[Guest post by DRJ]
After Lockerbie bomber Mohmed Al Megrahi was welcomed home to Libya by cheering crowds, Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi thanked UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his help in securing al-Megrahi’s release:
“The growing sense of unease in Downing Street intensified today after Col Gaddafi praised ‘my friend’ Gordon Brown and the British Government for their part in securing Megrahi’s freedom.
‘To my friends in Scotland, the Scottish National Party, and Scottish prime minister, and the foreign secretary, I praise their courage for having proved their independence in decision making despite the unacceptable and unreasonable measures that they faced. Nevertheless they took this courageously right and humanitarian decision,’ he said.
‘And I say to my friend Brown, the Prime Minister of Britain, his Government, the Queen of Britain, Elizabeth, and Prince Andrew, who all contributed to encouraging the Scottish government to take this historic and courageous decision, despite the obstacles.
Speaking on Libyan television, Colonel Gaddafi’s son said Mr Blair raised the Megrahi case repeatedly to smooth the way for British firms to tap into Libya’s energy reserves.
He told the Al Mutawassit channel: ‘In all commercial contracts, for oil and gas with Britain, (Megrahi) was always on the negotiating table.'”
Inquiring minds want to know exactly what the British government did to secure al-Megrahi’s release.
UPDATE: David Frum says Obama’s mild response to al-Megrahi’s release is another example of his Administration’s weak attitude on terrorism:
“Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al Megrahi has been the tepid reaction of President Obama and his administration. My new National Post column speculates on two reasons that might explain the president’s mildness: (1) some kind of secret deal with the Libyans; (2) that Obama has accepted the theory advanced by some intelligence experts that the attack was the work of Iran, not Libya.
Of course, there’s a more likely explanation for the lack of outcry: this administration’s lack of moral center on terrorism. Whether it is his gentle reproofs of Ahmadinejad or his readiness to shake hands with Hugo Chavez, Barack Obama just does not get all that excited about international bad actors. Not that the president never gets angry. He can get plenty angry over the arrest of Henry Louis Gates or Israeli settlements. Lockerbie: not so much.”
Frum’s article on the subject is here.