Old Wounds That Need Re-Opened

27 November 2010 

Father Patrick Keegans, longtime critic of the official story and core member of the Justice for Megrahi campaign, recently sent out an open letter urging the families of American victims of Pan Am 103 to take seriously the genuine questions and back a public inquiry into Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's conviction. This effort was reported in an article from the Scotland Herald, which also featured a rebuff from one of the Americn family members appealed to.
"But Ted Reina, whose daughter Jocelyn was a flight attendant on the aeroplane, said an inquiry would reopen old wounds."
Mr. Reina's dismissals shows little apparent grasp of what Father Keegans was asking for (see the text of his open letter here). As I read it, in my own words, the essence is something like "even though you can't see it over there for whatever reason, we can over here and we're not insane or stupid. Rational, involved, honest, hurting people genuinely feel deprived of truth and justice in the name of the far-fallen. Why can no one among the American families take that seriously even for a moment and offer us any support?"

The journalist, Helen McArdle, said "reopen old wounds," taking some punch out of the following points to Mr. Reina and those of like mind. But there are clearly times when it's wise to do just that. Say your surgeon leaves half his sandwich inside your abdomen when he sews you up following a major surgery. No wonder you've been feeling so ill, and if you want to live, guess what? It's time to re-open old wounds.

Good example or not, Father Keegans and many others seriously feel that something is deeply wrong with this case. It's not denial or fevered imagination telling them this, but the facts themselves. The facts presented and those hidden, all considered in detail, and weighed critically, show entirely too much grounds for doubt to ethically continue supporting the investigation and verdict without reservation.  No matter how unlikely or absurd it might seem to those with the wounds they consider closed, many are feeling constantly torn open and unhealed. And they're the better-informed.

Next I turn to the quotes directly from Mr. Reina:
“I see no good from opening an inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing except for the lawyers lining their pockets."
You're not letting yourself see very far. The real murderers of your daughter may well have never been brought to justice, because of this farce blocking the way. Professor Robert Black recently called the unreasonable conviction a "logjam," being used as an "excuse" by the UK (and US) governments to prevent another look, which they both greatly fear [source]. It's true. Not a single piece of relevant evidence against Megrahi can be shown to have all of these traits that real honest evidence usually has:
- physically plausible
- logically consistent with a remotely sane plan
- properly examined and documented
- obtained without entangling million-dollar dreams
- obtained from people who aren't chronic liars (like Bollier and Giaka)
- read properly without undue dismissal of key factors like dates of key events
- no contrary facts that were simply brushed aside with no good reason

Americans may be okay with all of this, but they shouldn't be so judgmental and dismissive against those who do in fact have a problem with a sham "investigation" calling itself justice and good metaphorical surgery. The murder of 270 human beings was supposed to be investigated right, but it wasn't. It was supposed to be tried reasonably, but wasn't. These errors were supposed to be resolved in the appeals process, but weren't. That leaves us with it still needing to be fixed one way or another. It might be gotten right for the history books in a few more decades, or possibly, with some courage and vision, tenacity and luck and grace, even in news articles during our own lifetimes.

American family members of PA103 victims: when will you have the guts to shake off the trance and entertain even the 1% possibility that the verdict could be inherently wrong? Even 1% is worth considering carefully, don't you think? If anyone can manage some open-mindedness and re-examination, on a trial basis at  least, you will need to stay as calm and zen as possible. If you're not capable of a fearless and level-headed re-examination, then there's no point going through the charade. Continue on as you were.
"I wonder how many of those who call for an inquiry actually saw the trial or watched it on closed circuit TV as my wife and I did."
At least seven familiy member that close or closer to the precedings, and several others like a primary UN observer at the trial (Dr. Hans Köchler) and the Scots law professor (Black) who helped arrange the trial, have firmly questioned or dismissed the old verdict. Non-US, non-entranced family members include Jean Berkley, Matt Berkley, Martin Cadman, Pamela Dix, Marina DeLarracoechea, John Mosey, and Jim Swire. Dr. Swire at least was physically there at Camp Zeist and followed intently. He even read between the lines enough to see, then and there ahead of the growing crowd, that the two Libyans were innocent, that the PFLP-GC for Iran had bombed the flight, from Heathrow. He was shocked enough at the time of the verdict he physically fainted.

