On Libya, Now They Tell Us


On Libya, Now They Tell Us

 

The U.S. capture of an alleged al-Qaeda terror leader in Libya underscores the failure of the major news media to give the public the full story during the military intervention that led to Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster and murder. Mainstream journalists behaved more like propagandists, as Robert Parry reported in 2011.

By Robert Parry (Published on Sept. 15, 2011)

During the six-month uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, major U.S. news outlets repeated again and again that the Libyan dictator was behind the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and they ignored warnings that militant Islamists were at the core of the anti-Gaddafi rebel army.

Indeed, for Americans to get alternative views on these points, they had to search out Web sites, like Consortiumnews.com, which had the audacity not to march in lockstep with the rest of the Western media. Only outside the mainstream press would you find significant questions asked about the certainty over Libya’s guilt in the Pan Am bombing and about the makeup of the rebels.

Libyan Ali al-Megrahi, whose conviction as the “Lockerbie bomber” remains a point of historical dispute.

Now, after the United States and its NATO allies have engineered the desired “regime change” in Libya – under the pretext of “protecting civilians” – those two points are coming more into focus. The New York Times and the Washington Post finally acknowledged that radical Islamists, including some with links to al-Qaeda, are consolidating their power inside the new regime in Tripoli.

And, the proverbial dog not barking – even as Libya’s secret intelligence files have been exposed to the eyes of Western journalists – is the absence of any incriminating evidence regarding Libya’s role in the Lockerbie case. Earlier interrogations of Libya’s ex-intelligence chief Moussa Koussa by Scottish authorities also apparently came up empty, as he was allowed to leave London for Qatar.

Since Gaddafi’s fall, news outlets also have reported that Libyan intelligence agent, Ali al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing by a Scottish court and was later released on humanitarian grounds because of terminal prostate cancer, is indeed gravely ill, bedridden and seemingly near death. [He died May 20, 2012.]

Megrahi’s trial in 2001 before a panel of Scottish judges was more a kangaroo court than any serious effort to determine guilt – even a Scottish appeals court expressed concern about a grave miscarriage of justice – but the Western press continues to describe Megrahi, without qualification, as the “Lockerbie bomber.”

It also was common in the West’s news media to smirk at the notion that Megrahi was truly suffering from advanced prostate cancer since he hadn’t died as quickly as some doctors thought he might. After Gaddafi’s regime fell, Megrahi’s family invited BBC and other news organizations to see Megrahi struggling to breathe in his sick bed.

His son, Khaled al-Megrahi, also continued to insist on his father’s innocence. “He believes and we know that everybody will see the truth,” the younger Megrahi told the BBC. “I know my father is innocent and one day his innocence will come out.”

Asked about the people who died in the bombing, the son said: “We feel sorry about all the people who died. We want to know who did this bad thing. We want to know the truth as well.”

Convicted or Railroaded?

As more information becomes available inside Libya, the facts may finally be clarified about whether Gaddafi’s government did or did not have a hand in the bombing over Lockerbie. However, so far, the indications are that Megrahi may well have been railroaded by the Scottish judges who found a second Libyan defendant innocent and were under political pressure to convict someone for the crime.

After Megrahi’s curious conviction, the West imposed harsh economic sanctions on Libya, agreeing to lift them only if Libya accepted “responsibility” for the bombing and paid restitution to the families of the 270 victims. To get rid of the punishing sanctions, Libya accepted the deal although its officials continued to insist that Libya had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing.

However, amid the 2011 propaganda campaign in support of the Libyan rebels, none of this uncertainty was mentioned in the New York Times, the Washington Post or other leading U.S. news outlets. Gaddafi’s guilt for Lockerbie was simply stated as flat fact, much as the same news organizations endorsed false claims about Iraq’s WMD in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of that Arab country.

Similarly, there was scant U.S. media attention given to evidence that eastern Libya, the heart of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion, was a hotbed for Islamic militancy with that region supplying the most per-capita militants fighting U.S. troops in Iraq, often under the banner of al-Qaeda.

Instead, Gaddafi’s claims that he was battling Islamic terrorists in the Benghazi region were widely mocked or ignored in the West. Even a report by analysts Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman for West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center got short-shrift.

In their report, “Al-Qaeda’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” Felter and Fishman analyzed al-Qaeda documents captured in 2007 showing personnel records of militants who flocked to Iraq for the war. The documents showed eastern Libya providing a surprising number of suicide bombers who traveled to Iraq to kill American troops.

Felter and Fishman wrote that these so-called Sinjar Records disclosed that while Saudis comprised the largest number of foreign fighters in Iraq, Libyans represented the largest per-capita contingent by far. Those Libyans came overwhelmingly from towns and cities in the east.

“The vast majority of Libyan fighters that included their hometown in the Sinjar Records resided in the country’s Northeast, particularly the coastal cities of Darnah 60.2% (53) and Benghazi 23.9% (21),” Felter and Fishman wrote.

The authors added that Abu Layth al‐Libi, Emir of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), “reinforced Benghazi and Darnah’s importance to Libyan jihadis in his announcement that LIFG had joined al‐Qa’ida.”

Top Libyan Terrorists

Some important al-Qaeda leaders operating in Pakistan’s tribal regions also are believed to have come from Libya. For instance, “Atiyah,” who was guiding the anti-U.S. war strategy in Iraq, was identified as a Libyan named Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.

It was Atiyah who urged a strategy of creating a quagmire for U.S. forces in Iraq, buying time for al-Qaeda headquarters to rebuild its strength in Pakistan. “Prolonging the war [in Iraq] is in our interest,” Atiyah said in a letter that upbraided Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi for his hasty and reckless actions in Iraq.

After U.S. Special Forces killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in Pakistan, Atiyah became al-Qaeda’s second in command until he himself was reportedly killed in a U.S. drone strike in August. [See Consortiumnews.com “Time Finally Ran Out for Atiyah.”] ***(Unfortunately Bin Laden had died of natural causes in 2002 or 2005 this has been proven, what they killed in May 1st 2011 is an unfortunate person who was not Bin Laden. Do a research and find out what happened to the CREW and SPECIAL FORCES who were involved in this escapade, If I am not mistaken they are all dead) 

However, to most Americans relying on the major U.S. news media, little of this was known, as the Washington Post itself acknowledged in an article on Sept. 12, 2011. In an article on the rise of Islamists inside the new power structure in Libya, the Post wrote:

“Although it went largely unnoticed during the uprising that toppled Gaddafi last month, Islamists were at the heart of the fight, many as rebel commanders. Now some are clashing with secularists within the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting worries among some liberals that the Islamists — who still command the bulk of fighters and weapons — could use their strength to assert an even more dominant role.”

