On air: Is Libya’s reaction a slap in the face to the world?

This is the video of Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi’s arrival to his homeland Libya (sorry the quality isn’t ideal) and if you were to watch this without knowing any of the background to the story, you would think this is the home coming of a long lost hero. In fact this is what one of the people who watched this video said…
Victory to Al-Megrahi, Victory to the Libyan struggle, victory to all of Libya commented Noorul3ilm.

President Barack Obama has called Al Megrahi’s release a mistake and asked the Libyan government to make his arrival as discreet as possible. He also asked that he be put under house arrest.

Instead Al-Megrahi has arrived to a hero’s welcome with hundreds of people gathered in the airport to receive him.

Is Libya’s reaction a slap in the face to the rest of the world? How did you feel when you saw the cheering crowds gathered to welcome Al-Megrahi?

Britain’s Foreign Secretary said the sight was ‘deeply distressing’. President Obama had written to the Libyan authorities asking for a low-key welcome, and the White House said if that wasn’t respected that could potentially ‘affect our future relations’.

But can Libya’s response to Al-Megrahi’s be interpreted as some kind of slight to the rest of the world, and more specifically the US and the UK? Or was it a normal response for someone who many of his countrymen believed was never guilty in the first place?

Think about it – if one of your compatriots was convicted of a crime you thought he didn’t do, then he was released, wouldn’t you be pleased and not afraid to show it?

Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi made sure that he’s on the right side of the international community when he engineered a rapprochement with his former critics following the Sept. 11 attacks.

He renounced terrorism, dismantled Libya’s secret nuclear program, accepted his government’s responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and paid compensation to the victims’ families. He also gained extra status becoming chair of the African Union last year.

Now, Western energy companies — including Britain’s BP — have moved into Libya in an effort to tap the country’s vastoil and gas wealth.

Do the past few days show that nothing has changed in Libya – that it’s still the same old, same old? Or has Libya proven over the last few years that it’s a trustworthy partner to other countries?

142 Responses to “On air: Is Libya’s reaction a slap in the face to the world?”

  1. 1 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 21, 2009 at 11:10

    It’s great that Libya can do what it wants without the influence of the US or UK. The only reason for that is that they hold all the cards at the table(oil) and the UK and US dear not risk endangering the relationship they have strategically developed over time to ensure they can get the oil necessary to run their huge economies.

  2. 2 Ibrahim in UK
    August 21, 2009 at 11:15

    Many people on this side of the Atlantic believe that the conviction was based on political motives rather than the evidence. Especially now that we have become aware that evidence was planted and key witnesses confessed to lieing.

    As part of the deal to release him on compassionate grounds, Al-Megrahi has dropped his appeal case.
    World powers would have been much more embarassed had the appeal gone ahead and Al-Megrahi acquitted, especially if he was to die while still in prison.

    The investigation into the truth should continue instead of being brushed under the carpet of political convenience.

  3. 3 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 21, 2009 at 11:30

    @Ibrahim in UK
    August 21, 2009 at 11:15

    Correct assessment. This is a case where there was much doubt and therefore I really wish the appeal had gone through to unearth the skeletons in the closet.

  4. 4 NoCommentMan_Hamburg
    August 21, 2009 at 12:02

    “And one more thing, what was your reaction when saw the video of Al Megrahi’s arrival? ”

    I can accept that Al Megrahi is released but I can’t accept / believe that Libya has welcomed him in this way. It is disgusting.

    I am really willing to understand Libya’s point to react in this manner. (!)

    • August 22, 2009 at 00:08

      To NocommentMan_Hamburg
      what part of what happend you dont understand ??
      Libyans bought this gyus freedom from a western democratic capitalistic justice system…..is it hard to gobble?
      Like Deyrick said, OIL wins.

  5. 6 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 21, 2009 at 12:15

    August 21, 2009 at 12:02

    Based on evidence coming to light it looks as though Al Megrahi appeared to be a scapegoat so the Libyans rejoiced because they believe he was setup and that he is innocent.

  6. 7 Crispo
    August 21, 2009 at 12:17

    Derryk i guess you are right. The other thing is, every victory the islamic world scores is always celebrated as if it were against the west. When us and uk soldiers pulled out of Iraqi towns and cities, Lubna talked of a national holiday. Now the violence doesn’t seem like abetting.
    Libya, of course had to perform the dance. Us and Britain are hand-locked so, what more can they do than say, ‘its a great mistake’?

  7. 8 Ibrahim in UK
    August 21, 2009 at 12:19


    I can understand the disgust that many would feel at Libya for welcoming a perceived murderer as a hero. But from Libya’s point of view, the man was not a murderer but a scapegoat and a pawn in a political game.
    Libya have signed documents to accept culpability for Lockerbie and paid compensation, although they continue to declare themselves innocent of this crime and admit their “confession” was political expedience to lift the sanctions and isolation against them.
    To Libya, Al Megrahi is an innocent man wrongly convicted by the West to justify their sanctions against Libya during the previous decade. He was sacrificed to appease the demands of the West, and is now returning home.

  8. 9 Crispo
    August 21, 2009 at 12:35

    The suggestion that the megrahi might have been wrongly accused creates the scenario that the Lybian’s should celebrate. How come one man and only one man had planned the bombing? How could only one man pay for the sins of the rest? If christians celebrate the resurrection of jesus, what of megrahi?

  9. 10 patti in cape coral
    August 21, 2009 at 12:49

    I’m not surprised he received a hero’s welcome. Libya might have embarrassed world powers, but as time goes on, I’m more convinced it’s all about the oil, so I’m sure the west feels the embarrassment is worth it.

  10. August 21, 2009 at 13:15

    I think that the release of Al Megrahi has to do with oil than with politics.

    • August 21, 2009 at 16:43

      It is strange that the only section of the BBC that’s giving the suggestion that the release of Al Megrahi is more likely related to Corporate interests, than to compassionate ones, is the World Service.
      As far as auntie….telling it as it is….across the board, the people whose only means of getting its service is by a wind up radio are probably hearing news not affected by …vested interests…clout?
      Controllers? Whom do they answer to. Reason tells me. Not me and you!

    • 13 Alan of Sydney
      August 22, 2009 at 04:29

      I hope it was not about oil. If it was, it would only show up the Scottish and British governments as being interested in oil and to hell with the people they govern.

  11. 14 T
    August 21, 2009 at 13:36

    It’s one thing to criticize Libya for giving Megrahi a hero’s welcome. But in reality, nobody will do anything about it. Why? Because of the gas and oil reserves. Global supplies are shrinking. And control of these are still vital to U.S. and U.K. security.

  12. 15 Erika
    August 21, 2009 at 13:42

    My heart goes out to the families of the victims of Lockerbie – freeing this man must have caused them much heartache and the seeing the celebrations on his return home is rubbing salt in a wound that will never heal.

