What follows is the text of an item originally posted on this blog on this date in 2014.
Clinton: Gaddafi responsible for Lockerbie bombing
[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The Scotsman. It reads in part:]
Hillary Clinton thought that former Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi was a “terrorist who could never be trusted” because he was behind the Lockerbie bombing.
Writing in her memoir, which was published yesterday, the former US secretary of state said the Libyan leader was a “criminal” and she did not believe a thing he said.
Mrs Clinton also says that she felt a personal connection to the Lockerbie tragedy because 35 of the victims were from New York, where she was a senator at the time.
The disclosure is in her new book called Hard Choices which was released yesterday after being highly anticipated in Washington. The book’s release is being seen as the first step on a potential run for the presidency in 2016 by Mrs Clinton, 66. (...)
She ... writes how in 1988 “Libyan agents” planted the bomb that caused Pan Am Flight 103 to explode whilst flying over Scotland. Some 189 Americans died in the terrorist attack, along with 43 Britons.
Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was the only man convicted of the atrocity and served eight years of his sentence in Scotland before being freed on compassionate grounds in 2009 because doctors said he had cancer and would be dead within three months. Yet in an embarrassment to the Scottish Government and Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary, Megrahi went on to live for nearly three more years in Tripoli. The row strained relations between the UK and the US with senior senators and relatives of those who died [RB: US relatives] branding it “outrageous”.
In her memoir, Mrs Clinton makes clear that she was under no illusions about the regime she was dealing with. She writes: “In my eyes Quaddafi (sic) was a criminal and a terrorist who could never be trusted…” (...)
Of the victims of Lockerbie, 35 were students from Syracuse University in New York. She writes: “I knew some of their families when I represented them in the US senate.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Mr Al-Megrahi was convicted in a court of law and his conviction was upheld on appeal. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have made clear that the Lockerbie case remains a live investigation and that Scotland’s criminal justice authorities will rigorously pursue any new lines of inquiry.”
[It is interesting that the Scottish Government spokesman does not punt the usual Crown Office line (or should that be “lie”?): "The evidence upon which the conviction was based was rigorously scrutinised by the trial court and two appeal courts, after which Megrahi stands convicted of the terrorist murder of 270 people.” Is it just possible that my efforts in pointing out this particular instance of Crown Office dishonesty have borne fruit?
Another article in today's edition of The Scotsman can be read here: United quest for Lockerbie justice.]