Friday, 29 July 2011

Echo Chambers

Set aside the forensics and the experts. 

These things are the best guesses of the Best Guessers.  In the first days after any seemingly unfathomable event it would be wise to treat such opinions as speculation and conjecture by people trying to give the media some good copy.  A Fatal Accident Inquiry did put together a working hypothesis of why thousands of pieces of 747 jumbo-jet crash in and around Lockerbie.  It started a manhunt.  Despite all the credible warnings and some not-so-credible claims for responsibility there was no-one to put in the frame.  That's discounting Khaleed Jafaar, a young Lebanese man with American citizenship. 

Set aside the computer records for Frankfurt airport.

This actually happened.  For the 21st December 1988 not one official from the police to the airlines thought that information on which passengers flew where, carrying whatever luggage, might be useful.  One scrap was saved and this has become known as the "Erac Printout"  With cross-referencing to the baggage-handlers' worksheets it can show a suspicious looking item being put aboard at Frankfurt.  Weirdly, The Independent, of 17th January 1989, was reporting 'from political sources' that the investigation was working along these lines and this was before anyone really knew of the Erac Printout.  The EP was handed to the MacPlods in August 1989.

Set aside the paid-off witnesses. 

These things are only ever going to tell you what they think you want to hear.  This is a sure sign  of desperation in investigation into a crime in which the investigators seem to purposefully look away from their initial hunches and leads. 

Madjid Giaka, a Libyan man on Malta with a cash-flow problem has convinced the CIA that he's a top-level employee of Libya's intelligence agency ( JSO )  The CIA put him on the payroll and are probably disappointed very quickly in how little to next to nothing Giaka can tell them.  On the verge of being dropped from the payroll Giaka informs his 'handlers' that he saw Megrahi and Fhimah placing a suitcase on the carousel for flight KM180 at Luqa Airport, Malta on Dec 21st 1988.  It is this evidence that makes Giaka the prosecution's star witness.  Unfortunately Giaka reverses his crucial statement to say that they were taking a suitcase off the carousel.  He and his testimony are ignored by the Zeist judges, but he has proved his dollar value to the prosecution by getting two Libyan's to court in the first place.

Toni Gauci is another paid witness.  Not the sharpest pencil in the box by all accounts,  he is cajoled over the course of something like 13 official interviews and half a dozen photo-spreads into confirming that Megrahi resembles the man who bought some clothes from him.  Perhaps the all expenses paid holiday to Scotland would jog his memory?  Nope.  The likelihood of a cool £million?  Not exactly.  As an aide-memoir Gauci carries a magazine article showing Megrahi as the accused to the trial.  This ups his identification prowess to "resembles him a lot." Sheesh.  Mind you, Gauci was sharp enough to know when he'd picked the photo the MacPlods wanted him to choose in one of the photo-spreads.  He becomes agitated and concerned that "they" will now be out to get him.  The point to be made here is that the investigating officers should not have been present when the photo-spread was being viewed.

Set aside any evidence of zero competent security at London Heathrow. Break-ins and/or any testimony from baggage loaders telling the investigation that they did not place all the luggage into the container that held the suitcase bomb?

It's exactly what the investigation did.   It seems to be forgotten that the first person to mention a Samsonite-style suitcase of approximately the right colour was a baggage loader at Heathrow.  He volunteered this information at an interview before such details were in the public domain.  He did give evidence at Zeist, which was waved away by theorising that this suitcase must have been moved to another part of the container, a more or less identical one taking it's place. After all it had been decided that the bomb went aboard at Frankfurt despite better evidence for Heathrow.   As for the break-in in the early hours of 21st December 1988?  That evidence was not even heard at the original trial.  At the appeal the evidence was waved away as workers forcing a lock to take a shortcut. 

To save me, and you, from many more rambling paragraphs I'll surmise what the Zeist judges bought:

Mr Megrahi, who resembled a man that bought clothes in Malta on a day that it can be proved he wasn't in Malta, was at Luqa Airport on the morning of 21st December 1988. 
The clothes in question ended up in a suitcase with a bomb that was transferred from a Malta Airlines flight at Frankfurt Airport onto a Pan Am feeder flight ( PA103A ) bound for London Heathrow.
The suitcase went into the hold of Pan Am 103A, along with 20 other suitcases 'interline'
The suitcase with the Malta clothes, and the bomb, was then transferred from Pan Am 103A at London Heathrow into Pan Am 103 to New York.
( Crucial things to ignore here:  Air Malta proved that no unaccompanied luggage was on it's plane; not one person has ever reconciled all the passengers and luggage on the Erac Printout - The system as it was at Frankfurt is unverifiable and full of errors. )

Did you get that?  Clothes from Malta, suitcase bomb seemingly from Malta to London via Frankfurt, Megrahi at Luqa airport on the morning of interest.

