, if you assume the evidence was sound and still doubt his guilt, then I can't help you.

The evidence, for the purpose of this thread, was not tampered with. Evidence doesn't have to be tampered with to be unsound. We've agreed there's no evidence he bought the clothes. Care to look at where the suitcase entered the system?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 13th March 2010 at 03:50 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 03:58 PM   #24
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
It's called reductio ad absurdum. You're claiming that it is never a question if someone else could be the cultprit. I have demonstrated an option in where it would be. I'm glad you agree your idea was wrong. Now I will apperently have to show you some more likely options. I really thought you'd be smart enough to figure it out, I explicitly said we didn't have such an extreme case, but alas, at least I'll know why to ignore you.

[.... snip series of vignettes Agatha Christie would have been proud of ....]

The "country house mystery" is popular for a reason. It's even better if it snowed overnight and there are no footprints in the snow. Or there's the inaccessible island, as in the Ten Little [unmentionables]. So it has to be one of the protagonists. That's what makes it a fun puzzle. And it's very very annoying if "the butler did it".

The thing is, McHrozni, you have to establish your closed set as a fact, before you can play by these rules. If you want to assert that it's a physical or logical impossibility for anyone but Megrahi to have planted that bomb, you're going to have to explain why this should be the case. It doesn't matter how many contrived and artificial scenarios you dream up where there might not be an alternative suspect, you have to show that the situation you're talking about is one of them!! Until you do that, the assumption is to the contrary.

It seems to me that you're making the mistake of assuming that the bomb was definitely put into the baggage system at Luqa airport. This is an unfounded assumption, as I think you'll discover if you have a look at the evidence.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 13th March 2010 at 04:48 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th March 2010, 10:26 PM   #25
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,496
Originally Posted by ANTPogo View Post
Funny, I don't see the words "tampering", "fabrication", or anything remotely similar there. As Rolfe explained in post number 8 (which, unless you're in the habit of quoting and responding to posts you don't read, I know you saw), his position is that even from the point of view that every single piece of evidence is legitimate, that it still doesn't stand (ie, it doesn't conclusively prove al-Megrahi's guilt).

I happen to disagree with Rolfe on that, but your bizarre up-is-down, black-is-white assertion that Rolfe saying "let's not discuss whether the evidence was tampered with or not, because even if it wasn't it doesn't prove the case" is really a case of Rolfe attempting to discuss whether the evidence was tampered with or not is just...nonsensical.
Indeed, ANTPogo, thanks for popping back into the discussion and making some sense. I wanted to explain that distinction myself, but wearied of how many words it would take for minimal result. Something as simple as the spelling of Megrahi can't even be reliably absorbed.

But here you are now... not to put you on the spot after your helpful interjection, but perhaps you'd care to share what it is (however much or little) that has given you faith in Megrahi's guilt? Just general media impressions, a knee-jerk dismissal of "conspiracy" stuff, some research or official reports, or a video that you found informative?

Now everybody, don't jump all over ANTpogo (jump, pogo, get it?). Remember most (?) people out there seem to believe this, and it'd be good to start finding out why, 'cause as we now know it ain't from the actual evidence.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 02:49 AM   #26
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Evidence doesn't have to be tampered with to be unsound.
It also doesn't have to be reliable to be accurate. At this point I don't see the debate as having any chance of becoming productive, for any reason. It's a matter of which parts of the evidence you will choose to ignore. You made your mind, I made mine, and there is very little that is publicly available that will sway either of us. It's possible I'm wrong, and it is possible you're wrong. There is nothing to do here but to accept that as a fact.

Secondly, I do find your dodge in regards to cases where there can be only one culprit rather funny. Know that such cases do occur from time to time. It's not unreasonable to ask for other possible suspects when the circumstances dictate only a very narrow array of people could be guilty but someone maintains they are not. There are several others options for that, one is obviously that no other people could be present at the time of the crime, or, as is the case here, the sophistication of a crime requires a select set of skills and materials that are difficult to come by, narrowing the circle of suspects.
In Oklahoma city bombing for example, the explosive was much more easily obtainable, so the potential circle of suspects is immediately much larger and such a question is not as warranted. How difficult can this be to grasp?

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 03:47 AM   #27
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,496
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
At this point I don't see the debate as having any chance of becoming productive, for any reason.
You don't say??

Quote:
It's a matter of which parts of the evidence you will choose to ignore.
Which pieces are those? The ones you imagine must exist but are too sensitive to reveal? Do you even grasp how much evidence you are ignoring?

Quote:
You made your mind, I made mine, and there is very little that is publicly available that will sway either of us. It's possible I'm wrong, and it is possible you're wrong. There is nothing to do here but to accept that as a fact.
Fine by me, not that you were addressing me. Spoken like a true diehard know-nothing, backing out without admitting you know nothing. Having looked at almost nothing, you're quite sure nothing could change your mind about the imagined amazing evidence. Right in the George W Bush mold.


