Monday, January 25, 2010


A Small-Screen Production Assists the Transition
[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
January 25 2010

The first I heard about this program was in Allan Frankovich’s 1994 film The Maltese Double Cross: “In 1993, Air Malta wins its libel suit against Granada television. Granada, in a docudrama, had claimed the bomb had been placed in an unaccompanied bag on an Air Malta flight.” [MDC 1:24:45] A fuller explanation, describing its provocative Malta link, can be found in Paul Foot's Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice:
"The programme focused on a bakery in Malta and a Palestinian cell based there. The programme made the same connection as the Sunday Times had done a year earlier – between the fact that the clothes in the bomb suitcase were bought in Malta and the less certain fact that an unaccompanied bag from Malta was loaded onto a Pan Am feeder flight from Frankfurt to London and thence to Pan Am 103. To illustrate this hypothesis, the programme showed a sinister-looking Arab checking in a bag at Malta airport and then sliding surreptitiously away while the plane took off.

This was too much for Air Malta, who sued Granada for libel. Norton Rose, the London commercial solicitors, compiled a huge dossier detailing almost everything about the flight from Malta to Frankfurt on the day of the Lockerbie bombing and proving that all 55 bags checked in on the flight could be ascribed to passengers, none of whom travelled on to London. The evidence was so powerful that Granada settled the action before it got to court. They paid Air Malta £15,000 damages and all the costs of the case. The only time these matters had been tested in a legal action, the Maltese connection to the bomb suitcase was comprehensively demolished."
[Foot p 7]

One should note that the Malta link was not new to this film, but aired a year earlier in the Sunday Times, presumably David Leppard's fabled late-1989 series I still need to find. From what I hear around, these managed to fuse popular assumptions of guilt, the PFLP-GC and Abu Talb and Iran, with bits of the emerging Libya narrative, which he would write in book form in 1991 as that became official. The evidence that pointed to Malta emerged during 1989; first was the clothing, discovered during the winter and spring, and in August the Frankfurt printout pointed there again by showing that item 8849. This was followed swiftly by talks with the Gauci family, who apparently sold the clothes, from 1 September onwards. Leppard seeded this crucial mental picture - an origin on little old Malta - widely by the end of 1989, and within a year Granada had made the TV movie version.

On further inspection the program was produced in 1990, jointly, by Granada Television for the ITV network, HBO for America's audiences, and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (for German airing?). First screened in UK as TV movie "Why Lockerbie?" 26 November 1990, then in the US by HBO as "The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story." [source: wikipedia] There is currently a trailer for the the HBO version viewable online (screen caps throughout). External link (too unreliable to embed):
Director: Leslie Woodhead
Writer: Michael Eaton
Starring: Ned Beatty as C. Edward Acker, Peter Boyle as Fred Ford, Sean Pertwee as Oliver Koch, Vincent Gardenia as Harry Pizer, Michael Wincott as Ulrich Weber, and Sasson Gabai as then-popularly-suspected bomb-maker Marwan Khreesat. Other featured characters include Ali Akbar Mohteshemi, Hafez Dalkomoni, and Abu Talb. No Libyans are involved. There is a "Maltese shopkeeper," presumably of the bakery Leppard was on about, and not Tony Gauci. Runtime: 86 minutes.
[source: IMDB]

Ned Beatty as Pan Am CEO C. Edward Acker, seen at right, always backed with prominent slat blinds (metaphorical? Subtle?) I'm not an expert on Pan Am's history, but Acker ran the company from the early 1980s, apparently on promises of revitalizing it and making it profitable again. He was replaced in early 1988, so only set up the culture lading to their alleged failure. When guys in suits are the villains, the motive is always money, and no exception here; a drive for profits led to their selective, perhaps criminal, and deeply tragic security blindness.

Some controversy was aired early on about the curious "Helsinki Warning" of early December being buried and somehow missed by Ulrich Weber, Frankfurt Airport Security administrator, until Dec 22. In the film, the narrator explains the response: "Other than screening Finnish passengers, Pan Am's procedures at Frankfurt Airport remained unchanged. There was no briefing of security personnel to update them on threat information." Mr. Weber is further quoted in the film dismissing a larger threat yet, the October discovery of multiple airliner bomb radios in existence in Germany. Speaking with an underling, Oliver Koch, who is prophetically worried about "that cell and terrorist setup in Neuss. Something about bombs in tape recorders."
"Ulrich Weber: Pan Am didn't expect us to do anything special with that one.
Oliver Koch: I recommend it should be on today's agenda.
Ulrich Weber: You are going beyond your competence, Koch! This is not in your job description!
Oliver Koch: I recommend that we take the batteries off of every single radio cassette player we find, okay?
Ulrich Weber: We tell our people to go loose on the passenger's private property and smash half the things they touch? We'd go broke paying the damage claims.
Ulrich Weber: Oliver, you've got to lighten up, pal. It's almost Christmas. When all is said and done, air travel is still safer than crossing the road."
[source: IMDB]

Some clips featuring Michael Wincott as Weber were posted on Youtube, by a fan of the actor, apparently. Here, he shows great confidence and a greasy pony tail that usually indicate "confidence artist." He's arrogant, and tragic in his swagger. He should worry more, a lot more... dun dun.... Recall these were real people, then in court over their culpability over the tragedy, struggling for survival, accused of a mammoth failure to catch the bomb that got onto PA 103, when the most coherent evidence actually indicates an introduction 400 miles away in London. Ulrich Weber had nothing to do with the suitcase John Bedford saw.

pt 1
pt 2
pt 3

Release Timing
The film’s airing in the UK and US in late November and early December 1990 is interesting. As noted above, it helped further ingrain a year-old idea of a Maltese bomb bag slipping through three airports. It was released approximately one year after several lines of questionable intelligence had converged overwhelmingly on Malta in late 1989 – 16 months after the printout showed it as item 8849, 15 months after starting a dialog with Tony Gauci. 12 months after Paul Gauci first changed stories and suggested a December 7 purchase was likely. Six months after Thurman’s identification of a Libyan timer fragment. One year before a formal indictment would be issued of agents not even hinted at in this portrayal.

Also, the release happened to lines up well with the announcement to all international investigators, in the run-up to the second anniversary, that US and UK investigators had decided that Maltese bag was their big lead, and it pointed to Libya, not Syria, not Iran, not any Palestinians. In his 2006 memoir, Marquise writes of an early December 1990 conference (apparently on the 6th?) of investigators in Sweden, bringing Swiss police in for the first time.
“The night before the formal conference, Henderson and I convened the other police officials in a private room above the main dining area. The Swiss were introduced and the new direction of the investigation was discussed. Because the formal agenda had been drawn up in advance, much of it was devoted to the PFLP-GC cell in Germany. However, we had always said evidence would drive the investigation, not speculation. Now the evidence had pointed away from Dalkamouni and his PFLP-GC cell. Everything we saw pointed directly at Libya.” [Marquise, p 73]
The Germans were “relieved,” Marquise recalled, but the Maltese, who were on bad terms with the investigation at the time, “were not as ready to accept the new scenario,” and “adopted the same philosophy which the Germans had employed for a time.” “Evidence [which] showed the bomb bag … had originated in Malta,” that was a year old already, “had not yet been proven to the satisfaction of Maltese officials.” But the next day’s conference went smoothly enough, and “not one word of what was discussed at the meeting was ever leaked to the media, proving that this group of law enforcement officials was trustworthy."

