Sunday, 25 October 2009


So, the Lockerbie bombing and the release of Al-Megrahi is hitting the news again. As there are many who visit these pages that are not from the UK, I will be writing this from an international view point.

And quite rightly too. This is one of worst outcomes of British justice. The British public like to think of themselves as having a sense of fair play and being honest. The conviction of Al-Megrahi goes against this.
Personally I'm not one for conspiracy theories but with the bombing of Pan Am 103 and the subsequent trial and conviction of an innocent person, I'm somewhat unhappy with what my government has done and my view point has changed.

For the rest of you who still don't government lie or are economical with the truth, consider these documents. The British government said that the release of Al-Megrahi was down to Scotland, not the UK government. Well, read these letters from the British government to the Scottish government and then the requests from the Scottish government. It is quite clear that the Scottish government was asking the British government to exempt Al-Megrahi from the prisoner extradition treaty and the British government wasn't interested.

In 1988 (July) Iran Air flight 655 was shot down, (it was an A300 Airbus passenger plane) by the US Vincennes Aegis missile cruiser. The weapons officer mistook it for an F14 Tomcat. All crew and passengers were killed, 290 in total. The Iranian government insisted that it was a deliberate act, and I kind of tend to agree with them, I struggle to see how you can confuse a (relatively) slow moving large A300 with a (relatively) small fast moving (over 1,500mph) jet fighter. The US never admitted liability or apologised to Iran for it and no one was reprimanded for the incident.

That's your 'why' answered. With the Iranians severely p1ssed off, they wanted revenge and the best revenge was to bring a US airliner down. Obviously they didn't have the military capability and secondly they didn't want an all out war with the US. So, they looked towards a terrorist activity, a bomb. Still keen to distance themselves from it, they contacted their friends the Syrians and asked them for they help. $10 million dollars were paid to a Syrian businessman (again the Syrian government didn't want to be directly involved for fear of retaliation) who had contacts with terrorist organisations operating in Lebanon and Palestine. The group was the PFLP-GC and led by Ahmad Jibril.

There's a bit of a side story that the CIA were running an operation out of Cyprus (it's a not a million miles from Lebanon/Palestine) which also involved drug running for black ops. The money drugs were channelled through Frankfurt airport where they had immunity from customs (diplomatic immunity for luggage).

The terrorists inflitrated Frankfurt airport and got the CIA diplomatic black bag switched at the last minute for the bomb, which is how it got past security. The bomb itself had both a timer and a mecury pressure switch. This had the affect of stopping the bomb going off too early, but if the plane got delayed, the mercury pressure switch would stop it going off on the ground. The idea was that the plane exploded somewhere over the Atlantic, which would make it almost impossible to find any evidence. Unfortunately the flight was delayed at Heathrow for the best part of an hour and for some reason the pilot was anxious to make up time and increased altitude earlier in the flight than he would normally have done.

Which is why the plane exploded over Lockerbie. The time line is now Dec 1988. In March 1989, Paul Channon the Transport Minister (covering Aviation) announces to a group of trusted journalists that the governments knows who the bombers were. Read the second paragraph in this link.,_Baron_Kelvedon#Transport_Secretary

Why was Reagan on the phone to Thatcher (in March 1989) asking her to 'cool it'? Because at that time the US already knew that it was going to war with Iraq in the first Gulf War, which started in Jan 1990, nine months later. The US needed allies in the Middle East, to side against Saddam and to help protect Saudi from invasion. It wasn't the time to get heavy with Iran and Syria, we needed them on side. Of course someone still needed to be blamed for the bombing because of the public outrage and Libya was the fall guy.

So, on to the trial and why did Libya send their guys. Gaddafi sent his guys because he knew they were innocent and thought they would get a fair trial and be released. Then Libya would have the sanctions lifted and they could sell oil again. Libya has a fair amount of oil, but uses virtually none of it herself. Gaddafi's son is on record saying that they (Libya) never admitted liability and only agreed to hit because they had lost out on $40 bn of oil sales. The agreement was that they would be tried under Scottish law, but because of the public feeling about the bombing, it would be held in a neutral country, Holland.

