“By all accounts, Frank Duggan was a good man, a man who recovered from years of alcoholism and who sincerely fought for the American victims of Pan Am 103. But he was perhaps rather naive when it came to the media, as demonstrated in a telling telephone interview with George Galloway MP for ‘Talk RADIO’ on 2009. ”
Obituary — The Herald ( December 5 2017)
“It named a carrier [Pan Am]. It named a route [Frankfurt to the United States]. And it covered a time period when many Americans in Moscow would be going home for Christmas. Here, it seems to me we have a moral obligation to let people know.”
Raymond F. Smith — Acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow
“Jennifer S. Young, who was Pan Am station manager in Moscow, said a reservations clerk told her of the posting [Moscow Warning]. Young, in turn, sent a telex to Pan Am officials in Frankfurt asserting that “approximately 80 percent” of Pan Am’s holiday traffic from the embassy was now re-booking to other flights.”
Washington Post — March 10 1990
Francis J. “Frank” Duggan (April 15 1938 – November 1 2017) — a lawyer and federal official who spent years as a pro bono advocate on behalf of families of the victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland — died last month at his home in Alexandria, Va.
Duggan and I did not agree on very much. For the first time, I will post today a message Duggan sent to Richard Marquise — The FBI agent in charge of the Lockerbie investigation — and myself regarding the many warnings of an imminent attack against a PAN AM airliner a few days before the Lockerbie tragedy.
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RELATED POST: Lockerbie — An open letter from Dr Jim Swire
About Frank Duggan and the PCAST
In 1989, Mr. Duggan was named to the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism [PCAST], which examined the causes of the bombing.
He was the commission’s liaison to the victims’ families and continued to act as their pro bono advocate until his death.
He eventually was named president of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, an organization composed mostly of victims’ families.
In a telling telephone interview with George Galloway MP for ‘Talk RADIO’ on 2009, Mr Duggan admits he was not familiar with certain aspects of Lockerbie, notably the evidence of the Maltese witness Tony Gauci, who said he had sold the clothes later found to have been wrapped around the bomb which brought Pan Am 103 down.
Mr Galloway asked Mr Duggan why the U.S. government had given Mr Gauci a US$ 2 million “reward,” to which Mr Duggan replied that there was no proof of such a payment and that he was “not that familiar” with Mr Gauci’s evidence.
[INTEL TODAY — The SCCRC has confirmed that Tony Gauci, his brother and a Libyan defector did indeed receive several US$ million as reward for their — let us be polite — very dubious testimony at the Lockerbie trial.]
Mr Duggan then proceeded to call Jim Swire and others of being “all of these cranks.”
[INTEL TODAY — I regard Dr Jim Swire as one of the most knowledgable person regarding the Lockerbie tragedy. Dr Swire is both an Electronics Engineer and a Medical Doctor. Dr Swire taught me much over the years and I am still learning from him to this day. Dr Swire is definitely not a crank, to say the least.]
Again, Mr Galloway pulled him up for calling Dr Swire a crank. It was too much for Mr Duggan and in the end he told Mr Galloway:
“I don’t have time to waste with people like you. I’ve got to go. Bye bye.”
And he hung up.
Frank Duggan on the Lockerbie Warnings
To: Richard Marquise
cc: Ludwig De Braeckeleer
Prof. Ludwig De Braeckeleer cannot have read the Commission Report or he wouldn’t be touting all those disproven notions.
Whenever I see an allegation of warnings, or Buck Revell’s son being warned off the plane, I don’t want to read any more.
There were NO WARNINGS!
We looked at ten years worth of threats deemed credible enough by the FAA to warrant investigation and warning, some 600 a year, or nearly two-day for ten years.
None of them were valid.
None. If someone wants to blow up a plane and kill people, why would they warn the public?
They actually caught the guy who called in the “Helsinki Warning” and he was a stateless Palestinian trying to impress his girl friend.
Nevertheless, threat information is sent to law enforcement personnel, and if made public then the terrorists have accomplished their purpose.
The phony Helsinki Warning was posted in the Moscow embassy by the FAA official there, even though no one at that embassy would have used that route to go home to the US.
At the end of the Commission findings, you will see that we looked at the total history of passenger bookings for Pan Am 103 and they were the same for years.
No one was warned off the plane. Tragically, some people cancelled other flights to get on Pan Am 103.
Thanks for all you are doing responding to these stories.
All the best,
The Moscow Warning
The Moscow posting grew out of a December 5 1988, phone call to the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, warning that “sometime within the next two weeks,” two men with ties to the Abu Nidal terrorist group — using a Finnish woman as a dupe — would plant a bomb on a Pan Am flight from Frankfurt to the United States.
“The warning was posted Dec. 14 at a number of places, including the embassy’s press office, the commercial office frequented by American businessmen, the U.S. Information Service where students congregate, the Anglo-American school, and a bulletin board at the entrance to the cafeteria in the new U.S. Embassy complex.” [WashPost]
A Triple Coincidence?
How many impossible things are you willing to believe ‘before breakfast’?
“Alice laughed: There’s no use trying,” she said;
“one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.
“When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Alice in Wonderland.
