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State Department says it did not back Lockerbie bomber's release

The State Department rarely releases its correspondence with other governments. But it did just that on Monday to counter a report that it was engaged in "double-talk" about Scotland's release of a Libyan convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

The Sunday Times of London had quoted parts of a U.S. letter to a senior Scottish official, saying that it was preferable to free Abdel Basset al-Megrahi from prison on health grounds, rather than in a prisoner transfer.

The State Department said Monday it was taking the "exceptional step" of releasing the letter to Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, because the article "does not accurately reflect the strong and consistent opposition of the U.S. government to the release or transfer under any scenario" of the Libyan intelligence agent.

Megahi, who was suffering from cancer, was freed after British medical officials determined he had less than three months to live. But nearly a year later, he is alive and living in Tripoli.

The diplomatic letter from Richard LeBaron, the No. 2 official at the U.S. Embassy in London, states that the U.S. government "is not prepared to support Megrahi's release on compassionate release or bail."

But if the Scots were planning to release the Libyan on compassionate grounds, "two conditions would be very important to the United States," the letter said. One was an independent, comprehensive medical exam showing that Megrahi's life expectancy was less than three months, which is the standard under Scottish law for such releases.

The other condition was a requirement that he remain in Scotland, so there would be no "welcoming reception" for him abroad, the letter said.

Megrahi, the only person convicted in the bombing, was greeted on his return to Libya by cheering supporters.

His case has spurred renewed controversy recently in part because of questions about whether BP pressured the British government to approve the prisoner release. The oil company and British government have both denied playing a role in his release.

The bombing killed 270 people, including 189 Americans.

By Mary Beth Sheridan  | July 26, 2010; 3:37 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wikileaks' Afghanistan War Log vs. the Pentagon Papers
Next: A letter from Omar Khadr, Guantanamo Bay detainee


Alright, so the State Department insisted Megrahi should stay in jail, or at least in Scotland in a "qualified release." The two options that would take him back to Libya - total release or prisonrer swap - were frowned on. So there's no double-talk here - they were upset when he was released and then flew all the way home to jubilant crowds.

What I'd like to see now is anywhere where any US authorities ever urged Salmond or MacAskill or anyone to make sure that Megrahi's appeal was allowed to stand. They were fine with letting it fall, it seems - let the man "admit his guilt," in an effort to meet the terms of the PTA he was TOLD by Kenny might happen, only to have ALL avenues out closed to die guilty and alone in prison. That would have been cold, cold, cold.

I'm glad at least that Kenny had the decency to deny these demands ...

Posted by: CausticLogic | July 26, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"Two conditions" falls somewhat short of "We want him to die in jail and then rot in hell!"

Posted by: northcoast1 | July 27, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

This letter clearly undermines Obama's claim (last week) that all Americans were “surprised, disappointed and angry” to learn of Megrahi’s release. On the contrary, the letter demonstrates that Obama himself was neither surprised, disappointed nor angry; apathetic, non-chalante and late-for-golf maybe.

Given our post-American President’s oft-repeated desire to establish relations with the Islamic world on the basis of a “mutual respect” (ever-elusive from the Islamic side), is it beyond possibility that Obama directed U.S. officials to (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) approve of MacAskill’s “compassionate release”? As another gesture of “good will” toward the Islamic world– a gesture unreciprocated.

Megrahi is free. Will our Senators ask Obama why?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Some deluded Leftists still drool over illiterate conspiracy theories-- framing Juval Aziz’s refried nonsense as grounds for yet another specious Megrahi "appeal."

Sadly, Steven Spielberg is now translating that odious fiction into a Troofy film.

Look folks. The Iranians have plenty of innocent blood on their own hands without Westerners white-washing Kaddafi’s murderous culpability for Black September, Rome/Vienna airport massacres, London embassy shooting, La Belle disco, Pan Am 103, UTA flight 772, PIRA, Abu Nidal, Abu Sayyaf, etc., ad nauseum.

