Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Letter from Ali Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, part 2

For the first time in history a president of a country visited a person that is accused of a crime in prison because he knew and was sure that my dad was not guilty .

He said to him I know you are not guilty. The injustice that is happening to you has happened to me before

You will always be a symbol for Libya because you are a man who was wrongfully accused. You sacrificed yourself for Libya and for the Libyan people and I'm proud because you hung on and stayed strong.
Ali Abdel Baset al-Megrahi

Because its hard to take this decision for the country or your life so you did something that is historical and I will never forget it my whole life.

These are the words of Nelson Mandela to my dad Abdelbasset al Megrahi.

With grateful thanks to the Friends of Justice for Megrahi: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161241207237021/

A letter from Ali Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi, Part 1

[Written 15.30 pm Tuesday 9th August 2016]

This is my fathers book. He wrote it while in prison and the writer John Ashton use to visit him in prison and collect what my father use to write.
The old man pictured next to the book, his daughter died in the plane. He visited my dad before his death during the war when if it was not even safe to come to Libya but he insisted he visited him and he brought flowers and when he came my father was really ill and couldn't move out of his bed and even his face changed a lot from the illness so anyway we welcomed him and took him to my dads bedroom and when he saw my father he ran to him and told him I didn't expect it to be this worse and sat next to him and held his hand and he said I'm really sorry and I'm confident and I know your not guilty of this terrible crime. This was a historical meeting for us and if there was a government then they could've even took pictures from this meeting or even put it on the t.v so that the world. I just wanted you to know this so that the world can know.

With grateful thanks to Friends of Justice for Megrahi: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161241207237021/

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Continual Hacking of Jim Swire's email account

Today yet another hack of Jim Swire's email account. This has happened several times over the last two years.

If you receive any email from Jim Swire that requires you to click on an attachment, or provide any kind of personal information, please delete.

If, unfortunately, you have already clicked on the attachment, you should immediately reboot your machine and carry out a full system scan with a reliable anti-virus programme. I use Kaspersky.

It appears that such emails have been sent to all Jim's  contacts on the Lockerbie friends network. Reports of fake emails are coming in from all directions.  

Attempts are also being made to trick anyone seeking confirmation regarding that first email. If you send a separate email to Jim  asking for confirmation that the first email is OK, you receive a reply from someone claiming to be Jim Swire saying that there is no problem.

See also  https://www.facebook.com/groups/161241207237021/

In addition, the email address of a US lawyer, Frank Duggan, representative of US bereaved Lockerbie relatives, appears to have been hacked. Professor Robert Black has received a fake email from someone purporting to be Frank Duggan. Again, when matters were checked, the same kind of reassuring reply from persons unknown was received.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

From Libya to Iraq, a Hell on Earth.

Many may feel there is no connection between the Lockerbie bombing, Libya, and the Iraq war.  I hope, however, that a reading of a piece I wrote in 2006, as Iraq began to fall apart under occupation by the US and Britain, will indicate a connection.

That connection is the corrupt political and intelligence systems which force Britain always to follow the American lead. Any backsliding in this regard becomes a source of threats by the US to withdraw political and intelligence cooperation. The Lockerbie story has proved this time and time again.


Morton's Neuroma. That's what the surgeon said. If you walk for a long time on a hard surface, the nerve in your third knuckle on your left foot will fire off, and you'll be in trouble. And so I was, shuffling through the stinking horse manure of London's Whitehall, close to Horseguard's Parade, hanging onto my wife's hand, holding high a placard.

A yard ahead an elderly lady pushed a wheelchair containing a young boy with irons on his legs. He was wrapped in blankets, his head lolling to one side.

Ahead of them was a group of five elderly ladies from the Women's Institute of Bridgend in Wales loudly proclaiming that they represented a hundred more who couldn't get to London.

Behind us a young Asian man roared at intervals into a hand-held loud speaker Tony Blair, Terrorist! George Bush, Terrorist! The battery was fading, but not his voice.

Neither he nor any of us were aware, on that freezing February 15th 2003, that we were part of an unfolding history. As far ahead and as far behind as we could see were young, old, disabled, folk on crutches, babes in arms, teenagers singing, young Asian and Arab men protesting, old couples leaning on each other for support.

I had impertinently written to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and challenged him to be there. But he wasn't. And, apart from a dozen honourable exceptions, neither were the members of our Mother of Parliaments. Most, no doubt, tending to their homes, wives, and cattle. And their directorships.

Ahead, still two hours shuffle away, lay the three hundred and fifty acres of Hyde Park. By afternoon's end we would fill it with angry people, wall to wall, gate to gate. That's a lot of folks. The final estimate, proved by photographic and overhead video evidence, was a minimum of one and a half million. The largest peacetime demonstration that the world had ever seen.