Three days later, however, HBO would re-air half of that new direction, the bag that Maltese authorities still couldn't see even after the first UK airing of Why Lockerbie? just days before the conference. Air Malta would of course take the issue to court as we started out, but Maltese investigators just acquiesced; on December 10, the day after the American re-broadcast as The Tragedy of Flight 103 in case that matters, "Henderson reported the Maltese were ready to let us back in to work, possibly as soon as December 17." [Marquise, p 73]

Friday, January 22, 2010


[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
January 23 2010

Among other points raised in a letter re-posted by Victims of Pan Am 103 Inc., Richard Marquise mused: “It was strange that of all the people in the world, Mr. Megrahi was in Malta the same day the clothing was purchased and was there the same day the bomb left on its fateful journey.” (emphasis mine)
I reminded him of the statement in the comments section at Professor Back’s blog, and posed the following five questions to him. Apparently he never caught them, as he never offered an answer.

1) Is it not strange that of all the days in the subset November 23 and December 7 you and the investigation had to pick the latter as the best fit for the purchase, even though that choice requires badly misreading the actual evidence?
2) What did the SCCRC find about the Christmas light going up?
3) What do local weather records say for rainfall on Dec 7 vs. Nov 23?
4) What do football schedules (Rome-Dresden) say about Paul’s absence at 6:50 pm? What does Paul say?
5) Why doesn’t November 23 work again, aside from Megrahi not being there?

For those who don't know, the clothes thought to have been packed around the bomb that took down PA 103, were traced to a shop in Malta and shopkeeper Tony Gauci, who eventually took $2 million to recall the purchase for investigators. He famously decided the accused al Megrahi resembled the purchaser a bit, and supposedly gave a date that made it at least possible for the accused to have made the buy.

The date was of key importance, and the absence of Gauci's brother, Paul, at the time of the purchase was a key to narrowing that down. Paul was at home in the evening to watch a football game, which was narrowed down to one of two Rome-Dresden matches, on November 23 or December 7 1988. For the earlier date, the accused purchaser, al Megrahi, has a solid alibi of being not on the island. For the latter date, he was present, and the prosecution decided the purchase occurred on December 7. Many have suspected it was Megrahi's presence, and not the clues provided by the Gaucis, that caused them to chose the date. This would seem a hard point to prove, but not at all difficult to indicate. (The following points will be more fully explained and sourced elsewhere - this is just a summary.)

The purchaser Tony remembered came at around ten 'til 7 pm, as Paul was watching his game at home. The December 7 game was aired app. 1-3pm local, while November 23's was aired app. 7-9 pm local. The math is clear. Tony recalled specifically the Christmas lights in his neighborhood were not yet up. As the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission (SCCRC) found years later through new evidence, those lights went up on December 6, meaning his memory if on December 7 would have been recalling they were up, had just gone up. On the 23rd, the neighborhood was still dark and cheerless, as he first recalled the evening. He recalled the purchaser bought an umbrella to deal with the rain outside. Weather records show appreciable but light rainfall in Silema the evening of November 23, but December 7 shows up dry as a bone for that time frame and all day, Island-wide.

Is that confusing, unclear, or ambiguous? The investigators were later clear that December 7 was the obvious choice and the true one, but seem to have been confused, admitting it when pressed. Detective Inspector Harry Bell, who headed the Scottish police effort on Malta and was the main contact point for the Gaucis, was interviewed in 2006 by the SCCRC. Some extracts were re-printed in Megrahi's rock-solid grounds of appeal. Excerpts from there:
DI Bell SCCRC interview (25-26/7/06)
"...The evidence of the football matches was confusing and in the end we did not manage to bottom it out..."
"...I am asked whether at the time I felt that the evidence of the football matches was strongly indicative of 7th December 1988 as the purchase date. No, I did not. Both dates 23rd Nov & 7th Dec 1988 looked likely.
"...It really has to be acknowledged how confusing this all was. No date was signficant for me at the time. Ultimately it was the applicant's [Megrahi’s] presence on the island on 7th December 1988 that persuaded me that the purchase took place on that date. Paul specified 7th December when I met with him on 14th December 1989 and I recorded this..."
[Source: Grounds of Appeal]

The bolded is a shocking admission of just what many had guessed. And then, almost as an afterthought (and a quick one I'd venture) "Paul specified 7th December" as the right day, during a meeting of "14th December 1989." He even has the date memorized! No direct quotes provided there of this meeting. But two months earlier, in a 19 October meeting with the same Harry Bell, he clearly specified the other day. In a police report obtained by Private Eye and published in Paul Foot's 2000 booklet Lockerbie, the Flight from Justice, Mr. Gauci said:
“I was shown a list of European football matches I know as UEFA. I checked all the games and dates. I am of the opinion that the game I watched on TV was on 23 November, 1988: SC Dynamo Dresden v AS Roma. On checking the 7th December 1988, I can say that I watched AS Roma v Dynamo Dresden in the afternoon. All the other games were played in the evening. I can say for certain I watched the Dresden v Roma game. On the basis that there were two games played during the afternoon of 23 November and only one on the afternoon of 7th December, I would say that the 23rd November 1988 was the date in question.” [Foot, 2000, p 21]

If indeed the man was specifying the desired date two months later, that's a second admission from Bell. By December 1989 at the latest, they were trying to implicate al Megrahi, and had been trying to long enough that Paul Gauci had taken the hint.

This makes it clear why, despite his specific and useful memory, Paul was not called to give evidence at trial, and reports like this from 19 October were likewise not produced. He did however manage to secure a $1 million payment himself, probably informal sharing rights on his brothers two mil, and the same DoJ witness relocation/protection/silencing program as his brother. Three million will buy a lot of shrimp for the barbie, and it already bought the Americans one of four planks they needed to get their political fantasy to become legal reality.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
completed January 22 2010

Note: what follows is the first half of a looong working essay I just had to see up even before it's done. It covers from Giaka's defection to the start of trial preparations in 1999. Part two will be long-delayed, but will call on Giaka's direct testimony via trial transcripts.

A Missing Link
Among the sources collecting the evidence against Abdelbaset al Megrahi (and/or his accused accomplice Lamin Fhimah), most mention the same three “keys to the solution of the case” given by the FBI’s lead investigator on the SCOTBOM case, Richard Marquise, in his 2006 book. He gives these as Tony Gauci, “the Mebo chip,” and the souvenir printout of the Frankfurt luggage records taken by Bogomiras Erac, which was strangely “the only record” anyone could find of this vital information. [Marquise p 210] There are other peripheral clues of importance, but few with the resonance, clarity, and specificity of these three as indicators of Libya’s guilt, via the two accused.

