Monday, April 27, 2015

The Libyan Migrant Crisis - A Criminal Racket or Islamic State Fundraiser and War on the West?

"When these tragedies happen, Britain is always there"  Prime Minister David Cameron 23/04/15

        In a speech on Foreign Affairs given on the 24/04/15 the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition Ed Milliband claimed that the Prime Minister David Cameron was "in part" responsible for the current Libyan Migrant Crisis.    Milliband's rather belated criticism was of David Cameron's failure to engage in or fund reconstruction in Libya following the Anglo/French/Italian/US/Qatari bombing campaign to overthrow the regime of Colonel Gaddafi.   Even before the speech was made Mr Milliband's remarks were denounced as disgraceful by apoplectic Tories though even right-wing commentators such as Con Coughlin of The Telegraph thought there was much merit to Mr Milliband's claim.   Unfortunately the Labour opposition had no objection to the campaign to overthrow Gaddafi at the time so they too share the responsibility for the consequences.

          Gaddafi of course had long been demonised in the West and of course it would be a brave politician who could have a good word for the man responsible for the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher let alone the man who ordered the bombing of Pan Am flight PA103.    Of course he did no such thing.  The evidence on which Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi was convicted was concocted by agencies of the British and American Governments for political objectives, primarily regime change in Libya, unrelated to the bombing itself.     Perhaps the lie that Libya was responsible for Lockerbie was a prime consideration for policymakers.   Perhaps David Cameron even believed it to be true in a real sense rather than simply "true" in the politician's sense.

        Of course Western intervention in Libya, was tarted-up as liberal interventionism, Gadaffi having rid himself of his "weapons of mass destruction" which may have been as fictitious as Saddam Hussein's.   It was a supposed humanitarian mission to prevent Gaddafi carrying out his threat to unleash his tiny army to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi.  Gaddafi had little in his armoury besides threats.  Had he the power to do it?  Would the Army have obeyed his orders?   Or would the people of Libya have liberated themselves from this deranged tyrant?

         Of course no-one could have predicted Libya's descent into a failed state and the consequences for the West.   Well somebody did.   In a BBC report of the 31/8/2010   headed "Gaddafi wants EU cash to stop African migrants"     

The text read
"Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi says the EU should pay Libya at least 5bn euros (£4bn:$6.3bn) a year to stop illegal African immigration and avoid a "black Europe".

Speaking on a vistit to Italy, Col Gaddafi said Europe "could  turn into Africa" as "there are millions of Africans  who want to come in".

Italy has drawn criticism for handing over to Libya migrants it intercepts at sea, without screening them first."

          Gaddafi's financial demands might well be seen as an unwarranted demand with menaces.   Indeed the Italians under Berlusconi were paying Libya (or Gaddafi personally!) billions of Euros supposedly as reparations for Italy's brutal occupation of Libya.  How much of this trickled down to the man on the Tripoli omnibus (and how much found its way back to Italy) is not known.

           While David Cameron had reversed his policy in respect of "search and rescue" there was of course no recognition that these migrants had a right to asylum, from amongst other things Eritrea's draft.  (Who do these people think they are Americans?)   Apparently his plan is to rescue these people in Libyan waters and transport them to the nearest country Italy.  Whether the Italians will permit them to land is another matter, which would of course give Mr Cameron a pretext to take his ball home.    In rescuing these migrants I would urge the Naval Staff to be mindful of the fate of the USS Cole.)

      Perhaps some lessons could be drawn from an earlier similar phenomena the Vietnamese Boat People.

       In the late 1970's/early 1980s a major Criminal syndicate, headed by right wing Vietnamese exiles had coalesced organising a series of Maritime Insurance Frauds known as ship-sinkings.  In this racket rustbucket freighters were supposedly loaded with goods exported by Companies under the syndicate's control.   It is unlikely the cargo existed other than on paper.   After the ship set sail it sank in International waters the crew taking to the lifeboats.  (The Captain never went down with the ship.)   In fact the ships were not sunk at all but were sailed off and given new identities.  (For example with a lick of paint The Skyluck became the The kylu.)

       In response to this racket the London Insurance Market set up FERIT, the Far East Regional Investigation Team to co-ordinate Police (and Military) countermeasures.   Shortly after FERIT was established the shipsinkings stopped, to much backslapping and self-congratulation.  The syndicate had little to fear from the Police who had largely been taken care off.    The syndicate had not abandoned their frauds (other incredibly lucrative fraudulent activities were pursued by the gang).  They had simply found a far more lucrative use for their freighters.   They were used to transport the Vietnamese boat people from Vietnamese ports westwards towards Hong Kong.

     This was one of the most lucrative Criminal enterprises in human history and was much facilitated by the US refusal to normalise relations with Vietnam (the MIA hioax having been created as an obstacle to normalisation.)    Perhaps this racket was a little known aspect of the world-wide anti-communist crusade known as "Iran-Contra" and the profits were used in part to fund other Iran-Contra ventures such as the Contra War in Central America.

Update 11/5/15

         Today the European Union announced a plan to distribute the migrants amongst all the member countries of the EU on a quota basis (the number of migrants involved being almost limitless.)  How this scheme would work, or could work is not clear.   We shall see how much European solidarity means.

         On the same day the Governments of Slovakia and Hungary, in response to Prime Minister Cameron's plans to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the EU declared that the principal of the free movement of labour was sacrosanct.   Perhaps what they actually mean is that their right to discriminate against their Roma community and encourage them to move elsewhere (ie to the UK) is sacrosanct.  The principal of "Free Movement of Labour" may be in part a euphemism for ethnic cleansing.

        As the migrants travelling across the Mediterranean to Italy are essentially economic migrants the EU's plans to resettle them in countries such as Greece, Romania, Bulgaria the Baltic States ect. is unlikely to be met with a favourable response by the migrants themselves and there is nothing to stop them continuing their journey.  Perhaps Mr Cameron's election pledge to create 2 million jobs in the UK did not go unnoticed outside the UK.   And what have Slovakia and Hungary?   As they discriminate against the Roma it seems unlikely that they will accept their quota of African migrants with open arms.   Perhaps they will do what Greece use to do with Albanians crossing the border.   They gave them Greek passports!                   

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Charlatans, Fabricators and Conspiracy Theorists

"I love that film". (Alan Francovich's The Maltese Double Cross)

There are some editing problems, and you really have to watch it several times to follow it properly, but its an enormously powerful piece of cinema.  It's the only Lockerbie documentary that makes me cry.  Its use of music is particularly effective.
It's just such a shame that the producers, working in the early 1990's before some vital stuff was readily available, latched on to Khaled Jafaar as the means of getting the bomb onto the plane.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jafaar's suitcase was the one allegedly found at Tundergarth Mains with drugs in it, but it appears he wasn't carrying the bomb.
The amount of detail presented in the film to support the Jaafar theory is suspicious.  Some of it has to be fabricated, and for the avoidance of doubt I'm not suggesting that Francovich or anyone else involved in the film fabricated it.   I can't help wondering if there were people who had an interest in promoting a plausible "conspiracy theory" explanation that wasn't in fact the right one, to distract the attention of the awkward squad from what David Leppard had mentioned in his 1991 book about the evidence of a certain baggage handler called John Bedford.   I wonder if Francovich was fed spurious "evidence" to support the Jafaar theory.
This rather seems to tie in with the Juval Aviv interfor report episode.   Aviv appears in the film but his 1989 report implicating Jaafar's baggage seems to imply a different modus operandi.   While Francovich proposes that Jaafar had the device in his suitcase at check-in (I think) Aviv presented a complicated tale about his suitcase being switched at the departure gate for the bomb suitcase, by Kilinc Tuzcu.  Aviv's story is clearly moonshine, but he claimed a BKA officer had filmed the operation and to have had possession of the tape which he (Aviv) passed to the authorities after which it was never seen again.  He didn't keep a copy. Hmmm.
Why would an apparently reputable investigator like Aviv (his firm was long-established even in 1989 and is still trading) invent a pile of hokum in his report to the Pan Am insurers? (For the fee and publicity perhaps - BW) as without this pile of hokum he had squat?)    Who dreamed up the tale of the BKA officer witnessing the suitcase switch, and the phone call to check when the substitute case was noted to be the wrong weight and the instructions to go ahead anyway".  (Aviv perhaps? - BW)
Comment by "Rolfe" posted on Taliban Bob's Lockerbie Case Blog 29/12/14.


“Rolfe” is Morag Kerr PhD author of almost all of the 2013 book “Adequately Explained By Stupidity”  (apart from the Appendix B she cribbed off me without acknowledgement) that sets out in exhaustive and exhausting detail the case that the bomb that destroyed flight PA103 was introduced at Heathrow Airport.   This was fundamentally at odds to the official version of events as set out at Camp Zeist, and which was central to the conclusions of the 1991 Fatal Accident Inquiry that claimed (without a shred of actual evidence) the primary suitcase containing the bomb had arrived at Heathrow on the feeder flight PA103A from Frankfurt.   This, the “big lie” of Lockerbie was supported by virtually every journalist, writer or commentator who questioned the official version of events.    

