Once Upon a Time, there was Lockerbie

Spot the Problem
By Robert Forrester,

Secretary, Justice For Megrahi Campaign 
Special to The Lockerbie Divide
March 28 2011

In 1958 President Eisenhower was so concerned about the prevailing hatred for the United States amongst the peoples of the Middle East that he commissioned a report in the hope that better minds than his could explain what seemed to have flummoxed him. In 1953, Eisenhower, supported by Churchill and later Eden, sanctioned Operation Ajax. Operation Ajax was regime change at its cheapest and most effective. It cost a mere $1,000,000 to run, involved buying off the Iranian military and employing gangs of Teherani thugs to create civil disorder and achieved its desired result of overthrowing the popular Iranian prime minister Mohamed Moussadeq. Why did he do this? Because Moussadeq was showing unfortunate socialist tendencies whilst at the same time as sitting on some rather desirable oil supplies. In fact, the man actually had the gall to suggest that Iran should be controlling its own mineral wealth and selling at prices the Iranian people felt appropriate, not those which the UK and USA felt like paying. Happily, everything went according to plan. Moussadeq ended up under house arrest for the rest of his days, the Iranians were subjected to thirty years of murder, torture and political repression by the West’s man of the hour, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and we got the fuel to fund our casino economies at our prices, at least until Ayatollah Khomeini flew home to roost. Eisenhower’s National Security Council, in its report to the president, explained that the people of the Middle East seemed to have run away with the bizarre notion that the US is only interested in supporting tyrannical despots in their region who are willing provide cheap mineral resources. It is tempting to ponder whether Eisenhower’s illuminating report cost more than Operation Ajax.

Saddam Hussein proved to be a tad more awkward to deal with however. But once he had gone past his sell by date (he never did manage to club those dashed mullahs over the border despite all the help we gave him), and despite the weaponry we’d supplied him with, he really didn’t stand a chance. All that was needed was to await a convenient source of outrage, in his case the Al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Centre, to creatively stitch him into, trample all over the UN, then let him have it. Abracadabra. Ignoring the appalling cost in lives, a country that was once an example to the region in terms of its social services and state run enterprises was bombed back into surviving in open sewers. But hey, they got democracy, plus, the oil was free again, just like the 1920s.

So now it’s Libya’s turn. Gaddafi stands even less of a chance than Saddam. It’s hard to imagine the bookies taking bets on anything other than the precise hour and minute of when the rope will go round his neck. How can the rebels lose? They have copious amounts of the very best that modern air power, intelligence gathering and command and control can provide taking out any and all opposition they would otherwise have fallen victim to. They simply have to pick up the pieces, follow the instructions and keep shambling on towards Tripoli. Neither the Chinese nor the Russians have shown any real signs of stepping in. Even the US has estimated that it really doesn’t need to take such a prominent role in affairs and handed it all on to NATO. In any case, the US already has enough on it’s plate what with commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, whilst at the same time having to keep a weather eye on other developments in the region: not least on the fact that Syria is getting a little frayed round the edges, and, although Israel is doubtless smiling, it won’t be sleeping. Furthermore, oil is marginally less of a lure to the States where Libya is concerned. Not so however with the UK. Let’s not forget Tony Blair’s ‘Deal in the Desert’, the BP contract and all the embarrassing mud that is sticking over the revelations that have come out concerning Gordon Brown’s government’s attempts to help Tripoli negotiate the legal hurdles of Mr al-Megrahi’s repatriation.

Despite the distress caused to anyone directly connected to the Pan Am 103 incident,
it almost seems wrong to draw a spotlight on to the Lockerbie/Zeist case at a time when Libya is being torn apart by civil war. Nevertheless, David Cameron has chosen to do just that recently in seeking to justify his belligerence by saying of Muammar al-Gaddafi: "The people of Lockerbie know what this man is capable of." (David Cameron - 21/3/2011). Justice Secretary Ken Clark is also now playing the Lockerbie card by saying that we have to bring Gaddafi down to prevent him from seeking another Lockerbie in revenge for the UK’s support of the rebels.

