Saturday, 15 May 2010

Twentieth anniversary of report of Presidential Commission

[The following account is taken from the Wikipedia article Pan Am Flight 103.]

On 29 September 1989, President [George H W] Bush appointed Ann McLaughlin Korologos, former Secretary of Labor, as chairwoman of the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism (PCAST) to review and report on aviation security policy in the light of the sabotage of flight PA103. Oliver "Buck" Revell, the FBI's Executive Assistant Director, was assigned to advise and assist PCAST in their task. Mrs Korologos and the PCAST team (Senator Alfonse D'Amato, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Representative John Paul Hammerschmidt, Representative James Oberstar, General Thomas Richards, deputy commander of US forces in West Germany, and Edward Hidalgo, former Secretary of the US Navy) submitted their report, with its 64 recommendations, on 15 May 1990. The PCAST chairman also handed a sealed envelope to the President which was widely believed to apportion blame for the PA103 bombing. Extensively covered in The Guardian the next day, the PCAST report concluded:

"National will and the moral courage to exercise it are the ultimate means of defeating terrorism. The Commission recommends a more vigorous policy that not only pursues and punishes terrorists, but also makes state sponsors of terrorism pay a price for their actions."

Before submitting their report, the PCAST members met a group of British PA103 relatives at the US embassy in London on 12 February 1990. Twelve years later, on 11 July 2002, Scottish MP Tam Dalyell reminded the House of Commons of a controversial statement made at that 1990 embassy meeting by a PCAST member to one of the British relatives, Martin Cadman: "Your government and ours know exactly what happened. But they're never going to tell." The statement first came to public attention in the 1994 documentary film The Maltese Double Cross – Lockerbie and was published in both The Guardian of 29 July 1995, and a special report from Private Eye magazine entitled "Lockerbie, the flight from justice" May/June 2001. Dalyell asserted in Parliament that the statement had never been refuted.

[And the following account is from the Canadian Attic blog.]

A US presidential commission issued a report on the December 1988 of a Pan American jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland that had killed all 259 people aboard and 11 more on the ground. The commission said that it was not certain how the bomb was smuggled aboard the plane, but cited evidence that it was an unaccompanied suitcase loaded in Frankfurt, West Germany. The report said that the security system for US civil aviation "is seriously flawed and has failed to provide the proper level of protection to the traveling public." The commission called for greatly increased security at US airports, the creation of the post of assistant secretary of transportation for security and intelligence, and establishment of a national system for warning passengers of credible threats against airlines or flights.


  1. "The commission said that it was not certain how the bomb was smuggled aboard the plane, but cited evidence that it was an unaccompanied suitcase loaded in Frankfurt, West Germany."

    How the hell would they know that? The spurious evidence of an unaccompanied case loaded in Malta and passing through Frankfurt (the Erac printout) was available to the investigation in early 1990 (as of August 89). To say loaded in Germany is not in line with that.

    But strangely, Emerson and Duffy's insider book of this same era failed to mention the printout, was dismissive of the Malta origin theory, and still and focused on a Frankfurt loading via Jaafar. The insiders informing Bush's commission seems to have reached a similar view.

    Perhaps they were just keeping a lid on that evidence at the time, for investigative reasons.

    But we know the affected luggage container held a few bags from the interline shed at Heathrow on the bottom, and dozens from the Frankfurt feeder filling it up from the bottom-ish to top. The explosion damage is low enough it'd be irresponsible to feign certainty of Frankfurt origin.

    There's no evidence besides that printout of anything particularly suspicious coming in from Frankfurt.

    The only reported cases of the primary one's style were put in the container at interline, before the Frankfurt luggage arrived.

    So how is it that official Washington was always so certain of the fact that wherever the bomb was loaded, it wasn't London?


    Fatal consequences for Mr Abdelbaset Al Megrahi because of a Phantom Bomb-Bag from Malta!

