Friday, August 21, 2009


I consider myself a 'bleeding heart liberal'. I don't agree with many of the concepts that leave people to rot in jails for a variety of crimes (eg drug possession) that don't warrant the punishment meted out. I am very far from an eye for an eye proponent. That being said, the recent decision of the Scottish government to release Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds is just wrong.

I believe he is in the final stages of prostate cancer, that will soon lay him to rest. Anyone's imminent death from cancer should not be a cause for celebration in a civilized society. But Al- Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of crimes relating to the murder of 270 people on Pan Am flight 103 on December 21, 1988. His life sentence is but a memory today. Why?

Are there no prison hospitals that could render compassionate care for Al- Megrahi? Is there no way in which those who are closest to Al- Megrahi can be permitted access to him in prison in his final days so that there can be some closure in the family? Is the only way in which to demonstrate compassion to hand him a ticket back to Libya where he was treated by many as a homecoming hero? President Obama suggested that house arrest in Libya is what was warranted,once Al-Megrahi touched down. The welcome given to Al-Megrahi was his answer.

To me, there is something rotten that is the predicate for this release. It is one government negotiating favor with another. Al- Megrahi is but a means to a political end that has little to do with compassion for a fellow human being.

I long ago represented a family member of one of the 270 victims in a matter in which proceeds of life insurance on the victim played a pivotal role. I saw his mom and brother and learned first hand of their pain. For them, and for many others, I believe that the decision to release Al- Megrahi is not one that can be understood or accepted.


Jack said...

Have you read today's editorial in the WSJ entitled "A Second Lockerbie Outrage?" They claim "it amounted to a tacit quid pro quo for lucrative energy and arms deals for UK firms." If you have the paper you might want to also read the lead editorial "No Maine Miracle Cure." It's quite an eye opener too.
I really enjoyed reading your post today and am amazed to admit that I agree with every single word, especially the initial sentence. The last time I could say that I think you wrote something wonderful about my hero Derek Jeter.

Robert said...

Praise from you is music to my ears.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe he is in the final stages of prostate cancer? I for one do not!
Where are the medical records that prove his condition? Who did this examination/report? I hear nothing being mentioned. In all that troubles the world today and so much being hurled at us, it is possible I missed that information. Besides, even if medical records do exist, are we to believe them? Has a neutral party examined him? We're supposed to believe information from a country that denied his involvement for 11 plus years? Everyday since the incident they have proclaimed his innocence. But now, upon his release, they rejoice in the streets and praised his horrific success of destroying the lives 100's of innocent people by giving him a hero's welcome. Cats out of the bag, now the truth be know.FU world,especially America. Play the sympathy card, it usually works. It sucks being intelligent,caring people who always do the right thing. Why?, because we expect the same in return from the rest of the world. Are we NUTS?. We're expecting justice from people who don't value their owns lives, why the hell would we think that they would value anyone else's life??????

Robert said...

This is not a suggestion that the right thing was being done. Even assuming the credibility of the underlying medical condition, the US government and many of us feel that the condition was a tool for use in some other political play.

PickleBiz said...

Were it not for the innocents on board, the right thing would have been to blow up his plane over the Mediteranean on the way back to Libya.

Robert said...

I had made an obligue reference to this scenario in my initial draft of this post, but deleted it in the final post as my 'editor' thought it might be interpreted as advocating such a possibility (which I did not).