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Johann Lamont does not speak for us. Here are 42 people who do.

Posted on May 22, 2012 by

Below is an open letter released today by the 42 signatories identified at the bottom. Wings Over Scotland endorses its contents, and urges its readers to republish and propagate the text as widely as possible by all available means.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has now died without having been able to clear his name of the destruction of Pan Am flight 103 on the 21st of December 1988 during his lifetime. Now all those politicians and Megrahi-guilt apologists who regard compassion as being a weakling’s alternative to vengeance, who boast of their skills at remote medical diagnosis, and who persistently refuse to address the uncomfortable facts of the case, will doubtless fall silent. Finally, the ‘evil terrorist’ has been called to account for himself before a ‘higher power’.

The prosecution case against him held water like a sieve. We are expected to believe the fantastic tale of the Luqa-Frankfurt-Heathrow transfer of an invisible, unaccompanied suitcase which miraculously found itself situated in the perfect position in the hold of 103 to create maximum destructive effect having eluded no fewer than three separate security regimes. There is no evidence for any such luggage ever having left the ground in either Malta or Germany, it is mere surmise.

Not only that but we have accusations of the key Crown witness having been bribed for testimony; a multitude of serious question marks over material evidence, including the very real possibility of the crucial fragment of PCB having been fabricated; discredited forensic scientists testifying for the prosecution; Crown witness testimony being retracted after the trial and, most worryingly, allegations of the Crown’s non-disclosure of evidence which could have been key to the defence. Added to which, evidence supporting the alternative and infinitely more logical ingestion of the bomb directly at Heathrow was either dismissed at the trial or withheld from the court until after the verdict of guilty had been returned.

The judges were under immense pressure to bring in a verdict of guilty. Zeist was the most high-profile trial that the Scottish High Court of Justiciary had ever presided over. There was massive international interest, and this was compounded by the fact that the judges played the dual roles of judge and jury in a case in which the indictments were brought by the same official body that had appointed them as judges in the first instance, the lord advocate.

Anyone hoping, therefore, to discover an application of sound, empirical reasoning based on concrete evidence being exercised in the field of jurisprudence would do well to avoid the Zeist judgement. Indeed, the most exceptional of Zeist’s many exceptional features is the judgement. Anyone reading this extraordinary document could be forgiven for thinking that in Scotland there is a presumption of guilt and the burden of proof is on the defence. In the words of Professor Hans Köchler (UN appointed International Observer at the Kamp van Zeist Trial) commenting on the second appeal: ‘[it] bears the hallmarks of an intelligence operation’.

The Crown and successive governments have, for years, acted to obstruct any attempts to investigate how the conviction of Mr al-Megrahi came about. Some in the legal and political establishments may well be breathing a sigh of relief now that Mr al-Megrahi has died. This would be a mistake. Many unfortunates who fell foul of outrageous miscarriages of justice in the past have had their names cleared posthumously. The great and the good of western civilisation who have clamoured for Mr al-Megrahi’s blood of late may find it a salutary experience to reflect on the case of Derek Bentley: convicted and hanged in 1953, aged 19, for a crime for which in 1998 he was acquitted on his posthumous appeal.

However long it takes, the campaign seeking to have Mr al-Megrahi’s conviction quashed will continue unabated not only in his name and that of his family, who must still bear the stigma of being related to the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’, but, above all, it will carry on in the name of justice. A justice which is still being sought by and denied to many of the bereaved resultant from the Lockerbie tragedy.

It took almost half a century to resolve the Bentley case. With the Zeist justice campaign now in its twelfth year, one has to ask, when faced with such intransigence, precisely whom the democratically elected, executive arm of state represents. Historically, all the major parties, both in Holyrood and Westminster, must shoulder equal responsibility. However, since first coming to power in 2007, the SNP government has actively taken measures which hinder any progress towards lifting the fog that lies over events, much to the dismay of its own party supporters and activists who take an interest in the case.

In 2009, a statutory instrument which was supposed to remove the legislative prohibition on publication of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission’s statement of reasons for the second appeal (a document that cost taxpayers in excess of £1,000,000 to produce) was so drafted as to render publication effectively impossible. In 2010, the government also fired new legislation through parliament (‘Cadder’ Section7) that makes any prospect of opening another appeal in the interests of justice a forlorn hope.

Even today, ignoring the fact that, with the support of the Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee, campaigners finally forced the government to admit that it does in law (under the Inquiries Act of 2005) have the power to open an inquiry into the case, the government persists in sending out correspondence claiming that it doesn’t; this, of course, is accompanied by the hackneyed old mantra of their not doubting the safety of the conviction.