Or if you prefer:  suitcase from Malta seemingly transferred at Frankfurt from a Malta flight to London, Malta clothes in the suitcase, Megrahi in Malta on the morning of interest.

A much better article by David Wolchover:Exploding Lockerbie Part 1 - Conviction by Feedback Loop

Now all of this may be construed by some as 'arguing over the minutaie' 
Quite. Indeed, even.  Yet it's exactly this that sent a demonstrably innocent man to the gaol.  A man who is still reviled by the non-thinking or ill-informed as The Lockerbie Bomber.  If the prosecution have come up with any evidence since that proves the case against Mr Megrahi beyond reasonable doubt I'll eat your hat.   Releasing Mr Megrahi wasn't a mistake, finding him guilty was.  There's far too many wee and inconsequential men, with their wee and inconsequential careers at stake, able to man-up enough and admit as much.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Over here, over here...

Much talk and rumour in the early days of the search and recovery operation amongst the debris concerns the appearance of Americans, which is our quaint short-hand to describe citizens of the USA.

A lot of folk, then and now, seem to be boggled that so many could have appeared within the first few hours of the disaster at Lockerbie becoming known.

I've never found this particularly odd having taken into account a place called Menwith Hill.  It's in Yorkshire, near Harrogate.  If you stick to the national speed limits and drive carefully it's possible to cover the distance between the two in just over 2hrs.

View Larger Map

I trundled past the place with a mini-bus full of school chums in 1987.  We were on a Geography field trip and the odd-looking golf balls were pointed out to us by our teacher.

The place is not exactly secret secret, I mean ask the Royal Air Force: RAF Menwith Hill

You could also drop by to find out about the place here:  Original Big Brother?

But, if you can't be bothered clicking the links ( which bodes badly for the way I intend to structure pages to come ) then I'll just tell you what I think I know about the place.

This adds up to:   Not much.  It's a 'listening' post run by the USA's National Security Agency and has some RAF folk kicking about too.  It no doubt contains loads of  top-of-the-range  shiny technology and plenty of computing power to process the data.  (Apparantly British Telecom installed fibre-optic.  Imagine, superfast broadband in the countryside!!!  )  I would not have thought that there are nukes on the site, and I wouldn't want to give BadGuysInc any ideas, but it probably has a missile or two pointing it's way.

Anyhoo, I'm digressing too much.  The point I was making is that it would not have been too difficult for 'authorities' from the USA to get to Lockerbie in a hurry.  As a bit of pure speculation those 'authorities' probably knew about the crash before the BBC. 

One thing, though.  It's collected a few more 'golf balls' since I saw it all those years ago.  Picture below was taken in 2010 by a hillwalker on Rombald's Moor.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Main Points of Contention.

Some of the problems regards the investigation and trial.
  • identification of Mr. Megrahi as the purchaser of clothes from a shop called Mary's House, Malta.
  • identification of Toshiba radio
  • identification of timer used in triggering IED
  • the worthiness of the forensic science as provided by known fraudulent scientists
  • the route the IED took from Malta, via Frankfurt, via London.
  • securtiy issues at airports in above mentioned cities.
  • competent witnesses to any wrong-doing by the defendants.

The investigators certainly had a next to impossible job trying to figure out this crime.
It is believed by many, including me, that a political fix to implicate Libya was introduced and that once an opportunity to pin a couple of random Libyans for it appeared, the investigation, despite any real evidence,
stopped looking for tthe real culprits. 

The 'Whodunnit' is never likely to be solved, or if it has been it is never likely to be revealed to the public.

The Scottish Criminal Justice system can be proved before the world to be corruptible, although Shirley Mckie and others know this already. 

Miscarriages of justice happen in all systems, for sure.  There's just not many quite like this one.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Independent Observation of Trial

I think the most damning indication of the goings-on at the original Zeist trial came from  Dr Hans Kochler.

Dr Kochler was an independent observer of the entire farce.

I've come to the view that had Dr Kochler come to the conclusion that Mr Megrahi was 'bang to rights' and the procedings of the court amply showed it,  then I'd have run with it.

