Monday, 25 April 2011

British squeeze "rebel council" leaders in secret deals for more cash

[This is the headline over an article published yesterday on the Libyan government-supporting Mathaba news agency website. It reads in part:]

The rebel administration based out of Benghazi has said that it signed an apology for "the Gaddafi regime's role in IRA attacks and the Lockerbie bombing under pressure from the British government", and that the document is the result of "misunderstanding".

Asked to explain how it can be a "misunderstanding" to sign such a "monstrous document" sources said that it was not meant to become public and that the rebels were anxious to do anything they were told by the British, in order to have their support.

After initially denying that the document even existed, the rebels' governing "revolutionary council" acknowledged that its chairman, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, had indeed signed an apology on behalf of the entire Libyan people (!) for "Gaddafi's provision of semtex used in IRA bombings and for the blowing up of the Pan Am flight in 1988." It also promised compensation to the tune of $10 million for every IRA victim.

This is the same sum of money as paid in a previous Lockerbie arrangement in exchange for relations with the USA, for each of the American families who lost a family member on Pan Am Flight 103 (...)

In an attempt to explain away the document after it had become public, the Libyan rebels agreed with the British to claim its signing was the result of "division and confusion over the declaration", and even to blame it on "a translation mix-up", with council officials adding that "the issue of the Libyan government's responsibility for attacks in the UK came up only because it was pressed on the revolutionary administration by the British."

Libyan Rebel Council officials privately said that the British Foreign Office pressed Jalil to invite a British lawyer, Jason McCue, head of the Libya Victims Initiative, to Benghazi. McCue arrived saying that he was seeking an "unequivocal apology" in the name of the Libyan people and $10m compensation for each death in IRA attacks. All of his demands were met by Jalil.

Weeks earlier Jalil had also been quick to tell the European media, in the first days of the uprising when he resigned as Justice Minister of Libya and joined the rebel coalition, that he "knew Qaddafi was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing", something which initially caused derision among observers of the Lockerbie Trial who have established beyond any doubt the innocence of Libya.

The British were under immense pressure to compensate the wrongly convicted Libyan of the bombing, and this was one of the reasons which pushed their hand to finally attempt to overthrow the Libyan leadership, along with the absence of a central bank in Libya, the gigantic projects to develop Africa's infrastructure, health, communications and educational establishments, water, and oil.

Council "officials" said that they regarded McCue as working with a team of British diplomats in Benghazi, led by the Britain's ambassador to Rome, Christopher Prentice. Prentice has declined to talk to the press. A council "spokesman", Essam Gheriani, said that Jalil had had "little choice but to sign as part of the rebel administration's attempts to win diplomatic recognition and gain access to desperately needed funds frozen overseas."

Britain is holding additionally holding about £100,000,000 in Libyan currency seized from a ship that they have held as "candy" to be released to the rebel administration, which is desperate for funds to meet next month's civil service pay roll as well as for imports of food.

[The same website has also re-published John Pilger's September 2009 article The trial of the "Lockerbie bomber" was worse than a travesty of justice: evidence that never came to court proves his innocence.

A lengthy Associated Press news agency profile of the town of Lockerbie and its reaction to current events in Libya headlined "Lockerbie shuns limelight as Libya unravels" can be read here.]


  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE; 2011, doc. nr.1250.rtf. (google translation, german/english):

    Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Chairman of the Libyan national transitional council is a man who pushes himself into the spotlight
    The rebel administration has said that it signed an apology for the Gaddafi regime's role in IRA attacks and the Lockerbie bombing under pressure from the British government !

    News from ex-intelligence chief Moussa Koussa: No incriminating secrets against Libya over the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie in 1988...
    The Scottish trial of the libyan Official Abdelbaset Al Megrahi "was worse than a travesty of justice.
    All circumstantial evidences, came to court at Kamp van Zeist (2000/-01), was manipulated from UK Officials; and crucial witness statements of Shopkeeper Tony Gauci in Malta were paid for untrue !

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland. URL:

  2. Doc. nr.1251.rtf. only a google translation, german/english:

    What's going on with the 'UN', and the allowed expansion of the war in
    Libya ?
    The main task of the UN is to safeguard world peace.
    World peace is an expression of the ideal state of world peace, thus also for the end of all hostilities and all wars ...
    It shows the UN organization is now an unattainable UTOPIA because "manipulated". The UN apparently needs a REVOLUTION in itself a reshaping !
    The world has changed since 1945, the UN himself only inflated, but learned nothing... disgrace...
    Was ist eigentlich los mit der 'UN' und der erlaubten Kriegs Ausweitung in Libyen ?
    Die wichtigsten Aufgabe der UNO ist die Sicherung des Weltfriedens
    Weltfrieden ist der Ausdruck für den Idealzustand eines weltweiten Friedens, also auch für das Ende aller Feindseligkeiten und aller Kriege...
    Es zeigt sich die UNO Organisation ist heute eine unerreichbare UTOPIE, weil manipulierbar.
    Die UNO braucht scheinbar selber eine Revolution für eine Umgestaltung ! Die Welt hat sich seit 1945 verändert, die UN nur aufgeblassen, aber nichts gelernt... Schande...

