Monday, December 29, 2008

Part III Lockerbie -Criminal Justice or "War by Other Means" (1)

What our response will be we do not say – but it will be an appropriate response to the magnitude of the American Crime

 – Spokesman Mohammed Beshti, Press Conference at the Iranian Embassy, London July 1988.

There are two distinct yet intimately related aspects to the Lockerbie case. Firstly there is the bombing itself then the creation of the official “Libyan solution” to the crime for reasons largely (but not entirely) unrelated to the bombing itself.

Many critics of the official version of events allege or imply that the plan to blame Libya was improvised some time after the bombing, for example in order to exonerate nations whose participation or neutrality in the Gulf War coalition was needed. They assume that if Abdel Ali Baset Ali Al-Megrahi (hereafter Al-Megrahi) was falsely accused either by accident or design then the evidence on which he was charged and convicted was created or improvised subsequent to the bombing itself.

The conviction of Al-Megrahi was not a so-called “miscarriage of justice”. One does not get convicted of mass murder by accident or mistake. If there was a plan to “blame” Libya or to incriminate Al-Megrahi and his co-defendant then it must have been conceived and partly implemented before the bombing. The alternative to Al-Megrahi’s guilt is that the authorities set out to incriminate an innocent man (or at least innocent of this crime). Although not explicitly stated in the Camp Zeist Judgement this is a point the Trial Judges grasped. The alternative to Al-Megrahi’s guilt is not simply that he was “fitted-up” but that Western Governments colluded in the bombing itself.

In the official version of events these two distinct aspects do not exist. The solution arises solely from the Crime. Events prior to the 21st December 1988 may be evidence of the preparation for the crime and to some extent cast light on the motive but are otherwise of little relevance.

The Object of the Indictment – A Trial or Sanctions?
It is generally assumed that the object of the announcement of the indictment on the 14th November 1991 was the trial of the two suspects (who were eventually handed over on the 5th April 1999.) However the Western powers pursued the case not under the relevant International Law (the 1971 Montreal Convention) but by political means through the UN Security Council and the imposition of sanctions against Libya.

The Lockerbie incident was exploited in order to impose UN sanction upon Libya for political considerations that largely predated the bombing and a trial was actually unwelcome to the West, their primary objective being regime change in Libya. A study of the historical background is necessary to understanding why Libya was blamed, a background that was largely irrelevant to the criminal proceedings.

In February 1986 the United States had imposed unilateral sanctions on Libya and US plans to topple Gaddafi long predated this. The Europeans, far more dependent on Libyan oil failed to support these sanctions to the chagrin of American business interests. Unilateral sanctions were ineffectual if Libya could trade elsewhere and it was an objective of US policy to transform unilateral sanctions into UN sanctions, achieved through the Lockerbie indictment.

Crucial evidence that the objective of the indictment was sanctions not a trial lies in the movements of Lhamin Fhimah (who was indicted solely to give credence to the “Malta” scenario.) In November 1991 Fhimah was again employed by Libyan Arab Airlines and was living openly in Tunis, capital of pro-Western Tunisia. On the day of the indictment Fhimah had returned to Tripoli for a visit when he saw news\of his indictment on TV. ( 2 )( 3 ).

Did the Western intelligence agencies not know where Fhimah was living and could they not have sought his arrest and extradition by the Tunisian authorities? Or was Fhimah’s residence outside Libya an embarrassment? According to the former Lord Advocate Lord Fraser he had been asked by the Americans to “hold off” on the indictment while new evidence was developed (4) (likely the testimony of Majid Giaka) but if the object of the indictment was a trial why did they wait until Fhimah was in Libya before announcing it? Indeed the public announcement of the indictment at all was bizarre if the objective was a trial not sanctions.

From the announcement of the indictment until the trial the authorities pretended that the case against Libya was cast iron while dismissing any conflicting evidence. The prospect of a trial laid open the prospect of an acquittal. The announcement of an indictment allowed the authorities to claim the case was “solved” and to a great extent mollified the families of the victims and created a constituency to keep the issue (and the sanctions) going.

