Will George Galloway retract his claim that Libya was framed?

John Rentoul

gaddafi image 3 593274561 300x157 Will George Galloway retract his claim that Libya was framed?Number 519 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Oliver Kamm, referring to this article by George Galloway, and in the light of Libya’s former justice minister saying that Gaddafi ordered Lockerbie.

Before I have any complaints, Kamm is allowed to break the rules because I copied the series from him in the first place.

Meanwhile, to catch up, number 518 was asked by Deanna Delamotta of the Manchester Evening News:

So do you care about the Royal Wedding?”

Thanks to Max Dunbar.

And number 517 was asked by John Willman:

Was the former head of the Taxpayers’ Alliance a good choice to head the No to AV campaign?

As Willman points out: “Cost is not the issue – it’s about how we choose governments.”

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  • erikasalzeck

    Gaddafi’s late departing henchmen have finally read the writing on the wall and are scurrying about like the proverbial rats. They will say what ever they think those listening to them want to hear. Have you heard their abject & hypocritical statements?

  • Richard_SM

    Yes, I have heard their (translated) statements. I am mindful of your point and nearly included my own comment along similar lines in the post. However, the primary purpose of my post was to add a second source for the claims made by the former justice minister, and not to tell people how to think. I shall be following these developments with interest myself because I have never had much confidence in the “official version” nor the verdict of the Lockerbie trial.

    I did provide a link to the Simpson story, but it went into moderation. It may appear later.

  • Richard_SM

    The former interior minister also appears to have been the source for William Hague’s suggestion last week that “Gaddafi was probably on his way to Venezuela.” I was highly critical of Hague when I first heard the claim, since it appeared to be an opportunistic smear. The Foreign Office said the claim came from a “credible source” this time last week, and with his closeness to Gaddafi, this guy would be deemed to be a credible source. It also indicates he was in direct or indirect contact with British contacts very soon after his “defection.”

  • Richard_SM

    “al-Megrahi could have spilled the beans at any time during his sentence.”

    Not sure of your point here. It’s a long time ago, but my recollection is that al Megrahi professed his innocence throughout. Are you thinking of the new evidence that would have been presented at the second appeal?

  • Richard_SM

    The way the Lockerbie story coming out of Libya, it seems everyone may be able to salvage some credibility. Another piece from John Simpson has appeared in the Telegraph today (27 Feb 11). I’ll copy and paste the relevant sentences:


    “It was echoed by the former terror chief Atef Abu Bakr, Atef Abu Bakr, who claimed last night in a separate interview that Megrahi was ordered by Col Gaddafi to help plan the attack as one of the dictator’s former spies.”

    “In a separate interview, Bakr, a former general in the Palestinian Abu Nidal terrorist group, broke his silence over the atrocity as Col Gaddafi’s 42-year regime appeared on the brink of collapse.”

    “He alleged that the dictator personally sanctioned Abu Nidal to assist in the attack, which was ordered in retaliation for the 1986 US bombing of Benghazi and Tripoli, in which Gaddafi’s daughter was killed.

    He also claimed in an interview with Al Hayat, a respected Arabic newspaper, that the dictator later ordered the assassination of other agents involved in the bombing to cover his tracks.

    Bakr said: “I can assure you categorically that the two processes [making the bomb and destroying the plane] were the outcome of a partnership between the Abu Nidal group and the security of the Libyan Jamahiriya.”

    In the direct aftermath of the bombing, Bakr issued a statement to reporters in Beirut denying that the Abu Nidal group had involvement and expressing his condolences to the victims.

    Despite confessing the group’s role in the attack last night, he did not explain his own role in the bombing. “


    Actually, the “broke his silence” bit from Simpson isn’t true. Bakr has made claims on the matter in the past, though without mentioning Libya. I’ve just checked and it is on the BBC website, reported on Friday, 23 August, 2002, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK, headlined: Abu Nidal ‘behind Lockerbie bombing’

    BBC: A former aide of Abu Nidal says the militant Palestinian leader, who was found dead in Iraq this week, was behind the 1988 bombing of a passenger plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. In an interview, Atef Abu Bakr says Abu Nidal told a meeting of his Fatah-Revolutionary Council that he had organised the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people. Mr Abu Bakr, a former spokesman for the group, split with Abu Nidal in 1989, a year after the bombing. “Abu Nidal said during an inner-circle meeting of the leadership of the Revolutionary Council, ‘I will tell you something very important and serious, the reports which link the Lockerbie act to others are false reports. We are behind what happened’,” Mr Abu Bakr is quoted by the newspaper as saying. “

  • Richard_SM

    I’ve left a few posts on John Rentoul’s page (Will George Galloway retract his claim that Libya was framed?) which you may find of interest.

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