  13. 16 Mohammed Ali
    August 21, 2009 at 13:53

    Once a man is released, I don’t think it is anybody’s business to tell his people how to welcome him. It is normal that when a person is released from such conditions, especially were there are doubts about the person’s conviction, fellow country men and women will rejoice.
    WHYS, can’t we think of some burning issues to discuss Like Usian Bolt breaking records and become a legend, like people dying from dieseases and things like that.

    • 17 Halima Brewer
      August 21, 2009 at 20:15

      It is an important issue, that is why we are talking about it. I felt at first that the decision to send Mr. Megrahi home was the right decision, but the way he was welcomed publicly when it is known that he was convicted of a brutal and horrific terrorist act is like spitting in the face of the victims.
      The real crime is that the power behind Mr Megrahi which is higher up in the Libyan government will never be brought to justice and that the butcher of Libya is still in power and enjoying handshaking with Western leaders.

  14. 18 Nasir uddin
    August 21, 2009 at 13:57

    some say, politics is boring. But i think from this perspective, release of Al Megrahi, it’s very much interesting. when you need oil from libya,then colonel Muammar gadaffi is innocent and when he is not in your side then he is evil.This is the policy of western powers.But people are divided into two parts. Relase of Al megrahi from compassionate ground was right whatever think USA or UK. And his return to his homeground is the victory of his nation. So they are celebrating it.

  15. 20 Andrew in Australia
    August 21, 2009 at 14:21

    Watching the footage of the convicted murderer being feted and cheered as he landed in Libya and disembarked I was sick to my stomach. To see a convicted mass murderer cheered and greeted as a hero was not only a vile act on behalf of Libyans who were there but an utter disgrace and insult to the victims and families of those killed in Lockerbie.

    There are no other words than that and to those who bleat on about compassion and feel morally superior for showing weakness (oh sorry was that humanity) when the terrorists and their followers laugh at them I hope they never have to suffer what those who gave their lives did or those who mourn them continue to do.

  16. 21 Roy, Washington DC
    August 21, 2009 at 14:25

    Are they viewing him as a hero, or is this more along the lines of a family reunion? Hard to tell.

    • 22 Brad
      August 21, 2009 at 14:59

      I agree Roy , this footage at best shows a few over zelous people. ther are no massive crowds and no panning shots to get a true gauge of the size of hte crowd. It is all very misleading. But I still belive this has more to do with international lpolicics and the embarassement that would have come out if the appeal had gone forward.

      real justice has be sacrificed to save face – the fact remains that ther is some doubt and that must be dispelled .

      Were it not for this doubt i would be the first one to condem his release.

      Brad in Trinidad

    • 23 Chrissy in Portland
      August 21, 2009 at 16:28

      Having family at in the middle east (a rather large one at that) I can say that the last time we went to visit them the airport was mobbed with people there to welcome us.

      I think the group consisted of both. People that don’t believe he was guilty and large group of his family rejoicing at his return.

  17. 24 scmehta
    August 21, 2009 at 14:27

    It’s a slap in the face of the judicial compromises, prompted by political bungling and indiscretions; and it is happening all around the world. There’s no point hoping or asking for anything better, at least not for now; the fact is, that, it’s this kind of incredulous decisions, that brings disrepute to the judicial systems and makes one wonder if the judiciary is really just or free from political pressures.
    The world is never going to forgive this total disregard of justice and the sentiment of the general public especially the kith & kin of the victims.
    As for the reaction and welcome of the released terrorist, in Libya, he got what he expected and we got what we`deserved for our spineless and senseless decision.

  18. 25 Monica in DC
    August 21, 2009 at 14:30

    re: Is Libya’s reaction a slap in the face to the world?

    It would be, if it hadn’t been totally expected.

  19. August 21, 2009 at 14:30

    I might be a way off base here, but I am not convinced, as is true with many (including some of relatives of those killed in the bombing) that he was involved. Either way, the man is dying (3 months to live) and honestly, I have no problem with his being returned to his family for the few remaining months of his life.

  20. 27 Teresa
    August 21, 2009 at 14:32

    The people who say we should boycot Scottish commodities are basically pathetic. Why should the Scottish people be “punished” for a decision their government made, they may not actually agree with that decision!

  21. August 21, 2009 at 14:45

    Many believe the man was a scapegoat. Many were held in Gitmo without being charged with any crime. I wonder if the west is worried about more potentially embarrasing revelations. I agree with Mohammed Ali that it is Scotland and Libya`s business how each deals with this issue. People should be much more worried by the machinations, both financial and military, of a global network which has, since the 1920`s been working toward world domination..

  22. 29 Jitan C
    August 21, 2009 at 14:48

    It is disappointing to see the first world’s news media is misleading and in some ways aggravating hatred about Megrahi’s return to Libya. The video posted on the sites clearly shows less than 100 people in Libya at Megrahi’s return – that is hardly a Hero’s welcome. But the words used by the sites are misleading and equivocal – “Jubilant” by BBC, “Boisterous” by CNN,

    As for President Obama and Gordon brown, please concentrate your time and efforts on the people suffering in the present instead of worrying about sentiments of those filled with vengeance from the past.

    The man has 3 months to live and a 95yr old mother, who has not seen him in 20 years. Get a life people – learn to forgive – you all are no different from the fanatic radicals who preach and believe in the “eye for an eye” ideology in today’s civilized world!

  23. 30 Dan
    August 21, 2009 at 14:49

    No, the reaction of the Libyan people was not a slap in the face to the west. As Madelaine correctly points out, many Libyans believed him to be innocent.

    The slap in the face came from the Scottish government, when they agreed to let him go in the first place.

  24. 31 Jennifer
    August 21, 2009 at 14:52


  25. 32 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    August 21, 2009 at 14:52

    Having watched my own father die of prostate cancer three years ago, I think that a quiet, dignified homecoming would have been more appropriate, regardless of any other circumstances surrounding Mr. Al Megrahi’s return to his homeland.

    Be that as it may, Libya already knows a great deal about scapegoating, having incarcerated a number of Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor for many years to cover up the medical incompetence of Libyan doctors in a case where a number of Libyan children died of AIDS. I guess what goes around comes around.

  26. 33 Dennis Junior
    August 21, 2009 at 14:58

    Yes, the actions of Libya have been a HUGE slap against the face to the world….

    =Dennis Junior=

  27. 34 Robz
    August 21, 2009 at 15:08

    Any smaller nation will show over excitement at what they see as a ‘one-up’ over a stronger power.
    Diplomacy is not always pretty or clean.
    Rob in Florida.