Of course if Libyan responsibility was undoubted, as the Americans proclaimed, why were they pursuing sanctions at all? The Americans had bombed Tripoli in response to a relatively minor outrage. This was something many US relatives could not grasp. Following a meeting with the FBI Director Dan Cohen commented;

As we were leaving I asked Sessions if indictments would really be of any use, whether Pan Am 103 was something for the judicial system at all. After all, this wasn’t a drive-by shooting, it was really a military attack on America and should properly be answered in political or military terms. He thought for a moment and said, “you may very well be right”. ( 5 ) Cohen had a good point.

Lockerbie and the Vincennes Incident:

All Imperialists are at heart paper tigers” MAO Tse-tung ( 6 )

The bombing of flight PA103 had a proximate cause. As in “Gravity’s Rainbow” ( 7 ) Tundergarth was inextricably linked to the crash site of Iranair flight 655 brought down in Iranian territorial waters on the 3rd July 1988 by two missiles fired from the USS Vincennes. Without the “Vincennes Incident” there would have been no Lockerbie.

However for the authorities, in particular the US Government, it was imperative to deny the link between the “Vincennes Incident” and Lockerbie, to pretend that retaliation had not occurred and to draw a line under the incident for the simple reason that they would be compelled by public opinion to do something about it, to respond in turn. In the unique circumstances of the “Vincennes Incident” their policy options were extremely limited. Short of war there was nothing they could do. Yet having shot down a civilian airliner and decorated those responsible on what moral basis could they “go after Iran”? ( 8 )

Their only practical policy option was to pretend that Iran had not responded to the USA destroying a civilian airliner, blame somebody else (in pursuit of existing policy objectives) and “move on” which is precisely what occurred. Of course the central objective of this policy is to deceive the public. At some level the US and British Governments knew perfectly well what transpired. The Lockerbie story is essentially the story of the authorities denying (very successfully) the tru story. Of course those responsible for the Lockerbie disaster also know the truth from which they have drawn their own conclusions.

In the official version of events the primary suspects in the case, Iran and Syria were not just ignored. President George H.W. Bush went out of his way to exonerate them. In the official version a plan by the PFLP-GC plan to bomb several planes had been thwarted by the prompt action of the German authorities. It is therefore hard to comprehend how the state sponsors of the PFLP-GC had taken “a bum rap”.

At a funeral for some of the victims, thousands of Iranians chanted “death to America” and the president of Iran called for vengeance. “The Iranian nation and officials assert that they reserve the right to take vengeance in any manner and at any place, and God willing, they will exact revenge with force.” A few days later a US State Department computer bulletin board warned that in response to the downing of the Iranian plane “threats to US interests worldwide has increased significantly ….we believe Iran will strike back in a tit-for-tat fashion – mass casualties for mass casualties….targets could include aircraft, airports….we believe Europe is a likely target for a retaliatory attack” ( 9 )

Yet if Lockerbie had nothing to do with Libya why would the authorities go out of their way to exonerate the primary suspects, downplay or ignore completely the “Autumn Leaves” affair and instead incriminate a man and a country that they knew had nothing whatsoever to do with the case? Did they simply get a kick out of it or were there perfectly intelligible reasons for the creation of a false solution?

As Dan Cohen wrote But the Libyan indictments were of a different order. It’s highly unlikely that the government would have fabricated such detailed evidence in order to frame two innocent individuals, and quite possibly an entire country, for a monstrous crime they had nothing to do with.” ( 9 ) Why was it unlikely?

The Historical/Political Background;

Lockerbie arises from a complex relationship between a number of “actors”. These are primarily nation-states notably the United States, the United Kingdom, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Great Libyan People’s Jamahriya (Libya). In due course as Lockerbie was linked to the UTA772 case the French Republic became a major “actor” particularly as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Libya’s sponsored numerous armed “liberation” movements, characterised by the USA as terrorist groups (who supported similar groups known as freedom fighters) often opposed to allies and clients of the United States who were also “actors” when the Lockerbie case came into the realm of the United Nations.

The relationship between Britain and Libya through the IRA (another “actor”) may be secondary only to the relationship between the US and respectively Iran and Libya in understanding the creation of the “Libyan solution” to Lockerbie. It may even be the primary motivation behind the creation of the “Libyan solution”.