          Ms Kerr has claimed that arising from the evidence presented at Camp Zeist most commentators realised  that the bomb had been introduced at Heathrow and that subsequent to the Trial the “awkward squad” advanced this  version of events.   This is quite untrue and this “awkward squad” appears largely to be a figment of Ms Kerr's imagination.  Who precisely does she mean?  The alternative to the official version of events continued to be the domain of charlatans, fabricators  and conspiracy theorists who continued to advance the claim the bomb was introduced at Frankfurt and that this was related in some way to a supposedly officially tolerated or sponsored  operation to smuggle drugs aboard Pan Am flights from Frankfurt.       These claims usually involved the only Arab passenger on PA103 the 19 year old Khalid Jaafar.

             Of particular significance in making their submissions to the SCCRC Megrahi's legal team, initially led by Fhimah's former lawyer Eddie McKechnie, did not raise the matter of the Heathrow origin at all.    Neither did his successor Tony Kelly, who like McKechnie employed  the journalist John Ashton as researcher. 

Megrahi's Legal team did however commission material such as “Operation Bird”.    This fantasy provided some comic relief as presented by lawyer Jessica De Grazia in a dire Al-Jazeera documentary directed by her late husband.  Small world.  If as Ms Kerr claims the Heathrow origin was so obvious why didn't Megrahi's defence team raise it?    Having concluded this was the case five years in advance of the Camp Zeist trial I offered Tony Kelly my assistance but he couldn't be bothered to reply.   I could have made a submission to the SCCRC myself but didn't feel I should be doing the job of Megrahi's lawyers for them and assumed they would raise this central issue. Kelly's nominal employee Ashton does not appear to have had such qualms and may have advanced his own crackpot  "drug conspiracy theory" to the SCCRC.     

Demonstrably it wasn't obvious to everyone (or indeed anyone) following Camp Zeist that the primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow.    Following the Camp Zeist trial two of the founders of the “Justice for Megrahi” group John Ashton and Ian Ferguson (friends and asssociates of Ms Kerr, Professor Black Dr Swire and JfM Secretary Robert Forrester) published their risible book the oddly titled “Cover-up of Convenience”.     This was essentially a rehash of the fraudulent 1994 documentary “The Maltese Double X  directed by Alan Francovich on which Ashton was credited at researcher.   In the forward to “Cover-up of Convenience   Tam Dalyell   MP described Ashton as Francovich's “Deputy”. 

         Ms Kerr is a little unclear as to what Juval Aviv  (a New York based private investigator and fiction writer engaged by Pan Am's insurers) and Francovich actually claimed.  Her confusion is understandable as neither produced anything that could be described in normal terms as "evidence".      As I understand it Aviv claimed that the CIA and/or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) used Pan Am' flights out of Frankfurt to make  controlled” deliveries of drugs to the USA and that this operation was subverted and the  drug suitcase substituted for one containing the bomb.

  Aviv's claims,  which were unsupported by any actual evidence, were based on information he claimed to have been given by unidentified contacts in the intelligence community .   The credibility of his claims depends on whether he had such contacts (and was not just making it up) but further whether they were telling him the truth.  Aviv claimed to have been a former Mossad agent and therefore part of this “intelligence community”.     Beyond doubt the bomb was not introduced at Frankfurt and his claims are untrue.    Aviv's subsequent claims mentioned above by "Rolfe" hardly strengthened his case.

The Francovich/Ashton/Ferguson version purported to present real evidence to prove what Aviv merely asserted,  with the further elaboration that the bomb suitcase was smuggled onto flight PA103A in addition to, not instead of, the suitcase of drugs and that a suitcase of drugs was actually recovered at Tundergarth. (Why anyone would smuggle a suitcase of perfectly good heroin onto a plane they planned to blow up was never explained.)  

There was not a shred of real  evidence that a suitcase of drugs was recovered at Tundergarth.   "The Maltese Double Cross" claimed a Scottish farmer had recovered such a suitcase although in his interview to camera he said no such thing..   Another piece of “evidence” that featured in the film was a story published in Private Eye magazine that claimed that unidentified relatives of the victims had been told by unidentified officials that drugs had been recovered at Tundergarth.  The film's researcher John Ashton writes Lockerbie stories for Private Eye. 
 Central to the claims in the Maltese Double X and “Cover-up of Convenience” were allegations that  Khalid Jaafar was a drug courier, (and, according to Ashton/Ferguson a member of both Hezbollah and the PFLP-GC!)  Jafaar (who held both Lebanese and US citizenship) had travelled from the Bekaah Valley to  board PA103A at Frankfurt and it was around this background that a number of claims were made or created.

One of my favourites was an affidavit Ashton posted made by a Lebanese refugee in Sweden who claimed to have been employed by the “Lebanese Forces” to check  passports on the Jounieh Ferry that travelled between the Christian enclave of East Beirut and Cyprus. (An activity that in the real world would likely get you filled-in in five minutes flat!)    (How the nominal Shi'ite Jafaar managed to cross the Green Line without being “taught to fly” by Phalangist militiamen was not explained.)     The witness claimed that on some unspecified date he checked Jaafar's unspecified passport and that on arrival at Cyprus the Cypriot Police had sent a marked Police car to meet him.  The refugee was shown a photograph of Jafaar and remembered him from the Ferry!  (and Ashton thinks Gauci's identification of Megrahi was dubious!)

Ms Kerr describes Aviv's yarn as “moonshine” and comments that the amount of detail concerning Jafaar is suspicious - Some of it has to be fabricated.   (I suspect a great deal of the evidence concerning Jafaar it if not all was fabricated and indeed at least two “witnesses” in "The Maltese Double Cross" (and likely a third) were completely fabricated!)    Very much like Richard Marquise turning “intelligence” into “evidence” Francovich and his associates fleshed out Aviv's claims with the wholesale fabrication of evidence!    If Aviv's claims were "moonshine" then the claims of Francovich and his associates were moonshine (squared) yet she has little but praise for this garbage.  

Atonly one point was the evidence demonstrably fabricated.   This  was a staged telephone conversation between the film's “consultant”, (convicted drug trafficker, serial fabricator and poet Oswald Le Winter, (in his customary guise as a former CIA officer), being filmed supposedly calling a former colleague to discuss Jaafar. This former (anonymous) colleague, working as some sort of switchboard operator, told the supposedly astonished Le Winter that “the Lockerbie guy” Jafaar had a CIA escort to board flight PA103A and was escorted to his “keeper” on the flight CIA officer Matthew Gannon.   (How a CIA escort works in the chaos of a plane's aisle while people are boarding needs imagining - did none of the passengers who ended their journey at Heathrow recall this strange sight?)   
 Le Winter was later convicted in his native Austria of trying to sell Mohammed Al Fayed "evidence" Prince Philip and the British Secret Service conspired to murder Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.

As I pointed out to Francovich Gannon wasn't on the flight at Frankfurt to which Francovich responded that he hadn't specified at which Airport this incident occurred!   (Perhaps the film's researcher Ashton didn't know that  Gannon wasn't on flight PA103A.)   Francovich was incidentally astonishingly ignorant of the basic facts.   He claimed (in correspondence) Jaafar was in the First Class compartment  “where the bomb seems to have exploded”!  
What beggars belief  is Ms Kerr's comment that while the film used fabricated evidence “I'm not suggesting that Francovich or anyone else involved in the film fabricated it”.    Who does she fabricated the evidence – the fairies?    It seems to me pretty obvious that if you employ a serial fabricator like Le Winter as “consultant” you are going to get fabricated evidence. 

Not only was Le Winter a fabricator Francovich had been the producer of a BBC feature in which Le Winter confessed to having fabricated  his most notorious  earlier scam “The October Surprise”.     This was the claim that VP George Bush had met Iranian officials in Paris in October 1988  in order to delay the release of the US Embassy hostages until after the November 1980 Presidential Election.    Le Winter in his “CIA” persona supposedly organised this meeting although Jews are, I suspect, rarely if ever employed by the CIA.

A basic flaw with the October surprise hoax (to which a whole chapter of “Cover-up of Convenience” was devoted presenting this hoax as fact) was that Bush was filmed in Washington when he was supposedly in Paris.   The hoax was then refined with the claim that another professional fabricator Gunther Russbacher (supposedly both a CIA  superspy and the USA's No.1 test-pilot) flew Bush from Paris to Washington in two hours in an experimental plane.    (Francovich's girlfriend dumped him to shack up with the married Russbacher.)

       “Cover-up of Convenience” described Le Winter as “a sophisticated CIA disinformation specialist” (as if that made him worthy of belief!) and the authors described him, without a trace of self-awareness, as a person who had made a good living from duping journalists.  But were the authors just gullible or accomplices to this “disinformation specialist”.     In view of his own claims should Ashton be described as a  "disinformation specialist"?   He too seems to have made a good living from peddling a hoax. (

"The Maltese Double Cross" created a non-existent witness a Danish engineer “Mr Goldberg” to “prove” Jafaar had, at some unspecified time travelled to Sweden to meet (for reasons unstated)  ,  Abu Talb.   “Goldberg”, as expained by the narrator Brian Cox, had supposedly met Jafaar on a train and had made a note of the address where Jafaar  had stayed the previous night (as you do.)  When Jafaar met Talb the latter supposedly presented the 19 year old bachelor with a blue babyygro romper suit (as recovered at Tundergarth) and Jaafar phoned his family in the Bekaah Valley in Lebanon to tell them about Talb's generosity.   (Whether this conversation featured the words “tight bastard” or “stupid git” was not disclosed.)  Goldberg supposedly turned up at the Pan Am offices in Stockholm, told his yarn to a Pan Am employee, then disappeared for ever!   The narrator Cox tthen drew attention to Goldberg's jewish sounding name and asserted that this “witness” was a Mossad officer!

