Monday, August 24, 2009
JUSTICE NOT SERVED
The release last week of convicted terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi by the Scottish government has sparked much criticism from the United States. Al-Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
Al-Megrahi was released from prison last Thursday on compassionate grounds – he is diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer - by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. Mr. MacAskill decided to release Al-Megrahi to live out his final days in Libya under the condition that he would not receive a hero’s welcome upon his return; a promise the Libyan government broke.
President Obama’s administration has condemned Mr. MacAskill’s decision saying that Al-Megrahi should continue to serve out his sentence in Scotland. Yet, Mr. MacAskill is sticking by his verdict even as Scotland’s Labour Party distances themselves from his decision.
Rumors are on the rise as to what extent the United Kingdom played in persuading the release of Al-Megrahi and the motive behind his pardon. Many are suggesting it was an act to promote a future energy deal with Muammar al-Gaddafi’s oil rich state. Only time will tell if these accusations are true and the United States should hope they are not.
The United Kingdom has been America’s most steadfast ally in the War on Terror, but rumors like these question that allegiance. As for Scotland, their actions are inexcusable. A man responsible for the deaths of 270 innocent people deserves no mercy; he showed none.