On Sept. 15, 2011, the New York Times published a similar article, entitled “Islamists’ Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya.” It began:

“In the emerging post-Qaddafi Libya, the most influential politician may well be Ali Sallabi, who has no formal title but commands broad respect as an Islamic scholar and populist orator who was instrumental in leading the mass uprising. The most powerful military leader is now Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the former leader of a hard-line group once believed to be aligned with Al Qaeda.”

Belhaj was previously the commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was associated with al-Qaeda in the past, maintained training bases in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks, and was listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

Though Belhaj and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group deny current allegiance to al-Qaeda, Belhaj was captured during George W. Bush’s post-9/11 “war on terror” and was harshly interrogated by the CIA at a “black site” prison in Thailand before being handed over to Gaddafi’s government which imprisoned and – Belhaj claims – tortured him. ****(he was not tortured stayed in prison only a year and then was on a house arrest) 

The Times reported that “Belhaj has become so much an insider lately that he is seeking to unseat Mahmoud Jibril, the American-trained economist who is the nominal prime minister of the interim government, after Mr. Jibril obliquely criticized the Islamists.”

The Times article by correspondents Rod Nordland and David D. Kirkpatrick also cited other recent developments of growing Islamist influence inside the Libyan rebel movement:

“Islamist militias in Libya receive weapons and financing directly from foreign benefactors like Qatar; a Muslim Brotherhood figure, Abel al-Rajazk Abu Hajar, leads the Tripoli Municipal Governing Council, where Islamists are reportedly in the majority; in eastern Libya, there has been no resolution of the assassination in July of the leader of the rebel military, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes, suspected by some to be the work of Islamists.”

It may be commendable that the Post and Times finally gave serious attention to this unintended consequence of the NATO-backed “regime change” in Libya, but the fact that these premier American newspapers ignored the Islamist issue as well as doubts about Libya’s Lockerbie guilt – while the U.S. government was whipping up public support for another war in the Muslim world – raises questions about whether any lessons were learned from Iraq.

Do these prestige news outlets continue to see their role in such cases as simply getting the American people to line up behind the latest war against a Mideast “bad guy” – or will they ever take seriously their journalistic duty to arm the public with as much information as possible?

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TARGET LIBYA Behind the politics and dirty tricks that demonised Libya’s Colonel Qaddafi


TARGET LIBYA

Behind the politics and dirty tricks that demonised Libya’s Colonel Qaddafi

By David Guyatt

“It’s an easy hit.” The voice of Lester Coleman, former Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) operative and joint author of the explosive book Trail of the Octopus, echoed hollowly down the line. Lester answered my question in four simple words. I had asked him why the US continues blaming Libya’s Qadaffi for all the woes in the world. Since his enforced “exile,” Lester has become something of an expert on Libya.

“Listen David,” he continued, “It’s all domestic politics.” Libyan skulduggery plays to the “Red-necks” who inhabit middle America. Lester, an accomplished linguist launched into a humorous back-woods drawl to emphasise his point. Most Americans believe anything they’re told about “Ay-rabs” he said, particularly at politically sensitive times or during an election year. One reason, perhaps, why the US had threatened to use a nuclear weapon against Libya in spring of 1996.

Conservative Sir Teddy Taylor in British parliament

I was told this latter piece of gossip by Sir Teddy Taylor, Conservative Member of Parliament. Sir Teddy had consented to an interview to provide background on the assassination of WPC Yvonne Fletcher and also on the downing of Pan Am flight 103, over Lockerbie. The MP had a special interest in both cases. Somehow, I had missed picking up the US nuclear threat on the news. When Sir Teddy mentioned it, my jaw dropped with a jowl-shuddering “clunk.” I later confirmed the story from American media sources. In the event it was just bluster. 1996 has proved a peculiarly good year for Libya. For the second time in a decade, it got shunted into the political back woods by Presidential warlords. Instead the mad Ayatollah’s of Iran took centre-stage as America’s arch-demon in this election year. But by all accounts it was touch and go whether Libya or Iran would be awarded the honour of the black boot this time around.

Les Coleman is the first DIA operative to have gone public and blown the whistle. His book blew the lid on the Lockerbie story. Because of his inside knowledge, he was inundated with death threats from the intelligence community and fled with his family to Europe for safety. Originally given temporary political asylum in Sweden, two years later he was forced to move on. Most recently he was residing in Spain.

When I spoke to him, he was planning his return to the US after years of exile. Now penniless and unsettled, we spoke about his chances of arrest on an old charge of obtaining a passport in a false name – something he did under DIA instruction as a field operative. In any case, Les hoped the forthcoming Presidential election might insulate him from prosecution, but was going to return “home” no matter what. His family had, understandably, grown tired of their nomadic life and missed “home”.

Unsurprisingly, word of his return to the USA had leaked out. A short while before finalising his flight plans he was attacked by four men and beaten to a pulp. He arrived in the US in a wheelchair on 17 October 1996, arrested and placed in custody on Federal charges. His book, due to be published in the US has been now been suppressed. US distributors for Signet Books, say the publication date is “indefinitely postponed.”

Les was one of many people I spoke to in an attempt to get a clear understanding of the nonsensical US position on Libya. For the better part of twenty years Libya and its leader Muammar Qaddafi has been hoisted atop America’s most hated nation list. It was a form of political vilification that Europe didn’t share, until the murder of Yvonne Fletcher, to which I shall return.

Upon taking power, the Reagan administration immediately commenced a bitter campaign against Qaddafi, principally under the guidance of Director of Central Intelligence, Bill Casey – a gruff, no nonsense financial street-fighter who’s lack of political eloquence was matched by a well used black-jack. Casey had been Ronald Reagan’s Campaign Manager and carried Reagan to victory on the back of the “October Surprise” issue of 1980. President Carter’s re-election chances were dashed by the intransigence of both the Iranians and US officials who – unknown to him – had concluded a secret deal to delay the release of US hostages, held by Tehran, in exchange for battlefield weapons. Reagan romped home to a landslide victory and immediately announced that the hostages would be released. It is now clear that Casey was one of the central architects who negotiated the deal with the Iranian Ayatollahs.

A virulent pro-market, anti-Communist, Casey shared his views with British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher – a close personal friend. Thatcher was one of the few Prime Ministers who took an active interest in the machinations of the intelligence community. She went out of her way to attend Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) meetings and insisted on being regularly briefed. Her interest in these exotic areas may have been whetted by many of her ardent supporters, like Airey Neave, who possessed intelligence backgrounds.

