Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103: Case closed?

[This is the headline over an article by William Blum published yesterday on the Foreign Policy Journal website.  It reads as follows:]

When the 25th anniversary of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 occurred on December 21, I was fully expecting the usual repetitions of the false accusation against Libya and Moammar Gaddafi as being responsible for the act, which took the lives of 270 people over and in Lockerbie, Scotland. But much to my surprise, mingled with such, there were a rash of comments skeptical of the official British-US version, made by various people in Scotland and elsewhere, including by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Libya.

In a joint statement the three governments said they were determined to unearth the truth behind the attack. “We want all those responsible for this brutal act of terrorism brought to justice, and to understand why it was committed”, they declared.[1]

Remarkable. In 1991, the United States indicted a Libyan named Adelbaset al-Megrahi. He was eventually found guilty of being the sole perpetrator of the crime, kept in prison for many years, and finally released in 2009 when he had terminal cancer, allegedly for humanitarian reasons, although an acute smell of oil could be detected. And now they speak of bringing to justice “those responsible for this brutal act of terrorism”.

The 1988 crime was actually organized by Iran in retaliation for the American shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in July of the same year, which took the lives of 290 people. It was carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), a 1968 breakaway from a component of the Palestine Liberation Organization, with some help from Syria. And this version was very widely accepted in the Western world, in government and media circles—until the US buildup to the Gulf War came along in 1990 and the support of Iran and Syria was needed. Then, suddenly, we were told that it was Libya behind the crime.

If the US and UK now wish to return to Iran, and perhaps Syria, as the culprits, they will have a lot of explaining to do about their previous lie. But these two governments always have a lot of explaining to do. They’re good at it. And the great bulk of their indoctrinated citizens, with little resistance, will accept the new/old party line, and their mainstream media will effortlessly switch back to the old/new official version, since Iran and Syria are at the top of the current list of Bad Guys. (The PFLP-GC has been quiescent for some time and may scarcely exist.)

If you’re confused by all this, I suggest that you start by reading my detailed article on the history of this case, written in 2001 but still very informative and relevant. You may be rather surprised.

The UK, US, and Libyan governments have now announced that they will co-operate to reveal “the full facts” of the Lockerbie bombing. And Robert Mueller, the former head of the FBI, said he believes more people will be charged. This could be very interesting.

  1. Reuters news agency, December 22, 2013


  1. All,

    I give no credence to the 'Gulf War Theory'. Quite apart from the fact that the timings don't stack up, it is entirely superfluous. If we are to indulge in all embracing conspiracy theories, which I thoroughly disapprove of by the way, there is a far simpler political design here that is so frequently ignored: don't go to war with a country that is in a position to strangle the energy supply of the planet's economic system of choice. Iran does't actually need nukes. All they require is a functioning conventional navy that can last for a few hours, days or weeks. If they came under threat, from the west as they always have done, Moscow and Peking would step in. So no real surprise why the game shifted to Tripoli really. But anyway, I wouldn't dream of suggesting such a conspiracy.


  2. At the start it's a decent article. Perhaps Mr. Taylor would be interested in yet another articulation of the reasons why the clothes purchase doesn't prove a Malta ingestion. But after that, he's been watching too much TV.

  3. Blum's 2001 article started off rather well but then went downhill faster than Michael Schumacher when he started to praise Juval Aviv's Interfor , the Drug Conspiracy Theory and the Maltese Double Cross.

    As far as I am aware the "Gulf War" theory started with an article in Private Eye where the author simply had not checked the chronology and assumed the indictment was announced weeks after the annexation of Kuwait. (There was a very good discussion of this on this blog.) There were of course other specific considerations with Iran/Syria notably the hostage situation as well as more general considerations.

    I was rather struck by Buck Revell's comment in the 1994 Channel 4 Lockerbie debate. He stated that if Iran was found to be responsible plans had been made to "go after them". From this I surmised that somebody (the spooks) make pretty sure they were not found to be responsible for reasons broadly outlined by Mr Riddle in his comment. There was nothing the US could do about it so they had to pretend Iran had not retaliated for the Vincennes Incident and drew the proverbial line in the sand.

    As I have said repeatedly there are two aspects to the Lockerbie bombing - the bombing itself and the creation of the "Libyan Solution" which are largely two different things save that the creation of a false solution means the truth about the bombing is obscured.

    For the creation of the "Libyan Solution" I think it is pretty obvious that the spooks (MI5 and the CIA) fitted-up Libya (with the objective of imposing sanctions) for quite intelligible political objectives notably to facilitate the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Indeed MI5 seems to be pretty open that they "solved" the case without noting how the "Libyan Solution" served MI5central objective. I presume their position is that the Libyan Solution was true and the rest was just happy coincidence.

    As for the bombing itself Morag Kerr's book doesn't just say where or how the IED was introduced. I think it also says who introduced the bomb with an astonishing game-changing revelation. Has nobody else seen this or grasped its significance?

    What intrigues me is the extent to which the authorities (i.e.the spooks) actually colluded in or managed the bombing (again for quite intelligible reasons.) I think there is clear evidence the CIA knew in advance that PA103 was targeted for destruction. The fundamental misunderstanding people have is the idea that the authorities would have tried to prevent it. See (or read) "Fail Safe" or Eric Spanier's classic International Relations primer "Games Nations Play" (or just note the title.)

  4. MISSION LIFE WITH LOCKERBIE, 2014 - Go to new facts on ground ... (google translation, german/english):

    Lockerbie: the Swiss silence...

    MEBO requires reactivated the reciprocal mutual legal assistance agreement of 30 October 1990, between the Lord Advocate of Scotland and the Swiss police of the Federal Prosecutor's Office, in connection with the bomb attack on flight, PanAm 103, over Lockerbie.
    From concise reasons, Mr. Badri Hassan, was not as a relief witness for Libya and Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, from the Court in Kamp van Zeist, been summoned.
    Where is Mr. Badri Hassan today ? (last place was Egypt).

    Hassan Badri has nothing to do with the attack on flight, PanAm 103, but is obviously crucial involved in the "Lockerbie Affair", against the former "Gadhafi Regime". Swiss Visa's grant confirm that Badri, although by the Swiss Federal Police "BUPO", 1990 sought - could reside in the Switzerland without difficulty ! More details in editing.
    Lockerbie: Die Schweiz schweigt...

    MEBO verlangt, dass das gegenseitige Rechtshilfeabkommen vom 30. Oktober 1990, zwischen Lord Advocate von Scotland und dem schweizerischen Polizeidienst der Bundesanwaltschaft, im Zusammenhang mit dem Sprengstoffanschlag auf Flug, PanAm 103, über Lockerbie, erneut aktiviert wird.

