Methinks he doth protest too much

Rick Moran
When the Lockerbie terrorist al-Megrahi was granted his "compassionate release" by the Scottish government, the White House issued the following statement:

The United States deeply regrets the decision by the Scottish Executive to release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi.  Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which blew up over Scotland on December 21, 1988.  As we have expressed repeatedly to officials of the government of the United Kingdom and to Scottish authorities, we continue to believe that Megrahi should serve out his sentence in Scotland.  On this day, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families who live every day with the loss of their loved ones.  We recognize the effects of such a loss weigh upon a family forever.

Hillary Clinton's State Department also weighed in:

The United States is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Scottish Executive to release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which took the lives of 270 persons, including 189 Americans. We have continued to communicate our long-standing position to UK government officials and Scottish authorities that Megrahi should serve out the entirety of his sentence in Scotland. Today, we remember those whose lives were lost on December 21, 1988 and we extend our deepest sympathies to the families who live each day with the loss of their loved ones due to this heinous crime.

I suppose you could spin both of those statements and square it with what is being reported by Simon Walters in the Daily Mail ; that the British government is livid over these and other expressions of "outrage" by the White House and State Department because Gordon Brown kept the United States govenment closely apprised of the situation prior to the terrorist's release:

President Obama and the US Secretary of State fuelled a fierce American backlash against Britain, claiming Abdelbaset Al Megrahi should have been forced to serve out his jail sentence in Scotland - but a senior Whitehall aide said their reaction was ‘disingenuous'.

British officials claim Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton were kept informed at all stages of discussions concerning Megrahi's return.

The officials say the Americans spoke out because they were taken aback by the row over Megrahi's release, not because they did not know it was about to happen.

‘The US was kept fully in touch about everything that was going on with regard to Britain's discussions with Libya in recent years and about Megrahi,' said the Whitehall aide.

‘We would never do anything about Lockerbie without discussing it with the US. It is disingenuous of them to act as though Megrahi's return was out of the blue.

'They knew about our prisoner transfer agreement with Libya and they knew that the Scots were considering Megrahi's case.'

Mr Obama said Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds was a ‘mistake' while Mrs Clinton phoned the Scottish administration to complain in person.

Does this sound typical of our Keystone Kops foreign policy, or what?

As I said, the White House would spin those statements to mean that even though they knew Megrahi was going to be released, they forcefully told the Brits they were opposed. That's not how I read it, however, and I think most fair minded people would also have trouble squaring those statements with the administration having prior knowledge of the release.

Ed Morrissey
asks "Is this a scandal or not?" I would have to say no but not because we weren't lied to or because it shows poor judgment on the part of the White House.

It won't be a scandal because the media won't allow it to be a scandal. They will not report this story  - just like they didn't report the Van Jones controversy - and the voting public will be none the wiser.






When the Lockerbie terrorist al-Megrahi was granted his "compassionate release" by the Scottish government, the White House issued the following statement:

The United States deeply regrets the decision by the Scottish Executive to release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi.  Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which blew up over Scotland on December 21, 1988.  As we have expressed repeatedly to officials of the government of the United Kingdom and to Scottish authorities, we continue to believe that Megrahi should serve out his sentence in Scotland.  On this day, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families who live every day with the loss of their loved ones.  We recognize the effects of such a loss weigh upon a family forever.

Hillary Clinton's State Department also weighed in:

The United States is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Scottish Executive to release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which took the lives of 270 persons, including 189 Americans. We have continued to communicate our long-standing position to UK government officials and Scottish authorities that Megrahi should serve out the entirety of his sentence in Scotland. Today, we remember those whose lives were lost on December 21, 1988 and we extend our deepest sympathies to the families who live each day with the loss of their loved ones due to this heinous crime.

I suppose you could spin both of those statements and square it with what is being reported by Simon Walters in the Daily Mail ; that the British government is livid over these and other expressions of "outrage" by the White House and State Department because Gordon Brown kept the United States govenment closely apprised of the situation prior to the terrorist's release:

President Obama and the US Secretary of State fuelled a fierce American backlash against Britain, claiming Abdelbaset Al Megrahi should have been forced to serve out his jail sentence in Scotland - but a senior Whitehall aide said their reaction was ‘disingenuous'.

British officials claim Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton were kept informed at all stages of discussions concerning Megrahi's return.

The officials say the Americans spoke out because they were taken aback by the row over Megrahi's release, not because they did not know it was about to happen.

‘The US was kept fully in touch about everything that was going on with regard to Britain's discussions with Libya in recent years and about Megrahi,' said the Whitehall aide.

‘We would never do anything about Lockerbie without discussing it with the US. It is disingenuous of them to act as though Megrahi's return was out of the blue.

'They knew about our prisoner transfer agreement with Libya and they knew that the Scots were considering Megrahi's case.'

Mr Obama said Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds was a ‘mistake' while Mrs Clinton phoned the Scottish administration to complain in person.

Does this sound typical of our Keystone Kops foreign policy, or what?

As I said, the White House would spin those statements to mean that even though they knew Megrahi was going to be released, they forcefully told the Brits they were opposed. That's not how I read it, however, and I think most fair minded people would also have trouble squaring those statements with the administration having prior knowledge of the release.

Ed Morrissey
asks "Is this a scandal or not?" I would have to say no but not because we weren't lied to or because it shows poor judgment on the part of the White House.

It won't be a scandal because the media won't allow it to be a scandal. They will not report this story  - just like they didn't report the Van Jones controversy - and the voting public will be none the wiser.