But missing from such formulations is a fourth and most important key – Abdul Majid Giaka [different spellings have been used], a Libyan intelligence defector turned intelligence asset for the U.S. side of the investigation. In fact, in coming on board four months before the Lockerbie bombing, Giaka’s connections with Malta, Luga Airport, and Libyan intelligence put him in a prime position to be the first to mention both accused - to his CIA handlers - in the first place. The majority of everything he said has by now been discredited and shown to be fabrication – at best enabled and at worst demanded by his American friends.

Giaka’s intelligence was transformed to evidence with some CIA/FBI alchemy, tying several loose ends together and, in essence, providing the skeleton for the ‘Libyan villains’ case to stand on. The defector’s tales underpinned the US/UK joint indictment, the years-long extradition wrangle, and was finally brought as far as the Scottish Court as Camp Zeist in 2000. But as we’ll see, it went no further and has been mentioned as little as possible since.

Effective Defector Detected
Abdul Majid started this journey as a self-described disaffected Libyan perturbed by Tripoli’s terroristic ways and Gaddafi’s Masonic schemes. A low-level intelligence agent with the JSO, and stationed on Malta, he approached the US embassy there in August 1988 offering his services. Paul Foot’s seminal 2000 booklet Lockerbie: Flight From Justice explains how this started a “long series of meetings with American intelligence officials in Malta,” 41 secret meetings total, spanning almost three years from “September 1988, the same month he started getting regular payments from the CIA.” [Foot]

For $1,000 US per month, rising to $1,500, he wasn't a huge payback at first. “His information was patchy and unreliable,” Foot reported. “He pretended he was a senior official in the Libyan intelligence organisation JSO though in reality (as the Americans quickly realised) he was a former garage mechanic who helped to maintain JSO vehicles.” The BBC Conspiracy Files program in 2008 treated this subject fairly, and summed up “not so much double-oh-seven, more WD40.” [CF 44:20] He had however “graduated to the exalted position of assistant station manager for Libyan Arab Airlines,” Foot concedes, work carried out at Luqa International Airport, on the island's near-south side.

Giaka was given the code-name "puzzle piece" by his CIA handlers, [CF, 43:29] at least one which also worked at the airport, under cover as a baggage handler. [LTBU 8/29] The agent kept tabs on him, writing cables back to the CIA that named the subject in code as “P/1” (and referred to the JSO as ESO). P/1’s job there involved aircraft security, “but he is also obliged to assist ESO operatives transitting or on missions to Malta,” according to a copy shown on the Conspiracy Files. That’s a reasonably rich source for intel reports, but the agent noted Giaka “has been a “shirker” while in Malta, generally dodging ESO assignments since his Luqa appointment.” [CF 44:12]

Whatever the defector’s shortfalls, in October 1988 he reported his first big lead – Lamin Fhimah, a “JSO agent” also working at the airport, kept eight pounds of TNT in a locked desk drawer of an office. Paul Foot again relates how two months later in December (whether before or after the Lockerbie bombing is unclear) “he was asked about the movements of JSO officials through Luqa airport. He replied that a man he regarded as a senior JSO officer, Abdelbasset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi, had passed through Luqa airport on 7 December.” [Foot] The names may not have meant much at first among Giaka’s other intelligence, but as soon as investigators were willing to consider a Libyan link, and it was found that both were also present on Malta December 20, the eventual suspects were clearly on file and ready to drop in place even before 1988 had closed.

Giaka and America Rescue Each Other
By the beginning of September 1989 the investigation’s scope was narrowing in, of all places, on Malta. The oddly-delayed Frankfurt printout revealed in mid-August an unaccompanied bag from Malta had apparently gone onto PA103A. At the same time, the tattered Maltese clothes from inside that bag had led to Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci, who gave his first statement about the buyer on September 1. But Giaka was probably not told these things as, on September 4th Foot maintains, “his CIA handlers in Malta told Giaka he was “on trial” until the next New Year (1990).” [Foot]

The informant likely grew nervous as his bridges to America became more precarious, his bridges on Malta stood burned, and his bridges back to Libya were threatening. The 1994 film The Maltese Double Cross featured interviews with both accused, who indeed knew Giaka, at least in passing. Megrahi confirmed he did security work there, and “he was hated by other employees there.” Fhimah added “He behaved badly towards the employees working with us, in dealing with passengers. The Maltese airport authorities know this.” [MDC 1:28:10-1:31:28] Some bias might be expected of course, but others interviewed for the film vouched that he was irresponsible, a partier and amasser of debts. And he wasn’t going to be getting any more popular trying to sell intelligence to the CIA.

One anonymous Libyan related for the film how Giaka was put up for transfer at some point: “they asked him to return back to Libya because his contract finished, for his staying in Malta.” Apparently desperate to maintain his situation there and his possible ticket away from Libya, Giaka asked the CIA to pay for a surgery to injure his arm so he wouldn’t be called away to serve in the Libyan Army. [Foot] They apparently consented and “after a few days,” the anomymous source said “[Giaka] came here after the hotel and he had a plaster on his hand” which he said was from falling down the stairs. This seemed to help him “get an extension of around three or four months to stay here.” [MDC 1:31:15]

By 1991, the regular cables were describing P/1 as “a shattered person” who “does not want to be part of the security apparatus and is certainly milking any of his contacts, including us, for whatever he can get.” [NYT] The Americans were ready to milk back - the fruit was ripe and dripping with urgent ‘get-me-outta-here’ intel possibilities. Perhaps realizing that Giaka really was the best they were going to get, the decision was made by July 11, when the Department of Justice told Mr. Giaka they would “accept or reject him" as a witness "based on his response to their Inquiries,” which would be done at leisure within the United States. The very next day, Foot writes,
“Giaka, to his intense gratification, was taken off Malta by an American warship, and interrogated there by an FBI officer, Hal Hendershot. Before long he was safe in the US where he was later joined by his wife. He was paid a regular salary in exchange for constant interrogations by the CIA and the FBI. What he told them plainly satisfied them.

In October, in conditions of great secrecy, he gave evidence to a US Grand Jury. The result, in November 1991, was a detailed indictment charging Megrahi and Fhimah with murder by planting a bomb in a suitcase on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt and thence to London – and the explosion over Lockerbie.”

The World Dances to the Fantasist Tune (Played Real Loud)
The United States government for this point forward until now, without interruption, has accepted the core of this indictment as unassailable truth. The findings of Libyan guilt via al Megrahi and Fhhimah and others not named, the findings found primarily in Giaka’s words, has been the basis of economic sanction, diplomatic pressures, approval of clandestine operations, public vilification of Libya allowing more of the same to pass, and so on.

Most of the world was rather surprised at the turn of events, running counter to all the old evidence that made more sense and involved no Libyans. And was, of course, highly inconvenient for the Americans. Naturally, suspicions of cover-up flourished, especially in the UK. This was primarily channeled into an intriguing “CIA drug-running” cluster of theories (which this author considers a huge distraction) that got its biggest boost with an April 1992 cover story in Time magazine.

