This proves how low politicians will stoop to make oil deals. Gordon Brown traded a terrorist who killed 270 people, including 180 Americans and 50 college students for oil. This is revolting, but not surprising. Bush has sacrificed 4,100 soldiers for Iraq's oil. Politicians will do anything for oil. This will get worse as time goes on.
Is Lockerbie Gordon Brown’s Watergate?
Evidence is mounting of British government involvement in the decision to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. The Sunday Times reports today that Jack Straw, the British justice secretary, wrote to Kenny MacAskill, his Scottish counterpart in December 2007, stating that Britain would not exclude Megrahi from a controversial prisoner transfer agreement negotiated with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi - a reversal of its previous position. A damning leaked Whitehall letter reveals that Straw wrote to MacAskill:
“I had previously accepted the importance of the al-Megrahi issue to Scotland and said I would try to get an exclusion for him on the face of the agreement. I have not been able to secure an explicit exclusion.”
“The wider negotiations with the Libyans are reaching a critical stage and, in view of the overwhelming interests for the United Kingdom, I have agreed that in this instance the [prisoner transfer agreement] should be in the standard form and not mention any individual.”
Just six weeks later, according to The Sunday Times report, Libya ratified an oil and gas exploration deal with BP worth up to £15 billion.
The Lockerbie affair is an ugly can of worms that is slowly opening up, much to the embarrassment of the Prime Minister, who has failed even to condemn Megrahi’s release from prison. Is the Lockerbie scandal big enough to force an early exit by Gordon Brown, or at the very least the resignation of senior government ministers? Definitely. The PM has staked his reputation on a firm denial that his government had any role whatsoever in influencing the decision to free Megrahi, telling a news conference in Downing Street last Tuesday:
“When I met Colonel Gaddafi over the summer, I made it absolutely clear to him that we had no role in making the decision about Megrahi’s future. Because it was a quasi-judicial matter, because it was a matter legislated for by the Scottish parliament and not by us, it was a matter over which we could not interfere and had no control over the final outcome.”
“The idea that the British government and the Libyan government would sit down and somehow barter over the freedom or the life of this Libyan prisoner and make it form part of some business deal … it’s not only wrong, it’s completely implausible and actually quite offensive.”
If it turns out that Brown or his ministers have deliberately misled the British public over the matter, it could prove to be a Watergate moment for the Prime Minister and force him to step down or spark a leadership challenge within the Labour Party. I doubt such a deeply unpopular leader could survive the fallout from a fiasco like this. What’s left of his declining credibility would be shattered and the knives would be out for him within his own party.
Nearly every opinion poll shows Brown is heading for a humiliating defeat at the next general election, but his downfall could come even sooner. The Lockerbie bomber’s release has undermined Britain’s fight against terrorism, significantly weakened the Anglo-American alliance, and exposed an embarrassing relationship between the Labour ruling elite and a brutal dictatorial regime in Tripoli that has British and American blood on its hands.
It is a shameful episode with major implications for Britain’s standing as a world power, and deserves to be fully investigated by Parliamentary committees and an independent inquiry, with full access to all relevant government documentation and correspondence. The Prime Minister, as well as leading figures in his cabinet including David Miliband and Peter Mandelson, must take full responsibility for the actions of the British government over the release of the Lockerbie bomber and be held to account.