August 20th, 2010

Completely unsurprising news of the day: al Megrahi celebrates the one-year anniversary of his release

Yessiree, and there was a big bash planned, although Britain has warned Libya against it and Libya is apparently complying.

As for al Megrahi, he’s living in a lovely villa, and his sons have been given lucrative government jobs.

Is anyone—anyone—surprised by al Megrahi’s survival? The possible exception is Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, who makes a valiant but doomed effort to use the occasion of the anniversary to defend the transparently idiotic (and/or corrupt) decision of the Scottish government to release al Megrahi back in August of 2009:

Obviously people are going to have a range of views about the rights and wrongs of the decision … all we ask people to do is to accept it was a decision that was made in good faith following the due procedures that we have under the legislation and under the tenets of Scots law.

Is that all you ask, Mr. Salmon? I think it’s still way too much. I won’t go back and argue the case again; I did so at the time (my posts on the subject are here; scroll down, earliest ones at the bottom of the list).

But I’m with Iain Gray:

Iain Gray, the Scottish Labour leader, today said MacAskill had been “incompetent” in failing to get clear and unequivocal medical evidence that Megrahi’s death was imminent.

Reports from Tripoli claim he could now live for another seven years, although MacAskill said Megrahi was still critically and terminally ill.

Gray said: “A year ago I said this decision was wrong because the balance between justice and compassion was wrong, but a year later even that element of the decision, the medical evidence, now has very significant doubt cast on it.

I would add that, even a year ago, the medical evidence was already suspect. What’s more:

Anger over Megrahi’s continued survival has grown after it emerged that none of the four external specialists used by [prison doctor Fraser in issuing his report] had explicitly said he had three months to live.

Several said they were not consulted about the decision to release him on medical grounds.

The whole thing is a travesty. But it’s merely a symptom of what’s happened to the resolve and judgment of the western world. How al Megrahi and his family, and the government of Libya, must be chuckling at our foolishness.

20 Responses to “Completely unsurprising news of the day: al Megrahi celebrates the one-year anniversary of his release”

  1. Mike Mc. Says:

    The whole thing is a travesty. But it’s merely a symptom of what’s happened to the resolve and judgment of the western world.

    That’s the ultimate question. What has happened to the judgment and resolve of the West? The judgment that changed or degenerated was??? The resolve that has dissolved was and came from???

  2. Tom Says:

    It is indeed a symptom, Neo. but it is much more than that: a symbol of the whole West-Islam relationship:
    -Weakness, the failure to seek the death penalty and carry that out.
    -Incompetence, by the authorities who released him, coupled likely with
    -Corruption, whether with BP or otherwise
    -Lying to their electorate and to the larger West
    -Cowardice, disguised as concern for the suffering of the malefactor, but not for the families robbed of lives lost on PanAm 107

    This happened in Scotland, whence came the Scots-Irish that remain the backbone of the villified but proud South, clinging to their guns and religion.

  3. The Den Mother Says:

    Can’t we send some CIA bad guy to pop him?

  4. Tom Says:

    It aint up to us. It’s up to the Scots and Brits.

  5. NeoConScum Says:

    Den Mother…I’m with you, Girl ! That Lockerbie jet was filled with Americans, especially young Americans. I’m all for sending some mysterious, from outta nowhere, laser guided ordnance down the pipes of that mighty fine villa this nose snubbing butcher is occupying. I remember, with a GREAT BIG SMILE, how President Reagan killed a bunch of Col.Khadafi’s family to explicitly state: Don’t Tread On Us, A**hole !

  6. SteveH Says:

    This guy will no doubt create the first Hospice with slot machines and strippers.

  7. Don Janousek Says:

    My guess is that he got healed watching re-runs of Oral Roberts. Works even in re-runs, doncha know, as long as you send in some “seed” money. I sent five bucks to Joyce Meyer Ministries recently. Am expecting delivery of my 1963 red Corvette Stingray to occur any day now.

  8. david Says:

    As a practicing oncologist, the fact that Megrahi remains alive does not surprise me a bit.

    In fact, a large study from Johns Hopkins published over 10 years ago (“Natural history of progression after PSA elevation following radical prostatectomy,” Pound CR, Partin AW, Eisenberger MA, Chan DW, Pearson JD, Walsh PC, JAMA. 1999 May 5;281(17):1591-7), and available to any doctor evaluating Megrahi, indicates that the median survival of prostate cancer patients after developing metastases is 5 years.

    So, a determination that Megrahi had

  9. david Says:

    Sorry about that last sentence. It should have said:

    So, a determination that Megrahi had

  10. david Says:

    OK — I see that the comments section doesn’t like mathematical “greater than” and “less than” symbols. Let’s try that final sentence one last time.

    So, a determination that Megrahi had less than one year remaining life expectancy would have been based upon political considerations, rather than clinical data.

  11. armchair pessimist Says:

    Last year it was the UK’s turn to abase itself; this year thanks to the Ground 0 mosque it’s ours. It’s bitter medicine but if it helps to further widen the canyon between the common sense of the people and the self-righteousness of the rulers, then good will come out of it, if I may play Madame Defarge for a moment.

  12. A_Nonny_Mouse Says:

    In comment #1, Mike Mc. Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    ” … ultimate question. What has happened to the judgment and resolve of the West? ”


    As I see it: Western society has become so open-minded that our collective brains have fallen out.

