Americans want clemency only for their own

How gracious of us! The US is beneficiary of a succession of clemencies shown to American citizens. Iran releases an American propagandist, North Korea forgives two more, Myanmar allows us to extricate a oddly errant citizen. All of them Americans, for which we are thankful, but still indignant and unrepentant. When Scotland elects to release a Libyan prisoner on compassionate grounds, the US president cannot object enough.

Do I compare a terrorist against journalists; someone who’s been incarcerated since 1990, versus 2009; someone extradited based on dubious testimony versus Americans caught red-handed?

When Abdel Basset al-Megrahi returned to a hero’s welcome in Libya, American family members of Lockerbie victims are incensed. The man spent nearly two decades in prison, maintaining his innocence throughout. Al-Megrahi only dropped his appeal when the Scottish court indicated it might grant him clemency. Nevertheless, the usual parade of American terrorism-decriers still want his blood. The families of victims received compensation strong-armed from Libya. They have to believe in al-Megrahi’s guilt or else question their entitlement to the payments.

Do Americans know the evidence upon which Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was convicted? Forensic experts found fragments of a shirt thought to have been wrapped around the bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103. The garment was traced to a small slothing store in Malta, where the clerk identified al-Megrahi months later, from a photograph shown him by US investigators, as the customer who purchased the item.

Al-Megrahi made this statement upon his release:

“I always believed I would come back if justice prevailed … I say in the clearest possible terms, which I hope every person in every land will hear – all of this I have had to endure for something that I did not do,”

Who put the bomb into the suitcase, and who got the suitcase on the plane? How did the suitcase bomb escape detection by airport security? Was the package sneaked past inspectors through a security breach created by US law enforcement, to smuggle heroin across the Atlantic in a sting operation targeting a drug ring?

Al-Megrahi wanted such questions answered, to bring to light his innocence. The great travesty of al-Megrahi’s release is that there will be no further scrutiny. All the international participants, it’s being reported rather candidly, are relieved. The US is bellowing not about the miscarriage of justice, but about letting a non-American off the hook.

2 thoughts on “Americans want clemency only for their own

  1. The US government has a lot of nerve talking about terrorism and terrorists all the time like it does. Here is how the US government resorts to terrorism itself by using torture on people. Below is how the CIA threatened to drill holes in the head of a POW the US military held. See today’s BBC report of how the ‘CIA threatened terror suspects’ at In fact, US allied forces use torture all the time on people with total US government approval and complicity in doing this.

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