Casey also had a “thing” about Qaddafi, who he saw as a lowlife rebel-rouser who bankrolled the globe’s terrorists. Along with other administration hard-liner’s, Casey set out to destabilise Libya and over-throw Qaddafi in true CIA fashion.

Within months of taking office, President Reagan authorised a battle fleet to sail along Libya’s coastline. Announced to the media as a “naval exercise,” the manoeuvre was designed to challenge Libya’s recently announced sovereignty over the Gulf of Sidra - a move that extended Libya’s territorial claims well beyond the internationally recognised twelve mile coastal boundary.

Ordinarily, a territorial dispute of this nature would typically be subject to international diplomacy and discussion. In the event the Reagan administration saw it as a perfect excuse to buckle on the hip-holsters and start blasting away with a set of Texan six-guns. Qadhafi was about to get a taste Reagan’s gung-ho, go-get-‘em diplomacy – the first in a series of “police actions” that were later to lead to the invasion of Granada and Panama.

On August 19, 1981, two US Navy F-14 “Tomcats” patrolling thirty miles inside the disputed territorial waters were attacked by Libyan jets. In the melee that followed two Libyan jets were shot down. A delighted Ronald Reagan mimicked his old western movie days – for the benefit of his close aides – by drawing two imaginary six-guns and peppering an equally imaginary Qaddafi with numerous bullets. It was pure “boy’s own” stuff but backed by multi-megaton muscles.

Over the following months, numerous intelligence briefings reported that Qaddafi had ordered a revenge attack against President Reagan and other high administration officials. Quickly shown to be unfounded, the fabricated report was traced to Manucher Ghorbanifar – a shadowy Iranian arms dealer who had helped to broker the arms for hostages deal. Despite this, the “false” death threat gave Casey and other administration insiders the ammunition they needed to wage a protracted campaign against the Libyan leader.

By November, a top secret National Security Planning Group (NSPG) chaired by the President (who was known to sleep through Cabinet meetings) authorised planning for ” a military response against Libya in the event of further Libyan attempts to assassinate American officials or attack U.S. facilities.” Soon drafted, the Top Secret memo “counter-terrorist planning towards Libya” recommended the President to “immediately direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff to ready assets to carry out military action against Libya in self-defence, following a further Libyan provocation.” A number of retaliatory “graduated” responses were planned. Out of the main five options, four centred on air strikes against Libyan targets. Fear-stricken at these developments, Qaddafi reacted by sending an envoy to Washington, pleading that the whole thing was pure bunkum. The strategy proved successful… for the time being.

There followed a hiatus in US activity against Libya, as the CIA and Casey focused most of its resources on the Nicaraguan situation. But Qaddafi was not to be forgotten. In a tour of European Capitals in early 1984 – a US Presidential election year – US officials seeking allied co-operation against Libya returned home in bleak mood. The picture they presented of European attitudes to Qaddafi was not encouraging. The Libyan leader was generally well regarded. First he did a lot of business with Europe; he wasn’t a fundamentalist, and; a large number of European ex-pats lived and worked in Libya. Collectively, the Europeans wouldn’t sanction US hostilities. Hardly surprising when the bulk of Libya’s crude oil – almost 80% – is exported to western Europe – principally Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

With administration insiders concluding that Qaddafi would be just the “ticket” leading to a Reagan victory at the upcoming election in November, something had to be done to modify European public opinion. Within months, “fate” seemed to lend a helping hand.

Woman Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher was on duty outside London Libyan people’s Bureau, on 17 April 1984. Located in the fashionable and serene St. James Square, the Libyan Bureau building huddles in a corner of the square. It’s address is No. 5. On that day a hail of automatic gunfire disturbed the tranquillity, sending Pigeons flying in all directions. The eleven round burst – fired by a 9mm Sterling sub-machine gun – from the first floor of the Libyan building, felled a number of anti-Qadaffi demonstrators protesting outside. WPC Fletcher was killed outright. The slaying caused uproar and hit the headlines around the world. Condemned in the worlds media and Parliament, all Libyan diplomats were expelled by a furious Home Secretary. The only problem with the Home Secretary’s understandable indignation was that the Libyan gunman didn’t shoot Yvonne Fletcher.

The Fletcher killing occurred out-of-the-blue and singularly changed British political and public opinion overnight. Open season was declared on Qaddafi and Libya by the US, and most importantly, was supported by Britain. The rest of Europe kept silent and sulked – having been out manoeuvred. With the aid of a single bullet, the Reagan administration’s “destabilisation” plan against Qaddafi was back on track.

Eighteen months after Fletcher’s assassination, 40 US warplanes screamed across the night sky above Tripoli and Benghazi. Of those, eight F111 bombers had launched from bases in East Anglia, England – with the blessing of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and a still enraged British population. Each bomber carried four 2000-pound laser-guided “smart” bombs. In all, 32,000-pounds of high explosive ordnance were explicitly targeted to kill Qadaffi. Miraculously, he escaped unhurt. His fifteenth-month old daughter was killed and two adopted sons badly injured.

The Reagan administration loosed the warplanes on Libya following the bombing of the La Belle Discotheque in West Berlin, nine days earlier. One US serviceman and a young Turkish woman had been killed outright, and 230 people injured. The Disco was a known hangout for off-duty US servicemen.

President Reagan claimed he had irrefutable proof of Libyan sponsorship for the atrocity. Despite this claim, no evidence has been submitted by the Reagan administration to support their allegations. A host of well informed individuals and “sources” doubt any proof ever existed – except in the fevered imagination of CIA boss, Bill Casey. Conservative MP, Sir Teddy Taylor, regards the American allegations as “total rubbish.”

In April 1996, Britain’s Channel Four “flagship” documentary programme Dispatches – in a massively researched broadcast – revealed that Fletcher had been murdered by elements of British and American intelligence. The purpose of the slaying, as outlined earlier, was to “shape” public opinion and, importantly, pre-empt Parliamentary indignation for the later bombing of Tripoli by British based US warplanes. Disgracefully, these astonishing revelations went unreported by the media.

The film, made by the highly regarded Fulcrum Productions, was the subject of a debate in the House of Commons on 8 May 1996. MP’s Sir Teddy Taylor and Tam Dalyell, demanded the government initiate a full inquiry. Responding for the government, Home Office Minister of State, David MacClean, described the Dispatches programme as “preposterous trash.” In doing so, he called into question the reputations of leading ballistics experts and gun-shot specialists – and carefully avoided reference to information provided to the documentary team by well placed, and knowledgeable, intelligence sources. It was a white-knuckle statement that will hopefully, one day, boomerang back on him.

