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View Full Version : Al Megrahi "dead"


TwinAisle
20th May 2012, 13:36
Being reported by BBC News:

BBC News - Lockerbie bomber Megrahi 'dead' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18137896)

Sadly, I don't think we'll ever know the truth now.

TA

DavidWoodward
20th May 2012, 13:50
He's died? What a shame...

aterpster
20th May 2012, 15:20
DavidWoodward:

He's died? What a shame...

Not to worry. He is feasting on his bevy of virgins now.

Tableview
20th May 2012, 15:44
A lot of people believe in his innocence. If he was innocent, perhaps some of the comments being made are inappropriate. On the other hand, if guilty, then I hope the fires of hell are slowly consuming him.

We will probably never know, but he may have been a convenient scapegoat.

vulcanised
20th May 2012, 15:47
he may have been a convenient scapegoat


I would put that at odds-on.

Heathrow Harry
20th May 2012, 15:56
too many loose ends in this one ever to be certain - could have been the Iranians, the Syrians, Kim Il Sung or the Libyans

TwinAisle
20th May 2012, 15:57
I'll confess. I used to be part of the 'ain't no gallows high enough' faction.

Then I read the trial transcripts. Spent quite a bit of time listening to what Jim Swire was saying. Looked at the reasons why one of the trial judges walked out saying the whole thing was a circus.

Now - do I think he was a scapegoat? Hell yes.

Justice is not served if no-one has faith in the system. And I don't think anyone who has looked into this case in any depth can have any faith in it.

TA

vulcanised
20th May 2012, 17:38
What removed any lingering doubt for me was hearing about the 'witness' who was paid a huge amount for his testimony.

SASless
20th May 2012, 17:50
TA....We were never going to know the "Truth"!

There are so many "secrets" held between Countries....both friendly and not-friendly....at best we shall only know what those in power want us to know.

We just have to accept what we can learn and operate on that.

Case in point....I still have no confidence my current President is legally qualified for the office. That doesn't mean I think he isn't....but it does mean I do not have the certainty in my heart I should as a Citizen. If something as straight forward as this can be so vague....how in the world are we ever going to be satisfied we know who downed Pan Am 103? Life is filled with ambiguity...and Pan Am 103 is just one them.

Tankertrashnav
20th May 2012, 18:15
OK, so now does anyone know how Ronnie Biggs is doing? After leaving jail on compassionate grounds at death's door nearly three years ago, the salubrious air of the east end seems to have done him a world of good and he seems to have made a miraculous recovery. :*

G-CPTN
20th May 2012, 18:31
does anyone know how Ronnie Biggs is doing?
In August 2010, it was announced that Biggs would be attending a gala dinner where he would be collecting a lifetime achievement award for his services to crime.
On 17 November 2011, Biggs launched his new and updated autobiography, "Odd Man Out: The Last Straw" at Shoreditch House in London.
On 12 January 2012, ITV Studios announced it had commissioned a five part drama, "Mrs Biggs", to be based around the life of Biggs' wife Charmian.

Low Flier
20th May 2012, 18:33
He was the 271st victim of PA103.

And the 561st victim of IR655.

Meanwhile, the real murderers go free.

racedo
20th May 2012, 18:47
There are so many "secrets" held between Countries....both friendly and not-friendly

There are many secrets held in countries between friendly and not-friendly parts of same Govt before even looking past a nations borders....

OFSO
20th May 2012, 19:00
Anything that Tony Blair Associates had a hand in was bound to be dodgy.

Speaking of which: a great article in the FT on Saturday last entitled "Coroin trial sheds light on Blair dealings" - the involvement of the Dear Leader in the case of Patrick McKillen against the Barclay Brothers and with a bizarre supporting cast of characters: Bono, Prince Waleed bin Talal of the Saudi Royal House and Sheik Jassim bin Hamad, son of the Prime Minister of Quatar. And "a government minister" whose name was not disclosed. And a yacht mored off the south of France.

Lon More
20th May 2012, 19:12
Anything that Tony Blair Associates had a hand in was bound to be dodgy.
Except that the thrice-accursed Attila the Hen was PM at the time. Probably used her stare to bring it down. I'd bet that the truth is known in a 5-sided building in the USA

bingofuel
20th May 2012, 19:48
Does anyone really believe Lockerbie was caused by the actions of just one man?
The question is WHO else was involved?

Tankertrashnav
20th May 2012, 20:42
Thanks for the info G-CPTN - quite a busy schedule for someone who's at death's door :*

jabird
20th May 2012, 20:53
I'm not shedding any tears just yet.

The release was a shoddy piece of political manoeuvring. If he was innocent, we should have had a retrial, but that was not to be.

The waving of Scottish flags and the cheering when he came home was horrid to watch.

Since then, the Mad Dog is at least no more.

As already said above - far too many unanswered questions, not sure if a new regime means we get to know any more.

jabird
20th May 2012, 20:54
He was the 271st victim of PA103.

Lockerbie didn't just kill hundreds of innocent people, it arguably killed a much loved airline too. you can't equate a business with all those lives, but it was still a great shame.

G-CPTN
20th May 2012, 21:00
Al Megrahi died from prostate cancer (he was diagnosed in September 2008).
He was in custody in Europe from 1999.

Prior to that he was said to be under house arrest in Libya from 1991.

Prostate cancer is treatable (in most cases I believe), but the 2008 diagnosis described his condition as 'advanced'.

His family claim the cause of his cancer was due to his exposure to X-rays during his interrogation.

Was there a 'duty of care' which might meant that his jailers could be responsible for his illness (and the failure to treat him successfully)?

G-CPTN
20th May 2012, 21:52
David Cameron says dead Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi 'should never have been released' | Metro.co.uk (http://www.metro.co.uk/news/899619-david-cameron-says-dead-lockerbie-bomber-al-megrahi-should-never-have-been-released)

anotherthing
20th May 2012, 22:33
Prostate cancer is treatable (in most cases I believe)Don't bet on it... and certainly don't avoid getting tested if in any doubt that you may have the symptoms just because of a mistaken belief that it is almost always treatable. Like any cancer, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. If there is any history of it in your family, get it checked - it is hereditary.

Prostate Cancer is one of the easiest cancers to treat successfully, but only if caught in time, otherwise it'll still kill you. It is also one of the easier cancers to spot, due to symptoms, although various tests can throw up false results.

Airborne Aircrew
20th May 2012, 23:22
Gutted... Utterly gutted....

He should have suffered longer... Much longer...

Shack37
20th May 2012, 23:41
David Cameron is not sitting on the fence.

David Cameron says dead Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi 'should never have been released' | Metro.co.uk (http://www.metro.co.uk/news/899619-david-cameron-says-dead-lockerbie-bomber-al-megrahi-should-never-have-been-released)


Now I'm convinced al Megrahi was innocent.

Sprogget
20th May 2012, 23:43
Gutted... Utterly gutted....

He should have suffered longer... Much longer... Now I'm convinced al Megrahi was innocent.

RatherBeFlying
21st May 2012, 01:57
After seeing how vigorously the CIA has been covering up the torture of many of its captives, especially those former captives who try to take them to court, the credibility of any evidence submitted by the CIA is questionable.

If one applies "cui bono" to Lockerbie, the Iranians had a bigger axe to grind than the Libyans, but that's not proof.

Hopefully the new Libyan regime will eventually open up their files.

damirc
21st May 2012, 05:16
Well worth watching is the Al Jazeera documentary that was shown back in February (can be found on Youtube if searching for "Lockerbie: Case closed") Apart from everything else that was already known before to anyone following the case - there is a big surprise. The PT35b timer fragment that tied Libya to the PA103 bombing has a nasty problem. It's plating was 100% tin. The control sample (as all PCBs manufactured by Thuring for MeBo) had a plating made of a 70/30 alloy of tin and lead. Hardly a match. The theory that the explosion melted the lead away was experimentally disproven (shown in the Al Jazeera vid). I'd put my money on the missing Khreesat bomb (the one swiped by Dalkamoni and never recovered by the BfV in the operation "Autumn Leaves"). D.

Blacksheep
21st May 2012, 08:04
In July 1988 the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airbus killing 290 people, most of them Iranians. Iran's religious dictator, the Ayatollah Khomeini, promised that the skies would rain with American blood. Just over five months later, Flight 103 was destroyed over Lockerbie.

Lockerbie was so clearly a response to the downing of the Iranian airliner that one wonders why the Libyans were ever blamed. Because blaming the Iranians would have drawn ever more attention to the USS Vincennes perhaps?

The US would not want their much vaunted "Aegis" missile system (the primary air defence system for a US Naval Battle Group) to be examined too closely in public, after it was shown incapable of differentiating between a civil airliner going about its lawful business and an attacking enemy fighter aircraft. In other words, useless.

One hopes that it has been much improved in the meantime. :suspect:

stuckgear
21st May 2012, 08:22
a conviction should rest at 'beyond all reasonable doubt'. The problem is when politicians start becoming involved and spin, lies and deception, 'blinds' and 'double blinds' become involved, then it is not only difficult to reconcile with 'beyond reasonable doubt' but also which way is up.

If Megrahi did do it, and bear in mind he was convicted for conspiring with a cohort to down the airliner, the cohort was not convicted (!) and with the sheer bulk of evidence Megrahi could not have acted alone yet he was the only convicted; or if Megrahi did do it, either way justice has not been served and that is to the detriment of 'beyond all reasonable doubt'.

Either way, justice lost out.

And as the saying goes there is no such thing as Justice, only the law (and political interference with the law).

Alloa Akbar
21st May 2012, 09:36
So many on here convinced of his innocence it seems??

Will one of you provide me with a reasoned and non-conspiracy theorist type answer to this then..

Megrahi claimed that before he died he would release information backing up his claims of innocence and shedding light on what really happened.. Did he release it? No. Why not? If he was the innocent man he claimed, and intent on clearing his family name, surely he would have done everything possible to do that??

Therefore I am of the opinion he was in it up to his neck (Not alone, I concede) and was nothing more than a publicity seeking, lying terrorist bsatrad. Dr Swire is entitled to his views and I respect that, but being a Doctor and the father of a victim doesn't automatically mean he is right.

PS - Al Jazeera - Yeah they are well noted for their impartial and objective journalism alright.. :ugh:

IainB
21st May 2012, 10:48
Have they relocated Barnet to the east end?

Sprogget
21st May 2012, 11:27
So many on here convinced of his innocence it seems??

Will one of you provide me with a reasoned and non-conspiracy theorist type answer to this then..

Megrahi claimed that before he died he would release information backing up his claims of innocence and shedding light on what really happened.. Did he release it? No. Why not? If he was the innocent man he claimed, and intent on clearing his family name, surely he would have done everything possible to do that??

Therefore I am of the opinion he was in it up to his neck (Not alone, I concede) and was nothing more than a publicity seeking, lying terrorist bsatrad. Dr Swire is entitled to his views and I respect that, but being a Doctor and the father of a victim doesn't automatically mean he is right.

Swire has researched & researched. I believe in his testimony. Al Megrahi? Well do you know that his silence wasn't bought? A dying man with a family - here's a few million, look after the kids & the wife after you're gone. One condition though...


Irrespective of shuffling assertions & depictions back & forth, try looking at the evidence of this case and you will begin to understand that it stinks to high heaven. Searching the name Tony Gauci would be a decent place to start.

TwinAisle
21st May 2012, 11:32
Al Jazeera - Yeah they are well noted for their impartial and objective journalism alright..

Yes, they are. Al Jazeera is a well respected news agency these days, many very highly respected journalists - Western ones - have gone to work there over the last few years.

Just because they don't say what you want to hear, it doesn't necessarily make them wrong...

TA

Low Flier
21st May 2012, 12:31
A statement by Justice for Megrahi on the death of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has now died without having been able to clear his name of the destruction of Pan Am flight 103 on the 21st of December 1988 during his lifetime. Now all those politicians and Megrahi-guilt apologists who regard compassion as being a weakling's alternative to vengeance, who boast of their skills at remote medical diagnosis, and who persistently refuse to address the uncomfortable facts of the case, will doubtless fall silent. Finally, the ‘evil terrorist’ has been called to account for himself before a “Higher Power”.