The relationship of other countries to the USA may be of great importance in understanding aspects of the Lockerbie story notably the. timing of the indictment.

Luis Posada Carriles and Cubanair Flight 455

In 1976 Cubanair flight 455 was destroyed by a bomb shortly after take-off from Barbados on route from Venezuela to Cuba killing all 73 on board. Police in Trinidad subsequently arrested two Venezuelan who claimed to be following the orders of a right wing Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, who worked for the Venezuelan secret Police, and another Cuban Orando Bosch. Carriles escaped from a Venezuelan Prison in 1985 and went to work for the CIA in Honduras in support of the Nicaraguan Contras.

In 2000 Carriles and three associates was convicted of conspiring in Panama to murder Castro (and his audience) by blowing-up the students’ Hall at the University of Panama during an address by Castro. Carriles was subsequently pardoned by the Panamanian President. Carriles moved to Miami where Orlando Bosch is a folk hero and an associate of the Governor Jeb Bush, whose father was CIA Director at the time of the Cubanair 455 bombing. The US authorities decline to extradite Carriles (now in his eighties) to Venezuela.

On the 1st January 1992 Cuba (and Yemen) lost their seats on the Security Council at which point the Western powers prepared to introduce the motion to impose sanctions on Libya. It is unlikely that Cuba (and Yemen) would have supported sanctions particularly in view of the Cuban experience in relation to Cubanair 455 (and indeed to the totality of US efforts to achieve “regime change” in Cuba and other leftist regimes through sanctions, sabotage and violence).

The timing of the indictment was not determined by the progress of the investigation, or considerations relating to the Gulf War but by the composition of the Security Council.

Iranian-US Relations;
The key relationship was that between the United States of America and the Islamic Republican of Iran. Diplomatic relations were beyond glacial and anti-Americanism was the central principal of Iranian Foreign Policy arising from recent historical experience.

The key event in US-Iranian relationship was the overthrow in 1953 of the conservative parliamentary government of the Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh in a coup organised by the CIA. Mossadeq had begun the process of nationalising the Iranian oil industry then controlled by the British on terms grossly unfair to the Iranians. The CIA financed coup abolished parliament and put the Shah in absolute power. ( 11 )

In 1979 during the throes of the revolution against the regime of the Shah revolutionaries had captured the US Embassy holding US diplomats hostage. Later that year Saddam Hussein had invaded Iran possibly with tacit US backing.

During the eight year Iran-Iraq War the West was supposedly neutral and purportedly imposed an arms embargo on both sides. However an Iranian victory would not be tolerated. Iraq was supplied with arms but more importantly with credit.

The Iranians saw the West as the de facto allies of Iraq. In particular the US and other naval patrols in the Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf, while supposedly supporting the principal of freedom of navigation were de facto supporting Iraq and it’s Arab allies. Following an Iranian attack on a US registered merchant ship in 1987 the US Navy had done enormous damage to Iran’s offshore oil installations while an Iraqi Excocet attack on the USS Stark, which killed a number of sailors, was ignored as an embarrassment.

In 1988 the collapse of the Soviet Union was three years away. Secretary Gorbachov was seen in the West as a politician whose reforms might strengthen the moribund Soviet Union. In Washington policymakers predicted that the end of the Iran-Iraq War would mean the overthrow of the defeated Government. No regime in history had survived defeat in war. The only predicted alternative to the Islamic Republic was a pro-communist regime.

In an attempt to bring to an end the Beirut Hostage Crisis a handful of US officials associated with the National Security Council and the head of the CIA William Casey ran a “covert” foreign policy attempting to free the hostages by means of a number of increasingly ambitions arms deals with Iran. The rationale for North’s arms dealing was not simply to free the hostages but was intended to support supposed moderate factions in the Iranian regime.

Despite or because of it’s recent history the United States was looking to improve or even normalise relations with it’s “natural ally” Iran. As the Islamic Republic was staunchly anti-communist the authoritarian and Islamic nature of the regime posed no problem. The US enjoyed cordial relations with other authoritarian Islamic regimes and was organising and funding Islamic militants in neighbouring Afghanistan.

