PA 103 INTRODUCTORY THOUGHTS
[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
September 20 2009
I'm young enough still that I only faintly remember hearing, as kid that only catches the high points of the news, about the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland just shy of Christmas 1988. In the decades since this distant bad thing, I was only dimly aware of the evolving impetus against some kind of Libyan terrorists and even less conscious of any controversies about the case. Recent events have however brought the story to my attention as something worth covering on this site. It’s not quite a false flag operation, at least not necessarily, but it does appear to be a manufactured crisis, a big lie hatched in conspiracy, foisted on the world by and for power.
It took over twelve years and epic political maneuvers to secure the only conviction in connection with the bombing, with Libyan "official" Abdelbaset Ali al Megrahi sentenced in January 2001 to 27 years to life. A few weeks ago, after serving just over 8 years, he was ordered freed by the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill on what’s called “compassionate grounds.” Aged 57 and given but months to live due to aggressive prostate cancer, the convicted killer of 270 flew home to Libya and his family on August 20. Angry crowds along his route out of town and remote gripes from elsewhere evidence the bitterness many feel for Scottish “compassion” and for the “hero’s welcome” accorded al Megrahi on his return home. What’s worse, the stated prognosis of three months to live has been questioned – it could be as high as eight, and the convicted murderer of 270 will enjoy them, if in great discomfort, at least in freedom and among those he loves.
Al Megrahi (left) meets with Col. Gaddafi's son Saif at the plane in Tripoli, Aug 20 2009
The victims of the airliner bombing and their loved ones aren’t so lucky. Susan Cohen, who lost a daughter in the attack, is among the most vocal in denouncing the “appeasement” of the Libyan’s release, a "triumph for terrorism" that “really endangers the innocent public.” source The preponderance of Obama administration officials and U.S. Congress seem to agree with this basic sentiment, wishing al Megrahi to die in jail, judging by their recent comments, out of concern for justice and the sentiments of family members like Cohen. For example, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, in a sharp letter to McKaskill, “your action makes a mockery of the rule of law,” and “gives comfort to terrorists around the world who now believe that […they may] be freed by one man's exercise of "compassion."” Mueller, who explained he was speaking up based on his unbiassed knowledge of the case as “Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi,” capped this powerful missive with "most importantly, your action makes a mockery of the grief of the families who lost their own on December 21, 1988." source
But comparing al Megrahi’s fate with those of the Pan Am 103 victims has its pitfalls. Of course he gets to die on the ground and after plenty of warning and time for closure, while they did not. Neither do a multitude of others who die every in plane crashes every year around the world, both before and since the bombing of Flight 103. They die violently in terror while al Megrahi revels in the splendor of his hospital bed. He isn’t responsible for everyone killed in a plane crash and mandated to somehow balance out their fates. So why the moral linkage for these 270 in particular? Ah yes, how silly of me, the conviction, following allegations, a trial, some evidence, and so on… but that’s where it starts to get confusing, if you take an honest closer look. It can get less confusing again, but only after you’ve passed through a mental shift and realize that no matter how official and how widely-accepted this story is, it is – at least all too probably is – dead wrong.
Props are due to JREF forum member Rolfe, who started a thread on the issue of the accused bomber and his case back in 2007 – recently given new life by the controversial release. In numerous under-appreciated posts Rolfe has presented an amazingly strong case that the convicted killer was wrongfully convicted, in a blatant frame-up by the CIA (and others), in a campaign supported by London and Washington and rubber-stamped by the thee-judge Scottish court (no jury) with its unanimous guilty verdict in January 2001.
I haven’t personally verified many of the details myself, there are agendas all around, unverifiable allegations, and plenty of bona fide mystery. My partial examination of the primary sources and the shifting public discourse shows strongly mixed feelings but frequent citations of the “theory” that al Megrahi is innocent after all. This startlingly different view has the backing and support of a stunning number of people involved in or familiar with the case: one of the lawyers who set up the trial, a special U.N. observer, a handful of British MPs, some of the American investigators and Scottish detectives, some victims’ family members, a whole Swiss electronics company tangled up in the case, and many other educated commentators, as well as much of the non-English-speaking world, and virtually the entire Arab-Muslim world. All these people are quite confident the case againt al Megrahi and Libya were manufactured for political reasons and history will, or should, absolve them.
If al Megrahi was indeed framed as it seems, this leaves the true culprits successful, unindcited, and free. This will absolutely piss off survivor’s families when and if they ever realize it. The thinking on culprits, which could soon turn heated, runs in two broad directions I find worth considering. The most obvious direction the case might go if re-opened is towards where the first official evidence clearly pointed – Palestinian terrorists acting on behalf of Iran, in revenge for an Iranian airliner shot down by the Americans. The reason(s) why this line was dropped in favor of a Libyan lead can only be guessed, but the most widely accepted theory is to minimize friction with Iran as the West shifted towards conflict with neighboring Iraq.
Coversely, this eclipsed line of evidence could be every bit as bogus as the one that replaced it, with actual guilt on some unacknowledged parties working for the CIA or some other Western agency. The actual evidence for this possibility would be slim and/or circumstantial, and some would consider the notion fanciful. Nonetheless, there were a number of pre-attack peculiarities followed by vigorous Anglo-American steering of the investigation and adamant refusal of any review or reversal of the hard-won conviction. Considering all this, which I plan to explore in some detail, it seems entirely worth considering that they’re covering some very touchy personal secrets.