    Aus prägnanten Gründen, wurde Mr. Badri Hassan, nicht als Entlastungszeuge für Libyen und Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, am Gericht in Kamp van Zeist vorgeladen. Wo befindet sich Mr. Badri Hassan heute ? (Letzter Ort war Egypten).

    Hassan Badri hat nichts zu tun mit dem Attentat auf Flug, PanAm 103, sondern ist offensichtlich entscheidend eingebunden in die "Lockerbie-Affäre", gegen das frühere Gadhafi Regime. Schweizerische Visum's Erteilung bestätigen, dass Badri, obwohl von der schweizerischen Bundespolizei "BUPO" 1990 gesucht, sich in der Schweiz ohne Schwierigkeiten, aufhalten konnte ! Weitere Details in Bearbeitung.

    by Edwin Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Telecommunication Switzerland. Webpage.

  5. The notion that Iran would seek revenge for IR655 on a tit-for-tat basis (a civilian plane with a similar number of passengers) is just silliness worthy of the Murdoch media.

    If you seek revenge any method will do and you claim responsibility to avoid the atrocity being attributed to an act of God.

    But Iran would not seek revenge on a US plane during their 10 year war with Iraq, because the revenge attack would incite further attacks by US and others on Iran, who are all backing Iraq.

    Why not blame Israel, they’re not guilty, but they sunk the USS Liberty, so they are as capable as Iran or others for the outrage!

    The reason of course is if the official media blame ‘Arabs/Muslims’ there are no questions asked, whereas blaming ‘our allies’ would incite an effective chorus of indignation!

    Except in view of the absence of a public enquiry at the behest of US, we should be looking under our nose for a more mundane but likely explanation!

  6. Ah, here we go again. Dave believes reality is unlikely, so it isn't actually happening.

  7. Dear Dave,

    Please, please read the history books. I recommend that you commence with 1953 and Mohammed Moussadeq, then continue through the Iran-Iraq War.

    Let me tell you a story. Iran has been subject to the political/economic imposition of the west to gain access to their mineral wealth since WWII when the UK and the USSR took the country over and exiled Reza Shah/Khan to South Africa. We were concerned that he would reach an accommodation with Hitler. Furthermore, Rommel was rapidly advancing in the direction of the Saudi fields. Fortunately for us Hitler was an obsessive idiot hell bent on his own destruction by challenging the Soviets on home ground. We later install Reza Shah's son, oust Moussadeq by crippling the Iranian economy in order to obtain their oil at prices we dictated. Thus Iran became the victim of Western inspired murder and torture from 53 to 79 simply so that we could have cheap petrol. I saw this at first hand: I lived opposite Evin prison for two years and most of my Iranian friends were highly politicised.

    The neighbouring Afghan revolution, just before the Iranian one, had no Soviet involvement. Cyrus Vance makes this clear in his memoirs. The trouble there started when operatives out of the UK and US embassies in Teheran started supplying Muslim war lords in Afghanistan with money and weapons to bring down the Kabul regime because we couldn't tolerate the notion of Iran having communists to the north and East of Iran's oil fields. The rest is history: the Soviets invade to shore up Kabul etc, etc.

    Iraq stared the Iran-Iraq war and was supported by us in order to bring down the Tehran government so we could get our mitts on their oil again. The West destroyed Iranian oil installations and sank Iranian navy vessels in this effort. Fortunately Iran won that war against all odds.

    Whether you like their regime or not, they are a justly and immensely proud people who own us nothing whatsoever.

    I am not going to enter into debates on whether they brought down 103 or not, however, .......

    As I have said before,I don't know what kind of medication you are on but I suggest you get a second opinion.


  8. I’m fully aware and agree with your general point (thank you for the details) but I think you need to inspect your own medication because I do not see what I am meant to have said that contradicts what you have said about Iran!

  9. Dear Dave,

    You say: "The notion that Iran would seek revenge for IR655 on a tit-for-tat basis (a civilian plane with a similar number of passengers) is just silliness worthy of the Murdoch media.

    "If you seek revenge any method will do and you claim responsibility to avoid the atrocity being attributed to an act of God.

    "But Iran would not seek revenge on a US plane during their 10 year war with Iraq, because the revenge attack would incite further attacks by US and others on Iran, who are all backing Iraq."

    "during"? The Iran-Iraq War ended before 103. Furthermore, you really don't fully comprehend the most exquisitely satisfying aspect of vengeance, namely: not boasting of it. Not, of course, that I would ever suggest that Iran would ever have done such a thing.

    Like I say, perhaps a second opinion is in order.

    Pip, pip,

  10. "I do not see what I am meant to have said that contradicts what you have said about Iran!"

    OK, neither do I - but I like Robert's writings very much, so event if it takes some misunderstanding to induce it - fine!

    "If you seek revenge any method will do and you claim responsibility to avoid the atrocity being attributed to an act of God."

    I recall you yourself making the statement that using the word 'revenge' was only justified if you notified about your crime. So your statement is sort of self-self-evident.

    Bombs in planes are not acts of God - his wrongdoings have more the character of 'irresponsible passivity in the management of his omnipotence'.

    We have had all this earlier, dear Dave - revenge (using the general definition) always sends a warning, even if there is just suspicion.
    And it would appease a lot of Iranians. It might have be a wise political decision, however ugly it was.
    But confessing to the act would invariably be very stupid.

    Here is a list of bombs in airplanes.
    In how many of the cases did somebody acknowledge responsibility?
    When this is not the case, do you then find reasons to question the 'bomb-theory' of the event?

  11. IR655 was shot down on July 3rd 88. The Iran/Iraq war ended on 20th August 88 and Pan Am 103 happened on 21st Dec 88.

    So yes you’re right 103 happened 4 months after the official ending of the Iran/Iraq war.

    But the essential point remains the same. Destroying a US civilian plane during the war would have incited further attacks on Iran and doing so soon after the end of the war could easily have restarted the war.

    And/or provide US with an excuse to continue the war by other means and obstruct reconstruction i.e. sanctions.

    Thus as much as it is difficult not to retaliate against a powerful bully to avoid humiliation, a sane Iranian leadership would do so to avoid providing a pretext for their own destruction.

    Particularly as in the context of the war, IR655 was a minor incident that was finally resolved in the courts.

    And even if think someone seeking vengeance would keep their vengeance secret, it ignores the fact there are no State secrets that can be kept secret.

    So there is no real point in not claiming responsibility, particularly when the US are quite prepared to attack you, whether you did or not!

  12. The only way 103 wasn't a bomb, inside a suitcase in the lower front left-hand corner of container AVE4041, would be if someone went out during the night of 21st/22nd December and removed most of the real wreckage of the plane and the two baggage containers involved, and substituted them with the wreckage of a plane that actually was destroyed that way.