I'd written to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. I'd told him that I'd seen all these lies before, in Vietnam, Iran-Contra, in Britain's conquest of Suez and Cyprus, in America's campaign of lies about Libya. We warned him that Iraq, surrounded as she was by America's enemies, would become another Lebanon, another Cyprus, another Vietnam.
Straw and my local member of Parliament told me I was a fool. Leave it to those who understand these things. And we, the little people, were watching it all again. On the US networks, and notably on Fox. Saddam's Winnebagoes of Death. A CIA lie, confidently repeated on every Fox presenter screen. What of Al Jazeera? We'll bomb 'em, bumbled a retired Lieutenant Colonel. Yea. Amazing, urged Fox's Brian Kilmead.

But Fox was only part of it. America had over the twentieth century visited many Nine Elevens on other inferior nations, from McKinley's brutal conquest of the Philippines, to Nixon and Kissinger's Two hundred thousand [drowned in a single series of raids over Haiphong] is not enough.

And now war had visited American shores. Nine Eleven demanded revenge, and a frenzy of blind patriotism ran through every level of society, dividing Transatlantic friend from friend, nation from nation.

Someone will hear from us, muttered a traumatised President. The Dogs of War were about to be loosed, but who might guess where they had mind to run?

The little people knew, and said it, loud and clear. The leaders could not hear, would not hear.

And so to Sky television news, and James Rubin, guru of Clinton's White House, a wise man, one who really should know, and certainly not a Neocon. Question time, and as luck would have it, my name came first out of the hat.

Over to Peter of Worcestershire, England. What is your question to James?

Evening James. Nine Eleven was enacted by primitive technology and nineteen willing hearts. How will an invasion of Iraq reduce the number of willing hearts?

Well, thought Jamie, an invasion of Iraq will prove to the Arab world that brutal dictators cannot be allowed to do what they do. And so, surrounding Arab nations will understand that the best route is to adopt democratic ways for their peoples.

Read Jamie's answer again, carefully. Heard it before? How many times? Who said it? Democrat or Liberal?

And so to early December 2006, almost four years later. I was watching on CNN and Al Jazeera last evening lines of grey-haired experts questioning would-be Secretary of State for Defense, Robert Gates.

The thought crossed my mind. Where were these now very wise and thoughtful Senate gentlemen and ladies when we — the little people — were protesting around the world that the Iraq invasion would be based on a lie, was nothing less than a visceral desire for revenge against the great Them?

Where were America's highly paid and educated media bloodhounds when Rumsfeld comically acted out the word "guerrilla" when asked if there were insurgency groups forming in Iraq just weeks after the invasion?

Mrs Clinton and each of those senators voted to support the President in 2002, even though it was obvious and widely known what he intended to do. And they watched, as we all did, the hour-long CIA lies mouthed by Colin Powell with Negroponte sitting at his shoulder like a mournful vulture. And still they supported the war.

Only now, with hundreds of thousands of "inferior" human beings dead, and Iraq a broken state for decades ahead, does America understand its mistake. But still must for years continue the suffering, the agony, the dying, while there remain "American Interests" to be protected and reinforced.

And when the next Nine Eleven occurs, what will America do?

December 13, 2006

Friday, 27 May 2016

Lockerbie: Government still trying to suppress evidence

[In today's edition of Scotland's The Herald:]

It would have been an action unheard of in the Scottish press - the UK Government pulling an entire edition of a newspaper in a bid to suppress a secret document.
But that's exactly what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) threatened to do to The Herald in 2012 when it sought to publish details of a report implicating a Palestinian terror group in the Lockerbie bombing.
"Verdict Unsafe: New Inquiry necessary".
The full details of what happened were published yesterday in Kenny MacAskill's new book on the atrocity - and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is again taking action.
The government department has said it is "considering the contents" of the book, The Lockerbie Bombing: The Search for Justice, amid claims it may breach of Official Secrets Act.
[PB NOTE: Mr MacAskill has stated in an interview with BBC Scotland that the Lockerbie verdict appears to him "unsafe" and that a new inquiry is necessary]