Fact 1 — On october 26 1988, German police arrested seventeen men at Neuss in an operation codenamed “Autumn Leaves” (Herbstlaub). During the fall of 1988, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) — a Damascus-based rejectionist group led by former Syrian army captain Ahmed Jibril and sponsored by Iran — had set up an active terrorist cell in Germany. Their plan was to destroy several airliners in retaliation for the shoot-down of Iran Airbus 655. The cell specifically intended to target a Pan Am airliner at the Frankfurt airport with Semtex explosive hidden in a Toshiba radio. One of the terrorist had visited Malta and bought some clothes on the island. While many of the cell members were arrested during operation “Autumn Leaves” , others escape. One of the Toshiba radio bombs — last seen in a brown Samsonite suitcase — was never recovered.
Fact 2 — On December 5 1988, a person called the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, warning that “sometime within the next two weeks,” terrorists would plant a bomb on a Pan Am flight from Frankfurt to the United States. Please, read that sentence again. Indeed the person named the right airliner, from the correct airport at almost the exact date. (Not bad for a hoax.)
Fact 3 — On December 21 1988, Pan Am 103 — with many people connecting from the Pan Am 103/A flight from Frankfurt — explodes over Lockerbie. According to the legal truth, a lone Libyan intelligence officer managed to put a bomb on board. The explosive (about a pound of SEMTEX) was hidden in a Toshiba radio, wrapped in various pieces of clothing bought in Malta, and placed in a brown Samsonite suitcase.
Only in a parallel universe, these three stories would run independently of each others. Only a child will believe in such coincidences.
How you interpret these coincidences is an other story; and one that will critically depend on how much you know about how the intelligence agencies politicize intelligence… More about this in 2018!
The “Missing Data”
Back to Duggan’s email. Let us consider carefully his statement.
“At the end of the Commission findings, you will see that we looked at the total history of passenger bookings for Pan Am 103 and they were the same for years.
No one was warned off the plane.”
Since the warning was posted on December 14 1988, I would expect that diplomatic personnel in Moscow would have rebooked their flight on December 15 1988.
Thus, one should see a significant decrease in the number of seats booked on both Pan Am 103/A and Pan Am 103.
What does the PCAST report reveal about these key numbers?
Unfortunately, nothing. The data for this day — and only this day — are simply missing!
Again, only a child will believe this!
What do you think?
George Galloway and Frank Duggan discuss Lockerbie
George Galloway discusses the release of Al-Megrahi with Frank Duggan, President of Victims of Pan Am 103 Inc.
USA: LOCKERBIE TRIAL: FRANK DUGGAN COMMENTS
U-S President George W. Bush applauded the guilty verdict of a Libyan defendant in the trial for the Pan Am 103 bombing on Wednesday.
But while Wednesday’s verdict heralds the end of the criminal case, families of victims and their attorneys later announced their intention to pursue civil proceedings against the government of Libyan leader Moammar Ghadafi.
At the White House there was swift reaction Wednesday to news of a verdict in the Pan Am 103 bombing.
President Bush thanked the Scottish-convened court for their efforts, adding that he hoped the outcome would prove to be some solace for the victim’s families.
“I also appreciate so very much that the Scottish Court has made a decision and convicted a member of the Libyan intelligence service for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103. I appreciate the work of the United States government which contributed to this guilty verdict. Nothing can change the suffering and loss of this terrible act, but I hope the families do find some solace that a guilty verdict was rendered. I want to assure the families and victims the United States government will continue to pressure Libya to accept responsibility for this act and to compensate the families.”
SUPER CAPTION: George W. Bush, U.S. President
The statement came after a Scottish court Wednesday morning convicted 48-year-old Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi to life in prison, also giving him the possibility of parole after 20 years.
A second defendant, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted.
But as families gathered in Washington D-C to hear the verdict, a former attorney for some family members said they feel the verdict doesn’t go far enough.
“These two guys did it under orders of (Moammar) Gadhafi we believe, and the families believe, so it’s a half measure but it’s very important to them. Had this not happened it would have been a tremendous setback.”
SUPER CAPTION: Frank Duggan, former attorney for Pan Am 103 families
Frank Duggan has represented families in the effort to pursue civil action against the Libyan government of Moammar Gadhafi and Libya’s intelligence service.
And Duggan says the civil trial will be much different from the Lockerbie criminal trial.
“The civil trial, much like O.J. Simpson, will be different. It’s a different burden of proof, it’s a much less burden of proof. In addition to which….it brings in more people. It brings in what we think are the Libyan leaders who were behind this whole thing.”
SUPER CAPTION: Frank Duggan, former attorney for Pan Am 103 families
Mark Zaid, a lawyer currently acting for families in the civil action, stated that the civil case will enable prosecutors to pursue a larger and perhaps more significant group of people.
“We have achieved partial justice with respect to the criminal case, but we’ve only scratched the surface. There are unindicted co-conspirators who have not been pursued. We would pursue them civilly. And what the families want to know more than anything is the absolute truth. Why did their sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and parents die. We know part of it, but we hope that the civil case will bring that out.”
SUPER CAPTION: Mark Zaid, attorney for families of Pan Am 103 victims
Many family members of victims welcomed the sentencing al-Megrahi.
But one family member says they wanted more.
SUPER CAPTION: Bob Monetti, father of Pan Am 103 victim
Other family members say they expected the Scottish court would rule as it did, issuing a life sentence.
But some say they’ll be seeking international intervention to retain sanctions on the rogue state.
Frank Duggan — The PCAST Missing Data