No, no, don’t release him. (wink, wink)
I’m actually surprised that a Democrat is going after this.
I’m smelling some bigger crap here. But even on the face of this, it stinks to high heaven.
Obama’s motivation here is to have the appearance of saying all the right things, but just like the Chicago gangsters, there is talk thats conducted behind closed doors. Since, Obama has overt compassions to the Muslim world and the fact that OIL money and interests were involved, his natural reaction is to make it look good to the dupes and then do what he needs to do behind closed doors.
This should be a call for IMPEACHMENT. This is treason. This is high treason.
It’s no wonder Megrahi is still alive:
By SCOTT MacNAB
A CANCER specialist who examined the Lockerbie bomber before his release said he is NOT surprised the Libyan’s still alive, it was reported yesterday.:
Professor Jonathan Waxman, one of the world’s top experts, said he did not hold the view that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had just three months to live.
Prof Waxman, who visited Megrahi in jail a year ago before he was allowed to return home to Libya, said: “The Scottish Government took its own advice, not mine.
“I did not say three months and I am not at all surprised to see him alive. The problem with a prognosis like this is that there is no such thing as an average person.”
The Tories yesterday stepped up pressure on the Scottish Government to publish all the medical evidence which led to Megrahi’s release.
He was freed on compassionate grounds last August after a medical report, which Ministers have published, said he would be dead within three months.
But Scottish Tory justice spokesman John Lamont yesterday demanded to know how many specialists and doctors examined the bomber.
He said: “Every day that the SNP refuses to publish all the evidence, suspicion only grows that they have something to hide.”
But First Minister Alex Salmond insisted that estimating life expectancy for terminal cancer sufferers is not an “exact science”.
He also pointed out that Professor Waxman was paid for by the Libyan Government to treat Megrahi.
Mr Salmond said: “You wouldn’t seriously have expected us to take the advice of people, however eminent, who were in the pay of the Libyan Government.”
He also appeared to confirm reports that US officials told Scottish ministers Megrahi’s release on compassionate grounds was “far preferable” than his transfer back to a Libyan jail.
Megrahi is the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing in which 270 people were killed. His release has prompted fury in the US.
A slave to greed: Oil, the great god money and what unites Iraq invasion, BP and Blair to handing terrorist back to Libya:
By JOHANN HARI
Last updated at 8:31 AM on 26th July 2010
Could your life be worth more to your government than a few pence added to BP’s share price?
At first, this will sound like a strange question. But sometimes there is a news story that lays out the priorities that drive our governments once the doors are closed and the cameras are switched off.
The story of the attempt to trade the Lockerbie bomber for oil is one of those moments.
Let’s start in the deserts of Iraq – because the Lockerbie deal might just reveal what really happened there.
Many people were perplexed by Tony Blair’s decision to back George W. Bush’s invasion, which has led to the deaths of 1.2 million people.
Blair said he was motivated by opposition to two things – terrorism and tyranny.
First off, he said Saddam Hussein might give weapons of mass destruction to jihadis.
When it was proven in the rubble after the invasion that Saddam had no WMD or links to jihadis – as critics of the war had said all along – Blair declared he would do it all again anyway, because Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, and all tyrants should be opposed.
Most critics of the war said the real reason was a desire for Western access to Iraq’s vast supplies of oil. This debate has gone on for years.
Now it has emerged that Tony Blair plotted to hand a convicted terrorist – the worst in modern British history – to a vicious tyrant in exchange for access to oil for British corporations.
It seems to settle the argument about his priorities in the darkest possible way.
Here’s how it happened. Just before Christmas 1988, a flight from London to New York City was blasted out of the sky above Scotland by a bomb in the cargo hold.
All 259 people on board were killed, along with 11 on the ground.
One man was convicted for the mass murder at a Scottish trial in 2000: Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a former libyan intelligence officer.
Following the bombing, most Western governments imposed sanctions on Libya that forbade companies from investing there.
If you are opposed to terrorism and tyranny, it was a happy ending: an alleged terrorist was tried in open court and convicted, and a tyrant was shunned.
But, within a few short years, Tony Blair was not happy.
Why? The oil company BP wanted to be able to drill down into Libya’s oil, and tap the profits that would gush forth.