What was the point in “proving” Jaafar met Talb or that Jafaar was a member of both Hezbollah and the PFLP- GC when the implication was that Jafaar was duped into carrying the bomb?   Of interest “The Maltese Double Cross” featured an alleged witness, an alleged relative of Jafaar, an unidentified person talking to camera in Arabic with his face and voice disguised.  However the translation at one point was “Khalid knew nothing about the bomb – who wants to die?”

“Cover-up of Convenience” made the risible claim, (which was apparently repeated in one of Ashton's submissions to the SCCRC!), that Jaafar was a member of Hezbollah because a Hezbollah T-shirt was found in the wreckage at Tundergarth!   (As is well known members of terrorist organisations own such garments to demonstrate their allegiance.   Just the thing to have found in your baggage when smuggling a bomb onto a plane!)
The former Father of the House Tam Dalyell wrote an obituary for Alan Francovich in the Independent of the 28th April 1997.   Of interest Francovich had been introduced to him by Dr Jim Swire.   The second paragraph read "Yet, unlike most conspiracy theorists, of which he was proud to be one - Francovich was scrupulous about fact, and particularly about unpalatable factswhich did not suit his suspicions.  I never caught him cutting any inconvenient corners to arrive at the conclusion he wanted.  He was above all, a seeker after truth, wherever that truth might lead."  This is somewhat at odds with him hiring a creature such as Oswald Le Winter as "consultant".   

Megrahi's Legal team and/or Ashton  Ashton seems also to have made a submission to the SCCRC that Jafaar was a member of the PFLP-GC, as Ashton he had been told this by former CIA officer (and aviation terrorist) Robert Baer.  (Private Eye magazine described Jaafar as a “named” PFLP-GC member without disclosing the source of this false allegations.)   When interviewed by the SCCRC Baer admitted his recollection was wrong and also disclosed that the Hezbollah T-shirt was a souvenir of Beirut owned by Major McKee!  

 A great deal of “Cover-up of Convenience” consisted of a tedious recitation of the unrelated, supposedly unjust Legal difficulties suffered by the authors' various “witnesses” (who weren't actually witnesses at all!), the authors' claim being that because they had had these Legal problems their claims were true.  Presumably there must have been some unseen agency co-ordinating these unrelated abuses of the criminal justice system.   This is   classic ”conspiracy theory”.

 The authors of “Cover-up of Convenience” asserteddid claim that if their reader did not swallow their “alternate” version  of events  then the reader was accusing all their witnesses of being liars.    As Ashton is now supporting Ms Kerr's  assertion the bomb was introduced at Heathrow (and is yet again involved with the plaintiffs' Legal team) it follows that Ashton is himself accusing all his witnesses of being liars.  ( My favourite witness in the book was a PFLP-GC defector called Major Tunyab who “confirmed to us  Jaafar's role in the bombing.   However how the bomb was introduced he did not know”  (I am not making this up.)    Mr Ashton now seems to be pretending he never wrote this book.

The “Grounds of Appeal 1 & 2” and the “Written Submissions in Support of Grounds of Appeal 1 and 2” (that portion of Megrahi's Appeal that was heard before Megrahi dropped his appeal cast some very interesting light on this matter and Ms Kerr's claim that following the Camp Zeist trial it was quite evident that the primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow.    Actually the defence did raise the matter of a likely Heathrow ingestion devoting a whole paragraph to John Bedford's discovery of a maroon Samsonite suitcase within AVE4041 in the 240 page written submission!   Mr Megrahi may not have dropped his appeal due to some sophisticated conspiracy.  He may just have grasped it wasn't going anywhere.

As part of the claim that the Trial Court's verdict was unreasonable the 14 page "Grounds of Appeal  1 & 2" )does raise the matter Khalid Jaafar complaining “there was evidence which pointed to the possible involvement of the passenger Khaled Jafaar.  The defence relied upon same as raising a reasonable court's conclusion that this passenger had no involvement in the offence is incompatible with and unsupported by the evidence.  In particular, the court misdirected itself in overstating the evidence it relied upon and in failing to take account of evidence inconsistent with its conclusion.  In this way the trial court's treatment of this part of the defence case was unreasonable.”

What was this evidence which the Trial Court wrongly ignored?  Curiously Khaled Jaafar isn't mentioned at all in the expanded “Written Submissions in Ssupport of Grounds of Appeal 1 and 2” (see  The “evidence” of Jafaar's involvement appears to consist of the evidence of another passenger on PA103A that he looked nervous or apprehensive before boarding!   Of course the compelling , nay irrefutable evidence the primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow, does not just give Megrahi (and Fhimah) a cast-iron alibi.       It also means Khaled Jaafar could have had nothing to do with the bombing.

Central to  the current attempt to resurrect the late Mr Megrahi's appeal is the “new” evidence the bomb was introduced at Heathrow.     There is no “new evidence”, this was in public domain since the publication in 1991 of David Leppard's “On the Trail of Terror” (Although Leppard himself did not grasp the significance of his revelations. )    His book was rubbished by Private Eye.   "On the Trail of Terror" was not the true story of the Lockerbie bombing but was,  as it claimed to be the "Inside Story" of the Lockerbie investigation and explains how and precisely where t he investigation went   wrong.

In the opening quotation Ms Kerr wrote that “It's just such a shame that the producers, working in the early 1990s before some vital stuff that came out at the trial was readily available, latched onto Khalid Jaafar as the means of getting the bomb onto the plane. (Actually they merely latched onto Aviv's “moonshine” and his racist lies about the only Arab passenger aboard PA103.)    Actually the producers had no reason whatsover to doubt that Megrahi and Fhimah had been properly indicted as a result of a competent and objective investigation.  The “Maltese Double Cross” was Libyan sponsored hoax created with the objective of muddying  the waters  (in which it was enormously successful.)     

Real evidence  the primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow, and therefore that “the investigation “ was a politically motivated fit-up was in the public domain but “the producers” (the new Max and Leon)  were either too dumb to notice this or where, like the Police, FBI and Crown Office, uninterested in anything that contradicted their own version of events.

The central question is why Megrahi's defence team never raised it with the SCCRC.  Rather than associating himself with people who were largely responsible for his father's wrongful conviction (by campaigning for a show trial on fabricated evidence before a rigged Tribunal where his right to a Jury trial had been given away and in which he was precluded from giving evidence) Megrahi's son ought to be suing for professional negligence.


 A press statement dated the 2/7/2007 issued by the Scottish Executive headed “Lockerbie case referred to Appeal Court” stated that  “since the time of the bombing numerous allegations have circulated concerning the possible involvement of Khaled Jaafar, a passenger on PA103 who boarded PA103A at Frankfurt.  A number of these allegations were repeated in  submissions made to the Commission.   The results of the Commission's enquiries in this connection provides no support for the claim that Mr Jaafar was involved wittingly or unwittingly in the bombing.”   Unfortunately while  I agreed with this completely I was given the false impression that the SCCRC would be conducting an objective enquiry.

The Scottish Executive press statement also contained the following paragraph :-

“The Commission has concluded after full and proper investigation that these submissions are unsubstantiated and without merit.    In particular the Commission has found no basis for concluding that evidence in the case was fabricated by the police, the Crown, forensic scientists or any other representatives of official bodies or government agencies.”    This turned out to be quite untrue in that evidence was fabricated – it was just that the SCCRC had covered this up or explained it away by accepting fabricated evidence as genuine .   Indeed they expressly stated that they had precluded the possibility of criminality on the part of the authorities by accepting any explanation however unlikely that precluded Criminal misconduct.   Indeed they stooped to explaining away blatantly fabricated evidence.

In the first ground of Appeal, (the claim that the Trial Judges verdict was unreasonable), in that  they had not given proper consideration to the defence case the document stated (section 2.1.6) “The trial court's reasoning as to why it rejected the defence case where it relied upon the incrimination of the PFLP-GC and the evidence relating to Khaled Jaafar is fundamentally flawed. “    In particular the Court had concluded there was no evidence the PFLP-GC ”Autumn Leaves  group had a MST-13 timer and reference was made to Marwan Khreesat's claim that he never used a twin-speaker radio-cassette, while the evidence produced was that the Lockerbie bomb was contained within a twin-speaker Toshiba bombeat.

 However the written submissions contained nothing to refute these two key claims.   Yet as detailed in my 2013 article “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil” the evidence that Dr Hayes discovered the fragment of MST-13 timer and the  evidence the Lockerbie bomb was contained within  a twin-speaker radio-cassette was demonstrably fabricated.     While the SCCRC Statement of Reasons had concluded that page 51 of Dr Hayes notes (detailing his supposed discovery of the MST-13 timer on the 12th May 1989 together with fragments of an owner's manual for a twin speaker Toshiba) was quite compatible with “photograph 117” taken on the 22nd May 1989 in fact the two are fundamentally contradictory.