From the Iranian point of view the USA remained the “great Satan” the implacable enemy of the Iranian revolution. This applied to both “moderate” and “hard-line” factions within the regime. With the exposure of the “Iran-Contra” affair, possibly by a “hard-line” faction to embarrass pragmatists political and even physical survival in Tehran necessitated an anti-American political line.

Into this potent mix was thrown the “Vincennes Incident” an unpredicted and from the American point of view a quite unwelcome development. The incident arose out of America’s pro-Iraq anti-Iran stance and both sides responded as prisoners of their history. Iran denounced the American Crime and threatened revenge.

The Americans, possibly initially misinformed as to what had transpired blamed the Iranian pilot and decorated the crew. Iranian demands that Captain Rogers and his crew be handed over for trial were instantly dismissed. Even a Court Martial of Captain Rogers would have been seen as an unwarranted concession to the hated Iranians. At the beginning of a Presidential Campaign there were no votes to be gained in attempting to conciliate Iran.

Subsequent to defending the US position in a speech to the UN on the July 1988 Vice-President and Presidential candidate George H.W.Bush responded to questions posed by journalists “I will never apologize for the United States of America. I don’t care what the facts are.” ( 12 )

Libya and the USA;
Was my daughter’s life, and the lives of all the others on Pan Am 103, of no value to our government?” Susan and Dan Cohen - PA103 (13)

It may be that the lives of Theodora Cohen, a vibrant and talented actress, and all the other victims was of great value to the US and British Governments or acquired great value in how their sacrifice was exploited. In order to bring an end to sanctions Libya moderated and changed it’s policies and was forced to renounce support for a number of liberation/terrorist groups. This support was not just financial but involved the supply of weapons and explosives.

From the overthrow of the monarchy in 1969 Colonel Gaddafi sought to spread the Libyan revolution against the evils of Colonialism and Imperialism. Money and weapons were sent to dozens of terrorist groups around the world. Later training camps were established within Libya. The Colonel saw himself as the leader of a world-wide campaign against oppression and claimed the right, as the USA does, to interfere in the internal affairs of any country. Besides his sponsorship of terrorist groups the Libyan regime undertook a campaign of assassination against anti-Gaddafi exiles, the so-called “stray dogs” in Western Europe, Egypt and other countries.

Gaddafi gave support to the Nicaraguan Contras and supported Basque, Breton and Corsican terrorists as well as German terrorist factions such as the Baader Meinhof group and the Italian Red Brigades.

A detailed Israeli intelligence report states that in the mid-1980s Qadhafi was supporting some fifty terror organisations and subversion groups, in addition to more than forty radical governments in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. Here it is noted that for the Middle East alone Gadhafi was then supporting George Habsh’s PFLP, Jibril’s PFLP-GC (General Command) Naif Hawatmeh’s Democratic Front, the Saiqa, the Popular Struggle Front, and Abu Nidal. In addition there was Libyan support for many national movements in other regions (some groups already mentioned) Many countries – among them Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria, Lebanon, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Phillipines – have at one time or another accused Qadhafi of supporting dissident or terrorist groups in their country.

One Israeli report suggested that Libya’s support for international terrorism in the 1980s was less than often supposed. Out of a total of more than 400 terrorist incidents in 1985, Libyan hit squads were judged to be responsible for only eleven, and these involved eight Libyan victims. At the same time, Abu Nidal, supported by Qadhafi was responsible for about two dozen terrorist acts. The Libyan involvement in terrorism was not in doubt: there was debate as to it’s scale.”
( 14 )

A demand made of Libya subsequent to the imposition of UN sanctions further to the demands concerning flight PA103 and UTA772 was that Libya;

Cease all forms of training for “terrorists” in Libyan camps, stop supporting and aiding them; co-operate with Western requests regarding those organisations by handing over any information or even personalities” ( 15 )

Even if Libya had immediately handed over the two suspects in the Lockerbie case sanctions may have continued.

From the start of the Reagan Presidency Gaddafi was represented as being behind numerous terrorist incidents real or imagined. Even prior to the inauguration it was widely publicised that Libya had dispatched hit-teams to the USA to assassinate Reagan. The source of these claims transpired to be an Iranian exile Manucher Ghorbanifar who was later to emerge as a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.