The prosecution case against him held water like a sieve. We are expected to believe the fantastic tale of the Luqa-Frankfurt-Heathrow transfer of an invisible, unaccompanied suitcase which miraculously found itself situated in the perfect position in the hold of 103 to create maximum destructive effect having eluded no fewer than three separate security regimes. There is no evidence for any such luggage ever having left the ground in either Malta or Germany, it is mere surmise. Not only that but we have accusations of the key Crown witness having been bribed for testimony; a multitude of serious question marks over material evidence, including the very real possibility of the crucial fragment of PCB having been fabricated; discredited forensic scientists testifying for the prosecution; Crown witness testimony being retracted after the trial and, most worryingly, allegations of the Crown’s non-disclosure of evidence which could have been key to the defence. Added to which, evidence supporting the alternative and infinitely more logical ingestion of the bomb directly at Heathrow was either dismissed at the trial or withheld from the court until after the verdict of guilty had been returned.

The judges were under immense pressure to bring in a verdict of guilty. Zeist was the most high profile trial that the Scottish High Court of Justiciary had ever presided over. There was massive international interest, and this was compounded by the fact that the judges played the dual roles of judge and jury in a case in which the indictments were brought by the same official body that had appointed them as judges in the first instance, the Lord Advocate. Anyone hoping, therefore, to discover an application of sound, empirical reasoning based on concrete evidence being exercised in the field of jurisprudence would do well to avoid the Zeist judgement. Indeed, the most exceptional of Zeist’s many exceptional features is the judgement. Anyone reading this extraordinary document could be forgiven for thinking that in Scotland there is a presumption of guilt and the burden of proof is on the defence. In the words of Professor Hans Köchler (UN appointed International Observer at the Kamp van Zeist Trial) commenting on the second appeal: “[it] bears the hallmarks of an intelligence operation.”

The Crown and successive governments have, for years, acted to obstruct any attempts to investigate how the conviction of Mr al-Megrahi came about. Some in the legal and political establishments may well be breathing a sigh of relief now that Mr al-Megrahi has died. This would be a mistake. Many unfortunates who fell foul of outrageous miscarriages of justice in the past have had their names cleared posthumously. The great and the good of western civilisation who have clamoured for Mr al-Megrahi’s blood of late may find it a salutary experience to reflect on the case of Derek Bentley: convicted and hanged in 1953, aged nineteen, for a crime for which in 1998 he was acquitted on his posthumous appeal. However long it takes, the campaign seeking to have Mr al-Megrahi’s conviction quashed will continue unabated not only in his name and that of his family, who must still bear the stigma of being related to the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’, but, above all, it will carry on in the name of justice. A justice which is still being sought by and denied to many of the bereaved resultant from the Lockerbie tragedy.

It took almost half a century to resolve the Bentley case. With the Zeist justice campaign now in its twelfth year, one has to ask, when faced with such intransigence, precisely whom the democratically elected, executive arm of state represents. Historically, all the major parties, both in Holyrood and Westminster, must shoulder equal responsibility. However, since first coming to power in 2007, the SNP government has actively taken measures which hinder any progress towards lifting the fog that lies over events, much to the dismay of its own party supporters and activists who take an interest in the case. In 2009, a statutory instrument which was supposed to remove the legislative prohibition on publication of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission’s statement of reasons for the second appeal (a document that cost tax payers in excess of £1,000,000 to produce) was so drafted as to render publication effectively impossible. In 2010, the government also fired new legislation through parliament (‘Cadder’ Section7) that makes any prospect of opening another appeal in the interests of justice a forlorn hope. Even today, ignoring the fact that, with the support of the Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee, campaigners finally forced the government to admit that it does in law (under the Inquiries Act of 2005) have the power to open an inquiry into the case, the government persists in sending out correspondence claiming that it doesn’t; this, of course, is accompanied by the hackneyed old mantra of their not doubting the safety of the conviction. Furthermore, during the consultation period of the Criminal Cases (Punishment and Review) (Scotland) Bill, campaigners established that the Data Protection Act posed no legal obstacle to the publication of the SCCRC’s statement of reasons for the second appeal, however, the government maintained otherwise with the result that it was ultimately left to the courage and commitment of members of the journalistic community to test the government’s position to destruction. All of the aforementioned, and the regrettable habit of appointing Crown Office insiders to the position of Lord Advocate, are not reassuring signs that this matter is being treated with a sense of balance and objectivity by the authorities. The record has stuck. The longer this goes on, the more the doubts over the government’s true loyalties will increase.

This case has now become emblematic of an issue which affects each and every one of us and poses some profoundly basic questions which we ignore at our peril, namely: what do we perceive justice to be, what role ought it to play in our society and whom should it exist to serve? Our laws and how we apply them to our society are the most fundamental descriptor of how we function as a cohesive and coherent entity. They are effectively a portrait of our identity as a people. If, through complacency, we permit cosy, established authority to dictate the terms and to brush under the carpet concerns over how justice is defined and dispensed for the sake of convenience, expediency and reputation, we will only have ourselves to blame for the consequences.

The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, says that “Scotland's Criminal Justice system is a cornerstone of our society, and it is paramount that there is total public confidence in it.” Scotland’s independent and professional arbiter in the matter of referrals to the Court of Appeal, the SCCRC, believe that, on no fewer than six grounds, Mr al-Megrahi may have suffered a miscarriage of justice at Zeist. Whether or not the courts are the right and proper platform to deal with this case, the conviction has been in the hands of the High Court of Justiciary since 2001 producing no resolution whatsoever and, moreover, how amenable are the courts now likely to be towards sanctioning another appeal given that they have been invested with new powers which allow them to reject applications which question their own judgements? Fine words are not enough. Action is required. After all, the government took executive action to release Mr al-Megrahi following the dropping of his appeal (something he was under no legal obligation to do). 52% of respondents to an opinion poll conducted by a major Scottish national newspaper supported the call for an independent inquiry into the case. Over a two week period, and with minimal publicity, 1,646 individuals put their names to a petition for an inquiry, which still remains open before the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee. If Scotland wishes to see its criminal justice system reinstated to the position of respect that it once held rather than its languishing as the mangled wreck it has become because of this perverse judgement, it is imperative that its government act by endorsing an independent inquiry into this entire affair. As a nation which aspires to independence, Scotland must have the courage to look itself in the mirror.

Signed:

Ms Kate Adie (Former Chief News Correspondent for BBC News).
Mr John Ashton (Author of ‘Megrahi: You are my Jury’ and co-author of ‘Cover Up of Convenience’).
Mr David Benson (Actor/author of the play ‘Lockerbie: Unfinished Business’).
Mrs Jean Berkley (Mother of Alistair Berkley: victim of Pan Am 103).
Mr Peter Biddulph (Lockerbie tragedy researcher).
Mr Benedict Birnberg (Retired senior partner of Birnberg Peirce & Partners).
Professor Robert Black QC (‘Architect’ of the Kamp van Zeist Trial).
Mr Paul Bull (Close friend of Bill Cadman: killed on Pan Am 103).
Professor Noam Chomsky (Human rights, social and political commentator).
Mr Tam Dalyell (UK MP: 1962-2005. Father of the House: 2001-2005).
Mr Ian Ferguson (Co-author of ‘Cover Up of Convenience’).
Dr David Fieldhouse (Police surgeon present at the Pan Am 103 crash site).
Mr Robert Forrester (Secretary of Justice for Megrahi).
Ms Christine Grahame MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament).
Mr Ian Hamilton QC (Advocate, author and former university rector).
Mr Ian Hislop (Editor of ‘Private Eye’).
Fr Pat Keegans (Lockerbie parish priest on 21st December 1988).
Ms A L Kennedy (Author).
Dr Morag Kerr (Secretary Depute of Justice for Megrahi).
Mr Andrew Killgore (Former US Ambassador to Qatar).
Mr Moses Kungu (Lockerbie councillor on the 21st of December 1988).
Mr Adam Larson (Editor and proprietor of ‘The Lockerbie Divide’).
Mr Aonghas MacNeacail (Poet and journalist).
Mr Eddie McDaid (Lockerbie commentator).
Mr Rik McHarg (Communications hub coordinator: Lockerbie crash sites).
Mr Iain McKie (Retired Superintendent of Police).
Mr Marcello Mega (Journalist covering the Lockerbie incident).
Ms Heather Mills (Reporter for ‘Private Eye’).
Rev’d John F Mosey (Father of Helga Mosey: victim of Pan Am 103).
Mr Len Murray (Retired solicitor).
Cardinal Keith O’Brien (Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church).
Mr Denis Phipps (Aviation security expert).
Mr John Pilger (Campaigning human rights journalist).
Mr Steven Raeburn (Editor of ‘The Firm’).
Dr Tessa Ransford OBE (Poetry Practitioner and Adviser).
Mr James Robertson (Author).
Mr Kenneth Roy (Editor of ‘The Scottish Review’).
Dr David Stevenson (Retired medical specialist and Lockerbie commentator).
Dr Jim Swire (Father of Flora Swire: victim of Pan Am 103).
Sir Teddy Taylor (UK MP: 1964-2005. Former Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland).
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize Winner).
Mr Terry Waite CBE (Former envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury and hostage negotiator).

OFSO
21st May 2012, 12:49
Thanks a million for posting that, Low Flier. For the record, my opinion is somewhere between "not proven" and "innocent" and my biggest concern is that - dare I say "once again" - the guilty have got away with it.

TwinAisle
21st May 2012, 13:04
OFSO - I think you and I stand in the same place, and it's getting increasingly crowded.

I can see someone, somewhere getting very uncomfortable - and I hope it is soon - when more and more of us start to see what a travesty of justice was committed by our government(s).

It is tragic enough that someone should get time for a crime that he did not commit; it must be more unbearable for the relatives of the victims to think that the real guilty may well be still among us.

TA

Blacksheep
21st May 2012, 13:13
When investigating a crime, one of the first things to establish is motive. In this case, which state had a motive?

OFSO
21st May 2012, 13:27
.......Syria.

Tankertrashnav
21st May 2012, 13:35
Thoughtful piece by Jim Swire in today's Times. As one who has as much cause as anyone to wish punishment on the perpetrators, he was nevertheless able to see that unless the true perpetrators were caught, any judicial process was useless in bring justice to the familes of the victims. Dr Swire has from the outset been unconvinced by the evidece brought against Magrahi, and met and spoke with him both before and after his release from prison. As Magrahi's release was granted on purely humanitarian grounds, and did not recognise his claim of innocence, once back in Libya he would have had no further need to deny his guilt if he was guilty, but nevertheless he protested his innocence to the end.

All the "burn in hell" rejoicers should at least consider the possibility that the real guilty parties have got off scot free, and are not burning in hell, or anywhere.

SASless
21st May 2012, 13:41
Spogget.....I am intrigued now. Megs said he would provide information that would clear his name....and "Shed Light" on the bombing? Now if one was truly innocent....had many years and opportunities to come forth....and had pertinent information about the actual plot....and had been wrongly convicted....why the silence?

Get real Man! He knew something alright....just never confessed!

He may only have been a part of what went on....or was part of an intelligence operation that knew about the plot and plotters.....but completely innocent....not only no...but hell no!

Libya and Qadaffi were nose deep in Terrorism....along with a lot of other groups, states, and individuals. Megs was involved and perhaps carried the bucket for others...but he was not an "innocent" victim of a miscarriage of justice.

rgbrock1
21st May 2012, 13:53
Follow the Iranian leads and you'll realize who was really behind this bombing. Although Libya was probably a facilitator of this terrorist action they were by no means alone.

Which state had a motive? I say again: Iran.

Sprogget
21st May 2012, 14:05
Get real Man! He knew something alright....just never confessed!
Sasless, you've repeated Alloa Akbars post, so I won't bore everyone with the same response, but if you haven't read Low Flier's last... you should.

