Friday, 1 January 2010

Gadhafi admitted it!

This is the subject-heading of an e-mail sent by Arnaud de Borchgrave to Frank Duggan and copied by the latter to me. It reads as follows:

"As Gaddafi explained it to me, which you are familiar with, it was indeed Iran's decision to retaliate for the Iran Air Airbus shot down by the USS Vincennes on its daily flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai that led to a first subcontracting deal to Syrian intel, which, in turn, led to the 2nd subcontract to Libyan intel. As he himself said if they had been first at this terrorist bat, they would not have put Malta in the mix; Cyprus would have made more sense to draw attention away from Libya."

According to Arnaud de Borchgrave, Gaddafi made the admission, off the record, in the course of an interview in 1993. His published account reads:

"Megrahi was a small cog in a much larger conspiracy. After a long interview with Gaddafi in 1993, this editor at large of The Washington Times asked Libya's supreme leader to explain, off the record, his precise involvement in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, and for which Libya paid $2.7 billion in reparations. He dismissed all the aides in his tent (located that evening in the desert about 100 kilometers south of Tripoli) and began in halting English without benefit of an interpreter, as was the case in the on-the-record part of the interview.

"Gaddafi candidly admitted that Lockerbie was retaliation for the July 3, 1988, downing of an Iranian Airbus. Air Iran Flight 655, on a 28-minute daily hop from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Strait of Hormuz to the port city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on the other side of the Gulf, was shot down by a guided missile from the Aegis cruiser USS Vincennes. The Vincennes radar mistook it for an F-14 Tomcat fighter (which Iran still flies); 290 were killed, including 66 children. A year before, in 1987, the USS Stark was attacked by an Iraqi Mirage, killing 37 sailors. The Vincennes skipper, Capt. William Rogers, received the Legion of Merit, and the entire crew was awarded combat-action ribbons. The United States paid compensation of $61.8 million to the families of those killed on IR 655.

"Gaddafi told me, 'The most powerful navy in the world does not make such mistakes. Nobody in our part of the world believed it was an error.' And retaliation, he said, was clearly called for. Iranian intelligence subcontracted retaliation to one of the Syrian intelligence services (there are 14 of them), which, in turn, subcontracted part of the retaliatory action to Libyan intelligence (at that time run by Abdullah Senoussi, Gaddafi's brother-in-law). 'Did we know specifically what we were asked to do?' said Gaddafi. 'We knew it would be comparable retaliation for the Iranian Airbus, but we were not told what the specific objective was,' Gaddafi added.

"As he got up to take his leave, he said, 'Please tell the CIA that I wish to cooperate with America. I am just as much threatened by Islamist extremists as you are.'

"When we got back to Washington, we called Director of Central Intelligence Jim Woolsey to tell him what we had been told off the record. Woolsey asked me if I would mind being debriefed by the CIA. I agreed. And the rest is history."

On the assumption that this account of an off-the-record conversation in 1993 is accurate, it in no way affects the wrongfulness of the conviction of Abdelbaset Megrahi. As I have tried (without success) to explain to US zealots in the past, the fact -- if it be the fact -- that Libya was in some way involved in Lockerbie does not entail as a consequence that any particular Libyan citizen was implicated. The evidence led at the Zeist trial did not justify the guilty verdict against Megrahi. On that basis alone his conviction should have been quashed had the recently-abandoned appeal gone the full distance. That conclusion is reinforced (a) by the material uncovered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and (b) by the material released on Mr Megrahi's website.


  1. . 'We knew it would be comparable retaliation for the Iranian Airbus, but we were not told what the specific objective was,' Gaddafi added.

    Somebody to have used the level of English as above would have had to be highly proficient. Hence, it appears to me to have been concocted.

    There's an ongoing disinformation campaign by the US/UK? to make it look as if Megrahi/Libya were guilty.

    This is obviously to hide the framing of Megrahi and the conspiracy of the UK through its control of the judiciary to convict an innocent man.

