Getting away with murder?

The release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrah by Scotland on Thursday tests the definitions of compassion. Abdel Baset al-Megrahi served 8 years of a sentence for bombing a plane, killing 259 people aboard, many of them kids from the United States coming home for Christmas in 1988.

Sometimes, concepts of compassion collide with one another.

It could be letting a man with prostate cancer go home to die, feeble and slow afoot going up the plane’s stairs in Scotland.


Or it could be sparing the families of the people he killed from seeing the image of an airport rally hours later, the message of which could easily be interpreted as, “good job on that bombing thing.”

Scotland made its choice.

  • tiredboomer

    I consider myself a compassionate person, but this leaves me enraged. I thought the Western Nations were in a war on terror.

    What’d he serve, less than two weeks per murder then a return to a hero’s welcome?

    Oil deal or no, Scotland and the rest of Great Britain have lost their collective mind.

  • Frank Connor

    / Scotland and the rest of Great Britain have lost their collective mind.


    That’s a pretty rash generalisation, don’t you think? First of all, the decision was ultimately taken by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, and agree or disagree, Mr MacAskill was left with the difficult and unenviable task of interpreting the law to the best of his ability. Whichever way he decided, there would have been people who would have been unhappy.

    Second, clicking on the link Bob Collins provided shows reaction has been mixed both in the US and UK. There are people in the UK who share your outrage.

    Third, the decision of the Scottish court in this case does not mean 60 million people have lost their minds (you’ve apparently excused Northern Ireland). Tarring an entire population with the same brush based on one legal decision does not seem the action of a ‘compassionate person’. I encourage you to reconsider.

  • Lisa

    Even though he is dying,he should not be trusted and he should still be monitored.

  • tiredboomer


    My opinion remains unchanged. However, in that my words could have been softer and my brush less broad, you’re right.

    Yes, Mr. MacAskill was left with a difficult task. That’s his job. I believe he zeroed in on legal details without considering whether that lead him down a sensible path. In this case common sense went out the window.

    Secondly, I didn’t hear or read a lot of evidence of support for the release in the US. I did however see several interviews of Lockerbie citizens in open support of the release. Those Lockerbie interviews seemed extremely bizarre. Yes, projecting those handful of Lockerbie citizens onto all of Great Brittan (and Northern Ireland) is a broad bursh, but that support was coming from Lockerbie!