TwinAisle
21st May 2012, 14:11
he was not an "innocent" victim of a miscarriage of justice

That's a logical non sequitor. In a criminal trial, the prosecution must prove the case against the defendant for a stated offence, or several of them. To say that Al Megrahi must have been guilty of something, not perhaps what he was charged with, but hey, we got him on something else corrodes the whole fabric of the legal system.

If he DID bomb the aircraft - and I think most right minded people now have nagging doubts - then he was an innocent victim of a miscarriage of justice. if he had been tried for something else, then a different result might have been reached. But for the crime of he was accused, I find it hard, having read the trial transcripts, let alone the mass of other writing, to think of him as anything other than the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

TA

anotherthing
21st May 2012, 15:06
Syria became a sudden scapegoat after the two countries originally blamed gave their support for Western military ventures in the ME...

PS - Al Jazeera - Yeah they are well noted for their impartial and objective journalism alright..I'd say Al Jazeera was more impartial than the good old BBC

Dr Swire is an intelligent man, with no reason to believe Megrahi. He has ferreted away at all the available evidence for years and has more knowledge than the people posting on here. If he has doubts, I am inclined to believe him.

MagnusP
21st May 2012, 15:11
If he DID bomb the aircraft - and I think most right minded people now have nagging doubts

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission had 800 pages of nagging doubts, which is why they referred it back for appeal.

rgbrock1
21st May 2012, 15:13
MagnusP:

Are any of these 800 pages in the public domain and available for review?

MagnusP
21st May 2012, 15:17
RGB: sadly not yet. There's lots of wriggling going on, with pollies hiding behind data protection legislation, but there is a growing body of learned legal opinion that Scottish politicians could circumvent that by use of a Scottish Statutory Instrument. We can but live in the hope that they'll grow a set.

vulcanised
21st May 2012, 15:18
I'd say Al Jazeera was more impartial than the good old BBC

Not to mention frequently a damn sight better at coverage.

rgbrock1
21st May 2012, 15:20
MagnusP:

Sadly, politicians in general will never, ever grow a set. It's just not part of the landscape, so to speak.

Low Flier
21st May 2012, 15:24
Written by Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Dr Flora Swire was murdered on PA103:

For truth’s sake, we fight on to clear al-Megrahi’s name

Even on the brink of death, al-Megrahi tried to help me discover who really killed my daughter

I first saw Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi on the morning of May 1, 2000. He was below us in the well of the specially convened court at Kamp Zeist, Holland. Close to us, to one side of the public gallery, sat his wife Aisha and his family.

Through the bulletproof glass Baset seemed timid in the dock, never venturing to speak out for himself. Later we learnt that his defence team had told him to let them do the talking.

We were totally unprepared for the comment from another observer in the gallery: “How could you sit so near to the filth?” he said. This profound presumption of guilt was unencumbered by the inconvenience of having to prove it. Hatred has festered for some, and contributed to the blinding of many ever since.

Separation from his family was the cruellest consequence of Baset’s conviction. He loved them dearly, as they did him. Aisha was almost always present whenever I met her husband once he was out of prison and on licence in Tripoli, though unlike him, she had no English. Her demeanour revealed her love for him and her trust towards me, an outsider, who had seen through the miscarriage of justice. Only near the very end did she leave us alone together, holding hands, for speech was difficult.

When I first met Baset in Greenock Prison, he was calm but determined to clear his name. He must have known that we had campaigned for years to have him tried under Scots law. Yet there was not a word of complaint, though his cancer, already giving him pain on sitting, was then in evidence. A devout Muslim, he had a Christmas card from the prison shop ready for me. On it he had written “Dr Swire and family, please pray for me and my family”. I treasure it still.

At least before he died we learnt what he already knew: that the story that a Libyan bomb using a long-running timer had started its journey from Malta was a myth. The famed fragment “PT35b” could never have been part of one of the timers allegedly used. There is now no valid evidence left from the court that either Malta, its flag carrier airline or Baset’s own country were involved. Baset has a valid alibi and he died knowing that in the end the truth will emerge.

On release from prison, his valedictory letter made clear that he attached no blame to the Scottish people for what had happened to him. This, from a man wrongly segregated from his family for years, and in the grip of a terrible disease, tells us much about the nature of Baset al-Megrahi. No one can be sure how much the stress of his terrible predicament affected his immune system and contributed to the spread of his fatal disease.

Later, when I met him in Tripoli, he was concerned that I as a victim’s father should get access, on his death, to all the information that had been amassed to fight his abandoned appeal. He knew that I still grieved for my daughter and sought the truth as to who had really murdered her. On the brink of his own death, he found the spirit to empathise with me. That was a measure of this man.

It is a tragedy that we have failed to overturn the verdict while he was alive. But we must clear his name posthumously for the sake of truth and for the future peace of his family. If we do nothing then a great evil will have triumphed.

There are people in Britain and America who, blinding themselves to the profound failure of the evidence against Baset, have tried deliberately to suppress the truth, and even to deny that Baset was mortally sick. Some of them have clearly done so knowing what they were doing. One can only pray for them.

Others, understandably consumed by hatred against a man they genuinely believed had murdered their relatives, advocated the withholding of treatment, even of painkillers so that he might die as quickly as possible and in the utmost agony. Such personal reactions are profoundly destructive to those who hold them. Unwittingly they have allowed themselves to become victims of the very terrorism which they rightly loathe; as such they will need help when the truth does come out. Therein will lie a number of individual further tragedies.

[Edited to add: the emphasis in bold is my own. Some of those sick people know who they are, some don't. LF]

IFRKING
21st May 2012, 15:45
@aterpster

QUOTE: "Not to worry. He is feasting on his bevy of virgins now"

You are aware that his acts of terrorism had nothing to do with Islam right?
Please don't turn this Aviation forum into a Religion vs Religion or even politics argument.

stuckgear
21st May 2012, 17:04
That's a logical non sequitor. In a criminal trial, the prosecution must prove the case against the defendant for a stated offence, or several of them. To say that Al Megrahi must have been guilty of something, not perhaps what he was charged with, but hey, we got him on something else corrodes the whole fabric of the legal system.


And that Twin Aisle, is what I have problem with.


The two accused, Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, denied all charges against them.

Representing Megrahi were his solicitor, Alistair Duff, and advocates William Taylor QC, David Burns QC and John Beckett.

Fhimah was represented by solicitor Eddie McKechnie, advocates Richard Keen QC, Jack Davidson QC and Murdo Macleod.

The crucial witness against Megrahi for the prosecution was Tony Gauci, a Maltese storekeeper, who testified that he had sold Megrahi the clothing later found in the remains of the suitcase bomb. At the trial, Gauci appeared uncertain about the exact date he sold the clothes in question, and was not entirely sure that it was Megrahi to whom they were sold.

Nonetheless, Megrahi's appeal against conviction was rejected by the Scottish Court in the Netherlands in March 2002.

Five years after the trial, former Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, publicly described Gauci as being "an apple short of a picnic" and "not quite the full shilling".

During the trial, the defence showed that Megrahi's co-defendant, Fhimah, had a watertight alibi, having been in Sweden at the time of the sabotage.


Now as I recall, Megrahi was convicted of conspiring with Fhimah to down PA103, but Fhimah was not convicted. So how can a person be convicted of conspiring in an act with someone who is cleared of such act.

The whole trial and conviction makes a mockery of Justice and the legal process and conviction beyond all reasonable doubt. if we go down that road, then there is no rule of law, judical process and right to fair trial and as such law and the legal process is nothing but anarchy. And in that sense, the the perversion of our own 'democratic' legal processes do more to damage democracy then terrorists can ever hope to achieve.

rgbrock1
21st May 2012, 17:29
Iranian Air flt. 665. Follow the evidence.

stuckgear
21st May 2012, 17:47
and more than that RGB:


In an interview conducted on May 16, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, the former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, told me that Tehran, not Libya, had ordered the bombing of Pan Am 103 in revenge for the downing of an Iranian civilian airliner by the USS Vincennes a few months earlier.
On July 3, 1988, the navy cruiser USS Vincennes, also known as "Robocruiser," shot down Iran Air Flight 665 over the Persian Gulf. The civilian airliner was carrying mostly Muslims on their pilgrimage to Mecca -- 290 died, most Iranians.
According to Bani-Sadr, in the immediate aftermath of the Lockerbie tragedy, Mohtashami-Pur, the then minister of the interior, acknowledged in an interview that he had contracted Ahmad Jibril, the leader of a Palestinian organization, to bomb an American airliner. The interview was scheduled for publication the following day. Hours before distribution, the newspaper was shutdown.



In the aftermath of the USS Vincennes accident, top figures in the Iranian government held a series of meetings in Beirut with leaders of Ahmed Jibril's terror group, the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command).
"Everybody in US intelligence knew about Iran's intention to bomb an American airliner in response to the downing of one of its own only months earlier. We knew that," former CIA operative Robert Baer explains.
"There was a smoking gun in July '88 that Iran hired Jibril to knock down at least one American plane," Baer told me. And indeed, media have long reported that high-ranking Iranian officials held a meeting with Dalkamoni, a trusted lieutenant of Jibril and a man said to be only known by the CIA as Nabil. In late October '88, Dalkamoni and Ghadanfar, alias Nabil Massoud, were arrested in Frankfurt where they were running an operation to destroy airliners.

"I was assigned to Paris in 1988 running down leads with French police on both Pan Am 103 and UTA [Union des Transports Aeriens] -- I do not know the ultimate judgment on the leads we produced. Or why precisely the case is being reviewed by Scotland. Keep in mind in your research that intelligence and evidence are two separate domains. Often it's the case [that] compartmented intelligence is not shared with the FBI. I do not know what the FBI was given or not given," Baer added.
"There's a world of intercepts and information from sources that is never shared with the FBI. This is because the controller of the information doesn't want to compromise the source. At the CIA, we look at the FBI as trying to get convictions, while intelligence is to get at a proximate truth. "



Mohtashami-Pur said that he had acted in revenge -- intekam (equal and just revenge) -- but his true motivation may reside elsewhere. By 1988, Iranian politics had become increasingly polarized between the Rafsanjani and the Mohtashemi factions.
Rafsanjani was in favor of a rapprochement with Washington. In July 1988, Rafsanjani stated in the parliament that "Iran should now attract those countries who could become friends instead of alienating them, as it had done in the past." Mohtashami-Pur was absolutely opposed to it.
On Sept. 26, 1988, a commando led by Mir Lohi, a Mohtashemi agent, attempted to assassinate Rafsanjani as he was leaving the parliament. Rafsanjani escaped but four of his Afghan bodyguards were killed and several others wounded.
The assassination attempt was widely perceived as a way to prevent a rapprochement with Washington. In a similar manner, the killing of Lt. Col. William Higgins in 1989 is also alleged to have been ordered by Mohtashemi in order to prevent the rapprochement of Syria with the US and again to derail attempts by Rafsanjani to better the relations of Iran with America.


Former Iranian President Blames Tehran for Lockerbie (http://www.thetorah.tv/misc/Former%20Iranian%20President%20Blames%20Tehran%20for%20Locke rbie.htm)

No matter if Megrahi and Libya was a part of the operation or not, either way, justice has not been served.

Tableview
21st May 2012, 18:35
BBC News - Lockerbie questions remain following Megrahi's death (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-12191604)

A few pertinent points from a long article.

Lockerbie questions remain following Megrahi's death



Dr Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora was one of the victims, disagrees.
"I'm not claiming at all that the Gaddafi regime is totally innocent in this," he said, "simply that their man Megrahi was not guilty as charged.
"I have a horror of the idea of my daughter's murder being set in a bag of lies and false evidence that was led against this man. I want it to be set in terms of the truth. I want people to know why she died."
There is now a glimmer of hope in this search for the truth.

But more than two decades after death rained down on a small Scottish town, everyone agrees on one thing: someone, somewhere has escaped justice for the Lockerbie bombing.

Lonewolf_50
21st May 2012, 21:17
Lon More:
Nice Tin Foil Hat you have there, mate, assuming the Pentagon was in on 103. Suggest you read a map, and find out where Langley, Virginia, is. Of course, your assertion that they 'were in on it' is risible. It is usually better not to assume malice where simple incompetence is the more likely explanation. (Or political constraints on wet work).