Kenny MacAskill and his UK co-conspirators must be held accountable for their criminal corruption.

Billion Euro Q: How many shares of BP does MacAskill own?

Don’t be a Kaddafi clan apologist your whole life, CausticLogic. Sod off, you wanker.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Thousands of IRA bombing victims in the UK are also being betrayed by corrupt BP lobbyists’ oily deal with Kaddafi.
IRA victims killed with Libyan semtex to get £2bn in compensation from Colonel Gaddafi
Kaddafi openly admitted responsibility and liability for mass murdering UK and US victims… and crooked corruptocrats slurp up his blood money for BP oil deals like good little dhimmis.

Just imagine if Obama released Khalid Sheik Mohammed for “humanitarian” reasons (afterall he’ll surely die otherwise) in open exchange for oil deals with the bin Laden family. That’s what we’re essentially witnessing with this sordid al-Megrahi affaire.

/Kaddafi delenda est

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

MacAskill’s “compassionate release” lie was a thin veil for a much larger ‘quid pro quo.’ The Lockerbie bomber’s release was yet another payment on Kaddafi’s terrorist sextortion demands that secured release of his prison raped and tortured EU nurse hostages.
FLASHBACK 2007: Qaddafi Wants Money and Lockerbie Attacker for Nurses’ Release

"Muammar Qaddafi has officially stated his conditions for the release of the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor sentenced to death in Libya, a website of the Libyan opposition claims. Cited by the Bulgarian national radio, the site claims that Qaddafi has sent an official note to the EU country members and the US, requesting compensations for the families of the HIV-infected children and the release of the terrorist from Lockerbie…

"The UK should help with the release of the Lockerbie bomber, the note also says. He could be released because he has already served his sentence, or he could receive amnesty, or be extradited to Libya, Qaddafi suggests."
This bald-faced hostage extortion payoff does not bode well for Iran’s UC-Berkeley student hostages.

This wasn’t only an oil-for-terrorist deal (quid pro quo). That oily BP deal also involved Kaddaif’s sextortion payment for releasing his brutally prison-raped EU-nurse hostages.

Let’s add up some of Kaddafi’s jizya booty for prison raping EU nurses (so far):

* EU $400 million (includes Bulgaria’s $57M ransom)
* French nuclear reactor deal (+military hardware)
* EU free trade (+political normalization)
* New US Ambassador (+date w/ Condi)
* Obama handshake (+UN podium for Ramadan)
* Trillion Euro BP oil deal (brokered by UK politicians)

*Lockerbie bomber’s release… PRICELESS!

[Once again, terrorism pays… handsomely]

/Kaddafi delenda est

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The Scots and Obama shouldn’t feel alone in being pubicly castrated by Kaddafi. The Swiss had the same experience this year when they paid off Kaddafi to release his Swiss hostages.
Merz “acted like a Sarkozy” over Libya

...Switzerland has already transferred a compensation payment into a blocked account for the publication of the police photos of Hannibal Gaddafi.
America fought our first overseas war against Tripolitan pirates who used hostage extortion to secure huge annual jizya payments from Western nation treasuries. Kaddafi now has that racket back in business. Are Americans prepared to do anything about it?

/Kaddafi delenda est

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Here is the awful account of the EU nurse torture ordeals from Human Rights Watch.
Bulgarian defendant, Kristiana Valceva, said interrogators used a small machine with cables and a handle that produced electricity. “During the shocks and torture they asked me where the AIDS came from and what is your role,” she told Human Rights Watch. She said that Libyan interrogators subjected her to electric shocks on her breasts and genitals. “My confession was all in Arabic without translation,” she said. “We were ready to sign anything just to stop the torture.”
Read it all. This was the stick the newly “rehabilitated” Kaddafi used to great effect (along with his oil carrots) to castrate the West.

Westerners can backbite each other (Bush lied, Obama lied, Blair lied, MacAskill lied) until we’re blue in the face.

Meanwhile Kaddafi and his terrorist co-conspirators laugh their way to the bank laden with jizya booty.

