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Luggage and lies

Posted on December 20, 2013 by

On 20 May 2012 this site ran a headline which read BREAKING: Lockerbie bomber still alive”. That was of course the day it was announced that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had died of prostate cancer. Even I did a double-take before the penny dropped.

mandelamegrahi

The attached story was a mere 17 words long, but going by the links the assertion that Megrahi was not in fact the ‘Lockerbie bomber’ seemed to draw on three sources: the fact that the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission had found six grounds to believe the conviction might have been a miscarriage of justice; a documentary by Al-Jazeera based on investigations by George Thomson (a private detective who’d worked for Megrahi’s defence team); and a review article by English solicitor Gareth Peirce.

All good sources, but I had better reasons for believing that Megrahi was innocent.

I’d been intrigued by inconsistencies in the evidence against him since 2009, and had become fairly convinced that information which must have been available to the investigation (but which inexplicably was not presented in court) would show something very significant. In fact, that it would prove that a mysterious suitcase seen at Heathrow airport just over two hours before Maid of the Seas fell out of the sky over Lockerbie was in fact the case containing the bomb.

If that was true, the bomb could not possibly have come from Malta, where Megrahi was said to have smuggled it on to a morning flight bound for Frankfurt. The connecting flight from Frankfurt landed nearly an hour after the mysterious brown Samsonite was seen in the waiting baggage container.

A month after Megrahi’s death my internet obsession was rewarded. In an episode that could have come straight out of Le Carré, I snuck out of work one lunchtime to rendezvous with George Thomson in a nearby coffee shop. He passed me a memory stick with a number of files on it – crude scans to a PDF of a large number of witness statements and police memos dealing with transfer baggage records from Frankfurt and Heathrow airports. It soon became clear to me that the defence had had the missing evidence all along, but had not understood its significance. I set to work to understand it.

I’ll skip the next bit, because it’s all in my earlier article published here back in January. Given the information in these documents, including passenger and luggage transfer records and details of the baggage handling procedures, the mysterious Heathrow Samsonite reconciles as the bomb suitcase as a logical necessity.

I thought logical deduction was as far as I was going to get with that argument, but I was wrong. One assumption I’d made in my original article was mistaken – I’d imagined that the bags in the corner of the container where the bomb went off had been shredded into a sort of suitcase confetti. With evidence in that condition, while it might obviously be possible to figure out how many cases were involved and even whose luggage they were, fitting the scraps together to show where each one had been loaded would probably have been a bridge too far.

It wasn’t until February this year, and another covert lunchtime assignation, that I found out different. The explosive charge hadn’t actually been all that powerful. Most of the cases were only partially damaged, and the pattern of the damage made it possible to figure out how each one had been positioned in relation to the explosion.

I realised that what I had was a three-dimensional jigsaw – a jigsaw that hadn’t been completed or even attempted by the original investigation (or by the defence team). And solving it was actually a pretty easy job for any puzzle fan. To cut a long story short, reconstruction of the way the suitcases were packed into the container reveals that the mysterious case John Bedford saw in the interline shed at Heathrow at 4.45 was indeed the bomb, beyond any reasonable doubt whatsoever.

What to do about this? Official channels have been notified, but official channels have their own agenda which doesn’t include doubting the Lockerbie conviction. Realising the futility of trying to persuade the police that the police got something wrong, I decided to write a book.

The book takes the reader right through the case from the day of the disaster, following the investigation as it tried and failed to figure out how that bomb got on board Maid of the Seas and who put it there, and showing conclusively that what happened was not what the investigators and the Crown prosecution said had happened.

adequately

If I pretended this article wasn’t an attempt to promote the book, I’d be lying to you. I wrote the thing for people to read. I wrote it to get the information out there – that Megrahi was a thousand miles away when the ‘Lockerbie bombing’ was done and the entire case against him was based on a lie. I wrote it to show how the original investigation missed crucial evidence in the first few weeks and months of the inquiry, and how the trial court at Camp Zeist was encouraged to handwave that evidence away. It’s all a bit pointless if the copies just sit in the warehouse.

Will the book make any difference? I don’t know. An awful lot has happened as a direct result of that jigsaw puzzle not being put together nearly 25 years ago, and some of the consequences are things powerful people are not going to want to revisit. But I had to do something with this knowledge, and the book is the something. I’ve lit the blue touch-paper. Now I’m waiting to see if it’s a damp squib, or a rocket up the backside of some annoyingly complacent people.

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    147 to “Luggage and lies”

    1. tom says:

      The review article by Gareth Peirce was an astounding revelation.

    2. heraldnomore says:

      Thank you Morag.  There’s one copy that won’t be sitting pointlessly in the warehouse.

    3. Morag says:

      Gareth Peirce’s article is a bit of a mish-mash and it contains some misconceptions, but it’s a decent overview.  I think she had only recently become aware of the case when she wrote it.

    4. AlexMci says:

      Nice article Morag, will pick up a copy of your book when I can. Good luck in your quest to out the truth in this matter. Mr Megrahi may have passed on but I for one would love to see his name cleared.

    5. Morag says:

      Office tannoy, 3 minutes ago:  “Attention all staff, mulled wine and mince pies in the tea-room.”  See you later.

    6. Tasmanian says:

      I’ve been waiting for this article! And this book. Thanks Morag, it’s a nicely-placed stocking-filler (for me, from family who don’t know what to get me 🙂 )

    7. Macart says:

      Nice one Morag. 🙂

    8. Jingly Jangly says:

      Cheers Morag, do you do signed copies!!!!
      Joking will get my order into the local bookshop after crimbo

    9. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      One copy should go to the editors of all our newspapers. But then again they all already know they are continually promoting a big lie.

    10. Bertie K says:

      One question that always stood out for me is “Who was on that plane?”…
      Did anyone ever look into the job descriptions of the victims?

    11. Jeannie says:

      @Morag
       
      Well done, you.  I’ll be getting a copy.

    12. Silverytay says:

      Morag Well done , I will order the book when I get home from work .

    13. Morag says:

      The publishers sent me an impressive list of media outlets they were sending information sheets to.  There’s been some interest.  (Sorry, forgive typos, it was very nice mulled wine.)  The Crown position is that this is complete fantasy and I’m a screwball conspiracy theorist.  Of course, they haven’t read the book.
       
      The thing is, make up your own conspiracy theories.  Knock yourselves out (so long as they’re compatible with the evidence).  I’m not doing that.  I’m saying the investigators were dumb as a bag of hammers that falied hammer school, and completely failed to spot inferences that were right under their noses.

    14. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Bertie K
      The makeup of the passengers on that plane is indeed a very interesting issue and disturbing if some theories are to be taken seriously. These point to an altogether more sinister set of circumstances.
      First task however is to firmly establish that al Megrahi had nothing to do with this disaster. When that is done very worrying other questions come more strongly into play 

    15. chalks says:

      In my eyes the most important facts surrounding it, is that the US shot down an Iranian passenger plane before Lockerbie…..
       
      Fairly cut and dry when you read between the lines and delve into Iranian operations against the US….
       
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/iran-blamed-for-lockerbie-1569346.html
       
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/egyptian-is-the-prime-suspect-for-lockerbie-bombing-9006343.html
       
      The US were all over it and at the time Libya was public enemy no 1.  Thus they got the blame.
       
      Standard stuff, sad that we come to expect it of them.

    16. Doug Daniel says:

      Jingly Jangly – take your copy to the march and rally next year!
       
      Morag – definitely going to get this book. I suspect my dad will be very interested to read it as well.

    17. Morag says:

      Did anyone ever look into the job descriptions of the victims?
       