  2. This was supposed o be in 1993? Not 2003?

    Atlantic Council promotes "U.S. leadership" of the world via "the Atlantic community" in "the 21st century." They focus on talking points and "promoting consensus on appropriate responses in the Administration, the Congress, the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and the media in the United States and among leaders in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas" and to train future leaders to fully exploit such consensus.

    Oh and Frank Duggan is excited by it. Bad sign re: credibility.

  3. Ooops, got cut off. In short, I doubt the whole exchange.

  4. "Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International".

    This is a quote from the WT website.

    When has it been able to regard anything in WT as anything but a lie.

    Really in the campaign to maintain the lie of Mr Megrahi's guilt the CIA had better try a bit better than float this cloak and daggar sub genre spy stuff.

    Did the Colonel's eyes flash cruelly as he spoke to de Borch, and did sullen houris flaunt their bellies at him, and why does the CIA scriptwriting team continue to employ B movie matinee queen scriptwriters.

  5. All the legal pundits continue to forget a few "factual" things. Mr. Megrahi was convicted by an impartial review of all the evidence. Woulda, coulda, shoulda does not count. Any "opinion" of the Scottush Review Commission which conducted, in my view, an incomplete investigation and anything Mr. Megrahi can post on his website should be disregaded. I did not agree with the verdict in the OJ Simpson case but believed him guilty. However, my opinion did not count as it was only the verdict of the court which did. All the "Lockerbie watchers" in the world can say IF IF IF--Megrahi would have been exonerated. It was his decision alone which led to his always being convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. Unless someone shows me something which will "undermine" the Zeist verdict, I too will be part of that group which believes in Libya and Mr. Megrahi's guilt.

  6. Mr Marquise,
    I understand the necessity for you to put forward such an argument. But to put all the basis of the argument on an impartial hearing is quite bizarre.
    People who have been involved in government sensitive cases can tell you that the judiciary system does not act in a partial manner n these cases. It acts at the behest of the government and its agencies to order to subvert trials. Judges in particular serve government interest rather than justice.
    Megrahi's trial was no different. It exhibited all the usual traits of a rigged trial.
    Maybe the government doesn't interfere in US trials but it does for a fact here.


    The facts about the Lockerbie- Conspiracy against Libya, must be cleared up to the full extent!
    In addition we expect opening of the SCCRC documents, which was announced to the secretary of justice Kenny MacAskill and opening the dubious employment of the defence team...
    More additions and documents published shortly on our website:

    For 2010, we wish you all good healtd and a successful and happy new year,

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  8. Dear Mr Marquise, this is extremely disappointing:
    "Any ´opinion` of the Scottush Review Commission which conducted, in my view, an incomplete investigation and anything Mr. Megrahi can post on his website should be disregaded."
    New years eve may excuse the misspelling but not the arrogance.
    Could you please tell us all why you want us to disregad the collection of documents that you were engaged in collecting? And why we should disregad the view of a commission that looked into those documents.
    As the English say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I am therefore sure that you will strongly advocate the release of every single document that was scrutinized by the SCCRC. And if you find the SCCRC research incomplete then the only reasonable conclusion should be to ask for the completion. Right?
    Nevertheless: A happy new year to you as well!

  9. The arc of history is long but it bends towards justice (Martin Luther King Jr).

    Let us hope that the truth about Lockerbie finally emerges in 2010, and that justice shines upon the wrongly convicted Abdelbaset Megrahi before he dies.

  10. Dear Mr. Marquise,

    like most other believers in Megrahi's guilt you do not want to go into the latest details. Like the rest, you refer to the decision of the court and the appeal court.

    You are of course aware that even the most respected scientist - or group of scientists - will have his/their results scrutinized by peers, and his/their reputation will help nothing if the content of the report is erratic.

    Which actually happens every now and then.

    Now, let me simply ask you a couple of direct questions:

    IF it is correct that:
    - gave those strongly differing description of the clothes-buyer during a series of interviews, and recognized different people as the buyer
    - saw a published photo of Megrahi before he attended an identification parade.
    - negotiated payment with CIA before the trial, a payment that after the conviction of Megrahi turned out to be 2M USD

    does he still qualify as witness in a trial you would call fair?

