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Lockerbie move 'not terror boost'

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posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 06:58 AM
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news.bbc.co.uk...


The release of the Lockerbie bomber has not given "succour to terrorists", Gordon Brown's spokesman has said.
He acknowledged that the decision, made by the Scottish government, created "strong feelings" among relatives of those killed in the 1988 attack.
The prime minister has been criticised for refusing to comment on the release of terminally ill Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.
But his spokesman said it remained a decision for the Scottish government.
Last week Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill allowed Megrahi to be released after serving eight years of his life sentence for the bombing of a US-bound Pan Am flight, in which 270 people were killed.
'Very difficult'
There was fury from families of the victims and US politicians after Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, returned to his native Libya to huge celebrations.
Justice policy in Scotland is a devolved matter, meaning the Scottish - rather than the UK - government is in charge of it.
However, there has been some criticism that Mr Brown did not intervene to try to persuade Mr MacAskill against Megrahi's release, given the international implications.

Asked about the message that the decision had sent out, Mr Brown's spokesman said: "I don't see how anyone can argue this has has given succour to terrorists."
Pressed over the possible damage to UK-US relations, the spokesman said: "Clearly the prime minister recognises this was a very difficult decision and was clearly an extremely sensitive one, and that there will be very strong feelings from the families."
Challenged over why Mr Brown would not comment, the spokesman repeatedly said that it was a matter for the Scottish justice secretary.
He said: "It would be wrong to reverse that and take a public decision after the decision. It was and remains a decision for the Scottish justice secretary."
He added: "He [the prime minister] found the scenes at Tripoli airport thoroughly distasteful and fully supports what the foreign secretary and Alistair Darling have said, and will continue to work with the Libyans to ensure that those things are not repeated."
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said: "Although the decision to release Megrahi was a Scottish one for which Gordon Brown was not personally responsible, the fallout puts the UK at the centre of an international storm.
"In these circumstances, it is absurd and damaging that the British prime minister simply remains silent in the hope that someone else will take the flak."
BBC political correspondent Norman Smith said Mr Brown would gain little from commenting on the issue, with the danger that he would upset the US government if he backed the release, or alienate the Libyan government if he criticised it.


So Brown disagrees with the American position, especially the FBI director, that the release has helped terrorists.

It seems there's a little game going on with the American position to distract the public with propaganda, wonder what else is part of this game?


[edit on 24-8-2009 by john124]




posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 03:37 PM
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I suspect that Brown may find the US to be less than cooperative on some issues in the future. Our "Special Relationship" does get strained from time to time, and the publication of "Londonistan" by Melanie Phillips certainly raised certain Americans' interest in the changing demographics of the UK. I know it went around my office like the black plaque, with our couple of resident Anglophiles in a very defensive posture. This action by the Scots government has thrown fuel on a fire already troubled by Afghanistan.
If MI-5 is still looking for the odd IRA bomber in Boston, they may find a different attitude at the Justice Department in DC.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 03:57 PM
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I think Gordon Brown is being tortured by his own conscience.

He knows it was right to free al-Megrahi ... he just can't bring himself to say it. It's my own hunch. His Dad was our local Kirk minister & his boys received a firm grounding in Christianity & the ways of the Church of Scotland. You can't underestimate the influence of the Kirk in Scottish life, politics etc. And you certainly can't underestimate the influence of Rev. John Brown ...

The Kirk has issued its own response to al-Megrahi's release :-


This decision has sent a message to the world about what it is to be Scottish. We are defined as a nation by how we treat those who have chosen to hurt us. Do we choose mercy even when they did not choose mercy? This was not about whether one man was guilty or innocent. Nor is it about whether he had a right to mercy but whether we as a nation, despite the continuing pain of many, are willing to be merciful. I understand the deep anger and grief that still grips the souls of the victims’ families and I respect their views. But to them I would say justice is not lost in acting in mercy. Instead our deepest humanity is expressed for the better. To choose mercy is the tough choice and today our nation met that challenge. We have gained something significant as a Nation by this decision. It is a defining moment for all of us.


Kirk response to al-Megrahi's release

Think there's a schism opening up here between the UK & USA. Brown's desperately trying to narrow the gap while trying to square his conscience ... it'll be a difficult balancing act for him, he's not exactly sure-footed ... I doubt he can pull it off.

Can't remember a squabble like this since the USA invaded Grenada way back.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by Ulala
 


Interesting. Of course there will be no statement coming from the Israeli government, since the entire affair is none of their business, but imagining what a Likkud party response would be, I'd sign it.

As to the points made elsewhere that the plane was blown up over Scots airspace, I'm sure we haven't forgotten that, and absolutely, the Scots government can do what it wishes, as can the UK goverment. By the same token, the US can do as it wishes in the matter, either diplomatically or covertly.
Have a nice day!




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