    And even then you have the problem of the substituted plane being identical in every way to Maid of the Seas and the blown-up container having the same serial number as one that was loaded on that plane, and the blast-damaged suitcases actually belonging to real dead people and having their holiday snaps inside and so on.

    The degree of substitution and fabrication that would be necessary to pull off what Dave is suggesting is ludicrous. It's way beyond the capability of anyone merely human. And of course he is suggesting this was all done to cover up a mundane air accident, so the need could not have been anticipated and nothing could have been pre-planned.

    Dave has only read an article by John Barry Smith, in which he is pushing his hobby horse of 747s being prone to a fault with their forward cargo doors. The location of the IED that exploded on 103 was fairly close to that door, though on the other side of the fuselage. There is absolutely no possibility that's what happened to 103, but superficially it's sort of close, and to Smith, who only has a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    Somehow, possibly because he read it before he knew anything else about the incident, Dave has become fixated on this one bizarro-land theory and while never actually defending it (he doesn't have sufficient grasp of the technicalities to do that), remains steadfastly resistant to taking on board any actual facts that would contradict it.

    A change in medication would seem one possible way forward.

  13. SM,

    There is evidence of blast damage, but no evidence of an IED, because the fragment is fake!

    Thus the relevance of a credible claim of responsibility is that without it there is no evidence of a ‘bomb’ plot.

  14. Iran are behaving a bit funny at the moment.

    They didn't need to claim responsibility in 1988. The entire western world knew they did it, within days of the disaster. It was pretty much a given, from then through to 1991, and any explicit claim would have been entirely superfluous.

    Then in 1991 the investigation changed tack and started going after Gaddafi. Should the Ayatollah have jumped in then and said, no you're wrong, we did it? Hardly.

    But a large segment of the informed population either never stopped believing it was Iran, or went back to believing it was Iran when they saw how paper-thin the evidence against Libya actually was. Everybody and his budgie have been declaring it was Iran for most of the past 15 years.

    But now, Chris Jeans makes a documentary claiming he knows exactly how it was done by Iran. Names and dates and the exact modus operandi. Many people (me included) are sceptical about his thesis, pointing out reasons to doubt what he is claiming about Abu Talb. Except - Iran has blocked the showing of the documentary. They've never done that before, no matter who accused them. It does make me wonder a bit.

  15. Dave, the fragment is not what proves the presence of the IED. They had no idea what that fragment was until June 1990. They weren't even paying any attention to it until January 1990.

    They knew perfectly well that an explosive device had broght the plane down, from 24th December 1988.

  16. Dear Dave,

    If memory serves, SM once said to on an earlier thread that irony didn't travel well between strangers on the Net following some oblique comment I'd made. In addition, the excellent Mr Cumerbatch said in the second episode of the third series of Sherlock recently: "It's not what's in the photographs that matters, it's what's not in them."

    As JFM secretary, and the person who drew up its constitution, I have always felt it incumbent on myself in particular to never point the finger of blame. So when I said earlier: "I am not going to enter into debates on whether they [the Iranians]brought down 103 or not, however, .......", I thought that my employment of "however ......." made it perfectly clear what my views were without being explicit. Suffice to say that we are in fundamental and compete disagreement.

    Assuming Iran did it, and they certainly felt they had justification, they had absolutely no need to declare the fact, so long as Washington knew, that would be entirely sufficient. Furthermore, without any public declaration, Washington would not be embarrassed into feeling obliged to react as long as everything was kept under the carpet. The Iran-Iraq war came to an end because the Iranians were presurised into a cease fire by the UN: in effect they won. If the US had felt obliged to declare war against Iran because of 103, they would have to have gone it alone. The consequences of the US doing such a thing would have introduced implications which I have already covered here and elsewhere on this blogspot.

    I find what Rolfe says about the blocking of the third of the Jeans documentaries as very thought provoking, by the way.


  17. So we know Al-Megrahi was innocent. Of that there is no doubt. Why was the Heathrow break-in totally gnored from the very start - the A-T Police in UK don't seem able to recall the event at all????
    It is pretty obvious that the Sth.African CCB were wholly responsible and assisted in the cover up by UK Intelligence and UK Police.

  18. It is by no means obvious. And the notion that the CCB was responsible stems from Patrick Haseldine's fevered imagination. There is nothing whatever that counts as evidence to support it. No further comments giving credence to Mr Haseldine's ravings will be accepted on this blog.

  19. Dear Peaceman,

    I agree entirely with Robert Black vis-a-vis the South African theory. Mr Haseldine is frankly certifiably doolally and an extremely manipulative individual, whom I felt obliged to expel from JFM for his conduct. I would be careful too about laying too much store on the issue of the Heathrow break in as being linked to 103, maybe it was maybe it wasn't. In my view, the only significant factor here is that COPFS appears to have hidden a tree in a forest in terms of the evidence made available to the defence. That from my perspective is as reprehensible as the Gauci payments being denied to the court.


  20. Why was the Heathrow break-in totally gnored from the very start

    That is however a very good question. It wasn't the only thing they sidelined from the very start though. It's very unusual for a bunch of cops to ignore what by any standards are a bunch of absolutely stellar leads at the very beginning of an investigation of this size. Stellar leads at Heathrow, though, appear to have been regarded as of being of no consequence. Were they just irrationally convinced the bomb must have come in on the feeder flight, or was there more to it than that? (I have no idea of the answer to this question.)

    The other entirely irrational move in the early stages was for the forensics and AAIB investigators to align themselves unanimously behind the assertion that the bomb suitcase could not have been the one on the bottom of the stack. That is, it could not have been the one in the position where Bedford saw the mysterious brown/maroon Samsonite. Except, the bomb suitcase was the one on the bottom of the stack. The arguments for saying it wasn't are pure hokum, and there was clear forensic evidence to the contrary if they'd only looked at it.

    All just down to monumental incompetence? Some sort of group hallucination? Or was there more to it than that? (I have no idea of the answer to this question.)

  21. I don't recall ever seeing something striking about this CCB theory.

    But I do recall seeing very uncivilized and abusive behavior several times here from Patrick Haseldine, and understand perfectly why the Roberts see red, especially as I know that it was only the tip of the iceberg.

    But even if the theory lacks support, and is a child of a bad guy, the child is not responsible, and so it could be debated here - IMHO.

    If anyone has something substantial (and new, not already endlessly turned in the 'good' old days), I hope (and believe) it would be permitted.

    "peaceman"'s statement containing "pretty obvious..." does not qualify to above paragraph, of course - but the entertainment value was quite good!

