24 August 2009

Now the US bullies Scotland

When Barack Obama became president of the US, some of us hoped that among the changes we were urged to believe in would be the US abandoning its role as self-appointed bully of the world.

But it seems that this was a change we could not believe in.

Laurence White: Lockerbie case has more to do with politics than justice - Laurence White, Columnists - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk:
The Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, is equally convinced. Indeed, such is his fury at the release of al-Megrahi, that he wrote a letter to the man who set him free, Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, in such vitriolic terms it is a wonder it did not spontaneously burst into flames when exposed to the open air.

There can seldom have been such a missive sent from the security services of one country to a its friendliest and longest standing ally. He described the decision to release al-Meghrahi as making a “mockery of the rule of law”.

FBI director rips release of Lockerbie bomber - Terrorism- msnbc.com:
'Your action,' he wrote MacAskill, 'makes a mockery of the grief of the families who lost their own on December 21, 1988. You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution.'

He ended the Lockerbie letter with a frustrated question: 'Where, I ask, is the justice?'

Perhaps he should ask where the justice was when William C Rogers did not spend any time in jail at all. Doesn't that make a mockery of the grief of the families that lost their own on 3 July 1988, just six months before the Lockerbie crash?

Are there no limits to US hypocrisy and bullying?


Chris H said...

If there are limits then I don't think they've been reached yet. The US, together with western allies continues acting in ways that are causing suffering, misery and death.

There were many of us who hoped that a change of President would bring a change of policy.

Perhaps the power does not really lie with the office of US President.

Fr. Andrew said...

FWIW, I don't think that the Lockerbie bombing compares with the shooting down of the Iranian airliner.

The former was a terrorist attack, while the latter was (at worst) a matter of gross incompetence and/or negligence. Do you really believe that it was Capt. Rogers intention to shoot down an airliner full of civilians?

These are both horrible incidents, but beyond involving airplanes, they really are not similar.

There are many more clearly rotten things U.S. military and foreign policy have done, such as the bombing of Kosovo, the support for various anti-Communist dictatorships in developing countries (ironically enough including Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, Milosevic), etc.

seithman said...

I'm not sure I really understand or agree with the practice of letting someone out of prison simply because he's terminally ill. Then again, maybe there's more to the situation than what I've learned from these two articles. And even though I don't understand or agree, I'm not going to write anyone an angry letter about it. That's simply not my style. Nor do I think it was appropriate for Mueller to write such a missive.

theiratedog said...

Excellent post. I hope you don't mind but I've used a small quote from it in my own blog. You're credited and I've embedded a link taking people back to this page.

If you want to read my post, go here: http://theiratedog.blogspot.com/2009/08/was-lockerbie-bombers-release-good.html

Steve Hayes said...

There have been three controversial jail releases recently: al Megrahi, Ronal Biggs and Shabir Shaik. All were released on compassionate grounds as they were terminally ill.

Shaik's was controversial because he seems to have had a miraculous cure and is no longer apparently terminal, so some are saying shouldn't he go back and serve the rest of his sentence.

Fr Andrew,

If I kill someone when driving a car, I can be charged with reckless or negligent driving and culpable homicide. That is not the same as wilful murder, but it is a punishable offence and lots of people who commit it go to prison. Was William C. Rogers charged in a civil or military court? Was there any kind of court case at all? If not, then Mueller's question is just as applicable in his case - where is the justice?

Fr. Andrew said...

From what I've read, there was not a trial for Rogers. I'm not saying that there was justice there, just that this was not a premeditated act of murder like the Lockerbie bombing.

Anonymous said...

As an American I agree with your statements about US hypocrisy. It boggles my mind because the US has openly supported terrorist that have aligned with so-called "US interests" (code for US economic aristocracy). For instance Luis Posade Carriles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Posada_Carriles.

James Higham said...

When Barack Obama became president of the US, some of us hoped that among the changes we were urged to believe in would be the US abandoning its role as self-appointed bully of the world.

I didn't - not for one second. A man who defies a judiciary order to produce his vault copy of a birth certificate is not a president. Bad things were going to accrue and they have.

Tauratinzwe said...

I am proud of Scotland. Many in the USA claim that this is a Christian nation, yet refuse to act accordingly. Scotland at least holds to their moral and social principles rather than lower themselves to the level of their enemies. If I behave in the same manner as my enemy, am I not the same as him?

bigbluemeanie said...

I respect people's right to boycott Scotland. But they must make sure that they do it properly:
boycott Scotland.


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