It is always much healthier if you can draw on some moral high ground to justify your cause in the public eye. We tried it on in Afghanistan with how we were lifting the Afghans out of their feudal political system by waving our magic wand of democracy over them. Now, with Libya, it is Lockerbie and terrorism. Ever since Libya’s ex justice minister, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, set himself up as leader of Eastern Libya in February with claims that he had proof that Gaddafi was behind Lockerbie, this has provided the opportunity to indulge in a bit of sleight of hand and massaging of public opinion. Lockerbie combines public ignorance, terrorism, fear and righteousness, and, it sells papers into the bargain. Abdel-Jalil’s claims are simply that, claims. After a month, he has yet to produce one iota of substance. Is he saying that he was negligent enough to leave the documents back in Tripoli? Once Tripoli falls and no documents are produced, are we then going to hear that Gaddafi must have destroyed them? Perhaps though, documents will be produced, however, we all know what is said about truth and the fog of war. Even today, and despite the payments the Telegraph had to make to George Galloway concerning the documents that were allegedly found in Baghdad proving his complicity with Saddam’s government, their origin is still not settled. In any case, it surely comes as no surprise to anyone that Gaddafi would have been behind an action such as Lockerbie if one of his countrymen had carried it out. But, did Abdelbaset al-Megrahi do it? Therein lies the rub.

To say that the case against Mr al-Megrahi has one or two problems would be arch understatement.

  • There was a break in to Heathrow airside giving access to Pan Am 103’s loading bay area shortly before take off. This incident was reported to the Heathrow authorities at the time but not made public until after the verdict was passed twelve years later.
  • There is no evidence of any unaccompanied luggage leaving on flight KM180 from Malta’s Luqa airport.
  • There are question marks over the provenance of documentary evidence provided by Frankfurt Airport ( the transit point from Luqa to Heathrow).
  • Along with other alleged inducements, the Crown’s star witness, Mr Tony Gauci (the proprietor of a Maltese clothes outlet) and his brother, Paul, are accused of having been in receipt of payments of $2,000.000 and $1,000,000 respectively under an American rewards for justice scheme for their testimony (a practice understandably alien to Scots Law, and presumably sufficient to dismiss both Tony and Paul Gauci as witnesses. The US authorities have yet to deny this deal). Tony Gauci’s testimony falls considerably short of being conclusive in terms of his eye witness account, which attempts to match up the identity of the purchaser of clothes from his shop, on account of key discrepancies with regard to the date of the purchase and the height, weight, age and build of the purchaser. Even though he had been prompted by numerous photo spreads containing pictures of Mr al-Megrahi and privy to media photographs of the accused prior to the trial, Mr Gauci could do little better than say that the man in the dock “resembled” the purchaser of the clothes.
  • Serious doubts also arise over the provenance of the fragment of circuit board alleged to have been part of a triggering device for a bomb which brought down pan Am 103. How did it (along with a sample of Mr Gauci’s clothes) survive temperatures of around 4,000ºC at the heart of a Semtex explosion? Why was it not tested for explosive residue? Why was forensic testimony accepted from representatives of the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment (RARDE), who had in previous terrorist trials been pilloried for the nature and standard of their testimony? Why were alterations to the discrepancies in the notebooks of the RARDE forensic witnesses not made more of in the trial? Why was the fact that a Crown witness, Mr Ulrich Lumpert, signed a sworn affidavit in 2007 retracting his Zeist testimony relating to the fragment of circuit board as effectively being a pack of lies not pursued? Why was the fragment sent to the US and allowed to leave Scottish jurisdiction, surely this would disqualify it as evidence?
  • Suspicions are also rife concerning what influence the FBI and the US Department of Justice had over the Scottish led police investigation and the trial under the auspices of the High Court of Justiciary.

The above simply serve to illustrate some of the more prominent worries over the safety of the conviction. To compound this, the judges chose to believe a tale of how the bombing was carried out that defies what any normal person could accept as credible, namely: that Mr al-Megrahi contrived to place an unaccompanied luggage item on to flight KM180 from Malta which was then subsequently transferred at Frankfurt to a feeder flight to Heathrow, again unaccompanied, where it was finally loaded on to Pan Am 103, unaccompanied. Thus defying three security regimes in three separate countries, and the bomb still managed to blow up its target and not either one of the first two flights despite the inevitability of delays etc which would have been par for the course around Christmas time. It is truly hard to believe that 15 lay Scottish jurors could reach anything other than a not guilty verdict in such circumstances. Although impeccably qualified as judges, their Lordships, MacLean, Sutherland and Coulsfield, in arriving at their guilty verdict, displayed an absence of experience when it comes to the role of being a juror. Indeed to give credence at all to the story of the Luqa-Frankfurt-Heathrow connection, especially as it was presented at Zeist, demonstrates a complete inability to imagine how paramilitaries operate.