Only, they changed the rules, they didn't use jurors like a normal Scottish court, they used three main judges. The evidence was so good against them, that one guy was aquitted because he had a watertight alibi that he was in Sweden at the time. I suggest you read the follwoing sections in the next link, Trial, verdict and appeals. Paying particular attention to the details about the witness and what the UN observer said.

So, why was he released. Partly because the then UK government wanted to do an oil deal. Secondly Megrahi's team had won the right to show some documents/information in his forthcoming appeal that the UK government didn't want coming to light. Not only would these prove his innocence, but they would also be extremly embarrassing.

The Scottish government did NOT, I repeat NOT want to let Megrahi go, because of the bad publicity it would give them. But they had no choice, as the UK had signed a PTA (prisoner transfer agreement) with Libya and only the UK government could overrule/make exceptions, which they were not willing to do. The Scots were literally begging NuLab to make an exception for Megrahi, but Blair, Brown and Straw all said no. This link shows all the requests from Scottish ministers.The second link went 404 error in April 2012, the third link is an exact copy of the letter on the BBC.

For some reason the document has been removed by the government, but here it is on the BBC website

As for evidence to come out that will embarrass people involved, this is the sort of thing I'm talking about.

There's a whole shedload of dodgy dealings about the whole thing. If you read some of the other reports, you see that the Scottish police say that CIA guys were at the crash site within 24 hours, taping areas off, taking evidence away. This is why the Scottish victim's families were not bothered about Megrahi's release, because they know all this and more, they've obviously spoken to the Scottish police that were involved. Lockerbie's not a big place, people know each other, difficult to keep secrets.

Jim Swire was the Scottish families spokesman, he lost his daughter on the flight, this is his view.

Almost finished (and you've only had the very short version), a couple of links for further viewing/reading. First a documentary film about the bombing and even this has had contreversy, read the Wiki page.

The full film.

And lastly a book, it's almost thirty chapters from memory. It's by one of the CIA guys that was based in Cyprus and it gives a lot of the background into what went on, how the Franfurt operation went on and the fact that they were onto Jibril and found some of his identical bombs to the Lockerbie one. Don't be put off by the first few pages, it does get into the detail soon after.

Trail of the Octopus -- From Beirut to Lockerbie -- Inside the DIA, by Donald Goddard with Lester K. Coleman at American Buddha Online Library


  1. It's disgusting. The whole of parliament should be flogged with rhinoceros-hide whips dipped in brine (to paraphrase Philip Larkin).

  2. The prisoner transfer agreement with Libya was always irrelevant to the Megrahi case, because it was laid down in the original agreement that if convicted the suspects (one of whom was Megrahi -- the other was acquitted) would serve their sentences in the UK. So whether Megrahi was expressly excluded from the agreement or not, he couldn't have been transferred to Libya to serve any part of his sentence there.

  3. Lockerbie bombing - Google "the selective use of polygraphs"

  4. I'm not sure where to start, here. Maybe the beginning.

    - You seem to be confusing the Prisoner Transfer Agreement, arranged between Blair and Gaddafi in May 2007, which the new SNP government (elected in May 2007) opposed, and the compassionate release provisions under which Megrahi was eventually sent home in 2009 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.

    - The inquiry into the IR655 incident identified confusion caused by a change in the incoming data source for the Vincennes gunners, which resulted in the climbing airliner being mistakenly thought to be descending or diving.

    - There is no evidence at all for a bag being switched for a "diplomatic black bag" at Frankfurt. Literally nobody has suggested this. The allegation sounds like a garbled version of the Interfor report, which itself turned out to be a fabrication.

    - The "timer and mercury pressure switch" is speculation without any foundation. A Khreesat style barometric timer would have gone off over Belgium if it had been loaded at Frankfurt.