  22. As far as I recall, Patrick's idea was that the bomb was hidden in Bernt Carlsson's suitcase. Carlsson arrived in Heathrow from Brussels just after eleven and he could have caught an earlier flight (101) to the USA. However Patrick had a story about a meeting being arranged for him that caused him to book on 103.

    Francovich had a story about Pik Botha, en route for the same conference, being bounced from 103 to 101, but that story has been refuted by others and the refutations seem well founded. It's also a bit hazy as to what the Botha regime might have accomplished by knocking off Carlsson. And nobody knows why Patrick is so obsessed by this theory.

    The thing is, the bomb wasn't in Carlsson's bag. Carlsson's bag is one of the most important pieces of evidence in the case, but because it was behind the bomb suitcase. And because it gives us 100% certainty that the bomb suitcase was on the floor of the container with its left-hand side elevated into the overhang section.

    The Presikhaaf suitcase had an unusual construction. It had an aluminium frame that was recovered intact. And it had a separate panel of lining fabric covering the inside of the hinge end which was attached by press studs.

    Because it was the earliest case to arrive in the interline shed, by some margin, Bedford was able to tell the cops exactly where he put it in the container. He didn't know it was Carlsson's case of course but he knew it was the one that was already there before 2 o'clock. And he put it upright, handle up hinge down, on the left-hand side of the back part of the container. The bomb suitcase was later put in front of it.

    The pieces of Carlsson's case tell a story. The aluminium frame has been violently bashed in at one side, with severe pitting of the outside surface by a high explosive blast. This shows the case was exactly where it was supposed to be. The hinge-end piece of fabric has suffered severe, destructive charring on one side. This shows absolutely definitely that there was no other bag below the bomb bag, because that would have prevented that panel being charred in that way.

    This, to me, absolutely screams out from the photos of the remains of the case. But the forensics guys never spotted it.

    Patrick appears to have read my book, because his latest rants now declare that Carlsson's case was loaded "alongside" the bomb suitcase. Which is about right, depending on how you define "alongside". He has continued with his "Carlsson was the target" stuff essentially unaltered apart from that.

    However, there is no evidence to indicate that Bernt Carlsson was specifically targeted any more than any of the other unfortunate people on the plane. The other people who had interline luggage in AVE4041 were Charles McKee and Matthew Gannon of "hostage crisis" fame, and Michael Bernstein who was employed by the US DoJ to hunt down escaped Nazi war criminals. Why not any of them?

    I'd settle for getting it through to the authorities that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow, and worry about who put it there after that has been accepted.

  23. All,

    Georgi Markov was murdered by having a tiny ricin pellet fired into his leg from an umbrella in London in 1978. The South Africans at the time of 103 had their own very well developed methods of eliminating 'awkward individuals', which went under the title of Project Coast (see: Despite this, Patrick Haseldine is suggesting that in preference to eliminating one particular individual on a personal basis with some nerve agent or other slipped into his coffee, they chose to murder 258 completely unconnected and innocent passengers along with the similarly innocent Bernt Carlsson just to get at him as he was a perceived threat. clearly the eleven citizens of Lockerbie were just further acceptable collateral damage as they say. Like I said, absolutely certifiable.


  24. Not really bothered who done it just now, I was there to pick up the bits, it's wrecked my life now I'm trying to pick up my own bits. If anyone can help me, even a little, I'd be very much grateful. One thing I do know is if you're going to blow up a plane in the 80's you don't use a timer switch and then rely on putting a piece of baggage with a bomb on a journey of 3 different aircraft in the hope of taking down your intended target. You'd get it directly onto the plane you wanted to take down! Now why wasn't the break-in at Pan - Am loading bay in London investigated? Please look at this link and help or share the link, please.

  25. As far as who did it is concerned, we don't know, but we are not operating in a vacuum either.

    The PFLP-GC had a long history of attacks on airliners, using Khreesat's barometric bombs. They'd been dormant and dispersed for a while, but then they suddenly started coming together in Germany. Dalkamoni and Khreesat himself and a lot of smaller fry. They came out of retirement for a reason. Khreesat had a ridiculous number of ghetto-blasters and other electronic items - how many bombs was he thinking of making?

    We know he made at least five. And we know that no attack was made this time on anything Israeli or Israel-related. They were getting a lot of money from Iran though. This was all in September/October 1988.

    His devices were made so that they wouldn't blow until the plane was airborne, but neither did they allow the flight to get a long way from the airport. Most of the capacitors had a 30-minute delay, so would trigger at about 37 minutes into the flight. PA103 blew up 38 minutes into the flight.

    There's no reason for a device made differently to blow up so early. If you used a long-running timer like the IRA used for the Brighton bomb, you'd let the flight get well out into the Atlantic. But this one blew up so early that it would have gone off harmlessly on the tarmac if the plane had been as little as 40 minutes late!

    So, if this wasn't the PFLP-GC, there were two groups planning to bring down a US flight in late 1988, and the one we actually know about didn't actually hit a plane at all. And this hypothetical other group just happened to use triggering devices exactly like the ones Khreesat used. Even thought Khreesat hadn't been active for over ten years at the time.

    Get real. This was one of Khreesat's devices. And we know who Khreesat was working for. Jibril.

    Sometimes it is that simple. And since the investigators failed to spot where the bomb had been introduced I'll take their assertions that they ruled out the PFLP-GC from being the culprits with a pinch of salt thank you.

    We don't know. That is absolutely true. But we are under no obligation to check our brains at the door either.

    Only, Khreesat was a Jordanian asset. And he made one phone call and the BKA let him go. Insufficient evidence that a crime was being planned or something. Who the hell knows what complicated sequence of crossing and double-crossing might be revealed if someone started looking in the right place.

  26. To those who say, but the BKA busted the PFLP-GC in October and they were in no position to have brought down PA103 in December, there is one simple answer. The BKA immediately jumped to the conclusion that the PFLP-GC cell they busted in October had done it, pretty much as soon as the plane fell out of the sky. They were mad as hell that the gang had been released almost immediately and under no illusion that they would have been incapable of continuing. They didn't give up on these guys as the preferred suspects for at least 18 months. They knew they could have done it.

    We're being told now, no back off on this, the investigators looked at this very thoroughly and found no evidence to implicate the PFLP-GC. You're a bunch of conspiracty theorists for even suggesting it.

    Right, these are the same investigators who missed absolutely staring-you-in-the-face evidence that the bomb had gone on at Heathrow. And as a result they spent years looking for the culprits on Malta, not in London. And we're supposed to take their failure to find a positive link with the PFLP-Gc on Malta as proof these guys didn't do it?

    God give me strength.

