Sunday, 26 December 2010

Waiting for answers two decades later

[This is the headline over an opinion piece by columnist Mike Kelly on the website of The Record, a newspaper covering Bergen County, New Jersey. The first three and the last five paragraphs read as follows:]

Almost a quarter century ago, a terrorist bomb blew apart Pam Am Flight 103 in the icy December sky over Scotland, killing all 259 passengers, including 38 from New Jersey. Sadly, we’re still searching for the complete truth.

The latest effort to pin down the facts comes from the four US senators from New Jersey and New York. But their report, released last week, while laudable in some ways nevertheless still leaves open too many questions.

Maybe it’s politics or maybe it’s just the weird and frustrating jinx that has hampered almost every attempt to examine the Pan Am 103 bombing, but this kind of incomplete investigative work is getting tiresome. The Pan Am 103 bombing took place Dec 21, 1988 – with many of the college-age passengers flying home for the Christmas holidays from studying overseas. It’s time for some hard answers. (...)

From almost the moment that Pan Am 103 fell from the sky 22 years ago, the attempt by the US government to find answers has been a series of political brick walls. Families of some New Jersey victims were so angry with responses from President George H Bush in 1989 that they marched to the White House and placed letters in the fence.

I was there that day. Watching decent Americans try to persuade their government to provide answers about why their kids were murdered was a sad sight.

But that sad journey for answers continued through the Clinton administration and into the second Bush administration – and now, apparently, with Obama.

This latest report does not alter that journey.

In some ways, it makes the pain worse.


  1. At first I thought, at long last, a journalist from the other side of the Atlantic not just complying with the script! But then the article did not pan out the way I thought, and left me thinking, what was his point?
    Someone interpret that article for me, please, before I draw the usual conclusion.

  2. No need to draw dear Blogiston, yawn instead: less effort involved. Probably doesn't do the economy any good but it might just be better for the health and general well-being.

  3. Blogiston, I agree that this is a very puzzling article. The central portion is pretty standard US "Megrahi release" stuff. But it is topped and tailed by "Lockerbie sceptic" doctrine. The optimist in me wants to believe that the topping and tailing is what matters - and is a sign of movement - and that the middle is simply a gesture in the direction of the substantial number of New Jersey Lockerbie families who swallow the US approved version.

  4. That the writer sees the actions of the Senators as anything remotely resembling an attempt to get to the facts is a wee bit strange. The focus of their "investigation" was the release of Megrahi, not the truth about Lockerbie.

    Sorry Google only translation:

    Beware and achtdung von mein neu book, “Ich bin ein Barlinnier, witness number 548!”, about mein life and struggle (ein kind of mein kampf van zeist) make a honest Suisse Frank being pirate DJ on jolly illegal broadkasting ship which enjoy exploded by Dutch Kommandos (eureka thinks, I could make das bomb out of this!), unt ein lowly ‘clock’ maker who nice Arab secrets mens call Agent “Meister Bombastic” and who even very nicer Stassi polis mens call every month with advance to mein pro forma invoice.
    Now read trial of terrible news of Scottischeland polis mens try to make me ‘bad guy’. Quirk! like Erwin ich switch to Deutch – nicht understand bad language questions. “This one not mein bombes!” as quirkly mein nose is nose of Pinnochio nose, I have changed to Agent Gepetto poor Suisse toy maker who not kill a fly or CIA mens.
    Yes! maybe by all means like Rudi Heß I am be come a tragedy of forgotten prisoner in Spandex von Riddrie where geben hans job for crack only was to survive das holycaust mein findz myself in. No way! Zeigen mein finger at Libyans for them to take wrapping of bombes. “Yes I makes radio jingle which make your suite case go KNALL!”.
    “No Ich bein ein simple pedlar of mein granny.”
    Und like Scherazade I make tales of the Das Great Jamballiya who share mein tent across the corridor with malteser mens.
    “Yes I have BO to put in MEBO!”.

  6. Big E "Ebol" is back! But not as funny as a sequel...

    Thanks Blogiston, QR, and Prof. Black for exploring the disconnect I was perceving here. This is an odd article in the nuanced vagueness of some parts, and the usual uninformed boilerplate Americana of the rest. It almost reads like two different writers collaborating.

    One passage of note:
    The four senators ... took on the task of examining the Pam Am 103 tragedy after the incomprehensible release from prison in August 2009 of the Libyan security official who masterminded the bombing.

    They didn't examine the dang tragedy. They only take as given fact that the man released "matermiinded the bombing." Considering what one has to ignore to maintain that presumption - not just the actual facts, which are often buried beneath legal conventions, but the legal conventions themselves - the unresolved but well-founded charge that the conviction itself may have been a miscarriage of justice - clearly then this sentence becomes too long and forgets how it meant to end.

    So, no, they didn't examine the tragedy of the bombing, and in fact the subtext of everything they are doing relies on emoting over, and muscle-flexing over, and grand-standing over, but failing to re-consider, the case itself.

  7. MISSION LOCKERBIE: The trouble-hacker "Ebol" with capital letter (E) at the beginning is now on attack !

    Why a computer hacker the real "ebol" with small(e)defamed ?
    One answer may be derived from the description of the hacker through our Criminal Profiler:

    Pls. go on google translater.
    Eine Antwort kann aus der Beschreibung des Hackers durch unser Criminal Profiler abgeleitet werden:

    1.) Hinter der Person steht eine höhere politische Persönlichkeit,
    welche aus Angst vor der kommenden Wahrheit in die Opposition zu "ebol" geht, da für ihn ein grosser Prestige-Verlust auf dem Spiel steht...

    2.) Die Person muss indirekt (Familie) beziehungsweise als Gruppe, in der deutschen "Nazi Zeit" schlechte Erfahrungen gemacht haben...

    3.) Die Person muss aus "inside Informationen" überzeugt sein,
    dass Al Megrahi und Libya nichts mit der Lockerbie-Tragödie zutun hat... Das dürfte der Auslöser seiner Aktion sein...

    4.) Die Person ist voller Neid oder fühlt sich durch "MEBO/ebol"
    ebol say:
    5.) Die Person weiss, dass er in meinem Buch "The Truth Died in
    "Lockerbie" bei einem US Zivilprozess, zitiert wird...

    6.) Bald können sich die Leser in einer neuen "Lockerbie X-Factor
    Vision" von MEBO entscheiden, ob Wahrheit oder Lüge...

    7.) Der Hacker sitzt in USA, wir sind ihm bereits auf der surfer-
    digital Spur... -.-

    by ebol, Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland. URL:

  8. I thought Mr Kelly's most interesting comment was "Are we to believe that the U.S.Government, with its extensive spy apparatus - did not know ahead of time that al-Megrahi might be released? If the U.S.Government did not know, someone needs to be sent back to spy school for remedial classes."

    Are we indeed to believe that following the "Vincennes Incident" and the resources devoted to the issue (Autumn Leaves for example) the U.S.Government's extensive spy apparatus did not know in advance that flight PA103 was targeted for destruction? If they did know would they have had a motive to prevent it? Moral rectitude perhaps?