  28. 35 Iain
    August 21, 2009 at 15:11

    We see Libya’s reaction through western eyes, perhaps we might consider that they were welcoming home someone who they do not believe did the crime and at the same time saluting the mercy and compassion shown by the Scot’s system. I was also so pleased to see the muslim people of libya, waving the Cross of St Andrew.

  29. 36 Sophia
    August 21, 2009 at 15:17

    As far as Al-Megrahi’s welcome wagon is concerned, it reeks of government propaganda and since the unenlightened lot of the population is susceptible to accepting such theories from the government, it doesn’t surprise me to see that a convicted murderer and rogue spy agent was received by his compatriots as he was.

    I believe the world should have been prepared for the blow that came from his reception in Libya since it was an audience to the events that secured his release. This is not the first time we have witnessed an event of a convicted being released on compassionate grounds or on grounds of deteriorating health and later the felon is cheered upon by the crowd as a hero. I believe the same thing happened when the Pakistanis released Sarabjit Singh.

  30. 37 Jessica in NYC
    August 21, 2009 at 15:29

    I saw a report yesterday evening that said the government arranged for a few hundred people to at the airport to greet the terrorist.

    • 38 Dennis Junior
      August 21, 2009 at 18:28

      Jessica in NYC:

      Why, Am I not surprised regarding the information Libyan Authorities pays for citizens to cheer for….

      =Dennis Junior=

  31. August 21, 2009 at 15:39

    Is Libyas reaction a slap in the face to the world?

    Having seen the BBC World TV coverage of the scene at the airport it looks like a few of his relatives,friends and neighbours have turned up to greet him,it is a cultural thing people in the west with small nuclear families who hardly know their neighbours just don’t get cultures with large extended families,clan affiliations or neighbourhood solidarity.
    I know a person in High Wycombe of Pakistani origin who hires a couple of buses for his family and friends just to see him off at Islamabad Airport.

  32. 40 Grahame Shadbolt
    August 21, 2009 at 15:39

    The celebration of Megrahi’s return is a natural reaction which has little to do with the atrocity itself or the validity (or otherwise) of the conviction. The reception serves to remind us that a) there are those at home and abroad that believe Megrahi is merely a poitical scape-goat, a sacrifice by the Libyan politic, and b) that terrorist atrocities in the name of islam (are there any others?) never seem to awaken widespread feelings of compassion in the public or statesman of those countries that harbour and give succour to these terrorists, or condemnation of those accused or found guilty of it. So! the Libyan public response is not surprising and is entirely predictable. It is for this reason that the Scottish decision was both a mistake and a travesty of justice. Justice must always be seen to be done, for the benefit of victims, survivors and offenders alike, and as a clear unwavering deterrent. The US has no right to instruct Libya, Scotland or any independant state how public expression should be controlled. We now have to live with the consequqnces of the Scottish mistake, and teh disrespect and lack of compassion it demonstrates to victims of terrorism everywhere. though not wholly satisfactory the Lockerbie door was closed, the Scottish decision has foolishly opened it again.

  33. August 21, 2009 at 15:41

    The release of Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi is the best gift for colonel Gaddafi who’s going to celebrate his 40th year in power. (He came to power on September 1st, 1969).

    Actually, as the bereaved have the right to vent anger at his release, the Libyans also have the right to express joy for the release of their countryman. Some expected a subdued return. But from the start his release was spectacular as he was returned to Libya on Gaddafi’s private plane which was allowed to land on Scotland.

    From the start, it was said that he was going to Libya to meet his family. In th Libyan context, all the Libyans are his family. After all, it seems ridiculous to give importance to the welcome Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi received when his conviction has become a closed chapter. Now, he’s a free man and the Libyans are free to reserve him whatever welcome they consider as fit.

  34. 42 deryck/trinidad
    August 21, 2009 at 15:45

    If Mr Milliband and President Obama are so upset at the releasing of a “mass murderer and terrorist” and how he is received at home they should cease all diplomatic ties with Libya and withdraw BP, Exxonmobil, Shell and other oil and business interests(HSBC) in Libya. This is a time for robust leadership that lets the world and the american and british people know that you care more about your citizens than oil and money.

  35. 43 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 15:50

    The Scottish Justice Minister should be written in the history book of shame alongside Neville Chamberlain. “Peace in our time”. What a coward. The celebrations are a confirmation that he made the wrong decision, and that coward should never be forgotten.

    • 44 Mohammed Ali
      August 21, 2009 at 17:55

      Perharps G.W. Bush should also be written in the History books as one of the mass murderers the world hasever seen.

  36. 45 Anthony
    August 21, 2009 at 15:51

    Letting him go was a slap in the face to the world. If I had to say which was worse, I’d say Libya’s reaction was the lesser of 2 evils.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  37. August 21, 2009 at 15:56

    Obviously the Libyans are convinced that Al Megrahi is innocent while independent observers abroad beg to differ! So the saga goes on. One mitigating factor for his release is his terminal cancer. Medical facilities in the prison would have given him some respite.Now that he is a free man in Libya, he would be able to spend the rest of his days in Libyan glory. For the rest of the world he would be scorned for his infamy as a probable mass murderer. Libyan relations with America and the United Kingdom would reach an all-time low as a result. Libya has always believed it could use its oil wealth to get out of sticky situations. But in this case, the deaths of 270 innocent passengers have jolted decent human beings from all over the world. Is there true justice in this world?

  38. 47 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 16:02

    All the more reason to get off of oil.

  39. 48 Shannon in Ohio
    August 21, 2009 at 16:04

    No one who has followed this story is surprised by the flag waving and dancing in the streets that accompanied the arrival of Mr. Al-Megrahi’s private jet. Like Andrew in Australia, I felt sick to my stomach when I saw the footage.

    I wish to pose a few questions to those WHYSERS who believe Abdel baset Al-Megrahi to be innocent:

    1. Do you understand why the celebrations on display in Libya seemed so disrespectful to those still mourning the loss of their loved ones?

    2. How would you feel, watching the footage out of Libya, if one of your relatives had been one of the 270 passengers on that Pan Am flight? Even if you believe him to be completely innocent would you have enjoyed watching the dancing, hugging, and singing?

    • 49 Tara Ballance, Montreal
      August 21, 2009 at 17:02

      I don’t believe Al-Megrahi to be innocent. I do, however, feel that the prosecution failed to prove its case.

      That being said, to the extent that his return to Libya was an official celebration, I find it beyond distasteful. To the extent that it was greetings from his extended family, I find it quite natural.

  40. 50 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 16:05

    Kinda is reminiscent of when the PLO terrorists were killed in 1972 at Munich after they killed the Israeli athletes, and were returned to Libya and got a heroes welcome though dead, and a military funeral. Libya has a tradition of honoring terrorists. Hang your heads low in shame, Scots.