Furthermore, during the consultation period of the Criminal Cases (Punishment and Review) (Scotland) Bill, campaigners established that the Data Protection Act posed no legal obstacle to the publication of the SCCRC’s statement of reasons for the second appeal; however, the government maintained otherwise with the result that it was ultimately left to the courage and commitment of members of the journalistic community to test the government’s position to destruction.

All of the aforementioned, and the regrettable habit of appointing Crown Office insiders to the position of lord advocate, are not reassuring signs that this matter is being treated with a sense of balance and objectivity by the authorities. The record has stuck. The longer this goes on, the more the doubts over the government’s true loyalties will increase.

This case has now become emblematic of an issue which affects each and every one of us and poses some profoundly basic questions which we ignore at our peril, namely: what do we perceive justice to be, what role ought it to play in our society and whom should it exist to serve? Our laws and how we apply them to our society are the most fundamental descriptor of how we function as a cohesive and coherent entity. They are effectively a portrait of our identity as a people. If, through complacency, we permit cosy, established authority to dictate the terms and to brush under the carpet concerns over how justice is defined and dispensed for the sake of convenience, expediency and reputation, we will only have ourselves to blame for the consequences.

The Scottish cabinet secretary for justice, Kenny MacAskill, says that ‘Scotland’s criminal justice system is a cornerstone of our society, and it is paramount that there is total public confidence in it’. The SCCRC believes that, on no fewer than six grounds, Mr al-Megrahi may have suffered a miscarriage of justice at Zeist. Whether or not the courts are the right and proper platform to deal with this case, the conviction has been in the hands of the High Court of Justiciary since 2001 producing no resolution whatsoever and, moreover, how amenable are the courts now likely to be towards sanctioning another appeal given that they have been invested with new powers which allow them to reject applications which question their own judgements?

Fine words are not enough. Action is required. After all, the government took executive action to release Mr al-Megrahi following the dropping of his appeal (something it was under no legal obligation to do). 52% of respondents to an opinion poll conducted by a Scottish national newspaper supported the call for an independent inquiry into the case. Over a two-week period, and with minimal publicity, 1,646 individuals put their names to a petition for an inquiry, which still remains open before the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.

If Scotland wishes to see its criminal justice system reinstated to the position of respect that it once held rather than its languishing as the mangled wreck it has become because of this perverse judgement, it is imperative that its government acts by endorsing an independent inquiry into this entire affair. As a nation which aspires to independence, Scotland must have the courage to look itself in the mirror.

Signed:

Kate Adie (former chief news correspondent, BBC News)
John Ashton (author of ‘Megrahi: You are my Jury’ and co-author of ‘Cover Up of Convenience’)
David Benson (actor/author of the play ‘Lockerbie: Unfinished Business’)
Jean Berkley (mother of Alistair Berkley: victim of Pan Am 103)
Peter Biddulph (Lockerbie researcher)
Benedict Birnberg (retired senior partner of Birnberg Peirce & Partners)
Professor Robert Black QC (‘architect’ of the Kamp van Zeist trial)
Paul Bull (Close friend of Bill Cadman: killed on Pan Am 103)
Professor Noam Chomsky (human rights, social and political commentator)
Tam Dalyell (UK MP: 1962-2005; Father of the House: 2001-2005)
Ian Ferguson (co-author of: ‘Cover Up of Convenience’)
Dr David Fieldhouse (police surgeon present at the Pan Am 103 crash site)
Robert Forrester (secretary, Justice for Megrahi)
Christine Grahame MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament)
Ian Hamilton QC (Advocate, author and former university rector)
Ian Hislop (editor of Private Eye)
Fr Pat Keegans (Lockerbie parish priest on 21 December 1988)
A L Kennedy (author)
Dr Morag Kerr (secretary-depute, Justice for Megrahi)
Andrew Killgore (former US Ambassador to Qatar)
Moses Kungu (Lockerbie councillor, 21 December 1988)
Adam Larson (editor and proprietor,‘The Lockerbie Divide’)
Aonghas MacNeacail (poet and journalist)
Eddie McDaid (Lockerbie commentator)
Rik McHarg (communications hub coordinator: Lockerbie crash site)
Iain McKie (retired superintendent of police)
Marcello Mega (journalist covering the Lockerbie tragedy)
Heather Mills (author and journalist)
Revd John F Mosey (father of Helga Mosey: victim of Pan Am 103)
Len Murray (retired solicitor)
Cardinal Keith O’Brien (Roman Catholic archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh)
Denis Phipps (aviation security expert)
John Pilger (campaigning human rights journalist)
Steven Raeburn (editor of ‘The Firm’)
Tessa Ransford (poet)
James Robertson (novelist)
Kenneth Roy (editor, ‘Scottish Review’)
Dr David Stevenson (retired medical specialist and Lockerbie commentator)
Dr Jim Swire (father of Flora Swire: victim of Pan Am 103)
Sir Teddy Taylor (UK MP: 1964-2005; former shadow secretary of state for Scotland)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel peace prize winner)
Terry Waite (former envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury)