The SCCRC Statement of Reasons was kept out of the public domain until published by the Sunday Herald in December 20007 and the appendices are not in the public domain.    It was only when I obtained crucial supporting evidence, notably the statement of the Forensic Document Examiner (that the SCCRC had spun to reverse the import of his findings) and the Police photographic logs (which proved photograph 117  was taken on the 22nd May 1989 proved that the crucial page 51 could not have been written ten days before the photograph was taken.    In short there was no credible evidence the bomb incorporated an MST-13 timer or was contained within a twin-speaker radio-cassette. 


Of course Megrahi's defence teams, led by Mr McKechnie and Mr Kelly,(both of which employed  John Ashton as researcher) never noticed the glaring anomaly between “page 51” of Dr Hayes' notes and “photograph 117” despite being in possession of the supporting documentation for years.   I noticed the anomaly within hours of receiving copies of the Police photographic logs.  (One of Mr McKechnie's submissions to the SCCRC concerned “photograph 117” but alleged a contradiction with another photograph, which was easily explained away, rather than the crucial contradiction with "page 51".  

I also discovered quite quickly serious anomalies with another key exhibit the “Horton Manual” that supposedly proved  the IED was contained within a twin-speaker radio-cassette.   While the SCCRC Statement of Reasons  produced a photograph of the Horton Manual I discovered this was not the original photograph taken by the Police but one of very dubious authenticity.  Did Megrahi's defence team even bother to study the SCCRC Statement of Reasons?

    Now Ashton wants yet another bite of the cherry.  Are the SCCRC going  to publicise the fundamental flaws in their Statement of Reasons? I doubt it.  I wrote to the SCCRC Director drawing these to his attention but didn't seem to think it was any of his business.




This is a Private Eye story of 2001 summarising f Bill Taylor's closing submissions at Camp Zeist.    It is quite remarkable in that Private Eye, who to their credit had kept the Lockerbie issue alive, actually published a Lockerbie story that was true! 

“A disturbing theme emerged from the closing submission of Bill Taylor QC, counsel for one of the Libyans accused of murdering 270 people in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
Mr Taylor had already made much of the failure of the prosecution to establish the central point of its case: that the suitcase with the bomb  was put on a plane I Malta.  In his final speech, however,  he argued that the bomb was put on the doomed flight at London's Heathrow. 
 He argued the case systematically, making 20 separate points and pointing out that a terrorist who wanted to destroy the plane was more likely to put it on its final flight for New York rather than on feeder flights from Frankfurt or Malta.

He could prove easily that security at Heathrow in December 1988 was abysmal.   There were at least three places from where a suitcase could be smuggled on to the Pan Am flight without being picked up by airline staff.  The container with baggage for the flight was left completely unattended for three quarters of an hour.
Mr Taylor's most powerful point was his third namely that  “a brown Samsonite was introduced into that part of the container at the interline area at Heathrow airport.” This was highly relevant since everyone agreed that the bomb that destroyed the plane had been packed in a brown Samsonite case.   Mr Taylor's main evidence came from John Bedford, a baggage loader at Heathrow airport, who was interviewed soon after the bombing.  He then gave evidence at the initial fatal accident inquiry in 1991, which was referred to extensively by Mr Taylor.   He was asked:

Q: Can you recall whether on 21 December 1988 any of the luggage that you dealt with any of the luggage that you dealt with or saw at the interline shed destined for Pan-am 103 was a bronze Samsonite case?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did you see a bronze Samsonite case?

A: A maroony-brown Samsonite case, yes.

 Mr Taylor went on to deal in detail with the complicated evidence about the position of the loaded bags in the plane.  He concluded that the Samsonite case had been loaded into the plane in almost exactly the position occupied by the suitcase from which the bomb eventually exploded.  Mr Taylor also established that there was no other Samsonite bag in the plane.      (This claim is untrue – there were other Samsonites on the plane and in container AVE4041.  No  hardshell bronze Samsonite, other than the primary suitcase, was recovered)  Mr Bedford was called by the crown as a reliable witness.   There seemed no reason why he should invent the story of the mysterious Samsonite case which appeared as though of magic in the container of luggage for flight 103.

If the case with the bomb did go on the plane at Heathrow, the consequences for those in charge of the airport at the time are very severe.  But what is beyond dispute is that if anyone did put a bag with a bomb on the plane at Heathrow  it could not have been either of the two defendants."

 This  is an excellent summary of the argument that  primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow, save that one vital point was omitted.    In the official version of events, the position of the primary suitcase, in very close proximity to the Aircraft's hull, was supposedly quite fortuitous.    Otherwise the story was essentially a summary of points I had made to Alastair Duff a year earlier. (and post Camp Zeist to Mr McKechnie.)  It had of course been in the public domain since  the 1991 publication of David Lepppard's “On the Trail of Terror”.

Curiously at Mr Megrahi's first appeal Mr Taylor raised the matter of the non-disclosure of the statement of a Heathrow Security Officer Albert Manley who had reported that a padlock on a door leading to the Interline baggage shed had been forced open on the eve of the bombing.   In conceding (for reasons unknown) that there was sufficient evidence to convict Megrahi Mr Taylor did not raise the Heathrow evidence or Their Lordships  speculation that the “Bedford suitcase” had been moved “out of harm's way to some far corner of the container”  (Judgement para.69).   (If this had occurred the suitcase would have been recovered and linked to a specific passenger and in the official version of events the “Bedford suitcase” was never linked to a specific passenger. 


  There is no byline to the Private Eye story so the author is unknown.  It might actually have been John Ashton!   I had written to Paul Foot in 1996 pointing out primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow and while I received a supposed acknowledgement I doubt he actually read my letter.   While Foot's pamphlet “Flight from Justice” was an effective critique of the Camp Zeist verdict (shooting fish in a barrel) Foot never advanced a coherent or credible account of what actually happened. 





Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Scotbom -Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation" by (former FBI Special Agent) Richard A.Marquise

 “Some speculated the charges against the pair were not credible and the only reason the Libyans had been blamed for the Lockerbie bombing was because it was politically expedient to do so.   Henderson and I had talked many times about what public speculation would be when once again, the eyes of the world focused upon Gaddafi and Libya.  We knew we had to get it right because even if the defendants were never surrendered for trial, some would believe the charges were trumped up just to point the finger at Gaddafi and away from others. - our focus had shifted to Libya driven entirely by the physical evidence found in the fields around Lockerbie.”

Richard Marquise "Scotbom"  



 1.    Tim Weiner’s book “Enemies – A History of the FBI”, contains Weiner's  account of how the FBI’s Richard Marquise “solved” the Lockerbie case by turning “intelligence” into “evidence” through the use of the Libyan defector Majid Giaka as a "golden informant".   Weiner intriguingly quoted Marquise that “we brought MI5 to Washington.”  BBC News of the 22/12/2014 stated the Scottish Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland was in Washington to discuss the (purported) ongoing joint investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. (Obviously bearing no grudge for the Giaka fiasco!)  In view of this Father Christmas brought me a copy  of Richard Marquise’s account of the original FBI Lockerbie investigation  “Scotbom: Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation”.

 2.     I found "Scotbom" a much more interesting and honest account than I expected and very readable although it has much less to do with evidence than the politics of the Lockerbie investigation.   While I understand why Mr Megrahi was framed for the Lockerbie bombing, in loco parentis Mu'ammar Gaddafi, and the real culprits exonerated, I previously had some sympathy for Mr Marquise’s predicament in being under pressure not only to get a result, but a  particular result.   However I had not been aware of the enthusiasm with which he embraced a fraudulent version of events, put up Majid Giaka as a credible witness, and like his Scottish counterparts ignored compelling evidence that would have led to a true solution of the crime.  
3.     "Scotbom” contained many interesting revelations particularly in relation to the chronology of the very late emergence of the “evidence” of Majid Giaka and in Marquise’s repeated statements that from the early summer of 1991 there was a deadline of mid-November 1991 imposed for indictments to be brought irrespective of the state of the investigation. 
4.     This and other material in the book tended to confirm my view that the object of the indictment was not a trial at all but was part of a sophisticated plan to convert unilateral US sanctions against Libya into UN sanctions.  I suspect this November (1991) deadline was determined in relation to a chronology focused on changes to the UN Security Council that were to take effect from the 1st January 1992 when the UK would become Chairman of the SC and the radical states of Cuba and Yemen, friends of Libya and opponents of the West, lost their seats on the Security Council.   
5.   What was most intriguing in "Scotbom" was the author's revelations of the actuality of a relationship between the investigators (FBI and the Scottish Police) and the British Secret Service (MI5).   



"Sally Vincent"

6.     As a prelude one early anecdote in the book concerned a Pan Am stewardess “Sally Vincent” some of whose personal effects were apparently found in the wreckage at Tundergarth.  (Why this was Marquise did not explain).   At the time of the Lockerbie disaster “Sally Vincent” was in Moscow visiting her boyfriend the son of a diplomat at the Syrian Embassy.    The FBI received assistance from the Soviet authorities in placing her under surveillance.   Marquise noted that the FBI had received co-operation from the KGB in a country which had always been regarded by the FBI as “the enemy” in its central (and original role) of overseeing national security. “Sally Vincent” was eliminated from any involvement in the bombing.  (As the investigation was fundamentally flawed in other respects the "elimination" of any suspect may in itself be suspect.)