Quote:
Secondly, I do find your dodge in regards to cases where there can be nly one culprit rather funny. Know that such cases do occur from time to time.
So what, Megrahi was the only person in contact with... air traffic to London?

Quote:
It's not unreasonable to ask for other possible suspects when the circumstances dictate only a very narrow array of people could be guilty but someone maintains they are not. There are several others options for that, one is obviously that no other people could be present at the time of the crime, or, as is the case here, the sophistication of a crime requires a select set of skills and materials that are difficult to come by, narrowing the circle of suspects.
In Oklahoma city bombing for example, the explosive was much more easily obtainable, so the potential circle of suspects is immediately much larger and such a question is not as warranted. How difficult can this be to grasp?

McHrozni
Okay, just to narrow it down to the explosive, true Semtex-H was not openly available. We can rule out most little old ladies and Parish Priests. But among terrorist groups and certain state agents, access to Semtex is a pretty useless way to weed out suspects, don't you think?

Our other main suspect, as I'm sure you've missed, is a splinter off the PFLP-GC cell buster in Germany. One member at least (Abu Eilas as named) escaped, along with one of five altimeter bombs made by Khreesat. Can you guess what explosive Khreesat used?

We know who else had access to, specifically, luggage container AVE4041. A brown hardshell Samsonite was seen loaded to the same exact corner, in London, before any Frankfurt/Malta luggage could be loaded. A Khreesat bomb would only work if loaded at London, and would then fit perfectly the takeoff to detonation time we actually saw.

But this won't sway you, because you've got faith in something you can beraly even mumble about. I'm glad you're so pleased with that decision, and best of luck to you.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 04:56 AM   #28
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
Which pieces are those? The ones you imagine must exist but are too sensitive to reveal? Do you even grasp how much evidence you are ignoring?
Quite a bit. But seeing as this evidence didn't receive nearly as much attempts at falsification as the official story has, I'm skeptical at taking it at face value. If taken at face value, it is persuasive enough to warrant a deep probe, but not to establish a case that would stand in court.

Quote:
So what, Megrahi was the only person in contact with... air traffic to London?
No, that exercise was intended only to show Rolfe how wrong his reasoning was. It was the easiest way to show him that if there was only person in touch with the crime scene, it was very reasonable to ask who else could be the culprit from anyone claiming someone else was the culprit. The principle is the same for just about any evidence - who could produce it?

Quote:
Okay, just to narrow it down to the explosive, true Semtex-H was not openly available. We can rule out most little old ladies and Parish Priests. But among terrorist groups and certain state agents, access to Semtex is a pretty useless way to weed out suspects, don't you think?
By itself, no, it is not selective enough. Luckily enough, that's not the only piece of rather specific evidence that was found in connection with the case.

Quote:
Our other main suspect, as I'm sure you've missed, is a splinter off the PFLP-GC cell buster in Germany. One member at least (Abu Eilas as named) escaped, along with one of five altimeter bombs made by Khreesat. Can you guess what explosive Khreesat used?

We know who else had access to, specifically, luggage container AVE4041. A brown hardshell Samsonite was seen loaded to the same exact corner, in London, before any Frankfurt/Malta luggage could be loaded. A Khreesat bomb would only work if loaded at London, and would then fit perfectly the takeoff to detonation time we actually saw.

But this won't sway you, because you've got faith in something you can beraly even mumble about. I'm glad you're so pleased with that decision, and best of luck to you.
I didn't say it is impossible I'm wrong, did I? The story you presented is plausible and it does warrant investigation. However, hardshell Samsonites are common enough to be unable to claim that suitcase was the one with the bomb, and you need to assume the trigger that was found was not part of the bomb. Which would assume that it was either planted, that there was another such trigger on the plane by chance, or that a piece of a highly sophisticated trigger were lying in the Scottish wilderness, but only one piece was recovered. All three are possible of course, but none are all that likely.

As I said many times over, I don't consider the case strong enough for a court, there are many questions that need answering, but I consider it enough to make up my mind as to what probably happened, since the impact of my opinion is negligible enough not to require anything as extensive as a court of law. If further investigations turn up more interesting evidence implicating, say, PFLP-GC, I would be more than willing to change my mind.
But seeing as that their bombs are just a partial match for the Lockerbie bomb, and that one of the bits of information regarding who bought the clothes is that he spoke with a Libyan accent, and that they never used the trigger that was apparently used on Lockerbie, nor is there any evidence they had access to it, I will not say it was probably them. It is likely it was them, if these parts of evidence are wrong. They haven't been shown to be wrong, only suspect. That's the main reason why they should be considered as another possibility in the first place.