I only became aware of him a couple of years ago, probs 2009, when I saw a quote attributed to him.  The quote ran along the lines of a 9 year old child would have thought you'd just told them the most fantastic fairytale.  His report can be found here.

To summarise simply might be to say:

politcal considerations should never have been granted permission to side alongside and interfere with the prosecution or defense teams;

the judgement reached is incomprehensible to any rational observer;

the trial itself was not fair;

many more questions than answers were revealed;

the tactics of the defence were totally incomprehensible and puts into question the credibility of the defense's actions and motives;

that through the conduct of the court a disservice has been done to the cause of international criminal justice.

It was this document, more than anything, that peaked my interest in trying to find out more.
Sporadic internet access over the last couple of years hasn't helped trying to piece it all together.
As some of the better looking sites for documents and opinions are now no longer available I feel it's quite important that I do try and keep contrary opinions to the official line available. 
Another thing I've noticed is how badly archived, from a a general seek and find operation, some of Britain's more esteemed media organisations are.  This is a shame.  However, learning more enables better search requests and little golden nuggets of info are continually popping up.

I'll close this blog with the last paragraph of Dr. Kochler's report:

Truth in a matter of criminal justice has to be found through a transparent inquiry that will only be possible if all considerations of power politics are put aside. The rule of law is not compatible with the rules of power politics; justice cannot be done unless in complete independence, based on reason and the unequivocal commitment to basic human rights.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Malliable [sic]

Fortuitous finds and co-incidences seemed to have formed most of the prosecution case.
Previously, I've written about page 1 of the Toshiba cassette recorder manual,
although it seems that newstitles everywhere reckon the bomb was wrapped in clothes.

Timer fragments from the device were also discovered and linked to the suitcase,
largely in part to 'fiddling' with the evidence, of which I'll blog about later.

Recently I posted a comment on The Lockerbie Divide blog about Namegames it's
possible to have, with the subject being Abu Elias/Basel Bushnaq.

Maybe with that in mind I noticed a neato coincidence of my own.
I'm only going to assume that ' Mallia ' is a reletively common surname in Malta.

Some garments from the suspected suitcase that held the bomb
( hereafter known as the primary suitcase )
were traced to Malta from a label which, I think, read: John Mallia.

Giving evidence in court, Paul Mallia confirms that the company he works for is called John Mallia and Sons,
and that they supplied clothing that looks like it ended up in the primary suitcase.

The travels of the suitcase were absolutly essential to the prosecution case,
but the main point being that it was unnacompanied, starting it's journey in Malta.
No, no, no, say Air Malta.  That's not possible and we can prove it.

However, travelling with luggage that wasn't yours was entirely possible.
In a statement read out to court, having declined to appear in person, the cargo manager of Maltese Airlines
admits to carrying 3 suitcases on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt on the day of the bombing
( I'm not sure which flight )
His own, his girlfriend's and one as a favour for a friend/colleague.
He collected the case from his Uncle, saying it was locked so couldn't confirm that it didn't just carry clothes.

At Frankfurt his statement appears to say that he then gave the case to his friend or colleague.
The name of the cargo manager is Saviour Mallia.
From the news reports I've read it is not clear wether the suitcase is for a friend,
or if it is being carried for a friend of a colleague.

In his original statement to Scottish detectives
Saviour Mallia does not mention the 3rd suitcase at all.
Therefore, the police have no idea that it is perfectly possible to carry anything without knowing what it is from Malta to Frankfurt, so the narrative of unacompanied luggage is the only one that they can pursue.

In all the newstitle webpages I've seen Saviour Mallia's evidence appears below
reports on the to-ings and fro-ings of when/if Abu Talb will appear as a witness
for the prosecution 

There is one other Mallia connected to the trial.
Dr Emmanuel Mallia, a Maltese lawyer, working with the defence.

I don't think the bomb started it's journey that day in Malta, especially an unancompanied one.

It's good odds that none of the Mallias here are at all connected with each other.
I've put them together as an example of co-incidence.

It seems that some co-incidences, of seemingly equal weight/fluffiness, are more important/not important.

It's a very tricky business trying to decide which bits of the minutaie could be useful as there are many routes up the garden path.  Pick a theory and follow it out, choosing the forks in the road as you see fit.  Regardless of your chosen path you'll be doing well not to end up round the bend.

Of course, having all the available facts helps.  As does not making your mind up too early.  Worse is to have your mind made up for you.  I think the judges let themselves be conned way too early.  Their nonsensical judgement, then conviction of one accused - the release of the other, smacks of self-delusion at their own importance.  They should be ashamed, but they did their job well in enough in their own minds, so probably had no trouble falling asleep at night.

