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The Libyan Myth

July 7, 2011 1 comment

Posted On July 07, 2011 by Marivel Guzman from Robert Parry Consortiumnews.com

Today’s third deadly myth is Washington’s certainty that Libyan dictator Gaddafi was responsible for the Pan Am 103 attack and thus must be removed from power by force and possibly by assassination.

The alternative option of taking Gaddafi up on his offers of a cease-fire and negotiations toward a political settlement has been rejected out of hand by both the Obama administration and by nearly all the influential pundits in Washington, in part, because of the Pan Am case.

Repeatedly citing Gaddafi’s killing of Americans over Lockerbie, the U.S. debate has centered on the need to ratchet up military pressure on Gaddafi and even chuckle over NATO’s transparent efforts to murder the Libyan leader (and his family members) by bombing his homes and offices.

The Obama administration is sticking with this violent course of action even though Libyan civilians continue to die and the cutoff of Libyan oil from the international markets has exacerbated shortages in supplies, thus contributing to the higher gas prices that are damaging the U.S. economic recovery.

But President Obama apparently sees no choice. After all, the conventional wisdom is that Gaddafi is guilty in the Pan Am 103 case. All the leading U.S. news organizations, such as the New York Times, and prominent politicians, such as Sen. John McCain, say so.

“The blood of Americans is on [Gaddafi’s] hands because he was responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103,” declared Sen. McCain, R-Arizona, after an early trip to rebel-held Benghazi.

However, the reality of the Pan Am case is much murkier – and some experts on the mystery believe that Libyans may have had nothing to do with it.

It is true that in 2001, a special Scottish court convicted Libyan agent Ali al-Megrahi for the bombing. But the judgment appears to have been more a political compromise than an act of justice. Another Libyan was found not guilty, and one of the Scottish judges told Dartmouth government professor Dirk Vandewalle about “enormous pressure put on the court to get a conviction.”

Megrahi’s conviction assuaged the understandable human desire to see someone punished for such a heinous crime, albeit a possibly innocent man.

In 2007, after the testimony of a key witness against Megrahi was discredited, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission agreed to reconsider the conviction as a grave miscarriage of justice. However, that review was proceeding slowly in 2009 when Scottish authorities released Megrahi on humanitarian grounds, after he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

Megrahi dropped his appeal in order to gain the early release, but that doesn’t mean he was guilty. He has continued to assert his innocence and an objective press corps would reflect the doubts regarding his curious conviction.

Dubious Witness

The Scottish court’s purported reason for finding Megrahi guilty – while acquitting his co-defendant Lamin Khalifa Fhimah – was the testimony of Toni Gauci, owner of a clothing store in Malta who allegedly sold Megrahi a shirt, the remnants of which were found with the shards of the suitcase that contained the bomb.

The rest of the case rested on a theory that Megrahi put the luggage on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt, where it was transferred to a connecting flight to London, where it was transferred onto Pan Am 103 bound for New York, a decidedly unlikely way to undertake an act of terrorism given all the random variables involved.

Megrahi would have had to assume that three separate airport security systems – at Malta, Frankfort and London – would fail to give any serious scrutiny to an unaccompanied suitcase or to detect the bomb despite security officials being on the lookout for just such a threat.

As historian William Blum recounted in a Consortiumnews.com article after Megrahi’s 2001 conviction, “The case for the suitcase’s hypothetical travels must also deal with the fact that, according to Air Malta, all the documented luggage on KM180 was collected by passengers in Frankfurt and did not continue in transit to London, and that two Pan Am on-duty officials in Frankfurt testified that no unaccompanied luggage was introduced onto Pan Am 103A, the feeder flight to London.”

There also were problems with Gauci’s belated identification of Megrahi as the shirt-buyer a decade after the fact. Gauci had made contradictory IDs and had earlier given a physical description that didn’t match Megrahi. Gauci reportedly received a $2 million reward for his testimony and then moved to Australia, where he went into retirement.

In 2007, the Scottish review panel decided to reconsider Megrahi’s conviction after concluding that Gauci’s testimony was unbelievable. And without Gauci’s testimony, the case against Megrahi was virtually the same as the case against his co-defendant who was acquitted.

However, after Megrahi’s conviction in 2001, more international pressure was put on Libya, which was then regarded as the archetypal “rogue” state. Indeed, it was to get onerous economic sanctions lifted that Libya took “responsibility” for the Pan Am attack and paid reparations to the victims’ families even as Libyan officials continued to deny guilt.

In April, there was some excitement over the possibility that Gaddafi would be fingered personally as the Pan Am 103 mastermind when former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa defected. He was believed to be in charge of Libyan intelligence in 1988 and thus almost certainly in the know.

Moussa Koussa was questioned by Scottish authorities but apparently shed little new light on the case. He was allowed to go free after the interview. Very quickly the press interest over Moussa Koussa faded away, except for the recurring assumption in some Western press articles that he must have implicated Gaddafi.

Despite the doubts about the Pan Am 103 case — and the tragic human and economic toll from the Libyan war – the U.S. news media and politicians continue to treat Libya’s guilt as a flat fact. It appears that no big-time journalist or important official has even bothered to read the Scottish court’s bizarre judgment regarding Megrahi’s 2001 conviction.

Instead, NATO’s bombing campaign against Libyan targets continues, including the recent leveling of tents where Gaddafi greets foreign dignitaries and the destruction of Libyan TV.

Rather than making war policies based on serious factual analysis, the United States and NATO continue to be guided by politically pleasing myths. It is a recipe for an even-greater disaster and unnecessary deaths.

