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Lockerbie murderer released.

by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 21, 2009 7:38 AM PDT

I see this hasn't been raised here, so if its considered too hot politically, my apologies.

The man convicted of the bombing of PAN AM flight 103 in 1988 which exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland, killing 270 people, including all the passengers, and some towns people, has been released on "Compassionate" grounds.

He has terminal cancer and is not expected to live for long.

I would have let him stay in prison until he died.


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He should return home the way his victims did.
by James Denison / August 21, 2009 8:14 AM PDT

In a body bag or a box. They are probably doing this so he can be buried according to Islamic custom within 24 hours after his death, which might be problematic to accomplish if he died in prison. Political correctness wins again, victims and their families take a back seat. This is the result of laws that forget justice begins first with those who were wronged, not with government which is supposed to facilitate justice, instead of interfering with it.

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He should have been executed.
by EdHannigan / August 21, 2009 8:36 AM PDT

He was responsible for how many hundreds of deaths? Why should he continue to live at all?

This demonstrates the immorality of outlawing the death penalty.

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If the death penalty is warranted, then do it quickly
by Steven Haninger / August 21, 2009 9:06 AM PDT

and let everyone get over it. But now it's too late. I know many will disagree but I think letting him go home to die rather than seek further vengeance might be a good thing. We need to be willing to show that we are better than those who would harm us and hope that some of that rubs off on others. Compassion isn't the worst characteristic to display and here's an opportunity to do so.

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Death Penalty is not vengeance.
by EdHannigan / August 21, 2009 10:49 AM PDT

What we have shown them (who cares?) is that we are weak. He does not deserve mercy. It's not compassion. The victims' families deserve compassion, not the evildoer.

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Vengence is relative
by Steven Haninger / August 21, 2009 7:42 PM PDT

I'd say those who applaud an execution aren't doing so because they sense justice but because they feel vengeance. I'm not saying this man or any other doesn't deserve to pay the ultimate price for committing the worst of crimes. If we're going to do so, however, it should be quick and decisive and for the purpose of preventing the person from continuing as a threat. If we hold them in prison, we expose ourselves to this possible outcome.

Letting him go and die with his own people isn't showing weakness, IMO. It's the unexpected and shows a value and respect for earthly life that needs to be, again...IMO, propagated.

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Vengeance can be justice
by James Denison / August 22, 2009 4:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Vengence is relative

Psalms 58:10 - The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

Numbers 35:19 - The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.

Numbers 35:21 - Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him.

Numbers 35:27 - And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood:

Death penalty is a godly sanction and responsibility of govt. It belongs first however to those who were wronged by the loss of their loved ones, they are the true revengers of blood.
Romans 13:4 - For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Psalms 58:10 - The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.

Proverbs 11:10 - When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.

Proverbs 17:15 - He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

Proverbs 18:5 - It is not good to be partial to a wicked man, or to deprive a righteous man of justice.

Proverbs 24:24 - He who says to the wicked, "You are innocent," will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations;

Proverbs 28:4 - Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.

Isaiah 3:11 - Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have done shall be done to him.

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I'm not seeing anything that happened is in conflict
by Steven Haninger / August 22, 2009 10:18 AM PDT

with what you posted. Of course those passages you cited are part of larger context so we cannot presume them to stand on their own in shaping our judgments.

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(NT) His victims didn't get to go home to die
by Diana Forum moderator / August 22, 2009 9:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Vengence is relative
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I suppose that, when it was known he
by Steven Haninger / August 22, 2009 10:15 AM PDT

had an imminently fatal disease, someone could have rushed through a decision to snuff him while there was still time. Do you think that would have helped make anyone feel better? I'm not arguing that what he did was beyond the comprehension of anyone who's civil or that we should even tolerate that anyone with that mindset be allowed to walk among us. No one needs to feel a bit sorry for him either. But there is an opportunity here, IMO, to show that we are better than those who would harm us and let the rest of the world know for certain who the real ogres are. There is something to be gained here.

