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Lockerbie Bomber Living Large in Libya

The Lockerbie bomber’s alive and well in Libya. What’s the Obama administration gonna do about it? (Click here to watch this segment of The Hicks File on PJTV.)

by
Joe Hicks

Bio

August 5, 2010 - 12:00 am

In a Hicks File report last August on PJTV, I spoke about the mind-numbing fact that one of the world’s most infamous terrorists had been set free.

Nearly a year ago, the Scottish government released Abdel Basset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison for “humanitarian reasons.”  He was serving a life sentence but was set free after it was claimed that he was about to die from prostate cancer and had, at best, only three months to live.

Known to the world as simply the “Lockerbie bomber,” al-Magrahi was the only person convicted of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747 that had 259 passengers on board and was bound for New York from London.

In December 1988, a bomb was set off in the plane’s forward cargo hold, literally disintegrating the aircraft into thousands of pieces as it fell 31,000 feet into the small village of Lockerbie, Scotland. Not a single person on board survived the attack.

Last August I predicted that “we will soon discover that this old terrorist’s cancer has been miraculously cured and he’ll be sitting on the Libyan coastline thumbing his nose at us all.”

That was a prediction I hoped wouldn’t come true. I hoped al-Magrahi would in fact experience the painful death he so rightly deserves.

But that hasn’t been the case. We now know that the “terminally ill” bomber is alive and quite well in Libya. In fact, according to sources, he’s “livin’ large” in a two-story villa in an upscale suburb of Tripoli.

Like any rich Libyan, his home comes complete with a large garden and another area where al-Magrahi and his family regularly entertain visitors and guests.

And oh yes, what about that diagnosis that he’d be dead inside of three months?

Well, Professor Karol Sikora, one of the British doctors who made the magic diagnosis, now says the old terrorist could live another 10 to 20 years!

It’s readily apparent that is was this “interesting” diagnosis that led to al-Magrahi’s release on grounds of “compassion.” The diagnosis was intended solely to be a justification for a deal that had been struck between the governments of the United Kingdom and Libya.

Last year, Jack Straw, then the justice secretary for the British government, admitted that trade and oil agreements were an important part of that government’s decision to set al-Magrahi free.

Straw wrote to his counterpart in the Scottish government that the release of the Lockerbie bomber was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom.”

But as outrageous as this decision was, why did the Obama administration allow the release to take place? After all, we had skin in this game — 189 Americans lost their lives when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown from the sky.

Here it is important to remind you of the lame posturing of President Obama, who claimed, after being prompted by NBC’s Brian Williams, that he needed answers to questions about the Gulf oil disaster so he’d know “whose ass to kick.”

Posturing or not, and yes completely lame, this was Obama’s best attempt at sounding like a tough, determined president.

Yet the administration appears impotent in the face of the revelation that al-Magrahi, almost a year later, is not only very much alive, but is living in luxury in a villa in Libya.

The question is, what did the Obama administration know and when did they know it?

The Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, discussed the release of the Lockerbie bomber with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder. They didn’t protest the release; both apparently only expressed “displeasure” that al-Magrahi was being released early.

But nearly a year has passed and the administration has done nothing. Even though several U.S. senators, including John Kerry, Frank Lautenberg, and Richard Lugar, have called for a Senate hearing on this issue, none have been convened.

Obama met recently with British Prime Minister David Cameron. At a joint press conference, Obama said that “all of us … were surprised, disappointed and angry” by the decision to release al-Magrahi.

But this is disingenuous crap.

In a feature story in the Sunday Times, it was reported that the deputy head of the U.S. Embassy in London sent a memo to Scottish officials arguing against the release, but said a release on grounds of “compassion” would be preferable to a straight-out prisoner exchange. The Obama official said he would rather see al-Magrahi released in Scotland than transferred to a Libyan prison.

Now, this isn’t exactly hard-assed negotiations — by any government’s standards!

Obama could have talked with Nancy Reagan — she’d have told him to “just say no” to the Brits.

But even more damming, according to the Sunday Times, is that Scottish officials viewed U.S. resistance to the bomber’s release as only “half-hearted.”

Further, the United Kingdom has released all documents leading up to the release of the Lockerbie bomber, but the U.S. documents remain classified. What’s Obama hiding?

The families of 189 dead Americans deserve answers.

Now, we’ve heard some “ass-kicking” language directed at those responsible for the Gulf oil spill, but a more dangerous toxic blob was released and belched up on a beach in Libya nearly a year ago.

And even though there have been new revelations about al-Magrahi’s release and his health condition, all we get from Obama is a weak White House press conference.

A Libyan mass-killer was set free after vaporizing 189 innocent Americans, yet Obama can’t seem to figure out whose “ass needs kicking.”

I have a suggestion for the president: take a long look in the mirror.

Joe R. Hicks is a political commentator and the vice president of Community Advocates.
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