Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Compassion and Appeal

It may help some US Senators to understand that one reason why the Scottish Executive was so keen to grant compassionate release to the Lockerbie Bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, was that this was the only certain way of stopping him from mounting an appeal against his conviction, which would almost certainly have succeeded due to the poverty of evidence left if two key pieces are challenged. The consequences of such a successful appeal would have been disastrous for the United States, as it would have made the US Government (and probably Scotland) an absolute pariah in Europe and the Middle East. It would have caused huge problems for the United Kingdom, as a whole, as any criminal, anywhere, would have been able to resist extradition on the grounds that he wouldn't receive a fair trial in the UK. Short of dropping a bomb on a Chinese Embassy somewhere, there's nothing worse that could happen, diplomatically speaking.

Pan Am 103 was more probably destroyed by Palestinians working freelance for the Quds militia unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Any Libyans caught in the net may simply have been conned into providing a suitcase full of clothes for someone they thought to be working undercover for Libyan intelligence, which apparently happened all the time with the Libyan mission in Malta. It's very easy to exploit a system where people are trained not to ask awkward questions! So, no, the Libyans still aren't telling the truth, but they didn't do it.

As for Tony Blair giving the appearance of lobbying Libya on behalf of BP, it would be typical of him if appearance was all this was, and in fact he was lobbying on behalf of a far less reputable oil company, Taci Oil, which was able to use a below-market-price supply deal with the Libyans to undercut its competitors and gain a complete retail and wholesale fuel monopoly in Albania, now set to spread to neighbouring countries. The people behind this one are very grateful to the Blairs indeed.

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