Improbable Cause; The Libyan Suspect can’t be guilty


Posted on Jun 16, 2011 by Marivel Guzman over Archive Libya

Improbable Cause; The Libyan Suspect Can not be Guilty But the biggest reason for questioning the validity of the “Libya-did-it” scenario is the sheer improbability of placing a bomb on a plane in Valetta, Malta, bound for Frankfurt, Germany, there to be offloaded on a second plane bound for London, where it would be offloaded on a third plane bound for New York, to explode 38 minutes later. Common sense would dictate a far more simple scheme: load the bomb aboard a plane in London with a simple pressure mechanism to go off when the plane was safely out to sea 38 minutes after takeoff.

In his Dec. 27, 2007 e-mail, Swire discussed the “timer fragment” supposedly found at the crash site, part of a device made in Switzerland and supposedly sold to Libya. If true, this could mean that Megrahi theoretically could have set the bomb to go off 38 minutes after takeoff. But the Swiss timer turned out to indict the Lockerbie court rather than Megrahi. Edwin Bollier, the owner of MEBO which manufactured the alleged bomb trigger device, revealed that he had turned down an FBI offer of $4 million to testify that he had sold the device to Libya.

In the aforementioned e-mail, from which I am free to quote, Dr. Swire said the Lockerbie court heard of a “specialized timer/baroceptor bomb mechanism” made by the PFLP-GC in the Damascus suburbs. This device would explode within 30 to 45 minutes after takeoff, but was stable indefinitely at ground level. The court heard that these devices could not be altered. “Yet the court believed,” Swire wrote, “that Megrahi ”˜happened’ to set his Swiss timer in such a way that it went off in the middle of the time window for the Syrian device, surviving changes of planes at Frankfurt and London.”

Dr. Swire told the BBC News of Aug. 20, 2009 that the prosecution at the Lockerbie trial failed to take into consideration the reported break-in of the Pan Am baggage area at Heathrow in the early morning hours of the day of Pan Am 103’s doomed flight.

Many of the British relatives of Pan Am 103 victims have come to believe that the bomb was loaded in London, and thus that Megrahi could not be guilty. These relatives and Dr. Swire were opposed to Megrahi’s withdrawing his second appeal on the grounds that further evidence would come out that might have pointed to the real culprit.

In a Jan. 4, 2008 e-mail, Dr. Swire warned that “there is some deep secret hidden in this tragedy which evokes virulent responses…when questions are raised.”

In an Aug. 20, 2009 e-mail response to this writer’s inquiry, Dr. Swire said “that it appears that the Iranians used the PFLP-GC as mercenaries in this ghastly business.” According to this theory, held by many who doubt Megrahi’s guilt, including CounterPunch’s Alexander Cockburn, Iran hired the PFLP-GC to avenge the July 3, 1988 shooting down by the USS Vincennes of an Iranian Airbus passenger plane, killing 290 passengers, including 66 children. The U.S. ship’s officers later received medals for heroism in combat.

Having lost his daughter in the Pan Am crash, and as an expert in explosives, Dr. Swire is uniquely qualified to examine the Pan Am tragedy. America and its mainstream media did not reflect credit on themselves by refusing to acknowledge questions about Megrahi’s guilt.

Dr. Swire may well be right in blaming the PFLP-GC for the tragedy. But this writer still has his doubts—because the ineptness of the trial and Washington’s fanaticism in pushing such a flimsy case against Libya leave an impression that it must be covering up for the real criminals. Somehow it seems unlikely that the U.S. would go to such lengths to protect Iran, much less the PFLP-GC.

The article below is the classic follow up of Stream Media reporting, the use of the word terrorist is the best example of the Bias reporting style. This article is making sure the perspective over the innocence of Al-Megrahi don’t even be question. Reality is that after 20 years of cover ups, sudden deaths of witnesses, tampering with evidence, new evidence and other more complicated issues make the case of Mr Al-Megrahi difficult to dissect again in the media. If you follow the trial reporting you will see that there was so much inconsistency in the Trial, the witnesses from the prosecution were of shaky character. The involvement of the CIA and FBI make still more unbelievable.

When the new evidence was presented to the court, by pressure of US and UK was not accepted because they have already built the case against Libya, not against Mr Al-Megrahi but against Libya. For more than 20 years Gadhafi was pressured to give up his support for the Palestinian resistance and the IRA and he never gave up in his intent of maintain the financial support for these two important groups. Gadhafi knew that stopping the money line to the two movements will die easily and the popular support for his dreams of an Africa United as one block will dissipate.

Washington Report Archives (2006-2010)

More Posts of Libya…..

Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Probably Not Guilty—So Who Is the Real Criminal? – With the Death of Gadhafee the truth will never will be known, the suppose Deal of BP and Lybia was a secret that Gadhafee and his son took to his grave. The deal to release Al-Maghrahi on humanitarian grounds was just a cover up so the Truth will never resurface with an appeal that was in the go due to new evidence found. Now the victims will be showing up in expensive lawyer to collect more money. And other suppose victims of Libyan involvement in the Lockerbie accident will show up in the same way, like the IRA victims.

The Missing Link “Lockerbie” Libya Not Involved-

President Mandela of South Africa has strongly urged Britain to allow two Libyans accused of bombing an American airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie nine years ago to be tried in a neutral country.

Mr Mandela is campaigning for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Libya after it refused to hand over the two men to the United States and Britain.

Speaking at a news conference in Scotland — where he’s attending the Commonwealth summit — Mr Mandela said justice would not be seen to be done if the men were tried in Britain; no country should be complainant,prosecutor and judge.

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