Saturday, 24 September 2016

Lockerbie a la BBC? Or the facts?

On December 14th 2014 - almost the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing - the investigative journalist Alexander Zaitchik of AlterNet wrote the following extraordinary history of an award-winning documentary that was banned in the US and Britain. 
Alexander Zaitchik
(Bing Images)

The Truth about the Lockerbie Bombing - And the Censored Film that Dared to Reveal it.

If you are interested in the real story of what became a significant part of Lockerbie history - as opposed to what became a BBC/CNN regurgitation of government press statements - please read on.

Contained within Alexander's history is a link to the film documentary.

Banned it may have been, but Truth has an irritating habit of refusing to obey the instructions of those in power.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Multi-million dollar payment to Lockerbie identification witness.

On this day, 1st September 1989, the sole identification witness in the Lockerbie trial, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci, met with a police investigation team headed by Detective Chief Inspector Harry Bell.

$3 million to imprison an innocent man.
Baset al-Megrahi on his deathbed.

At this first meeting Gauci offered a vague account of a customer who had come into his shop to buy an assortment of clothes. In no way did it resemble the convicted Libyan al-Megrahi.

Gauci's next two interviews were on the 14th and 26th of that month. Neither indicated that al-Megrahi was the purchaser of the clothes.

Two days later on the 28th of that month, Bell wrote in his police diary that "The US Department of Justice are prepared to offer unlimited money to Tony Gauci, with $10,000 available immediately."

The purpose of the "immediately available" $10,000 was clear. Gauci could draw on it for his immediate use. There can be no other interpretation.
Tony Gauci's shop in Malta

These three interviews would be the first of many extending over two years, each interview adding more and more detail. Only in February 1991 did Gauci finally say "he resembles the man a lot".

Every discussion at which money was mentioned was recorded in Bell's diary. But he concealed this diary from the trial judges and the defence team. It was discovered in 2007, six years after the conclusion of the trial and a subsequent appeal.

At the conclusion of the trial Tony Gauci was paid $2 million and his brother Paul Gauci $1 million.

But what did Tony have to do to get the money to be shared between himself and his brother? In the words of the US Department of Justice, "only if he gives evidence".

Since the original 1991 indictment against al-Megrahi was substantially based on eye witness evidence by Tony Gauci it was clear what that evidence would be. It would prove that al-Megrahi was guilty.

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:

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:

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

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."