Fulcrum had learned that British and US intelligence had established a major surveillance post – adjacent to the Libyan People’s Bureau – at No. 8 St. James Square. This post had been “active” for at least six weeks prior to the shooting, with up to 40 individual intelligence officers present. On the morning of the shooting, the post was abandoned. Moreover, Dispatches also learned that the demonstration outside the Libyan Bureau was a phoney. The demonstrators belonged to a CIA front organisation.

Two additional facts were discovered: British and American intelligence knew that Col. Qaddafi had sanctioned his London Bureau to shoot at the demonstrators – they had intercepted the secret message granting authorisation. Secondly, the CIA and MI5 knew precisely the calibre of weapon to be used. Both intelligence agencies had “penetrated” the Bureau and had Libyan “sources” supplying information to them.

Crucially, Fulcrum Productions learned, beyond doubt, that the bullet that killed Fletcher had been fired from the upper floor of No. 8 St. James Square – the location of the surveillance post. Ballistics experts consulted by the documentary team, confirmed the bullets entry track to have come from No. 8. The team also learned that the bullet was adapted to fire with “Terminal Velocity.” This technique – a speciality of SAS “shooters” - is achieved by removing some of the explosive propellant from the cartridge. The result is a quieter shot – similar to using a silencer. A side effect of a bullet fired in this manner is that it flies slower and “tumbles” as it strikes the target - wrecking havoc as it rips through soft tissue. In every respect it is a “killer” shot – where chances of survival are so slim as to be negligible. The information on the bullet’s “Terminal Velocity” characteristics were also confirmed by independent experts.

A well-placed and reliable “source” interviewed by this writer, explained why WPC Fletcher was targeted. Intelligence operatives knew Qaddafi had authorised a “hitman” to let loose with a sterling automatic weapon against CIA funded demonstrators gathering outside the London Bureau. This information was gleaned with the aid of signals intercepts and human intelligence (HUMINT) sources inside the Bureau itself. The great worry amongst the secret cabal who planned the assassination, was that random killing of Arab protesters would not be sufficient to force the British Home Secretary to expel all Libyan diplomats. It was argued that a targeting a British “Bobby,” especially a Police Woman would do the trick.

Such appalling cynicism is the hand-maiden to the intelligence community as well as heartless politicians who believe the end justifies the means. The “source” also explained that it was an “off the books” hit, and that “elements” inside the British and American intelligence community were “out of control.” But the suspicion remains that someone with power and influence gave a “nod and a wink” to the operation. It is just not credible to suppose otherwise. The key to this convoluted reasoning was the cabal’s fear that the Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, would not act as required, without immense public and political pressure to jog him along. This is the rationale of someone with a developed sense of political reality.

After the shooting, Brittan immediately ordered an investigation, which has remained under lock and key ever since. Not long afterwards, sordid stories began to circulate amongst the British media that the Home Secretary had unusual sexual appetites. The rumours were fed to the satirical magazine, Private Eye, who recognised the handiwork of the security service and refused to publish the allegations. However, within a year, Leon Brittan was forced from office for his part in the Westland helicopter debacle.

With Western European objections so neatly taken care of, Qadaffi’s demonisation went in to full gear. The anachronistic Bedouin was rapidly elevated from “useful” to “primary” middle east “scapegoat.” At the same time, European governments learned as a result of the Libyan bombing, just how “hard” the US were prepared to play in pursuit of domestic politics and wider foreign policy. Tarring Qadaffi as the world’s bad boy suited the selfish interests of the political power elite in the US, and was an added bonus when other illegal CIA middle east “covert ops” went belly-up. One such operation was the CIA protected Heroin pipeline operating from the middle east to the USA.

A recurring problem for President Reagan was his inability to rescue the US hostages held in Lebanon by Hezbollah. Hanging like a dark cloud over his otherwise successful term of office, the hostage problem was turned over to Lt. Colonel Oliver North to resolve. North, a medium ranked military officer with close personal ties to the CIA’s Bill Casey, was the administrations global Mr. Fixit. He, in turn, called on the services of his old friend, Manzur El-Khassar – a Syrian born “big-time” narcotics and arms trafficker. Earlier, the Syrian had assisted North in his time of need, by brokering a large shipment of weapons to the CIA backed, Nicaragua’s Contra’s. It earned him a lot of kudos inside the administration.

Lebanon’s Bekka Valley is a fertile and productive area specially suited to growing Opium poppies. Rifat Assad, the brother of Syria’s President Hafez Assad was widely known to have been in charge of Syria’s narcotics enterprise. As the “Supremo” of the Bekka Valley’s massive Opium industry, he was also a paid “asset” of the CIA and was being “groomed” to succeed his elder brother as Syrian President. He was also an extremely close friend to El-Khassar. It is widely believed that the influx of 30,000 Syrian troops in to the Bekka Valley during the eighties, had as much to do with protecting the lucrative Opium fields as with separating Lebanon’s warring factions.

El-Khassar agreed to negotiate on behalf of the US for the release of the US hostages. His side of the deal was to get an agreement that the US would protect the Syrian drugs pipeline that shipped through Frankfurt airport to the USA. The CIA allegedly established a group – known as “CIA One” – who would oversee and protect the drugs route. If publicly discovered, the response was to say that the “protected” drugs shipments were part of a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) “sting” operation, dedicated to tracking distribution networks inside the USA.

Unknown to North and his cahoots, there was also a secret five-man Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) team working in Lebanon. The team, headed by Major Charles “Tiny” McKee was independently tasked with locating and rescuing the US hostages. During the course of his work, McKee, stumbled across El-Khassar’s “CIA One” protected Heroin network. Reporting his “discovery” to CIA HQ at Langley, and outraged at the lack of response, McKee booked his team on a flight home. At this point, El’Khassar learned of McKee’s activities and was also informed of his flight plans. Anxious that McKee would put a stop to his activities, he contacted his CIA One handlers who, in turn, communicated with their “control” in Washington.

