Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Will the Al Megrahi Release Affect US/UK Relations?

All afternoon I have been receiving emails from American friends about the al Megrahi decision. Here's one from a very good friend of mine in Washington DC...
I am simply in shock that the UK would allow the Pam Am terrorist who killed my countrymen and yours to go free. Even as he is dying, why should he be permitted to die a free man? Its called a life sentence because you spend your whole life there which includes when you die.

I never thought I would see the day. Could you imagine Mrs. Thatcher calling President Reagan to explain this? There is no way she would have ever done that. Reagan would have asked her if she was feeling all right and told her to rest and call him back when she was back to her senses.

I am astounded.

I have tried to explain that it was not the UK who allowed him to go free - it was the Scottish Executive. But I doubt whether anyone is in the mood to listen.

I wonder what the long term implications of this are for UK-US relations. I can already imagine there being some boycott of Scottish goods by US consumers and the number of tourists declining dramatically. It would of course be wrong to take these considerations into account when making a quasi-legal decision, but it is clear that there will be consequences. Or will US politicians go through the motions of criticising the decision because they have to for their domestic audience? Who knows.

It is not feasible that the Prime Minister can get away with a no comment policy on this case. Alistair Darling has said that it was right the Scottish Executive made its own decision. Well, thanks for that insight, Alistair. Much appreciated.

Finally, reading through the comments on the previous thread, I shake my head in disbelief at the naivety of some of them. The number of people who protest that al Megrahi is innocent is astonishing - particularly as most of them say that without then going on to explain why. He was convicted by a court of law and then withdrew his appeal for reasons as yet unclear. I can respect those who believe his release was a compassionate decision. What I cannot respect are those who assume he is innocent without having a clue why.

141 comments:

Bart said...

Have you read the judges' verdict after the first trial, Iain?

I can't believe you have. Read it and then see whether you still think a rational, just verdict was reached.

Paul Halsall said...

He withdrew the appeal because he would have died before it could be heard. Let me be clear, if he is still alive in (say) six months, we have been had.

The nationalist overtones of MacAskill's speech, and his comments on various news programmes is a disgrace.

Still, the conviction does seem insecure, and the frustrated imperial Americans on TV do not create a good impression.

Desperate Dan said...

It wasn't a proper court of law. It was a handful of judges reaching an agreement amongst themselves.

And if the ostentatiously religious United States kicks up too much of a fuss about it the UK can always quote their bible at them: Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.

Bart said...

If you want the full text of Al Megrahi's statement, the BBC News website has it.

None of the websites of the four 'serious' newspapers do. Maybe because they just can't bear the idea that he might be telling the truth about not getting a fair trial.

Anonymous said...

Like many of the people on the previous thread, I have followed the case for a number of years through Private Eye. The arguments that have been made have been convincing and reinforced by the UK government's consistent refusal to look at alternative evidence. That means I don't have a knee jerk reaction to the news of 'kill him' or let him die.

It has been suggested that the bomb was retaliation fr the shooting down of an Iranian Airbus by the USS Vincennes - what happened to the criminals in that case?

Anonymous said...

" Its called a life sentence because you spend your whole life there which includes when you die."

Hilarious !!! Maybe back in the 18th century...

The cowboys just don't get it do they ? 'Dead or Alive' belongs in the films. Well done to Scotland for not being bossed about by the Pax Americana.

If the success of Halliburton or Chevron or Exxon depended on the same decision being made, they wouldn't have hesitated...

Thomas Rossetti said...

Speaking as someone who lives in America, I can confirm that you are right, Iain. Americans are indeed furious about this decision and "Boycott Scottish Products" websites are popping up by the second.

You're also right that the distinction between a Scottish legal decision and a British legal one is lost on most people here. (And before people make the inevitable comments about Americans being thick, how many people in Britain could accurately describe the political and legal arrangements in Scotland? Scottish devolution has made the already complex arrangements a mess (but that's probably an argument for another time!))

I'd be interested to know why all those posters think this man is innocent. It can't just be because he protested his innocence. If that were the case, those same people must believe most people in the entire prison system are innocent.

Anonymous said...

"What I cannot respect are those who assume he is innocent without having a clue why."

We don't need to prove innocence - there is a presumption of innocence unless guilt is proved. And if Dr Jim Swire wasn't convinced, and the evidence of the previous night's break-in to A PAN-AM SECURE AREA was hushed up, what are they trying to hide ??

You really are a most credulous, non-intellectual non-intelligent bandwagon jumping populist Mr Dale.

Old Holborn said...

Iain

Do your own research into why he is innocent.

You will learn much for a change.

Even Pravda knows he didn't do it.

Obsidian said...

Yes Iain, there have been no miscarriages of justice ever, all court cases involve paying 'witnesses' millions, and taking them on jollies, and of course there is nothing wrong in the evidence being tampered with or hidden.

Never had you down as having a view of justice that would have Josef Stalin beaming with delight, but there we go.

As for US/UK relations, who cares? And I speak as a very pro-American Brit. It's about time they realized the 'special relationship' is a two-way street, and not the current one-way version.

The US government has treated the UK abominably over the years, seeing us as little more than a convenient mouthpiece.

They need us, so there'll be mumbles of outrage, some face-saving activity and that'll be it.

Anonymous said...

It was the right thing to do.

Not having sat through the trial it is impossible to say for certain whether he was guilty or innocent but significant questions exist -

What were these CIA documents in possession of the prosecution the defence did not see?

Why would Professor Robert Black be so adamant he was innocent (http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/2007/11/prison-visit.html) - this is not just some crackpot conspiracy theorist.

Why did the UN observer consider the trial flawed? (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article4138649.ece)

And on it goes.

I'm sorry if you disagree but I believe that is enough of question about this case that to assume his guilt is unjust.

On compassionate grounds he should have been released.

I put it like this -

I'd rather a guilty man die free than an innocent man behind bars.

Anonymous said...

No affect whatsoever.

It would have all been agreed beforehand.

All three governments will tell their people what their people want to hear. Then the real business of exploiting Libyan oil can go ahead.

Oop Norf said...

Even leaving aside the question of his guilt, what do you say to the commenters that pointed out that we shouldn't make judgements about whether we act with compassion based on the moral standards or terrorist?

We're better than they are, we should act like it.

Thomas Rossetti said...

Having been sent some articles from Private Eye on the subject, it seems there is some credible evidence to suggest that his conviction was flawed. Even if that is the case, though, it doesn't justify releasing him early. A proper appeal should be lodged.

Alex said...

How will it affect relations? Not one jot.

The US know it was a political trial, it was a shoddy case, and there is more reason to believe that the bombing was done by the PFLP-GC who were paid by the Iranians.

vervet said...

Iain: Just read Paul Foot's extremely well researched analysis in 'Private Eye' archives and you will understand. For a blogger, you swallow the establishment line far too easily. Wake up !

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

America's hypocrisy is astounding.

The captain of the USS Vincennes, the warship that shot down a civilian airliner in 1988, received the legion of merit.

Thatsnews said...

