20 August 2010
Note, August 20 2011: One year ago I posted this, to mark the one year anniversary of al-Megrahi's release. Two years on, he's still alive as Libya is murdered over rumors (like sniping children, "bombing his own people," etc.), and people are still mad about what Libya's "gotten away with." Anyway, this day marks another one of shame in the long and sad history of the grinding down of Libya and its people. Mr. al-Megrahi flew home permanently guilty. The events of Agust two years ago explain how. We know why. The saga starts, as I told it a year ago, on August 3. That post is below, and links carry one through the sickening process from there.
Note, Oct. 16: I just noticed again that August 20, that fatefully two-year anniversary, was the start date of the final rebel push on Tripoli that seemed to succeed in only two days. Uncanny timing, that.
<< Previous: 19 August
One year ago today Kenny MacAskill announced and enacted the decision he made the previous day - to release Abdelbaset al Megrahi to his native Libya. At midday the BBC announced:
[Megrahi] will be flown home to Tripoli from Glasgow this afternoon following an announcement by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. ... A spokesman for the administration insisted the decision had been reached "on the basis of clear evidence and on no other factors.The promised appeearance came across the airwaves an hour later, at 1300 BST, from the Scottish Government's ministerial headquarters in Edinburgh. MacAskill was in top form, explaining the decision with flourishes like "compassion and mercy are about upholding the beliefs that we seek to live by, remaining true to our values as a people..." It droned on for a bit.
Another BBC story later in the day explained what came next:
A police convoy left Greenock Prison, where Megrahi was serving his sentence, just an hour after the announcement of his release was made.With a white scarf across his face to protect from infection, Megrahi labored up the ramp, looking like a human white flag of surrender flapping in the breeze. The colorful Libyan jet took off at 1530 BST, just two-and-a-half hours after MacAskill first opened his mouth to explain. It muscled up into the sky, away from Glasgow, and banked south towards home.
It was greeting by angry jeers from a small group of local residents.
Megrahi was taken to Glasgow Airport where he boarded an Afriqiyah Airways Airbus plane bound for Tripoli, wearing a white track suit and clutching his prison release papers.
That was hardly the end of the story, but it is the end of this series of articles.