National will (and the moral courage to exercise it) that united and motivated our post-9/11 actions has been eroded by appeasement Quislings. That is the pox on all our houses of government.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Fun Fact: The convicted mass murderer of 189 American innocents enjoys superstar status, repeatedly feted as a “much-loved” hero of the Libyan people. According to Megrahi’s family, he has received up to 30,000 house guests – a white tent was erected in the garden for visitors – while newborn babies across Libya have been named after him. Gaddafi family members have also made several private visits, friends say.

Terrorism still pays... handsomely.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

CausticLogic (aka, Adam Larson) is a 9-11 Troofer conspiracy moron. Please follow Penn Jillette's sage advice to HBO viewers and feel free to throw Adam "down a flight of stairs” without reservation.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 27, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi Must be Destroyed:
"Some deluded Leftists still drool over illiterate conspiracy theories-- framing Juval Aziz’s refried nonsense as grounds for yet another specious Megrahi "appeal."

Sadly, Steven Spielberg is now translating that odious fiction into a Troofy film.

Look folks. The Iranians have plenty of innocent blood on their own hands without Westerners white-washing Kaddafi’s murderous culpability for ... Pan Am 103, ...

Don’t be a Kaddafi clan apologist your whole life, CausticLogic. Sod off, you wanker."

Extreme fail. I've regarded Aviv as nothing better than a clown (and likely worse - he's damaged the quest for truth greatly). The appeal was based on the absolute worthlessness of Tony Gauci's "identification," secured by $3 million in payments to him and his coach-brother Paul Gauci.

By your own list, don'ty ou think the Libyans have enough innocent blood on their hands that you needn't lower yourself (??) to support this elaborate hoax?

Posted by: CausticLogic | July 27, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

What part of Sovereign Nation do you not understand? Why would American laws have anything to do with Scotland (which, by the way, has it's own laws, separate and distinct from British Law)? I don't like the new Hitlerian laws promoting racism and hatred recently passed in Arizona, but I don't see the Scottish parliament, or any other foreign government, demanding an explanation from government ministers or justification for this abhorrent decree. Whether or not you believe Megrahi was the perpetrator, was sick or not, the fact remains that he was tried and convicted under SCOTTISH law, not American. Where does the YewAssOfAye get off on dictating policy to other countries? The world does not need the constant interference, arrogance and asinine policies shoved down our collective throats. Will you people never learn? Did Vietnam, Cambodia, Panama, Nicaragua teach you nothing? Stay out of other countries politics - it has always come back to bite you in the bum. Remember, there was a time when you BACKED Osama Bin Ladin - you supplied him with the guns.

Posted by: ltlwing | July 28, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

"CausticLogic (aka, Adam Larson) is a 9-11 Troofer conspiracy moron. Please follow Penn Jillette's sage advice to HBO viewers and feel free to throw Adam "down a flight of stairs” without reservation."

Cute. Seems my first try at responding to this smear didn't take. But if this off-topic smear can remain up, I deserve a rebuttal. "9-11 twoofer moron" is an inaccurate, misleading slur. Let's keep it on-topic here, and go into you and me at our debate place I just made.

Also,from above: "...grounds for yet another specious Megrahi "appeal.""

Megrahi's appeal was not specious and needs no quote marks. It was real, and ordered by the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission, who found - conservatively - six grounds of a possible miscarriage of justice.

Posted by: CausticLogic | July 28, 2010 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Adam can take his "debate" invitation up with Penn Jillette. Rational folks have no interest in plumbing the depths of depraved minds of troofer morons who indulge in jihadist homicide denial.

Piss off.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 29, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Obama's feckless handling of the Megrahi affair seems to be part of a pattern. It includes making the release of terrorists from Gitmo a top priority, his notorious apology tour and "we feel your pain" speech to a Muslim audience in Cairo and his top terrorism adviser John Brennan's May 26 pronouncement that jihad is a legitimate religious practice. It includes the effort to turn NASA into a Muslim-outreach program, Obama's steady harassment of Israel compared to his reluctance to challenge the Tehran regime and now his silence about the building of a mosque at Ground Zero.

