The NY Times Lede blog reported this morning that the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the convicted Libyan bomber who blew up Pan Am Flight 103 , to Libya had been on the table for years from the United Kingdom. Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s sons Saif al Islam el-Qaddafi made the statement in the presence of Megrahi as they returned from Scotland to Libya last week. Qaddafi’s sons apparently are competing for their father’s job and the Lede claims Saif al Islam el-Qaddafi used the release of Megrahi as leverage to improve his prospects.
The ethical and moral implications of the video showing el-Qaddafi and Megrahi discussing why he was released are unbelievable for the United Kingdom. The culture shock to the West of Megrahi’s welcome in Libya also is an indicator of how this release was unthinkable. The American families who suffered the deaths of their family members in the act of terrorism receive no compassionate grounds from Scotland or greeting as Megrahi received. Cancer is a terrible disease but does that excuse the release of a terrorist who took the lives of 243 passengers and 16 crew members with him? And what business incentives can Scotland and the rest of the UK receive that can replace the value of human lives lost?