Permanent Second-toTop-Post / Start Point

(last real update 29 November 2010)

Welcome to “The Lockerbie Divide,” a site dedicated to addressing the mountainous divide in opinion that exists over Truth and Justice regarding the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103. Some samples of the two sides can be glimpsed in a related essay, and it should be clear they are not equal in numbers or influence, nor in accuracy. One side wins on power, the other on Truth. Obviously I’m in the latter camp, but it’s more than just hyperbole at work.
The material on this site is all written by myself unless otherwise noted. My own posts vary from empty marked (incomplete) to major essays. Some is little more than "thinking out loud" and subject to change, but much else is actually at the cutting edge of what anyone knows about the case. 
The original plan for this site was to gather some of the amazing talent I'd encountered on the Internet into a powerful site for crossing and wearing down the divide. And I have gratefully accepted some amazing contributions from others:

> Dr. Jim Swire, leader of the British families of PA103 group - Comment on creation of the Lockerbie Divide
> Professor Robert Black QC, Lockerbie Trial "architect" - From Lockerbie to Zeist (via Tripoli, Tunis, and Cairo) (re-published from a book, on-line exclusive)
> Robert Forester, Justice For Megrahi campaign founding member - Circumstantial Jigsaw Puzzle, and also Justice for Megrahi Campaign (details about the group) 
> Barry Walker, inspired theorist -  Camp Zeist: Perils and Pitfalls of a Designer Trial
> Patrick Haseldine, former public servant - The South Africans Theory with rebuttals by myself and Robert Forrester 
And then, posts by others that weren't submitted, but taken by me, with generalized permission, from other sources.
>"Rolfe," JREF forum inspired researcher/commentator 
  - Some Background on Karol Sikora
  - Rewards and Bribery
These are now both among my most-viewed posts here. More excellence from Rolfe will  be coming up (with a head's-up next time).
> Various: Richard Marquise Disputes the Findings of the Zeist Court. Awesome comments from a post at The Lockerbie Case by Richard Marquise, Rolfe, Matt Berkley, Jo G, Ben Six, Ebol (the Bolliers), Full Inquiry, and myself. Subject: the FBI SCOTBOM chief's continued promotion of the evidence of "witness" Abdul Majid Giaka.
And finally, words by many people besides me skimmed from different sources, expressing doubts (or inverse certainty) about Megrahi's guilt. Recently updated, with 84 names, no Libyans or their lawyers, no known crackpots, just several QCs, lawyers, political and religious leaders, reputable journalists, academics, and experts speaking of their doubts. A varied list including Robert Baer, Noam Chomsky, David Frum, Margaret Thatcher (sort of), and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 
> No one Seriously Doubts the Libyan's Guilt?
Also, learn about the Justice for Megrahi Campaign

How this site works: 
The post-dated blog format usually brings the newest post to the top, and I usually put the newest posts right beneath this. But I also reassign dates and times to bring certain articles near the top or further down. Simply scrolling the page may be confusing, especially if one is not familiar with the details of the case. The more useful organization starts here and progresses with links.

Comments and questions are encouraged wherever there's a "post a comment" type link. I offer heartfelt thanks to anyone who takes the time to read and engage this material. You’re probably here to learn something, whether you realize it or not, and I’d like to help.

The Sources
The information on this site draws from a variety of sources: official reports (PDF), books, magazine and Internet articles, opinions and commentary, digital videos, photographs, and most importantly Megrahi's second appeal paperwork (see link to the right, second from top) and the complete (?) transcripts of the 2000 trial at Camp Zeist. This is not openly available to most people, but I've been blessed with a full copy - over 10,000 inefficiently-formatted pages of people talking in great detail, for 87 days, about the evidence al Megrahi was convicted on. It's proven very useful so far in clarifying details, and will continue to offer gems to those who follow this site. Many of my sources, aside from the trial transcripts, will be gathered at the post Lockerbie Documents.

More Bite-sized
Guided tour of the case against Megrahi if you feel you're ready to look at the actual evidence. 

- Images and introductions to 12 key points of the case can be found in my Lockerbie cards collection
And for those willing to learn but not in the mood to read, there's a page that links to numerous videos on the subject

Anyone intrigued or infuriated or otherwise willing to give me a piece of your mind, I'm willing to accept. I can be reached by e-mail at

- Adam Larson aka Caustic Logic
Spokane, WA, USA

20 August 2009

MacAskill’s Two-Track Railroad: part 10/10
Leaving Glasgow
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.

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.
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.

That was hardly the end of the story, but it is the end of this series of articles.

3 August 2009

MacAskill’s Two-Track Railroad: part 1/10
3 August 2010

Note: The posts in this series are not conclusive, but rather what I was able to learn before the anniversary arrived, sporadically updated later. Any suggestions from knowledgeable readers to improve the content will be gladly appreciated.

Next: 5 August >>

One year ago today, "Lockerbie bomber" Abdelbaset al Megrahi was still imprisoned in Scotland, convicted for the murder of 270, with an appeal of that endlessly stalled, and advanced prostate cancer drawing the grave closer to him. He was desperate to return home to Libya before the end, and the Libyan government was nearly as set on getting him back.

One way home had presented itself up to that point - a Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA) that had been Libya's brainchild, sponsored by Libya-UK business interests, and adopted by the UK government. One of the keen provisions of the PTA was that all legal proceedings - like Megrahi's dangerous second appeal - had to be closed first.

Another provision of the agreement, ratified on 5 May 2009, was its 90-day life span [1], which expired on this day last year, August 3. But Justice Secrtary Kenny MacAskill, had already "extended the deadline of the prisoner transfer request,” despite its being implausible to execute. [2]

Curiously, the same day one track was slated to stop (but didn't), a second way home came within reach. Megrahi had formally applied for Compassionate Release less than two weeks earlier, in late July. His original prognosis had been only in September 2008, when he was given “an informal mid-estimate of 18-24 months.” [3] Compassionate Release rules, first set-up in 1993, have no firm life expectancy standard, but do cite three months as a reasonable guideline.

By some time in July 2009, a "firm consensus" was reached by "a range of specialists" that Megrahi's cancer had become "hormone resistant," and so the prognosis has "has now moved to the lower end of expectations from ten months ago." [3] That had been 18-24 months, so minus ten from the low end leaves about eight months left.

An unnamed consulting doctor for the Scottosh Prison Service (SPS) looked Megrahi over again a year ago today [3]. This is widely believed to be Karol Sikora,  but is apparently not. [4] (see also comments, below) Having last seen the prisoner on 26 July, the specialist - not paid by Libya that we know of - reported an alarming deterioration in the short interim. A report from a week later explained "the clinical assessment, therefore, is that a 3 month prognosis is now a reasonable estimate for this patient." [3]

The 10 August report that passes this on was from Scottish Prison Services health director, and expressed his own and a general agreement that the prisoner was suitable for compassionate release. There was no other specific agreement with three months offered. And of course none was needed; as explained above, that  benchmark is a guideline, not a requirement.

But it was an important guideline, and it was on the record to inform the choice in Mr. MacAskill's hands alone. He had two tracks to consider now, one of which (the PTA) would cost Megrhi's appeal if used, and the other of which (compassion) could leave the way open to challenge the tenuous conviction...

[2] Times Online. 21 August 2009.
[3] Medical Report, 10 August 2009. PDF download page:
[4] STV. 6 Sept.2009.