    Not that I'm asserting this is the answer mind you. Just pointing out that the fairy-stories we're being told about the PFLP-GC being eliminated as suspects are basically la-la land.

  27. "Unknown", I'm sorry if you feel that "picking up the bits" has ruined your life. That is very sad. But consider this. The bits had to be picked up no matter who did it. That exercise was no more and no less traumatic whether or not the subsequent investigation went well or badly.

    And the picking up of the bits was done so well that an enormous amount of evidence was recovered. Evidence that should have led the investigators swiftly and certainly to the correct modus operandi. That they failed in this task is not the fault of those who gathered the evidence in from the fields. And even now, thanks to the efforts of those people, the evidence exists to be followed correctly, no matter how belatedly.

  28. I think it is also essential to consider the importance of the distance between the bomb and the skin of the fuselage.

    Close proximity is absolutely vital if the intention is to compromise the structural integrity. It is also highly likely that a shaped charge was used as this is/was a well known technique of maximising the effect of an small explosive charge on its target.

    A shaped charge focuses it's energy on the target by carefully controlling the pressure wave. In a similar way in which one burns paper with a magnifying glass the distance between the lens and the paper is very important as many of us will have learned as children.

    In explosive terms this distance is known as the standoff. The detonator is on the far side and induces the shock wave through the explosive charge in the direction of the target.

    The business-end facing the target is concave with the focal point being the exact distance to the hull of the aircraft. The curvature of the concave face will have been chosen in anticipation of this distance. A small variation of 5cm or so would have not mattered too much.

    However, a deviation of 30cm (a suitcase) or so would have diminished the concentration of the shock wave considerably.

    It is for these reasons that it is absolutely vital that the suitcase containing the bomb be placed with the correct standoff and more importantly the correct orientation.

    Leaving all this to chance would be an absurd choice if ones intention is to destroy the aircraft with a relatively small charge.

  29. Msadams, I suspect you're right about that to some extent, although there's no reason to believe the charge was "shaped" in that way. More, that the packing of the surrounding suitcases performed the function of directing most of the blast outwards towards the skin of the plane. Of course, that would be predictable if the position of the suitcase could be guaranteed.

    There's also the question of the overpressure, and its role in causing the skin to peel away from the fuselage in places remote from the actual blast position. That was crucial in the speedy break-up. I have wondered if that might have happened anyway even if the skin had not been punctured at the site of the explosion. However, there are a number of professional opinions hidden in the reports suggesting that if the Semtex had been in the middle of the container the suitcases would have absorbed the blast and the plane would not have been catastrophically damaged.

    A very big trick that Allen Feraday missed was the packing of the radio into the suitcase. He assumed it would have been packed along the bottom, the obvious place to pack such an item. It couldn't have been, though. The suitcase was loaded in the flat position, handle facing the back of the container. The centre of the explosion was to the extreme left. The radio must have been packed down one side of the suitcase.

    This is a very unintuitive way to pack a suitcase, and it's very unlikely anyone would have done that if they were just going to wave it off and leave the final positioning in the container to some random baggage handler. That suitcase was packed by someone who knew that he (or his agent) would have control over exactly where the case was positioned in the baggage container. It was packed with all that in mind, to achieve just what you outline in that post, Msadams. And the forensics guys never figured this out.

  30. Thinking again about the Carlsson case, that should have been an extremely significant find. The construction of the case fortuitously allowed the evidence of the position of the explosion to be recorded on its fabric, something that wouldn't have happened if the case hadn't had that metal frame, and hadn't had that separate panel of lining fabric. Most cases aren't made that way.

    It is also remarkably fortuitous that both pieces were actually recovered. A lot of stuff wasn't - for example there was obviously a lot more of the blue Tourister than was actually picked up at Lockerbie. Caught in the canopy in the forest perhaps?

    It should have been a pivotal clue. But there's a lot of shilly-shallying in the memos about whether or not that was actually Carlsson's case. He seems to have had a lot of cases, and nobody was really sure at first. Having said that though, it was presumed to have been his case from quite early on, and I think at least partly because it was so damaged and it was understood at some level that his was one of the cases that would have been in a position to have been damaged.

    In fact it is as clear as day from Bedford's statements together with the flight arrival data that Carlsson's case was the one at the extreme left-hand end of the row at the back. I realised that as soon as I read these documents, in 2012. I had not seen the pictures of the Presikhaaf at that time.

    The first picture I saw of it only showed the broken side panels. You can't tell anything from that. I shrugged, and concluded that it wasn't going to be possible to draw any conclusions from the condition of that case, unfortunately. Then, in February last year, I got the composite photo of everything that was recovered, including the frame and the panel of fabric. I stared at it with my jaw on the floor. There it was. Absolute proof that the case had indeed been exactly where Bedford said he put it, and that the bomb suitcase had been the one on the bottom of the stack.

    I'm still in shock, frankly.

    An interesting point is that the drawing of the frame of the case in Hayes's notes is dated some time the middle of June 1990. Most of the luggage, including the McKee Samsonite that also shows the bomb suitcase was on the bottom layer, was examined in early 1989. It was prioritised. But this metal frame, plainly very very close to the explosion, wasn't looked at till 18 months later?

    Something has gone very very wrong with the inquiry at RARDE, and it needs a properly-constituted independent inquiry, not a bunch of people on the internet. But at the moment, we're all there is.

  31. I have seen pictures of an example of a semtex bomb with ghetto-blaster. The explosive looking like marzipan wrapped in cling-film. However, this is a very inefficient manner to configure it as a lot of the explosive would be simply blown away and would not necessarily detonate.

    That's why experts use 'tamping' or packing of the explosive in a sturdy container to keep it all together during detonation.

    The IRA used this technique in the infamous pipe-bombs. The explosive being contained in a steel pipe. A pressure cooker does the same.

    Since it is widely believed that as little as 600g of Semtex was used, magnifying the explosion would be paramount if success is to be guaranteed.


  32. Since it is widely believed that as little as 600g of Semtex was used, magnifying the explosion would be paramount if success is to be guaranteed.

    Less than that if we're to believe the RARDE guys. Though the more I find out about the competence and general thinking abilities of the RARDE guys the more I'm inclined to put a health warning on everything they say. They did seem to be talking mainly about 450 g though. It has been pointed out to me that Semtex comes in 500 g blocks, so why would the terrorists shave anything off that? Only if they had to do it to get it concealed inside the radio I suppose.

    Khreesat's devices were quite well understood, as several were recovered. None of them apparently had the shaping you describe. Maybe that's why is wasn't something that was really considered by the forensics people, because right up to about the middle of 1990 everyone was assuming it was indeed a Khreesat device.

