BP: drenched in oil and blood
They told us he had days or weeks to live. That he was being released on humanitarian grounds. But nearly a year later, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi is alive and well in Tripoli, Libya. The same cannot be said for the 270 people, including 189 Americans, he helped murder when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. To make maters worse, BP -- the same folks who have brought us the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history -- confirmed yesterday that it lobbied the British government to speed up the conclusion of prisoner transfer agreements with Libya so that a 500 million pound oil deal with the country could go through.
Oil and water don’t mix. But blood and oil apparently do.
BP swears that it didn’t specifically ask for al-Megrahi’s release. As if that makes its actions a smidge less unconscionable. This story from yesterday’s Guardian lays out the ugly allegations, which have been known since last year.
Last September then-justice minister, Jack Straw, admitted that Britain had been partly motivated by the need to secure fresh oil contracts when ministers tried, in 2007, to make it easier to release Megrahi.
Straw accepted in an interview that he had decided in 2007 to drop his plan to exclude the bomber from a prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) that was being negotiated with Libya. Straw's change of mind followed lobbying by British oil interests, notably BP, and the Libyan government.
Straw was lobbied on 15 October and 9 November 2007 by Sir Mark Allen, a former MI6 officer, who then worked for BP as a consultant. Libya was stalling on a £500m-plus oil deal with BP.
Documents last year showed Straw originally promised a PTA would only be reached with Libya if Megrahi were excluded. But he later acceded to Libyan demands to include Megrahi. The change followed a warning from BP that not including the bomber could hurt its business interests.
A group of U.S. senators, including Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have called on the State Department to investigate whether BP specifically lobbied to free al-Megrahi. “We will obviously look into it,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday.
Given what know already, it should be a short look-see. I’m just unclear on what exactly the U.S. can do to right this egregious wrong.
| July 15, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
Save & Share: Previous: Death and taxes -- and baseball
Next: George Steinbrenner and estate tax insanity
Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | July 15, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: slatt321 | July 15, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JRM2 | July 15, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Christopher7 | July 15, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HumanistPatriot | July 16, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Roytex | July 16, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: NNevada | July 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Roytex | July 16, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: scvaughan | July 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: myke3 | July 17, 2010 4:16 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.