“President Ronald Reagan didn’t seek congressional approval when he bombed Libya in retaliation for a bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.”
Amber Phillips — Washington Post (April 7 2017)
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
April 14 2020 — In a piece published by the Washington Post on April 7 2017, Amber Phillips wrote that President Ronald Reagan 1986 bombing raid on Tripoli and Benghazi was retaliation for the December 21 1988 attack on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. Obvious nonsense!
But I would like to take this opportunity to remind you the importance of studying, researching and analysing the facts! Whatever the subject I investigate, I always begin by working out the very best timeline I can manage. This is a theory of mine: No lie, no matter how professional — even a CIA lie — can survive a good timeline. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: Disinformation — Who Coined That Word Anyway?
RELATED POST: Disinformation — A Quick Note about Facts & Truth
On April 14 1986, US President Ronald Reagan ordered an air raid on several Libyan targets in retaliation for the bombing of West Berlin La Belle Disquoteque (April 5 1986) which the US Intelligence immediately blamed on Libyan agents.
Two U.S. Air Force captains—Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci and Paul F. Lorence—were killed when their F-111 fighter-bomber was shot down over the Gulf of Sidra.
On December 21 1988, Pan Am 103 was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew in what became known as the Lockerbie bombing.
On December 25 1988, Gaddafi offered to release the body of one of the U.S. Air Force captains to his family through Pope John Paul II. The body, returned in 1989, was identified as Ribas-Dominicci’s from dental records. An autopsy conducted in Spain confirmed that he had drowned after his plane was shot down.
In January 2001, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was found guilty of 270 counts of murder in connection with the Lockerbie bombing.
A quick look at this timeline indicates that The Washington Post is wrong to claim that Reagan ordered Operation El Dorado Canyon (April 14 1986) in retaliation for the bombing of Pan Am 103. (December 21 1988)
Common sense dictates than past events are not shaped by future events. That much is obvious. But, let us move on the a slightly harder case…
Lockerbie and the Syrian Conspiracy Theory
On April 7 1999, The Guardian published an entertaining piece titled: Lockerbie conspiracies: from A to Z.
Under letter K, one can read:
K is for Kuwait
In 1990 Kuwait was invaded by Saddam Hussein. Anglo-American attitudes to the Middle East were transformed. Paul Foot and John Ashton argue that theories about Lockerbie are inextricably linked to this changing political situation.
In 1989 intelligence-based evidence fitted snugly with US and British foreign policy in the Middle East.
Both countries had severed relations with Syria, and the Iraq-Iran war ended in 1988 with America and Britain continuing to be hostile to Iran and supportive of Iraq.
The US and British governments were content with the prime Lockerbie suspects: a Palestinian gang (see P), backed by Syria and Iran.
But in 1990, the impending Anglo-American war against Iraq necessitated neutralising Iran and winning the support of Syria.
Britain’s diplomatic relations with Syria were duly restored in November 1990 and the Gulf war commenced in 1991.
Sure enough, the credibility of intelligence theories about the Lockerbie bombing being masterminded by the Iran- and Syria-backed Palestinian gang was soon dismantled.
This sounds convincing? Let us review a few facts.
December 21st 1988 — Soon after the tragedy of Pan Am 103, the investigators suspected that a Syrian-based terrorist group (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command) was responsible. It was assumed that Iran had ordered the attack as revenge for the downing of Iran Airbus 655 on July 3rd 1988.
March 1989 — According Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, the Lockerbie investigation switched from Syria & Iran to Libya following a phone call in March 1989 between George H W Bush and Margaret Thatcher. (Anderson and Atta offered no explanation for the decision.)
January 1990 — PT/35(b) is a small fragment of a circuit timer allegedly found among the debris of Pan Am 103 near the town of Lockerbie. This fragment was use to link Libya to the Lockerbie crime. PT/35(b) may very well be a forgery, but even so, we KNOW that it was introduced in the evidence at the latest in January 1990. After this discovery, ‘Libya’ becomes the sole focus of the investigation because this fragment is believed to be part a timer only supplied to Libya.
June 1990 — FBI Thomas Thurman, with some help from the CIA, connect PT/35(b) to a MT-13 timer which were poduced by a Swiss company MEBO and solely supplied to Libya.
On July 25 1990, April Glaspie, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, asked the Iraqi high command to explain the military preparations in progress, including the massing of Iraqi troops near the border.
On August 2 1990, Iraq launched an invasion of the neighboring State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month-long Iraqi occupation of the country. The invasion was met with international condemnation and brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council.President George H. W. Bush deployed US forces into Saudi Arabia, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene.
On January 17 1991, the initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial and naval bombardment, continuing for five weeks.
November 1991 — US/UK issue a joint indictment. Libya – and Libya alone according to President Bush — is the Lockerbie culprit.
From this timeline, it is absolutely obvious that the link between Libya and Lockebie – whether real or fabricated — was ‘irreversibly’ established well BEFORE the invasion of Kuwait.
And therefore, the decision made by George H W Bush and Margaret Thatcher to switch the blame from Syria & Iran to Libya (alone) cannot be explained by the realpolitik of the impending Gulf War.
Sadly, to this day, educated people are still championing this idiotic conspiracy theory.
This irrational behavior is not helpful to those who seek the truth.
President Reagan’s Address to the Nation on U.S. Air Strike against Libya – 4/14/86
Lockerbie conspiracies: from A to Z — The Guardian
On This Day — Operation El Dorado Canyon (April 14 1986) [Timelines & Conspiracy Theories]