Lockerbie & Pan Am 103 Quotes

“After writing about the ‘ravers’ who regularly turn up at lectures to claim that President Bush/the CIA/the Pentagon/Mossad etc perpetrated the crimes against humanity of 11 September, I received a letter this week from Marion Irvine, who feared that members of her family run the risk of being just such ‘ravers’ and ‘voices heard in the wilderness’. Far from it. For Mrs Irvine was writing about Lockerbie, and, like her, I believe there are many dark and sinister corners to this atrocity. I urge anyone who is aware of government lies over Flight 103 to come forward.”

Robert Fisk (English writer and journalist, Middle East correspondent since 1976 )

Mandela visiting Megrahi — aka the ‘Lockerbie bomber’ — in prison. Many thanks to my friend John Ashton who took the picture. “The same country should not be complainer, prosecutor and judge in this particular matter.” — Nelson Mandela

The views expressed by the legendary UK journalist are widely shared by experts, reporters, scholars, lawyers and politicians.

Here are some highly relevant quotes I have collected over the years. They are listed by author in alphabetical order.

Lockerbie & Pan Am 103 Quotes

“The reputation of Scottish law has suffered both at home and internationally because of widespread doubts about the conviction of Mr al-Megrahi. It is in the interests of justice and restoring confidence in our criminal justice system that these doubts can be addressed. However the only place to determine whether a miscarriage of justice did occur is in the appeal court, where the evidence can be subjected to rigorous scrutiny.”

Aamer Anwar (UK Lawyer)

“The Lockerbie investigation was supposedly driven by old-fashioned detective work, but, as we have learned over the years, behind the scenes the CIA played a key role. We now know that the timer fragment was not from one of the 20 timers to Libya. Is it really far-fetched to suggest that the CIA planted it in order to conclusively link Libya to the bombing?”

John Ashton (Lockerbie investigator)

“Look — in the intelligence community — I’m not giving you a controversial opinion here. I kept up with all of the CIA, National Security Agency analysts, everybody involved in the intelligence side, and to a man nobody has ever said to me that it was Libya. The National Security Agency reporting on Lockerbie is absolutely damming that it was Iran and Syria behind it, rather than Libya. It’s damning, damning, damning, it’s rock solid intelligence”.

Robert Baer (Former CIA Officer)

“The case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is an example of a system corrupted, for base political ends, by people who do not take your democracy seriously. He didn’t do it. No-one with a straight face thinks otherwise. I don’t think I’ve used the word too often before, but the al-Megrahi case is a disgrace.”

Ian Bell  (British Journalist)

“As someone who attended the trial, I have never taken the view that Megrahi was guilty. Megrahi is the 271st victim of Lockerbie.”

David Ben-Ayreah (Spokesperson for the victims of Lockerbie families)

“If you really look into it the evidence that was presented against [Megrahi] in court was laughable.”

David Benson (English playwright)

“The Lockerbie trial is the most disgraceful miscarriage of justice in Scotland for 100 years. Every lawyer who has read the judgment says ‘this is nonsense’. It is nonsense.”

Robert Black QC FRSE (Professor Emeritus of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh and best known as the “Architect of the Lockerbie Trial”)

“Let me take, for example, the Lockerbie case and also the case of the Ténéré [UTA] that were blamed on Libya when all intelligence services know that these attacks were committed by Ahmed Jibril under the inspiration and funding from Iran.”

Yves Bonnet (Former French DST Director)

“We have felt, since the first days in December 1988, that something was being hidden from us … the discrediting of the Helsinki (US embassy) warning, the presence of the CIA on Scottish soil before the work of identifying bodies was properly undertaken, the Teflon behaviour of ministers and government all contributed to a deep feeling of unease. This reached a peak when my father was told by a member of the American Presidential Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism that our government knew what had happened but that the truth would not come out.”

Mrs Irvine Cadman

“The case of the convicted bomber Abdelbasset Al Megrahi is a remarkable illustration of the conformism and obedience of intellectual opinion in the West. […] I think the trial was very seriously flawed, including crucially the alleged role of Malta. There is every reason to call for a very serious independent inquiry.”

