Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Times of Malta on the CIA Giaka cables

[Today's edition of the Maltese newspaper The Times contains a report on the CIA cables relating to the Pan Am 103 bombing that were referred to in a post on this blog on 5 September 2011. The report reads in part:]

Malta was a “primary launching point” for Libyan intelligence and terrorist teams transiting Europe, according to a recent compilation of declassified CIA cables dating between 1988 and 1991.

But campaigners for justice in the Lockerbie bombing case have slammed such claims, describing the CIA’s main informant as a “money-grubbing fantasist” who led the CIA by the nose.

The informant quoted extensively in the 255-page document (taken predominantly from declassified CIA cables released in 2008 and compiled by an international organisation) is Abdul Majid Giaka, whose testimony, as an informant, was pivotal in convicting Abdelbaset al-Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing, despite the court having cast doubts on Mr Giaka’s credibility and reliability as a witness. [RB: Giaka's testimony was not "pivotal" in convicting Megrahi. The Lockerbie judges rejected his evidence in its entirety, with the exception of that part relating to the structure of the Libyan security and intelligence services and Megrahi's alleged position in them.]

According to Lockerbie campaigner Robert Forrester, the recently compiled cables are so heavily redacted that any effort to corroborate the veracity of intelligence is impossible.

“Giaka was showered with US tax dollars in return for nothing of substance,” he told The Times.

Mr Forrester – who forms part of a group of Lockerbie victim family members who believe Mr al Megrahi was wrongly convicted – also criticised the CIA for showing no indication of having tried to independently corroborate any of the “so-called intelligence”. [RB: The Justice for Megrahi group, of which Robert Forrester is secretary, is not, of course, "a group of Lockerbie victim family members" but a group of concerned persons, some of whom are Lockerbie family members.]

“It really does look like [the CIA] swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker, until it finally dawned on them that he was worthless,” he said.

“These additional papers detailing the CIA’s relationship with Mr Giaka, add little to what is already known and to the doubts which have always hung over this case... Malta has absolutely no reason to think that these documents taint the island’s good name any more than it has been.”

However, he added that it is up to the Maltese government to take “concrete steps” to lift the cloud of Lockerbie which hangs over the island.

“The evidence is there which proves that there is no evidence to support this conviction.”


  1. I remember that we in our English lessons 35 years ago read "Our Man in Havana" by Graham Greene.

    Mr. Wormold - a vacuum cleaner salesman - was contacted by an agent, and paid well for reports from Cuba.

    He needed to report something, of course. And so he did!

    "We are into something so big, that the nuclear bomb may become a conventional weapon!" they said on the receiving end, after Mr. Wormold sent them drawings of something that, somebody pointed out, looked like a giant vacuum cleaner.

    A good laugh - far out! But our English teacher she said: "Well, don't you think, that when you hear something you would like to hear, and have no way of checking it, you are likely to buy it?"

    When the scam is finally exposed, well, who is interested in admitting their credulity? Nobody, of course. Wormold gets a high-pay job at MI6!

    - - -

    Fiction? Only now I learn that Greene did not invent this scenario. He worked in MI6 where "where he had learned about German agents in Portugal sending the Germans fictitious reports which garnered them expenses and bonuses to add to their basic salary."

    LOL! Nothing much has changed!

    I recall "Iraq's moving WMD labs":

    And Saddam's yellowcake attempted purchase:

    Nope! I am definitely not going to google for "false cia reports".

    - - -

    "Michael" recently told me that governments don't lie as much as I think they do.

    But they don't need to. All they have to do is to decide on what they see their advantage in believing in.

    This case is a striking example.

  2. Dear SM,

    Hilarious! Snap! It's a pity they didn't quote it but in amongst the comment I sent to the Times of Malta was: " The whole sorry tale that these papers outline reads like Graham Greene's 'Our Man in Havana' without the comedy."

    Pip, pip,
    Robert Forrester.

  3. The above is an excerpt of the BBC investigation "The Conspiracy Files: Lockerbie" that was broadcast three yearts ago.

    The full hour-long programme can be viewed here.