David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

Don’t Believe a Word of It


The whole story of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, is evidence of the shifty conduct of those supposed to represent us but who in reality disgrace themselves and their offices. Megrahi was released from prison in Scotland on the grounds that he had terminal cancer and would die within three months. Here he is a year later, at home and apparently thriving. A cancer specialist, Dr. Karol Sikora, examined him and is the one who gave him three months. It turns out that the Libyan authorities paid him, and he says now that Megrahi might live ten or even twenty years (and, of course, that he’s been quoted out of context). Never believe a word that man says.

The Scottish authorities who took the decision to return Megrahi say they had no contact with BP about commercial advantages of doing so but refuse to attend inquiries in Washington. Kenny MacAskill, Scottish minister of justice (there’s glory for you), says he is not accountable to the United States, i.e., the families of the dead are no concern of his. Never believe a word these Scottish politicians say.

Lawyers had been appealing for a retrial, allegedly with evidence that Megrahi was not the Lockerbie bomber. Because of these proceedings, Megrahi could not be released. A deal was struck whereby the appeal was dropped in return for release. Jack Straw, the British minister overseeing this and a prisoner transfer agreement that might or might not include Megrahi, also refuses to go to Washington. Never believe a word he says. Tony Blair claims to have no commercial dealings with Gaddhafi, yet the prime minister led a tour to Libya and goes there as an advisor, apparently paid. Never believe a word he says.

BP claims that the release of Megrahi had nothing to do with oil contracts signed immediately afterwards. Never believe a word of it. The Sunday Telegraph reveals that a week after hearing that Megrahi’s release was imminent, the Libyans opened a London investment office called Dalia Advisory, a front for the Libyan Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund. Coincidence? Never believe a word they say.

It turns out, according to the Sunday Times, that Richard Lebaron, deputy head of the U.S. embassy in London, wrote a letter recommending Megrahi’s release as a better alternative than his death in prison. So, when Obama speaks about all Americans being “surprised, disappointed, and angry” to learn of the release, he is expecting us to believe that he had no idea what his officials were doing. Unbelievable.

What a crew. Either they were all afraid that the proposed appeal would reveal a miscarriage of justice in which Megrahi was set up as a fall guy, or behind closed doors a deal was struck whereby immense oil contracts were dependent on Megrahi’s return to Libya. It was a bad decision to release him, admits David Cameron, and that at last is something we can believe.

Everyone involved in this affair has adopted the practices and values of the Middle East, with the added hypocrisy of pretending to innocence and legality. At least in the Middle East they glory in the use of power to break others to their will. Everything from the blowing up of the plane over Lockerbie to the lies and prevarications about Megrahi on the part of politicians, businessmen, and even doctors, is a reflection of the shameful times we are living.


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