Monday 3 August 2015

Forthcoming PBS Frontline programme on Lockerbie

The United States PBS Frontline current affairs programme has just announced on Twitter that its new series will start on 29 September 2015 with My Brother’s Bomber, a 3-part serial on Lockerbie. It states that a trailer will soon be available at The Twitter hashtag is #MyBrothersBomber.

Other tweets about the programme read:

@raneyaronson is joined on stage by #MyBrothersBomber producer Ken Dornstein + fmr FBI special agent on Lockerbie Richard Marquise

Only one person was ever convicted for the crime. In #MyBrothersBomber, Dornstein sets out to find who else was involved.

A report in Variety reads as follows:

PBS’ venerable documentary franchise “Frontline” is expanding into multi-part investigative series, exec producer Raney Aronson told reporters Sunday during PBS’ portion of the Television Critics Assn press tour.

“Frontline” has a three-part series, “My Brother’s Bomber,” bowing Sept 29. The series revisits the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland by following Ken Dornstein, the brother of victim David Dornstein, on a five-year trek through the Middle East in search of details and clues about the bombing that killed 270 passengers. The hunt was sparked after the only person convicted of the crime, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was released from a Scottish jail in 2009. (He died three years later in Libya.)

Aronson, who took the reins of “Frontline” from founding exec producer David Fanning in May, said the Boston-based operation has several large-scale investigations in the works that will be presented as multi-part series in the coming years. She said it was impossible to ignore the recent of deeply reported docu-serials such as public radio’s “Serial” and HBO’s “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.”

“Frontline” is looking at options for “telling new stories in different ways,” Aronson told Variety. She would not elaborate on the nature of the investigative reports that are brewing.

In “My Brother’s Bomber,” Dornstein pursued new leads and some information was passed on to US law enforcement. Among those interviewed for the series is former Lockerbie investigator Richard Marquise, a retired FBI Special Agent. But the series “has been a work of journalism,” said Dornstein, a writer and filmmaker who previously worked for “Frontline.”



    "My Brother's Bomber," is deliberately false appropriation of Ken Dornstein !
    Mr. Abdelbaset al Megrahi and Libya have nothing to do with the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie !

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

  2. More Libyans "suspects" no doubt. It will focus on Libya/Malta & Frankfurt and contain little if anything about Heathrow, AVE4041 or Bedford's suitcase. Bugs me that Marquise is making money from a lie.

  3. To be fair to Ken Dornstein, two or three years ago, he did go to the trouble of coming to Edinburgh to quiz Dr Morag Kerr and myself on where we thought the investigation and legal processes had gone wrong. We were interested in meeting him because of his connections with WGBH and, perhaps naively, thought we could develop a relationship which might establish a media platform for publicising a position opposing the prevailing view in the US on the subject of 103/Zeist. I don't like to prejudge what will be presented on Frontline, however, the impression I got at the time of the meeting was that, whilst he was very personable and considerably more polite and measured than other US relatives I have communicated with, he heard what we were saying but did not appear to listen. Needless to say, no link with WGBH was forthcoming. Moreover, when he asked us if we were to be presented incontrovertible evidence proving the case against Baset, would we wave the white flag? We responded that we would, however, we added that we had yet to be presented with such evidence and believed our evidence to be foolproof. When we put the same question to him, he was evasive.

    1. At that time I hadn't seen the pictures of the damaged luggage that prove the case Bedford saw was the bomb. I only believed it could be shown logically that it must have been the bomb. I don't know if he followed the logic.

      I'd have thought he might have read my book, but who knows? Everyone who has read it has been convinced as far as I know - apart from Magnus Linklater, and to be honest I rather wonder if he's lying about having read it. He flatly refuses to discuss the specifics and simply dismisses me wholesale from his privileged platform behind the Times paywall.

      I'd be interested to know if Ken Dornstein has read it and if so what his specific disagreements might be, but I never heard from him again. Or from the other US relative who did read it, come to that. Raymond Pagnucci wanted to interview me, then he read the book and I never heard from him again. He didn't make the appointment to meet, as he had promised and didn't reply to my email. Total radio silence. Makes you wonder.

  4. If my later life has taught me one thing it is that cognitive dissonance overwhelmingly rules the world. It is not 'something to be considered'. It is the default.

    In short, if somebody has a position, do not expect him to accept much that puts it at stake.
    Exceptions occur, but they exceedingly rare.

    Introducing alternative Lockerbie-theories into WGBH would be an effective way to ruin your career, there and elsewhere in the US.
    Nobody wants to think "I have to be biased and dishonest to keep my job". So instead it's "I am not really going to spend my capacity on this nonsense from this sorry bunch of people."

    I guess nothing is new, but I am still surprised how predictable this is.

    So how can you tell the difference between 'them' and 'us'?
    Easy: whoever is willing to go into discussions about the evidence in detail.

  5. Dear SM,

    As I suggested, perhaps we were naive, but, we tried. We were offered no arguments contrary to the US Biblical Text on Ziest. Most disappointing. I understand totally your position as regards cognitive dissonance, I believe Bertrand Russell had something similar to say along such lines many moons ago. I despair of humanity, and, apparently, humans are intelligent. Deary me.

  6. You know, there are few things more intellectually satisfying than realising and admitting you were comprehensively and completely wrong. Because that means you have advanced your knowledge and understanding of the issue.

    I've been thoroughly wrong about several aspects of the Lockerbie case, and been glad when I found out because it meant I could back out of a blind alley and hopefully get on the right track again.

    I admit it was immensely satisfying to realise I was right about the Bedford case. But that's just another aspect of the satisfaction of getting further down the right track. That objective can equally well be realised by discovering that you're wrong.