      The four passengers who had legitimate luggage loaded into that container in the Heathrow interline shed were:  Bernt Carlsson, UN envoy to Namibia, on his way to a conference in New York about Namibian independence or something like that; Charles McKee, US army major, commando, the sort of guy who goes over walls with a knife in his teeth, on his way back from trying to free the Beirut hostages; Matthew Gannon, CIA operative (I think) and associate of McKee’s (they were travelling together); and Michael Bernstein, employed by the US Department of Justice to hunt down ageing Nazi war criminals.

      Does that have any relevance to the bombing?  None that I know of.  They were all killed, of course, which is a tragedy, but these are only four tragedies out of 270.

    18. Xaracen says:

      The Kindle version is available right now, I just downloaded it. The Amazon page says the book isn’t released/published until the 28th of December?
       

    19. Morag says:

      Official publication date is tomorrow.  I don’t know where this 28th December riff has come from.  If you can get it, be my guest.  I haven’t got a copy of my own yet, as apparently the concept of getting stock from Cornwall (where the printer is) to Scotland is a bit of a challenge for the poor dears.  The publishers tell me they got their delivery on Wednesday and started to send out paper copies then.
       
      I hope the cover has come out less dark than it appears on a laser printer.  The printer apparently says it’s fine.

    20. proudscot says:

      Quite apart from the important point that vital evidence like which container actually held the bomb, and when and where was it actually loaded onto the plane, how about the later revelation that the Maltese “witness” who claimed to ID Megrahi as the customer who had purchased certain items in his shop, had been paid something like 2 million dollars by the CIA? If this fact had been produced later at a Scottish Appeal Court hearing into ANY other murder case, the conviction would have immediately been overturned as “unsafe”, and at the very least a retrial ordered. The Camp Zeist trial was a farce and a stain on Scottish Justice, and a full enquiry should be conducted into its flawed conduct and verdict.

    21. HandandShrimp says:

      Never been convinced by the Megrahi convinction. If Libya had undertaken the bombing then it would have had to come straight from Ghadaffi, yet the US and the UK were happy to strike deals with him a few years later.
       
      I was also struck by how much Talb looked like Megrahi back in the 80s. This is a tangled web and I am not sure if the truth will ever fully out, unless Snowden has something in his files.   
       
      If by some good fortune the truth is established and Megrahi is innocent will Johann apologise for apologising……and will we also have a porcine based RAF

    22. wee jamie says:

      The safety of his conviction has always been in doubt . I can definitely remember reading an article at the time of his trial, which stated the U.S government paid the main prosecution witness more than $1,000,000 for giving evidence, but can’t remember the source.Perhaps someone a bit more computer savvy than me can find the info. Apologies for not being able to provide a link, but surely this is not the way justice should be carried out .

    23. gillie says:

       
      Lockerbie was used to attack Libya
       
      9/11 was used to attack Iraq
       
      They do say things come in threes.
       
      Who is enemy No.1 for the Americans now?

    24. Beastie says:

      Haven’t read the article; don’t have time at the moment since I’m meant to be working.
       
      But suffice to say I do not have a long list of suspicions which make me believe Abdelbaset al Megrahi is innocent. I have one fact.

      Dr Jim Swire says he believes al Meghrahi is innocent. His word carries more weight on this subject than any other commentator I have heard, and if he believes in that mans innocence then I do.

      Al Megrahi was a victim of another crime; deliberate miscarriage of justice. Too many questions about that case which have either never been answered or have been answered wholly inadequately exist for his conviction to have been arrived at completely cleanly.

    25. velofello says:

      The book solves my wife’s Xmas present dilemma.I already have two pairs of slippers.Good timing Morag.

    26. Jeannie says:

      I was watching the STV programme on Lockerbie the other night and was horrified listening to the exeriences of those involved, especially the relatives, friends and neighbours of the victims and members of the emergency services.  It was absolutely heartrending.
       
      But what also occurred to me for the first time was that this was exactly the same experience that the Iranians must have had when the USS Vincennes shot the Iranian passenger plane out of the sky.  It must have been every bit as horrific for them.  The experience of the Iranian relatives and emergency workers must have been just as terrible as those at Lockerbie.  And must have been equally heartrending to watch. 
       
      When I understood the similarities in the experience of the two air disasters, I could see how there might be some validity in thinking that Lockerbie was a revenge attack for the Iranian plane – maybe “an eye for an eye”, in Iranian minds – wanting Americans to feel the same horror and pain the Iranians had felt?
       
      Don’t know why I didn’t see it before, but something about the STV programme on Tuesday night changed my understanding of both disasters and I could see more clearly how they might be linked.   Desperately sad for everybody involved in both of them.

    27. Morag says:

      It was a bit of a scramble to get the book out by today.  I only opened the word processor file and started typing on 30th March.  My immediate supervisor said was I finding work a bit taxing at my age.  I thought, well, when you’re going home and having a snack and then writing for 4 or 5 hours then getting up to go to work again in the morning, it is a bit tiring.
       
      Made it, though!

    28. Tony Little says:

      Thanks Morag.  Kindle addition purchased and downloaded.  I look forward to reading this in the next couple of days.
       
      My biggest regret about the SNP government (perhaps not the minority one) is that they did not proactively push for a full/formal judicial enquiry into this whole sorry affair, which I feel leaves a dark stain on the Scottish justice system.  It is one of the reasons why, when I return to Scotland, a future SNP is not guaranteed my vote in an Independent Scotland.  A chance to show ourselves in an honest light gone missing.

    29. Morag says:

      The experience of the Iranian relatives and emergency workers must have been just as terrible as those at Lockerbie.  And must have been equally heartrending to watch.
       
      That is actually quite weird.  A guy I work with was in the navy in 1998 as a junior rating, and he was right there when IR655 was shot down.  He said the Vincennes and her sister ship, after a failed attempt to blame the shooting on his own ship the HMS York, buggered off and left the crew of the York to spend the next two weeks fishing body parts out of the Persian Gulf.
       
      I’ve seen news footage of it.  It was absolutely horrific.  Legs and torsos floating in the warm ocean.  Calum said they were matching up legs by the shoes they were wearing.  He was only 20 at the time.
       
      It was an accident, but an accident caused by a gung-ho, trigger-happy captain.  And Reagan woudn’t even apologise properly.  They gave the captain of the Vincennes a medal for exceptionally meritorious conduct.  The families of the IR655 victims got a pittance compared to the fabulous sums all the families of the PA103 victims received.

    30. call me dave says:

      Hi Morag .  Your book just appeared on my kindle.  My other half smiled knowingly. I spoke to her about the article earlier this morning over  toast and tea. 
       
      I’ll start it tonight (when the soaps are on) 
       

    31. Morag says:

      the later revelation that the Maltese “witness” who claimed to ID Megrahi as the customer who had purchased certain items in his shop, had been paid something like 2 million dollars by the CIA? If this fact had been produced later at a Scottish Appeal Court hearing into ANY other murder case, the conviction would have immediately been overturned as “unsafe”, and at the very least a retrial ordered.
       
      The thing is, that identification evidence is a crock of nonsense in and of itself, never mind whether Tony Gauci and his avaricious brother were paid $3 million (which they were), or whether they got no more than their bus fare and a damp sandwich (which is what you usually get for being a witness in a Scottish court).

      I’m kind of uncomfortable about all the fuss about the bribe money, because in a way it allows the nay-sayers to declare, well it’s a pity the identification fell on a technicality (witness payment), because it really was him who did it of course.  It wasn’t, and the bribery is a secondary issue.

    32. chalks says:

      What did you want the Scottish Gov to do?
       
      Their hands were very much tied and as others have alluded to, the decision to release him wasn’t necessarily theres, yet they took the brunt of it, even holding themselves accountable for it…..then later on we hear about the UK gov putting pressure on them….deals in the desert etc etc….god only kno’s the pressure the US would have put on had the case been revisited….
       
      I’m all for revisiting it, but we revisit it as an independent country, not as a region of the UK who helped to convict Megrahi.