Their then-chief executive, John Browne, flew to Tripoli in the company of MI6 agents to find out what the dictatorship wanted in return for opening the country’s wells.
It was, of course, clear that they wanted Megrahi back.
BP has admitted it lobbied Tony Blair to exchange prisoners with Libya. They say they didn’t specifically mention Megrahi – but there was no need to: there were no other Libyan prisoners of particular note in Britain.
Blair’s administration was so intertwined with the oil company by this point that it was often dubbed ‘Blair’s Petroleum’.
There was a revolving door between BP and Downing Street: BP execs sat on more government taskforces than all other oil companies combined, while many of Blair’s closest confidantes went to work for the corporation.
He gave two of its chief executives peerages, and slashed taxes on North Sea oil production.
By 2005, he was talking to Lord Browne at Downing Street dinners about what he would do after he left office, with rumours circulating of a move to BP.
Blair responded to BP’s lobbying with apparent pleasure.
His Foreign office Minister, Bill Rammell, assured Libyan officials that Blair did not ‘want Megrahi to pass away in prison’
His Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said a desire for Libya’s oil was ‘an essential part’ of this decision.
So Straw began negotiating a prisoner swap agreement, and urged the Scottish authorities to release the convict. He told the Scottish Government in a leaked letter that it was ‘in the overwhelming interests of the UK’ to let Megrahi go.
The chief negotiator for the Libyans was Mousa Kousa, a thug who had been expelled from Britain after bragging about plots to murder democratic dissidents here.
These supposed opponents of tyranny didn’t blush. There are, of course, some serious commentators who argue that Megrahi was framed.
It’s a legitimate debate. But if he was, it should have been settled in court, at an appeal – not in a dodgy deal with a dictator to benefit BP.
Both sides now admit what was happening: they were trying to trade a convicted mass murderer for oil.
Saif Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator’s son and second in command, said it was ‘obvious’ that attempts to free Megrahi were linked to oil contracts, adding: ‘We all knew what we were talking about.’
There is no question there was a plot. The question is whether the plot worked, or whether it got what it wanted anyway by a remarkable coincidence.
It was, ultimately, up to the Scottish politicians whether to release Megrahi, and they publicly refused a prisoner swap.
We know that Straw lobbied them to do it, but they insist they made the decision independently on ‘compassionate grounds’.
A year ago, Megrahi was sent home to Tripoli after serving 11 days for each person he was convicted of killing. officially, the Scots had assessed him to have only three months left to live.
There are several facts that batter these claims with question marks. The most obvious is that, 11 months later, Megrahi isn’t dead.
It’s the most amazing medical recovery since lazarus. or is it? It turns out the doctors who declared him sick were paid for by the Libyan government, and one of them says he was put under pressure by Libya to offer the most pessimistic estimate of life expectancy.
Susan Cohen, whose daughter died in Lockerbie, asks: ‘Why didn’t the Scottish Government pay for the doctors?’
Indeed, a detailed investigation by the Sunday Telegraph reported that ‘the Scottish and British Governments actively assisted Megrahi and his legal team to seek a release on compassionate grounds’.
The Libyan dictatorship certainly took it as a gift from the British government.
The tyranny’s chief spokesman, Abdul Majeed al-dursi, said: ‘This is a brave and courageous decision by the British . . . Britain will find it is rewarded.’
BP has indeed been rewarded: it is now drilling in Libya.
This affair seems to reopen the Iraq debate, in a way that vindicates Blair’s most severe critics.
Tony Blair’s remaining defenders say he was motivated in Iraq by a hatred of terrorism and tyranny and had no regard whatsoever for getting access to oil
Yet at the very same time the Labour government was plotting in Libya to hand the worst terrorist in British history to a tyrant in exchange for oil.
It’s proof that oil and corporate power were a much bigger factor in driving foreign policy than the public rhetoric of opposing tyranny or terror. David Cameron refuses to open an investigation.
He says he will release all the relevant documents – but the Cabinet office has quietly declared that Blair’s permission will be needed before any records are shown to the public.
For the families of all the innocent people slaughtered in Lockerbie, this has been a cold-water education in what their governments really value.
Cohen, remembering her murdered daughter Theodora, 20, says: ‘Western governments seem to be run by one thing now – the great god money.’
