Sunday, August 23, 2009

Where the Mockery Really Lies

Well my post on the release of al-Megrahi caused a little bit of a reaction over the weekend. Including this from an American reader (I've deleted the expletives):

"As an American I would just like to say.....You release a convicted murderer and then you blog about how the people in the states just don't understand how compassionate you are? F*** all of you highlander, lowlander, gaelic-wanna be, kilt-wearing, eurotrash. Thank God my ancestors left your stinking s***-hole of an island!"

As Callum replied in the comments 'Thanks for your constructive comment Lincoln County. Not showing a lot of compassion with your blatant racism are ya?'. Then today I have Jack McConnell the former Labour First Minister saying that the majority of Scotland is against the decision that the Justice Minister made. I'm not too sure on that, yes there is a vocal section against the decision, there is another vocal section against the way it was made. But the former is largely from Labour, with support from the Tories. So by accusing the Nats of politicising the release decision he appears to be also doing so in his attack.

There is also a letter today from former FBI director Robert Mueller in which he calls the release a 'mockery to justice'. I'm sorry I beg to differ, al-Megrahi was not given a release based on a judicial decision over the legal ramifications of his case. On regular occasions these appeals were quite rightly turned down. However, there is a situation where medical evidence can be taken into account for the grounds of a compassionate release in the dying days of someone with time still to serve.

The former head of the FBI has decided to take this occasion to break his own pledge of never 'comment on the actions of other prosecutors' to break his silence, concluding by saying.

"You have given the family members of those who died continued grief and frustration. You have given those who sought to assure that the persons responsible would be held accountable the back of your hand. You have given Megrahi a ''jubilant welcome'' in Tripoli, according to the reporting. Where, I ask, is the justice?"

Of course the neature of his return to Libya was outside our control beyond teh request for it to be low key. But as I did say on Friday there was no comment of the type of the start of that concluding paragraph, it's on the the back of the letter from seven US Senators, including Ted Kennedy. However, Kennedy is only recently a convert to the case that terrorist should serve out their sentence and not be shown compassion. Up until then he was largely supported of the Irish Republicans in Massachusetts for his own political gain. Indeed it was only after 9/11 when Gerry Adams and Martin Maginness were actually moving towards democracy over violence Kennedy actually distanced himself from their cause.

So of course there was no outcry about a mockery of justice from America about early release of Northern Ireland Terrorists who had killed in total more than that fateful night, many of whom showed no remorse. Indeed when Mo Mowlam stalled the release programme in 1999 when the IRA had broken the terms on arms procurement it was the Americans who spoke to urge her to carry on. Of course the Northern Ireland release programme was the right thing to do in the light of the peace process just as al-Megrahi's is right in terms of his own imminent death.

But of course the Americans, either collectively or on occasion the odd individual, this week are showing signs of selective memory over justice as far as killing by terrorism is concerned. That sadly is what is the real mockery, not the actions taken impartially on medical evidence by the Scottish Justice Minister


Anonymous said...

The unionist opposition parties in Scotland have decided to play political games over the compassionate release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

Calling for a vote of no-confidence in Justice Minister Kenny Macaskill.

This is surely the height of hypocrisy from an opposition whose moral compass seems to have gone awry for right wing populist reasoning whilst Labour's UK Government stays silent over their prisoner transfer agreements and oil deals.

Scottish Labour's Iain Gray has rather pompously announced that if he were First Minister then al Meghari would not have been given compassionate leave, Labour's Jack McConnel has said if he were still First Minister then he would not have given Al Megraghi compassionate leave and the Liberal Democrat Leader, Tavish Scott has said he doe not agree with the release on compassionate leave.

To date I haven't seen Annabelle Goldie's or indeed any Scottish Conservative MSP's comments but David Cameron has strongly condemned the decision and various other conservative MP's have openly questioned the reasoning.

Malc said...


On the whole I agree with you. Reckon Kenny should send a letter back to the FBI telling him to go f*** himself and his view of "justice." It's hardly like the US has the moral authority on justice is it?

And if roles had been reversed, would the US have even bothered listening to Scotland if they had an interest in the case? No. They would have ignored the protests and done what the hell they liked - just like with the Iraq war ("UN resolution? Nah, screw it, we do what we want.").

And I'm usually pro-America...

Tom Ruffles said...

When the four Guantanamo detainees were sent to Bermuda the US government didn't even bother telling us, and clearly didn't give a toss. Now they bitch when it doesn't go the way they want. Their hypocrisy is amazing.


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