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I beg to differ, there is nothing to be gained here.
by James Denison / August 22, 2009 12:33 PM PDT

When they meet and greet him like a returning hero, cheering him as he exits the plane, it further reinforces the belief they call out for Barrabas rather than understand any true concept of justice.

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Now wait a minute here
by Steven Haninger / August 22, 2009 7:57 PM PDT

Did we meet and greet him this way. Weand the rest of the world got to see coverage of his arrival that the media provided to us. What that coverage shows should, IMO, be further evidence of the mindset of some people that we don't care to have as friends or influence our other friends. The Barabbas comparison doesn't fit either. This was a planned release (appeasement) tradition in an occupied country related to their holy days. Any and all countries call out for release of their own arrested. I don't see anyone as throwing a bone here.

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Those who applaud an execution...
by EdHannigan / August 22, 2009 12:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Vengence is relative
aren't doing so because they sense justice but because they feel vengeance

That may be so, but that doesn't mean the execution itself or the death sentence is vengeance. Society has an obligation to rid itself of the most heinous individuals. Evil should not be tolerated or awarded "compassion."

In this case what they have done is encourage terrorists and make it look as though we ware willing to put up with their actions. A very bad message IMHO, and one that will cause even more misery and death.
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We're sending home a mortally wounded warrior of sorts
by Steven Haninger / August 22, 2009 8:14 PM PDT

Unless some miracle occurs, he's a goner. He lived out the end of any useful life in prison. He was gotten rid of. I don't see how the man's release would encourage terrorism. I would guess his body would be released to his countrymen if he'd died in prison and I suspect the welcome would have been the same dead or alive. They still would have cheered. It would have been otherwise if his body was disposed of where he died.

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What really sticks in my craw
by Roger NC / August 21, 2009 11:49 AM PDT

is the video of his hero's welcome debarking the plane back home.

"He was accompanied by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, who was dressed in a traditional white robe and golden embroidered vest. The son pledged last year to bring al-Megrahi home and raised his hand victoriously to the crowd as he exited the plane. They then sped off in a convoy of white sedans."

I wouldn't have approved of his release anyway, but could have understood the idea of letting him die at home. But the hero's welcome makes a mockery of those that died in the crash. And prove's to some of his kind that the Western world will cave in eventually.

And with this-

"The UN has said Colonel Gaddafi, who is blamed for the bombing of the aircraft in 1988, with the loss of 270 lives, will address the General Assembly.

The UN schedule calls for Colonel Gaddafi to speak directly after US President Barack Obama on the opening day of the annual session on September 23, raising the prospect of a second encounter between the two."

-it's even worse. The man should definately not been released just before this.

Given the hero's welcome home, I'm not sure the President should show up at the UN ceremonies.

Indeed, I don't think Gaddafi should get a visa here, not with diplomatic immunity anyway. Without diplomatic immunity we could probably still arrest and try him after he stepped of the plane. Unfortunately that would mean war I'm sure.

And if they feel they have to allow him to attend the UN, surely that is some legal way to restrict his movements while he's here. Sort of like a house arrest with escort to and from the airport and UN. An escort of fully armed Military police perhaps.


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Yep, that got to me as well.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 21, 2009 8:06 PM PDT

He is now a national hero.

The only, (meagre), solace I got from that was the way the bomber al-Megrahi looked when he stepped out the plane doorway. He looked frail, bemused, and worried.

I just wonder if he suspects that he will now quietly 'disappear', before he can write his memoirs, or something similar.

And in reply to Jonah, I also agree. British firms are doing a lot of business in Libya at the moment. It seems commercial consideration wins out again over justice.


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Secret executions?
by James Denison / August 22, 2009 4:22 AM PDT

I've often wondered if some of these type criminals don't get slipped a "mickey" of radioactive material at times while they are in prison, just to be sure they have a ticking time bomb in them on release.

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Well that sort of thing has happened recently.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 22, 2009 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Secret executions?