I do agree that PFLP-GC is a good candidate to look at, but to say they're guilty because they built a somewhat similar bomb and a similar, but fairly common suitcase was also loaded in the container is not enough to convince me they were the guilty party, nor is the fact one of their similar bombs went missing. It's not impossible that bomb was used at Lockerbie, but since their bombs used different radios and different triggers, that is again, suspicion. Seeing as they were supported by Iran before the bombing, the wired money they received from Iran isn't really evidence of anything. It is cause for suspicion, true, but that's where it ends.
Terrorists also frequently boast they executed a certain operation they had nothing to do with, so their boss boasting about it is hardly surprising. The circled date and shaved head are again causes for suspicion, but hardly evidence, certainly not proof of anything.
If this enough to convince you, then fine, that is your right, you aren't hurting anybody with it. I won't even say it's terribly unreasonable, it's not, but it's not justified to say that the PFLP-GC did it.

The evidence does not point conclusively to any single suspect. Tough luck. Further investigation is warranted, determining with virtual certainty that someone other than the person convicted of the crime was the culprit because some of the circumstantial evidence is pointing at them is not.

McHrozni

Last edited by McHrozni; 14th March 2010 at 04:59 AM.
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 05:09 AM   #29
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,496
That last post is respectable. Still flailing, but moving the right direction. Valid questions, doubts, and uncertainties exist, and a deeper look would be in order, correct?

I'm Too tired now for any further response, after ripping on you for a bit prior. It's more complexicated than you thought, tho, isn't it? By now maybe you'd rather agree on what little we can and get back to familiar ground I imagine.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 06:11 AM   #30
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Caustic Logic View Post
That last post is respectable. Still flailing, but moving the right direction. Valid questions, doubts, and uncertainties exist, and a deeper look would be in order, correct?
Thanks. Just so you know I never thought that Megrahi was a very solid case. All evidence against him is circumstantial, but the same is true for any other suspect in the case.

Quote:
I'm Too tired now for any further response, after ripping on you for a bit prior. It's more complexicated than you thought, tho, isn't it? By now maybe you'd rather agree on what little we can and get back to familiar ground I imagine.
No, not really, since I never believed Megrahi worked alone. If the evidence presented is accurate, then Libyan secret services were almost certainly involved, because there is no other credible source of the timer but them. I don't find it all that unlikely that they cooperated with PFLP-GC and carried out the operation with them. That would fit the largest amount of evidence that we have.
I'm prepared to believe the investigators scapegoated Megrahi, who was a minor player in the operation, and overlooked the bigger players of PFLP-GC, perhaps for for political reasons or maybe because that FBI informant who would otherwise be indicted or both. That would explain nearly everything.

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 03:58 PM   #31
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,496
Rolfe, your in box is full...

McHrozni - yes, if we accept the MST-13 as legitimately involved in the bomb, JSO is implicated. Not proven, but it's a best guess at least For this thread, I'll accept that.

The question then is what is there to link Megrahi with the timer or the bomb or the suitcase? Why did they single out this one Libyan, and was that effort effective or honest? Just a means to an end?
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 05:22 PM   #32
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
It also doesn't have to be reliable to be accurate. At this point I don't see the debate as having any chance of becoming productive, for any reason. It's a matter of which parts of the evidence you will choose to ignore. You made your mind, I made mine, and there is very little that is publicly available that will sway either of us. It's possible I'm wrong, and it is possible you're wrong. There is nothing to do here but to accept that as a fact.

You said much the same in the healthcare thread. I'll cut you some slack because of the not-native-English-speaker part, but you simply didn't seem to be able to express coherent support for your point of view. When this became evident, you announced that I'd made up my mind and there was no reasoning with me.

In the hope that you'll stick with this one, I would ask you to specify which parts of the evidence I'm ignoring. I can't agree that I'm ignoring anything. I don't put much weight on Megrahi being a Libyan intelligence agent, because that on its own is meaningless so far as implying guilt is concerned. That doesn't mean I'm ignoring it.

You, on the other hand, seem to be relying on phantom evidence you have decided exists, even though it's no more than a figment of your imagination. You agree that Gauci's evidence is confused and unreliable, and yet you declare you still think Megrahi bought those clothes - because the authorities wouldn't have charged him if they didn't have some killer sooper-sekrit intelligence we're not allowed to know about!

Honestly, try that one elsewhere in this forum, and you'll be laughed out of court.

And talking of ignoring evidence, what do you have to say about the evidence that no unaccompanied luggage was loaded on to KM180? Or the evidence that Megrahi had no opportunity while at the airport that morning to have introduced anything into the baggage system?

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Secondly, I do find your dodge in regards to cases where there can be only one culprit rather funny. Know that such cases do occur from time to time. It's not unreasonable to ask for other possible suspects when the circumstances dictate only a very narrow array of people could be guilty but someone maintains they are not.

Dodge? Funny? You're still making no sense at all.

This isn't a country house surrounded by snow-covered fields. It's not a storm-bound island with a hole in the bottom of the only available boat. It's not a hermetically-sealed space ship. It's not a game of "Cluedo".

If you want to claim this as some sort of "closed set" scenario, it's up to you to demonstrate that. What on earth makes you imagine Megrahi is the only person on the face of the globe who could have bombed that airliner? This isn't something you can assume.

