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Obama Won’t Release ‘Lockerbie Letter’

From the UK’s Guardian:

Barack Obama faces rising pressure to publish Lockerbie bomber release letter

Scottish officials say US memo giving grudging support to freeing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi undermines president’s criticisms

Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent
Sunday 25 July 2010

Barack Obama is under growing pressure to release a letter that reveals the US grudgingly supported freeing the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds.

The letter was sent to Scottish ministers by a senior diplomat at the US embassy in London last August, eight days before Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released from prison because he was dying from inoperable prostate cancer.

Obama’s administration has refused to allow publication of the letter, in which the US says allowing Megrahi to live at home in Scotland would be "far preferable" to sending him back to Libya under the prisoner transfer deal brokered by former prime minister Tony Blair in 2007.

Although Megrahi was allowed to go home to die in Tripoli, Scottish officials believe this undermines Obama’s vigorous criticisms of the decision to free Megrahi earlier this month, when he said he was left "surprised, disappointed and angry" by the Libyan’s release. David Cameron said he and Obama were in "violent agreement" that freeing Megrahi was a bad decision.

The American ambassador to the UK, Louis Susman, said the US was examining whether its correspondence on the issue could be released, but he refused to be drawn on the reported memo.

Senators in Washington are now pressing for the release of all correspondence between Obama’s administration and the Scottish government in their investigation into allegations that BP directly influenced the decision to release Megrahi to help its $800m oil deal with Libya

If any Senators are doing so, this is the first we have heard of it. And we suspect that they are not Democrat Senators. If anything, the Democrats are probably sorry they even brought up the BP connection to the Lockerbie release.

The existence and content of the US embassy note was first disclosed by the Guardian last August, at the height of the controversy over Megrahi’s release, and its full text has now been leaked to the Sunday Times.

So if the ‘full text’ has been leaked, why does Mr. Obama need to release it? Does the Sunday Times need permission from WikiLeaks to publish it?

In it, the deputy head of the US embassy in London, Frank LeBaron, said the US believed Megrahi should remain in Greenock jail because of the seriousness of his conviction for killing 270 passengers and crew, and 11 Lockerbie townspeople, by bombing Pan Am flight 103 in 1988.

But he added: "Nevertheless, if Scottish authorities [conclude] that Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the US position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose."

LeBaron said releasing Megrahi but making him live in Scotland "would mitigate a number of strong concerns we have expressed with regards to Megrahi’s release."

Scottish officials took that to mean that the US had only "half-hearted" opposition to Megrahi’s release: the embassy comes under the direct control of the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who became the most vigorous critic of Megrahi’s release[.]

Allowing Megrahi to live outside prison in Scotland was one of the options considered by MacAskill. Megrahi’s wife and sons had a family home paid for by the Libyan government in the prosperous Glasgow suburb of Newton Mearns. But that option was rejected after police advice that this would cause immense security and logistical problems, and cost £100,000 a week to protect him. The house would need a 24-hour armed guard, while Megrahi would need heavy security for his regular trips for medical treatment

Once again Mr. Obama displays his ‘golden touch’ with foreign diplomacy.

Ultimately, we suspect Mr. Obama doesn’t want to release the letter because it would be a warning to future political contributors.

After all, BP gave more money to Mr. Obama than to any other politician. And yet he would not help them swing this deal? What an ingrate.

Nothing is more annoying than a politician who won’t stay bought.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 26th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Obama Won’t Release ‘Lockerbie Letter’”

  1. canary says:

    FOX news said they only went by 1 doctor’s opinion that said he had 3 months to live. He certainly was not on his death bed.

  2. oki2 says:

    Now… did they REALLY say “grudging” and “grudgingly” or is that just the press trying to protect the great won?

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    It is very noteworthy that the boy has resorted to his favorite tactic. He just won’t show anyone the letter. Or his transcripts, or his birth certificate, or anything.

    In “obama-lama-ding-dong-land” doing what the Kommisars used to do, which is “withhold everything and let the public prattle on” thereby hiding the truth…is the same as a lie. And, interestingly enough, the FOIA probably covers that letter and makes it mandatory that it be shown. The American People have every right to know and….it’s not classified…..and it’s in the best interest of the American People to reveal its contents.

    That is, unless, you have something to hide and it will look “bad” for you, boy.

    But then, that’s what 90% of The People have now come to expect from you. Childish behavior and a whole lot of talk.

    We’re taking the nation back in November, boy.

  4. NoNeoCommies says:

    You just don’t get it!
    If “The One” wanted you to see the letter, he would have published it on the front page of every Liberal newspaper in the country.
    Since he has decided that you don’t need to see it, you need to just move along.

    Don’t question the anointed one you silly prole.

  5. heykev says:

    It’s a wonder that the NYT’s has not gotten a hold of this letter and published it along with our Dear Leader’s transcripts, birth certificate, passport, how he into those Universities, etc.

    But what am I thinking, they only publish treasonous materials that help our enemy’s.

  6. proreason says:

    Don’t make the mistake of attibuting normal American motives to any detail in this travesty.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if personally Obamy instigated the release. After all, why should a good Muslim be punished for simply doing what good Muslims do.

  7. Right of the People says:

    BP has every right to be mad. Used to be in the good old days when you bought a politician the son-of-a-bitch stayed bought!

  8. Natural Born Citizen says:

    There is more to this story since BO has close ties to Gadhafi. Right after al-Megrahi’s release BO’s administration gave 400K to charities run by Gadhafis son, and daughter? How convienient.

  9. Natural Born Citizen says:

    Apparently Gadhafi’s son was the one who brokered the release with BP also.

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