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    46 to “Johann Lamont does not speak for us. Here are 42 people who do.”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      As a nation which aspires to independence, Scotland must have the courage to look itself in the mirror.”

      Absolutely. Forget a bunch of bigots arguing over an ancient battle neither side truly understands the history of – the continued blackening of an innocent man’s name is Scotland’s real shame. The fact he was not made to die in prison is the sole redeeming feature of this whole debacle.

      When you see Eck on TV speaking about Megrahi, you get the impression that he wants to see the truth finally cleared up, but feels unable to actually make such a statement – and I can sympathise with this, as it would obviously be a massive move for the First Minister to publicly undermine the infallibility of his country’s judicial system. But a way needs to be found to get the truth out.

      It annoys me that there are people who call those who believe Megrahi was set up “conspiracy theorists”. One look at some of the illustrious signatories of this letter – Chomsky, Pilger, even the Professor who devised the arrangements for the trial – show it’s not just some nutters looking to blame the FBI for another fit-up. Indeed, many of these people have spent their careers unearthing uncomfortable truths and are journalists of the highest pedigree, and the late great Paul Foot would have been on here too if he was still with us.

      We need the truth. Scotland can’t progress until we know for sure what happened, or at the very least remove the stain from this man’s name. In summary: it was the PFLP-GC wot did it, guvnor.

    2. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Given the large inconsistencies in the case it is in the public interest to re-open and affirm the evidence. Only then can we ensure justice for the victims, and not some sort of political expediency point scoring exercise.

    3. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @ Doug Daniel

      It may just be me but I get the feeling that the SNP would rather not re-open the case as it would be a sideshow to the independence referendum.

      But we need to ensure that the goal of independence is the striving to better the country, so an inquest should be called, despite the political issues, and certainly not dismissed as some sort of “Conspiracy Theorist” campaign.

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “and I can sympathise with this, as it would obviously be a massive move for the First Minister to publicly undermine the infallibility of his country’s judicial system”

      Not so much “massive” as “impossible”. To have a country’s politicians in office publicly questioning the verdicts of its courts is less a can of worms, more Snakes On A Plane. That doesn’t excuse any obstacles the Scottish Government may have put in the way of an inquiry, but it’s inconceivable that the FM could say anything more contentious than the careful, nuanced comments he’s made so far (eg noting conspicuously that the police investigation is ongoing).

    5. Morag says:

      Well, yes, the police investigation is “ongoing”.  But it will not look at any evidence that might point elsewhere than the Crown fairy-story of the invisible levitating suitcase at Malta.  The only result they want of that investigation is the identification of Megrahi’s supposed “accomplices”.

      Show them the shedload of evidence that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, and all you get is, yes we know all about that, it’s irrelevant and you’re a conspiracy theorist.  I think even if someone found a long-lost CCTV clip from 1988 that showed Abu Elias putting that maroony-brown suitcase in the luggage container in person, and locating it in exactly the position of the explosion, they’d still handwave it away.

    6. Doug Daniel says:

      Scott – you may be correct. If so, I can’t help feeling it’s a bit of a mistake. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who saw the decision to release Megrahi as the act of a mature government doing what it felt was right, rather than what it was being nudged to do. It was the moment the Scottish government finally shrugged off any remaining notions of being a toytown parliament, and showed that we didn’t have to worry about independent Scotland being a mere puppet for larger states.

      Considering Megrahi’s “guilt” was “proven” when Scotland was still very much run from Whitehall, seeking out the truth would show the world that Scotland is indeed ready to “get on”. And it would show a marked contrast between the Westminster way of doing things, and the Scottish way.

      Given the large numbers of pro-independence commentators who favour an inquiry  – and the signature of a certain SNP MSP on this letter which specifically criticises the current Holyrood government – I do wonder if sitting on this will do far more damage to the famous SNP party discipline than the monarchy or NATO ever have.

    7. Morag says:

      This SNP member is not a happy bunny as regards this particular issue, I have to say. And they are aware of that fact.