 7.     While the FBI availed themselves of the assistance of the KGB in investigating “Sally Vincent” Marquise wrote (page 114) “there was no way anyone in the United States or Scotland would authorise any investigator to travel to Libya” but conceded  “The  Libyans did say they would allow Fhimah and Megrahi to be interviewed.”  Rather than recording  a statement committing the suspects to a particular version of events the  prosecution case relied on (former CIA officer)  Pierre Salinger’s filmed  interview of Megrahi to prove his denial of being in Malta on the 20-21/12/88.   (In 1999 the Scottish SIO did conduct investigations in Libya with significant results relating to Megrahi’s “coded” passport.)
8.    (Central to what actually transpired,  prior to the arrival of flight 103A from Frankfurt, baggage handler Peter Bedford had found that someone had placed two further suitcases, one a brown Samsonite, within luggage container AVE4041.   According to Bedford Alert Security Officer Sulaksh Kamboj told him he had placed the bags in the container.  Kamboj denied to the Police that he had said such a thing.  (This crucial incident was essentially ignored and dismissed as irrelevant by SIO John Orr and ignored by Marquise.) 
9.       At about 1720hrs on the 21/12/88 Kamboj actually went on board “The Maid of the Seas” while it was being prepared for take-off to give a Christmas present to a Pan Am stewardess he knew as Sally Strong.    Ms Strong however was not on the flight.  Kamboj did take the opportunity to wish the cabin crew a Merry Christmas.    (The crew of course were all dead within two hours.)    Was “Sally Vincent” Sally Stone?




 Marquise and the Evidence of a Heathrow Origin:

10.     While the official version of events is that the primary suitcase was introduced (by unknown means) at Luqa Airport on the morning of the 21/12/88 Mr Marquise has very little to say about Heathrow although his comments are telling in view of his claim to have conducted a "thorough, complete and impartial investigation."
11.     Mr Marquise’s book makes no mention at all of Bedford and Kamboj or the mysterious appearance of a brown Samsonite within container AVE4041. He merely wrote (page 209) “The Heathrow employees were responsible for the loading of Pan Am flight 103 to the United States.   They spoke of the build-up where several bags had come in earlier in the day for the flight and they had placed approximately eight to ten bags on the first layer of bags in the container, AVE4041.  These bags had come from other flights into London. The bag (sic) was then filled with luggage from the Frankfurt flight but the container did not hold them all.”

 12.    Mr Marquise is extremely vague about the number of Interline bags in total and says nothing about the ownership of the Interline bags that were in AVE4041   He claimed (page 36) that “16 online passengers checked in 16 bags”.  (They may have but two of these bags belonging to Daniel O’Connor never made it onto PA103.)

 13.      He states that “interviews with the baggage handlers who loaded AVE 4041 PA on December 21 indicated there were between five and nine bags which had been sent to London from other flights before he began loading flights from the Frankfurt flight.” (Above at para.11 it is "eight to ten bags"!)   At page 32 he notes that the Camp Zeist Judgement conceded “it was conceivable a rogue bag could have been placed into the baggage system at Heathrow” but claimed that “no evidence had been introduced to substantiate that claim”.  

 14.    In fact a great deal of evidence had been introduced to substantiate that claim which Their Lordships dismissed by speculating that the brown Samsonite seen by Bedford had been moved “out of harm’s way to some far corner of the container.”  Of course if it had been moved then logically it should have been recovered and linked to a specific Interline passenger.   It never was and the only Brown Samsonite recovered were the fragments of the primary suitcase. 

 15.   There was real, compelling indeed irrefutable evidence the "bomb" suitcase had been introduced at Heathrow and what Marquise’s described as a “thorough, complete and impartial investigation” (page 152) was nothing of the kind.


The CIA, “Intelligence” and Vincent Cannistraro

16.    One of Marquise’s central themes is his attempt, in which he both succeeded and failed, to turn “intelligence” into "evidence”. (His evidence convinced a US Grand Jury but was thrown out at Camp Zeist.  Perhaps it was only convincing the Grand Jury that mattered.)   “We hoped that, where the evidence and intelligence converged, we would find our solution.”  (page 87).
17.    Curiously Marquise repeatedly complains that the CIA’s intelligence pointed to Iran/PFLP-GC as the perpetrators (contrary to the “evidence”.)    As late as the 18th May 1991 “The CIA held to the theory that the attack was revenge for the American shoot-down of the Iran airbus over the Persian Gulf.” (page 114).

18.      (One might have imagined the CIA would have been 100% behind the creation of the “Libyan solution” in view of their thirty year campaign to bring about regime change in Libya.) 

19.    At page 60 Marquise writes of how in Nov 1990 (weeks before Operation Desert Storm)  “I met with representatives of the British Secret Service (MI5) with whom we had had so many problems during the previous two years”.

20.      Marquise is particularly scathing of Vincent Cannistraro “a retired CIA agent had told the media (in November 1990 on the eve of Operation Desert Storm)  the focus of the Lockerbie investigation was no longer on Palestinians, Syrians or Iranians but was on Libya because of evidence which had been recovered at Lockerbie”.  And where did Cannistraro get his information from?  Well according to Marquise he sat in on a couple of meetings with the FBI!

 21.  Cannistraro (a bureaucrat and propagandist occasionally described as having led the CIA's Lockerbie investigation) had previously been tasked to come up with schemes  (some crackpot) to harass the Libyan regime and perhaps understood better than Marquise the real objective of the Lockerbie investigation.   Marquise later discusses the issue of “rendition”, arresting one or more of the Libyan suspects outside Libya.  Cannistraro’s intervention had put Libya on notice it was under investigation, (which may have been his intention!), as an actual trial may have been the last thing the West wanted.

Marwan Khreesat

 22.       The FBI’s involvement in the case centered on two areas.   Firstly through the CIA they obtained an interview with PFLP-GC bomb-maker, mass-murderer and CIA "asset" Marwan Khreesat in November 1989 in Jordan from which the Scottish Police (who had regarded Khreesat as their No.1 suspect)  were excluded.  (Khreesat was under the protection of the Jordanian Intelligence Services allies of the CIA.)  Tom Thurman was one of the two FBI agents who interviewed him.
23.    With the forensic evidence, notably the MST-13 timer and the evidence the bomb was contained within a Toshiba SF-16 twin speaker  radio evidence-cassette Khreesat was "eliminated" as a suspect in the case.  Of interest Khreesat explained ("Scotbom" page 56)  “that he could not use this type of radio (the twin-speaker) because it would only hold about 100 grams of explosives after he inserted all the components he needed for an altimeter bomb.”    (Alan Feraday demonstrated it was feasible or possible to build a bomb incorporating a MEBO timer inside a twin speaker model but bomb-making expert Khreesat favoured the roomier single speaker.)

  24.   As pointed out in my article “Hear no Evil, Se no Evil, Speak no Evil”  the evidence the IED was actually contained within a twin-speaker SF-16 radio-cassette recorder was dubious in the extreme.    (At page 54 Marquise had describes this owner’s manual for the twin-speaker SF-16 model as being “printed in Arabic”, proving its origin within the Arab world without mentioning the instructions are also printed in English, Spanish and Chinese!)
25.     The Police's first photograph of the  “Horton Manual” (dated 12th May 1989) was omitted from the RARDE photographic report and the photgraphs depicting “The Horton Manual” as two almost intact pages of an instruction manual for a twin-speaker SF-16 radio cassette player were taken three days later and are of dubious authenticity, although they duped the SCCRC. 

26.      Secondly one of the selection of photographs at the beginning of Mr Marquise's book is the crucial photgraph 117 of the RARDE photographic report.  This  photograph not only depicts the MEBO timer fragment (PT35(b)) but also exhibit PT/2 (PT/35(d)) a tiny clump of compressed paper supposedly part of the SF-16 manual and supposedly from the same source as what is claimed to be the “Horton Manual”.    This photogaph was taken ten  days after RARDE scientist Dr. Thomas Hayes supposedly sketched the five constituent sheets of PT/2 on page 51 of his notes.    Of course if PT/2 and the “Horton Manual” were faked then there is no credible evidence   the MEBO fragment PT 35(b) was genuine and actually found within the piece of grey Slalom shirt.