There’s a revealing little postscript to this tale. Last month, Blair went to Libya on behalf of the many mega corporations who now employ him.
He was greeted by Gaddafi himself – who tortures dissidents and terrorises his population – ‘like a brother’, according to the Libyan press.
There has even been speculation that, now they need a chief executive, Tony Blair will go to work for BP. In so many ways, it seems, he always has.
The Independent, July 23, 2010.
His ‘n’ hers private jets. Freebies galore. The great carnival of vanity rolls on and on . . .:
by Paul Scott
On a raised stage of a packed town square, a group of angelic-looking children, chosen specifically for their telegenic appearance, are midway through an unashamedly schmaltzy version of the Michael Jackson song We are The World.
The giant backdrop to this brazenly saccharine spectacle consists of two giant blow-up photos of Tony Blair displaying a suitably statesman-like bearing.
And there at the back of the podium is the former Prime Minister himself, arms raised in the air, swaying awkwardly to the music and bestowing a beatific grin on the thousands of Union flag-waving locals who have gathered in the sunshine to pay homage to him.
It is, it has to be said, a bizarre scene. Not least because forming a guard of honour in front of him are nine cherubic young boys, in dark suits and ties, who share the dubious distinction of having being named Tony Blair by their parents in tribute to the great man.
To be fair to Mr Blair, he does at least have the decency to look slightly embarrassed by the adulation – although, in truth, his discomfort might be more to do with the rather excitable performance of his wife Cherie, standing beside him.
Clasping her husband’s raised hand, she is bobbing manically to the beat and unselfconsciously belting out the song’s chorus at the top of her voice. All of which lends an altogether surreal edge to the proceedings.
But then in Kosovo, where they have just made a flying visit, Mr Blair is viewed as something of a deity.
Traffic was stopped to allow his presidential-style motorcade to pass unhindered through the streets of its capital Pristina, while hordes of women lined the pavements, screaming like the adoring fans of a rock star.
But then we should not forget that Mr Blair is a national hero there after sending British troops into the Balkan state in 1999 to oust brutal Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.
‘Tony and Cherie were absolutely flabbergasted by their reception,’ a member of Mr Blair’s staff told me this week.
‘Women were going mad, as if he was Robbie Williams.
‘And there were all these little kids named after him. They invented a new boys’ name, which they spell Toniblers, in his honour. There are, apparently, hundreds of Toniblers running around the country.’
What an extraordinar y contrast to the way the ex-Labour leader and his wife are viewed at home.
Just this week, there were calls for Mr Blair to be hauled back before the Iraq War inquiry to answer yet mor e devastating charges that he blatantly lied about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
The Mail also revealed earlier this week that Cherie took £167,000 of private jet flights from a notorious Albanian businessman facing trial for beating up an investigative journalist who had criticised him.
No wonder, given his problems here in the UK, that Tony is far happier spending his time abroad.
I’m told the couple have jetted off yet again this weekend in a party of 13 which includes three of their four children and at least five police bodyguards, for a lavish holiday in China and South-East Asia.
They do not plan to return before the end of next month. But, then again, the Blairs can certainly afford to indulge themselves thanks to the more than £25 million he is estimated to have earned since leaving Downing Street.
They have even taken to flying in his ‘n hers private jets.
The trip to Kosovo, for example, also included stop-offs in Athens and Albania.
Tony, who had been in Oman on business, flew directly to Greece, while Cherie travelled in the aircraft loaned to her for the trip by controversial Albanian oil tycoon Rezart Taci.
Then, after attending a lavish party in Athens, at which Cherie was guest of honour, they returned to their separate planes.
And while she flew on to the albanian capital, Tirana, to open a television station recently acquired by the multimillionaire Taci, Tony took his own jet to Kosovo.
The following day, Cherie again boarded the jet hired for her by Taci, who, along with two of his henchmen, was charged in November with attacking journalist Mero Baze in a Tirana bar, to link up with her husband in Pristina.
Mr Blair, a high-profile campaigner on global warming, did offer his wife and her entourage seats on his own larger plane for the trip back to London, but not, I understand, without a few gripes from Cherie.
‘Cherie was complaining about there being no food or drink on Tony’s plane,’ says a source.
‘She was saying that while she had been served sushi and drinks on board Mr Taci’s jet, she was offered nothing by the cabin crew on Tony’s.’