    33. Morag says:

      Police chief – Lockerbie evidence was faked
       
      http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/police-chief-lockerbie-evidence-was-faked-1-1403341
       
      That was discredited years ago, I’m afraid.  I don’t know what the guy was smoking.

    34. Morag says:

      What did you want the Scottish Gov to do?
       
      Personally, I would have settled for letting Megrahi go home, while at the same time protecting the appeal so that it could have continued in his absence.
       
      As it happens, the hole has got bigger since then.  The appeal would have been upheld on the basis that the identification evidence was unsafe.  Then Megrahi would have been declared not guilty, and the Crown would have wrung its hands and said, what a shame the Americans gave Gauci that money, it caused us to lose the appeal on a technicality.
       
      They could and would have continued to assert that the bomb was introduced at Malta airport that morning, if not by Megrahi then by some other Libyan, and things would have gone on more or less as now, with them still hunting in Libya for the “other” bombers.
       
      Now, though, we know for sure that the bomb definitely wasn’t introduced at Malta, and that their precious “timer fragment” wasn’t what they said it was.  That puts a whole different perspective on the case.

    35. Jeannie says:

      @Morag
       
      I know – I never really stopped to consider just how awful the experience of the Iranians must have been till I saw that programme on Lockerbie the other night.  The connection between the two events had just seemed like an abstract possibility.  But suddenly, I could see how if I were Iranian and had had such a terrible experience and it had gone not only largely unacknowledged but that the perpetrator had been rewarded for it, I might think of finding a more demonstrable way of expressing what I had suffered.  I might have thought that the only way to convey just how horrific my experience had been would be to inflict exactly the same experience on the countrymen of the perpetrators, so they would understand the terrible thing they had done.
       
      Obviously, I’m not saying I agree with this approach, but I can understand how someone might have been thinking like this.  I would say to anybody who hasn’t seen the Tuesday night programme on STV to try and watch it and maybe think of the Iranians going through the same thing.  And then consider again whether you think the two might be connected.

    36. Dcanmore says:

      Thank you Morag, brilliant work. I’ll put my order in too.
       
      Scotland needs to be rid of lies, deceit and corruption from its society and getting the British State off our shoulders will be the start. Lockerbie was a tragedy, the investigation and conviction was a tragedy too and a stain on Scotland brought upon us by outside influences. Once we achieve independence I want this case reopened, reinvestigated to its proper conclusion once and for all.

    37. Marcia says:

      I agree with Chalk lets have a proper investigation after September 2014. Morag deserves credit for all the hard work she has put into this book. well done lass.
       
      o/t sorry but –
       
      a new Centre Right group for Independence has been launched today. Another front against BT.
      http://www.wealthynation.org/

    38. chalks says:

      @Morag
       
      But if they were to do that, then who’s justice system looks bad?
       
      I think the Scottish Gov knew there was massive issues with the case, but the pressure that would have been put on them with a new case, would have been astronomical…better to release him on compassionate grounds, go along with the Westminster/Libya deal and take the fall out, but spin it so the electorate think the Scottish Gov made the decision….when in reality it was nothing of the sort.
       
      Knowing what we now know with Snowden, the US/UK are very much one and the same, there is no way Westminister would have allowed the Megrahi case to be re-heard, too many republicans in Washington are still around from that time….there is no money in it and too many reputations to be destroyed because of it.

    39. Morag says:

      Aw, I just realised Stuart linked to the Amazon page for the book, though I asked him not to.  I lose about £3 for every copy Amazon sell.  I’ll take the hit to sell copies, but if you’d prefer Amazon not to rake in all the cash, the publisher’s page is here.
       
      http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=2499
       
      This is the link I asked Stu to use.  Troubador are despatching now.  Amazon are not, at least not the paper books as far as I know.

    40. Morag says:

      But if they were to do that, then who’s justice system looks bad?
       
      Our justice system fouled this up.  The response over 20 years later shouldn’t be about looking bad or not looking bad, it should be about exposing the truth.  Instead it’s all about covering the backsides of the people who dug everyone into this, back in 1989-90.

    41. Fergie 35 says:

      Thanks Morag, a great article has persuaded me, I’m going to buy it on Kindle.

    42. Fergie 35 says:

      Just purchased a copy from Amazon (Kindle)

    43. chalks says:

      @Morag
       
      And what about the rest?
       
      I don’t believe they fouled it up, I believe the US was putting severe pressure on everyone involved to get the person they wanted to get.
       
      Until the people involved in Washington and Westminster are gone, nothing will be done about this…..unless we get independence.  Then our hands are free to open it up and dissect it properly without interference….or so the theory goes.
       

    44. dodecostanza says:

      Very intrigued, and now bought on Kindle 🙂

    45. Morag says:

      I don’t believe they fouled it up, I believe the US was putting severe pressure on everyone involved to get the person they wanted to get.
       
      Well, you’re entitled to your opinion, and there may be some truth in that, but if there is, it’s a truth that’s buried deeper than I have been able to uncover.

      The investigation went catastrophically off the rails in the early months of 1989.  They didn’t find the red herring they eventually pursued to Malta until late August that year.  Megrahi wasn’t linked to the affair until January 1991, nearly 18 months later.  In the invervening period they were still pursuing the line that the Palestinian gang had been paid to do it by Iran in revenge for IR655.  They were looking in the wrong place, but they were still looking for what might have been the right people.

      If there was any deliberate misdirection at the beginning, it was misdirection away from Heathrow and towards the feeder flight from Frankfurt.  Not to Malta and definitely not, at that stage, to Megrahi or Libya.

    46. chalks says:

      @Morag
       
      If they were to find that Megrahi was not guilty in a court of law, then where would the trail lead?
      Would the question of why were the Maltese bribed by the US State be answered?
       
      If it was me, then you just don’t have the trial if you don’t want these things to come out.

      Like I say, when the people involved are long gone, the truth will come out.

      But I’ll still buy the book

      : )

    47. john king says:

      If your theory can be proven it will blow the lid right off the British establishment and expose what a bunch of lying self serving people they really are,could we be looking a a best selling author? I really do hope so Morag.

    48. mogabee says:

      Thanks Morag, ordered from your preferred outlet!

    49. Les Wilson says:

      To be honest the whole thing stinks, the British Government Knows more than it is saying as, I am sure, does the FBI. I think they needed someone, they chose their victim and the rest is history, but history which might yet, need to be re written.

    50. Alba4Eva says:

      Just put in my order for the book at the Troubador website link Morag.
      Looking forward to reading it.
       
      Thanks.

    51. Morag says:

      If they were to find that Megrahi was not guilty in a court of law, then where would the trail lead?
      Not my department.  That one is way above my pay grade, as they say.

      Would the question of why were the Maltese bribed by the US State be answered?

      I think we know.  They were extremely keen to pin this on Gaddafi, and they knew the evidence needed a bit of firming up, to put it politely.  That doesn’t mean they were deliberately fitting up an innocent though.  Most of the miscarriages of justice throughout history have been caused by investigators who sincerely believed they knew who was responsible, and were frustrated because they didn’t have enough evidence for a conviction.  This one may be no different.

      If it was me, then you just don’t have the trial if you don’t want these things to come out.
       
      I don’t think they expected to have a trial.  I think they intended the whole thing as an exercise to put Gaddafi in his box and screw the lid shut.  But they screwed so tightly that life in Libya was intolerable, and eventually Megrahi and Fhimah agreed to stand trial to ge the punitive sanctions relaxed.
       
      The prosecution were woefully underprepared in 1999.  It’s possible, I think, they may actually have realised the forensic conclusions didn’t add up, but by the time they reslised it was far too late to back down.  Or maybe it was all just a game of chess to them, with the question of what really heppened not being something they really bothered their heads about.

    52. Peter says:

      It was the Libyans who persueded Megrahi to drop his appeal.  It could have continued under the copmassionate release scheme but not under the blairbrownstraw/Gadaffi stitch up.
       