A Department of State press release from the same month sought to counter growing confusion at home and abroad by calmly laying out the facts in a press release. The Suitcase itself, fairly non-descript and not directly accounted for anywhere in the luggage records of three airports, was prime evidence at the time, thanks to Giaka’s incredible contributions.
“Forensic analysis has identified the bag that contained the Pan Am 103 bomb as a brown, hard-sided Samsonite suitcase. The following evidence links Al-Megrahi and Fhimah to the suitcase:
-- Al-Megrahi, traveling in alias, arrived in Valletta with Fhimah from Libya on the evening of 20 December 1988--the day before the bombing. Fhimah, the former manager of the LAA office in Valletta, retained full access to the airport. Al-Megrahi and Fhimah brought a large, brown hard-sided Samsonite suitcase with them into Malta on that occasion.
They make it sound like the Fact they had such a suitcase is evidence they planted the bomb, but in reality, Giaka’s intelligence was the only evidence they had such a suitcase. This emerges chronologically, below. That his stories wound up matching the emerging evidence at the scene is highly troubling – the similarities are from neither truth (as we’ll see) nor likely from coincidence. It seems Mr P/1 served as a two-way intelligence conduit - milking the CIA so they could re-milk him – helping them launder propaganda into intelligence and, via FBI acceptance of that, into evidence ready for trial.

The top man who promoted Giaka as evidence, and the most likely to be fully aware of such unethical activities, would have been Vincent Cannistraro, senior director of the CIA’s own Lockerbie investigation until October 1990 [Ashton] . He continued promoting the story line he'd helped write in the years between indictment and trial. For a 1995 BBC program, he described the case modestly as:
“… overwhelming … conclusive … tremendous amount of evidence … mind boggling amount of detail … that will allow the prosecutors to present the chronology of the operation from its very inception … describe and in almost excruciating detail exactly how they made the bomb, how they secreted it, how they got it on board the aircraft, and I think that's a fairly strong case.” [FS]
His favorite part that he singled out for emphasis in that interview was “they have a live witness for one thing, who would be presented in a court of law.” [FS] Cannistraro bravely spoke to The Maltese Double Cross, again pimping Giaka, just not yet by name: “a former member of the Libyan Intelligence Service who has defected” into Justice Department witness protection, “so he would be used in a trial of Fhimah and Megrahi.” [MDC, 1:28:25]

Such a trial was demanded, in the US or Scotland, based the much-hyped amazing case. The demand was repeated often, and with force, befitting a mighty nation’s drive for truth and justice for the 270 dead. Faced with such confidence, people and whole nations started falling for it. Those comprising the UN Security Council at the moment, in particular, were collectively convinced enough to enforce the indictment with sanctions.

In 1992 and 1993, Security Council resolutions 748 and 883 imposed and tightened embargoes, diplomatic restrictions, and various other punishments. Aircraft equipment and supplies in particular were squeezed on, putting al Megrahi to work on the gray market (the likely cause behind his "suspicious" Zurich office and Swiss bank account). It was under this prolonged duress that Libya eventually relented to a compromise solution. By late 1998 the framework of a trial was established, and in April 1999 the accused were flown to the special Scottish court in neutral Netherlands. Megrahi and Fhimah were arrested at “Camp Zeist” and set to await their trial. Sanctions were immediately suspended, under threat of re-enforcement.

All this was based on an alarming mass acceptance of the American/Scottish case, in turn largely built up on “accepting” Giaka’s intelligence as evidence. The suspects, the suitcase, the materials, the plans, and the evil behind the Pan Am 103 plot were all attested to by a desperate defector, in trade for a steady paycheck, a maimed hand, and a new life in America. It had all wowed the grand jury and secured the indictment, but now that Cannistraro’s dares had paid off, it would be challenged for once, and before the whole world at that. At stake were these claims, in "job resume" format. Most of these were unknown to the public at the time, but about to see the light of day:

- Giaka’s own credentials/authority: JSO agent, high-level, secret files department – related to former King Idriss - hates Gaddafi - aware of Masonic plots between Libya and Malta.

- Has a long-standing friendship with Ezzadin Hinshiri, director of the central security section, JSO (allegedly involved in buying the MST-13 timers as used in the bombing, including an order placed for 40 more just two days before the bombing!)

- Long-standing friendship with Said Rashid, head of the operations section, JSO (also involved, allegedly, in timer acquisition and other wickedness)

- Acquaintance with Abdullah Senussi, the head of operations administration for the JSO. (convicted in absentia in 1989 for using that role to blow up an airplane (not 103). Also, Gaddafi's brother-in-law.)

– Can describe the high-level JSO connections of the accused – worked directly under the first accused – hated his boss - can testify to their movements at the airport – able to read clues from them, ranging from subtle to fictitious, revealing their plot.

– Was asked by Said Rashid, in 1986, to write a report on whether a bomb cold be put on a British plane - had someone else look, who said yeah so he wrote the report saying so. The upper levels mulled the idea over...

- Turned said report in via his boss, “Lockerbie bomber” Megrahi, who definitely saw it. Megrahi later mentioned the idea back to Giaka and said “don’t rush things.”

- Can testify to Fhimah’s personal handling of explosives, in his desk, which were overseen by Megrahi, for the JSO.

- Was invited to the final plotters’ meeting as Megrahi and Fhimah met at Luqa airport on the day of the Lockerbie bombing, with a suitcase just like the one that would do that explosion hours later, after having come in from Malta (other evidence covered that, obviously). That’s the clincher for sure.

- Has defected safely from the murderous regime, after a grueling three-year initiation, and can therefore finally reveal the secrets he held of the devious, random, and surprisingly unselfconscious scheming that climaxed five miles above Scotland four days before Christmas. That - is - evil. Thank God they've got a witness who saw it all, ready to go before the judges...

[CF] "The Conspiracy Files: Lockerbie." Prod/Dir Guy Smith, Ex Prod Sam Anstiss, Narr Caroline Catz. BBC Two. First Aired 31 August 2008.
[Foot] Foot, Paul, Lockerbie: Flight From Justice. Published 2000 by Private Eye.
[FS] Frontline Scotland: "Silence Over Lockerbie" Reporter: Shelley JofreProducer: Murdoch Rodgers. Aired 1995. Transcript accessed at:
[LTBU 8/29] Connelly, Clare. "Controversy Over CIA Cables Continues." 29 August 2000. Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit. .doc link:
[MDC] The Maltese Double Cross. Produced, written, and directed by Allan Francovich, Hemar Enterprises, November 1994.
[Marquise] Marquise, Richard. SCOTBOM: Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation, Algora Publishing. Sept. 1, 2006. 268 pages.
[NYT] McNeil, Donald, Jr. “Defense in Lockerbie Trial Undermines a Key Witness.” New York Times. September 28, 2000. Accessed at:

Monday, January 11, 2010

AMERICANS... (sigh)

[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
January 11 2010

The British Story
I’d like to here explore the ugliness and stupidity of the American mind by looking at commentary over a narrow issue – the December 2009 allegation that “Lockerbie bomber” al Megrahi, supposedly locked under House arrest in Libya, had gone “missing.” It tied in perfectly with anger over the Scottish decision to release the dying bomber, and his failure to die within three months. Many Americans were again enflamed to anti-Arab, ant-Obama, anti-Scottish, and anti-British sentiments.

