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Did Obama Know About Release of Convicted Terrorist?

Posted on August 31 2009 1:00 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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On August 24 Claude Cartaginese reported for NewsReal about the recent hugely controversial release of a terrorist in Great Britain:

On December 21, 1988, Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, acting on instructions from Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qadaffi, placed a bomb on board Pan Am Flight 103, destroying the plane in flight. The blast killed 270 people, including all 243 passengers (189 of whom were American), 16 crew members, and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland.

After being sheltered for years by the Libyans, al-Megrahi was finally convicted of the crime in 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment. After serving the equivalent of 11 days in prison for each victim, this mass murderer, now suffering from prostate cancer, was released by Scotland on “humanitarian” grounds. He arrived back in Libya, Amy Goodman reported on Democracy Now!, maintaining his innocence. In fact, Goodman’s report was a most sympathetic one…

The decision has been devastating for Gordon Brown’s government in Great Britain, with condemnations coming from all over the world.

The scandal has yet to touch President Obama. But historian Ron Radosh expressed some thoughtful questions over at his blog at Pajamas Media:

One other issue has to be raised. After  al-Megrahi  was freed and given a hero’s welcome when his plane landed in Libya, the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton protested. But this was  after he gained his freedom. So the question must be stated: Would Britain have allowed this deal to be undertaken without informing President Obama in advance?

Did Barack Obama phone Gordon Brown and object strenuously before the release? Did he really not know of Britain’s plans until after it was too late? Frankly, this is rather hard to believe.

It’s a great point by a thinker who’s very much worth reading.

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