In short, whose side is Obama really on? Is there more sympathy and compassion at the White House for Islamicist terrorists than there is for those they killed on 9/11 and over Lockerbie -- and those they're still killing in Afghanistan?

Americans need to know the answer before they can have confidence in Obama's conduct of the War on Terror. They need to know what he knew, and when, about the Lockerbie bomber release.

Unfortunately, it may take the election of a Republican Congress in November before we can get those answers.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 29, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Adam can take his "debate" invitation up with Penn Jillette. Rational folks have no interest in plumbing the depths of depraved minds of troofer morons who indulge in jihadist homicide denial.

Piss off.

Nice. Penn never called me a moron or told people to push me down stairs. YOU are the one who did and who knows you'd look the fool if you tried to support any of the drivel you post after it was properly challenged. And you claim you're too "rational" to explain yourself. Why is the SCCRC "specious?" Which of their six grounds of miscarriage of justice do you disagree with and how? You have no idea, but I’m sure you’re sure that it's all Euro-Jihadist lies!

Terp Mole / aka Kaddafi Delenda Est's dickless handling of having it pointed out that he doesn't know what he's talking about seems to be part of a pattern. No comprehension of the real world plus tea-bag delusions leads to the brilliant and o so original conclusion that President Obama is on the side of terrorists trying to destroy America. We "need to know" the answer to that before we can be confident, you never will "know" that, because you are the king of never finding out what you don't want to know.

And now you go on ignore as the worthless waste you are.

Posted by: CausticLogic | July 30, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Back on Topic - State Department says it did not back release. That's true. They said they'd rather have him stay in Sccotland, either in prison or hospice, preferrably Prison.They advised. The proper authoriity - Kenny MacAskill - considered and made the choice.

However, one point of possible embarrassment (a "black mark") for the White House, if only temporary. I've been going through the advice MacAskill solicited from a Mr.George Burgess, and it covers opinions rendered outside the Scottish gov - UK, US, Libyans, Megrahi, and families on both sides of the Atlantic. Most of these are left readable, but there are large redacted sections that ALL seem to deal with what was said by the US government, particularly AG Holder. This is because they ordered this info not shared. The compassionate release document in particular:
Page 4 shows the opinions of relevant parties, all simple for or against, except one long paragraph, probably full of qualified complexity. It starts "The US Government" and the rest is black.

Posted by: CausticLogic | July 30, 2010 4:30 AM | Report abuse

Penn Jillette hilariously suggested on HBO that 9-11 troofer morons (who torment victims' loved ones with conspiracy theory nonsense) should be shoved down a flight of stairs. That comic advise was both sage and ironic coming from an atheist, since it nicely paraphrases Jesus' advise. [Matthew 18:6]

"CausticLogic (aka, Adam Larson) is a 9-11 Troofer conspiracy moron. Adam is also an erstwhile Lockerbie troofer moron who noisely parrots the conspiracy theory nonsense of Professor Black (Kaddafi's hack in Leftist UK wacademia)-- a "man" who once sneered that the greatest consequence of the Lockerbie bombing felt by the Black family was that his father had to stop walking his dog on the golf course where a number of bodies had landed after falling from the plane.

Adam is a disciple of Kaddafi's wacademic hack and also seems to enjoy tormenting victims' families (widows, orphans, aging parents) in his spare time.

To that end, Adam's blog misrepresented the motives and actions of George Williams (an emeritus board member of the largest Lockerbie victims group, VPAF103) and his good friend, Frank Duggan (President of VPAF103). Flinging the "blood money" libel at widows, orphans and aging parents isn't argument-- it is merely ad hominem abusive. Under rules of logic, those gratuitous assertions are open to equal and opposite rejoinder.

Being judged "worthless" to vicious trolls like Adam is a gift.

Billion Euro Q: How many shares of BP does Professor Black own?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | July 31, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

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