An American woman who lost her daughter was so incredibly vile and rude to Dr Jim Swire, who also lost his daughter, I thought: "You evil bitch! I hope they let him out to teach you a lesson in manners."

wonderfulforhisage said...

Up until fifteen or so year ago 'ends did not justify means' as a general rule. At that time I had complete faith in British courts and justice.

Then along came nulabour and the unholy trinity of Mandleson, Blair and Campbell. Magically means began to be justified by ends. The odd porkie here, the odd dodgy dossier there, here a spin, there a spin, everywhere spin, spin.

And this new progressive form of politics was contagious. Before long the Tories were at it as well.

And it's spread into public life and, my guess is, into the justice system - remember 'cash for honours' anyone?

So, even without Private Eye's in depth investigation and denunciation of the guilty verdict I'd be none to sure of the guilt of this chap. Don't forget the dodgy dossier was in part authored by the spooks and they were also involved supplying evidence for Al Megrahi's trial.

As far as Al M. dropping his appeal I'd assumed this was done to facilitate his release.

Neil said...

Why are people quite stupidly arguing weather he was innocent or not.

That would have been proved/disproved in a appeal court.

As it stands he is a convicted terrorist murderer who was released by some small nationalistic little s*** who wanted nothing more than to embarrass the british government in the international community to score some cheap political points.

Andrew said...

As a Scot, all I can say is that I am absolutey ashamed of this grotesque decision. US citizens will rightly express there anger and I hope people in Scotland will punish the Scottish administration for showing their true colours.

Fausty said...

Forgive me for being cynical, but I can't help wonder if the Americans agreed behind the scenes, and the press is just putting out the "narrative".

Like Paul Halsall, I await news of his health (or otherwise) in the coming weeks/months/years.

There's still that Shell Coventry oil refinery which Libya is wanting to buy that has gone unremarked in the press. Any connection?

Not to mention, Mandy's involvement with the Libyans recently.

Just what kind of deal was made, and why?

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine Mrs Thatcher calling President Reagan to explain that Pinochet was to appear in court on criminal charges?

No, I can't either, because of all the murky background stuff that would be revealed.

Same here..

jon dee said...

Badly I suspect, but once again when pressure mounts, this time from the USA - McCavity's not there!

Prime minister Brown stays silent, undoubtedly as a planned response. Is it, "not my fault Barack, it's them pesky Scots" or is that he's hoping events behind the scenes won't be examined too vigorously.

Bet your bottom dollar he's got it all worked out - wheres Lord Foulkes?

Anonymous said...

I would wager Gordon is ecstatic.

Mega problem gone away and he did not even have to make one decision.

Watcher said...

The appeal was withdrawn because he could not have compassionate release whilst that process was in play.

As for the Colony of Cowboys. For a Christian society they don't seem to understand the concepts of forgiveness or compassion.

In this case the compassion is for the man's family who get to spend time with him before his death. It wasn't they who downed the plane.

andrewha said...

Affect on US/UK relations? Not a whit. It's clearly part of a carefully choreographed greater international diplomatic deal. (I say 'clearly' though 'murkily' might be more appropriate).

Anonymous said...

>That would have been proved/disproved in a appeal court.

And if he was "proven innocent" many months or years after his death, how would you feel about that?

An innocent man under house arrest and in prison since 1991 then left to die in jail for something he didn't do.

There is only once chance to act and Scottish law mandates he should be released on compassionate grounds.

Iain's premise about how it might affect UK/US relations is ludicrous. If that is how the Tories view the judicial system (a political football) i might just have to reconsider giving them any support.

Compassion is a sign of a mature society. This sounds like the old "nasty party" rhetoric to me.

Anonymous said...

There are many reasons to think that the original conviction was unsafe, including the aforementioned break-in the night before near the Pan Am secure baggage area, Tony Gauci only picking Megrahi out of a line up after seeing his photo in a magazine article about the bombing (and subsequently being paid millions of dollars by the US to start a new life in Australia) and the foreign secretary slapping a PII certificate on documents integral to Megrahi's appeal.

Anonymous said...

As a Scot I have never been prouder of Scotland -NEVER PROUDER -- it takes a real brave hearted people to stand up to the big belligerent guys

Oh and web sites to boycott Scottish Stuff remember the Republican-thick-as-mince faction of yankee-dumb was boycotting French stuff in 2003, now who looks to have been right there

anyone for some Patriot Scot Fries :-) thats chips blackpudidng and an Irn Bru

Anonymous said...

"I have heard very strong evidence that, while the Libyans may have done some bad things, they were not involved with this one,"

Sir Teddy Taylor, former Shadow Scottish Secretary.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/crucial-lockerbie-evidence-flawed-1124999.html

Anonymous said...

"I have tried to explain that it was not the UK who allowed him to go free"

Total Bollocks Ian. This was rubber stamped by the UK Government. New Labour is totally complicit.

lord of appeal said...

the appeal was infront of the most senior law lords in scotland.

so they are all corupt?
this is riduculous,the world has gone mad,along with the arm chair lawyers on this site.

i watch csi where parents go to see their mass murderer offspring in prison and think they are innocent,these bloggers are like them.

Neil said...

">That would have been proved/disproved in a appeal court.

And if he was "proven innocent" many months or years after his death, how would you feel about that?"

Well by that time he would be dead so it wouldn't really matter then would it.

Ewan Watt said...

First of all, there is absolutely no evidence that al Megrahi introduced a bomb in Luqa airport, let alone conclusive evidence linking the suspect with the bombing itself.

The credibility of the main witness, Abdul Majid Giaka, has been done to death, but lets just say that questions continue to arise whether his evidence should even have been taken into account.

Furthermore, Tony Guaci, the only individual who linked al Megrahi with the bombings never actually positively identified him, merely pointing out that he "resembled" the bomber and this after the suspect had his picture plastered all over the news. Guaci had also pointed out a number of other suspects beforehand.

Anonymous said...

In Scotland, the usual proceedure is that if someone is about to die, he is released. He is about to die...he has been released. What possible alternative did the Scottish government have? What is the point of proceedure if you shift it to suit the wind?

Second, we should not worry what the US government says. They and Tony Blair set us up to get involved in a war that was not necessary and the US has got this government involved in rendition.Torture has not been the British way for many many decades. We owe America nothing- they, and Labour, have embarrassed us.

Quietzapple said...

It is time for mercy for a dying man.

I suspect that withdrawing the appeal was done to suggest that he accepted the verdict, as is sometimes necessary before sentences are commuted.(or whatever the word is)

The Scot Nat Justice Minister's pop at HMG was silly as expected. HMG made it as easy for him to make an independent decision as possible.

The decision will be seen by all sorts of people as being correct, albeit people will agree for various reasons.

It is a minor relief that part of the UK has made a decision which will be more widely welcomed than many other decisions made here in the past 10 years.

Paddy Briggs said...

My liberal instincts lead me to support Al Meghari's release on compassionate grounds (same with Ronnie Biggs). BUT then I ask myself what I would say if it was Moors Murderer Ian Brady or Soham killer Ian Huntley who was terminally ill and being released on the same basis. And then I struggle - which raises all sorts of uncomfortable questions about crime and punishment and our (my) perceptions of evil and wickedness...