    I still think it was a Khreesat device, personally. Shaping? I don't know. He blew some impresive holes in some planes in the 1970s without anything like that, that's for sure.

  33. Rolfe. To answer you question about the subsequent peeling off of the skin panels. Take a look at this picture..

    A large piece is protruding out. A piece about 1 square meter. At mach0.8 (270 m/s) a one square meter piece of material would experience about 1.5 tonnes of aerodynamic drag. More than enough to fold it back along the fuselage or rip it off.

  34. "Close proximity is absolutely vital if the intention is to compromise the structural integrity" as the actress said to the bishop. But in bombs/airplane context it is simply not correct.

    Few people seem to realize how much half a kilo of modern industrially produced explosive is.

    There is no way it can go off inside an pressurized aircraft without taking it apart.

    Take a look at this test, with half the amount of Semtex assumed to be used in PANAM103.

    For blasting explosives are usually not wrapped.

    Wrapping is only used for slow 'poor man's explosives, to allow it building up pressure, or to allow fragments to do damage beyond the reach of the pressure/heat wave.

  35. SM

    I'm standing my ground.

  36. Please note that as of 2002, the NTSB investigators(US) note that there is a stronger possibility of structural/ design failure that mirrors other crashes at that time.

    Another probability that would suggest Megrahi's innocence.

  37. As of 2002, NTSB (US) investigators still suggest structural/ design flaws over bombing as a probability of the crash. It mirrors other crashes to the same make of plane around the same time. This suggests the innocence of Megrahi if the plane simply fell apart.

  38. Oh no please God not John Barry Smith again!

  39. I am genuinely unsure about the overriding importance of the positioning of the bomb. We know that in the position where it was, propagation of overpressure through internal cavities in the plane was an important factor in the breakup. The skin did indeed peel off top and bottom and some from the side.

    The AAIB guys seemed to think that the internal cavities were an important factor in this, and that if they hadn't been in that configuration the damage might not have been catastrophic. They made some recommendations designed to address this.

    Some experts, knowing the circumstances, have expressed the opinion that if the bomb had been much more inside the container the other suitcases would have tamped the explosion much as sandbags are used for blast protection, and prevented the catastrophic overpressure. On the other hand, if none of the explosive gases vented to the atmosphere, might it not have been worse?

    I have seen these videos before, and I am unsure of their relevance to PA103. I honestly don't know who to believe.

  40. "
    I'm standing my ground.

    Well, if a video without any details about the size of the bomb, the explosive used, the type of plane, or knowledge of pressure difference inside vs. outside will convince you, in comparison with one where all these details were there, I think you will 'stand your ground' forever.

  41. Quincey Riddle,

    You may imply through irony that Iran did it, but this is can only be based on the assumption they would seek revenge for IR655 in such a copy-cat, half-baked and anonymous way!

    Except they wouldn’t, because it was not in Iran’s interest to provide US with a genuine pretext to bomb and/or enforce sanctions against them!

    And even if they were crazy enough to do so they would also be crazy enough to claim responsibility too, particularly as it is not something that can be kept secret, with or without ‘PFLP-GC’ involvement.

    Closing the Straits of Hormuz is their nuclear option, but nuclear options can’t really be used, because they are a doomsday option of mutual destruction.

    This is why throughout their war with Iraq, estimates of a million casualties, they did not make matters worse by ‘closing the straits’!

    (Equally this is why Iran is not developing a nuclear bomb because this would weaken their security by alarming all their neighbours, create an arms race, pretext for war and take resources away from more effective conventional weapons.

    Have our nuclear weapons been of any help to the UK in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

    And your assumption that ‘closing the straits’ would deter US is based on a misconception that rational American oil lobby interests are driving US policy, as opposed to an end of days ‘military industrial complex and neo-con’ lobby.

    That said, after WWIII was narrowly averted, via Syria, Obama may yet deliver on his election promises to promote peace by doing a deal with Iran.

  42. All,

    This bing bang Indian Head, Wyatt and other stuff makes for good telly and debate but, frankly is laughable, or would be if it weren't so ludicrous. The top Formula One teams spend fortunes on design, and rightly so given what they stand to gain from their investments. The lesser ones miniaturise the requirements and build accordingly in the hope of winning. The practical explosive tests that have attempted to simulate what occurred on 103 have been done in the like of standard transport containers at ground level and at ambient temperatures. The incident that took place on 103 took place at around minus 50 degrees Celsius in a sealed, pressurised vehicle travelling at, probably, around 0.85 Mach (550 MPH) and still climbing. Surely it is not beyond the wit of some interested party to construct a simulation that actually corresponds in all details to what occurred. Not that I particularly care. I spend all my money and time on this business travelling the country and sending Special Delivery documents all over the place. And, in any case, we at JFM are only interested in demolishing the Crown's legal case as was presented at Zeist. In that context, we are blessed with an embarrassment of riches.

    Pip, pip,

  43. Quincy Riddle wrote "fortunately Iran won the war against all odds." I don't think so. Iraq (who had for years sought a way out)defeated the Iranians due to the decisive intervention of the United States who provided Iraq with satellite imagery transforming the effectiveness of Iraqi Artillery. The Americans were then bemused that the regime, uniquely in history, survived defeat in war.

    Of course a tit for tat response isn't silliness. An Iranian spokesman said there would be "an appropriate response to the magnitude of the American Crime." An excessive response (to attack a number of planes) would not be appropriate and neither would a strong letter to The Times. A tit for tat response drew a line in the sand and both sides could pretend retaliation hadn't occurred. It sent a message not only to the world but to the man on the Tehran omnibus. Had the Islsamic Republic not responded the regime may have crumbled.

    p.s.Rolfe - I think it is blindingly obvious why Patrick is obsessed with his South Africa theory. He was sacked from the FCO (he thinks for espousing his views on South Africa)then Lockerbie occurred with Brent Carllson on board. It was a sign from God, personal vindication. I too am motivated by my own grudge against the FCO!

  44. Dear Dave,

    You simply have no notion of the exquisite venom that many in Iran reserved for the West at the time (mid to late 70s). I don't expect you to take my word for it, I am simply telling you what I experienced over two years in Teheran myself, just before the Shah took a nose dive. It was so damned bad that it united Muslims, Armenians, Turks and every other kind of Turkic Iranians that you can imagine. It was BAD TO THE BONE AND BEYOND!

    Iran was in no position to strangle the West's oil supply whilst distracted by a Western funded war against them via their proxy Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war (Started by Iraq at our behest). That war was an utter disgrace, a crying shame, entirely manipulated by us. Iran has never done us any harm. They have never invaded us or threatened or manipulated us in anyway in whatsoever. By contrast we have sought to cripple their economy whenever it has suited us from WWII onwards. Do we care? no. Just so long as we can fill our petrol tanks with cheap fuel, who gives a toss about the consequences in a distant land that we know little of.