  41. August 21, 2009 at 16:19

    The west has been long deserving a slap in the face. This white Christian capitalistic manipulation of the rest of the world can not and should not go on forever.

    • 53 Maxine
      August 24, 2009 at 08:45

      But you enjoy all the benefits of this white Christian capitalistic society including huge advances in medicine, and the inventions of just about every thing we use and need to-day. Many people ‘believe’ that Al Megrahi is a scapegoat. I believe in facts. There is a detailed documentary regarding the intricate investigation of this crime by the people who did the work and pieced together the pieces . Al Megrahi was guilty. He should never have been released He did not deserve the compassion of Scottish people. .

  42. 54 John in Salem
    August 21, 2009 at 16:22

    So what if it was? You don’t not do the right thing because of how someone else might try to exploit it.

    • 55 viola
      August 21, 2009 at 18:01

      Correct, John in Salem. Nevertheless, those who hail murderers as heroes and celebrate the murder of innocents should be ashamed of themselves. A low key reception to acknowledge the compassion exhibited by the Scots in releasing him would have shown peaceful, compassionate people everywhere that compassion is not despised as a foreign, infidel concept by Libyans.

  43. 56 Count Iblis
    August 21, 2009 at 16:23

    The Scottish Criminal Cases Reviews Commisions had ruled that the conviction was unsafe, so it is not a case of the Libyans believing in some wild conspiracy theory that he was wrongly convicted, there was enough evidence that suggested that the conviction unsafe. Had Megrahi not been terminally ill there would have been a retrial.

    Under these circumstances, it is the West behaving in a way worse than countries like North Korea, Iran or Burma. When the two US journalists were brought back by Clinton, we didn’t hear Kim protesting about the reception in the US.

    If we can’t be sure Megrahi was guilty, we shouldn’t pretend to know for sure that that he is, and we should certainly not pretend that there can be only one valid opinion people can have about his guilt, and that people celebrating his homecoming are therefore celebrating the homecoming of a mass murderer and insulting us in the West.

  44. 57 alfred decker
    August 21, 2009 at 16:25

    Dear readers,
    what ever the reason may be for the release of this individual,will go a long way in the lives if the libyans.also the stigma will be there but the celibration and jubilation should not go too far for there are other unforseen circumstances that may before libya in the nearest future.
    alfred decker(LIBERIA)

  45. 58 S Riley
    August 21, 2009 at 16:29

    This is wrong on so many levels. The man should never have been released, he was sentanced to life. It does not matter if he dies in prison from a sudden heart attack or that he knows he is going to die of cancer.
    Releasing him shows complete disrespect of the victims and their families.
    So the Scottish want to show compassion. Fine, but to then see the heroes welcome that he received in Libya just confirms that it was not the right move. He should have just gone home quietly to die. Whether or not you believe that the right man was convicted lots of people lost their lives and they should be shown some respect. This says a lot about the country and it’s people.
    I hope the Scottish minister that authorised the release realises what he has done.

  46. 59 Stephen in Portland/Oregon
    August 21, 2009 at 16:31

    This is a part culture thing. You know if you go away for a week in an Arabic country the welcome you receive on your return from family and friends is quite overwhelming. Rose petals, crying and honking horns is quite the norm. It’s not something we do in the Uk so it can seem to a bit over the top.

  47. 60 John LaGrua/New York
    August 21, 2009 at 16:35

    Clumsy,yet understandable as the result of years of anti-West rhetoric by Gadafi.As usual the US and Uk missed a chance to capitalize on the release as an act of mercy since the man is terminally ill. Until US policy toward the Arab world convinces the Arab street that we are not their enemy they will continue to glorify those who stand up to the West no matter the criminal behavior.

  48. 61 Chrissy in Portland
    August 21, 2009 at 16:38

    I have to say I’m still bothered by the other bloggers who keep saying that the Scots should be ashamed. As a US citizen, did any of us have a say about the decisions (some believe crimes) made by the Bush Administration the last 8 years?

  49. 63 James Turner
    August 21, 2009 at 16:39

    No! This is not a slap in the face by Libya’s. The slap in the face happen when the man was released from jail! All the people of Libya don’t nessaryly feel the same!

    August 21, 2009 at 16:41

    In my opinion, this incident point to some weaknesses being stashed under the carpet. It is possible that we cannot rely on the word of investigators private or otherwise when there is political shadow boxing. Those who have allowed the Scots to look inferior should be ashamed of themselves. There appears to be no mercy here but a case of an innocent victim deservedly being freed and this is where we should be cautious about our judgment on this man. I do not believe the Scots could release him without the nudge of the western powers who by now must know the truth.

    We need to remind ourselves that there have been reports of wrong convictions but on cases involving people who have not been executed. For those executed, it would be very hard even if contrary evidence emerged for anybody to admit that they hanged the wrong person. Its not about sickness, oil or justice, the Scots or the Libyans. There is cover up and the world should be told the truth of the matter.

  51. 65 Tracy in Portland, OR
    August 21, 2009 at 16:46

    I agree with Anthony in LA. Anger would be better aimed at the ones who decided to release him. If releasing someone because they are going to die is appropriate, our prisons and jails should all be empty. No one gets out of this life alive. Is it any more cruel to incarcerate someone in there last days before they have a heart attack or stroke. Setting the precident of humanitarian release opens a gateway to law suites and grievances by other “deserving” inmates wanting accomodation.

    Portland OR

  52. 66 John (Chagford, Devon, England)
    August 21, 2009 at 16:47

    The “homecoming” doesn’t surprise me, having had the privilege of living in the Middle East as a boy, I recognise the psyche of the region.

    It should be remembered, there is considerable doubt over the conviction and his countrymen are “celebrating” that as much as anything.

    As much as I feel for the families of all concerned, I don’t think we’ll never know the truth – unless someone admits responsibility for the whole business. Is that likely to happen? Not in my lifetime I’m sure.

  53. August 21, 2009 at 17:08

    Innocent/Guilty? I think he was guilty, the evidence says yes and three Scottish judges said yes. And the trail of evidence said yes,it follows him everywhere.

    The shame belongs to Scotland.

  54. August 21, 2009 at 17:22

    The release of Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi was a golden handshake for the Libyan regime. It’s the reward for what had been going behind the scenes. It was a kind of give-and-take arrangement. So why should the jubilant popular celebration in Libya be seen a slap in the face of the world? It’s like being angry at a person receiving pardon for a (heinous) crime and going to a pub to celebrate his release with his friends.

  55. 69 Tom K in Mpls
    August 21, 2009 at 17:30

    This guy is a political tool. The reaction of the people of Libya gives us a chance to learn what they believe and value. I am quite sure that only a few people in Libya know the true story, and even fewer in the US and UK.

    I hope some answers come out.