Stonemason. said...

He was found guilty and should have died in prison .....

..... at the end of a rope.

Sabretache said...

"What I cannot respect are those who assume he is innocent without having a clue why."

Most I read have a lot more than a clue. It is a cardinal principle of Scottish and English law that a person be assumed innocent unless proven guilty BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. The point being made by most of the guilt-doubters is a simple one: viz. In light of considerable new evidence which his defence team intended to present, had the original trial take place today - or his appeal gone ahead, Al Magrahi's alleged guilt could no longer be proven to the required standard. And that quite apart from the disgraceful and near unbelievable stitch-ups of the original trial and first appeal.

You don't have to look far for the detail of that new evidence and it is crystal clear that it would have presented major problems for the UK government had it been presented and scrutinised in open court.

As a brief little intro for one who, in his sanctimonious outrage, is clearly ignorant of the difficult and very unpleasant details, try reading Jim Squire on the subject. His daughter was killed in the atrocity and outside privy-council level and spook circles, he probably knows more than anyone alive about it.

Then try searching the Glasgow Herald archives.

mavmeldrum said...

He dropped the appeal because a legal technicality says that you can't be released on compassinate grounds if you are appealing.

As a Scot, I'm embarrassed. As is every other person I've spoken on this to today. We will now never know if his appeal was to have been successful. Either a massmurderer has been released (wrong), or an innocent man will die with a guilty vverdict over his head (wrong). Worse still, the families of the victims have been denied knowing. A bad bad decision taken, I suspect, largely to prove that they, the SNP were really, really important.

Lord Lavendon said...

Iain

I agree with you. I added my own lamatable scribbles to this matter on my own patch ,so I won't drone on here ... but any damage done to the Anglo- American special relationship by this action is deplorable in itself. To have caused damage because of a terrorist , even worse.

The "Angry Aberdonian" said...

What's special about Megrahi? The "Über-Liberal" Scottish Executive have been happily opening the prison doors and letting murderers walk free for years!

Unsworth said...

The short answer to the question is not much and not for long. We can expect this to rumble on for a while - possibly even as long as a month. Then it will be business as usual.

Anonymous said...

iain

if US consumers ban Brave Scotland products their sales will sky rocket throughout the rest of the planet -- Hugo chavez will stop railing against Scottish Whisky

if only Bush was still President Scots would be the global number 1 nice people

as it is given the nasty side of Yanks blocking health care for all Scotland looks in a great position -- china India are our markets now

its great to be scottish now -- everyone is talking about it and proud that normal scottish practise was applied in this case even in the face of vindictive bullies who knwo the manis innocent but who have not shared the evidence with a court

Robert said...

The Americans have always been remarkably quiet about the incident (a few months before the Lockerbie bomb) when they shot down an Iranian civil airliner, killing 290 people.

The U.S. naval officer responsible was awarded the Legion of Merit.

The U.S. Government refused to apologize. Vice president George Bush said "I'll never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don't care what the facts are."

strapworld said...

Iain, I agree with Bart. I also listen to the two british fathers of victims, one of whom sat through the whole trial, both are convinced that Al Megrahi is innocent and it is humane to allow him to go home to die.

I think they should be listened to. Rather than hysteerical yanks. Perhaps you should ask your friend why the American Authorities allowed the Obama family to leave the USA the day after 9.11? That is as worrying as this. Also who was the CIA man on the Pan Am flight. and also why theevidence of a package allegedly placed on the plane in London, not allowed in evidence at Al Megrahi's trial?

Iain, far too many questions have been left unanswered on both Pan Am and 9.11. It is time for the American Authorities to tell the truth!

Quietzapple said...

Paddy;

In the cases of the Moors murderers the practicality of securing them against revenge killings and other insane murders would have made it impossible to release them I would have thought.

No doubt everyone has a limit beyond which their mercy is tried and found wanting.

Joe Public said...

"How Will the Al Megrahi Release Affect US/UK Relations?"

No difference whatsoever.

We'll just remind our friends across the pond how many of our servicemen lost their lives when we joined then in the illegal war in Iraq. We ask again, where are those weapons of mass-destruction?

Anonymous said...

>Well by that time he would be dead so it wouldn't really matter then would it.

So Neil, you'd rather an innocent man die in prison than show any compassion?

I hope you're never asked to do jury service as you clearly have no understanding of Justice.

That said, i'm reminded of "You don't get justice in court, just law"

Neil said...

"As a Scot I have never been prouder of Scotland -NEVER PROUDER -- it takes a real brave hearted people to stand up to the big belligerent guys"

Surprise surprise another small provincial little scot so proud that they stood up to the mighty american beast as a matter of conscience.

Nevermind the fact that they released a CONVICTED murderer.

Draig said...

Let's not leave the last word to the "Stonemason" eh? Always one happy to let his hatred of the SNP get in the way of the facts...

And while we're at it, it's very revealing that Cameroon has been happy to go straight over the head of Annabel Goldie in his desperation to score cheap political points off a brave and independent legal decision.

Anonymous said...

Oi USA! dont blame England for what happens in Scotislava! we just bankroll the barren sh*thole!, we dont have any say over what happens there, the other way round yes, they tell us what to do in England, but not the other way round!.

If America has a problem then take it up with the 'Scottish Government'......they will probably have to anyway as England's Scottish Government is obviously keeping a low profile until this blows over!.

Neil said...

">Well by that time he would be dead so it wouldn't really matter then would it.

So Neil, you'd rather an innocent man die in prison than show any compassion?"

I will not get in to a tit for tat argument as this is Iain dales blog not guido's.

I will just say as a final word that he is a CONVICTED murdered if he wanted to appeal then he could have if he died in the mean time then well S*** happens.

Regards

Bedfordshire Beacon said...

Looks like the comments section has been hijacked by Labour. Or is it twelve years of BBC left wing propaganda that has everyone confused.

I would hate to think these are Conservative comments.

Robert said...

What special relationship? Bled dry during two world wars for materials. Undermind during Suez. If in the national interest we obtain oil contracts in Libya in exchange for one man. I would be of the opinion that is good value. I suspect thatthey will get over it very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Surprised to see so many punters seeing through this whole charade.

He was innocent. Nah. But there was enough to suggest it couldn't be proved beyond reasonable doubt, even the balance of probabilities.

Disgust at his release. All balls. The deal has been squared off with the US perhaps because they know he's innocent, more than perhaps, because, as one punter points out, there's a lot of luvly-jubbly oil sitting in Libya.

Get on the programme.

Andrew BOD said...

Iain

"I have tried to explain that it was not the UK who allowed him to go free - it was the Scottish Executive. But I doubt whether anyone is in the mood to listen."

But aren't the UK Government under Brown, and wouldn't the previous one under Blair, be secretly happy? Why did Blair allegedly broker a deal for prisoner transfer in 2007? Why did Mandelson meet son of Gaddafi in Corfu? Isn't the UK's energy security in serious trouble?

"I can already imagine there being some boycott of Scottish goods by US consumers and the number of tourists declining dramatically. It would of course be wrong to take these considerations into account when making a quasi-legal decision, but it is clear that there will be consequences."