‘She was going on about how the jet Mr Taci had sent for her had a fabulous interior.’
These sort of comments from the socialist Cherie have a familiar ring to them these days.
Mrs Blair, who, staggeringly, until only recently had been complaining about the state of their finances, has certainly been living up to her image as something of a Marie Antoinette figure.
Take, for example, the sumptuous party she attended during her flying trip to Athens.
People at the upmarket soire say Cherie flitted around the room like royalty and was showered with donations for her charitable foundation which promotes women’s causes.
But this being the freebie-loving Cherie, the night did not pass without some unsolicited – but nonetheless gratefully received – perks of her own.
‘All these super-rich Greek women were dripping in jewels,’ a source revealed.
‘They were lining up to give Cherie cheques for her charity. But they’d also brought all these lavish gifts. Cherie was literally weighed down with all the swag.
‘She was given necklaces and bracelets; it was all really pricey stuff. Cherie looked thrilled. She ended up with so much her staff couldn’t carry it all.’
In spite of the embarrassment of having her links with Taci exposed, Cherie has had something of a spring in her step lately.
Friends say she has been looking forward to this latest family holiday, and particularly to spending time with her husband who is an infrequent visitor-to the family’s £3.7 million London home.
Earlier this month, leaked details of the £250,000 expenses claims of the team of up to 16 Metropolitan police officers who protect him showed that Mr Blair spent just four months in Britain last year.
He can earn up to £170,000 for a single speech on the international lecture circuit, and holds lucrative contracts with a string of foreign companies, including U.S. investment bank JP Morgan and finance firm Zurich.
Blair, who acts as the West’s Middle East peace envoy, has also entered into secretive big-money deals with the ruling family of Kuwait.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the long absences have put a strain on the Blairs’ 30-year marriage.
‘Tony’s clearly got a lot on his plate, and I’ve seen him be snappy with Cherie recently, which is unlike him,’ a source told me. ‘I can’t say that all is well with them.’
Mrs Blair has been filling her time by overseeing the improvements on the latest addition to her bulging property portfolio – a £1.3 million Grade II-listed house in Marylebone, which she has bought for son Euan.
Of their four children, only middle son Nicky will not be going on their six-week holiday.
‘When they come back, Tony will be tied up with his autobiography, which comes out in September, so Cherie is keen to spend quality time with him and the kids,’ a friend told me.
‘She says they both really deserve this trip after spending so much of the last year apart.’
Would it be too simple to suggest this increasingly preposterous couple might find more time to focus on their marriage if, for once, they set aside their assiduous money-grubbing?
N.J. Sen. Menendez to lead hearing on Lockerbie bomber’s release:
WASHINGTON — N.J. Sen. Robert Menendez will lead a hearing Thursday to investigate Scotland’s release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the man responsible for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 189 Americans, including 38 from New Jersey.
Al-Megrahi was released in August when a doctor diagnosed him with terminal prostate cancer and gave him three months to live. Eleven months later, that same doctor told The Sunday Times that al-Megrahi could potentially live for a few years.
Menendez (D-NJ), speaking to CNN today, said that it was distressing “to have a terrorist bomber living a life of luxury instead of in a prison cell.”
Menendez said he plans to look into the connection British oil giant BP might have had with al-Megrahi’s release. He has put out a request for BP CEO Tony Hayward to appear, along with British officials involved in the release.
“We have asked voluntarily for them to appear. We don’t have the ability to compel them. It is in their interests to come forth at a hearing,” Menendez said on CNN this morning.
When questioned as to whether he’d want to speak with Hayward if he were replaced as BP’s CEO before Thursday, Menendez said, “His participation in this is important whether he’s CEO or not.”
Menendez told CNN that the only way they could force Hayward to appear at the hearing would be if Sen. John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a subpoena.
Another plan, Menendez said, was to convince British Prime Minister David Cameron to open an independent inquiry in England, where the British officials would have no choice but to speak.
Menendez, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and the two senators from New York met with Cameron last week to discuss al-Megrahi’s release.
But even if Thursday’s hearings don’t get the results he’s hoping for, Menendez said he will not stop fighting the decision to have al-Megrahi walking free.
“We strongly disagree with that conclusion,” he said. “We’re going to still press this question in the court of public opinion.”