"Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed"
September 5, 2009 1:53 PM   Subscribe

"Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed"

American officials, British officials, and Scottish officials know that Megrahi is innocent. They know that Iran financed the PFLP-GC, a Palestinian group, to carry out the bombing with the cooperation of Syria, in retaliation for the American naval ship, the Vincennes, shooting down an Iranian passenger plane in July of the same year, which took the lives of more people than did the 103 bombing. And it should be pointed out that the Vincennes captain, plus the officer in command of air warfare, and the crew were all awarded medals or ribbons afterward. No one in the US government or media found this objectionable or outrageous, or disgusting or repulsive. The United States has always insisted that the shooting down of the Iranian plane was an "accident". Why then give awards to those responsible? - William Blum (via)
posted by Joe Beese (37 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This may or may not be true, but the linked article source seems less than credible, complete with plenty of "scare quotes".
posted by rocket88 at 2:07 PM on September 5, 2009


so. you think it was written by a republican?
posted by kitchenrat at 2:10 PM on September 5, 2009


Too sarcastic and conspiratorial; didn't read (past 3 or 4 paragraphs).
posted by msalt at 2:13 PM on September 5, 2009


objectionable, outrageous, disgusting or repulsive really have no meaning to the gullible, the ignorant or the religously insane.
posted by kitchenrat at 2:13 PM on September 5, 2009


To be honest, even if he did do it doesn't mean he wasn't framed. As it is, I don't share Obama's 'outrage' or Brown's 'repulsion' at this rather sick guy being let out of jail to die in his home country.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:16 PM on September 5, 2009


> the linked article source seems less than credible, complete with plenty of "scare quotes".

the source being anti-war.com, the article is of course tendentious as all hell... but the info is quite interesting.

it never really seemed like a Libyan hit; Qaddafi was, by that time, already starting to mellow out, kick back, and enjoy life with his endless print runs of the Green Book, safe within the comfort provided by his crack all-female bodyguard squad.

> a reprisal for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by a US warship in Iranian territorial waters. Among the 290 dead were 66 children. In 1990, the ship’s captain was awarded the Legion of Merit by Bush Sr. "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer."

And this was an excellent reminder of... well, lots of things, actually.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:19 PM on September 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think John Pilger is exactly right; he gathers up all the right pieces of evidence, and is right to be disgusted and outraged - because what happened and why was outrageous - but the writing is a bit, hm, ... intense? The facts presented a bit more dispassionately would persuade on their own.
posted by Auden at 2:20 PM on September 5, 2009


Yup, this is pretty much believable.

The only point that Pilger doesn't make is why Libya was in the frame: Anglo/Libyan relationships were utterly in the shitter during the 1980s, in the wake of the shooting of WPC Fletcher and the subsequent siege of the Libyan Embassy -- Thatcher and co. saw the need for an alternative explanation for Lockerbie as a golden excuse to take another pot-shot at Ghadaffi's regime.
posted by cstross at 2:20 PM on September 5, 2009


rocket88, would The New Statesman be a more credible source?
posted by Dysk at 2:21 PM on September 5, 2009


PS: If you want another pointer to Megrahi's innocence, consider: he was charged with part of being a conspiracy, but his co-accused Lamin Khalifah Fhimah was explicitly found not guilty.

Something stinks here. And it will continue to stink no matter what else happens.

PPS: there's also the (failed) MI6 plot to assassinate Gaddafi, if you want to chase conspiracies.
posted by cstross at 2:26 PM on September 5, 2009


"Like lazy and overfed fish," wrote Foot, "the British media METAFILTER COMMENTATORS jumped to the bait. In almost unanimous chorus, they engaged in furious vilification and op-ed warmongering against Libya."
posted by Rumple at 3:04 PM on September 5, 2009


Credible argument , dreadful article - a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day. For a better presentation, try the passionate but rigorous presentation of the late Paul Foot - summarized here or available for a small fee from Private Eye ...or a via certain Swedish website if you are broke.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:09 PM on September 5, 2009


Having grown up a few miles from the town, and had a parent working with the victim support group that was set up after the crash, none of this is new to me. It's been a constant source of depression that justice wasn't served, whether Megrahi is guilty or not. The fact that every single police notebook pertaining to the investigation was lost before the trial was a fairly big reason trying Megrahi in front of a jury wasn't going to work. Also, the amount of money the FBI paid to the shopkeeper who identified Megrahi points to inadmissable evidence.

I don't believe Megrahi was guilty, but that doesn't matter: the minute you hold a court case with that much inadmissable evidence, lost evidence and no questions asked as to what happened there, and some of the involvement of the FBI that was untoward, you can't call it justice.

It's something that as I say, has depressed me for years. All the families of British victims we've heard talking since the release have talked of how maybe now we can move onto an enquiry and see what really happened. All the American families have talked about how this is a travesty, and he should rot in there and it'll be a sign of weakness to Libya... I'm amazed by the black and white view of good and evil again. There's no question that the case was fair, that justice was meted out, 'cause that's how the world works... Apparently. But then there're no shortage of events in the world that get enough coverage making me wonder why no one is doing something about the injustice.

I'll go back to sighing quietly in a corner then...
posted by opsin at 3:52 PM on September 5, 2009 [16 favorites]


Or what anigbrowl said. I tend to get ranty when the subject comes up.
posted by opsin at 3:54 PM on September 5, 2009


Pilger's tone could just be the result of exasperation? This is not the first time he has attacked this subject. His other blogs are also detailed -- and "intense".

