Sunday, 5 September 2010

Megrahi's new book to reveal vital evidence he says will clear his name

[This is the headline over a report by Marcello Mega on page 44 of today's Scottish edition of The Mail on Sunday. The story does not (as yet) appear on the newspaper's website. The following excerpts have accordingly been typed out by me.]

The Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is to publish a book containing sensational new evidence he claims will clear his name.

When ... Megrahi was found guilty of planting the bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 270 people, the most crucial evidence involved a tiny piece of electronic circuit board.

Prosecutors said it had been found 35 miles from the crash site and was part of a timing device used to detonate explosives hidden in a tape recorder in luggage on the plane.

Megrahi's book will make public the results of comprehensive tests carried out by an internationally acclaimed explosives expert which cast doubt on his conviction.

The experiments -- by Dr John Wyatt, the UN's European consultant on explosives -- suggest that the 4mm square fragment of circuit board could not possibly have survived the explosion. In conditions designed to replicate the 1988 bomb as closely as possible, Dr Wyatt carried out 20 controlled explosions.

Radio-cassette recorders containing Semtex and timing devices of the type that led to Megrahi's conviction were placed within hard-shell Samsonite suitcases and surrounded by clothing matching the contents of the case that concealed the actual bomb.

The amount of Semtex used was 400g -- the amount estimated to have brought down Pan Am Flight 103.

When the Semtex in the experiments was detonated, all the circuit boards in the timing devices and the surrounding tape recorders were completely destroyed.

Last night, Dr Wyatt said his experiments proved beyond a doubt that the fragment of circuit board used to convict Megrahi could not have been part of a timing device. He claimed his research was absolutely conclusive: it simply could not have survived such close proximity to such a powerful explosion.

Dr Wyatt said: "Before carrying out the tests, I found it quite extraordinary that a 4mm fragment had survived an explosion caused by 400mg of Semtex, had been found among long grass and foliage many miles from Lockerbie and had been identifiable. Now, I find it completely unbelievable.

"The tests we carried out showed a consistency that leaves no room for doubt. So where did the fragment come from?" (...)

In Dr Wyatt's tests, circuit boards were completely vaporised in all the explosions using 400g of Semtex. Circuit boards were also vaporised in tests using considerably less explosive.

Only when the amount of Semtex was reduced to 150g -- 37.5 per cent of the quantity used -- did any trace of the circuit board survive. Even then, the remains were so small they could only be viewed and identified with a microscope.

Megrahi's conviction rested on two things: the discredited testimony of a Maltese shopkeeper paid $2 million for his inconclusive identification evidence; and the discovery of the fragment. (...)

The book will also cover forensic tests carried out on the fragment in 2008. Those tests showed no trace of explosive residue.

The two strands of evidence relating to the fragment are especially powerful as they were not considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which even without that material judged the conviction unsafe.

It referred the case back to the Court of Appeal, saying no reasonable tribunal could have found Megrahi guilty on the evidence.

Last night, Robert Black, Professor Emeritus of Scots Law at Edinburgh University ... said: "I have decided to stop commenting on new evidence because, interesting as it may be, it takes the eye off what really matters, namely, that he should never have been convicted in the first place on the flimsy evidence before the court."

[I am grateful to Marcello Mega for sending me the full, unedited, text of his article in The Mail on Sunday. It reads as follows:]

Dramatic revelations to be made in a book co-authored by the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing will send shockwaves through the Scottish justice system.
 
The book will outline in detail explosives tests carried out by an independent expert proving that a 4mm sq fragment of circuit board that was at the very heart of the Libyan’s conviction could not have survived the Lockerbie bomb, made up of about 400g of semtex.
 
Dr John Wyatt, the United Nations’ European consultant on explosives, carried out a series of 20 controlled explosions within brick and corrugated iron constructions in a secluded part of the Kent countryside.
 
Dr Wyatt revealed last night that the experiment was designed to replicate as closely as possible the conditions of the Lockerbie bomb.
 
Radio-cassette recorders, containing semtex and timing devices of the type that led to Megrahi’s conviction, were placed within hard-shell Samsonite suitcases and surrounded by clothing matching the contents of the case that concealed the bomb.
 
The circuit board was completely vaporised in all tests until the amount of semtex was reduced considerably. Only when the scientists went as low as 150g, 37.5% of the quantity that downed Pan Am 103 on 21 December 1988, did any trace of the circuit board survive, and it could only be viewed and identified through a microscope.
 
Dr Wyatt said: “We carried out the tests indoors specifically to make it easier to gather up all the residue of the explosions. Until we got down to 150g of semtex, nothing was left but dust.
 
“At 150g, we found one tiny fragment that had been part of the circuit board, and it had to be checked and identified through a microscope. Even at 150g, the device, the circuit board and the radio-cassette recorder had literally disintegrated, a far cry from the evidence presented at the trial.
 
“Before carrying out the tests, I found it quite extraordinary that a 4mm sq fragment had survived an explosion caused by 400g of semtex, had been found among long grass and foliage many miles from Lockerbie and had been identifiable. Now, I find it completely unbelievable.
 
“The tests we carried out showed a consistency that leaves no room for doubt. I don’t think it could have happened. So where did the fragment come from?”
 
That uncomfortable question would have been at the heart of the second appeal against conviction by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi, but he abandoned that appeal a year ago to speed up the process of his compassionate release as he battled prostate cancer.
 
Now, the detail of the tests, and the questions it raises, will be the corner-stone of his book, co-authored by the investigative journalist John Ashton, who latterly worked as an investigator on the defence team preparing Megrahi’s appeal.
 
The book, which may be published before the end of this year, will also outline in detail forensic tests carried out on the fragment in 2008. Those tests showed no trace of explosives residue, meaning that it had never been near the seat of an explosion.
 