    Trial Day 38, July 21, 2000, Kamp van Zeist:
    Mr. Gunther Kasteleiner was a traffic assistant at the baggage handling central station FAG in Frankfurt. As witness no. 799 at the trial in Kamp van Zeist he gave a wrong testimony about the 25 transfer baggages on flight PA-103/A. The question from Q was, how many items inter-line baggage are recorded?--

    Kasteleiner, sworn (original): A- Yes. That's 25 different pieces of inter-line baggages. Q: And were some of those items coded in at hall middle? A: Yes.- Q: And were others coded in V3?- A Yes.

    MEBO, correct is: 13 pieces of inter-line baggage and 12 pieces of on-line baggage (wrongly coded as inter-line) were transferred over the conveyance system in Frankfurt.

    Important: The alleged "Bomb bag" B-8849 was not from AirMalta, it was a normal on-line bag from Berlin, wrongly coded as inter-line bag:

    Tray B-8849 came from Berlin with flight PA-643 and belonged to passenger no. 131, Misses W. Wagenführ; coded in Frankfurt via counter V3-206, code S-0009+Z1307); (Prod. 1089, PTM-telex from PanAm company, after offbloc PA-643, 11:26 hour in Berlin, text: from flight PA-643 >> to PA 103B/21-LHRO/0/1/ B1 > (1 passenger+1 bag > B1) police reference DW 125;

    Important, as example:
    A luggage item from AirMalta would have been transferred inter-line on PA-103/A! PanAm PA-643 to PanAm PA-103/A is a on-line transfer.
    Because of the wrong statement from Gunther Kasteleiner (all 25 bags transfered as inter-line) the court accepted erroneously that the suitcase (Tray B-8849) came from AirMalta, KM-180...

    Thus witness Gunther Kasteleiner, traffic assistant FAG, is responsible for this fatal error, inter-line, instead of correctly on-line. Because of this error the bag B-8849 was assigned to AirMalta flight KM-180 !!!

    Jointly responsible for this fatal error is a second Crown witness (no. 835), Klaus Wunderlich (FAG), who supported the wrong statement of the accusation:

    "PanAm operated regular shuttle flights from Berlin to Frankfurt. Rather than send the baggage from these flights through the baggage conveyance system, if was standard practice to transport the baggage from the Berlin flight for PA-103/A directly in a trolley across the tarmac. If the loading of PA-103/A had not yet started, the trolley would be left in the baggage hall at the gate until the aircraft was ready for loading."

    "The baggage did not go through the baggage conveyance system, the bags which were transferred to PA-103/A in this way are not included on the KIK computer print out."(See: Crown prod. 1060).
    However according to the passenger transfer messages (PTM) from the Berlin shuttles on December 21, 1988" (Crown Prod. 1089) as stated by Klaus Wunderlich:
    >*One piece of baggage was transferred from PA-643 (which arrived at *13:05) onto PA-103/A.
    (MEBO: This time was wrong, correct is: *13:02 on-bloc!)

    > Twenty one pieces of baggage were transferred from PA-647 (which arrived at 15:05) onto PA-103/A.

    > Four pieces of baggage were transferred from PA-649 (which arrived at 16:05) onto PA-103/A.
    Important note from MEBO:
    Passenger 131, Mrs W. Wagenführ was not summoned as a witness in Kamp van Zeist. She confirmed to MEBO in an interview that her flight PA-643 was already parked on gate 41, on December 21, 1988, around *12:30.

    FACT: Prod. 1089, PTM-telex from PanAm company, conveyed after off-bloc PA-643, 11:26 hour in Berlin, text: from flight PA-643 >> to PA 103B/21-LHRO/0/1/B1 > (1 passenger+1 bag > B1) police reference DW 125. The flying time Berlin Frankfurt was approx 50 minutes, arrival FRA on-bloc 12:30 hour probably. The alleged arrival of PA-643, on-bloc 13:02 hour is wrong. The document, Gepäck-Anlieferung FA 32 (No. 0000158) was manipulated!
    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  3. Mmmmaybe, but somehow I doubt it.

  4. To Caustic Logic...

    No doubts demonstrably!