A long-term plan to overthrow the regime and eliminate Gaddafi was one of the Reagan administration’s top priorities. ( 16 ) The Libyan “threat” was played-up to support the US Military build-up and the funding of the Contras.

A key official whose brief included coming up with schemes to harass the Libyan regime was Vincent Cannnistraro who later led the CIA purported “investigation” of Lockerbie. Because of disinformation and exaggeration it is difficult to assess whether the US case against Libya was credible or grossly exaggerated. The central point is not whether US policy was justified but that this was US policy. The attempt to decapitate the regime in April 1986 failed. This did not mean the policy was abandoned.

This may not have been the first or the last attempt by Western Governments to assassinate Gaddafi. On the 27th June 1980 an Itavia Air DC9 Flight 870 from Bologna to Palermo plunged into deep waters off Ustica, Sicily with the loss of 81 lives. The investigation continues to this day with no definitive result but with the suspicion that certain Governments and Italian officials and military personnel have been involved in a cover-up. It is likely that the plane was struck by two missiles. Warplanes from the US, France and Italy were on exercise in the area. One theory is that the plane was destroyed in a botched attempt to shoot down another passenger plane carrying Colonel Gaddafi from Libya to a conference in Europe.

In 1998 David Shayler, a former MI5 officer, who claimed or believed himself to be on the “Libya desk” within MI5 claimed that in 1996 British intelligence had colluded with Libyan Islamists to murder Colonel Gaddafi a claim that was ridiculed by the authorities.( 17 )

Libya and Great Britain: The Enemy Within-The Enemy Without:

One aspect of Libyan/UK relations was the real or purported juxtaposition of the “enemy within” the Irish Republican Army (15) and more controversially the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) with the enemy without, “Libya”. Central to this mix was Stella Rimington who was head of Department F2 of MI5 dealing with the 1983-5 Miners Strike which put her on the path to head the service.

The truth of the extent of MI5 involvement in defeating the strike is not within the public domain but allegations involve phone-tapping, the infiltration of agents into the National Union of Mineworkers, co-operation with right-wing extremists, the propagation of false stories and the manipulation of the press. ( 18 )

On the 17th April 1984 24 year old WPC Yvonne Fletcher was murdered while policing an anti-Gaddafi demonstration outside the Libyan People’s Bureau in St.James Square, London. The protestors were demonstrating against the recent public execution of two students in Tripoli. A sub-machine gun was fired at the protesters from the Embassy and Miss Fletcher was mortally wounded. No arrests were made at the time and diplomatic relations with Libya were broken off. The incident caused widespread revulsion.

Several months later the Chief Executive of the NUM Roger Windsor was sent to Libya to meet with Colonel Gaddafi and was photographed warmly embracing the Colonel. According to the NUM Windsor’s mission was to persuade Colonel Gaddafi to halt exports of Libyan oil to Britain as this was weakening the strike. According to Windsor’s comments he was there to seek financial support for the miners strike fund. In the light of the murder of Yvonne Fletcher this caused outrage in Britain. ( 19 )

It is curious that only Libya was approached to support an oil embargo and perhaps Windsor’s gaffe was not seeking funds but talking about it.

Under the cover of parliamentary privilege Windsor was subsequently named in the House of Commons as an MI5 agent. When the allegation was repeated outside the Commons Windsor successfully sued and decamped to France. ( 20 )

The affair was re-ignited in 1990, long after the strike collapsed, but before the Government announced the abolition of the coal industry. In 1990 the left of centre Daily Mirror, then owned by Robert Maxwell ran a number of stories concerning the NUM President Arthur Scargill and funds supposedly supplied by Libya. ( 21 )

The source of the story was Roger Windsor, handsomely compensated by the Mirror, Scargill’s former driver/gofer and a Briton of Pakistani origin with links to the security services. The Sunday Times ran a similar story alleging that a trip to Paris by Scargill to meet his French counterpart was actually a cover for a meeting with a senior member of the Libyan Government. Similar allegations were made by a TV investigative journalist Roger Cook on The Cook Report using the same sources. ( 22 )