I've already pointed out that it seems virtually impossible that the bomb really went into the system at Luqa. If that's the case, then Megrahi's presence at that airport that morning is in fact an alibi, not an incriminaton. So far, you've ignored that. In fact, it could theoretically have gone into the system at virtually any airport in Europe or even beyond. How does this make Megrahi the only credible suspect, again?

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
There are several others options for that, one is obviously that no other people could be present at the time of the crime, or, as is the case here, the sophistication of a crime requires a select set of skills and materials that are difficult to come by, narrowing the circle of suspects.
In Oklahoma city bombing for example, the explosive was much more easily obtainable, so the potential circle of suspects is immediately much larger and such a question is not as warranted. How difficult can this be to grasp?

OK, you realise that Megrahi's presence at Luqa doesn't incriminate him. How do you deal with the fact that it actually gives him an alibi?

You're moving on to the modus operandi. Are you entirely unaware that this atrocity followed a modus operandi that was quite spookily similar to that of a different group altogether? In October 1988 an underground terrorist cell was busted in Frankfurt. The only bomb found was a Semtex-based device hidden inside a Toshba BomBeat radio-cassette player, rigged to attack an aircraft in flight.

Megrahi, on the other hand, was never shown to have had explosives in his possession, or to have the skills to build a bomb of any kind, or ever to have been involved in such activity. He's actually quite a long way down the list, if you're populating it with people known to have access to Semtex and experience of working with it.

You seem to have a very strange notion of the unavailability of Semtex. It's the preferred explosive of terrorists the world over. The IRA had enough to blow up the entire island at one point. The PFLP-GC seem to have had no trouble getting hold of it.

Actually, Megrahi doesn't fit the category of "a select set of skills and materials that are difficult to come by" very well at all. Lots of other people fit it a lot better. You're not doing very well here, you know.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 14th March 2010 at 05:26 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 05:35 PM   #33
jammonius
Master Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,708
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

...

As I see it, the points of evidence put forward as connecting Megrahi to the bombing were as follows.
  1. Tony Gauci, after much vacillating and changes of mind (and a "reward" of $2 million), said the person who bought the clothes believed to have been in the bomb suitcase "resembled [Megrahi] a lot".
  2. Evidence was led to suggest that an unaccompanied suitcase had arrived at Frankfurt airport from Malta on KM180. Megrahi was at Luqa airport in Malta when KM180 was checking in.
  3. Megrahi had business dealings with Edwin Bollier, Stazi agent and proprietor of the company that manufactured the timing device believed to have triggered the explosion, timing devices that were sold to Libya.
That, frankly, is that. Yes, he was a Libyan intelligence officer (I think, though it is said that was never proved). And yes, Libya did some very bad things. But while these facts may be relevant once actual evidence has linked Megrahi to the crime, they don't add up to anything without it. James Bond might equally stand accused!

The Gauci evidence was the part highlighted by the SCCRC when they declared a possible miscarriage of justice and gave leave to appeal. There were other points (the report refers to six grounds for appeal but then only lists four), but the Gauci part was all they made public.




The tracing of the suitcase back to an alleged point of origin at Luqa was never sound. It wasn't part of the grounds for appeal because no new evidence was unearthed about it, but that doesn't make the original decision any more reasonable.




Not only that, but the evidence presented to suggest that an item of unaccompanied luggage came off KM180 (even though it didn't go on in the first place) was very weak, and open to a number of alternative explanations. The theory that Megrahi planted this bomb depends absolutely on the bomb having been put on board at Luqa, because he was at Luqa that morning. However, that inference is strikingly weak.

The third point above is actually quite tenuous. Bollier manufactured the timing devices and sold them to Libya in 1986. There is no evidence that Megrahi was involved in this transaction, or ever had one of the timers in his possession. The devices were scattered abroad over the following couple of years, with two being found in Togo and two in Senegal. In fact, the Megrahi/Bollier connection seems to be little more than, Bollier dealt with Libya a lot, and Megrahi was one of the Libyans he dealt with.

So, that's about it, as far as the main points go. This is the evidence McHrozni believes supports Megrahi's guilt, and more, apparently makes him the only person in the world who could have carried out the bombing.

I think if either the Gauci identification or the origin of the suitcase at Luqa could be made to stand up, then the case would be very arguable. However, both appear to be on very shaky foundations. It appears that the original reasoning was circular - Megrahi must have been the buyer of the clothes because Megrahi was in a position to have put the bomb on KM180, but at the same time, the bomb must have been on KM180 because that's where Megrahi (who bought the clothes) was at the time. Uh, right....

I'm going to bed now, but I think we have the start of a discussion.

Rolfe.
Actually, I would say you've listed the evidence and you've listed the sourcing of it. I don't think that evidence is strong, but in criminal cases where thee is either a strong political need to convict someone and an element of xenophobia, or some other reason that strengths bias against the accused, the strength or weakness of evidence is secondary. Thus, convictions that seemingly do not meet the relevant standard of proof often occur. Once a conviction is obtained, the chances for success on appeal are low, so long as the xenophobia remains intact.