Photograph 117 (which proves the crucial page 51 of Dr Hayes notes is a fabrication)

page 51 
 27.     In short while the interview of Marwan Khreesat and the RARDE forensic report (together with Their Lordships claim, contradicted by the death of a German technician, that  Khreesat's devices were harmless) supposedly eliminated Khreesat as the bomb-maker,  CIA “asset” Khreesat remains the most credible suspect to have been the bomb-maker which may explain why the FBI, CIA & RARDE bent over backwards to clear him.  If Khreesat was the bomb-maker this would indicate official foreknowledge of the bombing. 
 28.    In view of Marquise's revelation that the simultaneous US and Scotttish indictments of the 14th November 1991 were made in advance of  RARDE (and the Police) submitting their final report Marquise makes what may be the most astonishing revelation at page 107 of his book (although his narrative is somewhat unclear).   He describes how (circa 29th April 1991) he, Stuart Henderson and some Swiss officials flew from Scotland to Heathrow then took a train to RARDE at Fort Halstead Kent where they met Alan Feraday and an associate Maurice Marshall (but not Dr Hayes).  Marquise continued -  “The Swiss were convinced.  This was important: after all it was the purpose of the trip.   As we headed for downtown London and a meeting with the BSS (MI5) the day seemed bright even though it was a typical British spring  day, cool and rainy.   Feraday and Hayes, who had been involved in the forensic examinations earlier in the investigation, said they were 100 per cent certain of the accuracy of what they had examined.   This was helpful even though the written report was months from completion.”
29.    Is Mr Marquise referring to some earlier claim of Mr Feraday and Dr Hayes or is he saying that Hayes and Feraday actually attended this meeting at the headquarters of the British Secret Service?  

 MI5 Stella Rimington & Elizabeth Manningham-Buller:


30.     In the 1994 Dimbleby Lecture -"Security and Democracy - is there a Conflict?" - MI5 Director-General Stellla Rimington claimed  The service played a major part in the investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988, to the point where the atrocity was laid firmly at the door of Libya.   As a result Libya came under further significant international pressure to cut its support for terrorists including the Provisional IRA and of course to surrender the accused for trial.”

31.     While supporters of Mr Megrahi have frequently alleged the non-disclosure of key evidence MI5’s “major role in the investigation” is completely outside the public domain. Save for Mrs Rimington's boast (and Mr Marquise's book!)  there is little or no evidence MI5 played any role at all.   Because it was kept largely under wraps doesn't mean it didn't happen.  If she wasn’t inventing this “major role” what part did MI5 actually play?  MI5 are not detectives or dispassionate seekers after the truth but are quite often in the business of politically motivated deceit.  Are MI5 subject to the Police & Criminal Evidence Act or indeed the normal rules of disclosure?   
32.       What indeed could MI5, the British Domestic Security Service bring to the party?   While the bomb exploded over UK sovereign territory the bombing was supposedly planned overseas, the bomb itself supposedly arriving at Heathrow from Frankfurt having begun its journey in Malta.

 33.     As outlined in my article “Lockerbie – Criminal Justice or War By Other Means?”  the British effort to contain and defeat the IRA suffered an enormous blow when in October 1987 French custom officers intercepted the trawler Eksund carrying 150 tons of weapons which were being transported  from Libya and destined for the Irish Republic.   It transpired that this was the fifth (and by far the largest) such shipment.  (The seizure of the Eksund was followed days later by one of the IRA's most notorious atrocities the Iniskillin massacre.)
34.     The first shipment of ten tons of weapons had landed in August 1985 eight months before the bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi.   The later shipments contradicted Mrs Thatcher’s claim in her memoirs The Downing Street Years that the bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi “led to a marked reduction in Libyan sponsored terrorism for years to come”.  The Libyan response to the bombing might have been seen as entirely predictable.  Mrs Thatcher had to claim that the ineffectual bombing (planned by the NSC's "crazy gang" ) had been an unqualified success.   Had she claimed Lockerbie was the consequence of Britain's support for the US adventure people may then have posed the obvious question.
35.   One consequence of enormous significance for the Lockerbie case was that MI5 took over responsibility for Malta from MI6.      MI5 had no particular interest in Malta save for its proximity and relationship with Libya and this fact may be central for understanding the creation of the "Libyan Solution" to Lockerbie.
36.      Marquise recounts that in June 1991 he “had lunch with the MI5 representative at the British Embassy in Washington Eliza Manningham-Buller.  We often discussed Lockerbie and I had found her to be open and forthright. (Essential qualities to get to the top of MI5!)   I voiced my concerns about the Lord Advocate and his “deadline”. She did not believe Whitehall would allow (!) the Scottish prosecutor to set an artificial deadline.  She assured the criminal investigation would be able to run its course.  While this was only one opinion, it was good to hear, at least informally, that others in the United Kingdom would not let “deadlines” get in the way of completing our work.”   Was Mrs Manningham-Buller actually being "open and forthright" or just using her charm on Marquise to achieve her objectives.  (There is an alternative to waterboarding!)
37.    While Mr Marquise describes Mrs Manningham-Buller as the MI5 representative at the British Embassy, according to MI5’s own website she  “led the section responsible for International Counter-terrorism at the time when its work was dominated by the Lockerbie investigation.  She was later posted to Washington as a senior liaison with the US intelligence community.   Her posting coincided with the first Gulf War.     On her return to the UK in 1992 she led a newly formed Irish Counter-Terrorism section.   This was formed in response to the Government’s decision to make the Security Service in charge of intelligence work against Irish terrorism on the British mainland.”   The Lockerbie investigation was not a hiatus for Mrs Manningham-Buller from her career in combatting the IRA.  It was central to it and the  indictments were her achievement.  
38.     At page 241 Marquise wrote  “Intelligence and police agencies have a common goal.    It is to help protect their country from crime and other threats.”    The first part is debatable or just wrong but did the creation of a false “Libyan solution” to the Lockerbie case further this aim better than an objective and competent investigation?   Did it not essentially serve MI5's central objective of disarming the IRA and exacting revenge on Gaddafi?   Was Mrs Rimington answering her own question “Security and Democrracy is there a conflict?”  There would certainly seem to be a conflict with the rule of law
39.    One of the four demands made of Libya subsequent to the imposition of UN sections was that Libya "cease all support and aid the Irish Republican Army and provide the British Government with all information in regard to that relation" .  These demands went far beyond handing over the Lockerbie suspects for trial.

Tony Gauci  and Megrahi's alias "Abdusamad".

40.    On February 15th 1990 Marquise had phoned SIO Henderson who told him the Scots were having a celebratory drink in his office because   ”Gauci picked Megrahi out of the lineup and identified him as the person who purchased the clothing.”  (This wasn't a line-up but a photo ID).
 41.      In fact as Marquise frankly explains Gauci had done no such thing quoting Gauci that it was “over two years since the clothing was purchased and I have been shown many photographs.  Of all the pictures I have been shown the one of (Megrahi) most resembled the person who had bought the clothing in my shop.  However the man would have to have been a few years older.” 
42.     Indeed at page 61 Marquise notes a remarkable similarity between the artist’s impression and another Libyan “Al-Nayli” one of the two Libyans arrested in Senegal allegedly in possession of explosives and MST-13 timers (A man David Leppard claims Cannistraro identified as the initial suspect in ths case.)  Yet according to Marquise “The identification was a turning point in the investigation”.  It may well have been but having wrongly “eliminated” Heathrow the Police were now moulding the evidence to fit a theory that was absolutely untrue.

43.   Marquise knew this wasn’t a real identification and could see for himself the chasm between Megrahi’s photograph and the earlier FBI artist’s sketch of the person described by Gauci.  He also had no doubt of the date of purchase was the 7th December although other evidence indicated the purchase was made on the 23rd November (when Megrahi was not on Malta) or the 7 December being the two days on which Paul Gauci (allegedly) left work to watch a football match on TV.   There was no till roll, receipt or ROC (record of charge) to accurately date the purchase and Paul Gauci was well paid for his evidence.  Was the clothing actually purchased before the bombing at all or were they part of a trail of sweeties leading the investigators by the nose to Malta?

44.   Marquise also had no doubt that the printout of Bogomira Erac demonstrated that a “rogue suitcase” had been transferred from flight KM180 to flight PA103A on the 21/12/88 although there was little or no evidence that one actually was and none that this item was a brown Samsonite suitcase.
 45.      Following a tip-off from the NSA that Megrahi had an alias Abdulsamad Marquise had a long struggle to prove Megrahi and Abusamad were one and the same.  He was of course convinced of Megrahi’s guilt when he found evidence that "Abusamad" visited Malta on the 20/12/88 leaving for Triipoli the following day “only thirty minutes after the suitcase left Malta on KM180.” (Which is hadn't!)  It seems apparent from the captioned CIA cable that Megrahi was under surveillance on his arrival in Malta on the 7th December 1988 and the detail of Fhimah assisting Megrahi through immigration is similar to Giaka's claim.    Was the arrival of Megrahi @Abusamad in Malta on the 20/12/88 actually a trigger for events elsewhere?  