The two strands of evidence relating to the fragment are especially powerful as they were not considered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which even without that additional and crucial material judged that the conviction was unsafe.
 
It referred the case back to the Court of Appeal on six grounds, the most damning of which -- especially given that three judges sat without a jury -- was that no reasonable tribunal could have found Megrahi guilty on the evidence heard.
 
Megrahi was convicted of the worst terrorist atrocity in Europe because of two things: the discredited testimony of a Maltese shopkeeper paid $2m for his inconclusive identification evidence; and the remarkable discovery of the fragment, the only piece of forensic evidence that pointed to Libyan involvement.
 
Dr Wyatt’s tests, and the publicity they will receive through publication of Megrahi’s book, will reinforce suspicions long held that the fragment was planted to implicate Libya.
 
Dr Wyatt’s qualifications and integrity are beyond question, unlike the former head of the FBI lab Thomas Thurman, who identified the fragment. Thurman did not even have a science degree and has been barred from giving evidence in murder trials after his testimony in a huge case proved unreliable and was heavily biased to favour the Crown.
 
It was widely believed that Megrahi’s second appeal would expose deep flaws in the Scottish justice system and prove embarrassing for the Crown Office and for senior Scottish and US investigators.
 
At least one former police officer has made sworn statements to the defence implicating former colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic who he says were involved in planting and manipulating evidence to fit Libya and Megrahi.
 
The weakest elements of the case have been exposed repeatedly over the past nine years, including the credibility of the Maltese shopkeeper, Tony Gauci.
 
Gauci was recorded admitting he was to be paid for his testimony, had been coached by Scottish detectives before giving evidence and had been given free holidays in Scotland arranged by his police handlers.
 
There has also been growing unease over the integrity of the fragment.
 
In a case with thousands of productions, it had already been remarked upon at Megrahi’s trial that the only production with a label that had been altered was the evidence bag containing the fragment.
 
In their written judgment, the three Scottish judges who sat without a jury said that the attempts of the police officer responsible to explain his actions were “at worst evasive and at best confusing”.
 
However, they concluded that there was no sinister reason either for the re-labelling or for the poor quality of the officer’s evidence, while offering little explanation of how they reached that conclusion.
 
In referring the case back in 2007, the SCCRC -- made up of lawyers and ex-police officers -- took pains to stress that although it believed the conviction might be unsafe, it had not concluded that evidence had been planted or manipulated.
 
But it has now emerged that although they were sent reports on Dr Wyatt’s tests, commissioners working on the case refused to consider them.
 
Legal experts believed a second appeal would certainly have seen Megrahi’s conviction quashed, but expected that it would be done on a technicality to avoid scrutiny of the controversial evidence, and especially how the fragment entered the chain of evidence.
 
Robert Black, retired professor of Scots Law at Edinburgh University and the architect of the trial in a neutral country before a panel of judges, has grown weary of the media focus on Megrahi’s controversial release just over a year ago.
 
Originally from Lockerbie, Prof Black, one of Scotland’s most eminent QCs, has even tired of hearing about the fresh revelations in the case.
 
He said last night: “I have decided to stop commenting on new evidence because interesting as it may be, it takes the eye off what really matters, that Megrahi should never have been convicted in the first place on the flimsy evidence before the court.”

[The Scottish edition of the Sun for Monday, 6 September contains a brief report about the Wyatt findings. It can be read here.]

72 comments:

  1. Hmmm, that's a bit of a two-edged sword, as an approach to proving innocence. It's relying on proving fabrication of evidence by the investigating aothorities, which is always a very difficult challenge.

    It's made all the more difficult by asserting that all the radio circuit boards were obliterated too, which challenges not just the MST-13 fragment but the Claiden fragment, which has a much stronger chain of custody than the timer fragment.

    I'd also question how relevant this is. Megrahi was never shown to have had either an MST-13 timer or a Bombeat RT-SF16 in his possession. All these items did, when identified, was point to a Libyan operation - and not even all that strongly, as in fact anyone could have acquired these items.

    The only evidence that ever pointed to Megrahi's personal culpability (after Giaka was discredited) was the Gauci identification and the entry B8849 on the Erac printout. The latter alone wouldn't be sufficient to prove guilt without the former, and the Gauci identification is quite self-evidently spurious.

    I can't help feeling that continually harping on about that bloody timer fragment is counter-productive. We all saw the Wyatt tests on TV, and the film is still available on the BBC web site. Wyatt even says at the end that he can't be absolutely 100% sure that survival of the fragment is completely impossible, from only 20 tests, which Marquise of course jumped on gleefully and said, there you go then.

    Stick to showing how you didn't buy those clothes, Mr. Megrahi, and pointing out that the strength of the baggage record evidence from Luqa points to tray B8849 at Frankfurt simply being a coding anomaly, which were admitted to occur.

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  2. ETA: I hadn't read to the end before I typed that. Prof. Black, as usual, got there first and said it better.

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  3. I often wonder how the main players in the post-trial debate, people like Prof Black and Jim Swire, have retained their dignity throughout such a long period. Watching the establishment figures playing our wonderful Scottish legal system like a piano to achieve their own ends - the continued concealment of the truth behind that dodgey conviction - must be so exhausting.

    I agree that a lookover of the original trial and what we know of the many astonishing contradictions by the good judges there is evidence enough to free Megrahi. With even the Lord Advocate guilty of gross misconduct during the trial there is certainly plenty to use.

    I am however interested in Wyatt's results even if he only did these tests 20 times. When you think of the ridiculou polls, involving small numbers of people, we are bombarded with daily about various things which the media then dress up to represent actual opinion across millions of people maybe we can question the numbers game on a number of issues. I still think tho that Wyatt's results are pretty amazing.