Mr. Reina: why were you, and why do you remain, so accepting?

Myself, I was completely unaware at the time, but since then have read a lot of the transcripts - very carefully in spots - plus several books, official reports, online articles, and documentary videos. And I have been talking this all out with others at the JREF skeptics forum, where rationalism wins and no one at all can support the official story in the needed depth. I and my fellow conversants totally agree with Dr. Swire and, while having lost no one myelf, I feel deeply wrapped up in the issue and driven like he is to struggle after the real truth, against all opposition and prejudice. Therefore I've made myself one of the very few Americans of any class to put my name on the signatory list for Justice for Megrahi, along with Dr. Swire, Father Keegans, Professor Black, and many others.

So, Mr. Reina and those who have so far shared his views, can you please re-consider whether this isn't maybe a time for some courage, to show a little support for those who suffer with wounds that were never closed at all? You've got comrades still left, as Father Keegans recently put it, "back on 21st December 1988, in the darkness." How long will you turn your backs on them, repeating the old fingers-in-ears mantras about why we have found the truth?

The "normal" (American) relatives and their political patrons and mainstream media are all quite sure of that, it seems. But isn't the damn unanimity of of it just a little unnerving, people? Don't you ever get a twinge of "hey, why don't we have even one Jim Swire over here?" They have several in a much smaller pool, but in the land of the free, home of the brave, and home of the left-behind loved-ones of 189 dead Americans, there's nada for questions. Since when did we Americans get so conformist in our thinking?  
"For the families who have had years of anguish I see only more pain."
Even though your wounds are closed up and the likelihood of a re-opening seems slim so far? I'm confused now. But I don't disagree. I imagine there are two different major types of pain prevailing on each side of the Atlantic. There's the dull distant itching of amputated truth on this side, and a more acute anguish on the other, relentlessly prolonged through lack of medical attention. Is there no possibility of changing places or sharing a little of another's pain? You could reach out to explain to Dr. Swire and the rest of those needing closure, in detail, why it's really all solved, and help end their delusion? Or better yet, to realize they know as much as or more about it than you and their questions are valid, and open your heart and mind to the admittedly scary possibility they're right.


Charles said...

You make two points, Caustic, which are important. By the way Jim shared Zesit watching duties as much as John Mosey, something we should not forget.

Firstly, I knew that either the UTA charges or those of Lockerbie were wrong from the outset they were made. Can I take you back through deep history? On about 21 September 1990 Juge Bruguiere (sorrry about the missing grave accent) charged 4 Libyans over UTA. Several weeks latter the Scots prosecuting authors and the American ones were jointly to charge 2 Libyans. Even at that point there was no suggestion (and in fact there has never been) of any connection between the two attentats. Why since operatives of the same intelligence organisation seemed to be in charge. It was claimed that Magrahi (sic) was a JSO/ESO functionary. No evidence has ever been produced to prove that.

As details of the charges in both cases became known it was clear that the modi opeandi of both attentats were different. By the time of the Zeist trial I knew because I had attended the UTA 6 trial that the Lockerbie 2 case was faked.

No one will admit to anything even the teensy wensiest bit difficult. Not Marquise Baer Cannistraro Thurman or any others.

Charles said...

So I sat down and began to work it out for myself. I was at an advantage. I had no preconceived notion what the solution to Pan Am 103 was; but I knew I did not believe in what we were being told. I also believed in the power of detective fiction - especially that of GK Chesterton - and there's alos something to be said for his theory of distributivism, now monopoly capitalistism has so wickedly betrayed us. That's by thr by. So the motive for Lockerbie had to be astoundingly simple. In seeing that Iran was incensed about the Airbus, I saw a motive for them. It was then simply a matter of hanging the bits one believed on that skeleton until something real emerged. It wasn't easy, but it needed little cost other than a fast internet connection.

