Monday, April 12, 2010

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Jerusalem quartet and two tales of Scottish justice

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber who wasn't, was only given three months left to live when he was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds and there is at least a suggestion that his being released was to prevent an appeal that would have humiliated the Scottish justice system. Something that would appear to be backed up by the rejoinder which Megrahi himself published back in September 2009 to prove his innocence. Nevertheless, what seems to be upsetting some people is that this obviously innocent man is celebrating his 58th birthday when he should, as far as they are concerned, be lying in his grave. Don't worry folks and it would appear that he really won't be around for much longer. No, it seems that he at least didn't con himself out of prison after all and we are left asking the question, why would a dying man say that he wants to do everything in his power "to persuade the public, and in particular the Scottish public, of my (his) innocence?" Yes, it looks like the journalist Paul Foot's, article, "The great Lockerbie whitewash", in John Pilger's edited "Tell Me No Lies" more or less hit the nail on the head and my own conclusion vis-à-vis the Scottish justice system; not a lot for the Scots to be proud of methinks, or rather "methought"......

..... and with the news that Sheriff James Scott has, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, thrown out charges of racism which were levelled at five member of the  Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, maybe there is hope. Hope of the sort which might at least be consolidated by what might have been Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's attempt to right a wrong in the case of al-Megrahi. Still, that might be assuming a little too much and it is, perhaps, better to return to the case brought before Sheriff James Scott and a case which, unlike the Lockerbie bomber case, did not end in a travesty of justice.

Anyway, there was the Jerusalem quartet, a quartet with IDF credentials, playing their music at the Edinburgh festival back in July 2008 and there were our plucky five jumping up and down shouting at them until along came the long arm of the law and arrested them, the plucky five that is and not the quartet, on charges of breach of the peace. However, the breach of the peace charge was quickly dropped as they were quickly released only to quckly find themselves facing charges of "aggravated racism". Still, it would appear that there is still one sheriff in "Auld Reekie" who is willing to uphold the law and the good man threw out the charges saying that "the comments were clearly directed at the State of Israel, the Israeli Army, and Israeli Army musicians", and not targeted at "citizens of Israel" per se." Well, it would appear that, for the time being and in some places, free speech is alive and well and criticising Israel is not racist; apropos of which, Tony Greenstein makes a good point in his blog when he asks; "How can you be "racist" against a nationality which doesn't exist?" Of course, I would go a step further and suggest even if that nationality did exist, would it not be xenophobia? Whatever, I am splitting hairs on this one and the really good news, especially for my kith and kin in Scotland, is that the law there might still prevail and that not all servants of that law have been "gleichgeschaltet". Moreover, it might be added that this is a signal and a very important one that being against Israel has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

2 comments:

Charles said...

Dear Mr Cogito,

If I may be as presumptuous as to use your first name.

I have not I believe heard you blog before on the sad case of Mr Megrahi and it is always good to welcome to someone who starts from the thesis that Mr M was framed, and he was so completely, he could be hanging in the Scottish National Gallery, and if his trial had ever taken place in the US, he would have been, and only the fortuitous circumstances that (a) Scotland doesn't have the death penalty and (b) the Scottish courts would have looked very dimly upon kidnap, saved him from that fate.

Upon your further conclusion that Mr Foot's thesis that it was PFLP GC (or alternatively Dr Swire's that he believed he saw his daighter's killer in the witness box a Zeist - Mr Talb - therefore PPSF) I have to part company with you.

Start from the truism endorsed by such figures as Mr David Johnston, IRN reporter who got so near the truth he was invited to speak to Mrs Thatcher directly or Mr Mick Charles of the AAIB, and senior inspector into Lockerbie, no less, and they will tell you that the CIA were at Lockerbie. Mr Baer and Mr Cannistraro of that organisation would probably tell you they played promiment parts in the LI, though it depends on the meaning you put on the word "play".

My belief, which I have spent literally 20 years working on, it that Lockerbie was no more than a joint operation between the CIA, or in fact a group of very senior operatives in it known as the CTC and the Iranian Government to give Iran its "one and one only revenge" for the downing of IR-655.

I know it is usual to say of such accusations, that they are only a conspiracy theory, but we would not have such theories unless there were conspiracies in the first place.

Naturally, the CIA will not help you get to the truth and if your name is Mr Seymour Hersh or the like, you will just be served up a pile of tasty junk food from your talks with senior operatives and ex-operatives which will fill a damn fat book, but will tell you nothing.

I have never met (to the best of my knowledge) or got any information directly from any member of the CIA, but these people - those who helped do Lockerbie - blog so incessantly and convincingly that you cannot help but come to the conclusion that the CIA did it; I shall very carefully qualify that: They set up the whole plot, but gave a small part to a named Iranian who had the privilege of setting off the first bomb. Bombs do I say, yes, there were two, and one man thinks more than that.

My thesis, which I am very careful about distributing, I can tell you more of. It runs to but 30 pages, is very hypothetical (but not without reason). If you send me a contact address, I'll send you a copy.

Members of the CIA, NSC, FBI, the security or secret intelligence services need not apply. You know or ought to know what happened, though MI5 was not told the truth until after 1994.

James Nelson said...

thanks for your comment and you are certainly right in that if not being hypothetical at least a degree of academic caution is required on this one.
take the pflp gc out of the picture and we still have the case against al-megrahi to look at and it is there that i would stick by my hypothesis that a dying man would hardly want "do everything in his power "to persuade the public, and in particular the Scottish public, of my (his) innocence?" therefore, while accepting that i might be adhering too much to mr foot's hypothesis, i would have to defend myself by saying that in this post the point being made is that there was a travesty of justice. furthermore, being from scotland this is, at least, of interest to me because the scottish legal system was something that the scots were always proud of.
nevertheless, we do seem to both believe that the cia was involved in the bombing and if any of mr foot's thesis is correct the warning given to the staff at the moscow embassy not to take that flight is certainly interesting.
finally, in my defence, i would have to say that apart from mr foot's thesis, some of dr swine's comments, some interpretations mainly of both online and, of course, al-meghari's defence itself, my own reading on the topic is limited. however, my thesis main thesis stands; the cia were involved, al-meghari was framed and the whole trial was a travesty of justice.