    I'm also increasingly concerned about the quality of legal representation Megrahi hard, particularly leading up to the dropping of the appeal. If I want to hear anything from Megrahi it is about that. I want to know who said the appeal had to go and what his legal advice was regarding this new condition. For, as we know, and as his brief would know too compassionate release did not require the dropping of the appeal. This always brings me back to MacAskill announcing he would consider both options, (PTA and Compassionate Release) simultaneously. PTA needed the appeal gone. I think considering both options at the same time was the trick MacAskill played to get the appeal gone in any case. I believe however that Megrahi's legal team could and should have challenged the tactic. I also think it was the lowest tactic imaginable to use on a man in Megrahi's condition and that compassion had nothing to do with it.

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  4. I do hope that the book by Mr. Megrahi will contain more than the old news about Mr. Wyatt´s experiments.

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  5. These are the 'fragments of the imagination' of Messrs Feraday, Hayes and Thurman:
    a. Bombeat cassette tape recorder CB fragment; and,
    b. Mebo MST-13 timer CB fragment.

    Dr John Wyatt has proved conclusively that these fragments could not have survived the explosion on Pan Am Flight 103.

    Ergo Messrs Megrahi, Ashton and Mega are therefore right and anyone disputing their conclusion must be wrong!

    Q.E.D.

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  6. MISSION LOCKERBIE:
    Abdelbaset Al- Megrahi's book will be published soon, he says will clear his name.

    New MEBO proofs confirm: Mr. Al-Megrahi have nothing to do with the PanAm 103 Tragedy, see in the context, the Air Malta Lie >>>
    go to documents no. 848.rtf. and 855.rtf. on our Webpage this afternoon.

    In german language:
    Die falsche Annahme, ein "Bomb-Bag" unter der Tray No. B-8849 sei von AirMalta Flug KM-180 auf PanAm PA-103/B transferiert worden, wurde durch Einfluss fragwürdiger BKA Untersuchungen im Flughafen Frankfurt "fabriziert" !
    Bundeskriminalamt Untersuchungsbericht ST-33 - 068507/88 , Meckenheim, verantwortlicher Kommissar, Hans Jürgen Fuhl BKA.
    02. 07. 1990, HR: 2327, Seite 19 (Prod. 0000025 Kamp van Zeist)

    Résumé: Durch mangelhafte Ermittlungen des BKA wurde den fehlerhaften Bezeichnungen auf den Worksheets und anderenfragwürdigen Überschreibungen (Manipulationen) oder fehlenden Angaben auf den Gepäckdokumenten, zuwenig Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt !
    Nur dadurch war es möglich falsch darzustellen, dass 1 "Bomb-Bag" von AirMalta KM-180 in Frankfurt auf PanAm, PA-103/B transferiert wurde.

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland
    URL: www.lockerbie.ch

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  7. I feel quite strongly that the first priority should be proving Megrahi's innocence by the ordinary methods Prof. Black outlined. The evidence that was presented in court should never have led to a conviction - even if you rather think he did it, the huge swathes of extremely reasonable doubt should have precluded a conviction. Taking it further, dispassionate examination of the evidence, even at completely face value, actually points not to "not proven" but to "not guilty". If he didn't buy the clothes, which for goodness sake of course he didn't, and there's no serious evidence that the bomb ever travelled from Malta to Frankfurt, then he has an alibi, for goodness sake!

    Only once that conclusion has been established is it time, in my opinion, to look at what the hell happened. Was this simply another case of the investigating authorities getting hung up on an erroneous theory and twisting every piece of evidence to fit that theory no matter how tenuous the inference? Or was there indeed deliberate fabrication of evidence?

    We know there was deliberate fabrication of witness testimony, in the person of Giaka. That's damning enough, for goodness sake, and it's a matter of public record. Colin Boyd lied to the court! However, was there also fabrication of physical evidence?

    Personally, I rather think so. The level of suspicion hanging over that MST-13 timer fragment is a helluva lot of smoke for there to be no fire under it. Proving it, though? That's a lot harder, and it seems quite perverse to make such a big issue of this as if it was essential to prove Megrahi's innocence when it simply isn't.

    The other item Dr. Wyatt doesn't seem to have mentioned, and I don't understand why not, is Mrs. Horton's fragment of the radio manual. That's the piece of evidence I find least likely to have survived as claimed, and just look at the way it appears, with the sections of print remaining being exactly the parts needed to get that crucial ID of the Toshiba model sold to Libya.

    The fragment of radio circuit board found by Mr. Claiden is a lot more problematic. He found something, at a pretty early stage, and the provenance hasn't seriously been questioned (of course it's possible for a tiny flake of circuit board to ricochet backwards into a plate on the outside of the baggage container!). However, the preservation of these delicate white serial numbers in the heat of that explosion is something else, and wasn't it just so convenient that these serial numbers were so helpful in narrowing down the make and model?

    The trouble is, it's very very difficult to get any investigating body to look seriously at the work of another investigating body, taking seriously the premise that evidence may have been fabricated. The SCCRC wouldn't wear that one. Given that difficulty, I'm convinced that pressure to accept Megrahi's innocence needs to be based on the uncontroversial points of the Gauci identification and the absence of evidence from the bomb travelling from Luqa to Frankfurt. Allegations of tampering with physical evidence are a separate matter, and not at all necessary to show that the conviction is thoroughly unsound.

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  8. Re that 'bloody timer fragment':

    Certainly it would be easier to persuade those with the power to launch a new inquiry if we don't stress the implication that it might expose malfeasance on the part of our agencies and those of our allies.

    However... firstly, it could be argued that the BTF was ultimately responsible for Megrahi's conviction. The implication of the Opinion of the Court is that the judges took the BTF to be absolutely conclusive proof of the Libyan origin of the bomb. Forensic evidence is scientific and as such outweighs all else (cf. the conviction of Barry George.) It was Libya what done it; Megrahi is Libyan; therefore Megrahi done it. Hence the perverse interpretation of all the other evidence. Science has spoken.