It also cannot be ignored that the structure of trial itself could well have contributed to the conviction in that the Crown played the role of prosecutor, judge and jury. The litany goes on.

Mr al-Megrahi’s first appeal failed, this is true. However, in their judgement, the judges were at pains to point out that they took no account of the sufficiency of evidence since the defence did not require them to do so. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) then referred the case back to the Court of Appeal on six grounds suggesting that no reasonable court would have reached a guilty verdict on the basis of the evidence laid before the Crown by the prosecution. This appeal was then, unnecessarily, dropped by Mr al-Megrahi in his attempt to gain compassionate release. There has been much speculation regarding the possibility that he may have come under pressure to do so even though the terms of compassionate release do not require an appeal to be dropped to become a beneficiary of it. The long and the short of it is, therefore, that this conviction has not yet been fully tested in law in the interests of justice. The best that the Crown, in the form of the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, has been able to offer as a counter to these concerns is a mind-boggling merry-go-round of circular polemic which amounts to little more than: he was convicted, therefore, he did it. So parlous are the arguments offered up by the Crown that one almost feels bound to ask what qualifications are required for the job of Lord Advocate. To reassure us all that the Crown and the police are still taking the Lockerbie Zeist affair seriously though, even at a point ten years after the conviction, Angiolini also claims that the Dumfries and Galloway police are conducting an on-going review of the investigation. It, in fact, transpires that this is being carried out by one sole officer. In the words of Christine Grahame MSP, this constitutes little better than “file management.”

Recently, on Auntie Beebs weekly vox pop mainstay, Question Time (broadcast from Edinburgh on the 10th of March) we were again treated to the predictable and tedious question of how Mr al-Megrahi must be laughing now that he is back in Libya. I imagine the member of the public who posed the question will be reduced to stitches if he ever contracts a malignant carcinoma. In order to kick the SNP bashing off, Douglas Alexander was straight in with claims that Mr al-Megrahi was currently being chauffeured around Tripoli in a Lamborghini (presumably to make him a more awkward target for the coalition missiles). Annabel Goldie took the biscuit though in bemoaning the damage that the compassionate release had done to the good name of Scottish justice, completely ignoring the profound and legitimate concerns over the safety of the conviction. Clearly, a potential miscarriage of justice does no harm at all.

There are of course differences between the histories of Iran and Libya, however, the salient threads of Western foreign policy run through both. In the case of Libya, we have the Italian genocide of the late 20s and early 30s (accounting for upwards of 50,000 deaths in camps), the Second World War, and then a monarchy (supported by Italy, the UK and the US) that pocketed Libya’s wealth until overthrown by Gaddafi. Much like Khomeini was viewed later in Iran, Gaddafi was seen in the late 60s as someone who would stand up to Western depredations. The surprising thing is that he managed to survive being a thorn in the side of the West for as long as he has: Reagan’s bombs, sanctions and all the rest. In pitting himself against such power, he, of course, subjected his people to his own brand of Gestapo for decades. Ex justice minister Abdel-Jalil’s claims, therefore, should be seen in this light. Anyone who managed to negotiate the perils to attain such a position under such a tyrannical regime is bound to have washed his hands in the people’s blood on a fairly regular basis. To that extent he doubtless has every reason to make the types of claims he is making in the hope of protecting his own skin.

It is hard to see Gaddafi going anywhere now except to follow Saddam to the gallows. The West will do what it knows best and install someone who is suitably on message until the oil runs out. Who knows what may become of Mr al-Megrahi? A one way ticket to the US’s Guantánamo rest home perhaps? Whatever transpires, it will make no difference to the case being put before the Scottish parliament by justice campaigners. No amount of dissembling mendacity claimed by politicians and others can ever change the documented historical fact of what took place at Zeist. This conviction simply does not stack up, no matter how good your gas mask.


Caustic Logic said...

Excellent stuff Robert, thanks! You've breathed some lif back into this site that I've been unable to. This bizarre war, plus my job, etc., has been taking all my attention.