Friday, 17 June 2011


Inside an antique copper ( or brown ) coloured
suitcase, made by Samsonite.


within a radio cassette recorder, made by Toshiba.


Was packed nearly half a kilo of Semtex explosive.

It might have looked like this

Below is a study in how the suitcase may have been packed.


Why's it in it's box Al?

( It never occurred to me at all that the terrorist,
having modified the cassette player,
would neatly package it all up again,
but then I've never tried to smuggle anything )

It's because the investigators found an exceptional clue as to which make and model
of cassette player was used to carry the semtex.

Nothing less than Page 1 from the user manual.

On the morning of 22nd Dec, found in a field 60 miles( ish ) from the main crash site.


.pk/689 is the evidence
PT/1 (page 1) is a control sample
( sorry, it's not to scale )

At the trial the witness recalls handing items found to the police a couple of times.
The page was definitely for something electrical
and was placed in a carrier bag with other items
It was in better condition than when presented at the trial.

I'm not convinced that the evidence presented is the page the witness found.
Apparrently, this page survived the explosion and lay overnight
in a field in one piece.
It reached it's condition as presented in court
 due to rigorous forensic testing and analysis.
Pretty shoddy treatment for the only bit of evidence that fits a
Toshiba Radio Cassette player of the right make and model to PA103.
Why is this make and model so important?
It was sold mostly in Libya.
The accused are Libyans.
Haha! Gottem!!

The original suspects of the PFLP-GC were nicked red-handed in Germany
with IEDs in Toshiba cassette players a couple of months before Lockerbie.
( Operation Autumn Leaves )
The main bombmaker was freed by the German police and headed off to Jordan.
Not all of the known-about devices were recovered.
Those devices that were discovered used a different model of Toshiba's range.
Well, that's him off-the-hook, clearly.

You think I'm joking as to how the judges seemed to have formed their opinions.
I wish I was.
On evidence this flimsy and suspect Mr Megrahi was convicted.
Is there other, more substantial, physical evidence?
Well, there's other fragments and plenty of conjecture,
but it really doesn't stack up to anything concrete.
I'll be posting about that some other time.

So far I'm keeping it light on names.
As you can imagine, an investigation of Lockerbie's magnitude pulled in the testimony of hundreds.
I'll be introducing the 'players' later.
I'll also be introducing others who were deemed not so important
and some who were completely overlooked.

I'm relying on 2nd hand sources
( newstitle webpages and other blogs )
to find out who said what at the trial.

The Zeist transcripts are out there and one day I'm sure
to browse my way to a copy.

For a more in-depth look at this strand I'll point you here.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Useful idiots

It seems that many people have the knowledge of some of the agents and agencies
( governmental, criminal or otherwise )
involved in the downing of PA103.
Politics was definitely all.

An octopus has been used as a metaphor
in the quest for the scoop on who really dunnit.

The more I learn in the continually unravelling prosecution case
the more I'm minded of a nest of vipers,
which is possibly unfair on the vipers.

Dedicated professionals from all walks of life seemed to have a choice.
Fit the evidence around the proposed case.
Er, that's not actually a choice.

Suffice to say, that straying from the chosen narrative was a bad career choice.

The move to brand anyone questioning the conviction of Mr Megrahi as a
conspiracy nut is a sign of desperation.
Accusations of being a Libyan schill are a sign of someone still grieving.
Beliefs are a way to avoid looking at reality.
Maybe it was Libyan agents, but it was certainly never proved.

My impressions from reactons by US citizens is that:
 they've not quite got their heads around why
 any country in the world would attack the USA.
It isn't a stretch to say that, while just about everyone likes fizzy cola and
decent rock and pop tunes, no one's really all that keen on US soldiers stomping
about the world installing 'democracy' and 'liberating' the fek out of everywhere.
Culture clash?
's all about the money.

So, who, back in the 1980s could have possibly had a grudge against the mighty USA.
Actually, there's a fair ol' list.
While Ronnie's Reaganites blind-sided us all with the
'Evil Empire'
of the Soviet Union
there was bubbling resentment all over the globe.

The problem for the USA seems to have been,
to be sure still is,
that it cannot come out with a good ol' face to face showdown.
( y'know, white hats v black hats sorta thing, probably about noon )
War is really bad for commercial interests, apart from the arms industries of course.
The oil needs to flow
and most of it flows from the middle-east.

