Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Miraculous Recovery For Terrorist Bomber, And BP May Have Helped

It has now been a year since Scotland released convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi on the humanitarian grounds that he had terminal cancer and only three months to live. Looking at it another way, the murdering bastard has already lived nine months longer than they said he would, and seems to be recovering nicely.

There's no need to rehash the original story. Scotland made a horrendously bad decision releasing a terrorist who murdered 270 people, mostly Americans, on Pan Am Flight 103. There is simply no "humanitarian balance" in showing mercy toward one vile inhuman beast when 270 innocent human beings went to their graves with justice denied. But now it appears that the picture of the Libyan mass murderer returning home in triumph [above] may be at least partially the result of efforts by British Petroleum (BP).

Now BP isn't exactly every American's favorite oil company at the moment anyway. BP executives continue to treat the Gulf oil spill as an unfortunate public relations mistake instead of a major disaster. Their statements regarding the events leading up to and following the oil spill have ranged from simple obfuscation to outright distortion. And now it seems that this is a pattern. Dead fish and birds and lost wetlands are bad enough, but murdered Americans being denied justice is at least as bad. When queried on their alleged involvement in the release of the mass murderer, BP at first remained silent (typical), then issued one of those infamous non-denial denials.

The Wall Street Journal hopped on the story early, and made multiple requests of BP officials for a confirmation, denial or explanation of the reports that BP influenced the decision to release the terrorist. But it wasn't until loud noises coming from members of Congress about a possible investigation into the allegations began to be heard outside the Capitol that BP felt it could no longer stonewall. So it sandbagged instead. BP's response to the Journal reads as follows:

"The decision to release Mr. Al Megrahi in August 2009 was taken by the Scottish government. It is not for BP to comment on the decision of the Scottish Government. BP was not involved in any discussions with the UK Government or the Scottish Government about the release of Mr. Megrahi." That is what the military academies call "a quibble." The answer is true, but not truthful. And it's dishonest and dishonorable. Here is what BP really said to both governments in late 2007:

"We are concerned about the slow progress that is being made in concluding a Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Libya. We are aware that this could have a negative impact on UK commercial interests, including the ratification by the Libyan Government of BP's exploration agreement (emphasis added). OK, the memo doesn't specifically reference al-Megrahi. And if that's all we had, their current explanation would be at least somewhat believable.

BP was deep in negotiations with the Libyan government, and specifically with madman Muammar Qadaffi's son, Saif. From a legal viewpoint at trial, this is only hearsay, but we're not in court, and this is pretty nasty stuff. Says Saif: "At all times we (Libya and Scotland) talked about the prisoner transfer agreement it was obvious we were talking about him (terrorist al-Megrahi). And when we talked to BP, we all knew that was what we were talking about." Qadaffi is only one of several Libyan officials who have tied BP, the UK and Scottish governments, and Libya together.

So what we're left with at this point is BP claiming it had no direct part in the government negotiations (true, apparently), but was very much involved in negotiations regarding economic matters and prisoner exchanges, which had at their pinnacle the unspoken but well-known exchange of BP oil exploration agreements in Libya for the release of a mass murderer. That is a distinction without a difference, and if BP can't come up with something better than that, they should earn at least a major consumer boycott of their products in America.

In all fairness, the WSJ writers say "what we still don't know is how hard BP lobbied the British government to secure the transfer agreement. One key figure is Mark Allen, a politically connected former MI6 officer who became an adviser to BP in 2004 and raised the matter with then-UK Justice Minister Jack Straw in 2007. The company hasn't answered our request for details of Mr. Allen's conversations with Mr. Straw." The Journal was being generous in not pointing out that Straw was notorious for being in the hip-pocket of Middle East Oil money men.

The only thing that prevents this from being a clear and provable quid pro quo is that the transfer agreement was signed in 2007. BP immediately thereafter received a $900 million deal from the Libyan government in Tripoli to drill deep water wells off the Libyan coast. Still, bureaucratic matters held up the specific release of al-Megrahi until 2009. That might give BP a little room to maneuver around this latest revelation, but not enough to satisfy me without considerably better answers. I don't ordinarily jump to conclusions, but where there's oil, there's lies. As I mentioned earlier, we're not in a court of law, and all things being equal, it seems right to me to consider BP guilty until proven innocent.

ADDENDUM: Before anyone asks, I did indeed see the entire joint press conference between the President and the British Prime Minister. That display of bonhomie was both necessary and appropriate. That said, nothing either of them said allays my suspicions of BP's possible involvement in the release of the Lockerbie bomber, nor I suspect it will have much affect on the Wall Street Journal. In fact, Cameron's comment that the British government will cooperate in any investigation but doesn't see the point of it only adds to my suspicions. I don't see anything sinister in his statement, but I do see an attempt to minimalize what may be a very important story.


AndrewPrice said...

Why am I not surprised? When Scotland released him, it stunk. Even if he was sick, humanitarian releases are rare and are rarely given to mass murderers. They are usually given to people that everyone suspects are really innocent.

Add in the timing of the whole thing and how it was done apparently without the knowledge of the Americans, and something was up.

Now we start hearing about BP lobbying to release this guy, and it just wraps it all up.