      Put the blame where it belongs.

    53. Chic McGregor says:

      wd Morag
      One for the New Year reading list.
       
      Tony
      From MacKaskill’s statement on the release:
       
      “I realise that the abandonment of the appeal has caused concern to many.
       
      I have indicated that I am grateful to and proud of those who have served in whatever capacity in bringing this case to justice.
       
      I accept the conviction and sentence imposed. However, there remain concerns to some on the wider issues of the Lockerbie atrocity.
       
      This is a global issue, and international in its nature. The questions to be asked and answered are beyond the jurisdiction of Scots law and the restricted remit of the Scottish Government.
       
      If a further inquiry were felt to be appropriate then it should be initiated by those with the required power and authority.
       
      The Scottish Government would be happy to fully co-operate in such an inquiry.”
       
      IMO that was as far as any secretary of justice could go on the matter.  There is ambiguity, I suspect very deliberately, over whether the suggestion that a further inquiry perhaps should be undertaken refers to al-Megrahi’s appeal, i.e. the question of his innocence, or to the ‘wider issues’ since both are contextual.
       
      Please note that there was no requirement for mention of a further inquiry at all.
       
      Note also the use of the sentence “I accept the conviction and sentence imposed. ” as opposed to say, “I accept al-Megrahi’s guilt in this crime.”
       
      Note also the use of “restricted remit” rather than just “remit”.
       
      You saw the torrent of criticism which descended on the SG following the release.  Can we even begin to imagine what it would have been like if unambiguous, overt, questions over his guilt had been cited in that statement?  Even if they were accompanied by a disclaimer saying they did not factor in the decision to release him. 
       
      IMO he went as far as he could go on this.  Certainly, I suspect, much further than a Lab, Lib or, especially, Tory, Scottish justice secretary would have.

    54. Morag says:

      Peter, it’s not that simple.  al-Obeidi allegedly told Megrahi that Kenny MacAskill had indicated privately to him that it would be a lot easier for him to grant compassionate release if the appeal was out of the way.  Kenny MacAskill denies this.  So there it stands.

    55. Morag says:

      I’ve just been told something fairly seismic about this case, which isn’t in the airwaves yet.  Watch this space.

    56. Chic McGregor says:

      I would be very surprised and a little alarmed if al-Megrahi were not kept fully informed as to the effect his appeal had on the chances of release.
       
      The pertinent question is whether this would be done solely to advise him on the basis of his rights of all the factors involved in his release, legal and dilpomatic i.e. for his own benefit alone or whether there was some suggestion of self-interest on MacAskill’s part which motivated things.
       
      One can envisage that as Scottish justice secretary he may have felt that this could also serve to protect the reputation of the Scottish legal system, that would not surprise me, but that is a very long way from saying that that was a main motivation or even any motivation.  What I mean is, if the protection of the Scottish legal system were the only reason, that al-Megrahi’s cause for release were not also served by this, then I do not think he would have done so.
       
      As for the denial, I seem to remember MacAskill  in an interview saying the al-Megrahi was informed of the appeal factor, in the fiirst context above, but I have no links. 

    57. Arabs for Independence says:

      Just back from working in Malta and interesting article naming the Lockerbie bomber:
      http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131217/local/-Real-Lockerbie-bomber-also-had-Malta-connection.499320#.UrFCkXi9K0d

    58. Kev says:

      Will definately buy a copy. To me it makes absolutely no sense for the bomb to be loaded on a Malta flight and then onto another flight from Franfurt to its eventual target – why risk 3 potential sets of baggage checks when you can reduce it to 1 and almost guarantee that the bomb actually reaches its target?. Using this logic then the bomb being loaded at Heathrow becomes the only viable explanantion and if thats the case then Megrahi is an innocent man.

    59. Morag says:

      Chic, Bob Black covered all that in some detail on his blog at the time.  It might be worth a read.

    60. Chic McGregor says:

      P.S.
      Reading posts above, I remember now that in the interview with MacAskill where he acknowledged that al-Megrahi was informed about the effects of his appeal, he did mention his Libyan lawyers but I can’t remember if he indicated whether they spoke to al-Megrahi directly on the matter or whether he paricipated in an interlocutory or duty-bound manner. 

    61. Morag says:

      Just back from working in Malta and interesting article naming the Lockerbie bomber:
       
      The Talb connection.  I’d take that with a fairly large pinch of salt.  These guys seem to be following a lead that was well investigated and discounted years ago.  Even if he was involved, I think it very unlikely that the masterminds would have chosen Talb to put the bomb on the plane.  The job would have required posing as an airport baggage handler and carrying suitcases.  Talb had (probably still has) a very pronounced limp.

    62. Morag says:

      Kev, what you say is true, but it’s something people have been saying since the investigators first pushed the three-flight hop theory back in 1989.  And to be fair, there have been successful bombings where the bomb made one or more flight transfers.
       
      The reason the we know the bomb was loaded at Heathrow is that the suitcase containing the bomb was seen at Heathrow by a baggage handler, an hour before the feeder flight from Frankfurt landed.  The trial at Camp Zeist was bamboozled into handwaving that away on false premises.  Simple analysis of the complete set of evidence proves that case was the one that blew up.

    63. Morag says:

      If your theory can be proven it will blow the lid right off the British establishment and expose what a bunch of lying self serving people they really are, could we be looking a a best selling author? I really do hope so Morag.
       
      The theory is incontrovertible.  I have pictures!  Of course it will need to be confirmed by properly-qualified explosion investigators, but it’s hardly rocket science.  Like I said, it’s just a big jigsaw puzzle.  The baffling question is, how did so many people have such a blind spot about it for so many years?  I have talked to one of the defence researchers about this, and he still looks slightly pole-axed.

      I still remain open to the possibility that the whole thing was simply industrial-strength incompetence though.  Not so much lying as tunnel vision and utter bone-headed inability to consider the possibility that they might be wrong.
       
      Best-selling?  I doubt it.  It’s a niche interest.  It’s self-published, because (as I was firmly told by several Edinburgh publishers) it is physically impossible to get a book published through the normal trade processes in six months.  Troubador stepped in with their excellent service, and here we are.  If I get back what I’ve “invested” in publishing it, I’ll be happy.  Well, if it has the desired effect, of course.  (That’s why I’m anti-Amazon – they help themselves to so much of the cover price that what’s left doesn’t copver my costs.  On the other hand if they sell books that wouldn’t otherwise have been sold, who am I to complain?)
       
      I don’t know how many copies a book like this would usually be expected to sell.  We’ll see if the first print run goes, and take stock, I suppose.

    64. Kev says:

      Morag, I fully agree that the multiple flight option is possible and indeed has been done before, but its also very risky – as well as the baggage checks you are also banking on no flight delays (or very short delays) and also no errors with the baggage transfer at each airport – there are just too many unknowns. It seems far simpler to just send a bomb maker to London and then plant it at Heathrow – btw I have heard that there was a break-in at Heathrow secure luggage area the night before the flight and that this wasn’t even considered at the trial, is this true?

    65. tris says:

      Excellent work Morag.
       
      Will get the Kindle copy and pulicise on Munguin’s Republic.

    66. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Congratulations Morag on getting your book published.
      I’m looking forward to reading it.
       
      In my view Chalks has hit the nail on the head concerning Pan Am 103 in terms on events timeline.
       
      First off we had the USS Vincennes shooting down of Iran Air flight IR655.
      Second we had the bombing of a Frankfurt nightclub, frequented by US personnel. I believe this has always been thought to have been carried out in retaliation to the shooting down of IR655.
      Third we have the bombing of Pan Am 103.
       