Against this insidious backdrop, other, unrelated covert plans were being hatched. Following the July 1988 shoot-down of an Iranian Airbus by the US Navy battle-cruiser Vincennes, hard-line Iranian Ayatollah’s demanded swift retaliation for the 290 lives lost. They hired the Syrian based Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine, General Command (PFLP-GC) for a tit-for-tat attack. Led by Ahmed Jibril – and with a $10 million Iranian bounty – the PFLP-GC searched for a suitable target. An expert at bombing aircraft, Jibril soon learned of El-Khassar’s Frankfurt based dope pipeline and persuaded El-Khassar to place a bomb inside the Heroin laden suitcase. Pan Am flight 103 was scheduled for destruction.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Federal Police, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), received a warning that a bomb was to be substituted for the dope shipment aboard flight 103. They alerted CIA One, who passed the information on to their Stateside “Control.” The reply came back: “Don’t worry about it. Don’t stop it. Let it go.” On December 21st 1988, Pan Am’s Jumbo 747 “Maid of the Seas” exploded high above the Scottish village of Lockerbie. All 259 passengers perished. A further eleven people died as wreckage from the aircraft hurtled down to earth.

Within hours, a host of CIA agents arrived at the crash scene. It is thought that the CIA search team arrived via helicopter from a US Special Forces facility located at Machrihanish, on the Mull of Kintyre. The speed of their arrival suggests they had foreknowledge of the bombing. In any case the CIA agents, dressed in Pan Am overalls, set about ransacking the crash sight in a desperate search for incriminating evidence. For two days they searched for the luggage of the dead DIA team and frantically sought the suitcase containing the heroin shipment. One suitcase was recovered, flown out and later returned empty, to be “re-discovered” by the forensic team scouring the wreckage. It belonged to Major Charles McKee. Curiously, one unidentified body was snatched from the wreckage and never returned.

Les Coleman believes it would be wrong to blame the CIA in to for the Lockerbie atrocity. Intelligence outfits do not work as cohesively as many outsiders believe. There is a great deal of rivalry and fragmentation at work. DCI Bill Casey, had plenty of detractors inside the monolith he directed. Some worked hard feeding unattributed information to their favourite journalists that was designed to damage him and, hopefully, lead to his removal. Others are known to operate as part of small and secretive core that has variously been identified as the “Enterprise” or the “Octopus.” The latter is said to operate with organised crime and leading politicians who covertly traffic in guns, drugs laundered money and any other commodity that can generate massive profits. Whether the proceeds of these illegal activities are siphoned back into the “black” budgets of the CIA, or fill the pockets of participants – or both – isn’t entirely clear.

Despite Coleman’s caution, the CIA’s infamous history – stretching over fifty years – clearly suggest that US foreign policy and private gain “coalesce” in to a game-plan that benefits various parties. Some intelligence “watchers” point to the wealth of some long-term CIA officers and ask how they amassed their fortunes based on salaries of $60,000 a year? It is a valid question that can be equally addressed to former and serving politicians and senior government bureaucrats.

By attributing the responsibility of Lockerbie on Qaddafi, the US administration was following in the well-worn foot-steps of many predecessors in similar situations. It’s a technique as old as the hills. Caught virtually red-handed in massive illegality, the first thought is to cast round for a suitable scapegoat. As Lester Coleman said when I first spoke to him, Qaddafi is an easy target. Independently minded and unwilling to align himself with US middle eastern policy, he became a target in the US. His past bankrolling of “terrorist” causes – and one-time expansionism – also did him no favours. It’s a case of if you’re not for us, you’re against us.

Sitting on vast reserves of oil is also a significant factor for Libya’s treatment at the hands of the US. The fact that most of this oil flows to western European oil companies, clearly doesn’t cut much ice with the US. Rivalry between the European and US business elite is as intense as ever. US oil companies can’t be pleased that they are effectively out of the picture. In that sense Qaddafi was, as Les Coleman said, an “easy hit.”

Perhaps more telling than anything else, British support for the US anti-Libyan “campaign” clearly demonstrates the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the British political process. That those in power manipulated the British judicial system and continue to lie to the families of the Lockerbie victims is sinister enough. That they not only tolerated, but connived in the murder of an innocent woman police officer – to further American political designs – says more than any party political manifesto could begin to utter. All power corrupts, but the continued exercise of raw, unadulterated power of this magnitude is the very antithesis of a participatory democracy.

In researching this article I spoke with many different individuals. Some agreed to speak on the record, whilst others requested anonymity. One well placed and knowledgeable source summed up the situation with these words: “There is no democracy. There is no free press.” That source remains a leading Member of Parliament.

ENDS
NUJ

©1996 – David Guyatt

source: plane-truth.com

Tony Blair: Libya, Lockerbie, Arms and Betrayals.


Tony Blair: Libya, Lockerbie, Arms and Betrayals.

Tony Blair: Libya, Lockerbie, Arms and Betrayals.. 50765.jpeg

“The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.” (Samuel Adams, 1722-1803, letter 1775.)

This will surely have you falling down with surprise. According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and obtained by the (UK) Sunday Telegraph, the August 2009 release from Scotland’s Barlinnie jail of Libyan Abdelbaset al- Megrahi, accused of the bombing of  Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, hinged on an oil and arms deal, allegedly brokered by roving war monger (sorry, roving “Peace Ambassador”) Tony Blair.

Felicity Arbuthnot

At this point it should be said that anyone who has read John Ashton and Ian Ferguson’s meticulous “Cover up of Convenience” (i) on the Lockerbie tragedy could only regard Mr al-Meghrahi’s conviction as between very unsafe and very questionable.

The British Labour Party, which Blair headed for ten years, until 27th June 2007, have always insisted that the release had no connection with commercial deals. After leaving Downing Street, Blair visited Libya some six times.

On 8th June 2008, the then British Ambassador to Libya, Sir Vincent Fean, sent Tony Blair’s private office a thirteen hundred word briefing on the UK’s eagerness to do business with Libya, according to the Telegraph. (ii) Blair flew to Tripoli to meet Colonel Quaddafi, just two days later, June 10th. Qaddafi paid: Blair, always lavish with other’s money had requested, and was granted, the Colonel’s private jet for the journey.  

Sir Vincent’s “key objective” was for: “Libya to invest its £80 billion sovereign wealth through the City of London”, according to the Telegraph, which also cites the Ambassador writing of the UK being : “privately critical of then President George Bush for ‘shooting the US in the foot’ by continuing to put a block on Libyan assets in America, in the process scuppering business deals.” Britain however, was voraciously scrambling to fill the fiscal gap.

Unlike the US and UK who abandon or drone to death their own citizens who are in trouble, or even accused of it, Libya’s Administration had stood by their man and seemed to be prepared to do even unpalatable deals to free him and had long been pressuring the UK to release al-Megrahi.