The various parties who "knew" about who did what ain't necessarily located in some five sided building. See Mr Baer's remarks.

Blacksheep:
If ignorance is bliss, you must be a happy man.
The US would not want their much vaunted "Aegis" missile system (the primary air defence system for a US Naval Battle Group) to be examined too closely in public, after it was shown incapable of differentiating between a civil airliner going about its lawful business and an attacking enemy fighter aircraft. In other words, useless.
No, not useless. It wasn't the "Aegis Missile System" that is to blame for Captain Rogers decision, and "inability to tell between comair and hostile fighters isn't," in the 1980's wasn't possible with 100% certainty. (Indeed, I doubt it is possible now, given the BVR capability that isn't used for a variety of reasons).
The Aegis system was not in auto engage mode, please educate yourself on the findings of that investigation. A human decision, based in part (I think) on USS Stark's fate (recall, our Navy was patrolling an area where two medium sized powers were at war, and at least one side cocked up and hit one of our ships by accident, or so Saddam said).
Not going to defend Captain Roger's decision to engage, he had a fairly large number of critics within the USN. That decision, with that Captian at the helm, would have been made had he been driving an Adams class, Belknap class, or Coontz class AAW escort.
Men mean more than guns in the rating of a ship. John Paul Jones
Please ponder on that thought. It was made by a with the habit of kicking British ass on the high seas.

Or, just keep talking out your backside, it's almost entertaining.

Just a question, Blacksheep: how much time have you spent in CIC in an Ageis cruiser? If you want to understand why the Aegis system was born: things like the SS-N-3 and Charlie SSGN. Handy for other roles as well, such as Kitchen and mass raids by Badgers and Bears. The tech has only gotten better since the USS Ticonderoga was commissioned. Hmm, another re

The above considered
Lockerbie was so clearly a response to the downing of the Iranian airliner that one wonders why the Libyans were ever blamed.

That's real food for thought.
Of course, there was the small matter of the USAF and USN bombing Libya in 1986. The Mad Colonel's relative killed. There is A motive. The Iranians also had plenty of motive, for sure.

As to the recently departed, that gent was taken down for being an accomplice to a capital crime. I suggest to you that the Scots court did not solely have that one piece of evidence to work with.
Or maybe some of you think that Scots are that stupid. Your bun fight to undertake, not mine. I do appreciate the appeal to the Scots law conclusion of Not Proven.

The Jury, who heard it all, disagreed. Why to you think that is?

Low Flier: that more of the perps were not apprehended is a shame. NO question. It took more than one or two people to put that op together.

Beyond that, your appeal to emotion is unfortunately colored by your "cry of wolf" as a habit. Please consider SASless' comment, and how long this guy had to finger all the people who were actually involved ... is something missing here?

At this point, his justice will be provided by the Almighty.

glad rag
21st May 2012, 22:30
Or, just keep talking out your backside, it's almost entertaining.

Oh the I R O N Y.

con-pilot
21st May 2012, 22:43
Oh the I R O N Y

You mean the never ending el toro poo, poo. :rolleyes:

stuckgear
22nd May 2012, 08:30
Lonewolf, i heartily appreciate your position on legal process, which in the US is constitutionally bound and you have a bill of rights too that the law, legal process and, well most sound Americans hold with the highest regard, as should be. unfortunately, other countries don't have the same and so things can be slightly different


As to the recently departed, that gent was taken down for being an accomplice to a capital crime.


Indeed and the accomplice was cleared, with a watertight alibi. so how can be convicted of being an accomplice to party x, when party x is absolved by trial not only is it absurd it's a non sequitur.

I suggest to you that the Scots court did not solely have that one piece of evidence to work with.


the one piece of evidence to Megrahi was Tony Gauci's testimony, google that.


The Jury, who heard it all, disagreed. Why to you think that is?



There was no jury, the jury was in effect the three trial judges.

Low Flier: that more of the perps were not apprehended is a shame. NO question. It took more than one or two people to put that op together.


i agree with you on that 100%

Please consider SASless' comment, and how long this guy had to finger all the people who were actually involved ... is something missing here?


if he didn't know who else was involved he couldn't finger them.

At this point, his justice will be provided by the Almighty.

agreed.

like i said in a previous lonewolf, if we as a democratic society go down the route of 'convenient' convictions that are not subject to due process, convictions not made beyond all reasonable doubt and trials and convictions that are so full of holes that they do not hold water, then we demean ourselves and our democratic processes to those of tin-pot political dictatorships and we damage our democratic processes more than terrorists ever can.

As such, this is not about Megrahi, but about what we defend; democracy, due process, fair trial and equality under the law.

If Megrahi did do it, i want to see him convicted under hard evidence, if he was a bit player, i want to see him convicted along with the lead players, not as a scapegoat. if he was innocent, then the conviction quashed and those who subverted the legal process held to account.

ideological, maybe. but it goes to the very foundations of democracy, if we demean that, what do we have ?

MagnusP
22nd May 2012, 08:31
The Jury, who heard it all, disagreed.

What jury would that be, then?

Blacksheep
22nd May 2012, 10:40
The Vincennes was an Aegis missile ship, Lonewolf. The fact that it shot down a civilian airliner going about its lawful business on a daily scheduled flight, while apparentlyunder the misaprehension that it was an Iranian fighter making an attack on the ship indicates that this air defence system - which is what the Vincennes and its entire equipment and crew was - failed in its primary function.

No, I've never been aboard an Aegis missile ship, nor have I seen how it is meant to perform, but if such a total system is incapable of correctly identifying and communicating with a civil airliner flying a routine flight on a published airway, under a pre-filed flight plan, then we must define this "system" as not fit for purpose. The civil ATC communications frequencies are well known and publicised, there should be no need to try and communicate on "guard" frequency. Airliners do not in any case routinely monitor 121.5 mhz when in busy airspace. It seems to have been a case of criminal incompetence by the Captain and much of his crew.

It would also be interesting to learn under what authority the US Navy in any case claimed the right to control this particular bit of international airspace?

ukc_mike
22nd May 2012, 11:43
The fact that it shot down a civilian airliner going about its lawful business on a daily scheduled flight, while apparentlyunder the misaprehension that it was an Iranian fighter making an attack on the ship indicates that this air defence system - which is what the Vincennes and its entire equipment and crew was - failed in its primary function.

6 Disasters Caused by Poorly Designed User Interfaces | Cracked.com (http://www.cracked.com/article_19776_6-disasters-caused-by-poorly-designed-user-interfaces.html) contains one description of what actually went wrong. The tone of the article isn't quite reasoned scientific presentation, but the facts they mention for other accidents match other descriptions of those incidents.

Their description may be wrong - I'm in no way competent to judge it, but I'm sure there are people around here who can judge it.

rab-k
22nd May 2012, 12:30
The Vincennes had actually pursued Iranian gunboats into Iranian territorial waters and, knowing this, the Captain was sh!t scared he was just about to offer up his ship and crew as a gift to the IRIAF.

Given that recent events have shown just how Muammar Gaddafi ran his regime, it is not inconceivable that Al Megrahi was persuaded to 'take one for the team', so to speak, no doubt with the understanding that his nearest and dearest would be either looked after or left unmolested, take your pick, provided he played his part in the game to the best of his ability.

Low Flier
22nd May 2012, 12:54
Al Jazeera's extreme antipathy towards the (former) government of Libya is well known and well documented. The channel is owned by the ruling clique of the Qatari dictatorship which channelled arms and other military support to the terrorist/freedom-fighter network in Libya which overthrew the government of that country last year. They are currently doing the same thing to Syria.

It is remarkable the Al Jazeera was able to make such an unbiased and intellectually honest documentary as this one which was made shortly before Megrahi died.

Now that Megrahi is dead, it is well worth watching. So far as I'm aware, Megrahi's interview in this film is the only one he ever gave after the Zeist showtrial reached its gross miscarriage of justice.

Lockerbie: Case closed - YouTube

damirc
22nd May 2012, 15:19
Megrahi claimed that before he died he would release information backing up his claims of innocence and shedding light on what really happened.. Did he release it? No. Why not? If he was the innocent man he claimed, and intent on clearing his family name, surely he would have done everything possible to do that?? John Ashton's Megrahi: You are my jury: The Lockerbie Evidence was released this year on Feb 28th with Megrahi's cooperation. It can be bought from Amazon: Megrahi: You Are My Jury: The Lockerbie Evidence: Amazon.co.uk: John Ashton: Books From what I understand he also made sure that all of the documentation still in his posession will pass on to Jim Swire now that he is dead. Therefore I am of the opinion he was in it up to his neck (Not alone, I concede) and was nothing more than a publicity seeking, lying terrorist bsatrad. Dr Swire is entitled to his views and I respect that, but being a Doctor and the father of a victim doesn't automatically mean he is right. If he was publicity seeking I would presume he would gain a lot more publicity by claiming he did it and working on a book "Megrahi: How I did it" and not clinging to his innocence until his death. Dr. Swire was present at the trial. Even with his daughter taken from him far too early he has kept a cool head and used reasoning and not emotions in regards to Megrahi and the trial. Far too many people let their emotions take them over and feed their bloodlust, even if it's misdirected. PS - Al Jazeera - Yeah they are well noted for their impartial and objective journalism alright.. Actually - in many cases they are very objective, I would even say far more objective than several western media houses. D.

Alloa Akbar
22nd May 2012, 16:56
I'm not suggesting Megrahi was brains behind the bombing, the perp or whatever, all I am suggesting is that he was involved, and in my view anyone who was involved in any minute way deserves to be locked up for good. I respect all of the views and opinions on here, and I take note that these views, like mine are influenced by whichever publication(s) we choose to read. I think the chances of the facts coming to light are highly unlikely for whatever political reason. I also agree that many people involved in this act have gotten away with it.. however.. Megrahi got locked up for it.. That was at least a start.

As for the armchair sleuths on here.. You lot should work for the Intelligence services.. who needs all that buggering around with operatives and government policies and agendas when we can solve these major crimes with a few hours on the internet.. :ugh:

rab-k
22nd May 2012, 17:15
You lot should work for the Intelligence services..

Ah yes, that'll be the ones whose definition of honesty, integrity and credibility can be found under the headings "WMD" and "Rendition". Far be it then for us mere mortals to cast doubt upon their evidence in this case. :ugh:

vulcanised
22nd May 2012, 18:00
BBC News - Lockerbie bomber: Public figures demand inquiry into conviction (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-18162464)

Sprogget
22nd May 2012, 18:06
I shouldn't think we'll get an inquiry any time soon. The political lords of the universe will want to wait until a good few from the time have died off. They'll look after their own kind long before they'll offer anything approachng the truth.

stuckgear
22nd May 2012, 18:08
You lot should work for the Intelligence services.. who needs all that buggering around with operatives and government policies and agendas

the security services at all levels get mightily pissed off with political influences screwing their investigations, operations and policies, often leaving those poor b*st*rds second guessing which way is up and wondering what the political screw d'jour will be.

and "Rendition".

never had an issue with rendition.

rgbrock1
22nd May 2012, 18:13
What's wrong with rendition? It's the new-and-improved way of embarking on a well-deserved vacation to a place not of your own choosing. Sort of like a surprise.

What could possibly be wrong with a surprise vacation? Hmmm?

Lonewolf_50
22nd May 2012, 22:46
Stuck: thanks for the correction on judges versus jury.
I'll point out, once again, that they heard the whole case.
If it was as simple as you claim that it is, and others, why do you think their conclusion is at odds with yours? What do they know that you don't?

I don't know if they were right or wrong, but I do know how funny it is to read some of you and your second guessing of their work when they were there. And You Weren't.
Gee, have we seen this point raised before in the Rumors threads?

Blacksheep: Following up with more willful ignorance. Why?

Aegis doesn't have a visual cueing system in the 1980's (and as far as I recall, now either) to match up on all its radar tracks. So, if you don't know what it is visually, you use various means to determine.