      What I have always found to be an amazing stretch of the imagination is the media/government change of attack after Frankfurt. They seemed quite happy to blame Iran for the Frankfurt bombing but after Pan Am 103 they suddenly and inexplicably change direction 180 degrees and suddenly start blaming Libya for Pan Am 103, like no one is going to notice eh!
       
      I, for one, was never convinced by the “claim” that the bomb had been put on the Air Malta flight to Frankfurt. Any one who knows anything about air travel knows full well that to put a bomb on the Air Malta flight that was set to go off, via a timer, on a Pan Am flight many many hours later is just plain ridiculous.
      First, for this plan to work it assumes that the Air Malta flight leaves Malta on schedule and arrives in Frankfurt on time.
      Second it assumes that the “bomb” manages to be de-planed at Frankfurt and transferred onto the connecting flight to London. As everyone knows bags can go “missing” between transfers.
      Third the assumption is that the Frankfurt to London flight takes off on time and arrives on time in London.
      Fourth we revisit the de-planing of the “bomb” and transfer to the Pan Am 103 flight.
      Finally the last assumption is that the Pan Am flight takes off on time.
      If memory serves me correctly on the night of Pan Am 103 explosion this flight was delayed about one hour.
       
      For me these are far too many assumptions to make.
      Anyone who plans to carry out a bombing would surely want to reduce the chances of anything going wrong. It is for this reason that I find it highly questionable that the “bomb” was put aboard the Air Malta flight. There were far too many variables between placing the “bomb” on the Frankfurt flight and Pan Am 103 blowing up. Had Pan Am 103 been delayed another hour then it would have blown up on the ground at Heathrow, and don’t forget flight delays are nothing new nor are delays of two or more hours for technical problems etc.
       
      It is for these reasons that I have never believed in the guilt of Abdul Grasset al Megrahi. I have always felt that he was made out to be the patsy because the US and UK governments were looking for a reason, any reason, to attack Libya!

    67. Morag says:

      Kev, yes, that last you say is true.  It was considered at the first appeal, and the judges said, well, it was no part of the Crown case that heathrow was secure, in fact it was accepted that it leaked like a sieve, so knowing there had been an actual break-in would have made no difference to the verdict.  You have to go to the best law schools to think of that one.
       
      There was a good three to four hours between the Malta flight landing at Frankfurt and the Heathrow flight leaving, and once it was on the Heathrow flight it was all the same flight number and was unlikely to have been left behind.  If Malta had been a push-over and Heathrow (and Frankfurt) had been secure, it might have made some sort of sense.  In fact though, Malta was secure and Frankfurt and Heathrow were wide open to anything.
       
      The two main points against are these.  First, if an unaccompanied bag had been infiltrated at Malta, it would have shown retrospectively in the records.  Doing it would have been one thing, but doing it and leaving no trace that it had been done at all would have been something else.  Second, the alleged timer was set so early that if Maid of the Seas had been only 40 minutes late leaving Heathrow, the bomb would have exploded harmlessly on the tarmac, according to the way it was suppsed to have been done.  There was a 7-hour flight ahead.  If the plot had been as they proposed, the plane would have gone down around midnight GMT.

    68. Morag says:

      Arbroath, much of what you say is true.  However, declaring that the proposed plot is improbable and unlikely to succeed is no argument at all when faced with those in authority claiming that WAS what was done.  And indeed, sometimes ill-conceived plots have been put into motion, and sometimes they have succeeded.
       
      The proof that this wasn’t what happened is in the evidence, not the probabilities.  The improbability is more by way of being supplementary confirmation.
       
      However, the flight wasn’t late.  It left on time.  It left so on time that it stranded a passenger (with two checked-in suitcases) who was running for the departure gate even as they closed the doors.  They knew he was there, but they decided to take off with his suitcases and without him, rather than risk losing their slot.
       
      He must be the luckiest man in known space.  The police found him still at the airport trying to book another flight to New York.  And that says as much as anything about Pan Am’s security set-up.

    69. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Aw, I just realised Stuart linked to the Amazon page for the book, though I asked him not to.”

      The first link is the Troubador one. I put the Amazon one in as an alternative/backup, and because people like what they’re familiar with.

    70. Morag says:

      Well, two Amazon links are the obvious ones to me, I didn’t see the Troubador one till later.  I just prefer not to make it easy for the sharks.  The more Amazon sell, the more money I lose.  I can absorb it, but why encourage them?

    71. Arbroath 1320 says:

      My apologies Morag I thought the flight was late in leaving Heathrow, can’t think where I got that idea from :-(:
       
      I accept your point that the points I made are no argument when faced with a government determined to pursue a definite line of “assault.” I was trying to put forward my idea of a counter argument, not in any legal court sense, to the, in my view, mad hair brained, proposals coming out of the UK government at the time of Pan Am 103.

    72. Morag says:

      Arb, the entire bloody world seems to think that flight was late.  Jim Swire occasionally says it was late.  It just wasn’t.  Some myths are hard to shift though.

    73. Morag says:

      It’s a thought about Amazon.  The initial print run isn’t very big, and I figured that even if I didn’t sell a thing I could afford it.  It would be disappointing in a different way, that’s all.  If Amazon sell some books that wouldn’t have sold otherwise, then obviously that mitigates a loss if nothing else.
       
      However, if it sells well and I have to print more copies, I’ll have to think of something else.  I can’t stand the sort of loss that would be incurred by Amazon selling thousands of the bloody things!

    74. Dramfineday says:

      Dear Dr Kerr (or Morag to your Wings chums like me)  – I’ve just purchased a paper copy via Troubador – with the stated aim of one day getting you to sign it for me! It’ll also make an interesting read over the “festivities”. Well done you and all the best with the sales.

    75. Jeannie says:

      I was just thinking…..suppose they officially admit the case was put on the plane at Heathrow and therefore it couldn’t have been put on at Malta and therefore Megrahi didn’t do it…….would that spark a flurry of expensive civil lawsuits against the owners of Heathrow?

    76. Aucheorn says:

      Just downloaded the taster for Kindle,  very easy to read, I’m hooked already.  However in view of your comments I will curb my enthusiasm and wait for the Troubador book to arrive

    77. Arbroath 1320 says:

      That is certainly an interesting idea Jeannie.
      I wonder how Westminster will cope with the possibility of their beloved Heathrow being sued for millions if not billions of pounds in compensation!
      I think the threat of law suits right left and centre aimed at Heathrow might put the kibosh into any plans Westminster might have for future Heathrow expansion. 😆

    78. Morag says:

      I was just thinking…..suppose they officially admit the case was put on the plane at Heathrow and therefore it couldn’t have been put on at Malta and therefore Megrahi didn’t do it…….would that spark a flurry of expensive civil lawsuits against the owners of Heathrow?
       
      Not really, I don’t think.  There was an expensive civil lawsuit in 1992 against Pan Am for wilful misconduct in letting the bomb on the plane.  Pan Am lost, and paid up – or somebody paid up because I think they went bankrupt in the middle of it all.

      Pan Am were just as culpable as regards the Heathrow introduction.  They lost on the basis of an assumption that their Frankfurt operation had failed.  It hadn’t, it was their Heathrow operation that failed, but essentially, what the hell.  Justice was done, there, though under some rather false assumptions.

      Just to be clear, Pan Am handled its own security. The right guys were fingered in that department. Just – it wasn’t Kurt Maier to blame, it was Bedford, Kamboj and Parmar. Poor Maier, died a hopeless alcoholic after the entire blame was heaped on him in 1992.

      I don’t think BAA (or their successors) could be held to be liable in any way, now. You’d have to prove the company were in some way negligent in 1988, and that would be a hell of an ask. Even though the break-in happened, and they didn’t act on it at the time, it can’t at the moment be proved that had anything to do with the disaster.

    79. Morag says:

      Just downloaded the taster for Kindle,  very easy to read, I’m hooked already.  However in view of your comments I will curb my enthusiasm and wait for the Troubador book to arrive
       
      Thanks.  I tried.
       
      eBooks are cream.  Any sales offset any potential loss on paper copies.  Troubador and Amazon are charging the same for the eBook anyway, I think.
       
