Lockerbie, Truth and Compassion

In society, Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 2:01 am

The Lockerbie Bomber and Compassion

The man convicted of being responsible for the downing of the Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie in December 1988 murdering 270 people has terminal cancer, and may be allowed go home to Libya, in order to die with his family around him. This is something neither the people slaughtered in the air nor those sleeping on the ground got to enjoy.

Abdelbaset alMegrahi is serving a life sentence with a minimum of 27 years after being convicted in 2001 of the 1988 bombing, and has always denied his guilt. See Article here

Now it looks possible he may be released. Up to last week two possibilities for his release existed. One was straightforward release into Libyan custody, the other was that his second appeal, which his lawyers claim would bring important new evidence forward to clear him, and which might have embarrassed several governments, would succeed.
However, he would probably die before the appeal would finish, it seems.

Then last week he suddenly got a visit from the Scottish Justice Minister.
Then he withdrew his appeal, which seems odd. Why spend years trying to claim innocence, then withdraw the claim when dying, unless some pressure was applied.

The relatives left mourning their dead are divided about the prospect of any compassion being shown to this man, just as they are divided about his guilt.
They are also divided by the side of the Atlantic they happen to be on, with many of the British relatives seriously unhappy with the trial, and highly suspicious that a man was convicted for convenience.

The trial itself was a curious affair, held in odd circumstances, and which many people feel did not get to the truth of who was actually responsible.
Some suggest Syria, others Iran (which had a civilian aircraft shot down by an American warship, USS Vinciennes, with the loss of 290 innocent civilians. The ship was exonerated later, and the crew given medals, I understand).
This was at a time when tension was high and the Reagan government was involved in many dark deeds.
The verdict did not really seem to tie in with the evidence given, perhaps echoing convenient previous verdicts in cases such as the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four and so on. Now that a Court of Appeal has found that sufficient new evidence existed to allow a rare second appeal to go ahead, al Megrahi might have shown his innocence. And a light might have been shone on some things governments would rather prefer we never find out.

However, it does seem that the British relatives are largely willing to allow him die at home, whilst some high profile Americans are outraged at the very idea. What that tells us about the differences between Brits and the US  might be simply due to politicians following the loudest media-led or media-created furore.

Or it could simply show us how inhumane the US has become. Prominent Americans, as well as many ordinary citizens seem to have taken the Old Testament doctrine of an eye for an eye to heart, rather than the Christian one of ‘love your neighbour’.

Over here, we’re largely secular, or godless, whereas Americans tend to be believers. Odd, then, that we should seem to be more secular yet more in tune with Jesus.

  1. The US has only one God. The Dollar! All that it does is in adoration and accumulation of green backs. The rest of the world is beginning to see that which is why US power has been much reduced. No one wants a corrupt self appointed policeman which is what the US, with or without Obama, has become.

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