Interestingly, the story has almost no substance, and originated in the U.K., almost as if to stir up such noise. It started with a reporter from the Times of London who came snooping around Megrahi’s house on Sunday evening, December 13. For two days he couldn’t get any Libyans there to explain to him, in English, where the killer was - they seemed to indicate he was gone, and then probably tried to shoo the reporter off. Megrahi was found to not be at his usual hospital either, so the Times then called the East Renfrewshire council about a possible violation of his house arrest.

As the ones responsible for keeping tabs on him (with phone calls scheduled every second Tuesday), the East Renfrewshire council is a small-time political force, ridiculously over their heads if called on to collect a fugitive bomber overseas for a violation. On the 15th (an off Tuesday, normally), they took the news and swiftly made an unscheduled call demanding to speak with al Megrahi and clear up the situation.

Unfortunately, as reported, the man who answered (at an unspecified hour, local time) insisted the convict was too ill to come to the phone. Whatever he was thinking, during or after the call, just who he was, we do not know. But this was told to the Times but not believed by them, and the story blew up immediately, with the scoop “Mystery as Lockerbie bomber goes missing from home and hospital.” It was posted shortly after midnight GMT on Wednesday, December 16. The first comment at 12:22 was prophetic: “Born-yesterday idiots. What did they expect?” The major theme (see below) emerges immediately. It’s likely just what the Times was thinking, or wanted others to think, as they made the assumptions needed to release such a slanted story. Others picked it up, and predicted a brewing "crisis" for Scotland.

Within ten hours, the article was exposed as perhaps nothing more than a hyped misunderstanding. The Manchester Guardian was the first to announce, at 9:52 am, "concern over the whereabouts” of Megrahi “has eased after East Renfrewshire council was able to contact [him] this morning,” at approx 9:30 am (10:30 Libya time). After that, "officials had no concerns regarding Megrahi's whereabouts and would not be taking the matter further.” But it had already been taken further and wasn't going to be brought back.

The Times corrected the record with “Growing suspicion over 'missing' Lockerbie bomber” at around 4:00 pm judging by the times on the 13 comments (The alarming article from hours earlier mustered 75 responses.) Herein they started self-referentially “The Lockerbie bomber resurfaced yesterday, but not before questions had been raised about the arrangements for monitoring a man convicted of killing 270 people.”

And these questions resounded in the following days, especially in the UK, where passions run high and almost equal numbers believe him innocent as guilty. My interest though is in comments on the episode on American news pages, far less of which covered the story.

The American Response: Nuke 'Em
I’ll start first on the Liberal side of the spectrum, which tends to run closer to the middle on this particular issue. Liberal pundits and bloggers, however they treat the whole Lockerbie subject, tended to ignore this brief lost-and-found myth, with the notable exception of the Post (of Araiana Huffington), reporting with little comment on the “missing” but not found part. It seems Liberal comment posters tended to believe Megrahi really was gravely ill, and therefore was probably dead, in a good riddance sense. This erred presumption and its resolution plus an intelligent commenter (aptly “EuroMom”) pointing out Megrahi’s actual innocence, kept the jingoism from getting as thick as it might. Of 32 comments, these are the most “American” among them.
“The free world will never understand terrorists, until they stop assuming terrorists have the same values they have.”

“It's dreadful that he was released, but of course that's nothing compared to the outrage that Bush let Kadaffi, and Libya, off the hook and lifted sanctions.”

“Have they tried calling Muammar Ghadafi? They could be having breakfast together.”

“Seriously, the Brits are suprised that this guy isn't calling them? Nobody could see this coming? We all better pray this guy doesn't decide to blow another airliner out of the sky. Thanks England.”

Liberals seem a bit divided and unsure, trying to be American while bashing Bush, and hate the baddies while appearing culturally enlightened. American Conservatives, on the other hand, were far more unequivocal about the story, and discussed it with more gusto by far. They are less likely to believe he was really ill as reported, and almost entirely sure he was not only still alive, and probably up to more evil. They also tend to demand military destruction quite frequently. Consider the “Amerithot” presented by these comments following an American Thinker story “Where’s the Lockerbie Bomber?”
“…the perp is probably already in Pakistan working on the syllabus for Spring Quarter at the TTC (Terrorist Training Camp).”

“All people like Obama will get for this is people killed.”

“There is no doubt in this citizen's mind that the Islamofascists are amused with the leverage they get from liberal rot.”

“why didn't we arrest this panty waste when he was here. or better yet why not find out where he is as he likes to rub it in our face and send some people to go extradict him.”

“Not that it would be too effective, but why can't we issue some kind of sanctions against Scotland? We must have too many Scotch drinkers in DC for that to work. What a disgrace. When is the US going to collectively wake up and realize what we are doing by accepting this kind of action?”

“How many millions need to die before the idiots in the West get real and do what needs to be done. Exterminate these vermin like the animals they are.”
That last, I presume, referred not to the Scots, but to Arabs, or Muslims, or just Islamofascist terrorists, or other who refuse the Light of Christ and understand only the sword/missile. And even then you have to repeat yourself many times.

For more real insight into these Arab bad guys and their vast conspiracy to enslave the world using Liberals and Europeans, one can always count on the professional observers of Jihad Watch. Surprise, surprise: Lockerbie bomber disappears.
“Didn't those objecting to the release of this criminal warn this would happen? The outrage should be driven home with all the force possible, straight back at the British. I would rather place trust in a deceitful muslim than the British, at least you know the muslim will lie to you.”

“This is what will happen when we bow to Islam. It is not worth it. For the moment it may seem to be, but what about tomorrow? What about our children and grandchildren? There is no respect for international law or legal agreements in Islam. Just their own agenda and goal to take over!”

“Just fire a dozen Cruise missiles to Tripoli.”

Michelle Malkin posted only after the "missing bomber" was found and added only "anyone else find this phone tag game with a murderous jihadists completely insane?" No, and the sanity just poured in with 45 messages, truly "American" every one. The best:
“So the lad decides to skip-what are the Brits going to do-send a Man-o-War to Tripoli? The Brits sold their soul for oil deals and can dance to Tripoli’s tune. And what will Barack Hussein Obama do? He will congratulate the Colonel for a game well played. Eric Holder can send a Letter of Concern and give the Libyans a good laugh. Most of the victims were Typical White People-maybe Little Eichmannns- so it really does not matter.”

“I bet Megrahi is living it up on the beach with a bunch of belly-dancing babes, smoking a hookah, and laughing at the Euroweenies who bought his fatal cancer story.”

“Idiot Europeans. There will come a day when they need someone to bail them out of another national crisis, much like WWII. Will anyone help?”

"We should take a page out of his play book, and strap a bomb to him. If he leaves his house, he explodes. At least it will take care of his cancer; that is if he really has it."

"Eh … strap him to the back of a Tomahawk missile and send it through Ahmagaynutjob’s living room window."

