Guided Climb for Wary Novices

First posted Jan 16 2010
by Caustic Logic
last updates May 12

Left, convicted Lockerbie bomber, right, Col. Gaddafi's son 
and likely successor. The angrier this picture makes you, 
the more you need to read on.  Seriously.

In this article I reach out to those just learning about the controversy over Abdelbaset al Megrahi's guilt for the Pan Am 103 bombing. In particular, I'm speaking to my fellow Americans and worldwide the many "official story supporters." If you feel, since almost everything you’ve heard about the bombing from the government, from the news, from the people you talk with, has been based on the fact that Libyan agent Abdelbaset al Megrahi is guilty, this page is for you.

If your stomach was turned by "the bomber's" release to die (or plot?) at home, this page is for you. Steamed as hell about the "hero's welcome" afforded the convict? Did you boycott Scotch whiskey for a week in August?

Do you care whether or not these presumptions are actually true? Then this page is definitely for you. 
If you feel the true perpetrators of an airliner bombing that killed 270 souls should be known and punished - or at least known - this page is for you. If however you have no stomach to learn, or consider, or care at all one way or the other, this site is NOT for you.

If you're not sure, here are some sample thoughts: Frequently Un-Asked Questions and common retorts addressed.

A bit rusty on what Lockerbie/Flight 103 even means? Read The Magnitude and Firstness of the Lockerbie Bombing

And if you're somewhat curious but all this text is intimidating, you might be asking "isn't there a video version? A Youtube introduction?" Yes! Several of them! Watch a few and then if you care to, dig deeper into the facts and issues they touch on. That's part of how I got started figuring this stuff out.

But He's Guilty!
The byline after Megrahi's name, "Lockerbie bomber," is so widespread as to seem, to most Americans at least, a Natural Fact. British police, American investigators, the UN Security Council sort of, and three Scottish judges (or eight, depending on your take) all act in apparent belief in Libyan guilt via the case against the two accused. Heck, the Libyans themselves admit it (or so it's been made to seem) and paid up big cash. But ultimately words is words and deeds is deeds. Somewhere between the two and sometimes connecting them are the devious twins intelligence and evidence.

The FBI’s lead Pan Am 103 Lockerbie investigator, Richard Marquise, loves to differentiate the two, selectively. Marquise has often spoken up for the investigation he led, as being led by the evidence, not by politics. Mr. Marquise is occasionally active discussing the issue in e-mails with compatriots and in the pitched comments section of an amazing blog run by Professor Robert Black. In one recent message he reiterated to commenter (and something of a mentor to me) “Rolfe”
"There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to believe me. I (and my colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic) collected the evidence and presented it to a Scottish court. It was they--not me--who found the evidence compelling enough to convict Mr. Megrahi. It was they who believed the evidence was proof beyond a reasonable doubt and they are the only ones who needed convincing." [emph added]
But the judges aren't all that mattered, or else they wouldn't have needed that evidence brought in, by investigators they trusted and believed. Beyond that we have seen sternly worded government press releases and talking head opinions and Senatorial posturing as tough on Libya, and the expectant media coverage of the trial and "disastrous" release and Megrah's continuing refusal to die. Public opinion matters, which is probably why Mr. Marquise still takes enough interest to write books, grant video interviews, and debate the issue on blogs.

There’s no doubt, as the man says, "Convicted Lockerbie Bomber" Megrahi is legally guilty of the conspiracy he was convicted for in a Court of Law back in 2001. Three separate judges specially appointed to preside without a jury unanimously decided, on January 31 2001, that al Megrahi was guilty of the scenario related at trial. It’s got the binding power of law. Nations have moved by the decision.

Yet in the real physical world he and we inhabit, in which a certain plane with 259 then-passengers ruptured at a certain altitude... well, that's another story that the masses haven't heard yet.

How can there be any doubt, when the whole point of a trial is to remove doubt within reasonable reach, and bring legal authority in line with established reality? Consider that the judges, in the unusual trial at Camp Zeist, also unanimously decided Megrahi’s accomplice was NOT guilty. Both decisions have got the binding power of law, so legally (it could be argued) Megrahi did it without an accomplice, which is physically all but impossible. That’s the difference.