    - The flight left Heathrow on time. It was not delayed. It was so not delayed that it left the gate leaving a passenger behind who was running to catch it. The timetable listed it as leaving at 18.00. It pushed off from the gate at 18.04. Its wheels left the runway at 18.25 (that is a perfectly usual time from gate to airborne for Heathrow). The explosion happened at 19.03.

    - The plane didn't climb unusually quickly out of Heathrow, but even if it had that would only have advanced the trigger time by two or three minutes.

    - There was absolutely no chance at all of that plane being over the Atlantic by 19.03. None at all.

    - If a barometric trigger was used, it wouldn't have made any difference even if the plane had been late. It would have exploded at the same time after take-off.

    1. .... diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, even.

  5. - Reagan probably wasn't on the phone to Thatcher in March 1989 because he was no longer president by then. Bush was inaugurated on 20th January 1989.

    - The USA did not anticipate the Gulf War in March 1989. Iraq didn't invade Kuwait until August 1990 and "Operation Desert Storm" didn't begin until January 1991.

    - The two accused surrendered voluntarily, they weren't "sent" by Gaddafi. Yes, they thought they would be acquitted, but the lack of a jury was at their own request. They thought a Scottish jury would be biassed against them and trusted judges to go by the facts. (That was a bit naive.)

    - The Scottish government did not want to go along with the PTA negotiated by Blair in 2007, because they believed this would break an undertaking given to the relatives of the victims. And as the SNP didn't have to do what Blair said, they didn't. Nobody was begging anybody. (Blair didn't anticipate the SNP winning the election in the middle of his negotiations - he had assured Gaddafi the Scottish executive would fall in line because at the time he said it, Holyrood had a Labour government.)

    - Two years later the situation was different as Megrahi was a dying man. His cancer was diagnosed in 2008. The Scottish government believed that compassionate release would not break the undertaking given to the relatives. (They probably also saw it as a way to get Megrahi to withdraw his ongoing appeal, and so save the Scottish criminal justice system the embarrassment of having the conviction overturned.)

    - The Scottish police have never said the CIA was at the crime scene at all, never mind that they interfered with it. Quite the contrary.

    - The Scottish victims' families were not happy about the release, not at all. They believe what they've been told. You may be thinking about families of some English passengers on the plane.

    - Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source, for anything. And The Maltese Double Cross and Trail of the Octopus are based on a narrative that crashed and burned when the actual trial happened.

    Don't get me wrong, the Crown case was nonsense and Megrahi had nothing to do with the bombing. However, that is about the only thing the above post gets right.

    Sorry about this, but if you don't want your unresearched and invented thesis to be chewed up, don't come pimping it on a blog where actual experts on the case hang out.

  6. @Rolfe,

    I have not confused anything about the PTA, that was the original reason that he was to be released, it's in the letters that I have linked, it was a long ongoing process. The illness thing was just a cover to soften the public mood. There was also the small problem that he had an appeal coming up and some very embarrassing information was going to be shown, that the government would rather not made public.

    Your account of IR655 is wrong.

    Your lack of knowledge on the blag bag switch also makes you wrong.

    I have to concede your point on it being Bush not Reagan, I was two months out on presidents.,_Baron_Kelvedon#Transport_Secretary

    The Gulf War didn't just start in August 1990, there was an enormous build up to it, read the link above, which confirms my point about the call from the US president to Thatcher.

    The Americans were at the site, and there would have had CIA as well as forensics there.

    For me there are just too many outlets saying the same or similar thing.

    And this is a text of a Guardian article from 1995.

    Anyway, you've had your say, I'm quite sure who appointed you an actual expert and I doubt you're actually sorry, more like over opinionated. Please don't post any more of your opinions.

    Oh And one last thing, it was a late departure, it was meant to depart at 18:00, it took off at 18:25. Those extra 25 minutes would have put it well over the sea.