So these consequences should be considered or not? A contradiction. Are you confused?

Anonymous said...

Who are those Americans to lecture us. Remember all those ira terrorists you let stay in America? I remember. One more mass murder gets away, thanks to green/sand tinted glasses.

Simon Gardner said...

“I wonder what the long term implications of this are for UK-US relations.”

Ooh. I know the answer to this one. None whatsoever. Storm in a teacup.

Gillibrand said...

One thing for sure Gary McKinnon, the autistic hacker of Pentagon computers won't be staying in the UK.

Apparently, the world famous cancer doctor, Karel Sikora has examined Megrahi and stated that the cancer is terminal.

But given the number of American deaths at Lockerbie, and the attitude of both the US government and people, the decision is immoral.

jailhouselawyer said...

This question might have been better had it related to Tony Blair having the courage to stand up to George Bush and refuse to enter his war against Iraq.

Gareth said...

I am of a similar mind to Anon 8:51 PM.

This will change the special relationship no more or less than the US harbouring and funding of the IRA did.

Anonymous said...

Not a lot of people know that.

---------------
http://web.archive.org/web/20061231051149/www.realnews-online.com/rn0001.htm

http://img1.abload.de/img/broonwhenigrowup6jd.jpg

Erosion of vital English values

Historically, in terms of the development of democracy, Englishmen have been unique in identifying, defining and giving voice to seminal values which so many hold dear. These include the right to the pursuit of happiness, the setting of individual freedom as the hallmark of a successful system of justice as reflected in the typically English legal imperatives as the right to equality before the law irrespective of status, the assumption of innocence, the right to trial by jury, habeas corpus and freedom of, and the defence of, free speech. These have largely rode on English Common Law and the ability of Judges and Juries to do a fair job free from political interference.

Such imperatives for the survival of freedom were promoted by the Levellers during the English Civil War and by the group associated with John Lilburne. Cromwell had these inividuals kept in prison. With the collapse of the English Republic and with the return of Royalty their essential writings were very much kept under wraps. The spark which gave rise to a mass revolution in the American Colonies was when the British Crown moved to ban juries because too many were preventing the state enforce arbitrary decisions on innocent "colonists". It is notable that the American Constitutional components which relate to the pursuit of happiness, individual liberty and freedom are largely based on the early writings of Lilburne written in the Tower of London, 150 years before.

Unfortunately there has been a slow erosion of this essential spark, this recognition of the importance of the defence of individual freedom, as a typical English value. This has occurred gradually since the ascendency of the Scottish influence in United Kingdom politics. Scotland, it should be noted, has a legal system based on the European system, Corpus Juris, a codified Roman Law which is completely distinct and almost alien from English Common Law. This sustains a position which keeps the influence of the community conscience in legal affairs and court decisions at arms length.

Elimination through a political Europe

The lack of an English assembly prevents the English from protecting their rights to sustain their nationality as English. The European project, Corpus Juris and the European Constitutional Draft are aimed directly at "standardizing law" which means, in the United Kingdom context that Scottish Law will eventually reign supreme. The breaking up of England into so-called EU regions has been a subtle and politically destructive means of destroying the coherence of the English nation. England has become the only country in Europe to have been eliminated without a war but rather as the result of the manipulations of Brussels bureaucrats and dishonest and irresponsible politicians in Westminster serving their party interests over country.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

As a Scot I have never been prouder of Scotland -NEVER PROUDER -- it takes a real brave hearted people to stand up to the big belligerent guys

Oh and web sites to boycott Scottish Stuff remember the Republican-thick-as-mince faction of yankee-dumb was boycotting French stuff in 2003, now who looks to have been right there

anyone for some Patriot Scot Fries :-) thats chips blackpudidng and an Irn Bru

------------------------
You must be so proud to be a barren, perpetually communist/socialist, irrelevant bitter and twisted little EU Region ruled from Brussels, after riding and being carried on England's back for 300 years, now prostituting yourself off to another 'Uniion' as they may throw a few McEuros your way!.

You really have nothing to 'try' and gloat about, What a Pathetic little Region.

Anonymous said...

Having very recently shared in the death of both my "innocent" parents, I fail to understand this compassionate release for the guilty because they are nearly dead stuff.

The man in question and his family have a town house in Glasgow where they could easily redraw until his timely death.

Perhaps I would have understood the deathh plea from those without clue until it happened to me.

Not one of us can escape death.

None of the above said...

It's an issue that separates people and shows what peopel are really like.

Anyone with intellectual curiosity will have made themselves familiar with the case and the evidence. Having done so there is really only one conclusion.

On the other hand, people who are shouting for 'justice' or 'vengeance' will not have studied the evidence. And I'll wager that's true for 99% of 'opinions' on the subject.

iain said...

This outraged American politician called Clinton wouldnt be related by any chance to the same politican called Clinton who was all for supporting the release of terrorist murderers from jail in Northern Ireland, and who refused to return many a terrorist to NI to face justice?

Anonymous said...

But it was Gaddafi what shopped this dude in the first place.

Bollocks I can't be bothered to work this one out... If he nuts the colonel at the airport then I can understand why.

Glyn H said...

The man was convicted on ludicrously dodgy evidence. Libya yielded this man up to secure brownie points for a rapprochement with the West; this was almost certainly an Iranian effort and the CIA knew very well that to be the case. A convenient trial ensued. The hypocrisy of the US squawking about his release, when the appeal could have been very embarrassing stinks. As classic a case of international real politic as one could get. Yet you, Iain, and Cameron are taken in by all this? I am surprised at you, whom I thought had a more perceptive eye – apart from that wretched Dorries woman!

DJC said...

Iain,

Totally agree.

It's a good thing that the likes of "Kenny" McCaskill weren't around in the mid-1980s or the dying Rudolf Hess would have been allowed out of Spandau Prison on compassionate grounds....

Nigel said...

>> wonder what the long term implications of this are for UK-US relations.<<

None.

>>It would of course be wrong to take these considerations into account when making a quasi-legal decision<<

Of course. So what's your point ?

>>It is not feasible that the Prime Minister can get away with a no comment policy on this case.<<

Don't see why not.

>>Finally, reading through the comments on the previous thread, I shake my head in disbelief at the naivety of some of them. <<

Pot, kettle.

>>The number of people who protest that al Megrahi is innocent is astonishing<<

Are you equally astonished by victims' parents who express the same view ?

I have an open mind on the issue of whether or not Megrahi was guilty, but it does seem to me that
those (other than the victim's families) fulminating about the release share the attitude of Supreme Court Justice Scalia:
"This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent."

Sandy Jamieson said...

Presumably having seen the inside of a Prison cell himself (Wembley 2000 on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly) Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill (I think he is also part owner of a bar in Latvia or Estonia or somewhere like that) was sympathetic to someone banged up.

On a more practical outlook it does mean the much pressed NHS Scotland will not have to spend anymore on the Prisoner's Treatment. The Libyans can fund that.