    Secondly, while the BTF remains unchallenged, any exoneration of Megrahi is likely to be painted by Marquise, Duggan et al as 'technicalities'.

    Thirdly, isn't it likely that if the investigation is ever reopened, even with Megrahi out of the frame,
    McKnacker will restrict the scope to Libya unless there is some reason to doubt the clear implication of the BTF?

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  9. I agree entirely with pete.

    The 'scientific' evidence against Abdelbaset Megrahi is utter rubbish. It has to be tarred and feathered, and thrown out of court: no point at all in pussyfooting about.

    Messrs Feraday, Thomas and Thurman should be charged in Scotland with perverting the course of justice.

    Messrs Gauci and Giaka should repay the (millions of US $) bribes they were given for their false testimony.

    And those who authorised the illicit payments to Gauci and Giaka should be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to answer some very serious charges.

    Mr Megrahi is demonstrably and clearly innocent of sabotaging Pan Am Flight 103: the formality of a second appeal in the High Court of Justice in Edinburgh is surplus to requirements.

    Enough is enough!

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  10. The BFT (I like it) was ostensibly what sent the investigation turning towards Libya as the presumed culprits. It didn't implicate Megrahi personally at all.

    Being at Luqa airport when the bomb had (allegedly) been smuggled on to KM180, and having (allegedly) bought those clothes from Tony Gauci, was what implicated Megrahi personally.

    That was the circular reasoning. Why was it decided that tray B4489 was the bomb bag and not just a coding anomaly (when after all there was evidence there was no unaccompanied luggage on KM180, and whatever was in that tray was x-rayed by Kurt Maier who saw no radio, and coding anomalies weren't undeard-of)? Because the man who bought the clothes was right there when that flight took off, that's why.

    Why was it decided that Tony's vague and insubstantial identification meant "beyond reasonable doubt" that Megrahi had actually been the purchaser? Because he was at the airport when the bomb was smuggled on the plane, obviously.

    Round and round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows.

    I don't care if Marquise calls it a technicality, the conviction should be quashed on that ground anyway. Once it is accepted that the Gauci identification is spurious, tray B8849 becomes a coding anomaly, end of story.

    Then we start asking what else these bastards pulled in their eagerness to get a Libyan convicted of this atrocity. And if PCBs didn't survive that blast, ask Dr. Wyatt what happened to the pages of the radio's manual, also packed with it in the box.

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  11. Messrs Feraday, Thomas [Hayes?] and Thurman should be charged in Scotland with perverting the course of justice.

    Messrs Gauci and Giaka should repay the (millions of US $) bribes they were given for their false testimony.

    And those who authorised the illicit payments to Gauci and Giaka should be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to answer some very serious charges.

    Mr Megrahi is demonstrably and clearly innocent of sabotaging Pan Am Flight 103: the formality of a second appeal in the High Court of Justice in Edinburgh is surplus to requirements.


    That's all very well. One might agree entirely. Actually I do. But by what mechanism might this desirable outcome be achieved?

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  12. Messrs Feraday, Hayes and Thurman should be charged in Scotland with perverting the course of justice.

    Messrs Gauci and Giaka should repay the (millions of US $) bribes they were given for their false testimony.

    And those who authorised the illicit payments to Gauci and Giaka should be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to answer some very serious charges.

    Mr Megrahi is demonstrably and clearly innocent of sabotaging Pan Am Flight 103: the formality of a second appeal in the High Court of Justice in Edinburgh is surplus to requirements.


    How might this desirable outcome be achieved?

    It has to start in Scotland: first off, Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, should make a detailed statement on all of these aspects in the Scottish Parliament.

    Upon which, the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, should institute criminal proceedings against all of those involved.

    Simple: go Kenny!

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  13. Fine. How are you going to make him do this?

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  14. Are we talking about the same Kenny MacAskill who declared the original trial and verdict sound, yes?

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  15. I managed to make Margaret Thatcher see the error of her ways 22 years ago.

    What's Kenny MacAskill by comparison?

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  16. I have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed by that. Kenny MacAskill knows perfectly well Megrahi was stitched up. He has his own reasons for behaving in the way he's doing, which I'd cheerfully torture out of him given half a chance.

    I don't see any serious prospect of persuading him into a U-turn any time soon.

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  17. This is the text of an e-mail that I sent this morning to Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill:

    Dear Mr MacAskill,

    Statement to Parliament: Fabricated Evidence at the Lockerbie Trial

    I should be grateful if you would make a statement to the Scottish Parliament concerning the fabrication of evidence which was used to convict Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi in the Lockerbie trial.

    At least three people were involved in the deception: two were prosecution witnesses at the trial - Alan Feraday and Dr Thomas Hayes. The discredited FBI explosives laboratory manager, Thomas Thurman, was not called to testify.

    Full details are given in my published article which was removed from Wikipedia in June 2009.

    As a result of your statement in Parliament, I expect the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, to prosecute the named individuals for perverting the course of justice.

    Yours sincerely,

    Patrick Haseldine
    HM Diplomatic Service
    (1971-1989)

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  18. [Rolfe decides not to hold breath....]

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  19. Seriously, I think this sort of thing is genuinely counter-productive. Giving the impression that Megrahi's innocence is mainly supported by a bunch of kooks and weirdos isn't necessarily going to help him any.

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  20. I wouldn't go so far as to describe Messrs Feraday, Hayes and Thurman as a bunch of kooks and weirdos.

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  21. Rolfie,

    I am not a kook or wierdo.

    Fereday, Hayes, Thurman and Orkin, whose name I know, are minor villains of this piece, Tomas Cattermole and Rupert Hantzauman bigger ones and HW Bush, no pseudonym, the biggest of the lot. But there are many many others.