In May 2007, a month before he left Downing Street, Blair had made his second visit to Libya, meeting Colonel Qaddafi and his Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi in then beautiful and now near ruined city of Sirte.

Surely coincidentally, on this trip, a deal was seemingly thrashed out, including prisoner transfer, just before British Petrolium (BP) announced their approximate £454 million investment to prospect for £13billion worth of oil in Libya.

Also, states the Telegraph report: “At that meeting, according to Sir Vincent’s email, Mr Blair and Mr Al Baghdadi agreed that Libya would buy a missile defence system from MBDA – a weapons manufacturer part-owned by Britains’s  BAE Systems.” This seemed to (also) hinge on a Memorandum of Understanding for a Prisoner Transfer Agreement: “which the Libyans believed would pave the way for al-Megrahi’s release.” Various sources state that the arms deal was worth £400 million, and up to two thousand jobs in the UK. Sir Vincent referred to the arms deal as a “legacy issue.” Blair’s “legacy”, as ever, synonymous with destruction. 

Ironically, it was Blair who credited himself with persuading Colonel Qaddafi to abandon and destroy his weapons programmes  after his visit to the country in March 2004 (placing that Judas kiss  the Colonel’s cheek) as a step to Libya returning to the fold of the duplicitous “international community.” With friends like Blair, enemies are a redundancy.

When Blair returned to Libya in June 2008, the Telegraph contends that the British Government, then under Gordon Brown, Blair’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer (who left the national coffers near empty) used the opportunity: “ to press the case for the arms deal to be sealed. At the time, Britain was on the brink of an economic and banking crisis - and Libya, though the Libyan Investment Authority – had billions of pounds in reserves.”

Saif al-Islam, Qaddafi’s son, expressed the concern over the arms deal being voiced from within the Libyan military, given their close ties to the “Russian defence equipment camp.” 

An earlier discovery by the Sunday Telegraph shows, in letters and emails, that Blair held hitherto undisclosed talks with the Colonel in April 2009, four months before al-Megrahi’s release. (iii) 

Again he was flown at the expense of the Colonel, in his private jet: “In both 2008 and 2009, documents show Mr Blair negotiated to fly to the Libyan capitol … in a jet provided by Qaddafi.” Blair’s Office denies the claims, saying they were transported in a Libyan government ‘plane.

By the time of the 2009 visit: “Libya was threatening to cut all business links if al-Megrahi stayed in a British jail.” Blair seemingly attempted to pour oil on troubled waters by bringing American billionaire, Tim Collins to that meeting to advise Qaddafi on building the beach resorts he was planning, on the Libyan coast. 

Further adding to the murk, a spokesperson for Collins stated:”Tim was asked to go by Tony Blair in his position as a trustee of Mr Blair’s US faith foundation. Tim had no intention of doing any business with Qaddafi.”

However: “Sources in Libya said Qaddafi had discussed with Mr Collins opening beach resorts along the Libyan coast, but that Mr Collins had dismissed the idea because the Libyans would not sanction the sale of alcohol or gambling at the resorts. 

Blair’s spokesperson said of the visit: ” … Tony Blair has never had any role, either formal or informal, paid or unpaid, with the Libyan Investment Authority or the Government of Libya and he has no commercial relationship with any Libyan company or entity.” A Blair first, seemingly, given the impression that he never touches down anywhere without emerging with a lucrative contract or a large cheque, 

However, Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, is quoted as saying : “Mr Blair is clearly using his Downing Street contacts to further his business interests.”

In a further coincidence, the Prisoner Transfer agreement for Mr al-Megrahi was signed the day before Blair’s 2009 visit.

When al-Megrahi, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, was released in August 2009, the British media and politicians were outraged. Scotland had done a deal and was benefiting financially from Libya. The latest revelations prove Scotland did no financial deals. When Mr al-Megrahi failed to die, politicians and media were even more outraged. They were a shaming spectacle.

Mental mind set can be a huge force in prolonging life in even the most serious cancer patients. No doubt in al-Megrahi’s case, being back in a home and with a family he loved contributed to his extra time. He survived long enough to see his country destroyed by the devious forces the West embodies – and at which Blair excels.  Megrahi died in September 2012. 

Incidentally, Ambassador Fean reportedly “expressed relief” at al-Megrahi’s release: “He noted that a refusal of Megrahi’s request could have had disastrous implications for British interests in Libya. ‘They could have cut us off at the knees.”(iv)

Qaddafi, however, never signed the arms deal.

Footnote: The 2004 visit by Blair was arranged by Saif al Islam, who Blair seemingly knew well and had allegedly even offered suggestions on his PhD thesis when Saif was studying at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS.)

In September last year Saif al-Islam’s lady friend of six years, appealed, passionately, to Blair to intervene to save the life of his now captured, maimed and death penalty-facing friend: “The two are old friends – it is time that Mr Blair returned some loyalty. Mr Blair is a man of God – as a Christian he has a moral duty to help a friend in need”, she has commented. (v)

Seemingly there has been no response from Blair’s office. Further, an extensive search for a comment on the appalling death of  Colonel Qaddafi – his former host and private ‘plane provider – and the demise of much of his family from this “Peace Envoy” and “man of God”, has come up with absolutely nothing.

To mangle a quote: Beware of British offering deals.

i. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/04/lock-a24.html

ii. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10206659/Lockerbie-bomber-release-linked-to-arms-deal-according-to-secret-letter.html

iii. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8771192/Libya-Tony-Blair-and-Col-Gaddafis-secret-meetings.html

iv. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-gaddafi-britain-lockerbie-bomber

v. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2197304/Saif-Gaddafis-girlfriend-calls-PM-save-life.html

source: english.pravda.ru

NYT Admits Lockerbie Case Flaws


NYT Admits Lockerbie Case Flaws

May 21, 2012

Exclusive: Even in death, Libyan Ali al-Megrahi is dubbed “the Lockerbie bomber,” a depiction that proved useful last year in rallying public support for “regime change” in Libya. But the New York Times now concedes, belatedly, that the case against him was riddled with errors and false testimony, as Robert Parry reports.