Aegis is extremely good at acquiring and tracking radar contacts, and keeping track of a whole lot of them at once. And guiding missiles to thems as is selected as targets. (More recently Aegis knocked down a satellite, a capability that at the time of this incident was deliberately blocked via software due to the ABM treaty). But that is what it was built to do, in a hot war setting.

The engagement decision, and indeed the assessment of "is it a comair, or is it something masking itself as comair" was a matter of wet ware (human decision and judgment), not the Aegis system itself.

There was more to it than just "is it a scheduled airliner up there or something else?"

It being a scheduled airliner is irrelevant to anyone in a combat frame of mind, which is where Roger's head was, and why that plane was hailed, time and again, and ignored. The lack of response lent more uncertainty, rather than resolving the ambiguity. Had they answered, we'd not be having this conversation. Why they didn't? Doesn't matter now, does it?

The attempt was made to resolve the ambiguity. That doesn't mean "talk or die" since other AAW pickets in the area were not of a mind to classify that contact as hostile, but were more content to tag it unknown.

The CO of the USS Sides has made numerous comments on that case, feel free to look them up. He was there that day, in the area, and watching the AAW plot.

I've been in CIC on an Aegis Cruiser, and while it's some pretty neat gear, it does not provide omniscience. Your insistence that it should is rubbish, pure and simple.

As I said about Captain Rogers, he was (in his mind) in a war zone (two medium sized powers fighting each other, our ships mucking about in the general area) and was in a surface action with some Iranian surface craft in the vicinity.

In the opinion of a lot of USN officers, his conduct in that event was not the best example of how to handle multiple threats at once, which a surface ship captain must. It appears that he convinced himself that the presence of an air contact, whose track history indicated Iran as origin, and who refused to respond to a routine hail, was not a coincidence in terms of his being involved in a surface scuffle at the time. Turns out that it was just that, coincidence.

Given that the air contact was hailed and not idendified, it was assigned hostile and engaged.

Can a fighter slow down and fly a profile like a comair? Yes. Were the Iranians in the habit of doing that? I don't think so (at least not then). Can a Comair speed up and act like a fighter running an intercept? Not really.

USS Stark's being hit the previous year had no small influence on the Captain, and other captains in the Gulf. He wasn't going to risk getting hit, even though with his ship, the best AAW unit we had and a hell of a lot better than Stark, his odds versus any missiles (had it been a fighter spoofing comair) were pretty good.
Most Iranian fighters could not carry enough ASM's to overwhelm Vincennes batteries. Then again, standard AAW doctrine tends to revolve around Shoot the Indian before he Shoots his arrow!
So, he did.
He shot, and his ship wasn't hit.

That he had never actually verified (he had no fighers up there to do VID) hostile has been a topic of much disagreement among American naval officers since then, both pro and con his decision.

Once again, Blacksheep, he didn't know what it was, and assumed worst case.
Were there other cues he could have used? Most of his peers seemed to think so. Your armchair analysis, were it informed, might be of interest. As it is, all you are doing is showing your ignorance.
It would also be interesting to learn under what authority the US Navy in any case claimed the right to control this particular bit of international airspace?
Given that a shooting war was in progress between Iran and Iraq at the time, and that Iran and the US had exchanged armed pleasantries already that year and the year before (See praying Operations Praying Mantis and Earnest Will previous to this shootdown of Iran Air's A300) and the shootdown was in July of 1988, I find your question both amusing and intriguing.

Why does that matter?

When someone claims jurisdiction over airspace, you can either argue with them, or comply.

If they argue and are armed, are you sure you want to keep arguing while you have pax on board, or maybe argue later, when you are on the ground?

You are an airline captain, eh?

What's your answer? Will a rule save your life while you are up in the air? A lawyer?
EDIT:
Given that recent events have shown just how Muammar Gaddafi ran his regime, it is not inconceivable that Al Megrahi was persuaded to 'take one for the team', so to speak, no doubt with the understanding that his nearest and dearest would be either looked after or left unmolested, take your pick, provided he played his part in the game to the best of his ability.
That makes some sense.
EDIT 2
FWIW: I had thought, when I reviewed this case while at Staff college, that President Reagan, since he had already won re-election, could have been a bit more gallant and offered up an apology for Captain Roger's mistake. Some will argue that there were international law things in the way, but my conlcusion was that it had to do with internal sentiments: the political climate in the US in 1988 was not such that much of anyone in the US cared that a bunch of Iranians (who hated us, right? We are the Great Satan!!!!) died by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was left to one of his successors to make good.
In 1996, the United States and Iran reached "an agreement in full and final settlement of all disputes, differences, claims, counterclaims" relating to the incident at the International Court of Justice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice). As part of the settlement, the United States agreed to pay US $61.8 million, an average of $213,103.45 per passenger, in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims. However, the United States has never admitted responsibility, nor apologized to Iran.
Politics, at its finest.

dead_pan
22nd May 2012, 23:34
I wonder how America would have reacted had an Iranian warship brought down a US airliner?

Also, by way of comparison, how much compensation did Libya pay the relatives of the Lockerbie victims?

If anyone knows the true extent of Libya's involvement in this atrocity, its Moussa Koussa. Why he was allowed to leave the UK last year without being interrogated in depth and at length about the event is bizarre in the extreme.

racedo
22nd May 2012, 23:51
What's wrong with rendition? It's the new-and-improved way of embarking on a well-deserved vacation to a place not of your own choosing. Sort of like a surprise.

What could possibly be wrong with a surprise vacation? Hmmm?

So you agree that Iraq has the right to request rendition of US Personnel for their actions against innocent civilians ? and you will support that rendition ?

racedo
22nd May 2012, 23:56
In the opinion of a lot of USN officers, his conduct in that event was not the best example of how to handle multiple threats at once, which a surface ship captain must. It appears that he convinced himself that the presence of an air contact, whose track history indicated Iran as origin, and who refused to respond to a routine hail, was not a coincidence in terms of his being involved in a surface scuffle at the time. Turns out that it was just that, coincidence.

Lets be clear, Airline didn't refuse to respond, it never received it. It operated on Civilian frequencies like all Civilian aircraft yet was hailed on non Civilian ones.

con-pilot
23rd May 2012, 05:50
Hmm, I never realized that 121.5 was a non-civilian frequency.

Blacksheep
23rd May 2012, 08:16
Aegis doesn't have a visual cueing system in the 1980's (and as far as I recall, now either) to match up on all its radar tracks. So, if you don't know what it is visually, you use various means to determine.
But they didn't. They were operating in a civilian environment with busy civil airways overhead and failed to identify their target before shooting.

I really couldn't give a shit how Aegis works, the plain fact is that a ship equipped with a much vaunted air defence system was unable for whatever reason, to identify a civil airliner, flying a scheduled flight on an established airway, equipped with an ATC transponder and in contact with ATC on the established and published frequencies and shot it down. As far as we know the only attempt to identify the aircraft was a transmission on 121.5 Mhz - a frequency that the aircraft would most likely not be monitoring. My ignorance of how Aegis works is manifest, but as I say, I couldn't care less how the damned thing works, it was clearly unfit for purpose in this case.

At the time, our company's aircraft routed through Dubai twice daily and were regularly challenged and threatened by US Naval forces on 121.5Mhz. Not being equipped with ACARS, our aircraft routinely monitored this frequency on VHF3, but not all civil aircraft have a third VHF and those that did in the eighties generally installed a VDR and used it for ACARS - tuned to the appropriate frequency for transmitting aircraft performance data and company SITA messages when within 150 miles of the destination. It seems that the US Navy had a policy of using 121.5 for issuing challenges, but that is clearly an abuse of the facility, which is intended for use in emergency only.

Alloa Akbar
23rd May 2012, 08:47
I wonder how America would have reacted had an Iranian warship brought down a US airliner?

9/11 is probably a good indicator.. ;)

stuckgear
23rd May 2012, 08:54
Stuck: thanks for the correction on judges versus jury.
I'll point out, once again, that they heard the whole case.
If it was as simple as you claim that it is, and others, why do you think their conclusion is at odds with yours? What do they know that you don't?

I don't know if they were right or wrong, but I do know how funny it is to read some of you and your second guessing of their work when they were there. And You Weren't.
Gee, have we seen this point raised before in the Rumors threads?



No probs lonewolf.

buy reasonable extension of your premise there, it could then be contended that there has never been a misscarriage of justice with innocent people jailed.

But then we know that is not the case. Both in high and low profile cases, also cases that have involved terroist activities. Look up the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven for example.

closer to you, here for example, is a list of exonerated US death row inmates (this is death row only not life or other sentances):


1973

1. David Keaton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Keaton) Florida (Keaton v. State, 273 So.2d 385 (1973)). Convicted 1971.
1974

2. Samuel A. Poole North Carolina (State v. Poole, 203 S.E.2d 786 (N.C. 1974)). Convicted 1973.
1975

3. Wilbert Lee (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lee_and_Pitts&action=edit&redlink=1) Florida (Pitts v. State 247 So.2d 53 (Fla. 1971), overturned and released by pardon in 1975). Convicted 1963.


4. Freddie Pitts (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lee_and_Pitts&action=edit&redlink=1) Florida (Pitts v. State 247 So.2d 53 (Fla. 1971), overturned and released by pardon in 1975). Convicted 1965.


5. James Creamer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marietta_Seven) Georgia (Emmett v. Ricketts, 397 F. Supp 1025 (N.D. Ga. 1975)). Convicted 1973.


6. Christopher Spicer North Carolina (State v. Spicer, 204 SE 2d 641 (1974)). Convicted 1973.
1976

7. Thomas Gladish New Mexico. Convicted 1974.


8. Richard Greer New Mexico. Convicted 1974.


9. Ronald Keine (http://www.ronkeine.org/) New Mexico. Convicted 1974.


10. Clarence Smith New Mexico. Convicted 1974.
1977

11. Delbert Tibbs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delbert_Tibbs) Florida. Convicted 1974.
1978

12. Earl Charles Georgia. Convicted 1975.


13. Jonathan Treadway Arizona. Convicted 1975.
1979

14. Gary Beeman Ohio. Convicted 1976.
1980-1989
1980

15. Jerry Banks.
16. Larry Hicks.
1981

17. Charles Ray Giddens.
18. Michael Linder.
19. Johnny Ross.
20. Ernest (Shuhaa) Graham.
1982

21. Annibal Jaramillo.
22. Lawyer Johnson (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lawyer_Johnson&action=edit&redlink=1) Massachusetts (Commonwealth v. Johnson, 429 N.E.2d 726 (1982)). Convicted 1971.
1985

23. Larry Fisher.
1986

24. Anthony Brown.
25. Neil Ferber.
26. Clifford Henry Bowen.
1987

27. Joseph Green Brown.
28. Perry Cobb.
29. Darby (Williams) Tillis.
30. Vernon McManus.
31. Anthony Ray Peek.
32. Juan Ramos.
33. Robert Wallace.
1988

34. Richard Neal Jones.
35. Willie Brown.
36. Larry Troy.
1989

37. Randall Dale Adams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randall_Dale_Adams) Texas (Ex Parte Adams, 768 S.W.2d 281) (Tex. Crim App. 1989). Convicted 1977.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates#cite_note-2)[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates#cite_note-3)
38. Robert Cox.
39. James Richardson.
On April 8, 2010, former death row inmate Timothy B. Hennis, once exonerated in 1989, was reconvicted of a triple murder, thereby dropping him from the list of those exonerated. [1] (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/us/09soldier.html?scp=1&sq=timothy%20hennis&st=cse) Sentenced to death by military court-martial 15 April 2010
1990-1999
1990

40. Clarence Brandley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Brandley) Texas (Ex Parte Brandley, 781 S.W.2d 886 (Tex. Crim App. 1989). Convicted 1981.
41. John C. Skelton.
42. Dale Johnston.
43. Jimmy Lee Mathers.
1991