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  22. IF Megrahi believes he's so innocent, rather than write a book, which will do little good, outside of add to the CTs "argument", why doesn't he join in with his supporters and push for the UN inquiry? ANSWER: Because he has ZERO evidence to back up his "innocent" claim. OR, he's afraid more evidence will come out about his murderous misdeads. Megrahi will (soon, hopefully) die GUILTY AS CONVICTED.

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  23. Still indulging in argument by blatant assertion, Bunntamas?

    I missed your short sojourn at JREF, because I was on holiday. I read the thread. You didn't have the slightest shred of evidence or argument or reasoning to support your assertion.

    You going to come back with some reasoned argument any time?

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  24. Interesting how you all miss me so.
    Sure. Happy to continue the discussion. As soon as Megrahi does, per above.

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  25. Do I interpret that as you backing off? Aw, come on! Turn the Megrahi thread into a rival to the Amanda Knox thread, why don't you?

    The Amanda Knox argument is north of 20,000 posts as far as I can see (they had to start a new thread), because there are people there who have a secure grasp of the evidence, some of whom believe she's innocent and some guilty.

    The problem with the Megrahi thread is that nobody with a secure grasp of the evidence thinks he's guilty. Which makes for a one-sided and intermittent discussion.

    You alone could change all that! (If you troubled to acquire a secure grasp of the evidence, that is....)

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  26. My goodness, changing the subject to Amanda Knox and blaming me for it??? Pot... Kettle....you really DON'T have a life, do you? Poor Rolfie.

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  27. Here's an idea, if you have so much time on your hands, whilst pining bout my next post and blathering here and on JREF, how 'bout you and all the others who think Megrahi is innocent form a little get together with Megrahi, Seeussi, Kussa, et.al in Tripoli. Hmmm??? Considering Pr.Black's relations, I'm sure he could arrange it. Unless of course you're concerned about being kidnapped or murdered in Libya by those upstanding chaps you all support so strongly.

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  28. No, not changing the subject, just wondering if anyone who can defend the conviction of Megrahi with actual rational argument will ever show up on JREF.

    There seem to be a number of people who can do that with the Amanda Knox conviction, as can be seen by dropping into that enormous thread.

    But if you don't think you're up to it, I understand.

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  29. Upstanding? Did I ever say I thought Libya wasn't a terrorist state, or Megrahi a JSO officer?

    The thing is, Bunntamas, maybe it works in your world that someone can be convicted of something he didn't do just because of a general impression that he must have done something bad, so that's OK. In my view, that one isn't valid for defendants over the age of about twelve.

    I'm a bit pissed-off that the justice system of my country doesn't seem to have learned a damn thing since 1752, and the fact that the guy they stitched up might not have been a spotless angel is entirely beside the point.

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  30. YAWN...

    And still completely lacking any reasoned argument, I see.

    Bunntamas, I can't help feeling that if you were really so secure in your beliefs as you claim to be, you wouldn't be here at all. You'd be getting on with whatever you do for a life. After all, you've got what you want, haven't you? A conviction and a dropped appeal.

    If it's still bothering you to this extent, why not try to explain what evidence you think proves Megrahi had a hand in the bombing, then? Not evidence that he might have done other stuff we don't really know about, evidence he actually participated in the bombing of PA103.

    As it is, you just come over as protesting too much.

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  31. Thanks for your honesty re: Megrahi's possible involvement as a JSO Officer, (about whom Libya apologized for their "officer's" involvemet in the PA 103 bombing) Rolfe.
    I'm a bit surprised myself at the fact that Scots have fought so hard for so long for independence, and it just happened in the past decade, and now are pointing fingers at the UK for the release of Megrahi. Rather sad.
    I haven't followed YOU for all that long, so I'm not sure what you have or haven't said about Libya being a terrorist state, or Megrahi being a JSO officer.
    I'm just saying there was a LOT more evidence against Megrahi than simpy where the bomb may have been placed. I don't believe that it was a simple coincidence that he was at Luqa on the day of the bombing, that he traveled there on a false passport, and that he was a known associate of Bollier's, and rented office space from him. All of the evidence combined, circumstantial or not, was enough to make the judges and me believe he is guilty. Carry on with your "where the bomb was planted" antics. Good luck with that.

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  32. Bunntamas, I can't help feeling that if you were really so secure in your beliefs as you claim to be, you wouldn't be here at all.
    Rolfe, I'm not the one who has thousands of posts on JREF about this, and lord knows how many here. And who is pining about when I post. Get a life. Oh, and whilst you go on and on about me answering YOUR questions, how about you answer mine? WHAT is YOUR involvement in this case? WHY are YOU so hell bent on proving Megrahi's innocence? Other than nothing better to do with your time????

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  33. It intrigues me. And I'm mad as hell that the justice system of my country hasn't moved on a bloody inch since 1752, on this evidence.

    I'm especially intrigued that not one single person of all those who profess to be certain Megrahi is guilty, can make any coherent case at all other than sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting "he was convicted".

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  34. Thanks again for your honesty. I too, would be mad as hell if I were you. Is that your motive? Are you simply pissed about your government?

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  35. I'm not simply sticking my fingers in my ears. I'm listening. I heard the verdict IN PERSON and read the judges answers. They took ALL of the evidence into consideration; NOT just the one point about the bomb origin into consideration. It is astounding to me how you continue to pound that point home while neglecting all of the other evidence, and admitting that Megrahi and Libya are / were terrorists.

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  36. Bunntamas, you're a long way behind the curve on Libya's "acceptance of responsibility" if you think anybody there admitted they had any involvement in Lockerbie. It's what they call "playing with words".

    Megrahi had to be somewhere on the day of the bombing, like the rest of us. If where he was wasn't where the bomb went into the baggage system, that's not much of a point. Sure, he was probably up to something. Just, not apparently that particular something.