By Robert Parry

From the Now-They-Tell-Us Department comes the New York Times obit of Libyan agent Ali al-Megrahi, who was convicted by a special Scottish court for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. After Megrahi’s death from cancer was announced on Sunday, the Times finally acknowledged that his guilt was in serious doubt. (****NOW YOU TELL US AFTER THE LIBYAN PEOPLE SUFFERED NEARLY 13 YEARS OF EMBARGO PLUS MR. MEGRAHI WAS PUT IN JAIL SUFFERED CANCER AND DIED AND ALL OF THAT ONLY LATER TO DICIDE THAT HIS GUILT WAS IN SERIOUS DOUBT SHAME ON YOU! YOUR MEDIA! YOU PATHETIC LUNATICS! EVIL ASSHOLES THE ONLY THING YOU COULD NOT STAND WAS QADDAFI BECAUSE HE WAS RIGHT BY HIS PEOPLE AND YOU WANTED TO DESTROY HIM!!!)

Last year, when the Times and other major U.S. news outlets were manufacturing public consent for a new war against another Middle East “bad guy,” i.e. Muammar Gaddafi, Megrahi’s guilt was treated as flat fact. Indeed, citation of the Lockerbie bombing became the debate closer, effectively silencing anyone who raised questions about U.S. involvement in another war for “regime change.”

ali-al-megrahi-228x300

After all, who would “defend” the monsters involved in blowing Pan Am Flight 103 out of the sky over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people, including 189 Americans? Again and again, the U.S.-backed military intervention to oust Gaddafi in 2011 was justified by Gaddafi’s presumed authorship of the Lockerbie terrorist attack. (****YES WHO WOULD “DEFEND”THE MONSTERS involved in blowing Pan Am Flight 103 out of the sky over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people wich 189 where Americans yes but they DIDN’T TELL YOU THAT THE USA + UK TOGETHER BLEW UP THIS PLANE AS THERE WHERE PEOPLE ON THAT PLANE THAT THEY DIDNT WANT THEN ALIVE…. BUT WHO BETTER TO BLAME BUT THE NAUGHTY BOY QADDAFI LETS PUT HIM ASIDE LET’S MAKE HIM PAY BECAUSE HE DOES NOT OBEY US!!! SO WE WILL MAKE AN EMBARGO FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS LET HIS PEOPLE SUFFER THEY WILL HATE HIM IN THE END!! LET’S PUT THE MAN IN JAIL WHAT WE CARE HE IS A SCAPE GOAT! THEY WILL NEVER FIND OUT THE TRUTH! BUT THE TRUTH IS COMMING OUT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!!!)

Only a few non-mainstream news outlets, like Consortiumnews.com, bothered to actually review the dubious evidence against Megrahi and raise questions about the judgment of the Scottish court that convicted Megrahi in 2001.

By contrast to those few skeptical articles, the New York Times stoked last year’s war fever by suppressing or ignoring those doubts. For instance, one March 2011 article out of Washington began by stating: “There once was no American institution more hostile to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s’s pariah government than the Central Intelligence Agency, which had lost its deputy Beirut station chief when Libyan intelligence operatives blew up Pan Am Flight 103 above Scotland in 1988.”

Note the lack of doubt or even attribution. A similar certainty prevailed in virtually all other mainstream news reports and commentaries, ranging from the right-wing media to the liberal MSNBC, whose foreign policy correspondent Andrea Mitchell would seal the deal by recalling that Libya had accepted “responsibility” for the bombing.

Gaddafi’s eventual defeat, capture and grisly murder brought no fresh doubts about the certainty of the guilt of Megrahi, who was simply called the “Lockerbie bomber.” Few eyebrows were raised even when British authorities released Libya’s former intelligence chief Moussa Koussa after asking him some Lockerbie questions.

Scotland Yard also apparently failed to notice the dog not barking when the new pro-Western Libyan government took power and released no confirmation that Gaddafi’s government indeed had sponsored the 1988 attack. After Gaddafi’s overthrow and death, the Lockerbie issue just disappeared from the news.

A Surprising Obit

So, readers of the New York Times’ obituary page might have been surprised Monday if they read deep into Megrahi’s obit and discovered this summary of the case:

“The enigmatic Mr. Megrahi had been the central figure of the case for decades, reviled as a terrorist but defended by many Libyans, and even some world leaders, as a victim of injustice whose trial, 12 years after the bombing, had been riddled with political overtones, memory gaps and flawed evidence.”

If you read even further, you would find this more detailed examination of the evidence:

“Investigators, while they had no direct proof, believed that the suitcase with the bomb had been fitted with routing tags for baggage handlers, put on a plane at Malta and flown to Frankfurt, where it was loaded onto a Boeing 727 feeder flight that connected to Flight 103 at London, then transferred to the doomed jetliner.

“After a three-year investigation, Mr. Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, the Libyan airline station manager in Malta, were indicted on mass murder charges in 1991. Libya refused to extradite them, and the United Nations imposed eight years of sanctions that cost Libya $30 billion.  …

“Negotiations led by former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa produced a compromise in 1999: the suspects’ surrender, and a trial by Scottish judges in the Netherlands.

“The trial lasted 85 days. None of the witnesses connected the suspects directly to the bomb. But one, Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper who sold the clothing that forensic experts had linked to the bomb, identified Mr. Megrahi as the buyer, although Mr. Gauci seemed doubtful and had picked others in photo displays.

The bomb’s timer was traced to a Zurich manufacturer, Mebo, whose owner, Edwin Bollier, testified that such devices had been sold to Libya. A fragment from the crash site was identified by a Mebo employee, Ulrich Lumpert.

“Neither defendant testified. But a turncoat Libyan agent testified that plastic explosives had been stored in Mr. Fhimah’s desk in Malta, that Mr. Megrahi had brought a brown suitcase, and that both men were at the Malta airport on the day the bomb was sent on its way.

“On Jan. 31, 2001, the three-judge court found Mr. Megrahi guilty but acquitted Mr. Fhimah. The court called the case circumstantial, the evidence incomplete and some witnesses unreliable, but concluded that ‘there is nothing in the evidence which leaves us with any reasonable doubt as to the guilt’ of Mr. Megrahi.

“Much of the evidence was later challenged. It emerged that Mr. Gauci had repeatedly failed to identify Mr. Megrahi before the trial and had selected him only after seeing his photograph in a magazine and being shown the same photo in court. The date of the clothing sale was also in doubt.

“Investigators said Mr. Bollier, whom even the court called ‘untruthful and unreliable,’ had changed his story repeatedly after taking money from Libya, and might have gone to Tripoli just before the attack to fit a timer and bomb into the cassette recorder. The implication that he was a conspirator was never pursued.

“In 2007, Mr. Lumpert admitted that he had lied at the trial, stolen a timer and given it to a Lockerbie investigator. Moreover, the fragment he identified was never tested for residue of explosives, although it was the only evidence of possible Libyan involvement.