I still look to his 2000 documentary, Hidden Wars of Desert Storm as one of the most prescient investigative journalism pieces ever.

Perhaps liberals need to take a page from the far right wackos - not all important messages will arrive in a politically correct palatable "tone". And -- btw -- Michael Moore was right.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:59 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


The problem with criminal justice is that it's Goals Gone Wild only with bullets and shit. There is this amazingly huge population that says, "Everyone wants murderers off the streets, so if someone has to, you know, put in some "extra effort" to make sure they're found guilty what's the harm?" but can't see the harm is having an increasing number of murderers on the street and innocent people in prison.

Assuming he's guilty, I can't help but wonder if the people who are getting worked up about where he dies of terminal cancer aren't equally vicious but just less motivated.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:20 PM on September 5, 2009


I read Bloom's Rogue State on Osama Bin Laden's recommendation and I found it very enlightening. The sections of it that I checked out at random seemed to more or less pan out and the result was a very different picture of the world than the one I had had before - and I wasn't ignorant about the bad parts of US history.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:38 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


2008 piece from the Independent.

It's remarkable how not-conspiracy-theory this is, actually. And totally embarassing that the media has dropped the subject entirely in this latest bout of Lockerbie coverage.
posted by mek at 5:39 PM on September 5, 2009 [3 favorites]



Too sarcastic and conspiratorial; didn't read (past 3 or 4 paragraphs).

Yes, it is rather long
posted by mattoxic at 6:11 PM on September 5, 2009


This may or may not be true, but the linked article source seems less than credible, complete with plenty of "scare quotes".

John Pilger is assuming his reader has a basic understanding of and interest in the Lockerbie/Megrahi case. After 20 years of writing about it, he doesn't see the need to make nice about some pretty ugly truths.
posted by grounded at 8:00 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here is Paul Foot's work from Private Eye from 2001
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:25 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


OK, I read the Wikipedia article on Megrahi, and I'm convinced that the case stinks. But the article is still obnoxious - "tendentious" was a great description, Darth. How long will it take leftists (in the US, UK, wherever) to realize that sarcastic superiority is not a great way to convince people you're right? Especially if you are.
posted by msalt at 9:36 PM on September 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed"

Would it really matter if it is true? Facts do not sway the Birther crowd. Establishing the truth at this point is a lost cause.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:36 PM on September 5, 2009


typical conspiracy theory
posted by web-digger at 10:38 PM on September 5, 2009


typical conspiracy theory

Oh yeah, god forbid the US and UK would deliberately commit a gross injustice, you know.
posted by vivelame at 12:39 AM on September 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Related: Just World Theory.
posted by vivelame at 12:42 AM on September 6, 2009


Thank you East Manitoba etc. that was the link I was looking for. Abbreviated in 2004 to one page Guardian article.
posted by adamvasco at 1:17 AM on September 6, 2009


Apologies. On preview anigbrowl was there before me.
posted by adamvasco at 1:24 AM on September 6, 2009


I was clicking down the rabbit hole that is Wikipedia and came across this article, which states that Libya was also the first country to put out an Interpol arrest warrant on bin Laden in 1998.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 2:22 AM on September 6, 2009


I'm amazed how often the American intelligence agencies do their dirty work in public and get away with it. Remember WMDs? You don't have to be a conspiracy nut to smell the fish.
posted by run"monty at 3:21 AM on September 6, 2009


If a war with Iran was still on the cards I wonder if the Iran-did-it theory would be getting more play in the media.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 4:33 AM on September 6, 2009


typical conspiracy theory

Typical worthless comment
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:44 AM on September 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Let's say Megrahi is innocent. Presumably that means that Ghadaffi knew he was innocent when he handed him over for trial. So, did he just ask the guy to take a dive for the sake of his country and spend the rest of his life in jail for something he didn't do? If he did then it's no wonder he got a hero's welcome. The whole proposition of Ghadaffi handing over a couple of intelligence agents as if they were the sole guilty parties seems odd to me too. Surely they wouldn't have acted without authorization from higher up? Or was it Ghadaffi's contention that they were a couple of bad egg "rogue agents" acting on their own initiative? If not then it would seem that the ultimate guilty party (Ghadaffi) got off scot free.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2009


typical conspiracy theory

Typical worthless comment


Pilger spends so much time defending himself from people calling conspiracy theory on him that his fact checking is solid. He calls it correctly, credibility's his thing.

typical read...

scan scan scan

Oh, anti US stance, STOP READING


[types].... typical conspiracy theory / Too sarcastic and conspiratorial; didn't read (past 3 or 4 paragraphs).
posted by mattoxic at 5:34 AM on September 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's been a constant source of depression that justice wasn't served, whether Megrahi is guilty or not.

It's been an all-new source of surprise to me, as an expat in the US, that Foot's work, at very least, had no real exposure in the US. Instead, the official narrative was apparently accepted across the mass media, by politicians of all parties, and by the families of most American victims. The Anglo-American divide on Megrahi's release showed two sets of people working off two very different sets of basic assumptions. But Private Eye doesn't publish online, isn't available on American newsstands, and doesn't have an American equivalent.
posted by holgate at 7:34 PM on September 7, 2009


typical conspiracy theory

Typical worthless comment


It seems Megrahi is the new Mumia.
posted by iviken at 5:46 AM on September 8, 2009


Libya's 30-year link to the IRA
posted by homunculus at 8:45 AM on September 8, 2009


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