Green Room

Lockerbie Bomber Release: What Did Obama Approve, and When Did He Approve It?

posted at 12:46 am on September 7, 2009 by

Blogger DRJ on powerhouse blogsite Patterico’s Pontifications links to an important article; but I think she missed one of its major implications.

She linked to an article in the UK Daily Mail, “No.10 turns on Obama and Clinton for criticising decision to release Lockerbie bomber,” focusing on the damage this contretemps is doing to our special relationship with the United Kingdom. But there is a deeper and much more disturbing conclusion to be drawn from that piece:

British officials claim Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton were kept informed at all stages of discussions concerning Megrahi’s return.

The officials say the Americans spoke out because they were taken aback by the row over [Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset] Megrahi’s release, not because they did not know it was about to happen.

‘The US was kept fully in touch about everything that was going on with regard to Britain’s discussions with Libya in recent years and about Megrahi,’ said the Whitehall aide.

‘We would never do anything about Lockerbie without discussing it with the US. It is disingenuous of them to act as though Megrahi’s return was out of the blue.

But what is the real implication here? If these “British officials” are truthful and accurate, then President Barack H. Obama has known for months that they were negotiating the unconditional release of Megrahi to the Libyans, with predictable results (the “hero’s welcome”).

But had Obama put his foot down, perhaps even threatening to go public about the talks (thus scuttling them) — had he even threatened to reveal the real reason for the amnesty, a massive oil deal for British Petroleum offered as a bribe by Libyan military dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi — Obama could almost certainly have stopped the release of Megrahi.

Given the reaction not only here but across the Atlantic, such a deal must be negotiated in the dead of night; a credible threat to bring it out into the open before the terms were agreed upon would have meant both Great Britain and Libya would have had to deny and denounce the deal, and it couldn’t have happened… not for years, at least, while the furor died down.

And again, the Obamacon must have known this: first and foremost, because he is of course omniscient; just ask any supporter. But beyond that perhaps dubious claim, because Rahm Emanuel would have told him that he had the de facto power to stop the deal, as would neutered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Which leads me to only two possible conclusions:

  • The British officials are either lying or jaw-droppingly misinformed about what Obama knew and when he knew it; or…
  • Obama could have stopped the release but chose, for political reasons, not to do so. To put it another way, if the Brits are correct, then Obama tacitly approved, by deliberate inaction, the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

I lean towards the second conclusion, since it strains my credulity to the snapping point to believe that unnamed, but surely well known to the British press, “officials” would tell a complete cock-and-bull story that could easily be debunked, leading to their own disgrace and ruin within a day or two.

The administration might argue, as a last-ditch defense, that Obama didn’t approve the deal; he just couldn’t make up his mind whether to go whole hog to prevent it. But not making a decision is making a decision, the decision to do nothing. And when the non-decider has the power to force a moral conclusion but refuses to exercise it, that equates to approval of and support for rank evil: The sin of omission in such a case is functionally identical to the corresponding sin of commission.

These may be the most urgent questions to be asked of the president at this moment, more important than why he hired Van Jones or what his own health-care takeover plan may be:

  1. Mr. Obama, did you have advance knowledge about the release of Abdelbaset Megrahi to Libya after only a few years in prison in Scotland, despite his conviction in Scottish court of the murder of 270 people, including 180 Americans, four American intelligence officers, and children and families of many nationalities?
  2. Given the fact that you allowed the release without blowing its secrecy, at what point did you decide to tacitly acquiesce to that ghoulish decision, whose only justification was a multi hundred million pound bribe (an oil lease) paid by Gaddafi to BP?
  3. And how can you possibly justify your approval of Megrahi’s release? To what principle can you appeal beyond pure political opportunism, coupled with depraved indifference to human life?

If Americans understood that, protestations notwithstanding, Barack Obama was in on the deal to release the Lockerbie bomber, I suspect that might be the last straw for a huge chunk of the still undecided voting population.

Obama has buttered his bread, and now he must sleep in it. We must hold his feet to the grindstone on this vile, cynical, and cowardly “non-decision” decision.