“The court’s inference that the bomb had been transferred from the Frankfurt feeder flight was also cast into doubt when a Heathrow security guard revealed that Pan Am’s baggage area had been broken into 17 hours before the bombing, a circumstance never explored.

“Hans Köchler, a United Nations observer, called the trial ‘a spectacular miscarriage of justice,’ words echoed by Mr. Mandela. Many legal experts and investigative journalists challenged the evidence, calling Mr. Megrahi a scapegoat for a Libyan government long identified with terrorism. While denying involvement, Libya paid $2.7 billion to the victims’ families in 2003 in a bid to end years of diplomatic isolation.”

Prosecutorial Misconduct

In other words, the case against Megrahi looks to have been an example of gross prosecutorial misconduct, relying on testimony from perjurers and failing to pursue promising leads (like the possibility that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, not transferred from plane to plane to plane, an unlikely route for a terrorist attack and made even more dubious by the absence of any evidence of an unaccompanied bag being put on those flights).

Also, objective journalists should have noted that Libya’s much-touted acceptance of “responsibility” was simply an effort to get punishing sanctions lifted and that Libya always continued to assert its innocence.

All of the above facts were known in 2011 when the Times and the rest of the mainstream U.S. press corps presented a dramatically different version to the American people. Last year, all these questions and doubts were suppressed in the name of rallying support for “regime change” in Libya.

On March 18, 2011, I wrote: “As Americans turn to their news media to make sense of the upheavals in the Middle East, it’s worth remembering that the bias of the mainstream U.S. press corps is most powerful when covering a Washington-designated villain, especially if he happens to be Muslim.

“In that case, all uncertainty about some aspect of his villainy is discarded. Evidence in serious dispute is stated as flat fact. Readers are expected to share this unquestioned belief about the story’s frame – and that usually helps manufacture consent behind some desired government action or policy.

“At such moments, it’s also hard to contest the conventional wisdom. To do so will guarantee that you’ll be treated as some kook or pariah. It won’t even matter if you’re vindicated in the long run. You’ll still be remembered as some weirdo who was out of step.

“And those who push the misguided consensus will mostly go on to bigger and better things, as people who have proved their worth even if they got it all wrong. Such is the way the national U.S. political/media system now works – or some might say doesn’t work.

“Perhaps the most costly recent example of this pattern was the Official Certainty about Iraq’s WMD in 2002-03. With only a few exceptions, the major U.S. news media, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, bought into the Bush administration’s WMD propaganda, partly because Saddam Hussein was so unsavory that no one wanted to be dubbed a ‘Saddam apologist.’

“When Iraq’s WMD turned out to be a mirage, there was almost no accountability at senior levels of the U.S. news media. Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, who repeatedly reported Iraq’s WMD as ‘flat fact,’ is still in the same job eight years later; Bill Keller, who penned an influential article called  ’The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club,’ got promoted to New York Times executive editor after the Iraq-WMD claims exploded leaving egg on the faces of him and his fellow club members.

“So, now as Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi reprises his old role as ‘mad dog of the Middle East,’ Americans are being prepped for another Middle East conflict by endlessly reading as flat fact that Libyan intelligence agents blew up Pan Am Flight 103 back in 1988.

“These articles never mention that there is strong doubt the Libyans had anything to do with the attack and that the 2001 conviction of Libyan agent Ali al-Megrahi was falling apart in 2009 before he was released on humanitarian grounds, suffering from prostate cancer.

“Though it’s true that a Scottish court did convict Megrahi – while acquitting a second Libyan – the judgment appears to have been more a political compromise than an act of justice. One of the judges told Dartmouth government professor Dirk Vandewalle about ‘enormous pressure put on the court to get a conviction.’

“After the testimony of a key witness was discredited, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission agreed in 2007 to reconsider Megrahi’s conviction out of a strong concern that it was a miscarriage of justice. However, again due to intense political pressure, that review was proceeding slowly in 2009 when Scottish authorities agreed to release Megrahi on medical grounds.

“Megrahi dropped his appeal in order to gain an early release in the face of a terminal cancer diagnosis, but that doesn’t mean he was guilty. He has continued to assert his innocence and an objective press corps would reflect the doubts regarding his conviction.”

But today, the United States has anything but an objective press corps. That should be obvious when you contrast the U.S. media’s certitude about Megrahi’s guilt last year – when outrage over the Lockerbie bombing was crucial in lining up public acquiescence to another Middle East war – against the nuanced doubts noted in Megrahi’s New York Times obit on Monday.

source: http://consortiumnews.com/

 

Abdel Basset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi, the martyr falsely accused in the Lockerbie case with the Libyan decent loyalty to death, died Sunday nearly three years after being released from a Scottish prison.


Abdel Basset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi, the martyr falsely accused in the Lockerbie case with the Libyan decent loyalty to death, died Sunday nearly three years after being released from a Scottish prison.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi has died, May 20, 2012, at the age of 60 years died of cancer. He was the only person convicted in the case of the Lockerbie bombing, against PanAm flight 103, which killed 270 people , December 21, 1988.

 

Advantage of the fact that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has been destroyed by NATO, Agence France Presse writes: ”  In 2003, the Gaddafi regime has officially recognized its responsibility for the attack and then paid $ 2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the victims.   “[  1  ]. The agency also ironic that the deceased had survived three years of their release, while medical experts argued that he still had three months to live.

 

In fact, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has always denied the charge against él.Considerándose blackmailed by the great powers, however, agreed to pay compensation in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. By paying the costs of the various conflicts that pitted the United States to their country, Muammar Gaddafi hopes to stop the war preparations of NATO. History has shown that it was a miscalculation and that NATO does not lack imagination to invent new pretexts to justify the wars they have planned.

In a famous documentary,  The Maltese Double Cross – Lockerbie  , the U.S. journalist, Allan Francovich and others showed that the attack was perpetrated by a U.S. agent. Meanwhile, the Scottish authorities have admitted that the conviction of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was based on false testimony [ 2  ] and have agreed to review the case. It is in this context that the defendant had been pardoned medical (contrary to the insinuations of the AFP, the issue of life expectancy could not be considered). Unfortunately, his death ends the procedure and deprived of the opportunity to be rehabilitated.

”   Vae Victis!   “(Woe to the vanquished!)

[  1  ] “The Libyan Megrahi, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, is dead” by Imed Lamloum, AFP, May 20, 2012.

[  2  ] ”   Lockerbie: towards a reopening of the investigation   “,  Voltaire Network  , 29 August 2005.
Source:  Voltaire Network