One other factor that might be mentioned and one that I am here doing from memory, without a source or a link, is that almost identical evidence, with the exception of the clothing matter, was found to be insufficient to convict a second co-defendant in that case.

I think that is why the clothing issue is focused on so strongly.
jammonius is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 06:01 PM   #34
Caustic Logic
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,496
Originally Posted by jammonius View Post
Actually, I would say you've listed the evidence and you've listed the sourcing of it. I don't think that evidence is strong, but in criminal cases where thee is either a strong political need to convict someone and an element of xenophobia, or some other reason that strengths bias against the accused, the strength or weakness of evidence is secondary. Thus, convictions that seemingly do not meet the relevant standard of proof often occur. Once a conviction is obtained, the chances for success on appeal are low, so long as the xenophobia remains intact.

One other factor that might be mentioned and one that I am here doing from memory, without a source or a link, is that almost identical evidence, with the exception of the clothing matter, was found to be insufficient to convict a second co-defendant in that case.

I think that is why the clothing issue is focused on so strongly.
Welcome to the talk, jammonius. The evidence against the second accused, Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, was considerably thinner. In fact the alleged clothing purchase is a big difference - Meagrahi was accepted as the buyer of clothes found in Scotland, Fhimah was not.

Also, Giaka's evidence was against both - he said they were both at Luqa airport on 12/21 with a brown Samsonite case. This evidence underpinned the indictment and the whole 1990s sanctions era, but was dismissed at trial. Without Giaka's story, there was evidence for Megrahi's presence there only, leaving Fhimah pretty much off the hook.

Not guilty, guilty. After Giaka, all that made Megrahi guiltier was being at the airport the time a strange paper suggests the bomb might have left there, and being "identified" by Gauci as similar in some ways to the clothes buyer.

ETA: Oh, and I think we're dealing with something more than knee-jerk xenophobia, by a good mile. But yes, there seems to have been some kind of pressure and bias distorting the judges' thinking towards finding some guilt between the two. Perhaps they were themselves imagining reams of McHrozni style secret proof they had to do without, solving the puzzle only with the few surface bits available. Maybe it's true, who knows?

Last edited by Caustic Logic; 14th March 2010 at 06:06 PM.
Caustic Logic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 06:31 PM   #35
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Quite a bit. But seeing as this evidence didn't receive nearly as much attempts at falsification as the official story has, I'm skeptical at taking it at face value. If taken at face value, it is persuasive enough to warrant a deep probe, but not to establish a case that would stand in court.

I don't actually understand that paragraph at all.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
No, that exercise was intended only to show Rolfe how wrong his reasoning was. It was the easiest way to show him that if there was only person in touch with the crime scene, it was very reasonable to ask who else could be the culprit from anyone claiming someone else was the culprit. The principle is the same for just about any evidence - who could produce it?

This is getting silly. Nobody is denying that it's possible to construct contrived scenarios where the range of suspects is very restricted. YOU HAVE NOT SHOWN THAT THIS IS ONE OF THEM. Your attempt to assume that, without making any attempt to explain why you make that assumption, is simply laughable.

Who else could be the culprit? Do you have a list of all the members of all the terrorist groups in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa? That's an approximation to the list of suspects. It's questionable whether Megrahi's name even belongs on it. He was never shown to be involved in terrorism at all.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
By itself, no, it is not selective enough. Luckily enough, that's not the only piece of rather specific evidence that was found in connection with the case.

Are you going to major on the timer fragment? I agreed that we shouldn't question the provenance of that piece of evidence in this thread, despite all the doubts. However, I repeat. That batch of timers was sold to the Libyan government in 1986. Megrahi was never shown to have been involved in that transaction, or to have had any of the timers in his possession at any time. The Libyans didn't exactly keep them under lock and key after that. Two were found in Togo, and two in Senegal. How is it that Libya and only Libya could possibly have been responsible for a device incorporating one in 1988, again?

Libya was one of the major suppliers of Semtex to terrorist groups. I don't know where Khreesat got his, but the IRA were definitely getting theirs from Libya. There's nothing to suggest they weren't just as liberal with these timers. This is about as sensible as accusing Megrahi of planting the Omagh bomb, because its main components were sourced from Libya.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I didn't say it is impossible I'm wrong, did I? The story you presented is plausible and it does warrant investigation. However, hardshell Samsonites are common enough to be unable to claim that suitcase was the one with the bomb,

What I think you should consider about Caustic Logic's story is relative plausibility/probability.

We know that the baggage loading on to KM180 was as tight as a duck's arse. We also know that detailed examination of events at Luqa that morning showed that Megrahi actually had no opportunity to get an illicit suitcase airside anyway.