The allegation was that Scargill and Peter Heathfield, another senior NUM official had been given £160,000 of the Libyan money in cash which they had used to pay off their mortgages. Curiously Scargill never sued although an enquiry by a prominent QC on behalf of the NUM found that the allegations were completely untrue. Twelve years later the Mirror’s former editor admitted his serious doubts about the story at the time and published a frank apology. Windsor became embroiled in a French Court case involving funds donated to the NUM by the French mining union which concluded that documents submitted by Windsor supposedly bearing Scargill’s signature were forgeries. ( 23 )

In the 1984 Brighton bombing an IRA terrorist Patrick Magee had attempted to assassinate Mrs Thatcher. It is rumoured Magee was trained in Libya as had other prominent IRA volunteers. She survived virtually unscathed but four others died in the bombing, while many suffered serious and permanent injury. Mrs Thatcher’s two closest friends in politics had both been murdered by Republican terrorists.

On the 30thOctober 1987 French customs intercepted the Panamanian trawler the Eksund off coast of Brittany en route from Malta to Ireland. It was crewed by four IRA volunteers. On it’s way it had stopped in Libyan waters and taken on a cargo or arms and explosives destined for the IRA. Investigations revealed that this was the fifth voyage of the Eksund on this route and that Libya had already supplied hundreds of tons of weapons to the IRA in four earlier shipments made between June 1985 and September 1986. The shipments included 2,000 AK-47’s, two million rounds of ammunition, surface to air missiles and 10 tens of Semtex allowing the IRA to carry on it’s “armed struggle” almost indefinitely. ( 24 ) ( 25 )

This was a staggering blow to British strategy against the IRA whose objective had been to starve the IRA of cash and weaponry. This weaponry had been passed to the IRA without the knowledge of the security services and it was believed to be a condition of the Libyans that these arms were not to be used until the shipments were completed.

In April 1986 Mrs Thatcher had supported the US raids on Tripoli and Benghazi. This was a scheme that originated within the US National Security Council by the same officials who were seeking to arm Iran. The pretext for the raid was intelligence linking Libya to the bombing of La Belle discothèque in March 1986, intelligence that the Americans declined to make public. According to President Reagan “our evidence is direct, it is precise, it is irrefutable”. ( 26 ) The American’s case was dubious but they were more concerned with demonstrating American military power than in publicly stating the case against Libya.

The central objective of the US raids was to kill Colonel Gaddafi himself by bombing sites associated with him in particular the Al-Aziz barracks. Indeed there was no other rational objective to dropping 2,000lb. bombs on sleeping civilians and the French Embassy. According to one source North had planned to use Terry Waite to ensure Gaddafi was in position when the bombing began. Waite was to arrange a meeting at Gaddafi’s quarters then leave shortly before the attacks began. ( 27) The assassination of foreign leaders was forbidden by US law but President Reagan was prepared to “take the heat”.

Commenting on the bombing Mrs Thatcher famously wrote that “But the raid on Libya was a far greater success than I could ever have imagined and put a stop to Libyan sponsored terrorism for years to come. Libyan retaliation did not and could not happen”. ( 28 ) Some observers saw this statement as a denial of Libyan responsibility for Lockerbie as indeed it appears to be. Mrs Thatcher’s words make it appear that Libya, having been bombed on a pretext, abandoned support for the IRA and other terrorist groups and ceased to be a threat. But Libya did continue to send arms to the IRA as the Eksund incident undoubtedly demonstrated.

While claiming that the raid was a success it was in fact a failure and had not put a stop to “Libyan sponsored terrorism” at all. Rather than being compelled to claim everything she did worked it would have been better if Mrs Thatcher had admitted that the raid on Libya was a failure. But if the raid had not deterred Gaddafi and it was discovered with the Eksund incident that his support for the IRA had continued how was he to be stopped?

One of the demands made of Libya subsequent to the imposition of UN sanctions was that Libya ;

Cease all support and aid to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and provide the British authorities with all available information regarding that relation.” ( 29 )

According to newspaper sources the Libyans “named up to 20 leading IRA figures, gave details of their training, listed the weapons supplied, indicated the scale of the funding and how the support had been provided” (30).