This is the kind of influence peddling that is entirely despicable. This is the subversion of justice and of the hard work of thousands of investigators on behalf of one stinking international oil company that just wasn't smart enough to go find oil somewhere where the government was a group of whackos.


Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - I take a couple of things away from your post. First, whoever made the diagnosis of the terminal nature of the illness has zero credibility. Second, how hard BP actually lobbied is almost irrelevant in the sense we know they would put their own interests in securing a beneficial agreement ahead of anything else.

I don't happen to use BP/Amoco products, but now will make a special effort to avoid them. Interestingly, the weekend of July 4th, I traveled to Biloxi, Ms. to take grandchildren home. There were a ton of BP stations down there, but I saw hardly anybody patronizing them.

Unknown said...

Andrew: One murder, maybe humanitarian release might apply. Particularly if the surrounding circumstances indicate that it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime act for which the murderer is genuinely contrite. But this was the cold-blooded, carefully planned and successfully executed mass murder of innocent civilians that this scumbag had no direct knowledge of. There was simply no, zero, excuse for releasing him for any reason, humanitarian or otherwise. If the facts ultimately support it being at least partially an economic decision, it becomes one of the greatest human rights violations in modern times.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: The diagnosis appeared originally to have been negligent. Now, without further explanation from Scotland, the UK and BP, I have every reason to believe it was rigged and an outright lie.

I can't say much about personal contact with BP. The full extent of my knowledge of them is that the crooks who used to run a Unocal service station in San Francisco that screwed my son over on a repair to his truck now run it as a BP station. Oh, and one day all the Phillips 66 gas stations in town were suddenly sporting BP signs.

I'm not much of a boycotter or ecofreak, but I boycotted Exxon after the Valdez disaster not because of the accident but because of their lame explanations and slow taking of blame. Imagine how I feel about BP right now.

Joel Farnham said...

Current lies MSM and the powers-that-be want us to believe.

I never inhaled, I didn't listened to that Wright fellow, climate warming is caused by man and now the Lockerbie Bomber was sick.

Any one wonder now why MSM is losing it's audience?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I can't disagree. They have basically let a terrorist kill 270 people in exchange for letting BP drill for oil. That's not a transaction anyone should be proud of.

Unknown said...

Joel: It was bad enough when they were all marching to the same tune, but without direction. Now it appears that there actually have been "progressive" MSM journalism organizations that planned to squelch any negative news about Obama. They don't have to get together in a room and plan their Obama strategy, they just do it online with their fellow insiders. I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but I really have to wonder how, within 24 hours, all the liberal media manage to tell almost verbatim the same stories that minimalize or ignore the truth behind criticisms of Obama.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I also noticed that Cameron kept emphasizing that it was Scotland, not Britain, that released the bomber.

Unknown said...

Andrew: The Nazis did a similar calculation with human lives. They decided it was more efficient to work "inferior races" to death and replace them with fresh ones than to treat the workers at least somewhat humanely. Let me emphasize that I am NOT comparing BP or Scotland to the Nazis. I am merely saying that human lives cannot be treated as mere numbers in an economic formula.

Unknown said...

HamiltonsGhost: What Cameron did was sensible and chicken, at the same time. The sensible part was not being an Obama and blaming all evil and all failures on the prior opposition administration. Commendable. But then he proceeded to do what too many American politicians do, without a decent basis for doing so. He blamed Scotland. The last time I looked, Scotland was still part of the United Kingdom, despite being given much more autonomy under the Blair administration. The tie between the two countries is closer than the Constitution provides for the federal and state governments in America. At the very least, Cameron should be saying "we (Great Britain) dropped the ball by failing to make our objections far more public and far more vocal." Instead he acts as if an entirely sovereign nation made a bad decision over which England had absolutely no influence. And it's British Petroleum, not Scottish Petroleum. England should at least have objected to having its own name sullied by this reprehensible release, even though British Petroleum is not an organ of the British government. Hooey.

StanH said...

Just wow! I heard this story a couple weeks ago and asked, “what in the hell are people thinking?” That slimy piece of Islamic debris should have died in prison, while being gang raped by all of cell block C. Incredible!

Unknown said...

Stan: Awww, have a heart. The poor guy was s-o-o-o sick, after all. Or maybe not. What a load these people are trying to feed us.

BevfromNYC said...

The Sunday Times reported that the doctor who actually gave the prognosis that this guy had 3 months to live knew that he could live for 10-20 years longer, but "it would be unusual". He was the only doctor the Libyans could find who would make that prognosis.

Unknown said...

Bev: Well, doesn't that just figure? The more I learn about this, the more appalled I am. Consideration was given to everyone and everything except the 180 Americans and 270 passengers who suffered a horrifying death that fatal day.

Unknown said...

LawHawk. And now it's coming out that BP doctored photos of its command center for the oil leak. The photoshop makes the place look like high tech central, when in fact it's quite an ordinary post. I'm beginning to doubt everything, and I mean everything, that BP tells us.

Unknown said...

CalFed: To paraphrase Lillian Hellman, "everything they say is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'" BP is beginning to make Exxon look like a paragon of truth and virtue. And at least Exxon didn't make drilling deals with terrorist nations in exchange for the release of mass murderers.

Unknown said...

For clarity's sake, I should revise my prior comment to say "to paraphrase Mary McCarthy speaking of Lillian Hellman . . . "

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