    Further wrong assumption by the BKA

    Of totally 136 luggage items loaded on flight, PA-103/A, inclusive of 25 pieces: 13 inter-line bag's (X-rayed) and 12 on-line baggage from Berlin (not X-rayed) and wrongly accepted as inter-line baggage were transfered onto shuttles flight PA-103/A, over the baggage conveyance system at airport Frankfurt.

    Important part of the passenger/luggage list, C-140V.
    It shows that according to the passenger/baggage list only 3 passengers with each 3 bags were transported on PA-103/A, but additional 3 unaccompanied and unknown inter-line bags from Lufthansa, flight LH-631, from Kuwait; dubious??

    MEBO EXAMINATION. Important:

    From the 124 passengers at Frankfurt who checked in for flight PA-103/A, only 3 passenger had each 3 luggage items, according to the passenger list C140V.
    > Passenger no. 143, T. Walker, actually traveled with his 3 luggage items (3M) with the same flight LH-631 from Kuwait to Frankfurt. Around 15:57 hour, at the transit checking counter in Frankfurt airport, Mr. Walker checked in with his 3 luggage items as tray No. B-7056, B-9531, B-11366;

    > Passenger no. 99, K. Noonan had 3 luggage items (3 M): tray No. B-3546, B-10773, B-10467. These luggage items were forwarded over the inter-line counter No. 203;

    > Passenger no. 152, J. Waido checked in 3 luggage items (3 M) at the Head Checking Counter in Frankfurt: Tray No. B-3593, B-4120, B-11511.
    An expert of the conveyance system in Frankfurt confirmed also MEBO's investigations that 3 pieces of unknown, unaccompanied inter-line baggage with tray numbers B-4809, B-6001, B-7418, had ben loaded at Frankfurt from flight LH-631 (Kuwait) to PanAm 103/A:

    Tray:B 4809 F1042 S0074+Z1444--BP--HS33+Z1514--BO44+Z1521 HM
    Tray:B 6001 F1042 S0074+Z1445--BP--HS33+Z1515--BO44+Z1522 HM
    Tray:B 7418 F1042 S0074+Z1446--BP--HS13+Z1514--BO44+Z1521 HM

    Thus it is absolutely clear that three additional inter-line luggage items (B-4809, B-6001, B-7418 coded over the inter-line counter HM-3) from flight LH-631 arriving from Kuwait and then transfered to flight PA-103/A don't belong to passenger no. 143, T. Walker as the BKA supposed falsely! An irresponsible mistake due to the BKA's sloppy investigations.

    It is not clear up today whether these three mysterious baggage items were loaded in London-Heathrow on the mainflight, PA-103 to NewYork (JFK). Commissioner Hans Jürgen Fuhl (ex Crown Witness no. 566) from the German Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau (BKA) testified at Camp van Zeist: "in Heathrow documents were destroyed"…

    Summary of the original testimony of Commissioner Hans Jürgen Fuhl from BKA (ex Crown Witness 566):
    Other organisations who were investigating the bombing in London Heathrow had taken some of the documentation before the BKA could get its hands on it. Fuhl also testified that PanAm had apparently instructed staff at Heathrow to destroy documentation. (Ref. Doc.1 Chapter 13,
    page 38)

    RESULT: On the feeder flight PA-103/A from Frankfurt to London-Heathrow not one Samsonite suitcase - the alleged bomb suitcase (B-8849) from AirMalta, flight KM-180 to PanAm flight PA-103/A - was loaded, but 3 unknown and unaccompanied luggage items from Lufthansa, flight LH-631 from Kuwait, items B-4809, B-6001, B-7418.

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland

  6. Prof. Black must have pressed the wrong button: this is Wikipedia's account of the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism (PCAST).

    Who is the author of this very informative PCAST section, I wonder?

  7. I didn't press the wrong button, Patrick. What I reproduced is section 15 "Epilogue from PCAST" of the Wikipedia article "Pan AM 103".

    I suspect that the author of the piece is one P J Haseldine.

  8. My comment is: I couldn't possibly comment!