    8. Donald says:

      Am i missing something, I belive that Megrahi is innocent but why do people expect the SNP to have an inquiry? If it was a case of the intelligence services services colluding to find a scapegooat exactly how are the SNP meant to overcome the obstacles placed in their way by both the UK Goverment and the Intelligence services of both America and the UK?
      This is to my view another reason for independence because a Scottish Government free from the baggage and shackles of Westminster would be able to look at Lockerbie and unearth some skeletons that the British establishment would rather remain buried, As for this case casting a bad light on Scots Law I diaagree as the verdict was NOT the result of a flaw in the Scots legal system but rather duplicity on behalf of the UK Government and British/American intelligence services to find a scapegoat.

    9. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Donald

      “Am i missing something, I belive that Megrahi is innocent but why do people expect the SNP to have an inquiry?”

      Hello Donald, it is not the SNP that people expect to hold an enquiry but the Scottish Government (of which the SNP is the ruling party).

      Justice is a devolved issue and as such it is within the control of Kenny MacAskill. This is why people are calling on the Scottish Government to act.

      There is plenty of evidence already collected despite the UK and US government agencies to reopen and reassess the case.

    10. Morag says:

      The Scottish police completely fucked up the investigation, refusing to contemplate that the bomb had originated at Heathrow and high-tailing off to Malta on the basis of a clue so tenuous that any rational investigator would have reassessed its significance on finding nothing at all to back it up.

      The Scottish police groomed and pressurised Tony Gauci to change his description of the clothes purchaser and the date in question, and accede to the proposition that Megrahi bought the clothes. Oh yes, and Scottish police applied to the US DoJ for vast sums of reward money to “maintain the resolve” of the Gauci brothers.

      The Scottish PF service accepted the assurances from the US DoJ that Majid Giaka was a killer witness who would conclusively link both Megrahi and Fhimah with the bombing, without themselves doing due diligence on his credibility or evidence.

      Two Scottish judges decided on the basis of the evidence presented at Zeist that Megrahi and Fhimah were guilty, and the remaining judge who disagreed capitulated on a single guilty verdict – or that’s the word on the streets on that one, I can’t say for sure.  Certainly, three Scottish judges issued a judgement so perverse and illogical that it should be required study for all law students as an Awful Warning of how not to think.

      I do think the Scottish criminal justice system has not entirely covered itself with glory on this one.

    11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      While basically agreeing with what everyone else is saying, I do think there’s a legitimate case to be made that any inquiry conducted by the Scottish Government would be unsatisfactory on the grounds that it wouldn’t be able to compel witnesses to attend.

    12. Doug Daniel says:

      On the subject of Scottish police fucking this up – it probably didn’t help that it was, as is often mentioned, the smallest police force in the UK that was dealing with it. I wonder if this would be an example of where a single national police force would be more effective?

    13. Morag says:

      Doug, they got a lot of help in the form of manpower seconded in from Strathclyde and L&B.  Nevertheless, you may have a point.

      I think the whole thing went off the rails on 30th December 1988, when John Orr (I think it was – the personnel changed at various points in the inquiry) the Chief Constable of the D&G, issued a press release stating that the bomb had almost certainly not originated at Heathrow.

      Why was he so precipitate in making that announcement?  Why was that assessment of the situation never seriously reconsidered when evidence emerged to contradict it?  Would a more experienced, more senior (frankly, smarter) Chief Constable have avioded that mistake?

    14. Morag says:

      RevStu, while taking your point, I think sometimes you also have to take what you can get and make the most of it.  There is so much information in the public domain now, I think an inquiry could get a long way without needing to drag Tony Gauci or Harry Bell to give evidence.

      An officially constituted body looking at what we’ve all been looking at with an open mind, and giving legitimacy to the concerns about withheld and ignored evidence and irrational conclusions could be very influential.

    15. Barbarian says:

      I don’t think there will be any enquiry. Salmond has done the neutral thing to say that enquiries are continuing. If evidence comes up, then that would be a matter for the courts. And I’ll bet nothing is found. Salmond is not going to have the Scottish Justice system found wanting over one person.

      And no one has the right to speak for me, be it Lamont or one of the 42 (some of whom I hold in high regard it must be said). BUT – the issue does need to be resolved, something I very much doubt will happen.

    16. Morag says:

      “If evidence comes up….”  What evidence did you have in mind?
       
      The only evidence anyone in the Scottish criminal justice system is prepared to look at is evidence confirming that a bomb was carried on KM180 from Luqa to Frankfurt, and that Megrahi was involved in putting it there.  If they can drag someone else into this morass, either Fhimah again by way of the ending of the prohibition on double jeopardy or someone new, they will.
       