We know that the baggage records at Frankfurt were a shambles, and in fact the bulk of them mysteriously disappeared. While one record was unearthed of an item in a position suggesting it might have come off KM180 heading for PA103A, it's by no means certain it came off KM180 - and other evidence indicates it didn't. Also, no description of that item of luggage exists. It could have been a candy-pink rucksack or a bag of golf clubs for all we know.

In contrast, we have (in Bedford's evidence) the only sighting of a brown/bronze Samsonite hardshell in the entire investigation, apart from the bomb bag. He saw it in pretty much exactly the place where the explosion subsequently happened. And he didn't know how it got there, as it mysteriously appeared while he was on his tea break. Oh yes, and there was a break-in into just that part of the airport the previous night.

If that suitcase wasn't the bomb bag, nobody knows what became of it. It wasn't one of the blast-damaged suitcases recovered and shown to have been close to the explosion, despite its original position. And there is no record of such a suitcase elsewhere among the recovered items either.

You're asking for an alternative explanation for the explosion. I've explained quite clearly that this isn't a pre-requisite for questioning the official story. If it's impossible for Megrahi to have got that bomb bag on to the plane, then he didn't do it, even if you're simply left not knowing who did.

However, there is an alternative explanation. You've just been given it. Still care to insist that there's nobody but Megrahi could possibly have done it?

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
and you need to assume the trigger that was found was not part of the bomb. Which would assume that it was either planted, that there was another such trigger on the plane by chance, or that a piece of a highly sophisticated trigger were lying in the Scottish wilderness, but only one piece was recovered. All three are possible of course, but none are all that likely.

No. Wrong again. Even if we assume that timer fragment wasn't planted (despite its being the nexus of more anomalies than a dim trainee technician left in charge of the lab on a busy afternoon), it doesn't necessarily conflict with the obvious explanation.

As I've repeatedly pointed out, these timers got a bit scattered in the two years since they were supplied. They don't pop up everywhere because there were only 20 of them in the first place. But there's no reason at all that a group which could get hold of Semtex couldn't have got hold of one of these as well.

Using such a timer and setting it for 7pm was a mindblowingly silly thing to do. But it doesn't get any more silly if it was Khreesat who did it, rather than some random Libyan. Khreesat had indeed made some modification to his devices after the October raids. Could have been that.

Could have been more sensible too. Could have been some way to enable the device to be flown into Heathrow on any feeder flight, even days in advance, and not explode - allowing it to be loaded onto PA103 for the altimeter timer to explode it in the usual way, without any necessity to open the case and activate the device by hand.

There's no evidence for any of that either, but I submit it's a damn sight more sensible explanation than anything you've come up with.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
As I said many times over, I don't consider the case strong enough for a court, there are many questions that need answering, but I consider it enough to make up my mind as to what probably happened, since the impact of my opinion is negligible enough not to require anything as extensive as a court of law.

Oh sure. You can have any opinion you like. It's a free internet. However, stating that you've made up your mind despte the holes and the impossibilities and the incongruities bristling from your preferred version isn't very rational, you know.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
If further investigations turn up more interesting evidence implicating, say, PFLP-GC, I would be more than willing to change my mind.

And if further investigation turned up actual evidence implicating Megrahi, then I'd change my mind too. But as it is, we have to go with what we have.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
But seeing as that their bombs are just a partial match for the Lockerbie bomb, and that one of the bits of information regarding who bought the clothes is that he spoke with a Libyan accent, and that they never used the trigger that was apparently used on Lockerbie, nor is there any evidence they had access to it, I will not say it was probably them. It is likely it was them, if these parts of evidence are wrong. They haven't been shown to be wrong, only suspect. That's the main reason why they should be considered as another possibility in the first place.

You do realise that Gauci hated Libyans, but seemed not to be able to recognise a Libyan accent in court?

You heap everything on Gauci's bigoted "Libyan" remark (that's Gauci who was officially described as "an apple short of a picnic", remember), and the timer we simply don't know who had access to - and ignore the mountains of evidence you've been shown that Megrahi is probably one of the people who actually have an alibi for this crime?

Look again at the title of the thread. It's not "Was Libya responsible for blowing up Pan Am 103?" It's "Did Abdelbaset al-Megrahi blow up Pan Am 103?" Even if you do suspect Libya had a hand in it, you have NO evidence that Megrahi did it.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I do agree that PFLP-GC is a good candidate to look at, but to say they're guilty because they built a somewhat similar bomb and a similar, but fairly common suitcase was also loaded in the container is not enough to convince me they were the guilty party, nor is the fact one of their similar bombs went missing. It's not impossible that bomb was used at Lockerbie, but since their bombs used different radios and different triggers, that is again, suspicion. Seeing as they were supported by Iran before the bombing, the wired money they received from Iran isn't really evidence of anything. It is cause for suspicion, true, but that's where it ends.
Terrorists also frequently boast they executed a certain operation they had nothing to do with, so their boss boasting about it is hardly surprising. The circled date and shaved head are again causes for suspicion, but hardly evidence, certainly not proof of anything.
If this enough to convince you, then fine, that is your right, you aren't hurting anybody with it. I won't even say it's terribly unreasonable, it's not, but it's not justified to say that the PFLP-GC did it.