Pr. Noam Chomsky (American political scientist, linguist, author and lecturer)

“In closing arguments, the prosecution stressed the point that Megrahi could not have planted the bomb without the assistance of Fhimah – that both defendants were equally guilty, and should stand or fall together. Nevertheless, the judges elected to find one of the two conspirators guilty and the other one innocent, a split verdict that Pr. Koechler finds incomprehensible. It is however entirely comprehensible if we accept that the judges knew there was no evidence to convict either man but that it was politically imperative for them to send one of them down.”

Alexander Cockburn (US Journalist)

“The most likely explanation of the judges’ decision to convict Megrahi despite the evidence, or lack of it, must be that either (a) they panicked at the thought of the uproar that would ensue on the American end if they let both of the Libyans off, or (b) they were simply given their marching orders by high authority in London. English judges are used to doing their duty in this manner – see, for example, the results of various ‘impartial’ judicial inquiries into British atrocities in Northern Ireland over the years, including Bloody Sunday and the post-internment torture scandal – but we had hoped, ludicrously so in retrospect, that the Scotch were made of sterner stuff.”

Andrew Cockburn (American journalist)

“If I thought for one moment that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was guilty as charged in the mass murder of 270 innocent people in the crash of the Pan Am airliner “Maid of the Seas” at Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, I would not have agreed to pen an obituary – let alone an affectionate one. My settled conviction, as a “Professor of Lockerbie Studies” over a 22-year period, is that neither Megrahi nor Libya had any role in the destruction of Pan Am 103. The Libyans were cynically scapegoated…”

Tam Dalyell (Scottish Labour Party politician who was a member of the House of Commons from 1962 to 2005)

“Based upon our lengthy investigations, new evidence we have found and new evidence that was not before the trial court, we feel that the applicant may have suffered a miscarriage of justice.”

Graham Forbes (Chairman of the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission)

“No one came to me and said ‘Now we can go for the Libyans’, it was never as straightforward as that. The CIA was extremely subtle.”

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (Scotland’s senior law officer directly responsible for the conduct of the investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103)

“If the United States government would let me, I could identify the men behind this attack [Pan Am 1003] today. I could do it right now. You want a police line up? I could go into any crowded restaurant of 200 people, and pick out these men. […] And you know what, Susan? You won’t find this restaurant anywhere in Libya. No, you will only find this restaurant in Damascus.”

Dr Richard Fuisz (Former high level CIA asset)

“I am pleased that Mr Megrahi’s family has decided pursue an appeal against his conviction. I believe Mr Megrahi was wrongly convicted.”

Christine Grahame (Member of the Scottish Parliament)

“I don’t think there’s a lawyer in Scotland who now believes Mr Megrahi was justly convicted. The Americans were out for vengeance. Anyone with a darker skin would do. With their barrowloads of money to buy witnesses, aided by our police and prosecution, they hoodwinked our courts.”

Ian Hamilton QC (Recipient of a lifetime achievement award at the 2009 Law Awards of Scotland)

“I regard the Lockerbie verdict against Megrahi as a ‘Grand Monument to Human Stupidity’.  Indeed, the written opinion of the Lockerbie judges is a remarkable document that claims an ‘honoured place in the history of British miscarriages of justice.’ If the [SCCRC] Commission accepts the application for a full review, the infamous Zeist verdict doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving.”

INTEL TODAY — July 5 2017

“There is little doubt in my mind that the Libyans did NOT carry out the Lockerbie bombing, but rather that it was carried out by the Palestinian terror group PFLP-GC, based in Damascus, acting upon Iranian instructions in response to the 1988 downing of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes.”

Paul Harris (UK Journalist)

“The case against the two Libyans was ‘circumstantial,’ as the Scottish judges noted in their decision, and New York Times editors conceded (2/1/01). This is a generous use of the word; there is no evidence whatsoever that Al-Megrahi or anybody else put a bomb-laden bag in for shipment at Malta, as the improbable official scenario requires.”

Edward Samuel Herman (Professor at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and a media analyst)

“I do believe that he [Megrahi] is an innocent man and that in time the truth of that will emerge. (…) have never found a full answer to Lockerbie. And this will always be a source of great distress. […] We need the truth, and we need justice, to allow ourselves to be at peace. Otherwise, we’re still back on December the 21 1988, in the darkness.” 