    Like I said before, if I were running Iran, I'd forget about nukes, build up my navy and make damned sure I had good relations with Peking.

    Believe me when I say that I sincerely hate to be rude to folk that I haven't established a 'proper' relationship with but, frankly, You seem to have as much political nous and historical awareness as a toad on Nitrazepam.


  45. Baz,

    Why assume a tit-for-tat for IR655! Why not a revenge attack for all those killed in an 8 year war?

    But if revenge is a motive then all the victims of US aggression could be guilty and not forgetting those responsible for false flag operations.

    And why such a half-baked plan when an anti-aircraft missile or bomb in a crowed foyer would do?

  46. I am sure many individuals and groups hold a grudge against the USA. However this a matter of relations between nation states.
    This is elementary International Relations theory.

    As I have previously noted Mohammed Beshti, spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in London said "what our response will be we do not say but it will be an appropriate response to the magnitude of the American crime." - An APPROPRIATE response. It is possible that the Autumn Leaves arrests foiled a disproportionate response, an attack on several aircraft in the days before a Presidential Election. "Lockerbie" was the response of moderates or pragmatists. There is some anecdotal indication that this was the desire of the Ayatollah Khomeini. A "tit for tat" response was a way out and a line could be drawn. Nation States for obvious reasons not claim "responsibility" for terrorist attacks - shadowy and amorphous groups may.

  47. In my review of Morag Kerr's excellent book I touched upon the question of whether the position of the IED in close proximity to the skin made the explosion more effective. Oviously if the primary suitcase was deliberately positioned then it cannot have arrived from Frankfurt.

    I noted that the AAIR denied this but also noted that may have been special pleading. Walter Korsgaard of the FAC had suggested that if the IED was in the Interior of the hold the plane may have survived.

    As Rolfe notes scientific opinion seems to be divided. I did make the point that the science may be irrelevant and that it is the perception of whoever planned the bombing that is crucial.

    I wondered if the primary suitcase was deliberately positioned in order that it could be easily located when it arrived at Kennedy? I wondered if Morag Kerr's anecdote about someone smuggling a package on board The Maid of the Seas may be of some relevance?

  48. Baz,

    A Government Minister would be defiant and swear revenge when emotions are high.

    They would hardly say it was just one of those things not requiring a response.

    But to do so and anonymously is another matter after the devastation of an 8 year war.

    Particularly as the US still maintain sanctions and are not against doing a few bombing raids for effect, as Clinton did on a number of occasions to detract from his troubles in Court!

  49. Dear Dave,

    I take back my earlier rather extravagantly rude quip about Nitrazepam. Most inconsiderate and unfair of me. Clearly you have been quite innocently consuming bread contaminated with Ergot. That's the fungus linked with LSD, in case you didn't know. Perhaps you need to speak to your baker about the source of his grain.

    Pip, pip,

  50. Dear Dave,

    The thing is that, albeit that I know you respect JFM and its works (though I am a tad confused as to why given your own theory regarding a hold door failure as having been responsible for the downing of 103), the galactic chasm between us lies in your apparent assertion that there was clearly no bomb despite the fact that there is a petalated hole in the fuselage at an area of the hold that is peppered with explosive reside. Obviously no bomb there then and it was all down to a structural failure on one of the safest planes on the planet.

    Frankly, this is as certifiably bonkers as Patrick Haseldine's delusions that the South African government decided it would a jolly good wheeze to murder 259 folk just to get at one of them! Now think, really carefully, do you really want to end up in the same padded cell as Patrick?


  51. A man, Mr. Jones, was originally a suspect, but was reported by several witnesses who knew him well to at the time of the crime, have gone into the local grocery store, and come out carrying a box of beers.

    The police receives the following letter:

    as a concerned citizen I would like to inform you that:

    1 - Mr. Jones had several time said to neighbors that he was tired of being overweight. Why would he then buy beers?
    2 - There were shopping carts available. Why carrying a heavy box if you could simply have rolled it?
    3 - In that shop, that kind of beers is known to be 5-6% more expensive than in the discount shop just 100 meters away. Mr. Jones is not particularly wealthy, on the contrary he had often complained about his salary being too low.
    If a man can carry a heavy box of beers, he can also walk a few meters to get a discount!
    4 - Mr. Jones has surely other needs than beers. However, it seems to be the only thing he reportedly bought!

    [snipped 23 more points]

    It follows that the theory of Mr. Jones buying beers is hardly sustainable!
    The only reasonable conclusion is, that the witnesses are not telling the truth, and so Mr. Jones could be guilty as suspected!

    I know you are very busy handling all kinds of input (which, I assume, often leads nowhere and just takes your time) and so I hope this may help you!

    Yours Truly,

  52. It sounds like we all need to change our medication?

  53. Dear Dave,

    I'm afraid you are a dying man in the middle of the Taklamakan. The place you enter but never emerge from. Good luck with that.


  54. The extraordinary miscarriage of justice is a separate issue from what caused the crash.

    It seems the State is preparing to overturn Megrahi’s conviction, due to the success of PE1370 that means his conviction remains a live legal issue until they do.

    Whereas the ‘what caused it’ will be left to posterity, because the US/UK/Scottish establishment have ruled out a public enquiry into the crash.

    However the half-baked ‘bomb’ plot should arouse suspicion and the thoughts of an aircraft accident investigator should take priority over a veterinary surgeon.

    Iran has a motive for revenge, as do others, but if Iran was responsible for 103, the truth could not be kept secret and the US would not hesitate to use it as a pretext to bomb Iran and for continued sanctions.

    The fact they have not been officially charged with the crime is because the US do not have any evidence and blaming Iran is just idle diversionary speculation.

  55. Dear Dave,

    JFM has never pointed the finger of blame at anyone, including Iran. As far as your other notion about structural failure is concerned, I really can't be bothered to argue with you anymore. Like I said, speak to your baker. I am now, more than ever before, convinced that your bread is contaminated with Ergot.


  56. "However the half-baked ‘bomb’ plot should arouse suspicion"

    I don't see anything half-baked. A bomb in a plane, ample evidence of exactly the effects I would have expected.

    "and the thoughts of an aircraft accident investigator should take priority over a veterinary surgeon."

    Hilarious that you, of all, play the expert-card! That is indeed funny, given that you seem to have absolutely your own opinions, independently, of experts, fine. And available evidence too, not-so-fine.

    It wouldn't be that your loyalty towards an expert was influenced by what you already believed in, would it? ;-)

    Don't we agree that the expert-card was always a poor argument, only to be used when something better was not there?