It helps to get every new perspective on this rapidly-shifting situation, and yours is a viewpoint I can agree with by and large.
It is hard to see Gaddafi going anywhere now except to follow Saddam to the gallows. The West will do what it knows best and install someone who is suitably on message until the oil runs out.
Sadly, that's about the size of it. It's not the mad tyrant, really, that's the cause, but the system he implemented. The West is against this bio-diversity of government, preferring the monoculture spreading via "world-community" interventions of this sort.

Small criticisms:
Not a fan of Mr. Lumpert's changed story. All Mebo employees are suspect, ever since Bollier's Jan. 1989 letter to the CIA. Plus his own description of the board handed over cannot explain the one we've been shown. (it's explained on here, search for Lumpert if curious).

And, less on-topic, contrary to the "myth" of Op Ajax in Iran, an excellent book I just read (Taheri, Nest of Spies) says the revolution was much more to the credit of genuine disaffection and allied Iranian opponents of Mossadeq, marshaled by UK intel forces, with their deeper contacts in the region. Ajax contributed some, but mostly piggybacked, only to be hyped on the American side following the debacles of the early 1960s (Bay of Pigs et al.) as an early and great CIA victory. Taheri argues that this inaccurate bragging helped more than anything to feed anti-U.S. sentiments in Iran from then on.

Rolfe said...

I always enjoy Robert's perceptive insights into the political ramifications of all this. However, I have to agree with you about Lumpert, Adam.

If the investigators really did fabricate that fragment of circuit board, they must have sourced a component of an MST-13 timer from somewhere. On the other hand, there were other sources, and in particular everyone agrees that the fragment shown in evidence was green, while Lumpert says he handed over a brown board.

At best, if Lumpert's revised version is true, he gave a brown board to the investigators but they realised all the timers sold to Libya had green boards, and thus didn't use it.

At worst, this is just the sort of misdirection that might be expected from someone who wanted to scupper the SCCRC inquiry. If the theory that the timer fragment was fabricated leans heavily on Lumpert's story as the source of the material, then showing this story to be nonsense (as is quite easy once the colours of the boards are realised) might be fatal to the entire process.

I bear in mind that Lumpert is/was an employee of Edwin Bollier's, and Edwin Bollier has been suspected of being a CIA asset.

Rolfe said...

I also think Robert has missed what is probably the main trick as regards evidence for a non-Malta routing of the bomb.

Certainly, there was a break-in into the airside area at Heathrow at midnight the night before the bombing. Which may be significant - but may not. I think it probably was significant, because I think Ray Manly is a reliable witness. However, the crown's back-asswards point that such a break-in was in no way necessary for a Heathrow introduction to have occurred still stands. Anyone could have carried that bomb airside during the day, using a black-market or stolen security pass. It's what happened afterwards that is more telling.

Fact. The only brown/maroon Samsonite suitcase sighted anywhere at all in the baggage system that day before the plane exploded was sighted at Heathrow, before the feeder flight from Frankfurt landed, and almost in the position in the baggage container that was later determined to be the site of the explosion.

Fact. The baggage handler responsible for loading that container didn't put that case there, and didn't know where it had come from while he was on his tea break.

Fact. Intensive investigation of the luggage being carried by legitimate passengers demonstrated that no passenger owned or was carrying a brown/maroon Samsonite suitcase - therefore, that suitcase was not legitimate passenger luggage placed innocently in the container.

Fact. The only brown/maroon Samsonite suitcase found on the found at Lockerbie was the one blown to bits by the bomb that was inside it.

If the suitcase John Bedford saw that afternoon wasn't the bomb suitcase, why not, and what was it?

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear Caustic,

Firstly, many thanks for putting up the post. It was a pleasure to write.

I totally agree with your Ajax comments, by the way. The thing is though that, ostensibly the piece was designed to take a swipe at the cynical employment of Lockerbie in the list of excuses, and in doing so to use a brief survey of Western Middle East policy as a platform. My Iranian history may be a tad rust after all these years but according to my recollection, yes, of course, Ajax could not possibly have succeeded had it not been able to build on the foundations of the internal concerns and outrage against Moussadeq by the 100 Families (the name given to the power-broking, traditional, land-owning establishment dating back to Qajar days, and probably even much older). They were putting it about that Moussadeq was going to lead Iran into Soviet style redistribution of land and wealth. This was compounded by the fact that Churchill blockaded the Iranian oil ports and was effectively bringing the Iranian economy to its knees in an effort to save the concessions of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later BP). Ajax was, therefore, the coup de grâce. Or more accurately, the straw that broke Moussadeq's back.