Nevertheless, John Lamont MSP summed up the way it should have been handled in that we had to be completely satisfied that al Megrahi was in his last few weeks. It looks like he is. Jack Straw must have been relived that the decision was not his, since I suspect he would have come to the same conclusion.

As for the Americans, their culture on prison sentencing is different from ours and so we should accept their reactions will be equally different.

Joe Public said...

"YORKSHIRE Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has begun digging for oil beneath his Broadmoor cell in the hope of bribing the authorities into letting him go."

So says the headline in The Daily Mash.
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/business/yorkshire-ripper-to-dig-for-oil-200908201999/

Unfortunately, the article makes no mention of his relatives having to endure a meeting with Mr Mandelson.

Cynic said...

Thats what happends when you let Local Councillors take important decisions

Cynic said...

"Clinton wouldnt be related by any chance to the same politican called Clinton who was all for supporting the release of terrorist murderers from jail in Northern Ireland, and who refused to return many a terrorist to NI to face justice?"

But those were different terrorists. Those were terrorists with a support base in the USA who had votes there and who could contribute to campaign funds. And anyway they had killed Britsih people not US Citizens so it doesnt count

Blaad said...

No way did the Scottish Executive decide this without input from Westminster.

I totally agree (as with Biggs) that the man should have died in jail.

However, I am disappointed in Obama. How can he criticise UK / Scotland at the same time the USA is insisting on the extradition of Gary McKinnon.

Christian said...

Your naivety astounds me Ian. The Birmingham 6? The Guildford 4? Like a previous poster I would rather a dying guilty man was free than a dying innocent one died in prison. You might try digging a little bit deeper into the case rather than happily regurgitating tabloid trash.

You remind me of that fatuous judge that turned down a Birmingham 6 appeal on the grounds that for it to succeed the Police must have been lying.

And before you groan too loudly - I don't believe in flying saucers, I don't believe the Yanks blew up the twin towers, I don't give 2 hoots about so called British residents being "tortured" in Morocco....but I do believe there are serious doubts about the safety of this conviction.

Just try asking yourself exactly why Jim Swire, and so many others, are so concerned? Naivety presumably.

Dimoto said...

Desperate Dan said:
"It wasn't a proper court of law. It was a handful of judges reaching an agreement amongst themselves.

And if the ostentatiously religious United States kicks up too much of a fuss about it the UK can always quote their bible at them: Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.

August 20, 2009 7:18 PM"

An interesting point. The US really does follow a "judeo-christian" line on justice, where an eye for an eye is the prevailing more.
Europe is more purely christian rationalist, rejecting the death penalty and ludicrous more-than-a-lifetime-sentences.
Our strange syncretic religion seems much more rational.

Jimmy said...

Imagine what the reaction would be if people responsible for terrorist acts in the UK had been able to find shelter in the US.

Oh wait...

Anonymous said...

It is a sad day when when a decision cant be made in this country without fearing what the Americans might say...

angry jock said...

just remember folks in this chippy lefty world,would the snp have released the dunblane school murderer ,mr hamilton,as well,on conpasionate grounds?

why not? if he has flying pig flu?

because we are a nation with morals:
meaning
1 glasgow murder capital of europe
2 budget deficites and debt to rival the third world
3 living way beyond our means,not attracting tax to cover expenditure
4 soft on crime

hopeless.really hopeless.

we need to rebuild scotland with a moral compass,not reactionary left wing chippyness.

Hurf Durf said...

"Just"
"Compassion"
"Aren't we wonderful"

The English should declare itself independent from the Scots, the premier ignorant, clueless, idealistic, jumped-up bunch of tools on the planet, with the obligatory moral superiority.

Hurf Durf said...

Heh, Lockerbie trutherism. I should thank Kenny (why are they always called "Kenny"?) McArsekill for introducing me to another brand of left-wing lunacy. Brand Scotland will get credit from the Chinese, Islamists and Euro-Socialists (likely their ulterior motive) and fury from the US and England, though what can they do? Invade Edinburgh and annex 5 million overweight drunkards who can only coherently say "och, ye no like me cos I'm no posh." Gotta love their "compassion" canard, it's got nothing to do with compassion, more like something to bang on the head of the English oppressors/evil Yanqui imperialists.

Oh, and the Jocks are still up-themselves dolts.

Anonymous said...

It is going some for a blogger to swallow hook, line and sinker the line that this guy had anything to do with the bombing - and then call the people who question that naive. Talk about irony.

As others have said the problems with that trial have been exquisitely documented by Paul Foot (Private Eye published a collation of the articles as a detailed pamphelet).

True Belle said...

Did I hear that the Libyans were keen on a grouse moor, water, rights to the Loch Ness monster, a few whisky distilleries, bagpipes?

Come on , there has to be a pay off some where.

Mr Angry that good bloggers don't read up before posting said...

Iain, perhaps after actually reading up about this, or reading the majority of comments on both your posts, you would like to re-state your original reactionary post with something a little more considered.

theres quite a few other points to this subject to discuss as well.

The scot exec.
The Yank response and its two faces.
and the history behind the 600 deaths that lead to this.

300 people died/drowned on that Iran Air flight, and all that happened was the captain of the US ship that shot that plane down got a goddamn medal. Blog that!

Anonymous said...

Concerned Americans are e mailing Iain to express their disappointment in the Scottish Justice Secretary's decision.

What should he say in reply?

I would avoid a knee jerk reponse which says America is no paragon of virtue.

I would simply say that MacAskill acted within his proper remit, considered representations from the USA and other representations, accessed legal and medical advice of a very high calibre and made a decision now endorsed by the Scottish legal establishment( McCluskey etc).

What is wrong with that?

idonotbelieveit said...

Hi Iain,

Having browsed through most of these comments it appears the vast majority of your readers don't agree with you or your American friends.

Anonymous said...

It won't affect US/UK relations one jot.

Just click onto the websites of the US papers and you will find hardly any mention of this story.

Yet again the BBC is talking bullshit, they like to feel that they are important on the world stage, when like Gordon Brown they clearly are NOT.

albertmbankment said...

Iain, I resent your imputation of naiveté. The demonising of Libya, and the subsequent conviction of Mr Al-Megrahi, has always been deeply suspect. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission was blisteringly critical of the judicial process - http://www.sccrc.org.uk/ViewFile.aspx?id=293 - in allowing the second appeal which will now not proceed. The original identification evidence was risible. Much crucial evidence was suppressed. Mr Al-Megrahi has always maintained his innocence.

I'm afraid that I regard as naive those people who insist, in the face of the evidence, that he was failrly tried and properly convicted. I regard as naive those people who insiste that mistakes are never made, and that innocent people never go to prison. I am fairly sure that the families of Stefan Kiszko, Stephen Downing, Angela Cannings, Sally Clarke, the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four, Timothy Evans, Eddie Browning, Eddie Guilfoyle, the many 'victims' of the West Midlands Serious Crimes Squad and countless others will empathise with that view.

For years after Lockerbie the assumption was that it was done by Palestinians. A cell was broken in Germany, discovered to be making identical bombs in identical cassette-players. It was only *after* Iraq (previously an ally of sorts) invaded Kuwait, and the West needed Iran on-side as a regional counterweight, that blame suddenly shifted to another convenient pariah state.