      Evidence that points to the bomb being loaded at Heathrow, or to Libya not being involved, or to Megrahi not having bought the clothes in the bomb suitcase, will not be considered.  There is already a lot of that, culminating in the explosive revelation that PT/36b could not have been a part of one of the 20 exclusive Libyan-order digital timers, which completely shatters the Crown case.  “I see no ships!” is the cry.

    17. Juteman says:

      I always thought Lamont was a very poor ‘politician’, but her latest outburst is disgusting.
      Who the hell does she think she is?

    18. DougtheDug says:

      Donald has a good point.
      The Scottish Government can hold as many enquiries as they like but they have no access to the documents the UK Government will not release and no power to compel UK politicians to attend.
      As Alex Salmond said in his letter to Senator John Kerry.
      On the broader questions of inquiry, the Scottish Government do not doubt the safety of the conviction of Mr AI-Megrahi. Nevertheless, there remain concerns to some on the wider issues of the Lockerbie atrocity. The questions to be asked and answered in any such inquiry would be beyond the jurisdiction of Scots Law and the remit of the Scottish Government, and such an inquiry would therefore need to be initiated by those with the required power and authority to deal with an issue, international in its nature. As was indicated last year, the Scottish Government would be happy to co-operate fully with such an inquiry.

    19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And no one has the right to speak for me, be it Lamont or one of the 42”

      To be fair, unlike Lamont the 42 aren’t claiming to speak on behalf of Scotland. The “us” in the headline refers to this site.

    20. Morag says:

      Doug, the Scottish government has the power to inquire into quite enough to destroy the conviction without needing to venture into the areas you touch on.  In my opinion that statement from Salmond is pure buck-passing.
       
      If the Emeritus Professor of Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh says the Scottish government is entirely competent to institute an inquiry into concerns relating to flaws and potential wrongdoing in the Lockerbie investigation and the conduct of the prosecution, I’m inclined to believe him.

    21. Barbarian says:

      OK Rev, I’ll accept that. The headline is a bit misleading.

      I still don’t think the truth will ever come out. Maybe Megrahi did have some involvement, maybe he did not. I can’t help but think that Salmond and McAskil know a hell of a lot more, but political considerations come first.

    22. Morag says:

      I already addressed the “maybe Megrahi did have some involvement” in the other thread.  Did you even read it?
       
      The evidence indicates that Megrahi was a thousand miles away when that bomb was smuggled into the baggage container at Heathrow at about four o’clock in the afternoon.  He wasn’t on the island of Malta the day a dark-skinned, six-foot-tall, burly 50-year old bought the clothes in the bomb bag from Tony Gauci.
       
      There is no other evidence to link him to the bombing.  None. At. All.
       
      Do you dispute any of this?  Do you have some other scenario which links him in some way you’re not specifying?  Why do you go on making that insinuation without any attempt to back it up, and apparently without having any understanding of the actual case?

    23. Morag says:

      Oh, and Barbarian.  This is RevStu you’re talking about.  This is a headline following on from one reading “BREAKING: Lockerbie bomber still alive”.
       
      I don’t think this is the place for leaden-footed literal-mindedness.

    24. Morag says:

      I fear it is now only 41 people.  Sadly, I have just received an email letting me know that Moses Kungu, one of the signatories to the above letter, has died. Like Megrahi, he was battling cancer.  He will be very much missed.

    25. bigbuachaille says:

      The continual blustering statements by Cameron and Obama asserting Mr. Al-Megrahi’s guilt, the failure of the British & American States to acknowledge the cover-up in relation to vital pieces of information and the shameless exploitation of Mr. Al-Megrahi by Blair as a pawn in the big game of international oil deals are reasons why the Scottish Government should release all the relevant information publicly.  They cannot simply stand aside.
      The release of Mr. Al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds was the trigger for bigoted unmitigated vilification, most recently by politician here in Scotland. I can only assume that such comments were the result of ignorance.
      The Scottish Government must, like the admirable Jim Swire, pursue the path of truth, no matter how unpalatable the revelations prove to be.  The SCCRC report should be made public.
      I am deeply concerned, however, that the dark forces who operate within the US and British States would stop at nothing in order to keep the information from the public, and that might include any amount of dirty tricks or even worse.  But brave individuals, such as Dr. Swire and Gareth Peirce, have already demonstrated how they are prepared to confront the forces of the State. We in Scotland must do the same.
       