  56. 70 J. Augustine - WI USA
    August 21, 2009 at 17:41

    It would be wrong for Libya to honor a terrorist, but is Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi a terrorist if the acts he was convicted of were publicly acknowledged as an act condoned and supported by his government?

    If honor is in question, then honesty should be the first measure of whether honor has been earned. Libya is the terrorist here, but the world recognizes that it has reformed and is no longer a threat to freedom, partly because it has accepted full responsibility for the crimes of its past. Libya has earned the right to honor whoever it sees fit.

  57. 71 Tom D Ford
    August 21, 2009 at 17:49

    “Is Libya’s reaction a slap in the face to the rest of the world? How did you feel when you saw the cheering crowds gathered to welcome Al-Megrahi?”

    Oh, for goodness sakes, every nation welcomes their warriors home with celebrations.

    Here in the US we even had a former bomber run for US President, Senator John McCain.

    Does anyone think that his celebrated return to the US after the Vietnam War was not a slap in the face to the Vietnamese who he had bombed and who had lost loved ones to the bombs he dropped?

    Celebrating killers is the problem, and each nation does it in their own way.

    I don’t celebrate McCain or Megrahi, because they have both done evil things to humanity.

    I celebrate the Peacemakers, the people who prevent or stop Wars. Care to join me?

  58. 72 Denise in Chicago
    August 21, 2009 at 17:49

    Let’s stop calling this a political or cultural issue. It’s simply Libya saying they support murderers – as long as the victims are Westerners. The Scottish government also has blood on their hands. Shame on Libya.

  59. 73 David
    August 21, 2009 at 17:53

    Was this man guilty or not guilty? That is y first question. As if he were guilty, would it be OK to free him on compassionate grounds?

  60. 74 saad
    August 21, 2009 at 17:59

    The response is right as AL-MEGHRI is hero in Libya not terrorist. such greeting and jubilations would have not been acceptable for terrorist but such greetings are certainly far less for a hero. He was treated rightly.

  61. 75 CJ/ Amherstview,Canada
    August 21, 2009 at 17:59

    I’d hardly call that crowd “over the top”. I firmly believe, however, that this is part of the price being exacted for decades of both British&USA hegemony in the entire continent of Africa. We Westerners can no longer pillage as we did in colonial days! It is indeed strange that there has been no mention in the USA about the thousands of innocent Iraqis who no doubt died during “shock and awe” in 2003. I remain unclear as to the difference between that and either Lockerbie or 9/11.

  62. 76 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:04

    I’d hate to be the staffer of the Scottish Justice minister reading all the emails he must be getting. I think I set profanity records in my emails, and I would hope others do as well. Everyone, please write him and give him a piece of your mind!

  63. August 21, 2009 at 18:06

    Americans should concur with the Scottish courts’ humanitarian release. It provides us with the opportunity to show grace and appear kind in international perspective. Goodness knows we rarely get that chance! In comparison, Gaddafi shows no class whatsoever.

  64. 78 David, CALIFORNIA
    August 21, 2009 at 18:06

    Could Megrahi have planned and executed the Lockerbie bombing alone? Why was he the only convict? Why was the “timer fragments” evidence not made public? If he was working for the Libyan government, what is America’s and UK’s relationship with Libya today? These questions will continue to beg for answers whether Megrahi dies of an innocent man or a convict. Beyond reasonable doubt is not the same as beyond any possible doubt.

  65. 79 Anthony
    August 21, 2009 at 18:06

    Geez, these people can’t be TOO upset with Libya, I mean, he was extradited from there. Libya could have just said no in the first place.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  66. 80 David, CALIFORNIA
    August 21, 2009 at 18:07

    Could Megrahi have planned and executed the Lockerbie bombing alone? Why was he the only convict? Why was the “timer fragments” evidence not made public? If he was working for the Libyan government, what is America’s and UK’s relationship with Libya today? These questions will continue to beg for answers whether Megrahi dies an innocent man or a convict. Beyond reasonable doubt is not the same as beyond any possible doubt.

  67. 81 Anthony
    August 21, 2009 at 18:09

    Our U.S. soldiers come back from Iraq as heros, and we (the U.S. army) has killed TONS of innocent citizens in Iraq. What’s worse, 270 citizens dead, or the 100,000 dead citizens in Iraq? Double standards?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  68. 82 Leo from Kiev
    August 21, 2009 at 18:10

    Hey, friends from the US, I think you should think twice now before casting your ballot next presidential campaign! If John McCain would be elected, this headline would be unthinkable. Definitely, George W. Bush was absolutely right with Iraq, and we have to regret the mistake US folks did last November. A friend of John McCain.

  69. 83 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 21, 2009 at 18:11

    While most or many people in the world (including me) would like to believe that the so called ‘ordinary’ Muslim or ‘moderate’ Muslim does NOT believe in attacking the West or other cultures the welcome shown to Al-Megrahi makes me doubt this belief myself. Similar jubilation is seen among the Palestinians when an Israeli(s) is/are killed.

    To me the key Q’s are:

    Is Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilisations’ happening right in front of our eyes?!!!

    IF NOT

    Who are the purveyors of such deep hatred on the Muslim side and to what extent is colonisation by Britain, USA, Europe and Russia a root reason for the emergence of such hatred? If colonisation is the root cause of this hatred why don’t other religions and/or cultures react in the same way as certain Muslims are doing?

  70. 84 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:12

    “only” 300 people? That’s 30 more than he killed.

  71. 85 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:16

    My dad has been to Libya as well. His plane was forced to land there shortly before I was born in 1975. Shame on Scotland for kissing up to Ghadaffi.

  72. 86 Katya in Oregon
    August 21, 2009 at 18:16

    There is no doubt that this video is disturbing. However, I think that the reaction is overblown. In the last several years Libya has proven that it wants to be seen as a trustworthy partner. I think this event shows less contempt for western countries, or for the lives lost, than it was a concession to national feeling in a country where he is widely to beleived to be innocent. Now that this has happened, we need to watch for the Libyan government’s reaction to get any sort of clear picture of what this really means.

  73. 87 Peter
    August 21, 2009 at 18:16

    This furor is ridiculous and juvenile. Libya did NOT give the man a ‘hero’s welcome;’ a relatively small number of people greeted him which would have happened anywhere.

    Further, there is serious question regarding whether this man was, in fact, guilty – or railroaded and scapegoated.

    Scotland should be commended for it’s human rights record, and its compassion. Those who are whining about it and screeching for vengeance should be pitied, as they will never understand the power of compassion and forgiveness.

  74. 88 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:17

    The Libyans gave a much larger heroe’s welcome to the bodies of the PLO terrorists who committed the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. They have a history of honoring terrorists.

    • 89 Jim Newman
      August 21, 2009 at 21:03

      Hello again
      And hello Steve. Probably an internationally accepted definition of terrorisme and terrorist would be appropriate in your comment.