Yes, Mr Al-Megrahi was a spook. Yes, he travelled on fake passports, just like CIA and MI6 spooks do. So what? Yes, Libya supplied the IRA with Semtex. Yes, it supported 'liberation' groups. Yes, it was odious and misguided.

Before you hurl your flip analyses of naiveté around, please at least take a look at the contrasting evidence. Please consider the possibility that this is not a miscarriage of justice, but a disgraceful stitch-up in the name of realpolitik.

I have a particular interest in this because a member of my family should have been on the flight, but missed it when a meeting over-ran. I believe Mr Al-Megrahi to be almost certainly innocent. I don't ask you to think the same, but I do ask you to take a dispassionate and objective view before casually condemning me and others for our 'naiveté'.

Hurf Durf said...

"Hi Iain,

Having browsed through most of these comments it appears the vast majority of the Labour/SNP shills who troll right-wing blogs don't agree with you or your American friends."

FTFY.

"300 people died/drowned on that Iran Air flight, and all that happened was the captain of the US ship that shot that plane down got a goddamn medal. Blog that!"

Like I said before: The Vincennes doesn't matter. It was only Iranians. It's not like they matter.

Stuck-up, arrogant Jocks will get their just rewards as a pariah state pretty soon.

Berty Brown-Staines said...

They probably needed the cell for a pensioner, who refused to pay his council tax or maybe someone preaching Christianity on the open streets.

Dimoto said...

DJC said:

"Iain,

Totally agree.

It's a good thing that the likes of "Kenny" McCaskill weren't around in the mid-1980s or the dying Rudolf Hess would have been allowed out of Spandau Prison on compassionate grounds....

August 20, 2009 9:59 PM"

Maybe this post is ironic ? The three western allies tried several times to release Hess (partly for compassionate reasons, partly because of the madness of maintaining Spandau prison for one inmate), the USSR vetoed on the basis that it might disrupt the four-power arrangement for Berlin.

Cameron lost a great opportunity to 'keep his own council'.

I also find Scottish Nationalist petty chippyness irksome, but some of the anti-Scot posts on here go well beyond the pale - whatever happened to English phlegm ?

Follow the Mandelson said...

Are we, by chance nodoubt, about to buy Libyian Liquefied Natural Gas?

neil craig said...

I don't believe for a minute that this was a "Scottish decision". The decisio9n to release Biggs was clearly a clearing of the decks to make the compassion justification semi-credible. Jack Straw's behaviour there was itself unbelievable - saying at the beginning of July that he was rejecting the Parole Board's decision he should be released & then completely reversing himself at the beginning of August by releasing him.

This is inexplicable unless, in that period, the government had decided to release him. MacAskill was merely carrying it out.

Lady Finchley said...

Of course all the usual anti-American crap would come out - blah blah blah. Some of you just can't see past the nose on your face, so blinded are you by your hatred (and jealousy) of the Americans. While British justice has been badly tainted and due process trashed by cases such as the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six, they did not have the luxury of Arab billions behind them to fight their cases. If he was set up by anybody it was his own Arab buddies who allowed him to be a scapegoat.

Opinicus said...

This is all realpolitik
The man is going to die soon.
The Libyans want him back.
BP wants an oil deal with the Libyans
The FCO wants BP to do a deal
President Obama wants Esso to do the oil deal not BP

QED

Anonymous said...

The Lockerbie plane bomb was a national issue, so why has Scotland alone been allowed to decide on the matter? I suspect that the majority of people in the UK are opposed to this person having been released from prison.
I never voted for abolition of the death penalty, but I understand the argument at the time was to substitute death for life in prison. As usual, the socialists have lied through their teeth to get what they want. It is immaterial whether the Lockerbie killer is ill or not; or even if he is guilty or not; he was convicted of a heinous crime and should die incarcerated in jail.

john in cheshire

Cynic said...

Iaian

My the nutter count on posts on this one is amazing. As I read them the arguments for his release iare absoluetely irrefutable:-

1 there was an article in Private Eye that said he was innocent so he must be

2 a Pan Am luggage area
in Frankfurt was burgled 2 days befgore the bombving. This is very sinister and must therefore be connected. After all, what other possible motive could there possibly be for breaking into a shed full of valuable luggage?

3 some IRA bombers in the 1970s were wrongly convicted so he must have been wrongly convicted too

4 the proper way to test this was in a court but the court was so hopelessly baised / incompetent that its decision was wrong

5 Libya was set up for this. Yes it did train the IRA and give them 3 shiploads of arms. Yes it was a state sponsor of terrorism throughout the Middel east. Yes Ghadaffi is mad. But it was teh big bad USA ganging up on poor little Libya wot made 'em do it

6 we hate America anyway, so anything that annoys them is a good thing irrespective of how many people he murdered

7 this is a great opportunity to demonstrate that the Scots Nation has cojones!! The 'boul Kenny can stand up to the USA, demonstate his socialist and religous principles and piss off London, all at the same time.

Undelying all this seems to be a rampant streak of anti-Americanism, or as the left so belovedly call it, simple racism. The fundamenetal problem for the victims is that too many of them were white and American and not enough Scots were killed on the ground. If they had been thed ecision might have been different.

Again, I think this highlights the absurdities of this mishandled devolution. The Scots want freedom? By all means let us give it to them but when we come to make the many painful cuts that will be necessary to rebase Governmnet expenditure and try to recover from the debacle of Browns Wrecked Economy, they mut bear their fair share.

Quietzapple said...

I fear that the innumerable conspiracy theorists on both sides of this argument who believe that there is a stitch up to release Al Megrahi and/or there was one by Uk nationals to imprison him for a crime committed by others are largely expressing their own internal angsts.

When events do not follow one's own wishes this is very often a failure of the thinking of those who appear to be, and actually are making the decisions I find.

But The Giant Lobsters may yet prove me wrong . . .

Anonymous said...

"Alistair Darling has said that it was right the Scottish Executive made its own decision. Well, thanks for that insight, Alistair. Much appreciated."

Then again Iain...

I’ve had a look at the Scotland Act and I’m wondering if the British government could have taken control of the decision under this section.

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199798/cmbills/104/97104–g.htm

Power to prevent or require action.

54. - (1) If the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe that any action proposed to be taken by a member of the Scottish Executive would be incompatible with any international obligations, he may by order direct that the proposed action shall not be taken.

TomTom said...

Britain can release Al Megrahi even though convicted but cannot prevent extradition of McKinnon to the US.

Strange !

Richard said...

Whether you believe al-Megrahi is guilty or not is irrelevant to the decision to let him go. In the eyes of Scots law, he is guilty. Kenny MacAskill released him because he is in the last weeks of life, as would be the case for other terminally ill prisoners in Scottish jails. His argument about showing compassion in this case too seems reasonable enough to me, although those scenes in Tripoli don't help.

I've written a full blogpost about it here - http://the-asparagus.blogspot.com/2009/08/scottish-compassion-american-anger.html

Mirtha Tidville said...

