Controversy over release of Pan Am bomber

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by B-17engineer, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    (CNN) -- Victims' family members and advocates are grieving anew as the only man convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland -- which killed 270 people -- was released Thursday from a British prison.

    "I feel sick. I feel depressed and outraged. I mean, I am just heartbroken," said Susan Cohen, whose daughter Theodora, a 20-year-old Syracuse University music student, was killed in the bombing.

    Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, 57, sick with advanced prostate cancer, was released on compassionate grounds and sent home to Libya to die, Scottish authorities said. Megrahi, who prosecutors said was a Libyan intelligence agent, was convicted in 2001 of placing a bomb on the Boeing 747.

    Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the bombing and has compensated the families, although longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi denied any culpability in the attack.

    Cohen and others said international politics had trumped justice as U.S. and British relations with Gadhafi have thawed over the years.

    "I feared they would do this," she said. "Now that they've made friends with Gadhafi ... the Western countries want to give him everything that he wants, appease him. He wanted Megrahi, they are rushing Megrahi out; they aren't even giving this a day. And the tiny little shred of justice we had is gone." Video Watch Cohen vent her frustration »

    "I thought that our governments, both the U.S. and the U.K., owed it to the victims and their families to ensure that Megrahi would fulfill his sentence," said Victoria Cummock, whose husband, John, died in the attack. "If he did the crime, he should do the time. ... (But) when you try to combine politics with justice, politics always wins."

    "I expected this," said Mark Zaid, a Washington-based lawyer for several victims' families. "I work with governments all the time, and governments do not act to protect the interests of the people, they act to protect the interests of the country. And those are different."

    Zaid said he might file a lawsuit under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act to learn what the governments promised each other to accomplish Megrahi's release.

    It especially galls the families that Megrahi's release was on compassionate grounds.

    "This is mercy?" Cohen said. "Do you know what I've been living with for over 20 years now? This man deserves no compassion. He is a convicted mass murderer and terrorist. What have we come to, that this man is released?" Video Watch Megrahi board a plane headed for Libya »

    Added Cummock: "I think it's unconscionable that he would have the audacity to apply on compassionate grounds to be released and that they would actually consider it. Nevertheless, not only did they consider it, they granted it.

    "I think it's a huge disservice, not only to the families but also for the people of Lockerbie and everybody that was left to pick up the pieces over the years -- all of the prosecutors, the investigators and so on," she said.

    Zaid said his clients consider the decision "a slap in the face."

    "He showed no compassion to the victims, and he's lived two decades more than any of their loved ones have," he said.

    Interest in long-out-of-reach Libyan oil dictated the decision, Zaid said.

    "This is now catch-up time, and there's a lot of money to be made," he said.

    They'll come to regret it, Cummock predicted.

    "It sends an awful message out to those who want to use violence or terrorism to affect U.S. policy," she said.

    The families didn't need this wound to be reopened, Zaid said.

    "A lot of them have moved on," he said. "The loss is never going to go away, but it doesn't help the situation to have their feelings played like political pawns as part of this international game."

    But not all victims' families shared the outrage. Caroline Stevenson, whose son, Syracuse student Sandy Phillips, was aboard Pan Am 103, told CNN affiliate KARK in Little Rock, Arkansas, that she is "not disturbed" by al-Megrahi's release.

    "Whether he's in jail or whether he's with his family, it doesn't impact me," she said. "He should be able to be with his family and die in peace. And I hope he has found some peace." "I am not disturbed by it. I feel like if he is dying of prostate cancer, I don't have any problems at all with him being able to be with his family as he dies."


    Stevenson added that she doesn't understand the U.S. government's opposition to al-Megrahi's release.

    "I strongly believe in the Scottish Judical system, and I support their decision," she said. "The people of Scotland have been very good to me and my family."

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/08/20/lockerbie.bomber.reaction/
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Obama gave a green light fo his release. I dont think the Scottish govt would have been so stupid to have released him outright.
     
  3. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Me neither Scotland wouldnt have made the decision by themselves.
     
  4. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    England just announced they will "come clean" tomorrow. They will be releasing documents about the release of Megrahi in the afternoon. Late morning (EST).
     
  5. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Or even Scotland
    it wasn't us dude...
     
  6. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I am just saying what has been said by England and on the News. I'm not accusing anyone. I don't want to get into an argument. I posted this thread just because it's been big news.
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Relax
    no-one said you were looking for a bust-up
    It was the Scottish judicial system that released him, not the English, that is all I was saying
     
  8. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Ok, I just was on the edge about posting this, that's all.
     
  9. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Don't be
    releasing him on 'compassionate grounds' was wrong. He would have received appropriate medical care in prison, he should have died there.
     
  10. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Agreed Colin, he didn't show a lot of compassion for those victims.
     
  11. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    This is a little bit out there but besides the tragic loss of all those people it also led to the end of Pan Am as an airline and the loss of many a job including my father who used to work the jet cell at hanger 14 at JFK. Pan Am never could recover from the law suites and the negatives surrounding the security
     
  12. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I believe I heard on the news earlier last week that the Obama admin. was against the release, and talked to the Scottish Government expressing their disapproval of releasing him. Now, maybe more info has come to light to dispute that. Either way, this guy deserves no more mercy than he showed to all those that died in the plane. Worse yet, was how he was received as a hero in his country!
     
  13. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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  14. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    :rolleyes: Letting him die with his family, do you think ALL those people on the plane died with there family and / or friends!.......
     
  15. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I heard that there may be a no confidence vote called for against the Scottish PM coming up.
     
  16. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    You are right...Obama didn't "green light" it. It looks like the Scottish did it all by themselves...
     
  17. Ferdinand Foch

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    Jeez, what was the Scottish Judicial system thinking (no offense to all Scottish members of this forum).
    I would have let the ba@@@@@ die in prison, WITHOUT proper medical care. He showed no remorse for killing over one hundred and eighty people, so why should we show him compassion. :evil:
     
  18. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Its merely a technical point but...I wonder what his (the judge) record on "compassionate release" is, maybe he has done it before.
     
  19. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    #19 RabidAlien, Sep 2, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
    Heh. Judge is probably sitting on a beach in the Grand Caymans right now. Or sitting in a barrel on the bottom of a dark Scottish loch.

    One also wonders if Obama's administration, being Islamic-Extremist-friendly and all, sorta winked in the direction of his jail cell...but are now denying any involvement because of the public outcry against Scotland.
     
  20. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Sounds like a case for the "X-Files"... :rolleyes:
     
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