    Also, I think rather a lot of people knew Edwin Bollier. And have my sincere sympathy. So, one of the many people who knew Edwin Bollier was travelling undercover on the morning of the bombing, at an airport where there isn't a shred of evidence the bomb was introduced.

    This isn't stacking up to a lot, I have to say.

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  37. Thanks again for your honesty. I too, would be mad as hell if I were you. Is that your motive? Are you simply pissed about your government?

    I'm complex mad as hell about our criminal justice system. It's actually a bit scary to realise that such an obvious stitch-up can get through the courts for pure political motives.

    And yes, since the whole business about the appeal being dropped, I'm also mad as hell with Kenny MacAskill and Alex Salmond. Which is a bit weird too, as I'm a long-standing member of their political party and would actually vote for them with my actual dying breath.

    You don't say much about the appeal. Most convicts would be ecstatic if the SCCRC said they had one ground of appeal. They said Megrahi had six. He didn't buy those clothes you see, and after you realise that, the rest of it collapses in a heap.

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  38. It's what they call "playing with words".

    Isn't that what you do all day long in your thousands of blog and JREF posts?
    Megrahi had to be somewhere on the day of the bombing, like the rest of us.

    Okay, now I'm REALLY FOTLMAO

    This isn't stacking up to a lot, I have to say.

    No kidding. As I said before, you keep pounding that point home, and ignoring all of the other evidence.

    Keep trying. And while you're at it, maybe try answering my question as to why you're so involved. Are you a family member? Do you know someone who was murdered by Megrahi / Libya? Or am I correct in my assumtion that you have nothing better to do with your time? What gives? If you're so concerned, why don't you do something more than simply blathering away on blogs and forums? Why don't you create something, do something that actually produces results, like the families did? Scared of getting too close to those terrorists are you? Hmmm????

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  39. I'm tempted to say it beats cleaning my room, and my mother wants me to go to bed now, but you might get the wrong idea from that (though it's true).

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  40. correction: assumption. Sorry. Typing too fast.

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  41. Thanks again for your honesty. Pathetic as it may be.

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  42. ...not to mention yet another diversion.
    I'm out now. Keep pining. And good luck with that room cleaning. Off to bed with you now little one. Hope you don't have scary dreams about terrorists.

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  43. ...murdering your loved ones.

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  44. They took ALL of the evidence into consideration; NOT just the one point about the bomb origin into consideration.

    Yes, it's called circular reasoning. My point is that the alleged routing of the bomb is the only piece of direct evidence pointing (vaguely) towards Megrahi that's still got even the smallest amount of mileage in it.

    Giaka was lying in his teeth, for money, because the CIA threatened to drop him like a hot potato unless he testified to Megrahi and Fhimah being involved in the bombing.

    Megrahi wasn't the person who bought those clothes from Tony Gauci. That's what the SCCRC report, the part we know about, was all about. Wrong age, wrong height, wrong build and wrong day. Tony's best effort only said he wasn't the man who bought the clothes, but he resembled him.

    At that point, there's nothing left. Lots of people knew Bollier. Lots of Libyans knew Bollier. Lots of Libyans were in the JIC. Why this one? Because he was at Luqa airport that morning. But if the bomb was never anywhere near Luqa, which is what the evidence supports, that's it.

    Only if Megrahi bought the clothes, could the judges torture the baggage evidence to decide the bomb travelled on KM180. But he didn't buy the clothes.

    But hey, it was Megrahi's presence at the airport that morning that was the reason the judges decided Tony's "not the man I saw in my shop" should be interpreted as "yes he is the man I saw in my shop".

    Did I mention circular reasoning?

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  45. Hope you don't have scary dreams about terrorists. ...murdering your loved ones.

    Maybe I will. Because whoever bombed that plane, that landed not that far from where I'm sitting right now, is still out there somewhere, and we dont know who it was.

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  46. I'll say it again, Bunntamas. If I thought Megrahi had bought those clothes, I'd be agreeing with you. But even though I wasn't at Zeist, I can read. He didn't buy the clothes.

    If there was even balance of probabilities evidence that the bomb travelled on KM180, while that wouldn't be enough to sustain a conviction without the clothes purchase, I'd agree with you that it all looked bloody suspicious. But there's no decent evidence at all that the bomb was ever within a thousand miles of Luqa airport.

    You can witter on all you like about Libyan evil-doing and who Megrahi knew, but a man should not be convicted for mass murder just because you don't like his background.

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  47. Keep Trying. Until you can prove it with your government, and can aswer why Megrahi hasn't joined you and your other crank posters, your just a bunch of nonsense on the internet, and the verdict stands. Maybe you and Jo can get a deal on a ticket to Libya for a meeting with those terrorists you think didn't buy those clothes. Like I said in my previous post, maybe Kusa will show you around the prison and explain to you "the rest of the story".
    Have fun.

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  48. correction: you're just a bunch of nonsense...

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  49. You are very silly Bunntamaas, or whatever your name is. You can read my theory at adifferentviewonlockerbie.blogspot.com

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  50. MISSION LOCKERBIE: attn. Bunntamas,
    sorry only a computer "Babylon" translation German/English:

    Mr. Bunntamas be afraid of the TRUTH like the devil the dedicating water.
    Please they notice, it give a fact which show that Mr. Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi alias "Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad" with its visit on 20th -21st December 1988 in Malta, absolut nothing can have to do with the PanAm 103 attempt !
    +++
    Mr. Bunntamas, fürchtet die WAHRHEIT wie der Teufel das Weihwasser.
    Bitte merken sie sich, es gibt eine Tatsache welche zeigt, dass Mr. Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi alias "Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad" mit seinem Besuch am 20.-21. Dezember 1988 in Malta, absolut nichts mit dem PanAm 103 Attentat zutun haben kann !