Father Pat Keegans (Parish priest for Lockerbie at the time of the crash)

“It was decided by the two governments, by the United States and the United Kingdom, that Libya had been responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103. I have never believed that. My own conviction from the outset was that the Syrians and Iranians were pre-eminently responsible for this.”

Noel Koch (Former Head of anti-terrorism efforts for the US Defense Department from 1981 to 1986)

“In spite of the reservations explaining the verdict itself, the guilty verdict in the case of Megrahi is particularly incomprehensible in view of the admission by the judges themselves that identification was ‘not absolute’ and that there was a mass of conflicting evidence.”

Pr Hans Kochler (UN Observer at the Lockerbie Trial)

“The bombing of the Pan Am flight was conceived, authorized and financed by Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, the former Iranian minister of Interior. The operation was contracted to Ahmad Jibril for $1 million. The remainder was to be paid after successful completion of the mission.”

Colonel Patrick Lang (Former Chief of the DIA’s Middle East)

“Al-Megrahi was released from prison in 2009 and sent back to Libya on compassionate grounds because of advancing cancer. Public outrage was sparked. Al-Megrahi lived with his cancer for a few years (…) One cannot help but wonder whether the outrage over his release might be tempered if those angry individuals were to seriously examine the suspicious eyewitness testimony that led to Al-Megrahi’s conviction in the first place. My examination has led me to seriously wonder: Is the Lockerbie bomber still out here?”

Professor Elizabeth F. Loftus (Eyewitness and memory expert)

“The evidence was weak, understandably given the circumstances. That has been compounded by doubts over Tony Gauci’s evidence. He was a crucial witness who identified Megrahi as the man who bought clothes placed in the suitcase containing the bomb. His already debatable evidence has been damaged by information that the Americans paid him for it.”

Kenny MacAskill  (Cabinet Secretary for Justice)

“Exactly when everyone decided Libya was responsible for this outrage I can’t actually remember. Mr Gaddafi seemed to be everybody’s whipping boy at the time, so that could explain it. What I do know is that none of the journalists I worked with on the story ever believed that Libya was guilty.”

Arthur MacDonald  (Journalist)

“As you know, he [US Ambassador Andrew Ivy Killgore] was very passionate about Lockerbie. I printed out all your communications to him and he read them avidly. He had his own idea about who was responsible, of course, but certainly agreed that there has been a most grievous cover-up.”

Janet McMahon (Managing editor of WRMEA)

“I personally know the accused and have always firmly believed in his innocence. Having examined the judgment of the court at Camp Zeist and being aware of the salient evidence produced in the case by the prosecution, I feel that the evidence could never have amounted to guilt of the accusation according to law.”

Dr. Emmanuel Mallia  (Lawyer)

“In respect of the Lockerbie case, a country, a whole people, a justice system, and the truth were sacrificed in order that the status quo between Edinburgh and London (indeed Washington) was preserved and maintained. Not the status quo around the symbolic political union between the two nations, but the status quo inherent at a far deeper level than the superficial, as I say symbolic, distinctions made in public. The UK and the West’s foreign policy, and the historical perceptions created whether with regards to Libya, Iraq or Iran, are as strategic in their political motivations as they are the very essence of our notions of the noble empire and its ‘democracy’.”

Eddie McKechnie

“From the outset the Lockerbie disaster has been marked by superlatives. The bombing was the deadliest terror attack on American civilians until 11 September 2001. It sparked Britain’s biggest ever criminal inquiry, led by its smallest police force, Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary. It spelled the end of Pan Am, which never recovered from the damage to its reputation. The trial at Camp Zeist was the longest and – at a cost of £75 million – the most expensive in Scottish legal history. The appeal hearing was the first Scottish trial to be broadcast live on both television and the internet. Lawyers, politicians, diplomats and relatives of Lockerbie victims now believe that the former Libyan intelligence officer is innocent.”

Hugh Miles (Award-winning freelance journalist, author, producer and consultant specialising in the Middle East)

“What this trial has not done is answer the huge questions that we were asking 12 years ago. Who knew what, what was going on, why were the public not protected or warned by the Western governments? We intend to continue and seek answers to those very important questions.”