“For every day [Megrahi] is MIA, there should be a sortie of F-111’s dropping some bombs on various government buildings in Tripoli … for Old Times Sake”

On that last doozy, it seems this person is saying as long as he remains confused by a news story related by a right-wing pundit, he would authorize endless death on a foreign people he doesn’t approve of. Now I’m reminded why true Democracy simply cannot work with this many total fucking idiots around. Unfortunately, they’re shaped by those at the top of the food chain, who cultivate this ignorance and mobilize these same aggressive attitudes to bolster their own better-informed and thoroughly wicked strategems.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
January 9 2010

The BBC have a checkered history dealing with Lockerbie affair, from a dry but brilliant 1999 Dispatches episode to a 2008 Conspiracy Files one that tried for slick but felt just slimy with politicized distortions. They’ve now added a large bright patch with their approval a recent Newsnight episode, with Peter Marshall reporting on doubts about the key forensic clue in the case against Libya. It’s an encouraging development, a reminder that to some journalists, truth still matters more than politics after all, and the BBC will even allow those to speak up sometimes. (Or is there politics too behind a shift in perceptions at this time? Possible hidden subtexts will be considered in light of future political moves…)

Aired on Friday, 8 January, the program is currently viewable (to me anyway) here. It deals largely with circumstantial problems with the discovery and handling of the crucial timer fragment PT/35(b). Central to establishing a Libyan link to the bombing, it’s been especially bogged down with a slew of valid questions, recounted by Marshall and nothing new to me – no chemical tests to determine if it was in an explosion, unusually changed evidence label, incredulity over the slowness of identification, perhaps hints of backdating records to cover for an item planted later, etc.

James T. Thurman, the FBI political scientist credited with the visual match between PT/35(b) and a Libyan MST-13 timer, was interviewed again. He gave his usual story (more or less), saying “ahhtem” way too often. Marshhall tries to corner Thurman on failing to do real forensics and relying solely on a visual pattern-match. But this seems a little off-track on a reasonably important distinction; Thurman’s visual ID work, replicable by any trained parrot, was to identify the source of the fragment, not to replace forensic tests. The British scientists at RARDE were tasked with this (If I’m not mistaken), but it was not done, they said, as it was redundant – the fragment was clearly in the explosion, as that's what they were investigating, and the shirt collar it was lodged in was torn and burnt (and NOT labeled "made in Malta, to quibble on a small error made in the video).

Otherwise the program is excellent, mostly for what’s really new about it and has people talking - new experimental evidence indicating PT/35(b) would have never been found if it were in the explosion. These were carried out by a Dr. John Wyatt, an explosives expert retired from the British Army, with decades of hands-on experience. Currently he heads a security consulting company called SDS, and is blast consultant for the United Nations, Europe and North Africa region. The details behind how he came to test the official scenario – twenty times over - is unclear at the moment, and so far there’s been no detailed report of his methodology and precise findings. But as it appears, another serious blow to Megrahi's conviction and Libya's vilification has been landed squarely.

From what Marshall explains in voice-over, Dr. Wyatt carried out his twenty tests over time, starting with the radio bomb detonated by itself. One sample he showed the cameras is at right, a suitcase filled with random clothes, and a radio (different model than alleged, a bit larger), rigged as a bomb and set in a homemade cardboard box. Another he showed contained yet another type of radio, bright red, and a suicase he says is the same model used for PA103 (Samsonite hardside). Both were soon after blown up with the pat of plastic explosives tucked inside. Of the consistent results, Wyatt told Newsnight:
“I must admit, since the quantity of explosives we were using was only three or four hundred grams, I thought there were going to be some remnants of the radio left. But it – it – (chuckling) it just totally disintegrated. I mean really just went into tiny, tiny bits."

Wyatt elaborated a bit on method to The Times of Malta, specifying a separate timer was included and considered, as well as the general radio unit, and that the tests were done in varying conditions.
"We tried exploding the device on its own; in a radio similar to the one it was supposed to have been planted in; in a suitcase with and without clothes; surrounded by other suitcases and, eventually, in a container. In all tests, the timer and the circuit board were completely destroyed."

He later “built the tests up” to a finale – a dozen or so pieces of luggage piled in an airliner luggage container, arranged among other containers, and detonated in a field, videotaped from several viewpoints. This last was the only outdoors test; he told the Times he had done the other 19 indoors, “to make sure we could collect all the evidence.” Collecting the remains is what it was all about, of course, and so they used sparse concrete rooms (rather than a hundreds of square km countryside) and “we even painted the circuit board bright yellow to make it easier to identify any fragments among the debris. In no circumstance did we find any fragment," Dr Wyatt explained. Presumably he means no fragments of the scale of PT/35(b), since elsewhere he does mention “tiny tiny bits.” Perhaps the yellow was simply cooked off in all cases?

At right is a dramatic image from one of the tests, in a darkened room and greatly slowed down. The curly stuff is presumably the "hard-side" suitcase material, the little bars parts of its frame. The white-hot cluster at center is that 3-400 grams of explosive, semtex it should be, consuming the whole radio and vaporizing/weaponizing everything around it. Do consider that the bomb penetrated the plane's hull, after losing force bursting from the luggage container, after tearing through the suitcase lining, surrounding clothes, cardboard box, and the radio's plastic casing. The timer would be got to right away, before any energy was lost in an of those battles. Is Wyatt's testing just an elaborate (and expensive) way of proving the patently obvious?

Consider the "trial loading" below used at trial (best quality I could find, labels unreadable). This is the alleged bomb - a Toshiba RT-SF16 "Bombeat" radio with explosive, a detonator rod, battery (upper right label?) and MST-13 timer all fitting in a remarkably small case. It has the cassette assembly, about 4 inches wide, removed to allow the pat of semtex (312 grams of Semtex-H, most sources say - about 11 ounces). This makes the timer, it seems, no more than two inches from that origin of the blast - inches of mostly air, not lead. It's a chunk of this unit that survived and proves Libya's guilt? Do these people feel anything would be vaporized by an explosion like that? I feel stupid for ever even entertaining the notion.

The official story line, that whole nations have moved by, is of course that a surviving bit of circuit board from within a supposedly similar explosion was found, in a non-controlled environment (southern Scotland). Furthermore, it was a strangely readable portion of a board solidly associated with Libya alone (more or less), and constituted proof of Libyan responsibility. Presented by Newsnight host Peter Marshall with this basic notion, Dr. Wyatt stopped precisely this far short of calling it all a grand farce:
"Obviously these things are not impossible, we only carried out 20 tests, we didn't carry out 100 or 1,000 tests, but in every of those 20 tests we found absolutely no sign at all. So I find it highly improbable that you would find anything like that, particularly at 10,000 feet when bits are dropping into long wet grass over hundreds of miles. […] I do find it quite extraordinary and I think highly improbable, and most unlikely that you would find a fragment like that – I mean, it is unbelievable.”


Sunday, January 3, 2010


De Borchgrave's Allegation and its Malta Problem
[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
January 4 2010
last update 1/8/10

An Atlas Twitches?
In the wee early minutes New Years Eve I posted a little analysis of the Libya confessed/didn't confess issue that was mildly valuable but not too exciting. It was quickly picked up by Professor Robert Black at his much higher-profile blog. By the evening, an e-mail was sent from Frank Duggan of Victims of Pan Am 103 Inc. to Prof. Black, subject-titled "Gadhafi admitted it!" Weird spelling aside (and there just too many spellings), it's something interesting, being spurred by an e-mail Duggan had just recieved from the renowned Arnaud de Borchgrave, recounting the admission he personally took from Gaddafi years ago.