    26. Doug Daniel the point you made about how when the trial was undertaken Scotland was still being run from Whitehall may have a huge deal to do with the verdict and subsequent messing about with everything,thanks for making me think.It was the Labour party in power in both places and they were the ones who did the appointing of judges and such,is there a much bigger story? are the unionist media helping cover up a lot more than we ever imagined?

    27. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      There is I believe a horrible secret at the centre of this and that is a degree of complicity by agencies of the US in the bombing.
      That is why the truth is being denied and I suspect the need for Scotland to have a neutral US as we approach the referendum is a very important feature

    28. Morag says:

      Hard to say.  I was very very reluctant to believe any more than negligence, at worst a US “asset” (Marwan Khreesat) being implicated in the plot.  I genuinely believed the crash had taken the US security forces by surprise, or at least that something they feared might happen and had been trying to prevent had got past them.  I’ll go for cock-up over conspiracy every time.
       
      I’m not so sure now, since Ashton’s book came out and then the SCCRC report.  First Ashton revealed that the PCB fragment could not possibly have come from one of the Libyan-order timers.  That puts a very high probability on its being a plant, which was what I had rather suspected anyway.  But I had believed the thing was planted perhaps as late as September 1989, as the result of decisions about steering the inquiry in a particular direction that were taken after the actual disaster.
       
      However, the SCCRC report contains the information that the PCB fragment was actually in the hands of the forensics team as early as May 1989.  That is incredibly early in the inquiry for any decision to have been taken about steering it off course, and then to have implemented that decision.  So I’m softening up to those who believe the crash might have been known about in advance.
       
      I still don’t believe it, but my mind is more open to the possibility than it was.  Of course, it drags in the question, if this was all stage-managed, why was it done so badly?  It’s a difficult narrative to pull together.  But the revelation that picture no. 117 can be dated to May 1989 by its negative AND that PT35b was not manufactured by Thuring AG puts a lot of things back into the melting pot.

    29. Tom says:

      “It was the PFLP-GC wot dun it”.
      Beware of jumping to conclusions:  “Terrorism is theatre, you’ve been deceived”.
      An obvious trail was made pointing to the PFLP-GC, simply to discredit the Palestinian cause.  Any serious attempt to pursue this would have lead to uncovering Israeli state involvement.  The US was for a time after the Israeli false-flag bombing of US marine barracks in Lebanon in ’82, keen to slap Israel down, and failing to attribute Lockerbie to one Palestinian group or another – foiling Israel’s script – was Washington’s revenge.
       
       

    30. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      “Beware of jumping to conclusions:  “Terrorism is theatre, you’ve been deceived”.
      An obvious trail was made pointing to the PFLP-GC, simply to discredit the Palestinian cause.  Any serious attempt to pursue this would have lead to uncovering Israeli state involvement.  The US was for a time after the Israeli false-flag bombing of US marine barracks in Lebanon in ’82, keen to slap Israel down, and failing to attribute Lockerbie to one Palestinian group or another – foiling Israel’s script – was Washington’s revenge.”

      Errrr… ok… not sure what to make of that but thanks for sharing.

      I liked this bit “Beware of jumping to conclusions”

    31. Morag says:

      Allegations that Israeli involvement in Lockerbie has been covered up surface periodically, from the usual suspects.  Allegedly, Israel did it in order to discredit the Palestinians.

      There has never been the slightest evidence to support that, and it’s one complication this already complicated affair doesn’t need.  I diagnose knee-jerk antisemitism, and leave it at that.

    32. Tom says:

      It isn’t a complication at all, and explains perfectly almost every anomaly surrounding this case.  Why for example did the members of the German cell – posssesing explosives, building ideally suited altitudinal and timer based triggers, using identical model radio cassette players – walk free when caught with these items prior to Lockerbie?  Why didn’t Israel raise hell over the switch from the PFLP-GC to Libya?  Instead there wasn’t so much as a murmur, as they acted as proxy for the US, and were complicit in carrying it out.
      Unravel the mythical PFLP-GC and what do you get?
      Do continue to exclude THE MOST LIKELY suspects, with past ‘form’ and fanatic motivation.
      Do keep obsessing over PCB fragments and rehashing Paul Foot’s original work.
      Sorry to collide with your indoctrinated and utterly false worldviews.  Have a quiet life.
       

    33. Morag says:

      “It explains perfectly almost every anomaly”.  I don’t think you actually know what most of the anomalies are.

      Why did John Orr announce on 30th December 1988 that Heathrow was in the clear?  Why did he lean on the forensics people to encourage as high an estimate for the position of the explosion as the evidence could be tortured to support?

      Whose luggage was in tray 8849?

      Who made PT/35b, and why?  Did it fall from the sky, or not?