    And: would you think that you would ever find such a witness in a US or European court?

    (I have a lawyer-friend in Denmark who says that the prosecution not for a second would try to call such a witness - it would totally backfire, and could make a conviction almost impossible. "Judges are human. If you have good arguments, but are willing to present very bad ones also, you lose respect and give the defense a target.")

    I understand that. Like a scientist, that may have a good theory, but needs to include statements from discredited sources.

    Mr. Marquise, I don't believe that your answer to my questions are "yes". I think they are "no". Take it as a compliment! I also think you will not give a direct answer to my questions.

    But you can prove me wrong.

    - - -

    Just a few more questions:

    Megrahi was a Libyan security agent, travelling on false passport. He was in Malta when KM180 took off. The timer fragment might have come from Libya, but they were delivered elsewhere too. Megrahi could have bought the clothes, but only Guaci's statements says that he did. He had a relationship with Mebo.

    Did I forget something important?

    I must have, otherwise there's nothing apart from two bribed witnesses of roughly same integrity that connects Megrahi to having his hands directly in the Lockerbie crime.

    I just can't see it.

    You can - can you explain it to me?

    Did I overlook a fingerprint, or a statement from a witness we can trust?

    - - -

    It is correctly understood that there is not even a theory suggesting how the suitcase got into the plane in Malta is unfortunate.

    No witnesses who's seen Megrahi in the airport, right?
    No other suspects mentioned?
    No theory how the counting of suitcases were circumvented?

    Not a single who, where and how?
    He just did it.

    Fhimah was argued to be an essential part of this (though also no theory provided here). Then he was aquitted - no problem: you, Mr. Megrahi, just did it yourself or with somebody.

    At the witch trials the prosecution went at great length to bring witnesses and detailed confessions. Where the accused were at the time of crime, who else was there, and what happened.

    Why don't we need this here?

  11. Mr Marquise,
    Now that I've explained to you that in the UK government sensitive trials are very often rigged, could you do whatever you can to bring about a full and partial inquiry so that the whole world can make up their minds whether Megrahi was guilty or not.

  12. First--Adam--thank you for correcting my spelling and happy new year to you as well. I would welcome a release of all the "facts" uncovered by the Commission. From what I have seen to date,nothing and I mean nothing, has caused me to change my mind. I still feel the verdict of the court was correct in its verdict against Mr. Megrahi. I do not believe this is arrogance just plain and simple fact.

    I will do my best to answer the questions posed by SFM--it would be nice if you could tell me what your connection to the case is.

    Let me say first--NO witness was ever offered money to tell investigators anything. No witness, including Mr. Gauci was told he would be paid any money for anything he told us and he was never given one penny/farthing/pence/pound etc in advance of his testimony. Mr. Gauci only identified one person--Megrahi--as the purchaser of the clothing--I do not know if he was shown a picture of Mr. Megrahi in advance of his testimony. However, in 1991 he looked at an undated photo of Megrahi and identified him as the purchaser.

    Only 20 of these timers were ever made and ALL were delivered to Libyan officials. No others were ever given or sold to any other group.
    It is a fact that Mr. Megrahi was at the airport in Malta within 30 minutes of the bomb bag leaving.
    I guess it would be nice if Mr. Fhimah could have explained why he was getting Air Malta luggage tags for Megrahi in the days leading up to the bombing.
    No witnesses were ever bribed and no suspect was ever framed despite all the thoughts of a few people.
    Ruth--I am sorry that you believe that trials in the UK are "fixed"and that is sad. I do not believe there was any fix in this case but if I thought there was a fix in--I would (and I am certain many of my colleagues would) be the first to ask for a review of the verdict. Those of us involved in the investigation believed in justice and wanted a good verdict.
    I hope have answered a few questions you all have posed. I suggest if you have not, read my book on the investigation. It contains facts, not hypothesis.
    Adam, I hope I have not made too many spelling errors for your taste this time.