Quincey Riddle said...

Insofar as Lumpert goes. I don't think I was saying anything at all original since Hans Köchler and others have been there before. The point I was getting at is simply that the issue of the affidavit puts yet another nail in the prosecution case in that it is now impossible to ascertain when Lumpert is telling the truth and when not, ie: it ought to disqualify him as a witness. Since we haven't seen the Statement of Reasons, it is not known to us whether or not this issue is raised by the SCCRC. However, it may be part of Tony Kelly's case.

I apologise if I haven't gone into the depth that I know it deserves, but, with the way I write and the variety of facets I wanted to include, of necessity, some sacrifices were made. Firstly because I wrote it in a rather rapid one of session and felt I had to get it out quickly to compete with the changing events on the ground, and secondly, because I realised I had to stop otherwise it would have become interminably long.

In any case, I agree with both yourself and Rolfe. And, I should add, it is so refreshing to have civilised debate following some of the recent excursions we've been having!

Many thanks again.

Toodle pip,

Rolfe said...

Oh, indeed, agree with everything you've said Robert. I certainly wasn't intending to criticise.

I don't really know how important Lumpert's evidence was in the original case - but I suspect not very. Was it ever important what happened to the brown prototype boards when the Lockerbie fragment was green? Discounting his evidence completely from the Zeist case probably wouldn't make any appreciable difference.

If it could absolutely be established that he's telling the truth in the revised version, it still wouldn't give us the source for the fabricated fragment - his board was the wrong colour. At best, it would demonstrate that the investigation knew damn well what MEBO was and what they were producing, long before the presence of the debatable chip in the pile of evidence was even known about. And that they were interested in obtaining samples.

Highly interesting, and in point of fact probably quite damning, but a bit more indirect than people like to present it.

The other problem is that Lumpert's new statement includes things that demonstrably are not true. The so-called M being scratched on the board being the main thing. In this context, we really have to rule him out completely - and as I said, doing that probably doesn't put much of a crimp in the Zeist chain of reasoning.

He's a can of worms, whichever way you slice him.

Rolfe said...

Also, I make my point about Bedford's suitcase partly because I think it's the single most important piece of evidence in the entire case, and partly because of the extra fact I listed which was NOT part of the evidence given at Zeist.

The Zeist court was not told that none of the passengers owned or was carrying anything resembling a brown or maroon hardshell suitcase. This left all sides in the position of imagining and speculating about what Bedford saw and what happened to it, but without ruling out the possibility that it was simply a legitimate piece of baggage belonging to a Heathrow interline passenger, placed there by another baggage handler in Bedford's absence.

This was the explanation the judges settled on, for no readily apparent reason other than their SOP of trying to find some way, however convoluted, of agreeing that the prosecution might be right, and then agreeing with them. It was a legitimate piece of luggage that simply vanished after being noticed by Bedford - first it was moved well away from the action while the Frankfurt luggage was being loaded, then it fell in a loch or something.

But surely, the entire audience cries as one, the investigators followed up all the passengers who owned that luggage that was put into AVE4041 at Heathrow, and could tell you exactly who they were and what they were carrying! We should know who owned the Bedford suitcase, even if it did vanish into the Winterhope reservoir or somewhere. And if none of the Heathrow interline passengers had such a suitcase, then what?

I never understood why Bill Taylor didn't follow that aspect up at Zeist. I was damn sure none of these passengers had such a suitcase, or the prosecution would have been only too happy to tell us about it.

And I was right. The investigation was made, primarily in the first instance to follow up on whether the bomb bag might have been carried on by a suicide bomber or a mule on the passenger list. And no passenger had such a case.

The evidence was led at the FAI, from a witness called DC Derek Henderson, who reconciled all the luggage to the passengers. The information is also included in Richard Marquise's book, and in John Crawford's book. That's three separate members of the investigating team confirming the fact.

If that had been led at Zeist, if Henderson had been put on the stand and had repeated the evidence he gave to the FAI, could the Zeist court have convicted Megrahi? I really don't think so.

Which is why I think all the circumstances surrounding the presence of the brown Samsonite suitcase among the Heathrow interline luggage ought to be spelled out as often and as forcefully as possible.

