Saturday, June 30, 2007

Craig Murray on Lockerbie affair

From late 1989 to 1992 I [Craig Murray] was the Head of the Maritime Section of the FCO and No 2 in the Aviation and Maritime Department (for those into FCO arcana, the Maritime Section was headed by a Grade 5 First Secretary and the Aviation Section by a Grade 6 First Secretary). This was the period of the invasion of Kuwait and first Gulf War, in which the Maritime Section, including me, mostly got picked up and deposited in an underground bunker as the FCO part of the Embargo Surveillance Centre. We did intelligence analysis on Iraqi attempts at weapons procurement and organised interdiction worldwide.

In this period I mostly lived in my underground bunker, quite literally, and didn't get back to the FCO much to keep an eye on the rest of my section. On one occasion when I did, I was told something remarkable by a colleague in Aviation section.

At this time we suddenly switched from blaming Iran and Syria for the Lockerbie bombing to blaming Libya. This was part of a diplomatic drive to isolate Iraq from its neighbours in the run-up to the invasion. Aviation section were seeing all the intelligence on Lockerbie, for obvious reasons. A colleague there told me, in a deeply worried way, that he/she had the most extraordinary intelligence report which showed conclusively that it was really Syria, not Libya, that bombed the Pan Am jet, and that the switch was pure expediency.

I asked if I could see the report, and my colleague declined, saying this was too sensitive and dangerous; the report was marked for named eyes only. That in itself was extremely unusual - normally we would pass intelligence reports freely to each other, signing the register for them.

Craig has some good commenters:

There are some such 'Affairs' that quite simply override any considerations of truth, honesty and justice for a mere individual. Seems to me that ME policy, ruled by the absolute Western Alliance imperative of maintaining a measure of control over what remains of the planets oil endowment, is the daddy of them all.

I do not know where the truth lies but the shannigans surrounding that Lockerbie conviction certainly render it suspect. It is refreshing that a tainted Scottish legal system has conceded as much and that the evidence will be re-aired; but I won't hold my breath on a different outcome if it requires light to be shed on those dark recesses. My guess is that TPTB will move heaven and earth to have that conviction upheld. In their world certain ends justify any means; the truth is what you (or rather 'they') make it and the public are simply lied to. It is one of the reasons why, at Privy Council level, the term 'Honest Politician' is an oxymoron.

When I saw the news item about the Lockerbie appeal my first thought was: I expect they will take the opportunity to pin it on Iran now, since there is obviously a major campaign to throw everything that has even half a chance of leaving a mark, let alone sticking, at Iran as part of the standard pre-attack demonisation.

Syria, I would have thought, is less likely to be officially implicated, because so far as I can tell, it doesn't seem any longer to be directly in the cross-hairs. I may be wrong on that, obviously, and certainly Syria is still a major target for those who most strongly influence US foreign policy. If they can't find any way to stick it on Iran, they will be happy to throw it at Syria.

It was touch and go a couple of years ago whether Syria or Iran would get hit first, imo. Most probably it is only the surprisingly strong resistance of Iraq to pacification that has saved both Syria and Iran from attack so far....

Personally, I'm sceptical enough about our capacity to convict the right person in the majority of ordinary criminal trials - anything that involves "security" is more likely a wrongful detention or conviction than not, imo, given the kind of "evidence" that gets used and the instinctive deference to authority of ordinary people (jurors, judges) in such situations.

This is something that people need to understand and bear in mind in debates on the death penalty, as well as government powers of detention. The state is both malign and incompetent, in general.

Also worth bearing in mind that the vast majority of those suffering Abu Ghraib-like treatment in Iraq and around the US' global archipelago of detention sites are just ordinary people unlucky enough to be picked up by the US state machinery, and not "terrorists" at all - at least, before they go in.

Only a fool would believe the unsupported word of the proven liars in the US and UK governments on anything regarding the ME, and most especially when it's bad-mouthing an "axis of evil" member.

I keep an open mind on the Lockerbie perpetrator's identity.

The only thing that is reasonably safe to assume at the moment, though, is that this is being reopened now in order to facilitate a desired attack on Iran by contributing to the ongoing demonisation campaign.

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