Cross-posted to Big Lizards

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He didn’t approve it. He didn’t disapprove it. He voted “present”. What??? No good???? Then he was for it before he was against it. Yeah, that’s it.

tpitman on September 7, 2009 at 2:34 AM

I hope to God Hillary was drugged up and out of commission from her broken elbow when this went down, and I am hoping she somehow steps down or otherwise gets awy from this admin, this is perhaps the only thing I can think of that she could do that would lose my lifetime of support for her and the BIg Dawg. They are my last blind spot of my misspent life as a Democrat and I am clinging to them. God Forgive anyone who had anything to do with this, I certainly cant

ginaswo on September 7, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Since Hillary is the former Senator from New York, and no American city was hit harder by Pan Am 103’s destruction than Syrcause, with over three dozen college students returning home from overseas studies among the victims, if she knew about this, it would be an even bigger affront to her former constituents than what Obama did. He might have been clueless about the feelings of people who had victims killed in the attack; there’s no possible way she went eight years and two election campaigns as N.Y. State’s junior senator without hearing about it.

jon1979 on September 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

so I am using Bing to try and find the dates Hill was drugged up and when TOTUS was in Italy for the G8 with Brown and Qadaffi

so far have this-
*Gordon Brown and other world leaders at the G8 in L’Aquila
Gordon Brown in his element at G8 summit as Tories face the heat
10 Jul 2009:

PM heads home on a high note but aid agencies cast doubt on progress made in L’Aquila
Gaddafi demands return of Lockerbie bomber in first meeting with Brown
10 Jul 2009:

Prime minister tells Libyan leader at G8 summit that Megrahi case is matter for the Scottish courts

And Hill cancelled her trip to G8 and RUssia, she was NOT there see here

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recovering from an elbow injury, on Monday cancelled a trip to a meeting of Group of Eight powers in Italy and a conference in Greece.

The United States will be represented at the Group of Eight meeting in Trieste by State Department number three William Burns along with two key regional envoys, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg told reporters.

Italy had asked Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to attend the meeting starting Thursday, but said it considered the invitation declined due to a lack of response.

Steinberg said he will go himself to the Greek island of Corfu for a meeting Saturday of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe focusing on the Russia-Georgia dispute.

“The secretary is doing better,” Steinberg said, adding Clinton visited State Department employees Monday morning.

“But she does have a road to travel in terms of her recovery and rehabilitation,” he told a joint news conference with Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze.

Clinton underwent surgery on Friday two days after fracturing her elbow when she fell on her way to the White House.

Clinton telephoned the foreign ministers of Greece and Italy to voice regret for cancelling her visit and also spoke Monday by telephone with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

The secretary of state also spoke with President Barack Obama over the weekend via telephone, Kelly said.

The meeting of the Group of Eight major economies — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States — was meant to focus on bringing stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan, a key priority for Obama.

Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, will attend the talks in Trieste.

I cannot bear it if Hillary knew about this, She needs to get OUT of there!

ginaswo on September 7, 2009 at 9:49 AM

as a NYC girl born and bred I could not agree with you more, unlike TOTUS, Hill is WELL AWARE of the devastation this caused I hope to God this was without her knowledge and she is looking for a graceful EXIT from this madhouse…

ginaswo on September 7, 2009 at 9:51 AM

This is a characteristic of The Obama, he doesn’t decide things. He is an organizer, brings people together, waits for a consensus decision to appear, then claims credit for it.

Skandia Recluse on September 7, 2009 at 9:52 AM

This whole deal needs to be brought to light. I read a few other blogs and post on some, but this is a good point “..

Obama tacitly approved, by deliberate inaction, the release of the Lockerbie bomber.”

I say post everywhere to keep this on the front burner in questioning Why this guy was let go and Why doesn’t OBarfy go after him now, it will make the lamestreamers nutsy. Or nutty. Or nuttier than usual.
Good read. Thanks dafydd.

OkieDoc on September 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Based on everything Obama has done to date, I vote he was aware and didn’t care. The man is amazingly ignorant on history,math,international affairs,the economy, etc. His only concern is himself.
As far as HC is concerned, I think she sold her soul to the devil. She won’t step down.

conservativegrandma on September 7, 2009 at 10:53 AM

TheHill has a piece up noting that Tim Kaine erstwhle head of the DNC has removed Hills supporters from the ROOLZ Cmte , which means the people who decide how the nomination for 12 is done are all Obama supporters now.

get out now Hillary please..

ginaswo on September 7, 2009 at 11:49 AM

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