Caustic Logic said...

As I said, it's a fine article. I don't mean to be a nit-picky purist. I just am. And looking for things to add and discuss and so on. Fact is, this case, like many others, winds up cluttered with nutters, disinformation and distraction. A lot of wrong things get elevated (Juval Aviv's type of nonsense dominating the whole 1990s, for example, before the London theory came into focus around 2001 and on).

But for future reference, if you're looking for the strong medicine, I'm in accord with Rolfe that the Bedford suitcase evidence is dynamite, even better than the break-in. The two together, plus the 38-minute detonation and all that implies, are high-explosive. If you know this evidence well-enough to relate it to others, they should be floored by it.

I still need to revise my "smoking gun" article to make it a better one-shot thing to link to.

Rolfe said...

Indeed, a fine article. I just thought that for the length, emphasis-wise, the Bedford evidence was weightier than Lumpert.

One may say, but the Bedford evidence is not new. It was presented at Zeist, and the judges chose not to believe the suitcase he saw was the bomb. Whereas Lumpert's volte-face is of course new.

What is novel, however, is the relevance of DC Henderson's evidence to the FAI. Why was that not led at Zeist? You tell me.

Reading the Zeist judgement, the question simply leaps out, but whose were these 10 or so items of luggage placed in AVE4041 in the interline shed, and which passenger in that group owned a brown Samsonite-type hardshell? Surely to God this was investigated, and not simply left for the prosecution, the defence and the judges to fantasise about?

The question becoms even more pressing when one realises the extraordinary amount of detail presented to Zeist about the passengers who travelled on KM180 and their 55 items of luggage. Where is the equivalent information about the Heathrow interline passengers?

I was certain in my own mind that none of the Heathrow interline passengers possessed such a suitcase - for the very simple reason that it was a no-brainer the investigation had to have looked at this, and if they'd found an innocent piece of passenger luggage matching Bedford's description it's absolutely certain we'd have been told all about it.

I cannot to this day understand why Bill Taylor didn't follow up this point - all the more so when the information turns out to be already available in the public domain.

I was completely gobsmacked when Eddie sent me the link to the findings of the FAI, which are right there on the internet if you know where to look. And I read that document, and there was the answer. DC Henderson was tasked with reconciling all the passengers and their luggage, and he confirmed that none of them had a suitcase matching the description of the bomb bag. Which meant of course that none of them had a suitcase matching the description of the case Bedford saw either.

I searched the entire Zeist transcript to see if DC Henderson had given evidence, and he didn't. Dammit, the DEFENCE should have called him, based on his FAI testimony!

Then, post-Zeist, both Marquise and Crawford published their memoires. Marquise stated clearly that none of the passengers had a brown Samsonite, without apparently realising the implication of that statement for the reasoning in the Zeist verdict. Crawford tells us he was tasked with investigating the fifteen Heathrow interline passeengers, and lists them all by name and occupation. While he doesn't say in words of one syllable that none of them was carrying an item of luggage fitting the description of the bomb bag, this is pretty clearly implied.

So there you have it. The prosecution knew that the Bedford suitcase wasn't legitimate passenger luggage, failed either to lead that evidence or to inform the defence of it, and based their case on implying/assuming that it was in fact legitimate passenger luggage.

This needs wider dissemination.

Quincey Riddle said...

Dear Caustic and Rolfe,

What's with all the apology stuff? I love the banter. In fact, I owe you a couple (God! Can you have an Oscar ceremony for apologies?).

Yes, the Bedford case was a sizeable omission and will certainly be compensated for on the next occasion that I gallop off over the horizon brandishing my sabre. The second one is that I missed a zero off the figure referring to the historical Iranian oligarchy. It ought to have been The 1000 Families, not The 100 Families. Which, if you think about the number of 'families' that rule the UK, is almost bordering on democracy.

All this talk of 'families' puts me in mind of one of my all time favourite politicians: Al Capone. You know, he's the guy who said something along the lines of: "Capitalisms is the racket of the ruling class." Now, there was a guy who really understood profit margins and how to run an empire. They just don't make em like they used to.

Toodle pip.

Caustic Logic said...

What's with all the apology stuff?

Sorry. (giggle).

I didn't catch the mistake, and among the things I know of Iran, any certain number of families wasn't one of those. Something new, cool!