So, being an efficient war based enterprise the USA has spent decades propping up corrupt
and indefensible regimes anywhere that is helpful to it's interests.
Yet given half a chance those useful puppets are only of so much use.
Keep things stable and the goodies, trinkets and riches will flow,
no questions asked.

Gaddafi's his own man.
Self-interest max.
He's been a target of the USA for decades
and now the narrative for his disposal is pretty much completely in place.

If he did indeed order and 'facilitate' the bombing of PA103
then he should be brought to trial.
Along with his government of the time.

I've read of some people wanting him killed
because of Lockerbie.
Perhaps this is the Mists of War.

A war which
, apart from one outrageous attackday on Sept11 2001,
has been fought completely outside the borders of the USA.

American justice systems are all about revenge.
A cycle of violence that's straight out of the old testament.
It rarely seems to be about vengeance on the correct targets.

Perhaps the only real breakthroughs in our understanding of
why PanAm103 was destroyed will come when the narrative needs to change.

Too many careers hinge on always having an enemy
( Operation BogeyMan )

Even if Gadaffi is deposed/assassinated/exiled/ tried and executed,
there will always be the fact that Mr Megrahi was imprisoned
by a court that could not prove it was him,
or how he did it.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The C word...

is one that there is generally no getting away from.

It's a perfectly good word.
Descriptive and powerful.
Often used when all commonsense seems lost,
but not one to be used in polite company.

Of course, I'm talking about "Conspiracy"
 There was a time when us folks only had a couple of Cs to ponder
and wonder about - Could they, would they and why?
JFK obviously p'd off a few of the wrong sorts.
During the 90s, however, things start to shift a bit.
There was a splendid TV show called 'The X-files'
which I initially thought was going to be a modern take on
The Twilight Zone.
By the end of Season Two we were in a whole new programme.
Anyhow, this massively popular programme caught the imagination of many people.
It's main messages seemed to be 
"Trust No-one"
"I Want To Believe"

I think it really hit a chord with the public at large,
with shady, governmental goings-on
and inexplicable things happening then being covered up before word got out.
Paranoia was in.

I'll get round to blogging about the pertinence of the C word regards Lockerbie at other points.
It would be impossible to write anything about the whole thing without doing so.
There are many unanswered questions, but I'm not going to ask any. There isn't anyone to ask.

Reaching back into the past always uncovers little lost nuggets of information.
Stuff that may or may not be important.
Memory is a notoriously fragile thing.
The police in Scotland 
( aka the Polis )
are pretty good at writing everything down
They are made up, mainly, of individuals who work hard
and deal with all sorts of unsavoury and terrible events.
Their numbers contain dedicated individuals. Conscientious. Competent. Honest.
Unarmed, so know how to fight dirty.
Occasionally, something like what happened to
Then one really wonders what the fek is going on.
Politics is involved and it's coming from the top.
This is a bad thing.
Maybe I'm alone in thinking that the career of any politician is a top priority.

From the moment PA103 hits the ground a different game seems to jump the queue on Justice.

National Security 
and not protection of Patriots
is all that matters.
At least that's confirmed.

Still, the prosecution's got cast-iron witnesses to call
and key forensics experts.
Luckily for the prosecution they didn't actually need any of either.

At the time of the verdict I brought a laugh out of a group of pals in the boozer
( Robbie's on Leith Walk - practically an institution in it's own regards )
In the 'debate' of guilty/not guilty a couple of nights before the announcement was, er announced,
I said, " One to the gaol, one to go free "
Mostly, we all reckoned on Not Proven. 
Don't know why I said it, just piped-up with my tuppence worth into someone else's 
conversation whilst waiting to be served
( Deuchar's IPA - hard to find a better ale brewed )

A couple of weeks later one of the pals bought me a beer and asked,
" How the hell did you know that? "
I didn't know what to say.
I'm not psychic.
Sometimes I just like to be contrary.
Especially in boozers.
It's the best way to choice get the choicest opinions and some cutting 'repartee'
I just felt that, after more than a decade, they'd better pin someone.
To this day no one understands why the judges didn't use Not Proven.

It was only in the years after the case that those of us 
( ie average punters with no inside, in-depth knowledge of proceedings )
 peering a little deeper,reflecting on 
Scotland's biggest ever criminal justice case,
began to realise just how Not Proven Mr Megrahi's conviction really was.
It's most likely that the judges were doing what was expected of them.
Scotland's a wee place, with wee institutions.
In many walks of life, the right thing to do is often dressed up as
"It'll be in your best interests to do this.  Just say that"
It must be a hard toil getting to be a judge and a Lord.
I suspect not rocking the boat is a good idea.
Safe pair of hands required.

