Monday, September 8, 2014

Richard Marquise and his "Golden Informant" Majid Giaka - An Extract from "Enemies - A History of the FBI" by Tim Weiner

    Tim Weiner's recent book "Enemies - A History of the FBI" is a fascinating story of the creation of the FBI within the US Justice Department following American entry into the Great War, not for the purpose of Criminal Investigation but to counter the threat of radicals, anarchists and communists by means of dubious constitutionality.
     I was fascinated by the early history and the parallels with more recent events, for example the 1920 car-bomb attack of Wall Street (well actually a horse-drawn wagon) in which 58 people (and presumably the horse(s)) perished.
     The author devotes six pages to an uncritical account of the Bureau's involvement in the Lockerbie case focusing on the role of the leader of the FBI taskforce (of 7 persons) Richard Marquise.   (Tom Thurman is not mentioned.)
      Marquise was recently quoted in the Dutch media in a story titled "The Lessons of Lockerbie" in relation to the shooting down of flight MH17 over the Ukraine.    Marquise advocated the recruitment of a "Golden Informant" to solve the case just as he had done in the Lockerbie case (and by ignoring the actual evidence and a real "Golden Informant" John Bedford.    Weiner's book gives a very interesting summary of how this "Golden Informant" Majid Giaka was recruited:- (page 372)
 "Marquise needed to turn intelligence into evidence.  He needed a witness who would link Megrahi to the Samsonite suitcase with the Semtex.  He needed to find someone who knew that the suitcase carried the bomb from Air Malta to Pan Am 103.  He went back to the CIA.   The Agency told him, belatedly, that it had once had a Libyan informant named Abdul Majid Giaka.   He had gone on the CIA's payroll four months before Lockerbie.  He was on it the night Pan Am 103 was bombed.   But the Agency had dropped him a few months later, deeming him a fabricator milking his interrogators for money.
          Marquise was dying to talk to Majid, no matter how dubious he seemed to the CIA.  In June 1991 the Agency flew him from a navy ship off the coast of Malta to give the FBI the chance to interview him in Virginia.  Justly wary of its informant, the CIA imposed one condition: don't tell anybody."  (Marquise immediately phoned Stuart Henderson.)  -
"Majid was debriefed for at least two weeks during September 1991.   He insisted that he knew three facts.   He identified Megrahi as an intelligence officer serving as Libya's airline security chief.   He said that Megrahi's subordinate in Malta had a cache of Semtex.   And he said he had seen Megrahi with a large brown suitcase at the airport in Malta during the weeks before the Lockerbie bombing.   Majid was without doubt an unreliable witness.  But the FBI had faith that he was telling the truth on those three points.   Marquise thought he had the foundation of a case that would stand up in court."

At page 370 Weiner had written quoting Marquise "We literally cut out the chain of command at HQ. We brought in the CIA. We brought the Scots.  We brought MI5 to Washington.
         Giaka's account did stand up unchallenged before a patriotic US Grand Jury leading to the November 1991 indictment.   However it crumbled before even the Mickey Mouse Camp Zeist tribunal when in the defence team's finest hour they had admitted in evidence a large number of CIA cables regarding Giaka.   What is astonishing is that Megrahi was actually convicted despite Giaka being discredited, a fact not mentioned in Mr Weiner's book.  However it was Indictment that mattered.  The conviction was just gravy.
        Perhaps some of the parties to the MH17 atrocity will, (or have already) recruited their own "Golden Informant".
          Marquise's wrote his own account of the Lockerbie investigation in his book Scotbom.  (Which I have never read.)   Giaka of course never wrote his memoirs and has never been heard of since the close of the Camp Zeist trial.
        I am afraid the only "Lesson of Lockerbie" for the families of those murdered on flight MH17 is how Governments fabricate evidence to suit their own political objectives regardless of the facts.   

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