      Amazon are certainly a bit cheaper than Troubador for the paper books, especially when you take postage into account, but Troubador are dispatching now, and Amazon aren’t.

    80. Kev says:

      Cheers Morag, and I suppose if Heathrow was the weakest link security-wise then the perpetrators were well aware of this too and therefore chose it as their target. I find it incredible how the break-in wasn’t investigated at least as a separate incident -they could’ve found the bomber and possibly his accomplices…Anyway I wont pester you with anymore questions, I’ll wait and read the book!

    81. Juteman says:

      As I always get book tokens at xmas, that’s that sorted.

    82. Morag says:

      Yes, it’s kind of the same as this.
       
      http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/lockerbie-us-intelligence-maintained.html
       
      The trouble is, once you get into the double dealings of international terrorists and what they claim to different people, you’re in a wilderness of mirrors, as John Ashton says.

    83. Morag says:

      YES!  Here is what the little bird whispered to me this moring.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25465662

    84. Andy-B says:

      Nice article Morag.
       
      Read a few articles surrounding the Lockerbie bombing, in one, a claim is made that Gannon and McKee passengers on the plane, were heading back to the US to report, that they had uncovered arms being trafficked through Israel to Iran, better known as the Iran Contra Affair.
       
      The jist of the matter was that some CIA operations were and still are so covert, that certain sections of the CIA don’t even know about them, and of course, this maybe why Gannon and McKee, were killed to stop them informing on a very covert CIA operation.
       
      Other strange or coincindental, evidence were the detonator and the piece of garment found, and the recreation of the explosion by an expert on multiple occasions, of which nothing remained of the detonator on every single one of the multiple test explosions yet remarkably a piece survived falling from 30.000 ft.
       
      There are several other lets say irregularities, that I won’t go into on here.

    85. Jeannie says:

      Wow, Morag – timely for your book or what!

    86. Jamie Arriere says:

      Well done, Morag. Copy ordered via Troubador and looking forward to reading it. I trust you can now take a little break from your labour of love, and ready yourself for the big task next year.
       
      Like you I was on the road too that night, coming north from London having just caught the breaking headline as I left my flat. The running commentary through the bus and the detour via Dumfries and Kilmarnock is still etched in my mind. I hope your book is treated with the seriousness it deserves.

    87. The Flamster says:

      Downloaded it for my Kindle too – well done Morag 🙂

    88. dinnatouch says:

      I don’t know if I’m helping or hindering here Morag, but I bought the ebook from Google Play. Not only is it about £1.50 cheaper than the Amazon Kindle version, but they give you a PDF and an EPUB for the price. I haven’t bought a physical book in over three years since getting an ereader, ebooks are so much more convenient. Hopefully the retailers don’t shaft you too much on ebook sales.

    89. Andrew Morton says:

      Just ordered the hard copy from Troubador Morag. Looking forward to reading it!

    90. Juteman says:

      From your BBC link, Morag.
      “But Scottish and US investigators stand by the evidence presented at his trial and are pursuing other potential suspects.”
      They are Scottish investigators, not British. As much as I admire your work on this, I fear it will become a stick to beat the Scottish indy movement with.

    91. Brian Mark says:

      Well written piece, the late Paul Foot wrote some really interesting pieces on Lockerbie as well as Private Eye.

    92. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Interesting that you pick up on the detonator and clothing Andy.
       
      I think it is in the excellent al Jazeera documentary by George Thompson that he, in effect, shoots down in flames the claim about the detonator and piece of clothing. He also raises more questions than answers, in particular with relation to the “alleged” witness from Malta who made numerous “trips” to Scotland and was “briefed” before he gave any evidence. Further more I believe he only became a witness after al Megrahi’s photo had been plastered all over the local newspapers. Also why, when George was carrying out his investigation in Malta did the “alleged” witness refuse to be interviewed by George, what did he have to hide?
       
      If I remember correctly he found there was a break in the chain of custody, between Scottish police and German police, concerning the piece of electronic board “found”  under the collar of the shirt. He was able to trace the manufacturer of the electronics board who confirmed that they had not sold any electronic boards to Libya. Further more I believe he was able to prove that the signatures on the evidence “packages” were not carried out correctly. In other words the “receiving” officer signed before the officer finding the “evidence”.
       
      With regards to the shirt George was able to track down the manufacturer in Malta who confirmed that the shirt fragment was from a child’s shirt.
       
      Personally, I find it hard to believe that after an explosion such as that on Pan Am 103 any piece of electronics board will manage to find itself under the collar of a fragment of a shirt, men’s or child’s. Secondly, after the explosion is it really feasible for said piece of electronics to remain in situ under the collar as it falls from 30,000 feet, again I have my doubts.

    93. Andy-B says:

      @Arbroath 1320
       
      Thats right there are far to many unanswered questions surrounding the bombing.
       
      George Bush summed it up.
       
      If the people were ever to find out what we have done,we would be chased down the street and lynched, (Geroge Bush cited in 1992) in a Sarah McLendon newsletter.
       
      In response to being asked if the people, now know the truth about the Iran/Iraq Contra Affair, of which some people feel, that the blowing up of the Maid of the Seas, was indeed linked to in some way.

    94. Morag says:

      the recreation of the explosion by an expert on multiple occasions, of which nothing remained of the detonator on every single one of the multiple test explosions
       
      That’s not actually true.  There were plenty fragments every time a test explosion was done.  John Wyatt gave a false report about that on BBC2.  He wasn’t privy to the results and he seems to have been making stuff up to big up his own role in the investigation.

      I know what they say about McKee and Gannon, but there’s no evidence the plane was targeted to murder them. That’s what Lester Coleman thought, but Lester Coleman is a slippery customer by anybody’s standards.

    95. Morag says:

      Arbroath, the third documentary in the Aljazeera series is on Sunday evening at 8 o’clock I think.  It should have been last week but the producer took seriously ill.
       
      I don’t really subscribe to the “whodunnit” part of the story they’re telling, but I think you’ll like the part about the suitcase jigsaw.  I hope you like it, anyway!

    96. Andy-B says:

      @Morag
       
      Is that so Morag, it seems its extremely difficult to pin down the truth surrounding Lockerbie
       
      Tell me is there any truth in the matter that Peter Mandelson met with Colonel Gaddafi and Nathan Rothschild at Rothschilds Corfu mansion, to discuss the access to Libya’s oil by BP on the grounds that Megrahi would be released to serve his sentence in Libya, this was supposedly all carried out under Gordon Browns watch.

    97. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Thanks for the heads up Morag. :P:

    98. Morag says:

      The “timer fragment”  is a funny tale.  I really don’t know what it is, or whether it fell out of the sky or not.  It’s something that might be figured out if more evidence turns up, I suspect.  All we do know is that it appears it was not one of the 20 items supplied to Libya, because the metallurgy results aren’t right.
       
      There isn’t really a break in custody – it’s just old men misremembering what happened 20 years ago.  And if there had been, so what?  It’s the same object before and after the alleged break, the photos prove that.
       
      The clothes are strange too.  I’m not convinced anyone has proved actual fabrication there.  Selective, partisan interpretation, yes of course.  But it’s hard to see any other explanation than that someone bought some new clothes from Tony Gauci, probably on 23rd November, then packed them in the suitcase with the bomb.  The problem is we have no idea who that person was.
       
      So many excitable journalists have set hares running and chased after them, from Alan Francovich to Gideon Levy.  And now the Aljazeera thing.  So often the trails turn out to be fantasy-land.  But under it all, there is a botched investigation and a miscarriage of justice.