      Why did the Crown not call Amarjit Sidhu or Derek Henderson to give evidence at Camp Zeist?  (Oh wait, that isn’t a mystery at all.)

      Speculation is fine, but I can show you a speculative theory for every second person interested in the Lockerbie case.  And every single one of them is convinced that their theory must be right, because it “explains everything”.  Bomb in Bernt Carlsson’s suitcase.  Bomb stuck to the baggage container, and then another one detonated by remote control from the ground (that’s the maddest of the lot, really).  Explosion caused accidentally by the detonation of an illegally-carried piece of secret military ordnance.  Explosion caused accidentally by the mechanical failure of a cargo door.  Bomb placed by someone who thought he was smuggling drugs, at Heathrow.  Ditto, at Frankfurt.  Bomb secreted in Khaled Jaafar’s luggage without his knowledge.  And I’ve probably missed out one or two.

      Join the queue.

    34. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Dr Morag

      The more I think the more I believe that the Scottish Government’s unwillingness to act on this patent miscarriage of justice is due to US pressure on it. I suspect the NATO debate at conference last year may in some way have been also forced by a need to keep the US onside for our referendum – though ,alternatively, being able to allay fears of the ubiquitous Mrs McGinty over our ability to defend  ourselves independent may have been the prime reason on that.
       On Lockerbie, as in other issues of contention, over a period of time you find you have almost unconsciously adopted a position and mine is that the US has a terrrible thing to hide on this and that the US government, the UK government and,indeed, the Scottish government know exactly what it is. But I suspect we will have to be independent before it is exposed. I hope I live that long. 

    35. Morag says:

      I don’t know.  All I really KNOW about this, I think, is that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow around 4.30pm, and that PT/35b was not a part of one of the 20 MST-13 timers supplied to Libya by MEBO.

      The former, of course, gives Megrahi an unbreakable alibi for the time and the place of the bombing, and if the clothes purchase can also be discounted (as the SCCRC report makes pretty clear it can), then there is nothing at all to connect him to the crime.

      The latter?  I don’t know.  I don’t even know whether or not it fell from the sky.

      I feel as if I’ve solved level 1 of a puzzle that has maybe 10 levels to it, and the levels undoubtedly get harder as they progress.  However, nobody will give me the information I would need to solve the next layer until the solution to level 1 has been publicly and officially acknowledged.

    36. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Exactly
      I have no doubt whatsover that al Megrahi had nothing to do with it. And as you have pointed out there is absolutely no evidence that would stand up in even a Sheriff Court.
      But I stumbled on a proposition put forward by Tam Dalyell, among others, that the US “gave” Iran that flight in expiation for the shooting down of the Iranian Airbus by the USS Vicennes, an outrage for which Iran had promised to take down 6 US planes.
      It is a fact that US military, US diplomatic and a high level South African Government delegation were take off that flight and it set off for US at Christmas time less than two thirds full (and with a huge number of students who couldn’t believe their luck to get onto it when therewas huge waiting lists to get seats home). 
      I suspect this could be the absolutely wicked fact that the US cannot allow to be exposed.

      We then move on to the fitting up of Libya for it (and the hugely convenient murder of Gaddafi).

      The Iranians wouldn’t supply oil to the US and the west following the USS Vicennes incident and the West had trade sanctions against Libya which was causing it serious problems and no Libyan oil to the West. The Lockerbie bombing and the supplying of two Libyan scapegoats cleared all that up and every body got on with trading with each other again. I have it on the authority of a friend (now dead sadly ) who knew Gaddafi as he worked with the Libyan Gov. in Tripoli that Gaddafi was confident that no Scottish court could possibly convict the two scapegoats. How naive was that.
      Incidently he also told me that Gaddafi liked the Scots and disliked the English – an almost  universal phenomenom if my years in Africa are anything to go by

    37. Morag says:

      Ah, Tam Dalyell’s “Faustian bargain” theory.  He never stops going on about it, and is a large part of the problem of Lockerbie sceptics being tarred (and sometimes feathered) as mad conspiracy theory nuts.

      It’s one possibility.

      I’m not a fan of the theory for a number of reasons, but mainly because the fake-up/frame-up has all the signs of people making it up as they go along.  It’s opportunistic, and at times quite incompetent.  It doesn’t seem remotely planned.  I think an organisation that was prepared for that plane to crash and knew they would have to misdirect an investigation would have been far less cack-handed about it.  But as I said, it’s one possibility, although on the extreme of the rage of possibilities.