    We’ve suspended critical thinking to the point that we can no longer see the logical progression of outcomes: take some noble-sounding step, then of course “x” occurs, so we have to do “y”; one thing leads to another, and ultimately, if we don’t admit error and radically change course, the result will be the destruction of our society.

    We have taken great pride in being tolerant and welcoming to other ideas and world-views. At the same time, we’ve lost our awareness that some ideas are better than others, while others when put into action will lead to disaster.

    Put into specifics: the ideas and teachings of Islam are destructive to a cohesive, liberal (old-sense), productive society. Islam is essentially parasitic. Without a new “host” society to feed off of, it stagnates and devolves.

    I don’t want Western Civilization to be the new “host” of Islam, and yet I fear it’s already too late. We have forbidden ourselves from seeing (and telling!) the truth about Islam being an aggressive totalitarian theocracy. (And I don’t quite know how it came about… isn’t the West supposed to welcome debate and analysis of ideas???) The fact that “there are many peaceful, moderate Muslims” does not negate the history of Islamic conquest and the hundreds-of-millions of “Infidel” lives lost as it has spread through the Middle East, over Southeast Asia, and throughout Africa. That there are individual Muslims who are wonderful people is indisputable; but I have NO DOUBT that Islam itself is a cancer to the world.

    So, am I gonna be banned for “hate speech” ?

  13. E.M. Crotchet Says:

    Oh, no: “one-year anniversary”.
    I hear people nowadays say such wretched phrases as “our first-month anniversary”, but not thou also. What’s wrong with “first anniversary”? Has the meaning of anniversary deteriorated so that people can’t be expected to understand that the word refers to the turning of a year?

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    E.M. Crotchet: I think I didn’t use the phrase “first anniversary” because it seemed more appropriate to the celebration of a conventional occasion, such as a wedding anniversary. This seemed rather different.

  15. E.M. Crotchet Says:

    Is anyone—anyone—surprised by al Megrahi’s survival?

    Not I. I, along with many others, predicted that his being sent back home to an adoring public would do almost miraculous wonders for his previously depressed spirits.
    It is not only symptomatic of the cowardice of much of the West, it is symptomatic of what people without firm sense of morality (and, perhaps, true patriotism) do when they engage with bullying foreign governments, and it shows wherefore we should try to avoid letting unprincipled people anywhere near diplomatic jobs (or any official post for that matter).
    Unfortunately, since a supposedly informed electorate decided that B.H. Obama’s résumé was sufficiently detailed for his being given the top job in your country, I have no high hopes that the current US administration will resist the next diplomatic subterfuge from Libya or Iran or Venezuela…

  16. E.M. Crotchet Says:

    I thank you for your swift reply to my pedantic gripe.

  17. Don Janousek Says:

    Alexander Sohlzenitsyn once used a phrase to denote the Western attitude toward Bolshevism, but it applies equally well to Islam – “The West is mesmerized by its own destruction.”

  18. Wry Mouth Says:

    “clear and unequivocal medical evidence that Megrahi’s death was imminent.”

    Heh. I would’ve settled for a death certificate.

  19. Ciara Says:

    As an individual in Britain (in Scotland, actually) I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of releasing prisoners who are deemed to be terminally ill, because this is a quite different issue.

    In fact, there are two separate points here: the first is who ordered the release of al Megrahi; and the second is who actually planted the bomb.

    Don’t believe for an instant that Britain — and I use the word advisedly, rather than ‘Scotland’; Salmond and his government were instructed what to do by London — would have taken this course without American consent.

    I do believe that the US administration gave the go-ahead for this move. I do not know what that desired aim was, although it is obvious that having Libya on-side is a major plus. But do, please, know that Britain would never take a decision like this unilaterally and without American approval. You won’t understand the basics of this (and so much more of US-UK relations) if you don’t know that.

    As for the second point: right from his conviction (and, IIRC correctly, even before), people were claiming that al Megrahi was a patsy. Naturally, this allowed the real culprit to go free. I’ve seen various speculations as to who planted the bomb: at various times the Syrians, others and, only yesterday in the Glasgow Herald newspaper, a Palestinian was named as the real bomber.

    Why should this information be covered up? Why, as al Megrahi’s conviction has long been held unsound by people who have reason to know, has there been no further discussion? I have no clue. Obviously though, there are many people in high government who do have a clue and the press, as seems to be the norm nowadays, has decided to look the other way.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature; quite the opposite. But if a man like Jim Swire agrees, then I think it’s worthy of attention.

    And if we do allow that al Megrahi is a patsy, then should he stay in jail till he dies anyway? Or should he stay there until we find someone else whom we can put in his place?

    Some would argue that he shouldn’t have been in there for this crime. Others might say that if he wasn’t guilty of this, he was guilty of other things and so he should be imprisoned, anyway. I suspect it depends on your worldview.

    On the whole, though, I think it’s probably wise to apply a sceptical rigour to the labyrinthine motivations behind this. There’s an awful lot of trail-covering going on. The Scottish government were simply the ones left holding the ball when the spotlight was turned on (apologies for the horrendously mixed metaphor!).

  20. vanderleun Says:

    The WSJ takes a look at this past and present:

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