Reverend John Mosey

“I can affirm that the FCO and MI6 knew that al-Megrahi was not the Lockerbie bomber.”

Craig Murray (Former UK ambassador)

“If I learned that a crown witness had been treated and spoiled by the police or prosecution, I would be very concerned that it might have interfered with the course of justice. The defence would be entitled to know and to question the credibility of the witness. If such a matter emerged after a guilty verdict, it would be a valid point of appeal.”

Former Lord Advocate Ronald King Murray

“In 2007, Mr Lumpert admitted that he had lied at the trial, stolen a timer and given it to a Lockerbie investigator. Moreover, the fragment he identified was never tested for residue of explosives, although it was the only evidence of possible Libyan involvement.”

Robert Parry ( US journalist – Consortiumnews)

“Megrahi’s identification by Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper, would remain spectacular in its noncompliance with any safeguard. He described al-Megrahi as ‘6’0’’’ (he was 5’8’’), ‘50 years old’ (he was 37), and ‘hefty’; said that he ‘had been to the shop before and after’, ‘had been there only once’; that he ‘saw him in a bar months later’; that he ‘will sign statement even though I don’t speak English’; that al-Megrahi ‘was similar but not identical’, ‘perhaps like him but not fully like him’, and, fatally for any identification of al-Megrahi in the first place, that he was ‘like the man in the Sunday Times’ (in other words, like Abu Talb, whose picture Gauci had initially identified). But Gauci’s evidence was needed and, reports suggest, handsomely rewarded.”

Gareth Peirce (English solicitor and human rights activist)

“Scotland sadly deserves its shame, disgrace and international condemnation. But certainly not for the reasons offered and repeatedly churned. The story of the Lockerbie events has been allowed to be drowned out by one version, promoted, if not manufactured, by US intelligence and repeated by our own prosecution service and our government, in denial of later revelation, who maintain even to this day that they “do not doubt the safety of the verdict against Abdelbaset al-Megrahi,” despite it being utterly discredited, in addition to adjudged a possible miscarriage by our Criminal Cases Review Commission.”

Steven Raeburn (Editor of Scottish law magazine The Firm)

“There is no reasonable basis in the trial court’s judgment for its conclusion that the purchase of the items [clothes that were found in the wreckage of the plane] from Mary’s House [in Malta] took place on 7 December 1988.”

SCCRC (2007)

“The (Lockerbie) case was largely based on this inside guy [Libyan defector Abdul Majid Giaka]. It wasn’t until the trial that I learned this guy was a nut-job and that the CIA had absolutely no confidence in him and that they knew he was a liar. The CIA and the FBI kept the State Department in the dark. It worked for them for us to be fully committed to the theory that Libya was responsible.”

Pr. Michael Scharf  (Joseph C. Hostetler — BakerHostetler professor of law, Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law)

“I am the father of Flora Swire, who was murdered on the aircraft in 1988, and I attended the subsequent trial of Libyan Abdelbaset Al Megrahi. By the end I was convinced that we had witnessed a parody of justice. There were many deficiencies in the evidence, and those of us who have sought the truth have been further frustrated by the Government and Scottish High Court. It has become clear to us that the trial was designed not to convict those responsible, but to further the wishes of the US and UK governments.”

Dr Jim Swire (October 7 2018)

“[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.”

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher — The Downing Street Years (Memoirs 1993, pp448-9)

“I personally hope that Tony is in a better place and that he is now at peace because he must have led a tortured life knowing that he had jailed an innocent man for money.”

George Thomson (Lockerbie Investigator)

“Tony Gauci didn’t mention shirts in his first statement, and is adamant that he did not sell any shirts when first specifically questioned about shirts.However, at that time he did sell Slalom shirts to the police. Some months later he recalled selling shirts to the man. This pattern in the statements is consistent with post-event information becoming incorporated into the memory (a process known as memory distortion). For this reason I regard the first statement made prior to questioning about the shirts to be more likely to reflect Tony Gauci’s original memory for the event because there is no possibility for it to be influenced by the subsequent questioning.”

Professor Tim Valentine (Eyewitness and memory expert)

PS — Please, send me your favorite ones and I will update this post regularly!

Regards, Intel Today

Lockerbie & Pan Am 103 Quotes