There has been a lot of water under the bridge since I first published this here in December 2010. With Libya now liberated and Qaddafi gone, much new information on this terrorist attack and who was and wasn't involved is now coming out, and all this new information is pointing in the direction I went 14 months ago.
Megrahi has also published a new book which gives his side of the story and two new documentaries on the Lockerbie bombing that aired last night, on BBC Scotland Investigates and Al Jazeera English are now raising the question I raised here: was Megrahi the victim of Britains worst miscarriage of justice?
I won't attempt to summarize what is new in these reports, the links above will provide that, but I will note that the AJE, which is embedded below [47 min.] not onlu demolishes the case against Megrahi but also indicates that the US government "rewarded" the chief witness against him with $2 million, something not allowed under Scottish law. AJE titles their piece simply Lockerbie: Case closed What follows below the fold has not been updated since 2010 but should be useful on background nevertheless. There is only one thing I would change in the diary I wrote at the time, in it I assumed that the 800 page SCCRC report was public. It was not.
Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 01:28 PM PST
Today the MSM is using Tuesday's release of a U.S. Senate report on the humanitarian release from a Scottish jail of Abdelbesset al Megrahi, also widely known as the Lockerbie Bomber, to stoke the fears of terrorism, further support for Homeland Security and many other things besides. It is a propaganda campaign that is worthy of 1984, the book not the year.
This whole propaganda campaign is based on the solid assumption that Megrahi is definitely the Lockerbie Bomber. This is a very shaky assumption. All the best available evidence points to his innocence. He was the victim of a frame up. The MSM has been united in leaving out a few details that might trouble their narrative.
On June 28, 2007 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission allowed Megrahi's appeal and granted him a new trial. It's 800 page report on the case determined that "a miscarriage of justice may have occurred". This new trial began on April 28, 2009 and was plagued by so many delays that Megrahi's lawyer Maggie Scott complained "There is a very serious danger that my client will die before the case is determined." In August of 2009 Megrahi dropped his appeal and was granted a compassionate release because he was expected to die within three months, if he remained in a Scottish jail. Outside of jail, his prospects were much better.
I won't bore you with all the minutia starting with Megrahi's first trial in 2000, in which his co-defendant was found not-guilty, and so on. You can read the 800 page report for yourself, or if you want to go the Cliff's Notes approach, I recommend this Wikipedia article. Let's just say there is a lot to point to Megrahi's innocence, and these facts are beyond dispute: Megrahi has been granted an appeal. That appeal had not yet been resolved.
So one narrative about the Lockerbie Bomber's release might be that the Scottish Courts used Megrahi's illiness as an excuse for granting compassionate release because in doing so they could cancel the appeal and avoid the embarrassment of having to admit that they had convicted an innocent man. But these inconvenient truths get in the way of the narrative that is being spun for our consumption and so they play no role in it. They have been completely excluded from the story as it is being told by the American Media today.
This diary has been prompted by today's Morning Joe on MSNBC on which I watched four supposedly knowledgeable individuals, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle and Richard Hass discussed yesterday's report on the Lockerbie Bomber. There was plenty of outrage to go around but nobody mentioned the appeal or even hinted that some people thought he might not be the Lockerbie Bomber after all. Since I find it very hard to believe that whoever wrote that segment is that ignorant about the facts of the case, I would call it a conspiracy of silence, but then some would accuse me of having a theory.
The Telegraph thinks that "conspiracy theories" are at work. This is how they characterized the Senate report:
the senators produced a very poor piece of work that demonstrates the incredible ignorance evinced by these four conspiracy-theoristsThe MSM really started pushing this story anew in the middle of the Gulf Oil spill. At the time, the "breaking news" was that BP had used it's influence to gain the terrorist's early release in return for business opportunities with Libya. BP was made the centerpiece of the story, and since everybody was already in hate BP mode, that made it easy to swallow. The outrage was directed at BP. They had helped a terrorist go free to better their profits. There was no reason to look for other motives behind the Scottish Court's actions, let alone the actual guilt or innocence of the man at the center of the controversy.
Now Senator Robert Menendez's (D-NJ) report on the 22nd anniversary of the bombing gives a new cause for propaganda making around this issue. This time the issue of BP is pushed more to the background and we are left with the outrage against a terrorist and the Big Lie that Abdelbesset sl Megrahi is the Lockerbie Bomber.
In my travels this morning I was most disappointed to see that the Huffington Post has also omitted these important facts from their story. In today's story Lockerbie Bomber Release Not Medically Justified, Says Report, Dean Praetorius mentions nothing at all about Megrahi's appeal, saying "The Lockerbie Bomber, as Megrahi has come to be known, was responsible for the deaths of 259 people aboard the Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and 11 others on the ground."
So now I must ask Dean Praetorius of the Huffington Post just what he means by the phrase "has come to be known [as]"? Is this suppose to stand in for the fact that some very serious questions have been raised about his guilt? Is this in lien of mentioning the SCCRC review or the new trial? Is it because the Huffington Post doesn't want to trouble it's readers with too many facts? Or is it that the Huffington Post is just part of the herd?