 46.    In an article for The Times of the 20/12/14 "Lockerbie Conspiracy Theory is Dismissed" the former Editor of the Sunday Times' risible "Hitler Diaries" Magnus Linklater, reported on a purported, and indeed perhaps fictional " review" of the Lockerbie conviction by the Lord Advocate.  This article claimed that if the MST-13 timer was a fake it would have had to have been planted (presumably at Tundergarth)  within 23 days of the bombing and that Megrahi was "unknown" at that time.   Above is a cable of the 22/12/88 identifying him as an ESO officer.   The "intelligence services" obviously knew of him.  Indeed he may have been involved in the Libyan operation to arm the IRA.  As he was under surveillance at the airport it would seem likely he was under surveillance throughout his trip during which he supposedly bought the Malta clothing! Perhaps the ostentatious purchase of the clothing was really made on the 7/12/88 - but not by Megrahi.  (When and by whom the fragment of MST-13 timer was created is not known).
47.   As Marquise conceded (page 228) “the case had been built on a string of circumstances.”   Marquise himself sometimes questioned if the evidence was real.  Page 113 -  “I often questioned the evidence and had numerous discussions with Henderson on the issue.  We wondered if an intelligence agency could have planted evidence to lead us to where we had come in the investigation.   However after knowing what we had been through to have gotten this far, it did not seem possible the evidence could have been planted.  However, we concluded that if an intelligence agent or agency wanted to “frame” someone for the bombing they would have made the path to the evidence easier to navigate.”  (Not necessarily if the "deadline" for bringing indictments was actually a target date.)
48.    However as Marquise relates in relation to the MST-13 timer the Scottish Police made extensive world-wide enquiries over many months to establish its provenance.   (Although this may have simply obscured the real date when it was introduced into the chain of evidence.)    After the FBI’s Tom Thurman was supplied with an photograph of the exhibit he identified it within two days by showing it to the CIA yet Marquise writes  “It was inconceivable they would have allowed so much time to pass before the chip was identified”.   But as Marquise admits there was a timetable to which he was not privy.

  Majid Giaka

49.    The second and key area of the FBI's involvement in the Lockerbie case concerns the recruitment of the defector Majid Giaka as a key “witness” in ths case. 

 50.     I was surprised by how late in the day Majid Giaka emerged as a witness.  On May 18th 1991 Marquise's boss Robert Mueller told him he needed at least one “insider” witness.  In early July (1991) the CIA located their former informant Giaka in Libya.  Giaka travelled to Tunisia then Malta.  (It is not clear where his pregnant wife, a Maltese resided.)   Giaka was initially interviewed upon a US military vessel and then transported to the US by covert means where he was interviewed by the FBI between Sunday 21st July 1991 and Thursday August 1st 1991. 

 51.      Giaka, besides outlining the structure of the JSO (in which he may have exaggerated his own status) and identifying  Megrahi as a JSO officer (which he almost certainly was) made three key allegations.   Firstly he claimed that in June 1986 weeks after the US bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi, a senior JSO officer had asked Giaka  “a low level member of the JSO” about the feasibility of sending (presumably smuggling) a suitcase to Great Britain on board a British plane.  At page 192 this project is amended to inquire if it was possible to get a bag on a plane bound for the UK or the USA (there being no direct route to the USA).   Giaka learned that this was possible, although supposedly he did not grasp this was a plan to smuggle a bomb, and sent a report through Megrahi to this senior official.    Giaka did not mention this project to his CIA handlers.

52.    Of interest Marquise had written (page 49)  “The airline guide for December 1988 recommended that if someone wanted to go to New York from there (Malta) the routing would be Air Malta (KM) Flight 180 from Valetta to Frankfurt, transfer to Pan Am flight 103A to London and then Pan Am Flight 103 to New York.”   Did this guide actually  exist?    Obviously rather than change at Frankfurt there were numerous Air Malta and British Airways direct flights to Heathrow.  (Further you could of course fly from Malta to Rome or Paris or Schipol for a connection to the US.)  No legitimate luggage was transferred from KM180 to PA103A on the 21/12/88 for the simple reason that this wasn’t the way to get to London from Malta! 

 53.      The method by which Giaka thought a bag could be smuggled onto a plane is a matter of some interest as how the “rogue suitcase” was smuggled onto KM180 was never established and proved to be a central shortcoming in the prosecution case.  Giaka claimed to have sent his report through Magrahi. What was Giaka's suppposed plan?  

54.    The second central allegation (page 138) was that at the LAA office at Luqa Fhimah showed Giaka two boxes of brown lumpy things which Fhimah told him was  8 kilos of TNT.  Fhimah told Giaka he had got it from Megrahi.  According to Marquise Giaka later identified a photograph of Semtex!    

55.        The third allegation was more complex.   For reasons unstated Giaka had gone to Luqa Airport sometime in October, November or December 1988 where he saw Megrahi arrive with Fhimah.  According to Giaka Fhimah took a large brown hard-sided suitcase off the luggage carousel and took it through customs.   (How Giaka was able to observe this was a question neither the FBI nor the defence teams at Zeist asked him.)   Giaka then observed the two men getting into Fhimah’s car.  As Fhimah had only bought the car on the 14th December 1988 Giaka must have observed the two men arriving on the 20th December 1988.

56.   At page 152 Marquise discusses a meeting he had been at at MI5 HQ attended by the CIA. (9th September 1991?)   “We discussed what Giaka furnished during his lengthy interview.  The CIA and BSS (MI5) agreed that Giaka could answer most of the intelligence questions and the evidentiary things he had provided could be corroborated by others.”   How?

 57.     Henderson (who came to Washington to observe Giaka’s interview, was initially sceptical of Giaka asking (Page 139)   “Was Giaka involved in the bombing? Was he sent to USA by Libyans to find out what we knew?”   These were pertinent questions.  Marquise wrote that “Giaka would not be prosecuted so long as we found no evidence he had been involved in the attack.”  (He had claimed to have submitted a plan to smuggle a suitcase onto a plane bound for the USA!)

58.     Marquise reveals that following his own lengthy interview the principal of MEBO Edwin Bollier was subjected to a polygraph test which he passed.  Did the FBI think Giaka’s unlikely story of being asked to submit a report on smuggling a suitcase onto a plane, seeing explosives at the LAA office or observing Fhimah and Megrahi with a large brown Samsonite suitcase ought to be tested with a polygraph test?   Of course not.  As will be seen Marquise was working to a deadline and he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

 59.   While Maquise asserts “that no one in the FBI or DoJ believed, nor had we seen any evidence he would lie or fail to tell the truth” they made no attempt to test this and were already satisfied as to what “the truth” was.  Giaka's role was simply to confirm this theory.  Having travelled to the US Giaka had already burned his bridges and had every reason to embellish his account  He hated Gaddafi and wanted to settle in the USA.   He was kept in protective custody until the trial.  Marquise does not say what happened to Giaka and his family after the trial.  Unlike Paul and Tony Gauci they were not paid a  "reward for justice".  Giaka's memoirs would have been of great interest yet not a peep has been heard from Giaka since he gave evidence at Camp Zeist.   Where is he now?  Was he perhaps subjected to "extraordinary rendition" as a suspected Libyan plant?
 60.   Very early in the book Marquise wrote “The information we would eventually provide to the DoJ, and later to the public, would be based on fact and not speculation.  It had to be able to stand the scrutiny of a court.”  Well it didn't.

 61.     As it transpired with the release of the CIA cables detailing Giaka’s performance as a CIA informant and his failure to mention to the CIA any of the key allegations that the FBI so willingly swallowed even the Camp Zeist tribunal (which bent over backwards to accept the remainder of the prosecutions dubious assertions) dismissed Giaka’s evidence stating (Scotbom page 234) “We are unable to accept Abdul Majid as a credible and reliable witness on any matter except his description of the JSO and the personnel involved there.”   Their Lordships felt Giaka had embellished his evidence of a simple sighting at the Airport (if he was even there!) with the ludicrous detail of seeing Fhimah take a particular suitcase off the carousel.
62.       At page 146 Marquise had noted the comment of a DoJ official that “without Giaka the case was weak at best.”  The quite astonishing thing is that even without Giaka’s “evidence” (and the absence of any evidence as to how the primary suitcase was introduced at Malta) their Lordships still managed to convict Megrahi, apparently on the dubious identification of Gauci (and the acceptance of the assertion, again unsupported by evidence, that Gauci had sold his "Libyan" customer a grey man's Slalom shirt), together with an acceptance, (unsupported by the evidence), that the clothing was purchased on the 7th December 1988 together with the forensic evidence of RARDE (apparently fabricated) that claimed that key exhibits were found within this shirt. 

 63.   Perhaps Their Lordships were determined to convict if they possibly could (persons purportedly acting in Megrahi’s interests having him tried without a Jury in a judicial experiment in which he was precluded from giving evidence!) so that never again would defendants in a Scottish Criminal case negotiate the form of tribunal before which they would deign to appear.  The verdict may have been on "Camp Zeist". 
64.     Perhaps the most disgraceful episode related by Marquise concerned a briefing given by himself and Henderson to the Deputy Maltese PM Guido DeMarco on the 10th October 1988 in Malta.   Marquise wrote without a trace of irony or self-awareness that "he didn't was to lie or be evasive"  in telling DeMarco that "the bomb had definitely originated in Malta" transforming a dubious theory into fact.  They also told De Marco the two Libyan suspects kept explosives in Malta and had brought a large hard-sided suitcase into Malta.   All this was based on Marquise's credulous acceptance of the claims of Giaka although Marquise lied to De Marco that this was based on CIA intelligence.   

