The Second Lockerbie Disaster — A quick note about Prince Andrew [NETFLIX — The Crown]

“Statistically, something like this has to happen at some time on a town. It is most sad and unfortunate that it happened to Lockerbie and so close to Christmas. It is very sad for the town, but my deepest feelings and sympathy go out to the people, the families of those Americans that died in the crash. I feel most strongly for those people.”

Prince Andrew — Lockerbie (December 22 1988)

January 26 2022 — After touring the disaster area on December 22 1988, Prince Andrew met the press. His comments earned him the nickname ‘The Second Lockerbie Disaster.’ Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: On This Day — Pan Am Flight 103 disintegrates over Lockerbie (December 21 1988)

RELATED POST: Lockerbie — Newly Declassified Doc Reveals True Reason of Trial

“Margaret Thatcher swept to power as the UK’s first female prime minister in 1979, and her contentious term in office up to 1990 covers the exact period of The Crown season four. This gives us a hint that the series will follow Thatcher’s volatile political arc, including the Falklands War, the brutal government response to miners’ strikes, Thatcher’s friendship with US president Ronald Reagan and the IRA bombing of the Tory conference in Brighton, 1984. There may also be nods to other major news events in this era, such as the 1981 Brixton riots, the Lockerbie bombing (1988) and the Hillsborough disaster (1989).”

The Crown — Season 4

The Duke of York is in the news… Earlier this month, the Queen stripped ‘her favorite son’ of his honorary military affiliations and royal patronages as he continues his legal battle to fight a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him in the US.

All his social media accounts have been deleted. The royal website refers to his role in the past tense.

Not surprisingly, the media are looking back at his past and his infamous visit to Lockerbie on December 22 1988 is being retold by many journalists.

However, the quotes are often distorted, and many jump to unsubstantiated conclusions.

As I have a large collection of documents regarding the Lockerbie tragedy, I thought that I would get the record straight.

According to the Daily Mail’s royal correspondent Richard Kay, the Queen expressed her regrets about the royal response to the Lockerbie disaster.

Writing for the newspaper in 2016, Mr Kay discussed how the Queen told a senior aide: “I was wrong – I wish I had gone.”

The Queen’s regret over the tragic situation for the Scottish town was not helped by her decision to send Prince Andrew up to visit the mourning townspeople.

What happened?

The Queen’s then deputy private secretary Robert Fellowes [from 1990 to 1999] urged her to go there.

The Queen decided not to visit immediately fearing she would be a distraction from the desperate recovery work. Instead, the Queen decided to send Prince Andrew.

After a quick tour of the site on December 22 1988, Prince Andrew met the press and stated:

“Statistically, something like this has to happen at some time on a town. It is most sad and unfortunate that it happened to Lockerbie and so close to Christmas. It is very sad for the town, but my deepest feelings and sympathy go out to the people, the families of those Americans that died in the crash. I feel most strongly for those people.”

The people were furious. And the Queen was not amused…

A few days later, the Queen told Fellowes: “I was wrong [about Lockerbie] – I wish I had gone.”

Most journalists assume that the Queen’s regret was triggered by the stupidity of her son’s comment. However plausible, it may not be that simple.

As Mr Kay has pointed out: “Whether she had Andrew’s faux pas in mind, we do not know.”

“Thatcher, who was famously “not for turning”, may have met her match in the Queen. Despite sharing the dubious honour of being “the only woman in the room” in their respective careers at this point, the relationship between the two women could be fraught. Season four may well delve a little further into this tension.”

The Crown — Season 4

The Thatcher – Bush phone call (March 1989)

Tam Dalyell was MP for Linlithgow for 43 years and Father of the House of Commons when he retired from Westminster in 2005.

During an official dinner, Dalyell asked Thatcher why in 800 pages of her Memoirs, she did not mention Lockerbie once?’

Mrs Thatcher replied:

“Because I do not know what happened and I do not write about things that I do not know about.”

This answer can not be entirely true. In her memoirs published two years after the indictment of Fhimah and Megrahi— The Downing Street Years (Memoirs 1993, pp 448-9) — British prime minister Margaret Thatcher wrote:

“[Operation El Dorado Canyon] turned out to be a more decisive blow against Libyan-sponsored terrorism than I could ever have imagined. … There were revenge killings of British hostages organized by Libya, which I bitterly regretted. But the much-vaunted Libyan counter attack did not and could not take place … There was a marked decline in Libyan-sponsored terrorism in succeeding years.”

As I pointed out to Edward S. Herman — The New York Times on the Libya-Pan Am 103 Case: A Study in Propaganda Service (Global Research – September 2007) — it was rather obvious that the “Iron Lady” knew that Gaddafi and Libya had nothing to do with Lockerbie.

“Ms. Thatcher seems to have forgotten Pan Am 103, or could she have momentarily forgotten that Libya was supposed to have been guilty of this act, and, writing honestly but carelessly for the historical record implicitly acknowledged here that this was a fraud that she had helped perpetrate.”

The Bush – Thatcher Phone Call

Near the end of March 1989, the Lockerbie investigation came to a halt following a phone call between George H. W. Bush and Margaret Thatcher.

Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta revealed that Bush and Thatcher had decided to put the Lockerbie investigation on hold.

Over the years, many have questioned this story but Lockerbie investigator George Thomson confirmed the infamous phone call to Intel Today.

“I met Dale Van Atta at his home. He is a very interesting guy and obviously had very good contacts. He confirms the Thatcher/Bush call and from the background information he was able to discuss with us in confidence I have no reason to doubt him.”

So the question is quite simple. What was the true rationale for Bush and Thatcher for deciding to ‘cool it’? And what event(s) could possibly have driven their agenda?

If these questions could  be answered with certainty, a major part of the Lockerbie puzzle would be solved.

Think about this — In March 1989, Thatcher called President Bush and convinced him that the ‘Lockerbie bombing’ needed a different solution. Obviously, and contrary to what she said to Tam Dalyell, Thatcher knew the TRUTH about Lockerbie. Indeed, she wrote the script! Question. Does the Queen also know? And since when does she know?

“We believe that, at a very early stage, the American Government asked the then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, to play Lockerbie low key. It is an incredible fact which I draw to the attention of my hon. Friend the Minister of State that, in the 800 self-serving pages that Margaret Thatcher wrote, she never mentioned Lockerbie once.

What she did say was that the ‘much-vaunted’ Libyan retaliation for her unwarranted attack on Ben Gazi and Tripoli in 1986 never came about. If the British Prime Minister, with her access to intelligence, really believed that, how on earth could she suppose that the Libyans were responsible for the Lockerbie crime?”

Tam Dalyell –‘Nothing has been done.’

The Guardian (July 23 1997)

Prince Andrew, Margaret Thatcher, and the CIA at Lockerbie Crash Scene

You can hear part of Prince Andrew’s the statement at the 4’24” mark.

REFERENCES

Queen heartbreak: Greatest regrets of Her Majesty’s reign revealed — Express

Prince Andrew’s astonishing comment to terrorism victims as he was accused of ‘no empathy’ — Express

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The Second Lockerbie Disaster — A quick note about Prince Andrew [NETFLIX — The Crown]

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