Now that we know Barack Obama lied about being “shocked, shocked” over Scotland’s release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, it’s worth a few minutes to consider the presidential pretender’s history with Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi.
But before we examine this surprising relationship, let’s review the facts of the Megrahi release.
Pan Am Flight 103 was on its way from London to New York Dec. 21, 1988, when it was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers including 190 Americans, 16 crew members and 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, when debris landed on the town.
In total, 270 people were killed in the bombing.
Libyan al-Megrahi was convicted of carrying out the attack and was serving a life sentence in Scotland until last August when, inexplicably, officials there released him on “humanitarian” grounds, saying he was suffering from terminal cancer and had no more than three months to live.
Of course, al-Megrahi is alive and well 11 months later and doctors treating him now say he will likely live for years, perhaps a decade or more, in Libya, where he is treated like a national hero. In fact, British intelligence knew Gadhafi paid a premium to doctors for the phony diagnosis.
What did Obama have to say about all this at the time?
“I think all of us here in the United States were surprised, disappointed and angry about the release of the Lockerbie bomber,” he said. “And my administration expressed very clearly our objections prior to the decision being made and subsequent to the decision being made. So we welcome any additional information that will give us insights and a better understanding of why the decision was made.”
Most Americans were surprised, disappointed and angry that a mass-murdering terrorist was released. But it is now clear Obama wasn’t surprised, disappointed or angry. In fact, he was part of the fix from the beginning, and his administration encouraged the final outcome.
A week before al-Megrahi’s release, Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the U.S. embassy in London, sent a letter to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and justice officials saying the U.S. would prefer if the terrorist remained in prison, but protested only a prison transfer not a release.
“Nevertheless,” wrote LeBaron, “if Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that al-Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the U.S. position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose.”
It now appears the release of al-Megrahi was part of a deal brokered by BP for a lucrative oil contract with Libya.
The scandal stinks no matter how you look at it. It’s a story of politicians doing what they do without regard to the safety, security and best interests of their constituents – unless those constituents happen to be multinational oil conglomerates and terrorist mass murderers.
But what were Obama’s motivations? Consider this mini-history review of Obama’s odd links with Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi:
- Gadhafi received Obama’s Kenyan grandmother, Sarah Obama, in Tripoli last December. She went to see Gadhafi to congratulate him on his efforts to unify the African continent, the official Jamahiriya News Agency said. According to the Jamahiriya News Agency, she told Gadhafi she had come “to tell him of her pride as an African citizen in the efforts he has made to unify the African continent and his humanitarian initiatives for Africans.”
- Obama’s pastor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, met with Gadhafi in Libya in 1984 on a trip with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
- After the freeing of al-Megrahi, the Obama administration gave $400,000 to a Libyan charity run by the Gadhafi family. The money went to two foundations – $200,000 to the Gadhafi Development Foundation, run by Gadhafi’s son, Saif, and another $200,000 to Wa Attassimou, an organization run by Gadhafi’s daughter, Aisha. Saif Gadhafi, by the way, brokered the prisoner exchange with BP oil officials.
- Gadhafi had nice words to say about Obama last September when he visited the United Nations – calling Obama “my son” or “our son” several times. “Can you guarantee after Obama how America will be governed? We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as president of America.” Gadhafi also reportedly referred to the U.S. president as a “black African Kenyan.”
- Obama sat two seats away from Gadhafi at the annual Group of Eight summit a year ago – separated only by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
- In 2008, Gadhafi said Obama was a Muslim of Kenyan origins who studied in Islamic schools and whose campaign may have been financed by people in the Islamic and African worlds.
- Gadhafi has repeatedly expressed concern that Obama might someday be assassinated.
To most Americans, Gadhafi is a monster – a psychopathic killer and tyrant, perhaps even a madman.
But he has a fondness for Obama. And, by all indicators, Obama, despite his claims to the contrary, has a soft spot in his heart for Gadhafi.