Also consider that O.J. Simpson was acquitted, and that millions of Americans have no problem questioning a high-profile judgment there.

Some of the most important details of how the trial was run, what the judges considered and how, prosecution and defense strategies, and the like, is beyond the faculties of the current staff of this site. We will try to locate the best analyses from the legal perspective in the near future, but even then and especially now, the site will focus mainly on the evidence the case was built up on.

Marquise admitted to Time magazine in 2007 the case was “based on "a series of circumstances," and all must be true for Megrahi to be guilty.” Unfortunately, each piece, on close examination, is either inconclusive, unverified, implausible, handled strangely, has changed over time, is associated with million-dollar payments, presents logic problems on a variety of levels, or some combination of the same. There is indeed serious reason to suspect the judges got it wrong, right at square one, by accepting the prosecution’s evidence at all. This may sound like an extreme position, but some brilliant and well-informed people out there agree and are convinced that at least one, or two, or all of the central planks are unacceptably suspect. As this site will demonstrate, such attitudes are fully justified.

Introductory-level, point-by-point Guided tour of the case against Megrahi, including the stuff you haven’t been told yet. Just what’s Wrong with the "official story"?

So Then, Who Did Do It?
This is not your standard conspiracy theorist fantasy, These are often based on a few small problems with the "official story," a feeling that something "isn't quite right," selectively read evidence and a slew of bad presumptions, stated with born-again fervor. There are those who will cloud the issue and make it all seem wildly speculative, but in fact, the most likely "alternate" scenario is not the slightest bit outlandish, in itself. In fact, many revisionists lead with their answer to this stumper it's so clear.

If Libyans didn't run this sow, then the "next best" evidence points not to the CIA or reptoid alien overlords, but to a violent Palestinian group based from Syria, and acting on behalf of the Ayatollahs in Iran. Iran had motive - the US shoot-down of Iran Air 655 with 290 aboard. They had the means - money and connections leveraged into a deal with the PFLP-GC who set up a bomb-making operation in Germany. The opportunity - well, airports can be breached when there's a strong will.

The original section on this was too long for an intro article and has been removed to the post Whodunnit and Howitdun.

Proponents of the PFLP-CG theory, or any other alternate story, have less of the facts established for them by the investigation and must rely on speculation and less trustworthy lower-tier "intelligence." And we've spent most of the time between the bombing and now in a confusing stew of misinformation that has bogged down those who would question (essentially, the "drug swap theory"). But contrasting this and clarifying the PFLP-GC hand is the the London origin theory. From the obfuscated to the suppressed to the always-obvious, the evidence supporting a bomb introduction at Heathrow airport, London.

"Have I been lied to? Really? That Bad?"
We could, just for one example, consider star witness Giaka. He was all the rage in 1991, his elaborate tales (he majored in literature!) of Megrahi's and Fhima's guilt connected the less direct clues and so underpinned the indictments issued by a US grand jury and read out by US and UK Justice officials in November. And this decision underpinned the sanctions that cost economic distress and some number of lives in Libya over the 1990s, demanding only the two be handed over for trial in the US.

Tripoli tried to relent for years to a compromise trial, until one was established and the suspects handed over in 1999. Before the evidence brought before judges in 2000, the Scottish Crown's prosecutors called on Giaka again, with nine years to think it over, as what many called the "star witness." With the Defense's assistance, the Judges found Giaka to be what he's universally considered today - a charlatan for hire that the Americans pimped to support their flimsy case - the Scottish investigators, prosecutors, and so on accepted and promoted this; they didn't necessarily have to willfully conspire, but somehow, a cluster of lies had become a multi-corroborated legal reality by which nations could be punished and which still holds most peoples' minds.

