Friday, August 21, 2009

Tony Blair, British Petroleum And The Lockerbie Deal

This gets dirtier and dirtier:

Tony Blair has been accused of agreeing a 'blood money' deal involving the Lockerbie bomber with Colonel Gaddafi just hours before BP unveiled a £500million oil contract.

The then Prime Minister laid the foundations for the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi during a meeting with the Libyan leader in a desert tent two years ago.

The pair thrashed out a controversial prisoner transfer deal just before BP chairman Peter Sutherland announced the firm was investing $900million - about £545million - to search for oil in Libya. If the firm strikes rich, it could be worth £13billion.

Critics are suspicious that Mr Blair's deal was part of an attempt to develop closer relations with the former pariah state to protect Britain's oil interests.

Susan Cohen, whose only child Theodora, 20, was killed in the bombing, said: 'Tony Blair has behaved absolutely appallingly. Some people would describe it as blood money.

He put compassion for the oil industry ahead of any compassion for my daughter, for the families of all those people killed by a convicted mass murderer and terrorist.

It just shows that the power of oil money counts for more than justice.'

It sure does. 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 a 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 patrollingin front of it in 1984, the deal's complete.

I think blood money is a pretty appropriate term.

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.

Not that Tony Blair or his ilk are going to be the ones paying the price. That's for the little people, like us.

UPDATE: Seif al-Islam, Khadaffi's son admitted in an interview today thatthe release of al-Megrahi was directly linked to the oil deal.


Anonymous said...

I was on this same aircraft, Pan Am's "Clipper Maid of the Seas" two weeks before it was blown up. The British Government should be ashamed of their disgusting behavior.

B.Poster said...

The notion that this man was released based upon humanitarian grounds is nauseating. Had the British and Scottish authorities simply admitted that he is being released as part of a package deal to serve British oil and other trade interests, I would be disappointed at these authorities but at least I would be able to muster some emapthy for them.

Oil is the life blood of a modern industrialized economy. Without it the "little people" would suffer tremndously. As such, one of the first tenants of government is for the government to do all that it can to ensure that the citizens of the country it rules have access to stable and affordable sources of oil. In doing this deal, Mr. Blair and others were attempting to ensure British access to this source of oil and they are probably trying to develop cordial relations with a major country in the Middle East if not the world.

If this works out and the British are able to ensure access to this source of oil and they are able to develop cordial relations with a major power, in this case Libya, the deal will have been a good one for Britian. With tha that said the British need to keep in mind that deals like this can be rescinded at any time by Libya and due to the heroes welcome this man received it seems, at least right now, that cordial relations with the West have not been achieved. Perhaps it will come in time. If it does, it was a good deal for Britian.

This seems to have been a bad deal for America all the way around. I wish American leaders could have or would have done more to protest this. Unfortunately for us the British leadership concluded that Libya could both help them and hurt them far more than America can. In this, the British conclusion was correct. As such, American interests be damed!!

I certainly don't like this one bit. This could serve as a teachable moment for Americans. America has vast quantities of oil, natural gas, and coal on its own lands and off of its coasts. Unfortunately we have been unable to tap into this due to environmental concerns, specifically concerns over the myth of "man caused global warming." By not allowing us to access our own resources the environmental groups have made negotiations between American government officials and oil suppliers much more difficult.

If we could develop more of our own reserves and build more refineries, we may not be able to eliminate our imports from places like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico but it would give us greater leverage. Perhaps if we could generate a net surplus of oil supplies some of this could be sold to Britian. Also, perhaps we could sell drilling rights to companies like BP. This would make it less likely that such questionable arrangements like this one would need to be engaged in in the future.

I've said it before here and elsewhere many times but I think it bears repeating. If we would develop all of our own oil, gas, and coal reserves and build more refineries, this would give us greater utility for our national security interests than invading Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other Middle Eastern country likely ever could.

I've been writing letters to my Congressional officals and the White House trying to encourage them to push for more domestic energy production and the building of more refineries. I hope Ms. Cohen and others will join me in this effort. I would hope the tradgedy of her daughter's death and the death of others by this tragic event will never occurr again. By developing more of our own resources we would make a recurrance of this less likely and we would give ourselves greater leverage in negotiations with our suppliers.

B.Poster said...

The statement by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond that "international power politics" would be ignored is absolutely disgusting. International power politics DID play a role in this.

The British concluded that Libya could help them as well as hurt them far more than America could. In this situation, they concluded correctly and added accordingly.

If Mr. Salmond and others would simply admit this, I could muster some empathy towards them. Unfortunately choosing to lie about the whole affair as this man did simply makes matters worse.

Anonymous said...

Every American who continues to support the present UK government by traveling to the UK, purchasing products from the UK, using financial services from the UK and most importantly buy the oil from the UK (British Petroleum) in my opinion are now as guilty of endorsing the release of this CRIMINAL as is the current Prime Minister and his government. I certainly hope and I will tell every American I know to discontinue purchasing UK products and travel packages and other goods and services UNTIL the present British government is dissolved by the Queen and a new government with NEW leadership is selected by the people of the UK. I have faith that the British people will be as OUTRAGED by this as I know Americans are and let Gordon Brown know that he really now must go at once. There is the work of evil at hand here, and at the root of that evil is money. But now it won't be mine and as an American I hope American's everywhere will respond in kind.

270 people, mostly young people but all innocent people were murdered and now the British Government is now complicit after the fact.

Every Briton should be outraged enough to pursue their local and national representatives. Americans should NOT STAND for this - and rebuke this discovery by withholding their US dollars and spending them to purchase goods and services and travel packages from and to other places.