44. Gary Nelson.
45. Bradley P. Scott.
46. Charles Smith.
1992

47. Jay C. Smith Pennsylvania. Convicted 1986.
1993

48. Kirk Bloodsworth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirk_Bloodsworth) Maryland. Convicted 1984. Exonerated 1993; first prisoner to be exonerated by DNA evidence. Serving life in prison when exonerated, as earlier death sentence was overturned.
49. Federico M. Macias.
50. Walter McMillan.
51. Gregory R. Wilhoit Oklahoma. Convicted 1987. Along with Ron Williamson, Wilhoit later became the subject of John Grisham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Grisham)'s 2006 non-fiction book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innocent_Man:_Murder_and_Injustice_in_a_Small_Town).[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates#cite_note-Amazon-4)
52. James Robison.
53. Muneer Deeb.
1994

54. Andrew Golden.
1995

55. Adolph Munson.
56. Robert Charles Cruz.
57. Rolando Cruz.
58. Alejandro Hernández.
59. Sabrina Butler.
1996

60. Joseph Burrows. Joseph Burrows was released from death row after his attorney Kathleen Zellner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Zellner) persuaded the real killer to confess at the post-conviction hearing.
61. Verneal Jimerson.
62. Dennis Williams.
63. Roberto Miranda.
64. Gary Gauger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Gauger)
65. Troy Lee Jones.
66. Carl Lawson.
67. David Wayne Grannis.
1997

68. Ricardo Aldape Guerra.
69. Benjamin Harris.
70. Robert Hayes.
71. Christopher McCrimmon.
72. Randall Padgett.
It is later revealed, through additional research by Prof. Samuel Gross of the University of Michigan, that though James Bo Cochran was acquitted of murder, he did plead guilty to a robbery charge in an agreement made with prosecutors prior to his release. Therefore, Cochran is no longer on the list of those exonerated from death row. [2] (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/revision-list-exonerated-individuals)
1998

73. Robert Lee Miller, Jr.
74. Curtis Kyles.
1999

75. Shareef Cousin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shareef_Cousin) Louisiana (Louisiana v. Cousin, 710 So. 2d 1065 (1998)). Convicted 1996.
76. Anthony Porter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Porter) Illinois. Convicted 1983.
77. Steven Smith.
78. Ronald Williamson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Williamson) Oklahoma. Convicted 1988. Along with Gregory R. Wilhoit, Williamson later became the inspiration for and subject of John Grisham's 2006 non-fiction book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates#cite_note-Amazon-4)
79. Ronald Jones.
80. Clarence Dexter, Jr.
81. Warren Douglas Manning.
82. Alfred Rivera.
2000-2009
2000

83. Steve Manning.
84. Eric Clemmons.
85. Joseph Nahume Green.
86. Earl Washington (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Washington) Virginia (pardoned). Convicted 1994 (1984, without life sentence).
87. William Nieves.
88. Frank Lee Smith (died prior to exoneration).
89. Michael Graham.
90. Albert Burrell.
91. Oscar Lee Morris.
2001

92. Peter Limone.
93. Gary Drinkard.
94. Joachin José Martínez.
95. Jeremy Sheets.
96. Charles Fain.
2002

97. Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Roberto_Melendez-Colon) Florida. Convicted 1984.
98. Ray Krone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Krone) Arizona (State v. Krone, 897 P.2d 621 (Ariz. 1995) (en banc)). Convicted 1992.
99. Thomas Kimbell, Jr.
100. Larry Osborne.
2003

101. Aaron Patterson.
102. Madison Hobley.
103. Leroy Orange (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Orange).
104. Stanley Howard.
105. Rudolph Holton.
106. Lemuel Prion.
107. Wesley Quick.
108. John Thompson.
109. Timothy Howard Ohio. Convicted 1976.
110. Gary Lamar James Ohio. Convicted 1976.
111. Joseph Amrine.
112. Nicholas Yarris Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania v. Yarris, No 690-OF1982, Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County, September 3, 2003. Order vacating conviction). Convicted 1982.
2004

113. Alan Gell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Gell).
114. Gordon Steidl.
115. Laurence Adams.
116. Dan L. Bright.
117. Ryan Matthews.
118. Ernest Ray Willis.
2005

119. Derrick Jamison.
120. Harold Wilson.
2006

121. John Ballard.
2007

122. Curtis McCarty.
123. Michael McCormick.
124. Jonathon Hoffman.
2008

125. Kennedy Brewer Mississippi. Convicted 1995.
126. Glen Edward Chapman (http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2669008/) North Carolina. Convicted 1995.
127. Levon "Bo" Jones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levon_%22Bo%22_Jones)[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates#cite_note-5) North Carolina. Convicted 1993.
128. Michael Blair (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/091708dnmetblair.1a73098.html) Texas.
2009

129. Nathson Fields (http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/1517670,death-row-nathson-fields-aquitted-040809.article) Illinois. Convicted 1986.
130. Paul House (http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/may/12/prosecutor-moves-drop-charges-against-ex-death-row/) Tennessee. Convicted 1986.
131. Daniel Wade Moore (http://www.whnt.com/news/whnt-judge-talks-about-daniel-moore-case,0,2984085.story) Alabama. Convicted 2002.
132. Ronald Kitchen (http://cbs2chicago.com/local/wrongful.conviction.release.2.1075800.html) Illinois. Convicted 1988.
133. Herman Lindsey Florida. Convicted 2006.
134. Michael Toney (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Roy_Toney) Texas. Convicted 1999. (Toney later died in a car accident on October 3, 2009, just one month and a day after his exoneration.).[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates#cite_note-6)
135. Yancy Douglas Oklahoma. Convicted 1997.
136. Paris Powell Oklahoma. Convicted 1997.
137. Robert Springsteen Texas. Convicted 2001.
138. Cameron_Todd_Willingham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_Todd_Willingham) Texas. Convicted 1992.(posthumous, executed 2004).
2010-20xx
2010

138. Joe D'Ambrosio (http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/03/d.html) Ohio. Convicted 1989. (While he was freed in 2010, but not yet exonerated, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the state of Ohio challenging the unconditional writ of habeas corpus and bar to D'Ambrosio's re-prosecution on January 23, 2012, nearly 2 years later, making D'Ambrosio the 140th death row exoneree since 1973. [3] (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-ohios-substantial-inequitable-conduct-leads-nations-140th-death-row-exoneration))
139. Anthony Graves (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7266470.html) Texas. Convicted 1994.
2011

140. Gussie Vann (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/recently-cleared-tennessee-inmate-added-list-exonerations) Tennessee. Convicted 1994.


Don't get me wrong, the anger and disgust on this side of the pond over PA103 and Lockerbie is extremely high and the desire for not just justice, but also to some degree retribution remains high.

The question remains over Megrahi's conviction beyond reasonable doubt, which remains in question, not just by the evidence, but by the conviction itself.

If we go down the route of convictions based on not evidence, but by probability, convenience or even questionable evidence and paid testimony, then we go down the route of facism/totalitarianism and that is not compatible with democracy, which the US was founded on and the UK had hard fought to acheive.

A batch of declassified CIA reports from the late 1980s point to the Mediterranean island-nation of Malta as a major battlefield between American and Libyan intelligence operatives. According to the reports (http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110914/local/CIA-files-depict-Malta-as-Libyan-terrorist-hub-between-1988-1991.384608), which date from between 1988 and 1991, Malta served as a “primary launching point” for Libyan intelligence and paramilitary units on their way to Germany, Britain, and other countries in Western Europe. Most of the reports, which number over 250 pages in total, contain intelligence from a CIA informant named Abdul Majid Giaka. Referred to as “P/1” in the CIA documents, Giaka was a Libyan employee of Libyan Arab Airlines stationed in Malta. In 1988, however, he walked in the American embassy in the Maltese capital Valetta, and offered to work as an agent-in-place for the CIA. In exchange for his services, he requested regular financial compensation, as well as a promise of eventual relocation to the United States for him and his Maltese wife. Eventually, the intelligence collected by Giaka formed a major component of the prosecution’s case in the Lockerbie bombing court hearings. Giaka’s testimony directly led to the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, who was released from a British prison in August of 2009 on compassionate grounds and is now in Tripoli. The declassified documents show that, in return for Giaka’s services, the CIA arranged a fake surgery for him in 1989, in order to help him secure an exemption from serving in the Libyan armed forces. The CIA’s initial assessment of Giaka was that he was dependable “intelligent, serious and fairly well composed”. Later, however, Giaka’s CIA handlers began questioning his commitment after he started appearing with new information only when in need of money

I'm not saying Megrahi was an 'innocent', but that the evidence and the trial was significantly flawed so that the beyond reasonable doubt conviction is highly questionable. Robert Baer of your own CIA questioned the megrahi conviction:

A US intelligence report available to the lawyers of a Libyan former intelligence agent convicted for his role in the Lockerbie air disaster blames Iran, not Libya, for the attack. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, who will be released from jail on compassionate grounds, had instructed (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6797773.ece) his legal team to present the document in court if his release appeal failed. Al-Megrahi is one of two Libyans jailed for their alleged role in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people. But the report, produced by the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), says that the attack was “conceived, authorized and financed” by Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur (alternative spelling: Ali-Akbar Mohtashamipur), who served as the Iran’s Minister of Interior during the first years of the Islamic Revolution.

dead_pan
23rd May 2012, 10:07
I for one have serious doubts over Al-Megrahi's conviction however it does seem odd that, given the events in Libya over the past year, that he, his family or the new regime never came forward with any new information in an effort to clear his name. What ever deal was struck between the UK government, the Scottish executive and the Gaddafi regime to free Al-Megrahi was in effect voided when that regime collapsed in 2011. There was then nothing preventing Al-Megrahi or those newly in power from making a full and open disclosure. If Libya was not involved, who now benefits from this continued silence?

As for the Vincennes incident, this showed America and its military at its very worst. To lay on a fanfare welcome and petition of support for the ship on its homecoming was in my opinion grossly insensitive and inflammatory (as was the release of the TV footage - who on Earth allowed that to happen?). The captain and crew f*cked-up, pure and simple, no excuses. An immediate and unconditional apology together with a court martial of those in command would have gone a long way to restoring America's reputation after this atrocity.

Gibon2
23rd May 2012, 10:12
6 Disasters Caused by Poorly Designed User Interfaces | Cracked.com (http://www.cracked.com/article_19776_6-disasters-caused-by-poorly-designed-user-interfaces.html) contains one description of what actually went wrong. The tone of the article isn't quite reasoned scientific presentation, but the facts they mention for other accidents match other descriptions of those incidents.


I found that article both informative and highly amusing. Interesting snippets on the Kegworth accident and the Air Inter A320 vs. Mt St Odile crash. The latter includes the following gem, which neatly sums up the debate on umpteen dozen PPRuNe accident threads:

There were many factors involved in the crash, the main one being a mountain.

Sorry, please carry on with the retrial of Al Megrahi.

stuckgear
23rd May 2012, 10:56
As for the Vincennes incident, this showed America and its military at its very worst.


Just a slight change to that dead pan,

"As for the Vincennes incident, this showed politicians at their very worst."

Personally, i have no truck with the cousins, the citizens (well maybe one two, including the Kardashians) nor the guys on the ground in the military, or the 'higher ups' that have served their country in various theatres, but with politicians who exploit and use the very people they should be serving, but then the UK, nor probably any other country is any different from that. :hmm:

As we've seen many a time, the ball is dropped from time with a resultant FUBAR, the problems arise when political attempts to hide the errors occur and that turns a FUBAR into a SNAFU.

Again, the UK is no different and currently in the UK we are seeing this again and again, witgh media attention, in many aspects.

TwinAisle
23rd May 2012, 11:30
If Libya was not involved, who now benefits from this continued silence?

What, apart from the US government, the security forces, the UK government, the Scottish Justice system, and the people who actually DID do it?

TA

Airborne Aircrew
23rd May 2012, 11:38
The captain and crew f*cked-up, pure and simple, no excuses.

One sometimes wonders if the magnitude of the error points to it not being an error at all.