Go ahead and read the indictment of Megrahi and Fhimah. Of 16 points (a-p), most of them (12) are inconclusive statements about the two's business deals and movements. Of the few conclusive points, (m)'s main thrust that on December 20 they "did ... cause a suitcase to be introduced at malta" is pure Giaka, and laughed out of court as clearly made up much later to appease the Americans and secure his and his family's relocation there. Point K on stolen tags might be from Giaka. I'm not sure about point (c) "...have in your possession and under your control quantities of high performance plastic explosive..." Giaka said Fhimah kept Megrahi's TNT, not plastics, in a locked desk drawer at the airport. I've never seen any other support for either of them touching any explosives, so where this came from is a mystery. He also gave other clues that didn't warrant direct mention here, like the report on bombing a "British plane" that Giaka himself was asked to write and hand in to Megrahi.

If obvious falsehoods like this that can get through for almost a decade, what else might still be legally accepted today despite being physically untrue?


Jonathan said...

I'd like to read this, but it's in pale brown text with a dark background which is too painful to read for more than a few lines.

Caustic Logic said...

Jonathan said:
I'd like to read this, but it's in pale brown text with a dark background which is too painful to read for more than a few lines.

First comment! Really, you'd be willing to take a look? Pale brown is surely not how it looks on this end, but light gray. I did just brighten it a tad to the nearest shade to white. The dark blue background is aesthetic and based on what hurts my own eyes - fields of bright white light.

I hope it's a bit better now and you can get a look. The site's far from done at the moment, but a few posts are actually done. What do you think about the Lockerbie issue in general?

baz said...

Is it true to say three seperate Judges "appointed by the prosecutors"?

Caustic Logic said...

Not quite, Baz, and thanks for the pointer. For reference, the previous test above had read:
Three separate judges, appointed by the prosecutors, unanimously decided al Megrahi was guilty of the scenario related at trial.

What I was thinking of was this:
"The judges at Megrahi's trial would have been nominated by the Lord Advocate, who is also the chief adviser to Scotland's public prosecution.",8599,1639065,00.html#ixzz0dDXNQUjm

Site - under - construction, huh? Like the blank pages everywhere?

Caustic Logic said...

I just cut that out. They were appointed by someone else, "The Lord Justice Clerk" on 18/11/1999
I don't know how different that is from the Lord Advocate, who is the prosecution. And Lord Advocate changed... that's interesting. Hardie bowed out of the job almost as if bowing out of the trial. Hm!

See, that's why I need teammates. I don't know the WHOLE field quite enough to do what I'm doing here...


baz said...

I think it is pertinent that Lord Hardie bowed out to become a Judge. I suspect the verdict itself was coloured by the Judiciary's view of "Camp Zeist" as an experiment never to be repeated. I suspect Mr Megrahi was convicted essentially because of "Camp Zeist".

The 1990 Fatal Accident Inquiry concluded that the "primary suitcase" arrived at Heathrow on the feeder flight PA103A from Frankfurt based on the submissions of the Lord Advocate's Deputy and successor Andrew Hardie QC (based on the dubious logic by which Heathrow had been eliminated and the supporting conclusions of the Indian Head forensic tests.) This "locked" the Crown Office into the "official version" of events. To challenge this was to impugn the submissions of the Lord Advocate.

Charles said...

I have read Mr Marquise's remarkable account, Scotbom. It is quite strange. Several times Mr Henderson and he have to take a deep breath and say, "do we really believe this circumstantial case".

And circumstantial cases are rarely beyond doubt if an alternative mechanism for the destruction can be put forward. Indeed, I discounted more than 20 different explanations, from UFOs to industrial accidents to mules and metal fatigue before coming to my conclusion.

So the very fact of getting a partial victory in the case has made Mr Marquise believe without any doubt.

Rather odd, don't you think?

Caustic Logic said...

Thanks guys, good points. I need to learn a little more about the early anti-London decisions, along with fifty other things.

Charles: I'll offer you a post to explain your theory a little more explicitly, if you like. I hope you didn't decided on mules/donkeys in a UFO, whose death rays had an "industrial accident" and weakened the plane's hull.

And it is a weird book, telling in spots.