  13. it wasn't even a spelling error but a typing one. goodnwss gracious, a silly thing to get hung up on.

    Mr. Marquise, happy new year. It's good to see you still at it. I suspect it's harder than you make it look. You do a good job pointing out some of the errors made by doubters, and in raising intriguing circumstantial supports for the case you believe in.

    I have only one question, since a while back you posed the stumper:
    It was strange that of all the people in the world, Mr. Megrahi was in Malta the same day the clothing was purchased

    How familiar are you with the method by which it was determined the clothing purchase happened on Dec 7? I mean specific clues about the day of "the purchase"? app. 6:50 PM, Paul at home watching a Rome-Dresden football game, Christmas light set-up in Silema still not completed, raining enough to warrant buying an umbrella. Did you see how it was decided these fit with December 7, when Megrahi was there?

    Or was it really just that Megrahi was there, and the weather records are probably wrong, Paul was goofing off after the game, and the lighting committee got it wrong too.

    Or is this one of the parts you're not totally familiar with? Sorry to pester you sir.

    - Adam (a different one)

    For the record, I've got no connection to the case nor any authority to appeal to. I'm a janitor by profession.

  14. Richard Marquise:
    "NO witness was ever offered money to tell investigators anything. No witness, including Mr. Gauci was told he would be paid any money for anything he told us and he was never given one penny/farthing/pence/pound etc in advance of his testimony."

    Grounds of Appeal, para 3.1.7, page 149 (available on

    "The SCCRC has recovered undisclosed material which indicates that:
    (a) The witness Tony Gauci had, at an early stage, expressed an interest in receiving payment or compensation for his co-operation in giving evidence, and that this interest persisted until after the trial
    (b) that the witness Paul Gauci had "a clear desire to gain financial benefit" from his and his brother's co-operation and that Paul Gauci exercised considerable influence over his brother
    (c) that the US authorities offered to make substantial payments to the witness Tony Gauci from an early stage
    (d) that an application for reward monies was made on behalf of the SIO of the investigation team of the Scottish police to the US Department of Justice, after the trial, and that substantial payments were received by both Tony (in excess of $2m) and Paul Gauci (in excess of $1m) after the appeal."

  15. I do not believe the comment writer Richard Marquise is identical to the correct ex FBI task Force chief Richard Marquise! Such a naive comment to write does not come from the hand of the honest Mr. Richard Marquise…???
    by ebol

  16. I hope Prof. Black does not object to my re-posting of a relevant portion of a comment on another post.


    My other comment relates to timing and presentation. Prof. Black clearly left out the important information of the date of Mr. Duggan's e-mail, which also left the door open for any careless and ill-informed people to get whatever burr up their canal that suited their cause. What other reason could there be for Mr. Biddulph to declare this a "late announcement"? Maybe he means lately discovered, because it certainly was not released lately and certainly was not one of a kind. Even the reference that Prof. Black chose to throw in is quite misleading because De Borchgrave had published similar statements earlier, one going back to August of 2009, specifically on the eve (Aug 31) of the 40th anniversary of Gaddafi's military coup.

    And here is an older article going back to 2004, where Mr. A. de Borchgrave told essentially the same story.

    That's from six years ago. Is that recent by the standards of "those who study these things in the field"?

    And there are even older references to Gaddafi's admission, which came out in a leaked German document, reportedly heard from Gaddafi by a foreign policy advisor to the German chancellor. This item was widely circulated in western media as far back as 2001. Is that also considered recent, or is it just that the starved European fringe elements always point their tongues to the winds blowing from the west?

  17. The e-mail from Arnaud de Borchgrave to Frank Duggan is dated December 31, 2009 at 6.15pm GMT. The e-mail from Frank Duggan to me is dated December 31, 2009 at 7.21pm GMT.

    The published account that I cited is the first that pops up if you google "Borchgrave, Lockerbie".

  18. Suliman said...
    I hope Prof. Black does not object to my re-posting of a relevant portion of a comment on another post.[...]