A well known Russian dissident was murdered in the UK a few years ago, proper James Bond stuff, when he walked past someone in the streets who was carrying an umbrella, and the tip of the umbrella struck him and injected a minute amount of Polonium into his leg.

He took a few weeks to die in hospital of radiation poisoning.

So, who knows!


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I remember that...
by J. Vega / August 22, 2009 5:32 AM PDT

I remember that situation. Wasn't the poison in the pellet ricin (toxin extracted from castor beans)?

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by EdHannigan / August 22, 2009 5:50 AM PDT
In reply to: I remember that...

As Mark indicated, it was a radioactive substance.

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I did a Google...
by J. Vega / August 22, 2009 12:10 PM PDT
In reply to: No.
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I may have remembered it wrong...
by EdHannigan / August 22, 2009 12:23 PM PDT
In reply to: I did a Google...

Thinking about a different assassination (that MarkFlax referred to) that didn't involve an umbrella .

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I just happened to...
by J. Vega / August 22, 2009 12:31 PM PDT

I just happened to remember the umbrella offhand because there was a lot of talk about it at work.

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May have found...
by J. Vega / August 22, 2009 12:28 PM PDT
In reply to: No.
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Yep, right on both counts.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 22, 2009 7:09 PM PDT
In reply to: I remember that...

You're right about the Bulgarian dissident, but that was much earlier. The link you gave puts it at 1978. A small pellet of Ricin was injected into his leg with an umbrella. Again, the cause wasn't found until an autopsy was done. He was a reporter of some sort?

But the later one with the Russian dissident was certainly Polonium, and the British secret service traced it to one other Russian operative by tracing the trail of radioactivity back through the streets and shops of London to a hotel where the other guy was staying. They may also have been able to trace it back to the plane he arrived on, I'm not sure.

The Russians, of course, denied all knowledge! Happy


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This is such a difficult thing. On the one hand you want to
by Ziks511 / August 22, 2009 7:29 AM PDT

be humane as a principle, regardless of the criminal. But this impulse is contradicted by the fact the guy is a mass-murdering terrorist, for whom I feel such hostility that I'd rather he die in jail. Additionally there's the issue of how Libya might treat a Westerner in a similar situation. I doubt very much he'd be treated with such generosity, but that's not supposed to enter into our post Enlightenment (18th Century) culture. The trouble in dealing with inhumane and extremist groups is that they erode our own humanity and push us in a more extreme direction.

One thing though, the person responsible for this release was a Scottish bureaucrat, it was not a decision of the British Government, generally referred to as Westminster (because that's where the Houses of Parliament are located). Britain has been through a change of the distribution of power during the Blair years, and Wales Northern Ireland and Scotland manage more of their own affairs, including prisons.


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I don't care who it is.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 22, 2009 7:22 PM PDT

In declared war there may be some sort of argument, (although not in my mind), but in peaceful times, I wouldn't care who it was, British, American, whoever, if they murdered 270 innocent people in an act of terrorism, then they deserve punishment, and Libya would rightly not have been so compassionate had a western person done this to them.

In the early 80s a young British police woman standing guard outside the Libyan embassy in London, protecting the embassy from a crowd of anti-Gadafi protesters outside, was shot dead from within the embassy by some Libyan gunman. He was aiming at the crowd.

Since he was embassy staff he had diplomatic immunity, so he was deported back to Libya where he no doubt received a heroes welcome.

It seems Libyan operatives could do as they wish, with no recourse.

It's not just that this is Libya. They were the pariahs in the 80s and 90s but I don't care who it is, its the natural justice, (not religious or anything like that), that needs to be seen to be preserved.


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the question is;
by James Denison / August 22, 2009 10:58 PM PDT

Can any group of organized people who aren't accepted or considered a "country" or an officially sanctioned "govt" can actually "wage war" as the world looks at it? If so, then he might be considered as a prisoner of war. It's only recently, after WW2 that we no longer considered population centers as part of a sustained war effort. Remember, we bombed quite a few cities during that war, both sides.

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