Uh, did you hear anybody declaring they were certain the PFLP-CG definitely did it? I didn't.

You asked for possible alternative suspects, and a possble alternative modus operandi. You were given them, in spades. Indeed, some of that involves speculation and evidence that's not strong enough to stand up in court. YOU were the one who was so keen to introduce such evidence, remember?

You've been given exactly what you asked for, another scenaro which is at least as plausible as the one you say you've decided to believe. You now seem to be moving the goal posts, and requiring absolute proof of that scenario before you'll let go of your belief that Megrahi did it.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
The evidence does not point conclusively to any single suspect.

Glory Hallelujah! That is, I think, what we've been telling you from the beginning. Glad you're beginning to get it.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Tough luck. Further investigation is warranted, determining with virtual certainty that someone other than the person convicted of the crime was the culprit because some of the circumstantial evidence is pointing at them is not.

I'm trying to make sense of that, with great difficulty. The tough luck was Megrahi's that he was the one the authorities decided to concentrate on - and essentially fit up, with their inducements to Giaka to make stuff up to incriminate him.

You can fall back to the "the court convicted him and I don't want to think any more about it" if you like. Still doesn't make him guilty, even if nobody else ever has a case proved against them for that crime.

There was every likelihood that his appeal would have been successful, if he hadn't developed cancer and withdrawn it. Where would you have stood in that eventuality? Everyone convicted on spurious grounds remains guilty in your eyes even after a successful appeal, so long as the real culprit hasn't been brought to justice?

Get real.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 14th March 2010 at 07:25 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 06:35 PM   #36
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 21,468
Either way, Megrahi turned out to be pretty lucky.

He had a death sentence of under three months for prostate cancer back in August 2009 and yet here he is in March 2010 still alive.

A bit like Earnest Saunders recovering from Alzheimer's.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 06:53 PM   #37
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Thanks. Just so you know I never thought that Megrahi was a very solid case. All evidence against him is circumstantial, but the same is true for any other suspect in the case.

Exactly. So, which looks more likely? The guy who was at the airport where it was proved no unaccompanied bags went on to the plane, and who in any case had no opportunity to introduce a suitcase airside? Who had never handled explosives or built a bomb or been connected to any terrorist incident?

Or the group which was building extremely similar devices to the one used, with a clear motive for carrying out the atrocity, and which was apparently paid for it?

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
No, not really, since I never believed Megrahi worked alone. If the evidence presented is accurate, then Libyan secret services were almost certainly involved, because there is no other credible source of the timer but them. I don't find it all that unlikely that they cooperated with PFLP-GC and carried out the operation with them. That would fit the largest amount of evidence that we have.

Now that's actually getting relatively sensible. The PFLP-GC might well have got one of these timers from Libya. This doesn't mean that the Libyan secret service were involved, of course, because Libya was very much in the business of supplying terrorist groups on an arms-length basis. But then again, it's possible there was actual co-operation.

There's no evidence of co-operation, but it's perfectly possibile.

Nobody ever suggested Megrahi worked alone. In fact, we were all told that if we let this kangaroo court go ahead, then he'd lead us to the rest of the operation. Never happened.

Your remaining problem is, did he work at all?

He didn't buy the clothes, by any reasnable interpretation of Gauci's evidence. The clothes, if they were bought at all, were bought on 23rd November. Megrahi had an alibi for 23rd November. They were bought by someone older and taller and heavier, whom Gauci only said, in the end, Megrahi resembled (and remember, Megrahi by that stage was 12 years older than he'd been at the time of the purchase). And Gauci was paid $2 million for fingering Megrahi.

He didn't put the bomb on the plane. There was no unaccompanied luggage on KM180, and he had no opportunity to get a rogue suitcase airside anyway.

So what did he do, again?

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I'm prepared to believe the investigators scapegoated Megrahi, who was a minor player in the operation, and overlooked the bigger players of PFLP-GC, perhaps for for political reasons or maybe because that FBI informant who would otherwise be indicted or both. That would explain nearly everything.

Oh, they scapegoated Megrahi all right. However, you haven't produced any evidence that he - rather than some other hypothetical Libyan - was involved in the operation at all.

I have no idea if Libya was even involved in this. I don't have the expertise to guess. You can make that assumption if you like. However, assuming that Libya did indeed have a hand in it doesn't actually implicate Megrahi himself at all. If Libya was involved, we still don't know who, or where, or how this was done.

As I said, this thread isn't about whether Libya was directly involved in the bombing or not. I can't answer that and I don't have an opinion. It's about whether Megrahi carried out the bombing. I submit that your understanding of the situation is now such that you realise he almost certainly didn't.

(And I take your point about letting the PFLP-GC off the hook because of the horrible boo-boo with trusing Khreesat and releasing him and giving him safe-conduct. Pan Am 103 blown up by CIA triple agent after the CIA told the BKA to let him go would have been some very embarrassing headlines. I don't insist on it, but I think it's a definite possibility.)