De Borchgrave is a Belgian-born, 1926-born, globe-trotting phenomenon, plying the realm between politics and journalism from the dawn of the Cold War until today. His greatest renown is his ability to speak to world leaders, discretely one would think, and help them understand each other. (I studied the guy for 30 minutes or so - Wiki). He was briefly President and CEO of United Press International, currently an Editor-at-Large for both UPI and The Washington Times, which he has written for since 1985 (not the best recommendation). He’d previously worked at numerous outlets, including Newsweek, reportedly fired "in part for keeping dossiers on fellow employees". But a Newsweek editor has said of his reporting “despite his intimacy with major policymakers, he has never aligned himself with either side of a dispute.” (see the wiki).

Aaaand, since 1991 de Borchgrave has been a senior adviser for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and its director of the Global Organized Crime Project, which became the Transnational Threats Project after 9/11, and also resides in groups like the Atlantic Council. (source). This in turn is dedicated to creating and using trans-Atlantic “consensus” on "appropriate responses" to "bring ideas to power" in service of “American leadership” of the world. Specifically they focus on refining policies towards Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, etc. as well as promoting NATO enlargement throughout Eurasia, and relevant here “drafting roadmaps for U.S. policy towards the Balkans, Africa, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, and Libya.” (source).

It's not certain my little post spurred this twitch from a giant, but I was lancing at Libya’s non-admission admission, and this is about offering more solid proof on precisely that issue - "Gadhafi admitted it!" I’m curious enough to check the timeline:
My posting was at 12:25 am local (PST), which would be 8:25am GMT. I think that's when I started it, rather than hitting publish. But I'm not sure.
Professor Black partially re-posted it at 13:09 GMT. According to Black, de Borchgrave's line to Duggan was sent at 6.15pm GMT, and Duggan’s to Black at 7:21pm on New Year’s Eve. The Professor apparently had better things to do that evening, but not tooooo much better, and posted on it prompltly at 8:45 on New Year’s Day. I take two days for another overblown yammerfest in response. It's rather a coincidence if these developments aren't all connected. So I'm probably "touching history" I guess, a small bit of it, and so far it feels, well... not quite fuzzy.

Alright, Alright, so What the Hell is it?
The e-mail sent to Black, as he posted it, passes on of de Borchgrave's original message:
"As Gaddafi explained it to me, which you are familiar with, it was indeed Iran's decision to retaliate for the Iran Air Airbus shot down by the USS Vincennes on its daily flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai that led to a first subcontracting deal to Syrian intel, which, in turn, led to the 2nd subcontract to Libyan intel. As he himself said if they had been first at this terrorist bat, they would not have put Malta in the mix; Cyprus would have made more sense to draw attention away from Libya."

Up-front, it seems as if Duggan solicited this e-mail to support the admission he's heard about earlier. We can see three tracks worthy of note - Iranian genesis of the plot, which has been a confusing on-again, off-again sub-current in the case I need to study more. For the most part, an Iranian link (as the primary sponsors no less) played no role mentioned in renderings of "the official story" - for example, the final verdict (opinion of the Court) following the 2000 trial contains zero mentions of "Iran" in its 82 well-filled pages. There's also a potential problem for the Malta aspect of the official story (which I'll return to), and an acknowledgment that Libyan intel did agree to take some part in the (Iranian-initiated) bombing.

But the e-mail is too vague. Let's turn to the previous publication of this reported admission that likely spurred Duggan to ask for a statement. At the time of Megrahi’s release, in late August last year, de Borchgrave wrote for “The Atlanticist,” apparently a paper from Atlantis (kidding - from the Atlantic Council), on the interview he had with Gaddafi on June 6 1993. After the main session, de Borchgrave asked the leader “to explain, off the record, his precise involvement in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.” Gaddafi then “dismissed all the aides in his tent” and went candid, “in halting English without benefit of an interpreter.” Mostly he decried terrorism and offered to assist the West fight bin Laden-type terror networks (Libya is well known for realizing this threat specifically well before our 9/11, having suffered from them alongside U.S. sanctions, etc.).

Without offering an exact paraphrased quote, de Borchgrave states “Gaddafi candidly admitted that Lockerbie was retaliation for the July 3, 1988, downing of an Iranian Airbus," Iran Air 655 - shot down in a bizarre reckless action by an unusual US warship suffering a strange group psychosis while on a U.S.-engineered entrapment mission. Gaddafi explained how the Arab world could not accept that as accident (and for decent reason) and how he agreed with the Iranians:
"[R]etaliation, he said, was clearly called for. Iranian intelligence subcontracted retaliation to one of the Syrian intelligence services (there are 14 of them), which, in turn, subcontracted part of the retaliatory action to Libyan intelligence (at that time run by Abdullah Senoussi, Gaddafi's brother-in-law). "Did we know specifically what we were asked to do?" said Gaddafi. "We knew it would be comparable retaliation for the Iranian Airbus, but we were not told what the specific objective was," Gaddafi added."

I see no reason to either blindly trust or blindly doubt the veracity of this remembered talk. But taking it as true, we must still consider Gaddafi's understanding may be incomplete, or his statement may be slanted to fit an audience that's already convinced of his guilt. And then there are possible translation issues. But admittedly, it does sound like he agreed, or understood someone else's agreement, to take some part in a plan he knew would likely cause destruction of an American civil airliner. That would be a noteworthy development that might affect people's thinking on the subject. Libya is usually reported as "always inisisting on their innocence." Why did de Borchgrave wait sixteen years to report it? Did he?

No he didn't. Looks almost like he waited 11 years to make it public, while reporting it behind the scenes to the CIA, with a debriefing, immediately on returning home from the 1993 interview. He explained this in an article for NewsMax, from January 2004. Therein, de Borchgrave argued that Saddam Hussein's recent fall had increased Libya's anxiety to be even less for terrorism-tyranny-WMD-whatever. This led to Libya's 2003 moves to accept responsibility for Lockerbie (see first link at top), dismantle their WMD programs, and to really, really swear off terrorism, barring further frame-ups of course. To this end he had already come clean to the writer a decade before. He said of that meeting:
"[Gaddafi] admitted Libya's guilt for the downing of Pan Am 103, but made clear that it was originally an Iranian [plot] ... “So the Iranians subcontracted part of the job to a Syrian intelligence service, which, in turn, asked the Libyan Mukhabarat to handle part of the assignment," Col. Gadhafi explained. "That is the way these things were planned in those days. If we had initiated the plot, we would have made sure the accusing finger was pointed in the other direction and we would have picked Cyprus, not Malta, where some of the organization was done. The others picked Malta presumably to frame us.""