    Well I do object to that! For a while it was Ebol´s speciality to destroy any serious debate by posting and reposting his pamphlets again and again. He seems to have stopped that and now you adopt this bad habit.

    I am still waiting for Mr Marquise to answer Professor Black´s most relevant question. And would be happy if he could answer my questions as well.

  19. Thank you, (Ein Fake) Adam, even though your approval was never in question. Your "insight," however, is always welcome.

  20. And of course I would welcome answers to the questions put by Caustic Logic.

  21. Hmmm....

    I've been looking closer at de Borchgrave. I didn't realize what a reputation he had as a talker to leaders and dismissed him too lightly. IF Gaddafy has said somehthing like admitting Lockerbie, it'd be to him. It has Gaddafy early, before 9/11, urging vigilance against international revolutionary Islamists. Etc. Has a certain plausibility, I guess...

    I know Mr. Bidulph has good reason to dismiss it outright, and perhaps so, but it's actually interesting, how it came out.

    From the first(?) De Borchgrave story, Newsmax

    dB: "He admitted Libya's guilt for the downing of Pan Am 103, but made clear that it was originally an Iranian retaliatory ...
    G: "...the Iranians subcontracted part of the job to a Syrian intelligence service, which, in turn, asked the Libyan Mukhabarat to handle part of the assignment," Col. Gadhafi explained. "That is the way these things were planned in those days. If we had initiated the plot, we would have made sure the accusing finger was pointed in the other direction and we would have picked Cyprus, not Malta, where some of the organization was done. The others picked Malta presumably to frame us."

    So it was the Syrians... who sent the Libyan... to Malta? All while the bomb was going on way up in London? Was there a separate quote where he did the admission? Because that doesn't really seem like one.

    What do you think, Mr. Marquise?

  22. And then I realiize de Borchgrave's credential and a different wording of his Malta/Cyprus issue were included right up top. I grasp things well, but not always on the first pass.

    As you've seen, the e-mail was from just the other day. But the info is years old as you point out. So any gripes that this was just invented are baseless. However what Bidulph said was "And if this information was known in 1993, why on earth did the CIA, the FBI and the Scottish Crown office not know of it in the next seven years leading up to the trial?"
    1994 and 1995 interviews didn't mention it. The trial in 2000. Nothing until an article in 2004, is that incorrect? So why is that not a "late announcement"?

    As for the recent reminder e-mail, it seems possibly inspired by my post of earlier the same day (On Libya's admission of "responsibility")

  23. Above I asked Mr. Marquise:
    How familiar are you with the method by which it was determined the clothing purchase happened on Dec 7? I mean specific clues about the day of "the purchase"? ... Did you see how it was decided these fit with December 7, when Megrahi was there?

    Or was it really just that Megrahi was there ... Or is this one of the parts you're not totally familiar with?

    Or did you stop following the comments here? I forgot that option, and it's probably the smartest approach.

  24. I'm in little doubt that the poster here is Richard Marquise. The tone of spluttering outraged self-righteousness is just bang on for his performance in the Tegenlicht documentary.

    It seems to me he has his own scenario all worked out, based on an extremely partial (in every sense of the word) reading of the evidence, and he's going to stick with that in the face of any challenge. So, nobody was ever promised money (seems not to be true, but even if it were, who really needs firm promises - a nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse, and it's obvious Paul Gauci thought this affair could make him rich, from a very early stage). Fhimah had a diary entry about Air Malta luggage tags. Megrahi was at Luqa on 21st December. Megrahi was identified by Tony Gauci as the purchaser of the clothes. Baggage tray 8849 definitely came off KM180 and definitely contained the bomb. Megrahi had business dealings with MeBo - and so on.

    He's just going to repeat these factiods, which we're all familiar with, and call them "overwhelming evidence of guilt", no matter how carefully anyone explains the blatant problems with it all. And if anyone manages to ask him a question that doesn't quite fit into that mould, then he has the classic Internet ripose - the Macavity one.

    Oh yes, it's Richard Marquise all right.