Rendition and the “Deadline” :
65.    Was the object of the indictment of the two Libyan suspects (in loco parentis Mo’ammar Gaddafi and the Libyan State) to bring the two defendants to trial but to transform unilateral US sanctions against Libya into UN sanctions with the objective of regime change?.   Presumably Mr Marquise thought he was involved in a straight-forward Criminal investigation, with the object of finding out who actually planned and carried out the bombing and proving it in court.  However his book provides a great deal of evidence to support the view that sanctions were not just a means of compelling Libya to surrender the two suspects but the objective of the indictments.  It was win-win.   Indeed in announcing the Indictment on the 14th  November 1991 US Attorney General William Barr stated “this investigation is continuing and will be pursued unrelentingly until all responsible are brought to justice”.   Former FBI Director Robert Mueller and the Lord Advocate were still making the same claims 22 years later!
66.   From early summer 1991 Marquise was concerned at the prospect of an arbitrary deadline for the completion  of the investigation being imposed.   At first he heard it from the Scots.  His own superiors (and others) assure him that there is no deadline yet it slowly dawns on him that there is a deadline and he doesn’t understand why.   The prospect of a deadline arose long before Giaka is recruited as a “witness” and without Giaka the FBI investigation has achieved nothing. 
 67.    Of a meeting on April 4th 1991 he writes “It seemed officials in Scotland had developed a timeline for the end of the investigation” and “I had not been privy to discussions between the White House and DoJ and wondered if they too had developed an end line.”   “On June 20th 1991  Mueller, Stephens (DoJ official) and Peter Fraser, the Lord Advocate met to discuss the investigation.  Investigators were not invited but I learned they came up with a “charging” date of November 15th - 1991 Henderson and I continued to be troubled by the “end line” the date set by the Lord Advocate to conclude the investigation.  We believed we might not be finished by November 15 and thought an artificial dealine was one which would put undue pressure on us.  That could lead to shortcuts taken and mistakes made.”   On July 10th “Henderson asked for support in asking the prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic not to set a deadline for the announcement of the indictment.”
68.    On August 19th 1991 the Lord Advocate met with the Prime Minister (John Major) "and they had discussed deadlines in the investigation."  In June 1996 PM Major claimed to the House of Commons that the investigation was "open" and called for persons with relevant information to "come forward."  It transpired the investigation was "open" only if you agreed with the official version of events notably the conclusion of the Fatal Accident Inquiry that the primary suitcase arrived at Heathrow unaccompanied on flight PA103A, a conclusion based on no evidence whatsoever simply the submission of the then Lord Advocate's Deputy, one Andrew Hardie QC. 
69.         Referring to a meeting with MI5 in London on Monday 9th September 1991 "Henderson believed the indictments would be announced on a date from November 12-19 1991.  He admitted the final police report would not be done by then nor would the RARDE report.”“The deadline which we thought to have been set by the Lord Advocate was allegedly being advocated by Mueller and, ostensibly, the US Government.”  “I also learned FBI Director Sessions had met with the Director General of the BSS in Canada just two months before.  It was another example of information not being passed down the line.”     
70.     There were a number of discussions about the rendition of one or both of the suspects.  At page 118 he wrote about a discussion of the possibility of a "snatch"  of either suspect should they venture outside Libya.   (In fact Megrahi's co-accused Fhimah was living in pro-Western Tunisia as an LAA employee.)  But as Marquise frankly admitted (page 156) "No one wanted to try Fhimah alone, without Megrahi." 

The Federal Grand Jury

71.         While Giaka’s dubious claims were dismissed by the panel of Judges at Camp Zeist they were central to the evidence presented to a US Federal Grand Jury.  This met between the 25th September and the 13th November 1991 handing down the Indictment the day before it was announced to the world.  
72.           Here the Grand Jury heard unchallenged Giaka’s account of being commissioned to write a report on smuggling a suitcase onto an aircraft, the storing of Semtex at the LAA office and of seeing Fhimah and Megrahi on the eve of the bombing with a Brown Samsonite suitcase.  There were no other eyewitnesses  although.   “The witnesses would include FBI agents who would summarize what we had uncovered, to include potential testimony by both Bollier and Gauci.”  (Presumably Gauci’s identification would have been emphatic, the date of purchase undoubtedly the 7th December and there would be no doubt that a  “rogue suitcase” was smuggled onto KM180 and transferred at Frankfurt to PA103A.)    It was Marquise who presented a lot of this evidence.   Did he present the evidence of RARDE in advance of their actual report?
73.        The patriotic Grand Jury members did their duty and returned an Indictment.   There was no real plan to bring the suspects to trial and the Montreal Treaty was ignored but the indictments were all that were required in order to purport that a trial was the objective and start the process of imposing UN sanctions.    Was there any other point to announcing these twin indictments on both sides on the Atlantic?     Marquise notes that the Lord Advocate Lord Peter Fraser proposed to personally lead the prosecution in Edinburgh.  How he thought to get the defendants to Edinburgh (if he thought of it at all) is not mentioned.   Demands made by the West seemed to be intended to prevent a trial.
74.        This seems to have been the end of Marquise's active involvement in the Lockerbie case save for occasionally reassuring Giaka that he was a wanted and valued resource.   Ironically Marquise was then appointed to be the Agent in charge of the FBI's Oklahoma City office which in April 1995 had suffered from another terrorist attack arising from and intimately related to the Amercian political scandals known (inaccurately) as  "Iran-Contra".  

Payment of Witnesses

75.     Marquise has little to say about the payment of witnesses or indeed who was paid save that the reward, which offered up to four million dollars (page 114) for information leading to the Lockerbie bombing.(sic)   “However one thing was abundantly clear, money was and is not a motivating factor.”   How was this “abundantly clear" and to who?  He continued that  "We believed thousands of useless pieces of information would be sent to the task force, overwhelming us.  In reality, little credible information was ever received."   Of course the task force had a particular definition of "credible". -  "After the indictment was announced FBI field offices and the police in Scotland were deluged by individuals who had information about the bombing or the two suspects who had been indicted.  None of the tips ever turned out to be of value.”     (Doesn’t that tell you something?).


FBI Told of Heathrow Origin: 

76.      On the 1st June 1996 the author wrote to the US Ambassador to the Court of St James pointing out the blindingly obvious that the Police had made a "colossal blunder" in eliminating Heathrow as the airport at which the primary suitcase was introduced.  
77.        This was not the FBI's blunder and as most of the victims were US citizens I thought it possible (but unlikely) the FBI might actuallyconduct an objective investigation.     I thought it may be useful to document they had been told that the Scottish Police had got it wrong from the start. 
78.       I was surprised to receive a very courteous response  from Assistant Legal attaché Robert A. Patton (an FBI officer) indicating the FBI would "respond to you directly concerning your information".    Of course I heard nothing further not because it was untrue but because it was absolutely true.    "Scotbom"  explains perfectly why they did not respond.     They had their indictment and the US Government had their sanctions.   There was no prospect of a trial so there was no upside to an objective investigation.

79.       I did incidentally claim the advertised reward and why not? (And continue to claim it).   I was merely pointing out where an objective investigation had been abandoned. 



80.     It is a long time since Mrs.Rimington boasted that "the service played a major role in the  investigation."    Nobody picked up on this and at Camp Zeist nobody senior in the actual investigation was called to give evidence.   I did suggest to the defence team that Mrs Rimington be summonsed to explain her boast.
81.     Richard Marquise's book has confirmed MI5 did play a major role in the investigation although the detail of what role they played is outwith the public domain and was not disclosed to the defence. 
While the British Government outsourced the Lockerbie case to the (pre-devolution) Scottish authorities it does seem curious that the head  of the FBI's investigation was in frequent contact with and attended meetings at MI5 Headquarters (accompanied by the Scottish Senior Investigating Officer Stewart Henderson.)
82.   The central point is that the British Security Service (MI5) is not a law-enforcement agency.  They have their own agenda and objectives. 
83.   The bombing of flight PA103 was almost certainly quid pro quo  retaliation for the incompetence of Captain Will Rogers in his attack on Iranair flight 655 (the "Vincennes Incident").  For quite obvious reasons it was expedient to pretend retaliation had not occurred and to blame somebody else.    Libya was an ideal choice.   The CIA had had a thirty year campaign to overthrow Gaddafi, finally succeeding in 2011.   While Lockerbie was supposedly just another count on Gaddafi's rap sheet it was in actuality part of the campaign to overthrow him.    
84.      The CIA's long-term objective coincided exactly with MI5's No.1 overwhelming priority - the disarming and the defeat of the Provisional Irish Republican Army - the real and vital threat to the security of the British State.    In this they had the 100% support of the British Government and successive British Prime Ministers.      While the British Government exerted enormous pressure on the PIRA it was probably the events of "9/11" that made that made the IRA's campaign obsolete.
85.      In a Benthamite sense the framing of Megrahi (as a substitute for Gaddafi) might be regarded as a "good thing".   It had little to do with the actual bombing of flight PA103 but part of the genius of the "Libyan solution" was that the relatives were generously compensated giving them a financial interest in the official version of events.    
86.      I take the view that the Western authorities were prepared to accept the destruction of a single airliner  as retaliation for the Vincennes Incident (as opposed to the destruction of several planes and the further escalation of the crisis.)  Were they aware in advance that flight PA103 of the 21/12/88 was targeted for destruction?   It seems likely that a CIA "asset" built the bomb.   I am sure most people would assume that if the authorities became aware of a plan to bomb a particular aircraft they would do all in their power to prevent such a thing - but then some other plane or planes would be attacked.  The central question is whether acceptance became collusion and even management.  

1100 31/12/14