BP admitted on July 15th that it had lobbied the British government in 2007, prior to the to release of Lockerbie bomber, for an agreement to turn over a number of prisoners to Libya, as negotiations between the two countries over the issue were impeding a contract allowing BP to drill in Libyan offshore deep waters.
Shortly after, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, convicted for the 1988 bombing of an airline jet over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people, mostly Americans, was released in August of 2009 on compassionate grounds after a medical diagnosis that he was unlikely to survive more than three months from cancer. Nearly a year later, he’s not only still alive, but his doctor has now declared he could live another decade.
President Obama expressed the outrage felt by Americans not only over the decision to release Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, but over the evidence the British owned petroleum company BP played an active role in obtaining the terrorist bomber’s release.
‘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 added the diplomatic hope that ‘the key thing to understand here is that we’ve got a British prime minister who shares our anger over the decision. And so I’m fully supportive of Prime Minister Cameron’s efforts to gain a better understanding of it.’
Except David Cameron has made it as pristine clear as the water in the Gulf of Mexico used to be that he has no intention whatsoever of doing any such thing. He announced on Tuesday that while he’d consider releasing information from an earlier investigation, he would not order a fresh investigation into either the bomber’s release, or – more importantly – BP’s role in obtaining it. Further, he managed to shift any blame from the British government onto the Scottish Executive (although, last time I looked I was pretty sure Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom), and further added insult to injury by castigating the decision to – in effect – trade terrorists for oil as ‘wholly wrong and misguided decision, a bad decision, but their decision, nonetheless.’ As for BP’s role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Cameron has already made up his mind, insisting he has seen nothing to suggest that the Scottish government was influenced by lobbying from BP.
So, if it’s left up to the British, that will remain the official bottom line. Nothing to see here, guv’nor, move along. Cameron brushed aside any pressure for further investigation as being unnecessary, saying, ‘I don’t think there’s any great mystery here. That’s what happened, and I don’t think we need an extra inquiry to tell us that that’s what happened.’
In the next breath, his real reticence for an investigation into the circumstances behind the Lockerbie bomber’s release and BP’s role in facilitating it becomes quite apparent: ‘Let us not confuse the oil spill with the Libyan bomber,’ as BP’s ‘success’ is vital to British and US economies.
Truth and justice be damned. The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, so what? BP buying off governments, who cares? The deaths of 270 innocent people, get real.
It’s all about money. That’s the only thing that matters. Meanwhile, BP announced Thursday that, despite calls for a moratorium over the company’s links to the Lockerbie bomber, it plans to start drilling off the coast of Libya within the next few weeks. So while Cameron and Obama joke in front of the cameras about beer and coercing their kids into cleaning their rooms, and highlight that ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the United States, those of us behind the cameras, and behind the television sets, can rest assured that it’s all business as usual.
I don’t know why Republicans are so upset – at this rate, they might as well have won the election.