  75. 90 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 21, 2009 at 18:17

    Re: Tom D Ford, August 21, 2009 at 17:49

    The response to your Q: “I celebrate the Peacemakers, the people who prevent or stop Wars. Care to join me?”

    I prefer non-violence partly because I am from the land of Mahatma Gandhi but violence is an option I keep open to myself if the opposing party has NO interest in Peace!

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on: “… celebrate the Peacemakers!

    Wish the rest of the world could have similar views.

  76. August 21, 2009 at 18:23

    This isn’t a slap in the face to Russia, Mongolia Namibia, or most countries around the world. The world is alot more than the US and the UK. If this is a slap in the face to the world, it is not Libya that slapped the face. The face was slapped by the country (Scotland or the UK) that let Megrahi fly home on Gadaffi’s private jet.

    Libya wanted Megrahi to be released, and he was, so Libya is victorious. It is up to Libya whether it wants to celebrate its victory.

  77. 92 Matthew Houston
    August 21, 2009 at 18:27

    I think the Libyan reaction to the Al-Megrahi’s release has offended many people in the West, but I also feel that it’s a unique opportunity for the two sides to engage in a spirited but fundamental dialog about the nature of the relationship with the Muslim world. At this moment, with this action, regardless of additional points-of-contention, one thing is evident to both sides…that this action on the part of Scotland is a kindness. If coupled with a measured expression of desire for immediate positive dialog, it could be a catalyst for a breakthrough.

    Both sides are in a position to claim a sort of satisfaction in the situation – Libya for a perceived correction of injustice – Scotland for its own expression of compassion. These two points could be used as the mutually-agreed foundation for a discussion which could have very wide-ranging effects. Scotland has quite a bit of an independent spirit, much like my state of Texas has with the US. Libya itself is similar in some ways. They are very outspoken and independent..even as much as to suggest that Israel and Palestine should form a common nation.

    This type of relationship may manage to transform a dialog of adversaries into one of contentious allies, which would be a huge step forward.

  78. 93 Afya (USA)
    August 21, 2009 at 18:30

    I am an American citizen and I think that the decision to let the man return to libya to die was an appropriate decision. I think people in general’s inability to show compassion or to forgive people and to demand revenge is immature and self-righteous. I also think that the whole issue about whether the libyans reaction was appropriate or not is irrelevant. Once the decision was made to let the man go home, that should have been the end of it. Why were we even watching to see what the reaction would be? I think that it is an issue of American’s pride being hurt which is quite petty in my opinion.

  79. 95 halfnots
    August 21, 2009 at 18:34

    Yes, Libya’s reaction was clearly, without a doubt, a slap in the face—by any standard of commonsense. Even if he is innocent, he is still not a hero, he doesn’t deserve any more welcome then anyone else returning home.

    His release and his welcome should be evaluated as separate events—just like anything else. Comparing which is a greater grievance is childish and harebrained!

  80. 96 Tom D Ford
    August 21, 2009 at 18:38

    @ Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 21, 2009 at 18:17

    “…I agree with you wholeheartedly on: “… celebrate the Peacemakers!

    Wish the rest of the world could have similar views.”

    Thanks. Our ranks just doubled to two and if we keep growing at this rate, we can take over the world pretty quickly!

    Every one else is welcome to join us!

  81. 100 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:39

    Watch One Day in September, a documentary about the 1972 Olympics massacre. It contains footage of the heroes welcome that the terrorists body’s got in Libya. They were also given a state funeral. They killed the Israeli Olympic team.

  82. 101 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:47

    Question for the liberals/greenie types who support the release. Do you think it was worth the environmental damage done to fly one man in a large airplane? You ignore the environment when you can engage in USA bashing and show your support for terrorists?

  83. 102 Katharina in Ghent
    August 21, 2009 at 18:47

    Irrespective of whether this man was guilty or not (and I have my doubts there), one thing should be said: on the one hand the Libyans welcomed him home as a hero and some of them will think of the West as being “weak” for letting him go home. On the other hand though, how many, once the excitement has calmed down, will think about it and come to the conclusion that the West is not “evil”, but puts humanity before vengeance and rather let a dying man die at home surrounded by his family than alone abroad in prison?

    Me thinks that this could win some hearts in the Middle East after all, something the West needs desperately if we ever want the suicide bombings etc. to stop.

  84. 103 John
    August 21, 2009 at 18:49

    Please discuss – why were the Libyan crowds waving Scottish as well as Libyan flags? Was this to signify thanks to the Scottish attitude toward compassion?

  85. 104 A yank who lost a friend on PanAm 103
    August 21, 2009 at 18:49

    Would world be reacting if this convict was released with only days to live instead of months? Given all of the cultural differences what would have happened if this convict was loaded onto a plane in a stretcher with morphine drips for his pain?

  86. 105 halfnots
    August 21, 2009 at 18:50

    Libya’s response was not a cultural thing!

    Are people suggesting this actually serious? Can we please evaluate this issue with the kind of scrutiny we expect from a thinking world.

    Even if you feel the welcome isn’t a big deal, or was just a few curious people, don’t say it didn’t happen. Don’t twist facts to support whatever your message or mission is. Don’t insult us all….

  87. 106 Lucie, Prague
    August 21, 2009 at 18:52

    I am proud about Britain that he was released. It is a moral victory of our civilization over the terrorism. It is a message to Lybia, that we are compassionate and human. Of course the reception in Lybia was very disappointing, but still. British did the right, just, and moral thing and should not be bothered about it. I think it is anyway much better that if he would die in British prison and would be celebrated as a martyr in Lybia. Now British have the moral superiority and I am pretty sure that sooner or later it will help to British – Lybian relationships on the level of wining minds of ordinary Lybian people.

  88. 107 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:54

    Your guest is wrong, we in America will NEVER forget this. One day, if there was a mass murderer of Scots in US custody, I pray he gets released by us for compassionate grounds, so you can know what this is like.

    • 108 Chrissy in Portland
      August 21, 2009 at 22:24

      @ Steve

      Again, what’s with all the hostility??

      What a horrible thing to say or wish on anyone! The position you are taking my friend, is exactly what makes the world dislike Americans.

  89. 109 steve
    August 21, 2009 at 18:57

    The courts didn’t release him, a judge didn’t do it, a POLITICIAN did it.

    • 110 Allan Adelaide Australia
      August 22, 2009 at 15:29

      What about the Rainbow Warrior fiasco? Did you kick up about that? The release of the French Agents who murdered people? My guess is not.

  90. 111 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 21, 2009 at 19:15

    Re: John August 21, 2009 at 18:49

    “Please discuss – why were the Libyan crowds waving Scottish as well as Libyan flags? Was this to signify thanks to the Scottish attitude toward compassion?”