He reveals that at the time the Herald was seeking to publish the information, he took a call from Tory MP Alistair Burt, who was working with the FCO.
"He threatened not just to pull The Herald's story, but to pull the whole edition
Burt: Enforced closure
of British and Scottish newspaper?
of the newspaper," he said.
"I was incredulous. I told him that the people of Scotland would definitely notice if there was no Herald the next day.
"It really showed the extremes the UK Government was prepared to go to to stop the publication of something fundamental to Scotland's leading criminal case."
The document was subject to Public Interest Immunity, which prevented its release to the defence in the trial of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing.
After taking legal advice, The Herald ran the story detailing the main points of
Jibril-led Palestinian group.
Paid by Iran.
the document, including that it came from Jordan and implicated the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in the December 1988 attack.
Certain information was not available to The Herald at that time, however it has all now been revealed in Mr MacAskill's book.
It is understood that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office requested a copy of the book on Sunday ahead of
Philip Hammond:
Threatened injunction
to prevent book publication.
Thursday's publication, but were not provided with one as officials refused to rule out seeking an injunction.
The PFLP-GC were the original suspects in the investigation into Lockerbie, however by 1991 police and prosecutors were entirely focused on Libya.
This document naming the terror group was repeatedly suppressed at a high-level, despite sources claiming it presented little risk to national security.
In 2012, a source told The Herald: "The contents are very important but what makes them so much more significant is the lengths the UK Government and others have gone to in order to prevent anyone from seeing the document.
"This is the most remarkable piece of evidence. It does not rule out the Libyans but it does indicate that others were involved."
Mr MacAskill, who claimed the suppression of the document had more to with keeping the Jordanians happy so that radical cleric Abu Qatada could be deported from the UK, admits in his book that he believes the PFLP-GC were involved in the plot which killed 270 people.
The former politician, who made the controversial decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds in 2009, also raises doubts over the identification of Megrahi buying clothes from a shop in Malta that were found wrapped around the bomb.
However, he is now facing claims it is "dumbfounding" and "hypocritical" for a former justice minister to make such assertions that the case against Megrahi was flawed.
Robert Black QC, one of the architects behind Megrahi's trial who now heads up the Justice for Megrahi campaign, said: "Many of the things that Kenny is saying are the things that we've been saying for years.
"He said on the radio that there should be a new inquiry into Lockerbie - we've been asking for that for years, and it was him we were asking.
"It's only now that he doesn't actually have any power to do something that he's agreeing with us."
Mr Black added that it could be open to the FCO to try to secure a prosecution against Mr MacAskill for breaching the Officials Secrets Act, but he believes it would be highly unlikely.
He said: "Given that The Herald already published much of the detail in 2012, and they got away with it, I can't see how a case could be brought against him."

Friday, 20 May 2016

Nicola Sturgeon has a duty to set up an immediate Inquiry

Former Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny
MacAskill, in his book The Lockerbie Bombing (Biteback), writes:
"Clothes in the suitcase containing the bomb were acquired in Malta, though not by Megrahi"
This totally contradicts the written verdict of the Lockerbie trial judges regarding the identification evidence given by Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci.
"[88] A major factor in the case against [Baset al-Megrahi] is the identification evidence of [Maltese shopkeeper] Mr Gauci... We 
Gauci a reliable witness.
accept the reliability of Mr Gauci on this matter."

If MacAskill is correct and Megrahi did not purchase the clothes from Tony Gauci's shop in Malta, then  how could Gauci have seen him and recognize him from photographs and in a police identity parade, and in the courtroom? 

As Justice Minister MacAskill was privy to all security reports and the entire trial evidence. He worked closely with the office of the Lord Advocate.

If he knows of evidence indicating that Megrahi was not the person who purchased clothes from Gauci's shop, then he has a legal and moral duty to say what it is.

If there is such evidence, then the entire testimony of the only identification witness in the Lockerbie trial, Tony Gauci, is invalid, and a major miscarriage of justice has occurred.

MacAskill's moral and legal duty, and that of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, extends not only to those bereaved 
Sturgeon: Urgent inquiry?
relatives who believe Megrahi to be innocent, but to all bereaved Lockerbie relatives in America and elsewhere.

Nicola Sturgeon must grasp the nettle in this matter and instigate an urgent and immediate inquiry.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Professor Noam Chomsky: 'Afghanistan to Libya still a US strategic work in progress'

An extract from Professor Noam Chomsky's new book "Who Rules the World?"

Noam Chomsky
[Peter Biddulph has drawn attention on Facebook to the admission by retired four-star general Wesley Clark that within three weeks of the 9/11 attack of 2002, President George Bush secretly issued a strategic call to the Pentagon to destroy seven Middle Eastern governments in five years. America's strategy is still a work in progress. In his new book Professor Chomsky focuses on key areas, including the following: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Libya was destroyed in 2011.] 

The Challenges Today: The Islamic World
Let us turn to the third region of major concern, the (largely) Islamic world, also the scene of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) that George W. Bush declared in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attack. To be more accurate, re-declared.
Gen. Wesley Clark

The GWOT was declared by the Reagan administration when it took office, with fevered rhetoric about a “plague spread by depraved opponents of civilization itself” (as Reagan put it) and a “return to barbarism in the modern age” (the words of George Shultz, his secretary of state).