    99. Morag says:

      Tell me is there any truth in the matter that Peter Mandelson met with Colonel Gaddafi and Nathan Rothschild at Rothschilds Corfu mansion, to discuss the access to Libya’s oil by BP on the grounds that Megrahi would be released to serve his sentence in Libya, this was supposedly all carried out under Gordon Browns watch.
       
      Your guess is as good as mine.  My guess is, it’s plausible.

    100. Lindsey Smith says:

      The CIA culpability theory is put forward by several credible inside sources and is certainly one that holds water. The reason I heard was to stop an investigator revealing a CIA drug running operation, not to entrap dealers inUS, but as a nice little earner for operatives.

    101. Morag says:

      You can hear all sorts of things.  Some of them might even be true, but how to tell?

    102. call me dave says:

      Two questions on this topic at FMQ on Thursday. Christine Graham
      Q1 general Q2. New enquiry.
       
      FM stated the rules. See what you make of his answer. 21 mins  2nd Q
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/scotland/

    103. Stewart Watt says:

      Sounds a really interesting book Morag and look forward to reading it, from Troubador of course.
      Has anyone read the article written by Tam Dalyell I think in the Daily Mail?
      powerful piece with similar arguments  but I have been unable to find it on line

    104. Barontorc says:

      It sounds as if the SG is prepared for an appeal from the Lybian side. I certainly hope this will be the case and the truth will come out. I have an unhealthy cynicism for the Scottish Justice system because of the Camp Zeist charade and the very reasonable, yet unaswered questions surrounding it all  left hanging need to be put the fire test.
       
      Well done Morag – I have been watching your inquisitive fervor grow to match my own – but you have gone much further to produce this book as a record of complaint – consider it done that you’ve made another sale from your preferred source.
       
      Many thanks indeed for your efforts. 

    105. Morag says:

      I’m a wee bit concerned that this suggestion of an application to the SCCRC by the Megrahi family might be some sort of spoiler attempt to head off any moves JFM might make.  But I don’t really see how that would work.  Last time, once the application had been made (by Megrahi himself), the SCCRC was prepared to accept submissions from absolutely anyone.  If that were to happen, I have a complimentary copy set aside just for them.

    106. Morag says:

      By the way, did anyone see that 10 minutes of sheer fascination on Channel 4 at half past seven?  If not, go find their web site and watch it.

    107. Patrician says:

      Hi Morag
      Glad to see your book is out now, you seem to have been trailing it for what seems like ages now, I know it hasn’t been that long 😉  I look forward to reading it.  A question for you, as I am going to buy it in the digital edition, which one gives you the most money back? Amazon or Troubadour edition.  I don’t buy physical editions of books anymore, I carry my ebook reader with its library of 100s of books stored on a memory card everywhere with me.

    108. Morag says:

      Oh, can’t edit.  It’s here.
       
      http://www.channel4.com/news/lockerbie-bombing-libya-palestine-cia-murder-thatcher
       
      Someone else linked to the page before it was shown, and I misunderstood what it was going to be about.  It’s pointing to Jibril, and it really is serious stuff.

    109. Morag says:

      Patrician, sorry if I’ve been going on about it.  At one point I was working on it every night, taking the odd break to read Wings and maybe post.  So it was kind of on my mind.
       
      I have no idea how the eBook thing works – if the price is equivalent, and the format is compatible with your device, I’d go for Troubador.  Amazon always take a big cut of everything they sell – but then, since the eBook was almost an afterthought, anything that brings in from any source is a bonus.
       
      I don’t mean to whine, or to stop anyone using Amazon who wants to go that way, I was just a bit upset to see the direct link in the article.  I don’t like making it easy for them.

    110. Morag says:

      Actually, if people really are reading it, and make it to the end (actually, making it to the end of chapter 7 gives you the basis of the argument), it would be interesting to hear thoughts about it.
       
      I tried not to make it boring, but it had James Robertson practically reeling at the level of detail even as he was saying nice things about it.

    111. Alabaman says:

      Bloody well done Morag,
      I know you have had that festering in your determination to get what you know out to the 
      public domain, for some years now,and I have been waiting and watching out for you.
      Bugger the politics, it is time the pig-sty of international politics was cleaned out for all to 
      see, I wonder what Snowdon knows that makes the U.S. so nervous ?,

    112. Morag says:

      Honestly, I didn’t know for sure till February, when George gave me the full set of photos.  It was only then that I realised there was photographic evidence to prove which suitcase had been where.
       
      Before then, it was hypothesis.  The photographs proved I was right.  They also proved the forensic officers were dumber than I had ever imagined.

    113. Jock McDonnell says:

      I wonder what Mandela found in the files of SA Goverment. They had people taken off that flight allegedly.

    114. call me dave says:

      Herald a few minutes ago.
      Family to appeal.  Lockerbie.
      http://archive.is/w1Syc

    115. Morag says:

      The BBC were telling me that about eleven o’clock this morning.  Not sure what to make of it.  Developments awaited.

    116. Morag says:

      I wonder what Mandela found in the files of SA Goverment. They had people taken off that flight allegedly.
       
      That’s apparently not actually true.  It’s just that it was alleged at one time and that looney-tunes Patrick Haseldine has been promoting a conspiracy theory about it ever since.

    117. muttley79 says:

      Well done with the book Morag.  I saw Channel 4 News tonight: good report on Lockerbie.  What a contrast to the BBC Scotland story on it.  Is the book going to be sold in bookshops, or is it just available through the internet (apologies if I have missed that)?  Very good news if there is going to be an appeal and it actually happens.   

    118. Who benefited in blaming Libya and have no social conscience whatsoever?  
       
      The financial interest of the City and Wall street as was seen when Brown branded Iceland as terrorists for not caving in to the bankers.    
       
      Libya had no external debt and as such those outside financial interests could not access those lucrative assets for personal renumeration by bankrupting the country with overburdening debts.
       
      Why does Norway carry debts even though it could pay of those debts saving it the interest payments on those loans which might be looked at as protection money from disruptive covert operations by those overseas financial controlled governments.
       
      The Lockerbie Libya link was the prelude to the slow breakdown of cohesion within Libya to bring into our debt fueled established order of the wests creation which was achieved with the help of NATO.
       
      The trial was a stitch up right from the start between Westminster and the White House to suit their financial accomplices and I suspect the real culprit/s will never face justice.
       
      Let’s hope that at least that the Megrahi family get the justce that they fully deserve and that those willing participants in the cover up are named and shamed.

    119. Morag says:

      Muttley, the book is available through bookshops.  Any bookshop will of course order it for you.  Whether they decide to stock it for general display is up to them of course.  I hope some will do that.  (I have already twisted the arm of my good friend Derek at Linton Books, but I won’t be able to visit any others to apply personal pressure till after New Year.)
       
      A friend said he had gone into a big Edinburgh bookshop and asked for it.  The assistant looked it up on the system and said, not available just yet, but thanks for alerting us to that, we expect there will be some demand.  So, asking for it in Scottish bookshops is probably a good promotional exercise!  I encourage everyone to try it.

    120. X_Sticks says:

      Morag,
       
      Totally agree that Megrahi was not the Pan Am bomber.
       
      Peter Mandelson did meet with Saif Gaddafi:
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/aug/17/mandelson-gaddafi-lockerbie-corfu
       
      http://archive.is/vJkjD
       
      Mandelson was deeply involved in the whole affair.

    121. tony o'neill says:

      All members of the sccottish goverment concerned in this travesty of justice,should one and all,  hang their heads in shame for not only allowing an innocent man to be framed for mass murder.But worse still to actualy attempt to cover up for the crooked scottish police and prosecution services who put this man through what was nothing more than a kanggaroo court,i can honestly say ive never been more ashamed to be scottish,but what seems to be worse of all they seemed to be doing so to protect the british and american goverments.

    122. Craig says:

      The Scottish justice system is, like the BBC, an integral part of the British establishment.

      It protects British interests above anything else.

