Friday, 1 July 2016

First book about Lockerbie disaster causes controversy

[On this date in 1989 the first book about the Lockerbie disaster was officially published (though copies had been circulating for a short time before that). The book in question is Lockerbie: The Real Story by journalist David Johnston. For some unfathomable reason Amazon refers to the author as “David, Governor General of Canada Johnston” - the current Governor General of Canada is a different David Johnston. The book caused a bit of a stooshie. What follows is a contemporary report in The Herald:]

Police investigating the Lockerbie Jumbo jet bombing, in which 270 people were killed, last night criticised a book about the disaster, describing some of its conclusions as ''outrageous.''

Scotland's Lord Advocate joined the attack, saying the book ''contains elements of truth along with much which is inaccurate or speculative.''

The criticism was aimed at journalist Mr David Johnston's book, Lockerbie: The Real Story, which says the disaster jet was carrying five American Central Intelligence Agency men who had with them top secret plans for a possible attempt to rescue US hostages in Beirut.

The author says CIA men disguised as engineers from the jet's owners, Pan American airlines, scoured the countryside round the town after the disaster in search of debris which they tested before putting back on the hillside, where police could re-discover it and deal with it as a piece of evidence.

Dumfries and Galloway Chief Constable George Esson, who is in charge of the investigation, said last night that much of the book was inaccurate ''or simply untrue.''

He went on: ''I will not lend any credibility to the book by discussing individual claims or conclusions, except to say that some are totally outrageous.

''It is to be regretted that publication of this book will undoubtedly add to or renew the trauma and suffering experienced by the relatives and victims of PanAm Flight 103.

''The only authoritative sources of information are the Lord Advocate and myself.

''I am not prepared to divert the resources of this criminal investigation in order to respond to, or publicise material, which is so widely off the mark that it is offensive to those who have given us tireless and expert assistance.''

The Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, said in a statement the book ''contains elements of truth along with much which is inaccurate or speculative.

''I can make no further comment on the book, except to state that my overriding objective remains to establish the true facts of the circumstances surrounding this appalling criminal act, and the bringing of the perpetrators to justice.

''I want to emphasise this determination to the relatives of the victims of PA 103, and to make the point that no matter what theories may be in circulation the truth behind this crime will only be revealed through the painstaking and meticulous investigative work of the agencies of the three countries involved.

''This will continue relentlessly in the interests of justice.''

Mr Johnston, whose book is to be published on Monday, says the key piece of evidence was the remains of a suitcase belonging to one of the five men, Major Charles Dennis McKee. He was ''immersed in a top secret Middle East mission,'' the book says.

1 comment:

  1. ...'contains elements of truth along with much which is inaccurate or speculative.'

    That would fit a lot of texts - the trial verdict springs to mind.

    But what about those truths, then?
    Those who see USA as real plaintiff in the Lockerbie case will also have a problem if they were on the crime scene long before an investigation would have been started.

    Foul play disqualifies. It does not help if a party also has a bad history.
    You'd not expect a google search for "fbi fabricating evidence" coming up with nothing, would you, but you would feel entitled to have expected something less damning.

    If a man had been witness in ten cases, and then proven to have lied through his teeth in one of them, with the intent to get a false conviction, would we accept him as a witness in trial 11?

    Even if every word Giaki spoke would have been the truth, the history of his evaluation as a witness still is a clear and indisputable example of trying to fabricate evidence, by hiding highly relevant information. FBI can't only blame Boyd, they could have taken every step needed to correct the matter.

    Is it too much to say that in cases related to international politics any involvement of FBI into the evidence should be enough for the court to drop it?

    Have we gotten an explanation from Marquise and Co. on how they think that timer fragment came to exist? Until we do, would they understand that the by far best explanation currently available seems to be that they faked and planted it?