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland. URL: www.lockerbie.ch

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  51. Until you can prove it with your government,

    My government knows perfectly well Megrahi was stitched up.

    and can aswer why Megrahi hasn't joined you and your other crank posters,

    There's a sense in which Megrahi as a person is almost irrelevant to this. What pressures he is under and what he chooses to do with the time he has left are his own affair, and unless he actually comes out and shouts "Bwahaha, fooled you, I really did it!", this really has no bearing on the issue.

    your just a bunch of nonsense on the internet, and the verdict stands.

    I'll spell this out again. You don't have to keep repeating that the verdict stands, we know that. You're like a man continually butting into a discussion about whether marijuana should be legalised, screaming "but it's ILLEGAL". Yes, we get that.

    Maybe you and Jo can get a deal on a ticket to Libya for a meeting with those terrorists you think didn't buy those clothes.

    "Those terrorists" - you think more than one man bought those clothes? That's not what Tony Gauci said. And he said that man wasn't Megrahi, too. So I don't really know where I'd have to go, in the highly unlikely event of me wanting to meet the person who did buy them, because we don't know who that was. Probably not Libya though.

    Like I said in my previous post, maybe Kusa will show you around the prison and explain to you "the rest of the story".

    One of these days you might explain what this comment has to do with Lockerbie. I have to say I'm not holding my breath though.

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  52. I think the reference to Kusa must be to Musa Kusa, Moussa Koussa in French translation and Moses Koses in some English translation.

    Very much a fixer of the Libyan regime, and sometimes said to be a son of the Colonel, he appaers in many shady enterprises. He was thrown out of Britain in the 1970s or 1980s when he was a member of the Libyan Peoples' Bureau or Embassy for killing Libyan dissidents living here.

    His name has occasionally be associated with Lockerbie. He was subjected to a difficult interview with JLB the French examining magistrate over UT-772, where he is reported in quite human language and having turned pale at the questions put to him.

    He became a little prominent again over the Libyan nuclear issue.

    The French did not include him in their charges over UTA.

    e may be something of an MI6 asset, at the same time as working for JSO/ESO.

    But there the curtains of omerta fall silently shut. Not a nice man to know, or do business with, I suggest.

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  53. Neither was Ahmed Jibril a nice man to know or to do business with. Ahmed Jibril and his henchmen had the means, motive and opportunity to carry out the Lockerbie bombing. We know far more about the connections of these people to terrorism than we know about Megrahi. We know they had actual bombs in their possession extremely similar to the bomb identified as causing the Lockerbie crash. We could go through all the hints and rumours of secret meetings involving Jibril and Iran in which the Lockerbie bombing was planned.

    No doubt Bunntamas would exclude Jibril and his gang from suspicion on the grounds that we have no evidence linking any of these people to the actual planting of the bomb.

    If, however, we also have no evidence linking Megrahi to the actual planting of the bomb, and it seems we don't, where's the logic in preferring him over Jibril, or any of the squillions of other terrorists or suspected terrorists kicking around western Europe?

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  54. But not as much as we know about Mr Behbahani and the CIA

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  55. If simply having a connection to known or suspected terrorists was enough to prove guilt, we might as well convict Jerry Adams.

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  56. Rolfe raises an interesting Irish question.

    There was some discussion that the Maltese clothing might have had an Irish provenance; Perhaps the CIA had considered the PIRA as a possible target at one point.

    Nonsense of course. No Irish terrorists have ever used air terror, and would not have done against the country the source of their NORAID funds. MI5 also probably didn't like the idea, as by the early nineties, UK-Irish freedom politics was inching towards a cease fire and peace agreement.

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  57. So, back on topic here, The article for these comments refers to John Wyatt as "the UN's European consultant on explosives" What the actual text from the link says is: "the U.N.'s blast consultant for Europe and North Africa, the British Council's Consultant Worldwide and a Member of the London Olympic Group. [emphasis added, but not in caps :)]

    Hmmmm.... bias??? conflict???

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  58. Can't see that Bunntamas. Bob Baer speaks Arabic is an expert on middle eastern, Afghani and other policies, has claimed himself as a bomb maker for the CIA, and has nothing to do with Pan Am 103 whatsoever.

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  59. Hmmmm.... bias??? conflict???

    Is that a suggestion that Dr. Wyatt fabricated his findings?

    If you're so quick with accusations of fabrication, then why not look at forensic "scientists" with a proven track record of fabricating cases to suit the prosecution, and ask whether thay are inevitably to be trusted as regards Lockerbie?

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  60. Rolfe is quite right here.

    I don't think that Dr Wyatt need have repeated his experiment twenty times, getting the same result, and it would have been better to try out different configurations in some of the tests - say four groups of five similar teats each, but given that he did, he has proved beyond all possible reasonable doubt his conclusions.

    May we make this a benchmark which proves beyond reasonable doubt that the Toshiba chip evidence and that from near on in the Newcastleton Forest is faked?

    Over to you Mr Henerson and Mr Marquise!

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  61. "teats" should be read as "tests" Sorry. Two 503s

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  62. Charles, I don't think it's that simple.

    If you really drill down into the provenance of the timer fragment, and Mrs. Horton's manual page (which I really, really wish Dr. Wyatt would cover in his reports), it's possible to see that fabrication is indeed possible. Who, where, why, when, how, the lot.

    It's not nearly so easy with the Claiden Toshiba fragment. Mid-January is implausibly early for deliberately fabricated material to be showing up. Unilke the other items, this chip was noticed by its finder and pegged as potentially significant at the time, making it highly unlikely to have been switched for something else at a later date. And indeed the forensic provenance doesn't really have a window for such a switch to have taken place.

    For these reasons, I had been inclined to treat it as genuine. If the Wyatt tests really do rule it out as having been a part of the IED, then it throws quite a lot back into the melting pot. Could it have been from an innocent radio packed in a suitcase near the IED?