    123. john king says:

      Morag says
      “YES!  Here is what the little bird whispered to me this morning.”
       
      Crowd source fund anyone?

    124. john king says:

      “I don’t mean to whine, or to stop anyone using Amazon who wants to go that way, I was just a bit upset to see the direct link in the article.  I don’t like making it easy for them.”
       
      I wouldn’t buy a thing from Amazon,
      I’ll get my copy from troubador Morag.

    125. john king says:

      I wonder when the US  security services became aware of Qaddafi’s plan to sell oil using a gold backed dinar instead of the dollar?
      could that have had a bearing on the insistence of blaming Libya for Lockerbie?
      http://tinyurl.com/apmvyoe

    126. john king says:

      o/t 
      I smell a rat, 
      today’s headline in the Independent, 
      “Cameron has threatened to veto admission of new members entering the EU unless they accept tougher controls on migrants coming to the UK”
       the headline “Talking Turkey:”Cameron’s biggest EU  gamble yet”  the meaning is obvious.
      cowardly little shit cant even bring himself to say what he really means.

    127. Ruairidh says:

      This book is a definite purchase for me. I have always thought that there is more to the Namibian connection that Morag touched upon earlier than we have heard. Not only was Bernt Carlsson supposed to be on the plane but so was Pik Botha the South African Minister of Foreign affairs. At the time he was seen as a moderate in the apartheid regime who was handling a delicate balance of pushing for;

      1.) Namibian Independence and;
      2.) The eventual “safe” transfer of power in South Africa to majority rule.
      While appeasing the right-wing racist crackpots in the regime.

      As a result and as you can imagine there were a number of groups in South Africa who saw this as a treasonous position and who would have been more than happy to facilitate both his and Carlssons demise. The South African defence industry and defence establishment for example had incredibly shady and well established CIA links. They had no interest in seeing the end of conflict in Namibia and Angola and neither for that matter did the CIA.

      The Apartheid regime at the time was seen as the last bastion of capitalism on the continent and the CIA had actively supported them in covert operations against both African, Cuban and Russian targets. If the information about the Swiss timer is correct and that the CIA/FBI also had access to the same timers or similar reproductions then there is no doubt that given the material support they had provided the Apartheid regime with in the past that the South Africans had the capacity to do this.

      When you also explore the intelligence network they had operating out of South Africa House in London against Anti-Apartheid activists and members of the ANC in the UK then it is undoubtable that they could have facilitated the placing of that case in the luggage bin.

      The biggest red-flag in all of this for me though was the fact that both Botha and Carlsson mysteriously caught earlier flights. For what reason? It is very rare for politicians to be early or ahead of schedule for anything? Missing the flight I could understand but catching earlier flights? Somebody in high places new something and it stinks.

    128. Michelle MacQuarrie says:

      Well done Morag
      Hope it reaches a wide audience

    129. Tony Little says:

      Morag, there is an article on the Herald where someone raised the Heathrow end.  I posted this, but not sure it wiil get past moderation.  Good luck though.
       
      There are many books on the topic and a new one just published is worth a look as this explores exactly this issue. “Adequately explained by Stupidity?”

    130. steviecosmic says:

      Couple of things I remember about Lockerbie from way back:
       
      Tony Gaucci and his brother weren’t ‘bribed’, at least technically. The money they were paid was part of a CIA program that ran through the 80s and 90s called something like ‘Cash for Intelligence’ which apparently was widely used in that period to roll over all manner of useful witnesses. Gaucci was apparently paid $2M, despite having changed his story twice, and then his brother was a further $1M to keep Gaucci quiet as he had developed a habit of saying stuff in public that began to worry the good folks at Langley. All this was out in the open a long time ago, I think very shortly after the trial. I have difficulty in believing the notion that the sitting QCs didn’t know about it, and even more difficulty in believing that the press didn’t make a bigger deal out of this than they did.
       
      I remember a story from the time of the trial, maybe Daily Record, that two star witnesses, both FBI field agents who had evidence which would clear Megrahi, were subject to a US gagging order on the grounds of National Security. They were prevented from even appearing at the trial.
       
      Two thing that ought to have cast doubt on the conviction from the get go.
       
      Another snippet of trivia: John Lydon, he of Johhny Rotten / Sex Pistols fame was booked onto that flight. He missed the flight because he had a fight with his wife in his hotel room.

    131. heraldnomore says:

      Morag, I’d placed the order with the e-retailer we all love and hate before the link to the publisher came up.  But the rest will go into the spring crowd funder for Wings, promise.
       
      On bookshops, worth giving a call to the lovely girls at Biggar’s Atkinson-Pryce, who always hand pick a superb stock

    132. Alan Mackintosh says:

      @john King
      re; Gold Dinar. Dunno about the lockerbie side of it but certain it had something to do with the overthrow. The oil is holding the dollar up.

    133. Baz says:

      I think (as your book may point out) there were rather more than four passengers whose luggage was loaded into container AVE4041 even rather more than four Online passengers. (the suitcase of Security official Ron LaRiviere for example.)

      Was Major Charles McKee a commando who went over walls with a knife in his teeth or was he a communications specialist?   Was he really travelling together with Matthew Gannon?   They certainly travelled from Beirut to Cyprus by quite separate routes.   Did they even know each other?

      I am quite interested in the dash to get Gannon onto flight PA103.

      I was looking forward to getting a paper copy for Christmas but will Kindle it in the meantime.

      With best wishes Baz  

    134. MajorBloodnok says:

      Hello Morag – there’s a two column review of your book in the latest Private Eye (No. 1356).  Just thought you like to know!  Page 94 I think…

    135. Morag says:

      On bookshops, worth giving a call to the lovely girls at Biggar’s Atkinson-Pryce, who always hand pick a superb stock
       
      Certainly on the agenda, but I couldn’t really go there till there were books available.  Now, they aren’t going to want to know me before Christmas.  I’ll pop in around or just after New Year.

    136. Jeannie says:

      Hi Morag – heard you on the radio this morning.  Thought you did very well 🙂

    137. Victor says:

      I ordered two books – as you recommended from Troubadour. The e-book is already available on Amazon. (only for Kindly e-book readers).  I cannot find a link to order also the e-book from Troubadour. Please advice.

    138. Gavin Barrie (Jammach) says:

      Morag, just bought electronically via kobo.com – I have the HD screened Kobo Aura eBook reader that I would particularly recommend. Cheers.

    139. Alabaman says:

      Morag,
      Just heard that the u.k. & u.s.a. Governments are determined to find the full truth to who was 
      responsible, In other words both want to be around to keep the waters well and truly muddy,
      I  believe both governments are aware of the true facts,and that, just like the McCrone report,
      it has been kept under lock and key by both governments. 

    140. Morag says:

      I cannot find a link to order also the e-book from Troubadour. Please advice.
       
      There’s a “buy downloadable eBook” link right below the link to buy the printed book.  There is a choice of formats so you have to look at what’s available and choose the one that’s compatible with your reader.

    141. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Alabaman
      Exactly
      They’ll be getting together with some Libyans to make sure the truth doesn’t come out

    142. Dramfineday says:

      Hi Morag – book arrived, now all I have to do is trap you on some drafty street corner (like outside the Caesar!nach for instance) and get it signed. Looking forward to the read

    143. Morag says:

      🙂  Believe it or not, I just posted a signed copy to someone in Canada who wanted it as a gift for her SO, who has been following the case.  She’s a lawyer, so I guess she can afford it!

    144. Macandroid says:

      Of the 243 passengers that lost their lives 35 were Syracuse University students returning home from semesters abroad. A year after the disaster, lacrosse coach Roy Simmons Jr. privately raised funds and brought the Syracuse Orangemen to Scotland for a memorial visit.
      Rest of the story here:
      http://files.pitchero.com/counties/61/1387831419.pdf



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