[This is the headline over a report in today's edition of The Scotsman. It reads in part:]
One of America's most senior diplomats last night issued hard-hitting criticisms of the Scottish Government and a senior Catholic cardinal when he spoke in Glasgow last night.
Louis Susman, US ambassador to the UK, strongly condemned justice secretary Kenny MacAskill's decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, and made the pointed remark that America was "not a vengeful nation" in reference to recent comments made by Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics.
Speaking at a CBI dinner in Glasgow, Mr Susman said: "We have said repeatedly we respect the right of the Scottish Government to make the decision, but we felt that the heinous nature of the crime did not justify the release under any circumstances.
"We agree with Prime Minister Cameron who said that Megrahi should not have been shown compassion when he did not show any himself.
"The fact that Megrahi lives on as a free man, 13 months after his release, in Libya, in luxurious surroundings, only reinforces our conviction that he should have served his sentence in Scotland. America is not a vengeful nation as some have said."
His last remark was seen as a pointed response to statements from Cardinal O'Brien. Last month the cardinal criticised America's "culture of vengeance" and told US Senators they had no right to question the standards of Scotland's justice system over the release of the Lockerbie bomber. (...)
In his remarks, Cardinal O'Brien condemned the American justice system and spoke of a "conveyor belt of killing" in its use of the death penalty. (...)
He said the US senators seeking to question Scottish and British government ministers should instead "direct their gaze inwards".
The Cardinal also backed Mr Salmond's decision not to send his ministers to the US for a Senate hearing, saying that Scottish ministers are answerable to Scots and not to the US. He described the decision as "thoughtful and considered". (...)
MacAskill rejected Megrahi's application to be released under a Prisoner Transfer Agreement negotiated by the UK government and Libya.
It emerged subsequently that the Libyans had delayed signing an oil deal with BP in order to pressure Megrahi to be included in the agreement, which the then UK justice secretary Jack Straw subsequently agreed to.
The revelations prompted the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee to launch a hearing into the release.
Both MacAskill and Straw were asked to attend, but both declined on the grounds they did not answer to a foreign legislature. The senators have now declared they may visit Scotland later this year to speak to MacAskill and Straw here.
[The Herald's report of the ambassador's speech can be read here.
A letter from Ruth Marr in The Herald of Saturday, 11 September contains the following:]
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi must feel that he is encircled by vultures. The latest to complain that he has not met his three-month deadline is the American ambassador to Britain, Louis Susman., speaking at the CBI Scotland’s annual dinner.