    What does that say about the Maltese clothes? If it's also impossible that they could have survived if they were wrapped round the IED as described, then a lot more becomes inexplicable. Tony Gauci definitely remembered a tall dark stranger buying these clothes about a month before the crash. If that person was an innocent passenger, or had passed the clothes on to an innocent passenger, then why hasn't this surfaced?

    Yes, I know you're going to hand-wave all these problems away with reference to your preposterous conspiracy theory, but it's not that easy. The probability is that the Claiden fragment and the Maltese clothes are genuine. Thus I still wonder if there is some problem with the Wyatt tests we're not fully appreciating. He was trying to replicate the forensic conclusions about how the IED was constructed, but what if these forensic conclusions were in error in some crucial respect?

    I feel there's still quite a lot of explaining to do before we can absolutely accept Dr. Wyatt's findings as proving what they're said to prove.

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  63. If you really drill down into the provenance of the timer fragment, and Mrs. Horton's manual page (which I really, really wish Dr. Wyatt would cover in his reports), it's possible to see that fabrication is indeed possible. Who, where, why, when, how, the lot.

    == If Wyatt had covered it in his reports, he would have had nothing to say. There could have been no fragment of a manual from a brisant explosion.

    == Mrs Horton complained that she was shown a fragment of manual at the trial that was heavily damaged (what she had handed in in her recollection had not been and was singed. She was in her '60s at the time of her finding, so about 70 at the time of the trial, and nobody has ever tried to assert she was a "confused old lady". Give credit where it is due.

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  64. It's not nearly so easy with the Claiden Toshiba fragment. Mid-January is implausibly early for deliberately fabricated material to be showing up. Unilke the other items, this chip was noticed by its finder and pegged as potentially significant at the time, making it highly unlikely to have been switched for something else at a later date. And indeed the forensic provenance doesn't really have a window for such a switch to have taken place.

    == I don't see that. There isn't any timetable to produce falsified evidence (which you are on the point of accepting as falsified). It is deployed as needed.

    Only a few weeks later the Channon statement of "among baggage from the Frankfurt flight" will be deployed.

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  65. What does that say about the Maltese clothes? If it's also impossible that they could have survived if they were wrapped round the IED as described, then a lot more becomes inexplicable. Tony Gauci definitely remembered a tall dark stranger buying these clothes about a month before the crash. If that person was an innocent passenger, or had passed the clothes on to an innocent passenger, then why hasn't this surfaced?

    ==But Mr Magrahi was not a tall dark stranger (of around 60 years old)

    ==Has Mr Le Winter, around 60 and an Arabic speaker with a Libyan accent told us where he was in the Autumn of 1988.

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  66. Yes, I know you're going to hand-wave all these problems away with reference to your preposterous conspiracy theory, but it's not that easy. The probability is that the Claiden fragment and the Maltese clothes are genuine. Thus I still wonder if there is some problem with the Wyatt tests we're not fully appreciating. He was trying to replicate the forensic conclusions about how the IED was constructed, but what if these forensic conclusions were in error in some crucial respect?

    == With respect Rolfie, I have hand-waved nothing. I cannot speak for RARDE or Dr Wyatt bu the former seems incredible to believe and the latter quite easy.

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  67. Charles, as I've said before, this is not an appropriate forum for detailed discussions of this nature. Your suspension at JREF is now over. Either come back there and debate like a civil adult, or drop it.

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  68. Rolfe, I'm not coming back to Randi. It's a pile of tosh.

    Except to say I'm not coming back.

    It is interesting that nothing has been posted for almost a week since I haven't been there.

    These people are lazy cowards who don't want to think, and then only when provoked to spout nonsense.

    I have better things to do with my time.

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  69. Charles, there have been over 30 posts in your thread since you were suspended. Some of them asking you serious questions for you to answer on your return.

    If you'd spend a fraction of the time explaining your theory clearly and answering questions about it, than you do insulting people and declaring that they're worthless, you might get on a bit better.

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  70. Pete said: "Certainly it would be easier to persuade those with the power to launch a new inquiry if we don't stress the implication that it might expose malfeasance on the part of our agencies and those of our allies."

    I have a certain sympathy with this approach. I have tried to pass as little judgement on the agencies as I possibly can, and one Agency in particular.

    My line has largely been that in the face of the downing of IR-655 by the Vincennes (we cannot avoid the fact that that aircraft was downed by a US vessel) and in the face of virulent demands by the Iranian mob (I can use no more accurate word than that), the US Government of the time had to treat with Iran in some way. It approached the Iranian government, which while being equally offended by the destruction of its aircraft, were more plaisant in meeting US needs to limit the fallout of the atrocity than the mob. Remember the comment of the Gulf Iranian ambassador, when he basically says that Iran will have its revenge but in its own time, this within a week or ten days of the downing.

    I am only accusing the US negotiator, whom I call Dominic Brandone, of being a realist; but sometimes realists have deal in policies which, if served boiled and cut up cold, they and their governments could never admit to. As often is the business of the shabby and unsavoury deals that make up what is laughingly known as international relations.

    The US Government could not publicly say "we have negotiated with Iran for its revenge for IR-655, and they will be allowed to destroy one US aircraft in reply" and that means about 290 American and other lives. Sorry, but there it is."

    Then it is faced with further shabby compromises with the British and Germans (not Heathrow, not Frankfurt) knowing full well that they have to come up with some plausible story and someone to hang the blame on.

    It would be nice if clear light of reason would now prevail and the US establishment would admit to the truth of the matter, but it has got itself so compromised by its lies and chicanery, now, that it cannot ever do so.

    Portray HW Bush as a trigger happy cowboy, the stranger in town who goes into a saloon and lets off his six-shooter at random? No siree!

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