Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No free pass for Lockerbie bomber

Tonight, we are learning that the Scottish government may be considering early parole for the only person ever convicted in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. The worst mass murder in British history, Pan Am 103 was destroyed by agents acting for the Libyan government. Many are still convinced that there was a broader conspiracy and in the attempt to make nice with Colonel Khaddafi -- or his attempt to make nice with the West, depending on how you look at it -- those truly responsible got away.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has prostate cancer and in terminal condition, but the understanding between the States (who lost most of the victims) and the UK (where the crime took place) was that the sentence would be served in Britain. It had been a compromise, since most of the families were demanding the death penalty and of course the EU states don't.

This news about early parole really is a slap in the face, and pretty much ensures we may never know the truth about what happened all those years ago. Holding up a possible transfer is that Megrahi is taking a last ditch attempt at a second appeal, but it's hard seeing it holding water.
To defeat some of the worst enemies, we sometimes have to co-opt other countries or entities that we would normally consider an enemy of our own. But giving Megrahi a free pass, even on compassionate grounds, is not the way to do that.

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1 comment:

Claudia said...

Hi Blast Furnace,

I work for World Have Your Say, a global radio discussion programme on the bbc. I have just linked to your blog and we might be talking about the Lockerbie debate on our show later today. If we do, it would be great to have you on. Please email me at and I'll call you.