The original GWOT has been quietly removed from history. It very quickly turned into a murderous and destructive terrorist war afflicting Central America, southern Africa, and the Middle East, with grim repercussions to the present, even leading to condemnation of the United States by the World Court (which Washington dismissed). In any event, it is not the right story for history, so it is gone.

Destruction of Afghanistan.

The success of the Bush-Obama version of GWOT can readily be evaluated on direct inspection. When the war was declared, the terrorist targets were confined to a small corner of tribal Afghanistan. They were protected by Afghans, who mostly disliked or despised them, under the tribal code of hospitality – which baffled Americans when poor peasants refused “to turn over Osama bin Laden for the, to them, astronomical sum of $25 million.”

There are good reasons to believe that a well-constructed police action, or even serious diplomatic negotiations with the Taliban, might have placed those suspected of the 9/11 crimes in American hands for trial and sentencing. But such options were off the table.

Instead, the reflexive choice was large-scale violence – not with the goal of overthrowing the Taliban (that came later) but to make clear U.S. contempt for tentative Taliban offers of the possible extradition of bin Laden.

How serious these offers were we do not know, since the possibility of exploring them was never entertained. Or perhaps the United States was just intent on “trying to show its muscle, score a victory and scare everyone in the world. They don’t care about the suffering of the Afghans or how many people we will lose.”

That was the judgment of the highly respected anti-Taliban leader Abdul Haq, one of the many oppositionists who condemned the American bombing campaign launched in October 2001 as "a big setback" for their efforts to overthrow the Taliban from within, a goal they considered within their reach.

His judgment is confirmed by Richard A. Clarke, who was chairman of the Counterterrorism Security Group at the White House under President George W. Bush when the plans to attack Afghanistan were made.

As Clarke describes the meeting, when informed that the attack would violate international law, "the President yelled in the narrow conference room, ‘I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.’"

The attack was also bitterly opposed by the major aid organizations working in Afghanistan, who warned that millions were on the verge of starvation and that the consequences might be horrendous.
The consequences for poor Afghanistan years later need hardly be reviewed.

Destruction of Iraq.

Defenceless Baghdad attacked
The road to Basra. Sixty kilometres of death
The next target of the sledgehammer was Iraq. The U.S.-UK invasion, utterly without credible pretext, is the major crime of the twenty-first century.  
US invasion
Unknown Iraqi soldier
  The invasion led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people in a country where the civilian society had already been devastated by American and British sanctions that were regarded as “genocidal” by the two distinguished international diplomats who administered them, and resigned in protest for this reason. 
Millions of refugees. Thousands drowned.

The invasion also generated millions of refugees, largely destroyed the country, and instigated a sectarian conflict that is now tearing apart Iraq and the entire region. It is an astonishing fact about our intellectual and moral culture that in informed and enlightened circles it can be called, blandly, “the liberation of Iraq.”

Pentagon and British Ministry of Defense polls found that only 3% of Iraqis regarded the U.S. security role in their neighborhood as legitimate, less than 1% believed that “coalition” (U.S.-UK) forces were good for their security, 80% opposed the presence of coalition forces in the country, and a majority supported attacks on coalition troops.

Afghanistan has been destroyed beyond the possibility of reliable polling, but there are indications that something similar may be true there as well. Particularly in Iraq the United States suffered a severe defeat, abandoning its official war aims, and leaving the country under the influence of the sole victor, Iran.

Destruction of Libya.

The sledgehammer was also wielded elsewhere, notably in Libya, where the three traditional imperial powers (Britain, France, and the United States) procured Security Council resolution 1973 and instantly violated it, becoming the air force of the rebels.

The effect was to undercut the possibility of a peaceful, negotiated settlement; sharply increase casualties (by at least a factor of 10, according to political scientist Alan Kuperman); leave Libya in ruins, in the hands of warring militias; and, more recently, to provide the Islamic State with a base that it can use to spread terror beyond.  
Blair: "Act of humanity"
Gaddafi slaughtered like an animal

Quite sensible diplomatic proposals by the African Union, accepted in principle by Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, were ignored by the imperial triumvirate, as Africa specialist Alex de Waal reviews. A huge flow of weapons and jihadis has spread terror and violence from West Africa (now the champion for terrorist murders) to the Levant, while the NATO attack also sent a flood of refugees from Africa to Europe.

Yet another triumph of “humanitarian intervention,” and, as the long and often ghastly record reveals, not an unusual one, going back to its modern origins four centuries ago.

Noam Chomsky is institute professor emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His new book, Who Rules the World? (Metropolitan Books, 2016).
His website is www.chomsky.info/