Think your the one that naive Iain...The evidence that this man was convicted on was purely circumstantial (ie evidence that tends to support primary evidence that has already been given). There was NO primary evidence against him. Ergo the conviction will always remain open to challenge (ask any criminal lawyer). Thats what happened in this case.

Abandoning the appeal will always be regarded, henceforth, with political suspicion.

I agree with Scotland`s decision and for the reasons set out above...that do you??????

Anonymous said...

Where's Gordon?

gadgie said...

I've been boycotting scottish goods for 5 years already and I'm English.

Weygand said...

At election time in the US, candidates queue up to tell us how much they believe in 'Gard'.

Yet come the opportunity to show some Christian compassion to a dying man, the teachings of 'Gard' are suddenly forgotten.

Humbug!

And given that the decision has now been made by the politicians - so there could be no accusation he was trying to interfere in it - why has our own Archbishop had nothing to say?

Anonymous said...

Just ironic that it wasn't so many years ago all the yanks were screaming for Bobby Sands and those of similar ilk to be let out on compasionate grounds...

Paul Halsall said...

Between 347 and 504 Vietnamese civilians were mass murdered by US military personnel in on 16 May, 1986. Of the 27 American military men tried for My Lai, only one - William Calley - was found guilty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. But he was released after 4 1/2 months.

The US was the source of funds for decades provide to IRA terrorists that bombed both their own country and the British Mainland, including blowing up the heart of my city, Manchester.

I don’t agree with the Megrahi release, but there is an element of Karma here.

Furious said...

Hand wringing from the USA on this matter really does stick in the craw. The USA who is responsible for organising the torture of people through rendition flights.
If they don't like it they can go and do one. We kowtow to the yanks far too much.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Iain,

I can't actually believe that you would call me "naive".

Have you read the independent UN observer's report on the trial?

It's here (just in case you didn't read my piece on this that I linked to in yesterday's comment).

However, to make it even easier for you (I know that you're a busy man), here are a couple of relevant points:

"12. Furthermore, the Opinion of the Court seems to be inconsistent in a basic respect: while the first accused was found “guilty”, the second accused was found “not guilty”. It is to be noted that the judgement, in the latter’s case, was not “not proven”, but “not guilty”. This is totally incomprehensible for any rational observer when one considers that the indictment in its very essence was based on the joint action of the two accused in Malta.

"13. The Opinion of the Court is exclusively based on circumstantial evidence and on a series of highly problematic inferences. As to the undersigned’s knowledge, there is not one single piece of material evidence linking the two accused to the crime."


Those are just two of the many, many points that the observer makes. Others include the facts that

• many witnesses were exposed as lying to the court

• much of the evidence was redacted and thus useless

• there were spooks in the court, dictating evidence presentation

• the "the trial, seen in its entirety, was not fair and was not conducted in an objective manner".

Shall I go on, or have you heard enough to perhaps—just perhaps—go and have a look for yourself?

Otherwise, I suggest that you ring Private Eye and ask for a copy of Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice.

DK

Iain Dale said...

Then he should have gone ahead with his appeal, shouldn't he?

Cameron got this spot on with his reaction. There is judicial process to go through, which is to appeal. He chose not to do this.

He could not be released on the grounds that some people think he is innocent. These things could have been explored in a proper court of law.

albertmbankment said...

Oh, come on, Iain. I would not have thought *you* naive ;-) Look at it this way:

You're dying. You can plug on with your appeal, and almost certainly die before it's over; maybe before it even reaches court.

Alternatively, you can think "Well, I may as well have my final few weeks with wife and family, instead of surrounded by screws and cons".

He has been abused by the system, our system. I feel ashamed and dirtied by the way this has been so grotesquely mishandled.

neil craig said...

Apart from the obvious problem that the appeal would not have been completed while he was still alive the whole question of going through the judicial process requires us to believe the court had not demonstrated a lack of judicial integrity in the first place.

Paul more recently & directly our responsibility are the numerous massacres caried out by our hired "police" in Kosovo. The worst, probably, being of 210 civilians at Dragodan. It shows how corrupt our media have become that whereas My Lai was major news, Dragodan is almost wholly censored.

Thats News said...

Then he should have gone ahead with his appeal, shouldn't he?

If he is dying and if the appeal would be likely to take -say- 6 months to a year to even go before a court, what would be the point?

Weygand said...

One reason he dropped the appeal was that while it remained on the books, the judicial process remained 'live' and thus blocked certain channels by which he might have been allowed home.

Another reason was that knowing that the government did not want to open up the can of worms (whether to avoid economic damage or worse), he saw it as a way of negotiating his release.

As he knew in any event he would be dead by the time it concluded, I cannot see what he had to gain by dropping the appeal other than his release.

As to what the government had to gain - we may never know, but my guess is that one day we will.

Soho Politico said...

Well, I don't know if it will cause US-UK relations any harm, but it doesn't do them any good. For my money, and as I've explored myself today, the real issue here is that a faultline in the devolution settlement has been exposed by the apparent inability of the UK government to intervene in a decision that is not in the diplomatic interests of the country as a whole. In an adequate federal settlement, the central government would have been able to countermand this decision, in the name of preserving diplomatic relations with a key ally.

Jimmy said...

"These things could have been explored in a proper court of law."

You mean like that Monty Python sketch where they had a coffin in the witness box? How exactly does a dead person pursue an appeal in your view?

Bart said...

Iain, we've been reacting to what you wrote on your blog. That is the idea of the comments section. Many of us reacted to these specific statements of yours:

"The number of people who protest that al Megrahi is innocent is astonishing - particularly as most of them say that without then going on to explain why. ... ... What I cannot respect are those who assume he is innocent without having a clue why."

I presume that you have looked at the content of this thread. Are you still astonished that many people think Megrahi is innocent? Do you still think that none of us deserve respect?

Cynic said...

Not so much like the Monty Python sketch with the Coffin. More like the one with the Piranah Brothers

Presenter Another man who had his head nailed to the floor was Stig O' Tracey.

Interviewer Stig, I've been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.

Stig No, no. Never, never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to give his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me.

Interviewer But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor.

Stig Oh yeah, well - he did that, yeah.

Interviewer Why?

Stig Well he had to, didn't he? I mean, be fair, there was nothing else he could do. I mean, I had transgressed the unwritten law.

Interviewer What had you done?

Stig Er... Well he never told me that. But he gave me his word that it was the case, and that's good enough for me with old Dinsy. I mean, he didn't want to nail my head to the floor. I had to insist. He wanted to let me off. There's nothing Dinsdale wouldn't do for you.

Anonymous said...

FOR GOODNESS SAKE.

He has been released as a bona fida guilty man on compassionate grounds and compassionate grounds only.

The debate should be about what are compassionate grounds and if in reality this were the ONLY reason.

Man in a Shed said...

Just back from holiday and I'm shocked by this release.

Perhaps its the new EU Foreign policy ? But its really the children in the SNP wanting to make life difficult for the UK Govt.

Its also a travesty of justice as it hasn't been seen to be done.

DK said...

Iain,

He never dropped his appeal.

