Monday, August 29, 2005

"Fixing The Intelligence" Over Lockerbie

The son follows the father - and maybe follows Slick Willie too.

The Scotsman today reports that a very senior Scottish policeman, at least of assistant chief constable rank, has come forward in support of claims that the Libyan serving life imprisonment for the December 1988 Lockerbie bombing is innocent. The officers statement supports the evidence provided to Megrahi's lawyers by a former CIA agent that senior figures in United States intelligence wrote the script to incriminate Libya for the bombing.

One source said: "He said he believed he had crucial information. A meeting was set up and he gave a statement that supported the long-standing rumours that the key piece of evidence, a fragment of circuit board from a timing device that implicated Libya, had been planted by US agents."

The possibility that Bush Senior's administration "fixed the facts around the policy" is supported by other statements too.

In 2002, a former senior aide of the Iranian-sponsored terrorist Abu Nidal, Atef Abu Bakr, said Abu Nidal told a meeting of his Fatah-Revolutionary Council that he had organized the Lockerbie bombing.

Another suspect terrorist outfit is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), a group with close ties to Syria and - again - Iran. In June 200 the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin put together a compelling report on why the PFLP-GC was the most likely perpetrator of the downing of Pan-Am Flight 103.

Dr. Richard Fuisz, a wealthy businessman and pharmaceutical researcher who was a major CIA operative in Damascus during the 1980s, told a congressional staffer in 1994 that the perpetrators of the bombing were based in Syria. "If the government would let me, I could identify the men behind this attack . . . I can tell you their home addresses . . . you won't find [them] anywhere in Libya. You will only find [them] in Damascus," Fuisz told congressional aide Susan Lindauer, who has submitted a sworn affidavit describing this conversation to the Scottish court that is trying the two suspects. One month after their meeting, a Washington DC court issued a ruling that prohibits Fuisz from discussing the Lockerbie bombing on national security grounds...

Two months before the disaster, German police arrested 15 terrorist suspects, all connected to the PFLP-GC, and confiscated three explosive devices consisting of Semtex hidden inside Toshiba cassette recorders--nearly identical to the one used in the Lockerbie bombing ( the only major difference being that they had barometric triggers, rather than electronic timers of the type that investigators claim detonated the explosives on board Pan Am flight 103). Moreover, U.S. officials reportedly had received advance warnings that a flight to New York would be targeted around the time of the Lockerbie bombing. In fact, Stephen Green, a senior Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) administrator, John McCarthy, the U.S. Ambassador to Beirut, and several other U.S. officials were originally scheduled to fly on the ill-fated airliner on December 21, but rescheduled at the last minute. It's possible that the PFLP smuggled the bomb on board Pan Am flight 103 from Malta. Abu Talb was sighted in Malta just weeks before the bombing. When he was later arrested in Sweden, police found the date of the Lockerbie explosion (December 21) circled on his calender.

The investigation into the bombing of Flight 103, until 9/11 the greatest terrorist atrocity against Americans, had originally focussed on the PFLP-GC but suddenly changed course to concentrating on the Libyans after Syria joined the U.S.-led coalition against Iraq in 1991 and Iran stayed neutral.

Why on earth would they do that? Well let us venture into tinfoil-hat territory and breathe one name quietly - Zalmay Khalilzad.

The current US ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Khalizad has a chequered past including being the official hand-holder for anti-Soviet Islamic militias in the 80's and later he endorsed U.S. accommodation of leaders of the extremist Islamic Taliban - even attending a reception for an invited Taliban delegation to Texas in 1997. On June 27, 1992 the New York Times ran the following report:

Mr. Bush and his aides were urged to rethink Persian Gulf policy from the moment they took office. Shortly after Mr. Bush won the Presidency in November 1988, a State Department strategist drafted a paper for the President-elect urging that the United States take a fresh approach to the region.

The Reagan White House steadfastly believed that the great menace to peace in the gulf was Iran. But Zalmay Khalilzad, an official in the office of Policy Planning, asserted that the more dangerous threat came from Iraq, which had replaced Iran as the strategic regional power and was now poised to dominate the gulf.

Mr. Khalilzad advised in the paper that America's new policy should concentrate on strengthening Iran and containing Iraq. The paper was included in the State Department Policy Planning Staff's official 'transition book,' which reviewed all the foreign policy issues the new President would soon have to confront.

Zalmay Khalilzad was promoted by Bush Senior to become director of policy planning in the Pentagon and by 1992 was Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Defense directly under fellow PNAC founder Paul Wolfowitz, which suggests that his views found favor.

A supporter of Islamic extremists in Afghanistan and Iran is now the Bush ambassador to embattled Iraq. You can't make this stuff up, you know. Is it possible that his arguments influenced the investigation of the downing of Flight 103 and led to the facts being fixed around the policy?


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