By happy coincidence the identification of the two Libyans as the “culprits” in the Lockerbie case gave the British the means to exert economic and political pressure on the Libyan Government.

As noted in the previous article “A Poisoned Pill – the Mysterious Life and Death of Ian Spiro” Dame Stella Rimington boasted on national television that it was MI5 who “identified the two Libyan culprits”. ( 31)

In a recent article Richard Marquise, who headed the FBI’s Lockerbie investigation, summarised the evidence linking Al-Megrahi to Lockerbie, or at least to the official version of events. He laid particular stress on his arrival in Malta on the 20th December 1988 in the false identity of Abdulsamad and his departure on the morning of the 21st December 1988. This is a crucial matter as in reality the primary suitcase was introduced at Heathrow not Malta. Marquise wrote that Al-Megrahi’s visit was discovered by “another American intelligence agency” but does not state which one. (32) How Al-Megrahi was identified as Abdulsamad does not feature in the transcript of the trial.

While Al-Megrahi was in Malta on the 21st December 1988, the bomb wasn’t. Al-Megrahi’s visit to Malta is not evidence of his guilt but evidence of a plan to incriminate Libya and Al-Megrahi in advance of the bombing itself.

The author is a graduate in Modern History and International Relations.
Comments of a reasonable length (i.e.shorter than the original article) are welcome on this blog or at

(1 ) Clausewitz On War “War is merely the continuation of policy
by other means

( 2 ) “The Maltese Double Cross” writer/director Alan Francovich

(3) Interview with Lhamin Fhimah (following his acquittal) featured
in “Cover-up of Convenience” by John Ashton & Ian Ferguson
Mainstream Publishing

( 4 ) Ashton & Ferguson Interview with Lord Fraser

( 5) Cohen, Susan and Daniel Pan Am 103 New American Library
2000 page 139

( 6 ) The Thoughts of Chairman Mao

( 7 ) Thomas Pyncheon “Gravity’s Rainbow” (a novel).

( 8 ) Oliver “Buck” Revell Channel 4 The Lockerbie Debate

( 9 ) Cohen page 32

( 10 ) Cohen page 156

( 11 ) William Blum Killing Hope (US Military & CIA Interventions
Since World War II)
Zed Books London 20004 Chapter 9 Iran
1953 – Making it Safe for the King of Kings
see also Chapter
Libya 1981-1989 Ronald Reagan Meets his Match for a
comprehensive account of US efforts to overthrow or eliminate
Colonel Gaddafi.

( 12 ) Vice-President George H.W.Bush (quoted in Newsweek

( 13 ) Cohen page 45

( 14 ) Geoff Symons Libya and the West from Independence to
2003 The Centre for Libyan Studies 124-5

( 15 ) Matar Khalil I. And Thabit Robert W. Lockerbie and Libya A
Study in International Relations
McFarland & Company
Inc.2004 page 24

( 16 ) Newsweek 3.8.81

( 17) Various sources

( 18) “What Stella Left Out” Seumus Milne Guardian 2.10.2000

( 19 ) Various sources

(20) Hansard 22.7.93

(21) Daily Mirror 1990 (dates untraceable)

(22) Sunday Times 28.10.84

(23) “Sorry Arthur ” by Roy Greenslade Guardian 27.5.2002

(24) Brendan O’Brien The Long War: The IRA and Sinn Fein O’Brien Press 1999

(25) BBC TV The Age of Terror( part III) Ten Days of Terror written and presented byPeter Taylor

(26) Best Laid Plans by David C.Martin quoted in Gavin Hewitt’s Terry Waite, Why Was HeKidnapped page 156

( 27) New York times 15.4.86

(28) Margaret Thatcher The Downing Street Years

(29) Kalil & Thabit page 24

(30) Geoff Symons Libya and the West from Independence to
2003 The Centre for Libyan Studies (note 15 to
Chapter 7 at page 198)

(31) Dimbleby lecture Security and Democracy is there a Conflict?Broadcast on BBC2 12.6.94 British Film Institute Library (note
the official transcript on the MI5 website is wildly inaccurate).

(32) Richard Marquise Megrahi’s Tale a Tissue of Lies Sunday
Times 14.12.08