    Another problem with that card - which you also face in this situation - is: what to do when different experts have different opinions?

    Then, what are we to do when an expert-by-name gives weak and insufficient argumentation(*), and a non-expert gives better arguments?

    I think it was ever-witty chess-player Tarrasch who said something like 'To win your game, it will not help you to be a stronger chess player than your opponent. You have to make better moves than he does!'

  57. The thing is, every single Air Accident Investigator who has looked at this has concluded that the plane was brought down by a sequence of events triggered by the detonation of an IED inside a suitcase loaded in the bottom front left-hand corner of baggage container AVE4041. And there were a hell of a lot of them crawling all over the scene.

    Every single one, but this John Barry Smith person. Who seems to be American, and who doesn't seem to have seen the wreckage. Not only that, he only seems to be aware of a part of the evidence the actual AAIB investigators were aware of.

    Nonetheless, if he had plausible and persuasive arguments, I'd listen. But he doesn't. It's all half-baked assertion that simply doesn't fit with any of the evidence that's actually known about.

  58. Dear Quincey Riddle,

    Your admiration for Iran has led you to believe that they would have the ‘balls’ and justification to commit the atrocity to avenge their suffering at the hands of ‘the West’.

    Except the Iranian leadership would not have survived the Iraq/Iran war and the years of attrition unless they remained sane and pragmatic in their actions!

    Destroying 103, closing the straits and building nuclear weapons would weaken their security and it is their restraint to build WMD or exact revenge, despite the provocations, that deserves admiration!

    And see how easy it is to speculate the blame, because I thought the initial scapegoat of choice was the thoroughly infiltrated ‘PFLP-GC’.

    But then again they all look the same!

  59. Dear Dave,

    Iran is most sane, pragmatic, and has enormous gonads! The West lost the Iran-Iraq War. End of.

    Iran can do what it likes. You may regard Ahmadinejad as having been a fruitcake but, take a look at his background and what he did. It is highly likely that the hostages in the US Embassy would not have survived had it not been for his input.

    Iran, much like the UK (ignoring the babblings of Farage - some Frog fart or other - etc) is a hugely tolerant country. It has seen waves of peoples traversing their lands from the original Indo-European Aryans to the Huns, the Macedonians, the Mongols and Turks. Heavens, they even accepted me with open arms for God's sake!

    In the Qoran, it says, apparently (I have yet to discover the pertinent passage), that it is forbidden to depict the human form. Check out Iranian artwork! They even have the only contemporary portrait of Genghis Khan! Suck on that!

    Yes, we all know that Teheran funds Hizbullah etc. Wouldn't you under the circumstances?! Good luck with that stuff. I would do it too.

    Yes, I am an Iran freak and proud of it. I have never been made to feel more welcome in a country than I was made to feel in Iran. I only wish that UK citizens would reciprocate to our Iranian visitors.

    Robert (in anger).

  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. FWIW, I see no signs that anybody here, in the main, should disagree with your views on Iran.

    But I understand well your general anger. For me, the last 10 years or so has been a crude wake-up to the stream of lies and propaganda we are served.

    It seems to have no end, and from a believer in the entire package - "freedom", "democracy", "justice", "fairness" - I have learned to shake my head in disbelief.

    Lockerbie is an important example in all this. Political matters can be complicated, this case remains childishly simple.
    Still, the Evil Empire keeps their version alive, with enough of the people.

    The story about Iran, the insane muslims. So, we must embargo them, usually a prelude to war. Claims are enough in our version of justice. Sends a nice reminder of Libya and the Lockerbie-based embargo.

    We have so clearly demonstrated our wills to start wars whenever it it not too dangerous.
    That wars are wildly profitable for a few is nothing new.

    Only, as you point out, Iran is, unlike Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya no relatively easy pray.

    Oh, that bomb, how terrible! Well, Iran is member of NPT. Inspections are ongoing.
    Where was the danish press to tell me about Vanunu and a program that may count hundreds of nuclear warheads that nobody is allowed to take a look at? Can't remember, is it 1000 or 10,000 US has? Along with an impressive arsenal of WMDs of any kind you can imagine.

    Yes, I stopped long ago - I think it was around the time of attack on Afghanistan - to buy the story about "them" being crazy and dangerous.

    We are, and insanely so. War after war after war, against countries in peace, for God knows what time throwing them into a turmoil that is a 100 times more deadly and suppressive.

    Maybe it would be the same if they were as strong, but it remains to be proven, doesn't it?

    This hasn't much to do with Lockerbie, alright. Except that it seems that our fine democracy is all about electing the people who keep lies alive, and that so few seems to care.

  62. Dear SM,

    Well said, sir.


  63. PS

    Mordekai Vanunu. Therein lies a long and tortured tale.

    Curious that the West should have taken such an interest in the deserts of the Middle East, rag-heads and, latterly, mad mullahs and Central Asia sine the introduction of the Model T. Quite beyond me, I must say.

    Speaking personally, I am the most quintessentially peace loving chappie. I don't subscribe to an eye for an eye, etc. I believe that that view simply perpetuates the prospect of our ultimate demise as what we regard as civilisation. Hell, I would even be willing to sit down with the like of Reinhardt Heyrich and talk him into the dust until he submitted to me. Reformation is the key. The only one.

    Is it any wonder why Iran goes and funds Hizbullah? I don't think so.

    I have many close friends who are bamboozled and stunned to hear that people out in the Middle East and beyond strap explosive jackets to themselves and go out to commit murder. What they, not you, fail to comprehend is that that is the level they have been reduced to in order to make their voices heard. I know you understand this.

    Raising of consciousness is what is required. I have no answers as to how to achieve that in a world where our scared democracies are in the pockets of scum who condition mass thought. One lives in hope I do have answers from another perspective though.

    Lockerbie/Zeist is simply yet another deeply unfortunate example of the consequences of our historical conduct in my view, and doubtless yours too.

    The solutions are blindingly simple, it is just a matter of adopting them.

    Pip, pip,

  64. "Half-baked bomb plot"? A bomb plot that succeeded in causing a 747 to break up at cruising altitude, killing all 259 people on board and a further 11 on the ground, cannot be described as half-baked in anyone's lexicon.

  65. PPS.

    Here's a little ditty/reflection from Lloyd George in the Paris of 1919, courtesy of AJP Taylor:

    “Mesopotamia.......oil..…..yes, we must have Mesopotamia. Palestine…….the Holy Land…….Zionism..…..yes, we must have Palestine. Syria…….what is there in Syria? Let the French have that.”

    Thus we live with what we create.

    The solution is blindingly simple: eliminate all frogs.


    Pip, pip,