[What follows is an excerpt from Howard Hodgson's column The world around us in today's edition of The Malta Independent on Sunday.]
Not content with attempting to make a villain of BP over the Gulf oil spill in a vain attempt to deflect attention away from his own disastrous presidential performance, as I reported in June, Barak Obama has now attempted another spin trick worthy of even the ghastly Tony Blair and his hypocritical and morally bankrupt lieutenant Alistair Campbell.
America’s first mixed race President, when his politically motivated attacks on ‘British’ Petroleum failed to turn the tide of public disapproval of him, decided, instead of listening to the reasons for the disquiet, to launch another smokescreen by questioning whether perhaps BP had influenced the British and Scottish governments into releasing the convicted Lockerbie Bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.
You will recall that on 21 December 1988, Pan Am 103 exploded in mid air over Lockerbie in Scotland killing some 270 people in total, a high percentage of which were US citizens.
Eventually, al-Megrahi was convicted of this atrocity, despite protesting his innocence and with many feeling that the conviction was unsafe due to the amount of conflicting and dubious evidence. He was sentenced to serve life in a Scottish jail.
Then in 2009, he was released on humanitarian grounds due to the fact that Scottish doctors said that he had only a matter of weeks to live given the terminal nature of the cancer he was suffering from.
Many Americans, not least relatives of those slaughtered, were appalled – a feeling that became more intense when al-Megrahi was still alive a year later. This was not always an emotion shared by relatives of the British victims, some of whom seemed to have studied the case more closely and were far less convinced of his guilt.
Nevertheless, as al-Megrahi was convicted in a proper court of law, one can perhaps sympathise with those who thought that he should die in prison given the nature of his crime.
Now enter stage left America’s inept President Obama, who suggests that BP had enlisted Gordon Brown’s corrupt British government to offer the release of al-Megrahi as a sweetener to Colonel Gaddafi in order to land a 900-million-dollar deal with Libya.
Therefore, a wicked British government had colluded with a wicked ‘British’ company (38 per cent US owned against 39 per cent UK owned and boasting more US employees than British by the way) to help a wicked murderer be re-united with his wicked boss Colonel Gaddafi. What a very convenient distraction despite the denials of BP and the British, Scottish and Libyan governments. But who knows the truth? Certainly not me.