DK

Anonymous said...

what did the Yanks do to the captain who blew a civilian passanger jet out the sky with the loss of over 200 lives ah yes they promoted him the yanks are as two faced as ever

Jonforest said...

It's Labour's fault for bringing in the right to roam in Scotland.
The thicko nationalist obviously didn't realise it wasn't supposed to apply to mass murderers.

Jonforest said...

Cynic, a fantastic summary of the pro-release arguments as put forward by the barmy, the weak-minded and the dishonest - oh, and the Scottish nationalists.
You saved me the trouble and did it so much better than I could have.
I expect the compassionate Scottish people are feeling delighted this morning that their government has not only freed one mass murderer but given renewed assurance to all the serial killers, gangsters, terrorists and child rapists out there that life really doesn't mean life.
However, I don't think it will be a popular decision with prison doctors, as I expect all the lifers north of the border will be developing trouble with the old waterworks or chesty coughs over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, I hear the Scottish tourist board is preparing a new campaign to attract more yanks next year:
Visit Scotland - Where even the mass murderers go free.

Anonymous said...

We don't need to spend too much time concerning ourselves over what Americans think about justice.

Anonymous said...

Read Paul Cooks investigation into the case. (It can be downloaded from the Private Eye site for a fiver.) I read it when it was first published. I think you'll find it interesting reading - slightly scary too.

Hurf Durf said...

Good to see the "Anonymous" SNP jock trolls try and mitigate their failure by comparing their misguided "compassion" to the Vincennes incident (Iran's own fault for broadbasting the plane's IFF number on a military channel) and the rendition flights (they earned it by supporting thug morons).

As Kenny McAskill would say:
"OCH, MAN, ye no wan tah be a pahrcht of t'e GLORIOUSCHK Scowwwhtlond, brave 'n' induhpEendunt?

Ye' nuh TROOeE Scowwwthshman."


Lady Finchley is correct in this case.

Just a thought said...

There are so many unanswered questions about the al Megrahi trial - was it fair, was all the evidence revealed to the judges, did all the witnesses tell the truth, why were the people who allowed the bomb onto the plane not arrested and brought to trial?

And as we hear all rthe outraged comments of bereaved Americans, where is their grief for the innocent thousands and thousands who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan? Maybe their grief is tempered by the thought that Halliburton et al are paying some taxes in the USA on money earned in those benighted countries.

And how much did they grieve when another non-USA passenger aircraft was blown out of the skies by a US navy ship?

And a war on terror? Where was their conscience when money - US dollars - was being raised in the USA to send to the IRA to buy guns and explosives to murder and maim in Northern Ireland and in Englland? And where was their condemnation of the people who, having over the years received US dollar funding, bombed Omagh to hell? That atrocity was, proportionately, as bad as the Twin Towers.
Has any single American EVER called for an investigation into how much US money funded - and continues to fund (check out the bars in Boston) - the murderous activities of Irish terrorists? Check the comments of that upright, honest, beloved US Senator, Edward Kennedy.

Hurf Durf said...

And here comes another uneducated SNP troll, Just a tool, having the moronic fortitude to compare Lockerbie to Iraq and the Vincennes (I've been through that enough times to know I don't care). Wanna know why it's different? I'll tell you: because a) it happened to us and b) I couldn't care less about the Arabs and Persians. I hope we find a way to make hydrogen a mass energy source so we can tell the A-Ps "toodle-pip" and laugh while they kill each other.

Turns out from the AFP it was such a compassionate exercise: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hrCuuNEA6FWKuJb8Vrx9be5fM87g

"Libya to seek extradition of Lockerbie bomber

(AFP) – Apr 20, 2009

TRIPOLI (AFP) — Libya plans to seek the extradition of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi who is serving a life term in Scotland and suffering from terminal cancer, a Libyan source said on Monday.

"Libya and Britain are due to exchange ratified extradition documents at the end of April, and after that Libya will officially submit a request for Abdelbaset Megrahi's extradition," the source close to the case told AFP.

This would allow Megrahi "to continue his sentence in a Libyan prison, particularly since he is suffering from an advanced stage of cancer and has only a few weeks left to live," the source added on condition of anonymity.

In May 2007, Britain and Libya signed a protocol agreement on the transfer of prisoners which the Libyan source says has been ratified by the two countries. The documents are due to be exchanged later this month.

Megrahi is serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years after being convicted of downing a transatlantic US airliner over the Scottish village of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people.

The 56-year-old Libyan former intelligence officer has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, according to his lawyers, but a Scottish court last November refused to free him on bail."

neil craig said...

The point isn't about the dead in Iraq or Kosovo (if so we would ignore Megrahi as being just one man) & it isn't about the US having first shot down the Iranian plane (though if I were Iranian it would be) but about whether Megrahi did it or not. If he did it then the 27 years he was given by the judges would obviously be far to lenient but if he didn't then his conviction was shameful & letting him die in prison would merely compound the corruption.

I do no think anybody really believes he was proven guilty & it is likely it was done, as believed up till they allied themselves with us over Kuwait, by Syria.

Hurf thank you for your contribution to a serious discussion but MacAskill isn't Inuit.

Anonymous said...

It's all a matter of international law and international relations. Which can be a tricky subject at times. Just think of the release of the US journalists from North Korea - as far as I can remember, this was officially done on humanitarian grounds too! There's always more than one viewpoint and many factors unknown to the public to an issue like that.

Anonymous said...

Great to see Megrahi back in Libya;
especially as he was fitted up and is an innocent man, no matter what travestied verdict was delivered by earlier 'Scottish Justice'.. Good also to see all the the little Englanders on their hobby horses, getting all aerated and racist - one guy openly admits he dosesn't care about Arabs and Persians, the ignorant clot. Well done to McAskill !

Anonymous said...

I'm Scottish and being aware of new evidence regarding the bombing if I were a jury member at his retrial I would possibly be unwilling to even return a guilty verdict. I think many Scots would share that view given that unlike most Americans our press has kept us fully up to date with developments regarding the case over the years, so there would in any case have been a possibility that his conviction would have been quashed had his appeal gone ahead.

Hurf Durf said...

Good to see the anonymous SNP trolls get butthurt. Don't think your new friends the Chinese and Euro-Socialists will bail you out all the time. Enjoy your epic fail and pariah status.

Carl said...

I wonder how the Americans feel about them freeing a convicted IRA terrorist killer back to the Republic of Ireland instead of sending him to the North and prison, a few days ago ? I wonder how the Americans feel about all the killings they funded through the IRA, even to the extent of allowing them their very own radio station in the States ?

Americans, please look at the grounds for Megrahis appeal and the evidence of his conviction and do not trust 100% in the media. When justice becomes political it becomes warped just look at Mai Lai and what the three who tried to stop it endured.

Hurf Durf said...

Two days on and still everyone hates the "compassionate" Jocks. How's that "backbone" working out for you?

Hopefully, in a month you won't even have an economy either.

LuuuUUUUUng live a PHreeee Schowwwwwwtlund, bruvvVVVVeeee 'n' induchpeeEEEEeeedunt!

neil craig said...

Hurf I think you should stop embarassing the English.

criag said...

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