This to me is quite interesting. It would imply that someone not Libyan - it would seem Syrians - had directed al Megrahi to use Malta for the plot - or something, if Gaddafi's second-hand words are to be believed. Or alternately, the admission could read "we were involved in part of it, just not the part you "caught" our guy doing. The Syrians did the Malta stuff." That's not too helpful when your whole case against Libya was about the Libyan intel bigwig sent to Malta, by Tripoli, to plant the bomb because of his own (known) connections there and Libya's own, non-Iranian, grievances. Two JSO operatives, commanded by JSO higher-ups, had specifically targetted PA103 via Luqa airport, and were even stealing the "taggs" to write that on. No "framed" in that scenario. Is this just another Libyan non-admission admission?

And all this when the real evidence Gaddafi may or may not have known about highly suggests the bomb went on PA103 way up in London, with nothing physically to do with Malta at all. Don't lose focus.

A response by Peter Biddulph to Duggan's "admitted" e-mail got its own post on 2 January at Black's blog. Against the whole one-on-one admission, he stated from some experts that "Gaddafi never, repeat never, was without at least one armed personal bodyguard. To be alone with an American journalist with many contacts in Washington would be, for Gaddafi, impossible." de Borchgrave also claimed to be de-briefed by the CIA on this discussion in 1993:
"When we got back to Washington, we called Director of Central Intelligence Jim Woolsey to tell him what we had been told off the record. Woolsey asked me if I would mind being debriefed by the CIA. I agreed. And the rest is history." (NewsMax)
If history here means silence, then it was so. Biddulph points out this admission of guilt never made it into many if any pronouncements from, say Vincent Cannistraro, who headed the CIA's Lockerbie probe until 1991, and could be someone privy to such a debriefing even after this. Biddulph found no reference to it in the trial proceedings, the writings of various commentators, etc., running through a pretty good listing of places this amazing admission did not get repeated between 1993 and 2009. Indeed, the earliest mention I've seen anywhere is that Newsmax piece from three years after the verdict.

Biddulph called the e-mail "disinformation," and postulated "the real reasons for this late announcement" as affecting the Libyan leadership succession (smearing Senoussi), and to distract from the imminent release of SCCRC documents." An original publication in 2004 does seem to complicate the second reason at least, and perhaps Mr. Biddulph spoke too soon, as I had dismissing de Borchgrave without knowing a flit about him. This alleged admission and the man who has alerted us to it are too much to dismiss. There are several somethings wrong about this story I can't quite put my finger on, and I suspect others more influential have their own problems with it, and so it's unlikely to make more noise now than it did before.

Friday, January 1, 2010


[Pan Am 103 Series]
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
January 1 2010 (last edit 1/2)

There's a plot device I must've seen once in a horror movie - a whole village, space station, whatever, was wiped out by something horrible, left desolate and stumbled on by a ragtag group of (4-7) likable misfits banded together by fate or conscription. Among the ruins they find one survivor - perhaps a young girl - who miraculously survived. The wandering Samaritans take her in of course as they moved on to whatever their new plan became. Up front I'm wondering, hey, just how did she survive? Only too late will they learn what I shouted twelve minutes in ... she IS the disguised monster that killed the (village, space station, etc) and then kills most (but not all) of the characters we had earlier bonded with through subtle cues.

Anyway, that feeling is similar to one I get about at least two of the crucial few bits of evidence against Libya, one being that timer fragment PT/35(b). In past readings and discussions I've run across some intriguing doubts about whether any such fragment would be expected to survive the semtex explosion required to bring down a plane. I know not the forensics, and am probably not going to. I do suspect the fragment was inserted into the evidence pool, but didn't want to say, as some did, that it must be a plant simply due to existing.

But its existence is odd, first of all in being found on land when it was fully capable of hiding itself in the deep ocean. Then its loneliness - parts of the radio itself were found, but nothing else from what was added. RARDE scientist Alan Feraday's final report noted "this piece of circuit board is the sole recovered fragment originating from the mechanism of the IED itself."

Now if the explosion were not strong enough to vaporize everything, I would expect a few surviving pieces, with this probably the largest. Rather it's the single and only. Luckily it was a piece of the highly-identifiable and highly-Libya-linked MST-13 circuit board that triggered the bomb, says the official papers. Discovered within a piece of exploded clothing, the fragment of fiberglass circuit board, about a millimeter thick, itself looks hardly exploded. Note its fracture lines, left, bottom, and lower right edges - are all straight lines at right angles to each other. I imagine there are reasonable explosion-related causes for this, but it strikes me as unnatural, FWIW.

Approximately one cm square (hugely magnified above), its printed surface is dominated by a touch pad that uncanilly resembles an upright number one, and double-underlined at that. Considering the entire board (below, right - color adjusted, touch pad area outlined), there is no other spot on the board that contains a recognizable symbol. There are plenty of spots with little lines that might be shown to match, but they don't seem to really say anything. When you're like Tom Thurman, searching with intrepid zeal for the one clue you need, that must be almost a religious experience to see... bam. THE ONE, telling its discoverers "There is but one way to conviction, and it is by me. I shall be thine number one evidence, and only savior." Subtly, it evokes the PA one-oh-three it was alleged to have brought down, and wispers in our left ear "we're number one" for solving this most awesome forensics puzzle and gettin the baddies.

Or less hyperbolically, when one sees this, the temptation is too much to turn it so that's visible. But in fact, the boxed MST-13 trial exhibit DP/111 (above left) shows the readout from the front (circuitry traced here for reference). We've been reading it upside down. Consider the other trial photo at right, with upside-down board, and the area of PT35(b) indicated in red, apparently on top and to the right. What a better place for an underlined number one could there be? Bottom sucks. Left, evil. Turn the whole world upside down if need be to make sure we're number one, double underlined, on the right and at the top. And can "prove" libya did it in the process. Who's writing this stuff? Random fate? Really? You aren't believing in God by now?

In addition to the fragment's clear and powerful message, we have its perhaps-miraculous existence. Previously I had wondered if maybe such a piece could have been shielded behind a larger element attached to the board before nestling in that shirt collar. But I knew it was a bit of a stretch. At left is a duplicate MST-13 with elements attached. The photo is from the website of a Mr. Byers, who claims the CIA was making these fake MST-13s in Florida. At any rate, I don't know what these things all do or are called I've even been told but it didn't sink in. Do note the largest block is the timer dispaly, seen here from the back, and set just south of middle. The rest is surely capacitors, flux inhibitionists, and some grommets around the outer parts.

Some of these things are probably made of metal and materials stronger and thicker than fiberglass board and could shield our PT/35(b) in the chaos of explosion. But if something like that happened, then where is that protector now? Did it vaporize itself? Or plunge irrecoverably into the mud at the bottom of a Scottish loch? Maybe, but then all elements of the bomb except this "number one" corner of that Mebo-traceable, indictment-enabling layout wind up disappearing into the ether? I'm a reasonable chap but I find that harder to swallow than what so many other clues are already saying - the rest was cut or blown off elsewhere, and only THE ONE was ever near this crime scene, after being carefully selected for the job. I can't see just why fate would have any interest in making sure the evidence "says something to us." A false God playing with reality and feeling immune in orbit might just take the chance.