Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lockerbie Bomber Freed - And Returns To A Hero's Welcome In Libya

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Libyan who was convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 was freed today, by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

It took years to track him down and try him, so he had served only eight years of a life sentence.

MacAskill's rationale for freeing al-Megrahi was 'compassionate grounds' because he's reportedly dying of prostate cancer. MacAskill felt al-Megrahi should be allowed to be with his family before dying....a luxury his victims weren't allowed.

The vast majority of the Lockerbie victims were Americans. When al-Megrahi was finally captured, the US wanted him extradited and tried here, but the Brits put up a fuss because they were afraid this creature might be subjected to the death penalty.So an international agreement was made allowing him to be tried and sentenced under British law, with the proviso that he would serve out his entire sentence in Scotland and not be eligible for early release. The Scots essentially flushed that agreement down the toilet without being overridden by the British government.

al-Megrahi was found guilty and appealed his conviction twice. He agreed to drop further appeals in exchange for his Get Out of Jail Free card.

MacAskill admitted he thought al-Megrahi was guilty, but said that "outrage cannot and should not be a basis of who we are, the values we seek to uphold and the faith and beliefs that we seek to live by."

Actually he's simply wrong. Outrage at inhumane acts and making an example of the perpetrators is exactly the values we ought to uphold - because it causes future perpetrators to think twice before they act.

Not doing so ensures that others will seek to emulate people like al-Megrahi. Especially when he's greeted enthusiastically by the folks at home as a jihadi hero.

In an interesting contrast, many of Lockerbie's British victims believe al-Megrahi was innocent, while almost all the American think he was guilty.

Susan Cohen, of Cape May Court House, NJ, whose 20-year-old daughter, Theodora, was murdered in the bombing put it pretty well, I thought: "I think it's appalling, disgusting and so sickening I can hardly find words to describe it. This isn't about compassionate release. This is part of give-Gadhafi-what-he-wants-so-we-can-have-the-oil."

She's certainly right about that part. British Petroleum is prominent among the companies already investing in Libya and working with Khadaffi.

Khadaffi paid out about $1.5 billion in compensation to the victims of the Lockerbie bombing - and then got most of it back in exchange for the deal allowing access to Libya's oil.

With the freeing of al-Megrahi, and probably the non-prosecution of whomever it was that fired that shot from inside the Libyan embassy in London that murdered policewoman Yvonne Fletcher while she was patrolling in front of it in 1984, the deal's complete.

And if you look at how al-Megrahi was received back home in Libya as a hero and role model , I can almost guarantee you that there will be a further cost to this whole endeavor in the future.


Lucas said...

I see that one of the signs the muslim woman has says "Justice for al-Megrahi".

Well, if he dies without repenting, he will get justice. Eternal justice, but not exacly what she had in mind.

Anonymous said...

This really pissed me off.

I've heard the arguments pro and con and if this is ultimately about saving the Scots having to foot the bill for this sh*tbags expensive end-of-life care, then dare this SOB to man up and give him a syringe of curare, his family an open door to his cell and finally this creep his g*d prayer book.


Tom Jones

jasonbradyut said...

What, all we all of a sudden giving out FREE Lunches? Since when??? Under what premise? Did this guy learn his lesson? I doubt he would have changed his actions if he knew he would have gone to jail. These people don’t care, but only to KILL America. They hate us…helllloooooo!!! Wake up people.

Freedom Fighter said...

Ultimately, I think the woman I quoted in this piece has it exactly right - it was mostly about the oil,plain and simple.

There's a London Times article I linked to in Must Reads that points out that pretty much everybody's interests were served by this - except justice.

As for the Libyans, the vast majority of them fall into two camps when it comes to Lockerbie. It's similar to 9/11 - either they think what al-Megrahi did was a heroic deed or that he's innocent and it was done by the Jooos (and no, I'm not exaggerating).


Lisa said...

Even though he is dying,he should not be trusted and he should still be monitored.