All of the conspiracies I've read have that tantalising element of 
" Actually, that all sounds quite rational and might be true "
( Apart from those of MoonBat Inc - stop it with the aliens, already. 
ps the lizards were in a programme called V )

I'm not really interested in the why.
It's the who I'd like to see brought before a court.
All of them.
National Security?
You're having a laugh.

At some point, probably in the far future,
someone might do the unexpected of him or herself.

And leak the truth.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

So, the indictment was brought...

against two Libyans, then ?

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi


Al Amin Khalifa Fhima.

There was not a reporter on the TV or radio news
that could pronounce these names without stumbling.
Guys in the pub would stop mid-sip just to try and catch them.
The papers had as equally a rough time spelling them
( and to be honest, I'm still not sure the correct spelling )

But to be brief, it simply sets out the stall that the accused
were members of the Libyan Intelligence services and were involved in
the procurement of electronic timers from MEBO,
that they used false documentation ( ie passports ) and identities
to nick some luggage tags and place a suitcase amongst
 the luggage going on a flight in Malta, namely
Air Malta flight KM180 to Frankfurt am Main Airport,
 Federal Republic of Germany
( this, of course, being the days before the reunification of Germany )

This suitcase was then transferred onto a flight ( PA 103 ) to London Heathrow
and then transferred again onto a flight to New York.
Within the suitcase was a Toshiba cassette recorder
which had nearly 500g of Semtex explosive hidden inside
and, of course, a MEBO timer.

The indictment even mentions clothes that were alleged to have been bought in
Mary's House, Malta,
by the accused.

However, it was going to be a while before the accused were to sit before the judge.
Or, in fact, the judges.
The political wrangling on how to achieve a fair trial went on for the best part of a decade.
Nelson Mandela even got involved to try and break the impasse.
Eventually, something a bit out of the ordinary happened.

came up with the format that was agreeable
to all sides involved.

It would be a Scottish court, but a special court,
not in South Africa, but the Netherlands,
yet still dispensing guid auld Scottish justice.
There would be a difference:  3 judges, no jury.

The prosecution was to be led by the Lord Advocate,
about as big a bigwig in lawyer terms as you're likely to get.
( In Scotland, all Crown cases are prosecuted, nominally,  by The Procurator Fiscal.
Top of this department is the Lord Advocate )

Ultimate responsibility for the investigation into 270 murders  fell to

who also headed up the indictment.

The trial, eventually, was set to begin May, 2000.
Lord Hardie, it was thought, was going to be the prosecution's main man.
But, wait...

The baton is picked up by Colin Boyd QC who stepped up to Lord Advocate
from Solicitor-General.

After all the shenanigans in getting an acceptable, neutral country,
an acceptable format for the trial
and Libya to hand over the accused for trial
it was clear that no one had a foot on the Shenanigans brake.
to broker the deal to get the trial going
said the following
"No one nation should be complainant, prosecutor and judge."
Wise words indeed, Madiba.

What was about to unfold was,
in my opinion,
a complete travesty.

Had either of the accused been involved in the plot to down PA103
it sure wasn't proved.

There is absolutely no way a jury of 15 in a Scottish court would have
returned a verdict of guilty
( although a couple of million bucks each might have swung it )

Scottish juries do have a third, somewhat unique, option.
They could have, as could our 3 learned friends, returned a Not Proven verdict.

Not Proven is pretty much seen as
 " We think you did it, but we don't quite know how,
but you're free to go.  Shut the door on your way out "

This court was going to be something very special indeed.


In my last post I mentioned The Lockerbie Divide.

Also on Blogger is The Lockerbie Case.

Do go get your head proper twisted.
There's much more, alleged, to it than al-Megrahi.

Monday, 6 June 2011

not just a crash then...

About a week after the crash  it was revealed PA103 was downed by an IED.
Somehow I remember being not that surprised at the news.
Dismayed, confused and fizzing with anger, yet there was no-one to direct this against.
Eventually it would fade from me.
For a while at least. 

Terrorists and their atrocities had always been lurking about,
sometimes glimpsed on the TV news:
In Northern Ireland or down south in England the IRA fought their war with Britain.

Further afield in curious and ancient places, 
seemingly endless battles raged on.
A continual and cyclical carnage
A circus of claim & counterclaim. 
Legitimately criminal despots leading their armies on their march into history's bloodiest pages;
The Appendix entitled - Everyone Loses.