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 14th March 2010 at 07:28 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 06:56 PM   #38
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Either way, Megrahi turned out to be pretty lucky.

He had a death sentence of under three months for prostate cancer back in August 2009 and yet here he is in March 2010 still alive.

A bit like Earnest Saunders recovering from Alzheimer's.

Get back to us when you find that Megrahi has actually recovered from the prostate cancer. Last anyone else heard, he was on palliative care only and doped to the eyeballs with morphine.

Oh yes, and you could look up the reliability of doctors' assessments of how long terminally-ill patients will live. It's notoriously unreliable. You have to go with the best guess.

Like they did with Ronnie Biggs. Who was released about a month before Megrahi, without even a firm diagnosis of cancer or other fatal illness. He's still alive too.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th March 2010, 07:15 PM   #39
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,094
Originally Posted by jammonius View Post
Actually, I would say you've listed the evidence and you've listed the sourcing of it. I don't think that evidence is strong, but in criminal cases where thee is either a strong political need to convict someone and an element of xenophobia, or some other reason that strengths bias against the accused, the strength or weakness of evidence is secondary. Thus, convictions that seemingly do not meet the relevant standard of proof often occur.

Got it in one, I think. For whatever reason, the case against the most obvious suspects was not pursued. Megrahi had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, with a few circumstantial coincidences that could be made to look suspicious. And then there was Giaka. If he had been telling the truth, it would have been an open and shut case.

But he wasn't. Giaka made the whole thing up at the behest of the CIA.

This isn't always given the emphasis it deserves. The CIA was proved in court to have induced a witness to spin a huge web of lies about Megrahi (and Fhimah) in order to get a conviction to stick. They didn't even get a smack on the wrist for it.

The verdict, to me, looks as if the judges hadn't totally put Giaka's fairy-stories out of their minds, even though they'd found that he was lying. So, they tortured every bit of evidence to make it support Megrahi's guilt, even when other explanations were far more probable.

Why? Because the political embarrassment of not getting convictions at Camp Zeist was too much to contemplate.

Originally Posted by jammonius View Post
Once a conviction is obtained, the chances for success on appeal are low, so long as the xenophobia remains intact.

I don't know about that. The appeal was underway, and the evidence to show that Gauci's identification of Megrahi was unsound was very strong indeed. I think they would have found it very difficult to uphold the conviction in the absence of that identification.

Then again, there was the whole thing with the top-secret document that nobody was to be allowed to see. What was that about? We don't know what the other two grounds for appeal were.

We can't know now, of course, but it was generally agreed that appeal had a good chance of success.

Originally Posted by jammonius View Post
One other factor that might be mentioned and one that I am here doing from memory, without a source or a link, is that almost identical evidence, with the exception of the clothing matter, was found to be insufficient to convict a second co-defendant in that case.

I think that is why the clothing issue is focused on so strongly.

The problem with Fhimah was that he seems to have been a total innocent. Megrahi was at least a Libyan intelligence officer. Fhimah seems to have been nothing of the sort. Just an ordinary little man doing an ordinary little job, with some business interests on the side. But Giaka fingered him, when he was scratching around for "intelligence" to give the CIA, to keep his salary coming and get him eventually relocated to the USA.

Fhimah was essential to the plan as it was originally alleged. He was the guy with the airside pass who was supposed to have taken the suitcase from Megrahi and got it on to KM180. It was impossible for Megrahi to have done that alone, even with the worst will in the world.

But then, Giaka was busted as a fantasist, and it was discovered that Fhimah hadn't even been at the airport that morning. At all.

The case should really have collapsed at that point. It was alleged to have been a joint enterprise, with both men essential to carry out the alleged act. However, the prosecution got the charges amended so accuse Megrahi of doing it on his own.

The judges bought it. Why, I'll never know - except the embarrassment of not getting a conviction from that three-ring circus was probably more than any of them could bear.

Nobody else who really paid attention to the trial seems to have bought it, including the official UN observer to the trial and several of the victims' relatives.

But everybody likes a scapegoat, so "the Lockerbie Bomber" he became.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2010, 12:18 AM   #40
McHrozni
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't actually understand that paragraph at all.
Quite sad, really. In case you didn't notice, the case against PFLP-GC is entirely circumstantial, and also doesn't fit a substantial portion of evidence. If the evidence implicating them was looked half as hard as it was looked at the evidence implicating Megrahi, there is near certainty at least some of that evidence would be explained away and shown not to be connected to the case. However, that didn't happen, because the investigation focused on Megrahi for one reason or another, his case went to court and the evidence implicating him was scrutinized for years after his conviction.

Unfortunately I don't have the resources (or a reason) to pursue the case against PFLP-GC. However declaring them guilty - and Megrahi completely uninvolved - on the presented evidence is simply ridiculous.

McHrozni
McHrozni is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:18 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.