My latest finding that there was a child named Behbehani on IR-655, undoubtedly preentable as a kin of someone I believe carried out the intial stages of blowing up Pan Am 103 clicked in just like that. So another clan member a Behbehani blew up Pan Am 103 as qisas or qesas allowed him to do. No fatwa is neeeded for family revenge, Bob.

For my pains fora like Randi say prove it - they men get some lying spook to say it's true, and Rolfie calls it a twofer (whatever that is) but not to my face. And the notion of a joint Iran-US job is suppressed even on the relevant conspiracy theories page of the Wikipedia.

Game, set and match, I think, gentlemen!

Caustic Logic said...

Robert Baer has definitely said some things that go against the grain, but he's an exception not a rule. I've heard him say he doesn't think the Libyans id it, Iran did, the bomb might have gone on in London, and so on, up until recently. For example, 2007:
"Everybody in US intelligence knew about Iran’s intention to bomb an American airliner in response to the downing of one of its own only months earlier. We knew that”
Otherwise, agreed.

A "twoofer" is silly-speak for 9/11 Truther. Your problem, at least from where I stand, is not your inability to prove your theory, nor to even have a theory that makes a certain sense at its base level. It's the bogus leaps of logic and bad evidentiary support. You could even be right, but not by the arguments I've seen you forward. Insurance bomb, McKee's suitcase, etc.

And your problem at "Randi" was being a complete jackass.

Nonetheless the Behbehani maybe-link you've spotted is an interesting new twist. As you know, same name does not always mean related, at least not in a known and direct way. But it's an interesting possibility, and makes it worth revisiting who the elder Behbehani was. If you'd like to re-assemble that together with the new info, I'd be happy to post it here for you.

Wait, you did send me an attachment ... I'll go check if I was just redundant.

Caustic Logic said...

Interesting timing - just found this on Baer:

Baer, who quit the CIA in 1997, revealed a US intelligence report said the attack was "conceived, authorised and financed" by Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, who was Iran's Interior Minister in the first years of the Islamic Revolution.
The document also says the operation was carried out by Ahmad Jibril - the founder and leader of a Palestinian militant group with links to revolutionary Iran and Hezbollah.
A senior Iranian intelligence officer who fled to Turkey also claims Iran masterminded the bombing.
Ahmad Behbahani says he has documents to prove Tehran was behind the bombing.

Does that fit in somewhere?

Jo G said...

I think its important not to focus only on the views of those ordinary folk who view the verdict with concern. The best source to highlight, for me anyway, is the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission. This is an independent body which although part of the Scottish justice establishment is there to review impartially and independently, particular cases brought to them. In Megrahi's case they found SIX grounds to suggest a miscarriage of justice could have occurred at the original trial. (And that's before we even consider the vast sums of money paid to the likes of Gauci and his brother which, in Scotland at least, would be considered bribery and render the testimony - should that be testimoney?) of those witnesses completely invalid.)

The SCCRC does not consist of a group of people who do crusades or conspiracy theories. They investigate the facts. They are highly trained lawyers. And they found genuine issues with this verdict.

Caustic Logic said...

Very good point, Jo. That's worth mentioning in there, but I didn't. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe I forgot.

No, I think I was thinking in more personal terms and I guess heightening the sense of people vs. callous systems and the courage that requires. That's still the prevailing pattern here, but the system's one relatively impotent counter-move sort of mucks that up and makes it less clear. We Americans love the underdog and a challenge, or at least I hope we do.

But it also does help illustrate that even the systems of justice are not completely broken and have given us at least one encouragement. Hmm...

I will update slightly, later on today.

Jo G said...

I take your point about the personal approach Adam. The path all of these relatives have travelled is one that is difficult to imagine for those who are not in the position of having lost someone in the Lockerbie atrocity. Then again Jim Swire was on the same journey: he went to the trial convinced he was about to see the truly guilty convicted and left convinced otherwise. I'm sure he would not have taken that view on a whim and, as we know, the major issues with the trial are now well known to us all.