Invasions bigger, deadlier on every continent 
and in every continent the dread word - genocide. 
 All about resources and newsworthy briefly
then back to our lives. 
Our government will protect us. 

There were sides to be on, your team to choose,
but where I lived most of us were only troubled about 
the Hibs n the Hertz.
I mostly worried about the local football hooligan firm the CCS. 

During the 1980s the UK govt cozied up to the USA big time.
Something about there being no alternative was a key theme of Thatcher's time in charge.
I remember the bombing of the German discotheque, which killed US soldiers,
and the retaliatory strike launched on Libya, by the USA, from British bases.
We talked about stuff like this in school.
In Economics class mostly.
We were asked to raise our hands if we thought the revenge attack was right.
Out of 20 or so, only one girl put her hand up.
Her opinion was, of course we should strike back at our enemies.
My opinion was, how do we know it was Libya? 

On December 21, 1988, Scotland went into shock.
Every goddam one of us. 

By the time New Year had come round it was realised 
that it had been the biggest terrorist ever attack in Britain
and the biggest one ever aimed at American citizens.
 People from the following countries also died:
 Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, India ,Ireland, Israel, Italy,
 Jamaica, Japan, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
 Trinidad and Tobago,United Kingdom.
None of us knew who was responsible but there was much talk of  'stringing the bastards up' 
(Woe betide the wretch that ends up in a Scottish prison for murder, never mind for a stunt like PA103 ) 

I reckon there would have been a queue about 5 million Scots ready to 'have a go'
politely waiting their turn for a minute in a room with the bombers. 
The perpetrators were scum, motherfuckers, deserving of no mercy.
I don't think I'd ever seen, or seen since, every Scottish person so angry.
We all felt it at some point.
Eventually this feeling would also fade.
We did want justice.

Of course, no-one could be sure that anyone would ever be pinned for the crime.
Many thought it would be impossible to solve the Whodunnit. 

Theories abounded.
I wasn't at all clued-in as to which splinter group this was,
or whatever faction the other might be,
but a narrative began to form about a revenge attack by Iran,
organised somehow by a Palestinian group operating out of Syria.
To be honest, I'd have been hard-pushed to identify the borders of these places on a map.
I knew my way about Europe, even though half of it was seemingly out of bounds
thanks to the Cold War. 

So, I was having trouble making sense of a lot of the info bouncing around.
I realised how very little I actually knew about the 'bigger picture'

That point was rammed home, in November 1991, when the press announced that charges were to brought against
2 Libyans.

What the....?

For many people in my circle that clearly meant the case was going to be watertight.
  " Forensic science and a' these experts. 
These two Libyan guys wouldnae be 'up before the beak'
if they hudnae been involved."

I know people who think along these lines, 
People I've met who confess to knowing nothing of the case talk of 
The Lockerbie Bomber.
" He was convicted. It must have been proved."
 I guess I'm writing this blog for them.

It's a high ideal, this innocent until proven guilty.
However, many ordinary people genuinely do believe
that to be in the dock in the first place
the accused most certainly must have been up to no good.
Many ordinary people just want revenge and are not interested in 
the further consequences of it's pointless cycle. 


There are many resources and opinions available on the internet
Wiki-pedia's a good place to learn the ropes and to delve into some of the curiousness of it all.
There's also the excellent, and possibly unsurpassable, blog
The Lockerbie Divide 
which I would recommend for newbies and for those,
 such as me,
who have forgotten bits or never learned of them first time round.

For all the dishonest and despicable characters that populate the events of the last 20+ years
there are also people of outstanding dignity, courage and inspiration. 

Everyone deserves for the truth to be told.
In this day and age we can all handle it. 


As for the title of the blog?
Well, I'm lucky to now be living very close to a mile long bay in the Channel Islands.
It's good for contemplation, to sort out thoughts.
I realised quite quickly when I decided to blog about what I believe to be a 
miscarriage of justice that there was a whole heap of history to go through,
not just in terms of the trial, conviction, appeals and release,
but of my own little existence in this world.

 Feel free to ask questions, to suggest corrections, to voice opinions.
These are some of the real luxuries in life. 

Saturday, 4 June 2011

A lot has changed since...


As time slips past everything changes one way or another.
Sand dunes shift, rivers change course, mountains crumble.
Process never stops.
The Immovable Object is not long for this world.
Unstoppable forces will bring it to a day of reckoning somehow.

When PanAm 103 exploded the political landscape was vastly different to that of today.