    It is said: ‘There is only ONE lion in a jungle!’

    I thought that I was the ONLY eagle in the WHYS jungle! I was wrong!

    IF what you say about the Scottish flags is true then the perspective and the dimension of the entire episode changes.

    You are fantastic Sir! I will have to see those news clips again.

    (For me the TV is a radio with pictures! I keep listening to it but usually don’t look [I look only if the words pique my interest] at it and keep doing my work. Obviously; in this case this habit has failed me; IF what you are saying is true!)

  91. August 21, 2009 at 19:41

    I am at a loss to know where all this compassion and forgiveness comes from. 270 people were not shown one ounce of compassion. when the bomb was being made and planted, what thoughts of compassion were there..Zero. “Let the punishment fit the crime.”

  92. 113 Kambali
    August 21, 2009 at 19:50

    Libiya should him recieved as suh

  93. August 21, 2009 at 19:54

    When governments are involved that’s what happened. The Irish people and many English people agreed with the decision to let him go home, specially when there were not sure if he did it, BY himself. The Investigation should continue to find what really happened. Look at the case of 9-11. There were more than those terrorist if they existed. there are hundreds of camaras in every airport ,Where are the tapes with the terrorist walking to the terminals?. Because there were no terroristS, IT was a CONTROL DEMOLITION not a real crash of all the planes. Only to planes crashed, there was no plane in the pentagon and no plane in the woods of Pensylvania. So, this man even now said that he is innocent, where are the OTHERS, that help in the bombing?

  94. 115 Nesha, Ohio
    August 21, 2009 at 20:16

    The PanAm attack was and is still a tragedy. And while it may seem that the scottish gov’t is letting a guilty man go when he doesn’t deserve it, to others he was, like many said in the blog, a pawn; a wrongly accused person. As i heard yesterday from a fellow WHYS listener, Magrahi is not going to Disneyland. He is not free. He is dying of a terminal disease and God is the higher power, and God will judge. Letting him go was a difficult decision to make and was one that i believe was the right decision. If he is guilty, he will be judged and his fate will be decided, maybe it already has. If he is innocent, then his freedom was something that should have been a long time ago.

  95. 116 Samuel
    August 21, 2009 at 20:34

    It is often easy to point fingures especially when you look at issues from your own stand point…but a lot of the times when you look at the issues from the other point of view you may well discover you need to be ashamed of your own fingure pointing. We need to understand who was celebrating? Why the celabration? If we have answers to those question we then can shout out loud SHAME SHAME SHAME…! Otherwise we will shout loud and look like fools making lots of noise over a matter we don’t understand. Unfortunately the conviction itself is under questioned…who should be ashamed in this case?

  96. 117 J. Augustine - WI USA
    August 21, 2009 at 21:23

    We in America will never forget any one victim of the crimes against us, but how quickly we forget the victims of the crimes we commit. Carpet bombing for example. But even as Nixon was doing just that, there was a phrase commonly used in the war of words at home: “My country. Right or wrong.”

    Why should the US have a sole right to practice such blind patriotism?

  97. 118 J. Augustine - WI USA
    August 21, 2009 at 21:55

    So I wonder how many people who believe the “show no mercy” policy have considered how that worked following “The War to End All Wars. Germany was shown no mercy, but did this humiliation weaken it, or empower its citizens to rise up in righteous vengeance against those who oppressed them?

    Compare this to the end of WWII. The US demanded unconditional surrender from Japan, but it did not act to prosecute the one man who was ultimately responsible for the loss of so many US and Japanese military and civilian lives, The Emperor. Justice against this war criminal was forgone in favor of a political act of mercy.

    I guess that worked out OK, despite the justice denied to so many of the families who lost loved ones to the Japanese aggressors.

    So which side are we on now?

  98. 119 Michael
    August 21, 2009 at 22:41

    He’s been punished -he’s been in prison for god’s sake.

    And I hope that if I was dying in a foreign prison, their government would return me to my homeland.

    The jubilant reception in Libya is distressing to see, but it clearly shows how easily a populace -any populace- can be persuaded to believe that what their government says or does is always right.

    Coalition soldiers returning from the invasion of iraq and Afghanistan are lauded as heroes in our own countries for deposing the government of those lands, forcing western-style values on the citizens, and setting up puppet regimes.

    No wonder the Libyans -and 3/4 of the other nations- hate us and rejoice when someone spits in our face.

  99. 120 Kevin
    August 21, 2009 at 22:48

    I heard someone on the BBC this morning remark that returning this man was an act designed by Scotland in an attempt to assert more independence – doubtful.

    Some other comments have alluded to oil – Libya is all about OPEC and would not easily make side deals so this theory is out.

    Then there is the story that the individual has cancer and this was an act of compassion – most likely this is the cover story and the public will never know how long he lives because Libya will just keep him hidden away.

    Does anyone remember all those billions of dollars that Libya paid in October of 2008? I would submit that this man’s release was a term of the negotiations that led to that pay out by Libya and therefore was agreed to by both the US and the UK. Personally, I have no problem with this and I doubt that the families who lost their loved ones in that tragedy would either, considering the amount of restitution money that they collected.

    Considering this theory the welcome home of this man makes more sense. He is worth so much to Libya that they were willing to pay billions of dollars to secure his release.

  100. 121 Heinze
    August 21, 2009 at 23:55

    Never mind what I think about the lybian prisoner. My respect belongs to the scottish justice who used his own judgement – not what e.g. the US-president wanted him to do.

  101. 122 Bert - USA
    August 22, 2009 at 00:16

    My first reaction was to recall the cheering Palestinian crowds after the twin towers went down, on 9/11/01. But in fact, this so-called crowd was not that big, and it was perhaps government-orchestrated, as reported by some news agencies.

    Maybe Al-Megrahi himself was not guilty. True enough. However, some orgainization in Libya was. So if Libya did orchestrate the cheering crowd, that would have been in very bad taste. Because the cheers are interpreted here as cheers for the plane going down, with hundreds of inncocent, defenseless victims. As much as the cheers in Palestine were for the inncocent lives lost in the twin towers.

    Me, I would have made it low profile. For example, since some people likened this Lockerbie crash with that of the Iranian airliner shot down by mistake in July of 1988, in *my* culture it would have been unconscionable, completely unacceptable, contemptable, for anyone to have cheered that incident.

    Is it a cultural thing?

  102. 123 Archibald
    August 22, 2009 at 01:02

    It is likely that a percentage of those who died would have died in other ways within the 20 years since the crash. The convicted man has lost the last twenty years of his life for crimes he may or may not have committed, I have never seen the evidence, only read the news (which we all know can be biased and untrue). Retribution is not the only way to achieve justice. This man is suffering immensly, as he slowly wastes away from cancer. If that is not enough suffering for those who seek “justice, you might want to attend some therapy sessions and deal with your anger. Love thine enemy, especially if you are blinded by rage and hatred. What if he is innocent? It has happened many times, due to prejudice and fear. What makes this media circus any different?