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland


    Ahlan wa sah-lan:
    Please: watch TV Al-Libya Live Streaming Online LJBC and see from the UN approved atrocities committed by U.S. and NATO against the innocent Libyan People, on URL:

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd Telecommunication Switzerland

  4. I'm no supporter of Gaddafi but where is the consistency when dealing with him, and others? Our government has lost all credibility with this military intervention.
    Predictably, Assad (jnr) in Syria is now doing to his own people in reality what Gaddafi is supposed to have been doing for weeks in Libya (haven't seen the proof from Misrata yet. Has anyone?), but there is no move to intervene by France, UK and the US in the Syrian situation. Instead, they are taking Predator pot-shots at Gaddafi by night (also very predictable).
    And not even a hint of a resolution at the UN on Syria. Where is the consistency we were promised from Hague on foreign policy?
    The Arab League are silent too - so much for the Arab brotherhood. They are hypocritical as our leaders.
    Which is my point - hypocrisy weakens credibility. Same old Tories. I hope they get routed in the Scottish election.
    [This was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Vote-for-anybody-but-the-Conservative-Party Party]

  5. Dear Blogiston,

    "Where is the consistency we were promised from Hague on foreign policy?"

    UK foreign policy is as consistent as it has always been: "Syria. What is there in Syria? Let the French have that." Lloyd George, Paris 1919.

    Neither Gaddafi nor Assad are on message. Libya has oil, Syria doesn't. What to do? The answer is both clear and consistent: kill Gaddafi and let Syria rot.

    Toodle pip.

  6. Thanks Quincey!
    I also noted that Hague's indirect comments provided a few compelling reasons in addition to your points; Don't take on a country of 22m who have direct links to Hezbollah, who have a proper army trained to fight Israel and who have Iran on their side, and the sympathy of other Arab countries. Besides, Russia/China wont abstain next time at the UN.
    [I wonder how long Rifkind will give it, before demanding an invasion?]

  7. Absolutely, Bloggers.

    Apropos the above, I forgot to mention that many moons ago over an idle malt with an eminent colonel chappy, I, in a moment of naïveté, happened to blurt out that the role of the military was to defend the realm. Silly boy that I was indeed. Said military cove soon put me straight though by saying that the military exists solely to secure the interests of the realm. You are right. There is no percentage and it is far too perilous, from several perspectives, to countenance any involvement in Syria. Frankly, it's about time that the Russians and Chinese stepped in and brought a halt to this. However, I suspect that both, particularly the Chinese, will play the long game just to see how much of a pickle these buffoons in Washington and Westminster might blindly allow themselves to stray into.

  8. Syria has oil, not as much and not as high quality as Libyan oil but it is there.

  9. Exactly Blogiston. And Fox muttered something about us not being able to get involved everywhere.

  10. Dear Fullinquiry,

    Point taken, however, in terms of any cost benefit advantage, as you imply, the downside outweighs any temptation. And, Jo, yes, we can't. The only reason we are still in Afghanistan is because we haven't worked out how to explain to the public the fact that we have lost in the Hindu Kush for the enth time. This time being probably the most cynical of all Westminster's adventures there.

  11. Quincy:

    Not to mention that Libya has some additional things Syria does not: water (man made river project) gold, and a central bank western countries want to eliminate. Nor was Syria trying to unite Africa.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Dear Fullinquiry,

    You are spot on. The procurement of minerals to maintain the economies of the developed world depends on the basic principles which apply throughout the capitalist construct, namely: that profit is made not at the sale end but at the extraction and or manufacturing end of the process. It, therefore, follows that to achieve this one must maintain the source of the product (labour force or entire country) in a constant state of ignorance, poverty and under-development. Hence, whilst the feudal Saudi princes, supported by our weaponry and expertise, fritter away their country's wealth in the casino at Monte Carlo, the children of Jeddah go shoeless.

    Putting aside whether you are a garden variety nice guy, such as Mohammed Moussadegh, or someone with a more chequered reputation, like Saddam and our friendly colonel, it really doesn't matter a jot who or what you are just so long as you are comfortable maintaining your people as ignorant peons and do not develop any national infrastructures which could one day establish your country with a degree of independence from those who carry the whip hand. This, as you say, is precisely the issue with the likes of Gaddafi, and also Saddam. My knowledge of the detail of the Libyan infrastructure is not great, however, if one takes a look at the UN stats for the pre sanctions and 1st Gulf War Iraq, it is quite clear that the country was a beacon for the entire neighbourhood in terms of: the percentage of the population with access to potable water, the heath service, education service, and etc. Not to mention the country's record on child mortality, childbirth mortality, literacy and other key indicators.

    The fact is that one cannot easily get cheap (or even free) oil out of countries that are educated and have developed successful national infrastructures.

    I can't help but think that Gaddafi made a mistake in opening up to the Western oil corporations the way that he did. It's all history now, but, despite the complexities, I wonder what the situation would be today if he had done business with the Chinese. Perhaps he tried and it didn't pan out. I have no idea.

    The maintenance of persecution, deprivation and penury goes hand in glove with profit. The whole thing is just so predictable and utterly depressing. Anyway, just some passing thoughts.

    Toodle pip.

    (By the way, I deleted the comment above. I spotted that I'd made a spelling mistake)

  14. Quince, I wasn't expressing my view, I was stating the view of Fox.

  15. You should know what my view is by now Quince. : )

  16. Dear Jo,

    I both realise and I do know. Apologies if I have given the wrong impression but I was simply following up on your inclusion of Fox's statement of the obvious.