At the end of 1988 Irish terrorists were still active in the UK.
Germany was still split East and West,
Yugoslavia could still be thought of as a single entity,
Saddam Hussein's Iraq had not long finished a horrific war with Iran.
Nelson Mandela was still in prison in apartheid South Africa.
The Soviets were still in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan.
Mobile phones were about the same size as a car and just as expensive.
Digital cameras were unheard of.

 At 18 years old I just assumed that this was going to be how the landscape would be for ever.
East v West, Democracy v Tyranny, The Pixies v Jive Bunny.

Nothing much happened in Scotland that would attract the attention of the world at large.
Conservative government policies had swept away the heavy industries
and an extremely unpopular  Poll Tax was about to bet trailled.
We were all a bit pre-occupied with hating the Tories.

Jumbo jets didn't crash on small towns in Scotland.
In my little world terrorists hi-jacked planes and demanded ransoms.
They didn't blow them up mid-air murdering all on board. 

The relatives of those who died on PA103 deserve to know who was responsible.
They deserve to know why it was done,
and by which group

 Does National Security qualify as an oxymoron?
How many laws have to be broken to keep those laws in place?
Whose job is it?

I assume that it's ordinary people,
working in extra-ordinary organisations,
trying their best to sustain their careers.

Oil, narcotics and war are dirty occupations.
The rewards for brokering and managing successful deals are huge.
The successful are often yes men just playing their part,
earning their daily bread and looking after their loved ones. 

It's possible to become very successful by having the wherewithal to know when to play along.

So, two Libyan men were accused of the PA103 bomb plot.
The trial that followed and the judgment handed down should shame 
ideas of Scottish Justice for decades to come.

There's a lot of ground to cover and it's my intention to try, with this blog,
to highlight just what a serious miscarriage of justice has been carried out.
I'll be using many of the sources available on the wwweb, and will try to credit them.

For now, it's safe to say that when the prosecution case relies on two men planting a bomb,
for the court to decide to let one go and imprison the other without being able to say why
that conviction is unsafe.

I'll finish this entry by pointing out for the young 'uns,
or anyone who thinks they know something about Scottish courts, 
that no jury was involved.
This was one of the conditions of the accused,
who felt that with all the publicity that had been generated between the event
and their indictment that they would not receive a fair trial.

I'll take my time putting the entries together,
otherwise your mind will start bouncing around like a demented kangaroo. 

Friday, 3 June 2011

What this blog is and what it's not...

An introduction.
Of sorts, sort of.
Too many silly people asking all the wrong questions are just as annoying
as too many bright people failing to question anything. 

What happened in the years after the bombing of Pan Am 103,
killing 270 people in the air and on the ground of Scotland, in 1988
will trouble me for all my days.

 I am not connected to any of the victims,
or families.
I am not an investigator or journalist,
nor a polis or spook.

I am, mostly, bemused.
It's these bemusings that are going to be filling this blog.

Let's begin: 

The man convicted of the crime,
 Mr Abdelbasset al-Megrahi,
could not have achieved it in the manner 
that he was alleged to have done so. 

 I will never know for certain  who blew the plane from the sky.
Nor will I ever comprehend the reason why.

It is entirely possible to put together an entirely different version of events that lead to the bombing.
There are 3 or 4 plausible,
and I have to say more convincing,
narratives than the one that jailed Mr Megrahi.

This blog is not intended to become a discussion forum,
nor a repository for Conspiracy Theories and MumboJumbo.
Leave a comment by all means, but keep it polite
and do be careful about slander and libel.

259 people scattered across the Scottish scenery.
11 people incinerated in their own homes.

For what?


So, why this now?
Hopefully just to have some materials handy.
( Mr Megrahi will be in the news again soon enough. )
People acquainted with the case will probably not learn anything new.
Those who just assume Mr Megrahi is guilty just because the news are
always calling him The Lockerbie Bomber are in for a shock.

Perhaps they might notice what passes for justice
in this cherished world of democracy and freedom
where law is subordinated to Washington via Westminster.

From the tiniest fragments and slimmest of details
are all our lives dependent.

None of us have much time.
Try to spend it doing the least harm to others that you can manage.
Your government and courts sure ain't looking out for you.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Earliest TV reports of crash.

BBC Breakfast news report.  22nd December 1988

We are to learn later that some of the details are not quite correct
eg number of fatalities.

However, it is the first reporting of the idea that the plane left Heathrow behind schedule.

ITN Evening report December 22, 1988