Just sayin'... :hmm:

Sprogget
23rd May 2012, 11:45
"As for the Vincennes incident, this showed politicians at their very worst." Tend to agree with this. One must remember that the Vincennes incident took place 4 months before the 1988 presidential election & Veep George Bush went the UN & said:

One thing is clear, and that is that USS Vincennes acted in self-defense.... It occurred in the midst of a naval attack initiated by Iranian vessels against a neutral vessel and subsequently against the Vincennes when she came to the aid of the innocent ship in distress." None of which was true.

dead_pan
23rd May 2012, 11:46
That doesn't explain Libya's continuing silence, unless perhaps they were reminded of their commitments under the Al-Megrahi deal as part of our offer to provide military support last year (perhaps our offer was conditional on them doing so?). Or maybe there's a link between Libya and Iran (our enemy's enemy is our friend and all that) and Libya are taking the blame for the sake of that relationship?

stuckgear
23rd May 2012, 11:46
One sometimes wonders if the magnitude of the error points to it not being an error at all.

Just sayin'... http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/yeees.gif

The downing of Iran Air 655 by executive order is pushing the envelope a bit !

Lonewolf_50
23rd May 2012, 14:12
@ stuckgear: appreciate your points, but I think we've reached a culminating point there.

For RG: That the Navy didn't relieve Rogers of his command, and possibly worse, had a lot to do with the political environment in 1988. Everything has a context, which our dear friend Blacksheep seems to be forgetting. Which is odd, since he was in the environment, and was often challenged to identify himself. And never got shot down.

Dear Blacksheep, no, they weren't operating in a civilian environment.
I mean Vincennes.

The A300 presumed it was, for sure, even though Iran and Iraq had been at war since 1980, and the Iranian forces and American forces had already shown hot lead to one another. I can understand that if the A300 crew had heard the hail that their gut feeling might be "I don't have to respond to those arseholes, we aren't at war with them" (which was more or less true) and there you are, again with missiles off the rails. Or, they could have responded with "this is IR 665, and screw you, Yankee" and most likely have been alive at their destination. Who knows?

I do agree with your point that the failure to positively identify the A300 is the root of the problem, and led to the launch order. Rogers ran out of tools to do Identify, as he didn't have a carrier nearby, nor anyone flying CAP, which in that era was standard doctrine for VID of air contacts. That he was in a surface action is a whole other story, given that the action may have been him provoking local Iranian forces ... different but related issue with Vincennes command climate.

Blacksheep, I am not convinced that a bunch of ship drivers were imaginative enough, or maybe didn't have enough VHF tranceivers on board, to set up all of the the ATC freqs for a given zone.
Good idea, in hindsight, to set up the comms like that. Not sure what's been done of late to deal with such problems.

Rogers' peers have mostly disagreed with how he arrived at the conclusion that IF he could not clearly ID one way or the other, THEN it must be hostile. Most RoE does not support that logic chain, but sometimes your RoE will.

That is partly a product of Cold War thinking, as well as the environmental point that each Captain in the Gulf was keenly aware of what happened to the Stark, and the complancency that led to that ship not being prepared while in a war zone to deal with flying missiles. Some of it is also, IMO, tied to Rogers personally.

Roger's main defense is that he was "overly non-complacent" as compared to Stark, and his engagement made sense if his assumption was correct: if not positively identified, it MUST be hostile.

His other defense is, as follows, and rather post hoc: "Stark lost over 30 sailors, and Vincennes lost zero, based on how the command treated the environment it was in."

That works well in America, in 1988, and that's the only place it needed to be addressed. Why? Politics.

Question: Had Iran shot down an American airliner?
Ass would probably have been kicked in 1988 were it deliberate, which the Iranians I am pretty sure were aware of. Hence the "fifth column" motive for Pan Am 103. if that is who was behind it. Indirect means.

On the other hand, given the forgiveness afforded to Saddam over Stark, were an accidental shoot down to happen in that area, I'm not sure how that would have played. We are in the realm of politics and logic isn't always coherent.

Might have been a settlement something like what was eventually reached in 1996 between US and Iran.

That said, American anti-Iranian Sentmient might have pushed the pols in a different direction.

rg: (your post after mine)

The hindsight matters little to me, since our political leaders time and again put American forces into strange situations that lead to potential to screw up, which tends to be lethal when weapons are in the mix. See the Beirut situation, over 250 dead, for a great example. The escort of Kuwaiti tankers, and all of the baggage that came with that, was what set the stage for the A300 to become a target. A convoy to protect shipping with warships ... gee, that sounds sort of like something you do in a war, does it not?

The Persian Gulf was hardly a peaceful place in 1987 and 1988. It was a zone of belligerence.

rgbrock1
23rd May 2012, 14:22
Lonewolf:

Although I agree with a lot of what your wrote about the Aegis system the fact of that matter is, Rogers shot down Iran Air flight 655 in Iranian air space over Iranian territorial waters while the USS Vicennes was itself in Iranian territorial waters. The aircraft was ascending, not descending as Rogers claimed, and was also squawking on Mode III. The flight was also in contact with local ATC and were speaking at the time of the incident, in English

There can be no justification for something like this. None whatsoever. Not that I think you are attempting to justify it.

Rogers was a hot-head who let his emotions get the better of him during a very fluid situation. (The Vicennes had been chasing some small Iranian gunboats at the time.) His failure to identify the aircraft as civilian is a testament to his utter incompetence as a leader.

To attempt to justify this shoot-down would be the same as the Soviet attempt at justifying the shoot-down of Korean Air flight 007.

Neither hold any water at all.

dead_pan
23rd May 2012, 20:51
Roger's main defense is that he was "overly non-complacent"

A peculiar turn of phrase - lawyer-talk for a gunslinger no doubt.

His other defense is, as follows, and rather post hoc: "Stark lost over 30 sailors, and Vincennes lost zero, based on how the command treated the environment it was in."

Its a shame he didn't balance this statement by comparing how many innocent civilians each had killed during their deployment in the Gulf, given how their respective commands treated the environments they were in.

The pendulum clearly swung too far from the allegedly complacent Stark to the aggressive and provocative Vincennes.

rgb - its refreshing to hear a Yank not attempting to defend the indefensible.

racedo
23rd May 2012, 21:28
I for one have serious doubts over Al-Megrahi's conviction however it does seem odd that, given the events in Libya over the past year, that he, his family or the new regime never came forward with any new information in an effort to clear his name.

Get real

Regime's remit hardly extends beyond their offices with many factions grabbing whatever they can.

NATO intelligence services got in quickly to make damm sure any incriminating evidence of their misdeeds got removed quickly.

The regime will do zilch to help Megrahi because if they proved he had no involvement then US actions since 103 would have shown to be incorrect and that they had knowledge he wasn't involved.

22 Degree Halo
23rd May 2012, 22:05
What's this about the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission report not available?

Lockerbie exclusive: we publish the report that could have cleared Megrahi | Herald Scotland (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/lockerbie-exclusive-we-publish-the-report-that-could-have-cleared-megrahi.2012036248)

http://login.heraldscotland.com/SCCRC-Statement-of-Reasons-red.pdf

dead_pan
23rd May 2012, 23:10
NATO intelligence services got in quickly to make damm sure any incriminating evidence of their misdeeds got removed quickly.What misdeeds were those exactly? Presumably you're not talking about those rendition cases which came to light last year?

I personally wouldn't credit our intelligence agencies with the wit to do this, let alone the knowledge of where to find any incriminating evidence. The country is a shambles at the moment.

The regime will do zilch to help Megrahi because if they proved he had no involvement then US actions since 103 would have shown to be incorrect and that they had knowledge he wasn't involved.
More likely they like everyone else just hope this whole sorry saga will blow over in a few weeks or months. You are right in that there is nothing to be gained now from exonerating Al-Megrahi - they don't want to upset their new best friends.

Lets see what happens if/when Dr Swire ever receives Al-Megrahi's appeal documents. Will he or we be any the wiser? Probably not.

racedo
24th May 2012, 02:05
What misdeeds were those exactly? Presumably you're not talking about those rendition cases which came to light last year?

I personally wouldn't credit our intelligence agencies with the wit to do this, let alone the knowledge of where to find any incriminating evidence. The country is a shambles at the moment.

Oh the west and Libya were acting in concert on many things over the years and sadly not in others.

Remember it was Libya who wanted Osama 1st when he was CIA's best buddy and there will be lots more than that.

MagnusP
24th May 2012, 09:28
Thanks for that, 22DH. I had read that a newspaper had decided to "publish and be damned", but hadn't seen the Herald article. Cheers.

Lonewolf_50
24th May 2012, 15:01
dead pan

Its a shame he didn't balance this statement by comparing how many innocent civilians each had killed during their deployment in the Gulf, given how their respective commands treated the environments they were in.
The pendulum clearly swung too far from the allegedly complacent Stark to the aggressive and provocative Vincennes
Mostly well said, though I doubt you've ever been Captain of a ship. In that role, your primary concern is your ship, your mission, and your sailors. I do agree that an implied concern is the control of your violent means, so that you don't kill those who "don't need killing." The point of professional military forces is very much controlled violence, or threat of it, to achieve an end.
I do not believe that Captain Rogers' intention was to kill innocent civilians. Do you think it was?

Beyond that, I think you encapsulated nicely what most of Rogers' professional peers felt about how that incident was handled.

Further that point, any number of his peers were of the opinion that he set himself up for this error in his choices regarding the engagement with the Iranian surface forces. Had he not been focused on that, and simply been in the Gulf with a Comair going over head, I suspect the instinct to engage would have never arisen.

EDIT: There is an interesting parallel here with an incident a few years later, in which two F-15's shot down two Blackhawks carrying American and allied personnel (26 dead, IIRC) during a no-fly zone/help the Kurds deal in Northern Iraq. The mental state of the two ship of F-15's, which included the squadron commander, and how they were predisposed to see things through a particular lens, were part of the Swiss Cheese lining up to enable a lethal error. While there were C2 errors, the core problem were two large holes in the cheese: a horribly blown VID, where a VID was available and required, and the mental predisposition to shoot on the part of the flight.

Trying to draw too many parallels between Stark and Vincennes is dubious at best, given that they were in different circumstances. Stark was runninig engineering drills with an eye toward post deployment inspection, while still in theater, and Rogers was "full on mission" in his mindset.

What I was trying to highlight was the marked difference in the level of mental state, relative to their environment, between the two captains when their respective incidents came down.

TwinAisle
24th May 2012, 16:11
I do not believe that Captain Rogers' intention was to kill innocent civilians. Do you think it was?

I for one don't believe for a single millisecond that killing innocent civilians was the intention. However - he did - and whilst we can debate how and why that happened, it happened. And sadly, the attitude of the US President poured petrol on a burning situation.

Isn't it said that all accidents are caused when the holes in the cheese line up? They did in this case - to blame the captain for the problems that were caused in Western/Arab relations post Vincennes is unfair. He was just one of the holes in the cheese that all aligned in Lockerbie.

TA

rgbrock1
24th May 2012, 16:21
Lonewolf 50 wrote:

I do not believe that Captain Rogers' intention was to kill innocent civilians. Do you think it was?

No, Lonewolf, I do not think it was Rogers' intention to kill innocent civilians. However, what Rogers is guilty of is losing focus during
a very fluid environment. To lose focus during combat operations, or in an environment where combat can be initiated at any given moment, leads to catastrophes such as this.

As I wrote earlier, he was known at the time for being a "hot head". And when such a "hot head" loses focus well, the results speak for themselves.

stuckgear
24th May 2012, 18:57
what Rogers is guilty of is losing focus during
a very fluid environment. To lose focus during combat operations, or in an environment where combat can be initiated at any given moment, leads to catastrophes such as this.


a very interesting perception. coming from someone that has been in combat operations i take those words to be of crucial importance.

dead_pan
24th May 2012, 19:02
Trying to draw too many parallels between Stark and Vincennes is dubious at best, given that they were in different circumstances.

Stark clearly loomed large in Rogers' mind after the incident, or perhaps this was a defense of convenience. As you said, the two events were very different - Stark was in effect a blue-on-blue, given the Iraqis were kind of on 'our' side at the time.