    38. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I’m not sure it is as unlikely as you may think. I don’t think we should ever undersestimate the unscrupulous and completely ammoral nature of those who presume to rule our world. The one thing really lacking from the Lockerbie affair is the absence of any compelling reason for it emerging over the years

    39. Morag says:

      You seem to be replying to something I didn’t write.  I said I’m not an adherent of the “Faustian bargain” theory because the details of the cover-up aren’t really compatible with something planned in advance, and have all the hallmarks of people making it up as they go along, sometimes quite incompetently.

      I’m not sure which part of the “Lockerbie affair” you feel is lacking the compelling reason.  You seem to agree that revenge for the appalling IR655 affair is a compelling reason for Iran having determined to bring down a US airliner, and that Iran was in some way behind Lockerbie.  I would agree with that, entirely.

      So do you mean there’s no compelling reason for the cover-up?  I can think of quite a few reasons, some more compelling than others, but then it’s hard to know how compelling a motivation may be for some people.  Maybe John Boyd didn’t want the case to be handed over to the Met so he ignored the Heathrow evidence.  Or maybe Thatcher instructed the inquiry that Heathrow must not be blamed for an insecure operation whatever happened.  Or maybe the US simply wanted to blame Libya, as usual.  Or maybe the CIA were up to something in Germany with Khreesat and the PFLP-GC, and an operation that was supposed to prevent a Lockerbie went horribly wrong and actually caused it.

      I agree, HOW this monumental fuck-up actually happened is a pretty important question.  I think we need more information than we have before we can start jumping to conclusions, though.

    40. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      No other compelling reason for Lockerbie has come up EXCEPT  that Iran did it has ever come up.
      Yet Iran did not claim it.
      Part of a deal?
      Why was US/UK so determined to fit up two Libyans? Makes no sense whatsover except as part of another agenda.
      The “Faustian pact” is as likely or more likely than any other explanation.

      You talk of “conspiracy theorists”. As there is obviously massive evidence of a huge conspiracy why should this be unusual or surprising.

    41. Morag says:

      I mention the “conspiracy theorists” label because that’s what’s being used to smear the Justice for Megrahi campaign and spread the message that their arguments aren’t even worth looking into.  It’s the mainstay of Mulholland’s current press campaign.

      Plausible (to you) or not, anything that sounds like a mad conspiracy theory to uninformed ears simply fuels that campaign and makes it easier for the factual arguments to be dismissed out of hand.

      Take note of my article published today on the subject, especially its title.  It invokes Hanlon’s Razor – never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.  Also note the title has a question mark after it.  I don’t really think this can be adequately explained by stupidity, but actually a lot more of it seems quite genuinely to have been sheer police incompetence than I would have believed before I saw the internal memos.

      I think we’ll get a lot further by concentrating on the facts and what can actually be proved, and getting that accepted.  Once what factually happened is accepted, moving on to how and why it happened is easier.

      Factually, Megrahi didn’t buy the clothes from Tony Gauci, the bomb was introduced at Heathrow in the afternoon not Malta in the morning, and PT/35b was not a part of one of the 20 MST-13 timer units sold to Libya by MEBO.  Let’s get that through for a start.  That much is hard enough, and it’s provable.

    42. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I agree entirely with the points you make. I suspect all sensible people agree already with them and I know no well informed person who believes al Megrahi had anything to do with it.
      There is however some other imperative that drives this issue and finding out what that is would change everything

    43. Morag says:

      I agree, again.  However, I don’t know for sure what that imperative is, and I think it’s counterproductive to take a position on it without compelling evidence.  My hope is that if the Malta fraud can be exploded sufficiently convincingly, the entire thing might be blown wide open and we’ll discover more.

      You might be surprised as to the conspiracy theories I contemplate in private conversation – especially with myself.  I can brainstorm quite a few.  I don’t suppose you’ve heard the one that links the presence of Parvez Tahiri on flight PA103A with the appearance of tray 8849 on the Erac printout?  It’s a doozy….

    44. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      New one on me. Must look it up

    45. Morag says:

      You won’t find it that way….

    46. JLT says:

      To be honest, I can see no way that the truth will ever come to light …while we remain in the Union. I can only see the truth coming to light if it is pursued properly by an Independent Scotland.
      However, I fear that when we finally do pursue the truth, we better be prepared for what scandals may arise, and could blacken our legal system. There could be things that were covered up, or done in our name, and if so, a lot of people could be implicated. It might not be a good day for us.
      But I believe, it is for those who died because of the bombing on the plane, as well as the devastation and deaths in Lockerbie itself, and whom I believe, that it is they …way more than Megrahi or even our Legal System…that the truth deserves to be uncovered and told.
       



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