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Another slap

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
 

Once upon a time, President Barack Obama said all Americans were "surprised, disappointed and angry" to learn of the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison. But new evidence suggests the president might have been feigning at least surprise.

Last August, the sole Libyan convicted in the catastrophic bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 was released from a Scottish prison. "Humanitarian" reasons were cited. This killer supposedly had only three months to live. He was released and returned to Libya with a hero's welcome. Now he's expected to live another decade.

But there's a brand-new outrage. (That would be on top of the last outrage -- talk of a dirty little quid pro quo oil drilling deal between BP and Libya.)

The Sunday Times of London reports that a week before Mr. al-Megrahi's release, "the U.S. government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be 'far preferable' to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya."

The bottom line: The United States, while opposed to sending al-Megrahi home, would accept a Scottish decision to release him on compassionate grounds if he were to remain in Scotland.

What a slap to the survivors of the 270 people who perished, including the families of four from Western Pennsylvania. Will the indignities ever end?

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