For the relatives who do not want this opened up again I would say if they are convinced of Megrahi's guilt they have nothing to fear from reviewing the case. If they're right when it is over they can tell us they told us so and we will deserve it. But when seriously relevant points are raised about so much of the evidence, and Megrahi's guilt, I think, in their shoes, I would have an overwhelming need to have it looked at again because I would simply have to know for certain they got the right guy. For if they didn't I'd be wanting to know exactly WHO did it.

Caustic Logic said...

Bang on the head with that comment, Jo.

It brings up an interesting point about Dr. Swire's experience at Zeist. First, to be fair and not to muck up the above, he was at least open-minded on revisionism before, having plugged for the Maltese Double Cross for one thing. So he went into trial .... I'd guess a little less certain the Libyans were guilty than he lets on.

But that aside, he was right to have doubts, and this perspective (to whatever degree he held it) just helped him read between the lines as he did.

The American-type relatives, even if they don't admit it, had to do some serious inferring themselves to make the whole thing seem airtight enough to call done and good like they have.

On one side, the possible bias issue against Libyan guilt was well-addressed by Anne McLaughlin MSP after seeing the 9 November performance alluded to twice above:
I don't know if [Justice For Megrahi] have a point in claiming that Megrahi is innocent. What I do know is that it would be all too easy (and understandable) for Mr Swire to accept Megrahi's guilt and put all of his negativity energy in that direction. But he didn't accept it. He has been outspoken in his condemnation of the conviction and as you can see is campaigning for an enquiry into it. I guess it's important to him that they get the right person but how tempting must it have been to turn a blind eye and blame the man with the conviction?

So he's driven by something other than the more natural 'path of least resistance' mindset the majority of family members seem to have succumbed to. And those same people, whom I can't fully blame but neither do I admire, will tell you there's no benefit to pursuing the hopes of others for justice and truth, except lining the pockets of lawyers. They'll tell you there's just something wrong with Dr. Swire, reverend Mosey, Father Keegans, and the rest. And they will never be be to support this is any factual way.

What else are we to conclude from this over-arching pattern? It's clear which "side" in this has something wrong with it.

baz said...

"On about 21st September 1990 Judge Brugiere charged 4 Libyans. Several weeks later the Scots prosecuting authors (sic) and the Americans were jontly to charge two Libyans" (jointly charge?)

While struggling to follow the thread of Charles'argument (if there is one!) 14 months is not several weeks! "Game, set and match"?

Rolfe said...

The basic premise is something I'd been thinking for some time.

"You can't turn the clock back." - Yes you can, and if the clock is showing the wrong time, it's the only way to set it right.

"That would be a retrograde step." - Maybe so, but if you're on the wrong road then you need to go back in order to find the right one.

"This will reopen old wounds." - Well, having surgical training, I know a bit about that. If a wound has healed over a suppurating sore, then reopening it is the only way to achieve genuine healing.

I like the metaphor of the sandwich left inside the patient though!

Caustic Logic said...

Bazzmatazz, good to hear from you again. Indeed, there's a timeline goof in there at least.

But, Charles, thanks for the deep history. It's part of who you are, and I've often wondered about the UTA precedent - past or future I don't know. Your brother was killed just as the Scots police had been led to Malta and were starting to talk to Tony Gauci already.

Rolfe, thanks. "Retrograde step" is a good one. Those who fall back on BS language like that rarely if ever specify whether or not a "retrograde step" is actually in order or not. The US mantra so far seems to be that we're just too far down that road, by miles, and at all costs, we must avoid looking back or wavering in the slightest.

BenSix said...

"Forward not back" - I think that's what the Russians said to tramplers clearing minefields...

Caustic Logic said...


FullInquiry said...

Compensation paid / received is a factor, and in my opinion one of the key reasons the Scottish Government (no doubt pressured by the Americans behind the scenes) will do everything possible to block a full inquiry.

Now there is a road that will be difficult to turn back down!