I do not believe that Captain Rogers' intention was to kill innocent civilians. Do you think it was?

I doubt anyone actually believes Rogers intended to kill Iranian civilians, well apart from a few hot-heads in and around the region.

Whilst unfortunate and emminently avoidable, I understand that events such as this can and do happen during armed confrontations. Whilst we should strive to learn from and not repeat our mistakes, we should also endeavour to do the right thing afterwards and not exacerbate the situation through ill-considered and insensitive actions.

a very interesting perception. coming from someone has been in combat operations i take those words to be of crucial importance.

I think its fair to say Rogers probably wouldn't have made it through Perisher.

con-pilot
24th May 2012, 19:47
I think its fair to say Rogers probably wouldn't have made it through Perisher.

Hard to tell really, as he was not in command of a submarine.

rgbrock1
24th May 2012, 20:01
stuckgear:

Thanks for that buddy but I don't think the subject of focus and combat is a concept unique to myself. I think any combat veteran will know of what I speak. I know my manager here at work does as he served in Afghanistan for 18 months and we've spoken at length about the topic. I've also had conversations with several other combat vets, including ones from WWII!!!!, and all share the same thoughts: lose focus in combat and anything goes. From your own death, to an error leading to the deaths of those you lead. (Whether officer or NCO is irrelevant.)

Rogers obviously lost focus and his situational awareness. I'd venture to say he went so far as to allow his emotions to take hold of him.

Again, the results speak for themselves.

dead_pan
24th May 2012, 20:03
Nope, nor was he really in command of a warship.

He may as well have been on a sub given how much time he no doubt spent staring at all of those screens. Had he looked out the window with a pair of 10x50s he may have been able to PID it himself, or at least discern it as a twinjet.

rgbrock1
24th May 2012, 20:13
dead pan:

No need for rogers to have donned binos. There were two other US warships in the area at the time (USS Sides and USS Montgomery) which both identified the aircraft as civilian and not as an F-14 which Rogers and his crew mistook it for. Had Rogers bothered to ask his brother ship commanders, he may have hesitated in issuing the fire orders.

dead_pan
24th May 2012, 20:30
rgb - I was aware of that. They must have been horrified.

racedo
24th May 2012, 21:58
Rogers should have been relieved of command because he became a danger not just to himself but to everybody else by his actions. Instead they revelled in the gung ho of being Robocruiser.

In doing so the US could have taken some of the sting out of the incident but instead the cover up from within the ship and by the establishment made a revenge attack even more likely.

Wars are started by incidents like this where one side feels it is forever in the right and any expression of regret is seen as a weakness rather than a strength.

Acting appropriately would have killed a lot of the hostility and defused revenge and may have opened up closed doors.

Matari
24th May 2012, 23:43
This hobby horse of ya'lls seems to attract the same tired riders time and again.

I wonder how quickly a horse named "The Beauty of British Colonial Maps of Arabia" or "Virtues of iPods in Modern Naval Warfare" would be trotted off to the glue factory......

hellsbrink
25th May 2012, 04:54
I wonder how quickly a horse named "The Beauty of British Colonial Maps of Arabia" or "Virtues of iPods in Modern Naval Warfare" would be trotted off to the glue factory......

That would depend on the potential link between some Iranian calling someone "Mr. Bean" and the deaths of 270 people.

At the moment, there is a potential link between the actions of the Vincennes and Pan Am 103 so that's why it gets brought up and trotted out. Ain't no link between an aircraft coming down and "Mr. Bean Loses his iPod", so that goes to the glue factory.

stuckgear
25th May 2012, 08:05
fair point of HB's above ^^

matari, this is not 'yank' bashing, but a discussion into the causes of the attack on PA103. It should be borne in mind that, while we are all discussing this subject, it was a UK court that screwed up the trial.

stuckgear
25th May 2012, 09:07
What's this about the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission report not available?

Lockerbie exclusive: we publish the report that could have cleared Megrahi | Herald Scotland (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/lockerbie-exclusive-we-publish-the-report-that-could-have-cleared-megrahi.2012036248)

http://login.heraldscotland.com/SCCR...easons-red.pdf (http://login.heraldscotland.com/SCCRC-Statement-of-Reasons-red.pdf)


having taken time to read *some* of the document provided by the Scottish Herald ( fair play to them - i see little from other media sources on touching this hot potato ) there are lots of questions that arise from reading it and am astounded that as to legal processes here. I'm no legal expert but this is of paramount interest in order to that justice is served.

in through the first 30 or so pages so far and some items that strike initially:

Initially, suspicion fell upon Palestinian terrorist groups, in particular the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (“PFLP-GC”).

- what caused the change ? the PFLP-GC point arises again further down

In the court’s view there were three important witnesses in establishing the applicant’s involvement in the plot: Abdul Majid, Edwin Bollier and Anthony Gauci.

Abdul Majid - The court said that it could accept Majid’s evidence only in relation to his description of the organisation of the Jamahariya Security Organisation (“JSO”) (i.e. the Libyan security service)

however, The court rejected the remainder of Majid’s evidence as incredible and unreliable.

Edwin Bollier - Bollier testifies that he supplied the timers to Libya as well as others, including the stasi and MEBO timers were also recovered in Togo and Senegal .

However, the court considered Mr Bollier at times to be an untruthful and at other times an unreliable witness but accepted parts of his evidence which were supported by another acceptable source of evidence or which were not challenged and appeared to be accepted by the defence.

Yet the court seems at pains to exclude PLFP-GC :

Despite the evidence of a former Stasi officer who said he had destroyed the MST-13 timers MEBO had supplied, the court was unable to rule out the possibility that the timers supplied to the Stasi left their possession, although it noted that there was no positive evidence of this and no positive evidence of the MST-13 timers having been supplied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (“PFLP-GC”.

Tony Gauci - Gauci picks out Megrahi in an identity parade some ten years after selling him some items from his shop, after Megrahi has been plastered all over the media as the 'bomber':

The court referred to the fact that Mr Gauci had picked out the applicant at an identification parade saying: “Not exactly the man I saw in the shop. Ten years ago I saw him, but the man who look a little bit like exactly is the number five”.

the court accepted that Mr Gauci’s initial description to the police (including that the purchaser was six feet or more in height and about 50) would not in a number of respects fit the applicant, who was 5’8” and 36 in December 1988. Even although Mr Gauci testified to not having
experience of height or age, the court accepted that there was a “substantial discrepancy”. However, the court said that from his general demeanour and his approach, it reached the view that when he picked out the applicant at the identification parade and in court it was because he genuinely felt that he was correct that the applicant had a close resemblance to the purchaser. The court accepted that Mr Gauci had not made an absolutely positive identification, but considered that having regard to the lapse of time it would have been surprising if he had been able to do so.


So from the three sources fingering Megrahi, two actually dont and the third Gauci, is suspect at best, which even the court recognises.

Back to the PFLP-GC :

The court determined that there was no evidence that a PFLP-GC cell
operating in West Germany in 1988 had the materials necessary to manufacture an explosive device of the type which destroyed PA103. This was despite the evidence that after the arrest of a number of PFLP-GC members in Frankfurt and Neuss on 26 ctober 1988 during a West German Federal police (“BKA”) operation code-named “Autumn Leaves”, bomb making equipment (eg improvised explosive devices consisting of single speaker Toshiba radio cassette players, explosives, detonators, timers and barometric pressure devices) and airline timetables and tags were discovered.

The court seems at great pains again to exclude PFLP-GC from any culpability.

And again:

The court referred to the evidence regarding Talb, including certain
associations between him, his circle, and members of the PFLP-GC cell in West Germany. Reference was also made to Talb’s trip to Malta in October 1988. The court accepted that there was a great deal of suspicion as to the actings of Talb and his associates, but concluded that there was no evidence to indicate that they had the means or the intention to destroy a civil aircraft in December 1988.


Interestingly enough:

Whilst the court did not doubt that organisations such as the PFLP-GC and the PPSF were also engaged in terrorist activities during the same period,


i'm only through to page 30 and at this point, without doubt, Megrahi was a JSO agent, though much of the evidence is tenuous, circumstantial with the court picking and choosing evidence from witnesses who are viewed as incontrivertible, conclusive, unreliable and untruthful all at the same time to suit a narrative.

this is about as sound as Tony Blair policy.

rgbrock1
25th May 2012, 13:16
stuckgear:

Very interesting and highly disturbing at the same time. I must peruse the document you've linked to.

Re: the raids in Frankfurt and Neuss in 1988. I remember the raid in Frankfurt very, very well. I was living in the area at the time and was in Frankfurt that day with my German Fraeulein. We didn't know exactly what was going on at the time but Frankfurt was swarming with black-clad and Uzi-toting Polizei. We figured it had something to do with terrorists but not the particulars.

Back to the read.

Lonewolf_50
25th May 2012, 15:27
Stuck: thanks, of interest. The court did not get omniscience as a charter when it was formed for that case. ;) No court does. My own experience as a juror is that you never had "the whole story." Never.

dead pan: roger your responses, and I suspect Rogers in Perisher may have had some difficulty, were there a course like that for AAW commanders. Put another way, his peers tend to agree that he "lost the plot" during the engagement.

rg: We never really find out how good a commander is, or isn't, until said commander is put into combat / hard situation. You can estimate and guess, but you can't know.

For examples I offer the CO of the 106th Division during the opening of the Battle of the Bulge. See a few leaders in Northern Africa 1942-1943. Until the shooting starts, you really don't know how well your command selection process has worked.

I suspect that from the sergeant's eye view, you know this with painful experience. :cool:

rgbrock1
25th May 2012, 15:35
Lonewolf:

You are correct: we never know how a leader will react in combat until the $hit hits the fan.

Ditto for any NCO as well.

And it works the other way around as well. I knew a couple of NCOs, and other enlisted members as well, who were questionable beforehand. Yet acted with courage and honor when the $hit did indeed hit the fan.

As far as Rogers is concerned, he fits the bill of a leader who loses focus in a rapidly changing environment. His known hot-hotheadedness and hard-headedness all played a role in his reactions. Truly a leader not fit to lead.

stuckgear
25th May 2012, 15:46
Stuck: thanks, of interest. The court did not get omniscience as a charter when it was formed for that case. http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/wink2.gif No court does. My own experience as a juror is that you never had "the whole story." Never.


Hah ! ain't that the truth. though although the court will never have the capacity to to know everything indefinately (omniscience) the purpose of the court is weigh the evidence and explore the evidence beyond all reasonable doubt. just from those extracts so far, it is apparent that is not the case.

therefore, by the evidence presented the court did not act in delivering a beyond reasonable doubt conviction, ergo the conviction is unsound.

rgbrock1
25th May 2012, 16:09
edit to add:

"In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances."

- Capt Sean Parnell - US Army Ranger, 3rd Platoon (Outlaw Platoon), Bravo Company, 2nd Bn, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division.

I am the Infantry.
I am my country's strength in war.
her deterrent in peace.
I am the heart of the fight-
wherever, whenever.
I carry America's faith and honor
against her enemies.
I am the Queen of Battle.

I am what my country expects me to be-
the best trained solider in the world.
In the race for victory
I am swift, determined, and courageous,
armed with a fierce will to win.

Never will I betray my country's trust.
always I fight on-
through the foe,
to the objective,
to triumph over all,
If necessary, I will fight to my death.

By my steadfast courage,
I have won 200 years of freedom.
I yield not to weakness,
to hunger,
to cowardice,
to fatigue,
to superior odds,
for I am mentally tough, physically strong,
and morally straight.

I forsake not-
my country,
my mission
my comrades,
my sacred duty.

I am relentless.
I am always there,
now and forever.
I AM THE INFANTRY!
FOLLOW ME

22 Degree Halo
1st Jun 2012, 21:28
Documents show UK Government knew of Palestinian terror group links to Lockerbie (http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/in-brief/5088-secret-documents-show-uk-government-knew-of-palestinian-links-to-lockerbie)

Documents kept secret for twenty years indicate that successive UK Governments were aware of the possibility that a Palestinian terrorist group was involved in the downing of Pan Am 103 in 1988.