Monday, August 29, 2011
Goodness, a billion American dollars spent to support a rebellion hardly buys you anything these days.
The Libyan rebel government has refused outright to deport our old friend Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland which murdered 270 people, most of them Americans.
There was a formal request from US Senators Chuck Schumer( D NY) and others to hold al-Megrahi accountable and allow his extradition. "A new Libya can send a strong statement to the world by declaring it will no longer be a haven for this convicted terrorist," he said.
The Libyan response? Go pound sand, ferrenghi.
The transitional government's justice minister, Mohammed al-Alagi, said in Tripoli that the request by American senators had "no meaning" because Mr. Megrahi had already been tried and convicted.
"We will not hand over any Libyan citizen," he was quoted as saying. Obviously they're confident that this isn't going to affect their getting that nice package of western aid they want in the least.
As you'll remember, the British government freed al-Megrahi as part of a corrupt deal to gain access to Libyan oil contracts. al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was imprisoned in 2001 for life but served less than 8 years before he was released because he was supposedly dying of cancer and a doctor's report paid for by the Libyan government said he had three months to live at most. That was over two years ago, and it's worth remembering that the Obama Administration signed off on the deal.
al-Megrahi is a national hero in Libya. When he returned from Scotland after his premature release, he returned to a tumultuous welcome at the airport and was greeted by Khaddaffi himself, who awarded al-Megrahi a handsome pension and a nice villa in an upscale neighborhood of Tripoli. There's no way they're going to turn him over just for murdering a few infidels.
This was no doubt intended as a nice little message to the West . We may have bought and paid for their revolution, but it means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Once the inevitable struggle for power ends, the change is going to consist of a different set of rulers, who will likely be worst than Khaddaffi was from our point of view, no matter what our expectations. As the locals say, man supposes, Allah disposes.
We will eventually learn that the Muslim world has an entirely different set of values than the West. Eventually.
Posted by Rob at 10:59 AM