  103. 124 J. Casas from Mty, Mex.
    August 22, 2009 at 01:50

    It is really difficult (not to say impossible) for us, the common world citizens, to know for sure if Al-Megrahi really did commit the terrorist act. It’s welcoming as a hero really doesn’t matter much. Sincerely, I don’t believe that Al-Megrahi’s liberation can, by itself, fix diplomatic relations between Lybia and the UK. On the other hand, the UK’s private sector’s interests in Lybia’s natural resources are what ultimately matter. It’s about time that the Western powers, especially the US and the UK, leave all the moral and pro-democratic façade out of their discourses and admit that their foreign policies have (most of the time, if not always) been based on greed and been covered by a hipocritical pro-freedom and pro-justice frosting.

  104. 125 James Ian
    August 22, 2009 at 07:51

    When it comes to oil the world will sink to any level to get it. I just wish we cold come up with some other type of fuel so we couldn’t be held hostage by it through these religious / terrorist countries.

  105. August 22, 2009 at 08:51

    We’re greedy and selfish to think that the bomber would be sent home and greeted with hate. He served his time, according to a UK sanctioned court, and released on compassionate grounds. It’s awfully greedy to say that he should be condemned for life. Let his people deal with him as they please and take security in the fact that justice was served on our grounds. Anything beyond that is vindictive and hateful.

  106. 127 Petr, Pardubice
    August 22, 2009 at 13:08

    “Lucie, Prague
    August 21, 2009 at 18:52

    I am proud about Britain that he was released. It is a moral victory of our civilization over the terrorism. It is a message to Lybia, that we are compassionate and human.”

    What the British did was typically in their tradition of appeasment and its 21st century version called “dhimmitude”.
    And the hero’s welcome that terrorist was given in Libya was a slap in the face of decency and made the British look like total fools and wimps.

  107. 128 Elias
    August 22, 2009 at 14:07

    wether he was gui;ty or not guilty, the question has to be asked as to who ordered the bombing of the aircraft. The order to do so must have been given by the man in the highest authority, the leader of Libya Col Gadafi, no doubt as such an act could not have gone ahead without his ok.

  108. 129 Methusalem
    August 22, 2009 at 16:43

    Europe needs evil guys like Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to block African immigrants from reaching the European Union. Only this week, 75 African migrants feared drowned off Italy.

    • 130 John Macassey
      August 24, 2009 at 10:36

      Methusalem. If you want evil, check out what happened to IA Flight 655 on July 3rd 1988. Of special interest is what President Bush said re apologies.

  109. 131 Rashid Patch
    August 22, 2009 at 21:01

    What hypocrisy! 270 people died in the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Over one million have died so far in Iraq.

    There is no kind of moral equivalence here. Simply put: until the United States and Great Britain indict or prosecute mass criminals patently guilty of Crimes Against Peace, they can claim neither moral nor legal standing to even complain about acts of terrorism.

  110. 132 Colin F
    August 22, 2009 at 21:21

    For the American government to complain about the release is pathetic. They would not agree for 20 years to extradite IRA gunmen who killed Men , Women and Children back to the UK for selfish political reasons…what you sow so shall you reap… tough isn’t when you don’t get your own way

  111. August 23, 2009 at 12:23

    No its just another player acting in this oily farce.

  112. 134 Damon Jespersen
    August 24, 2009 at 01:10

    I am disappointed by the politics of this case all around. The White house has continually talked about winning the “hearts and minds” and reducing the desire of peoples to attack our western interests. Showing compassion seems like a means to this end, if not the only means to this end certainly an integral part. On the other side the fact that the Libian president would make a show of his return does smack of disrespect. It is not how I think one would wish to move forward with the development of international ties.

    • 135 John Macassey
      August 24, 2009 at 10:27

      Hi Damon
      El Megrahi was stitched up in the first place. He was wrongly convicted. Witnesses later retracted their statements and no evidence was ever produced linking those two Libyans who simply were living and working in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact the most likely source of the bomber was Iran since Kohlmeni had vowed to avenge the shooting down of the IA Airbus in 1988 and loss of 290 passengers most of whom were Iranians and included 66 Iranian school children.

  113. 136 T
    August 24, 2009 at 01:18

    Here’s a new idea in global politics. Maybe it’s only a slap in the face if you let be that.

  114. 137 John Macassey
    August 24, 2009 at 10:17

    I am sickened by the continued whinging of the US FBI chief re the very laudable action of the Scottish justice system releasing El Megrehi on compassionate grounds. He was wrongly convicted in the first place with evidence reportedly either fabricated and with witnesses since discredited.
    The hypocrisy is astounding when one considers the fate of IA Flight 655 on July 3rd 1988 and the resulting outcome, especially the flat refusal of president Bush to even apologize. I wonder if that would have been different were there to have been 200 Americans on board.

  115. 138 anu_D
    August 24, 2009 at 12:48

    How dare the Libyans celebrate the release of a convict that they thought were innocent…this right is exclusively reserved for the Americans who can indeed celebrate when their presumed innocent… but convicted in N. Korea prisoners are released

  116. 139 steve
    August 24, 2009 at 16:01

    I’ve been reading the comments from people on BBC Have your Say and on the scotsman, and most of the comments are pure, unadulterated, based in hatred of America. Apparently these people believe two wrongs do make a right so long as one of the wrongs is directed at America. The arguments are “we stood up to the USA!” “yeah you shot down Iran Air 655” or “Lt. William Calley!”. I for one am boycotting Scotland now as a result of the hatred they have shown, though what do they really produce that I could boycott besides Scotch? i’ve already been there once, and that was enough. So a “boycott” is basically an empty threat. I’ve never liked Scotch to begin with. I might have to develop a taste for Bourbon or Irish whiskey though.

  117. 140 Methusalem
    August 24, 2009 at 16:14

    Are there Scotish citizens in Scotish prisons who could be realised on “comastionate” grounds? Was there any experience of this sort before the Libyan muderer?

  118. 141 steve
    August 24, 2009 at 16:55

    @ Methusalem

    I’ve asked people on the Scotsman, and they have said something of 23 out of 31 requests in the past 5 or so years have been granted.

  119. 142 steve
    August 24, 2009 at 16:57


    Do you really think you can compare illegally intering a nation with murdering 270 people? You must be joking, right? Those two women admitted they illegally entered into North Korea. I said they should have to repay the cost of the flight to fly them back here. Yet you’re happy to see a mass murderer get off just so you can thumb your nose at the us?

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