Many have observed that the information relayed through WikiLeaks largely consists of confirming things we already knew, to the embarrassment of America and her allies. Another such confirmation came last night, as the Associated Press reports leaked diplomatic cables verify the Lockerbie Bomber, Ali al-Megrahi, was indeed released because Libya threatened Britain’s oil supply.
Al-Megrahi is a Libyan intelligence officer… well, news reports always call him a “former” Libyan intelligence officer, but if that’s the case, Libyan intelligence has awesome pension benefits. Anyway, al-Megrahi murdered 270 people when he bombed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, including 190 Americans and 43 British subjects. In August 2009, he was released and allowed to return home to Libya, supposedly because he was dying of cancer and had less than three months to live. He never should have been allowed to outlive Pan Am.
How’s Megrahi doing these days, over a year after he returned to Libya as a dying man? He’s super, thanks for asking! He lives in fabulous luxury as a national hero, and honored guest of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, who also should not have outlived Pan Am. The dictator recently ordered a day of prayer and celebration to mark the anniversary of his release, thanking then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the horribly misnamed “Justice Secretary” of Scotland, Kenny MacAskill, by name. Young people in Libya honored their hero by donning copies of the white baseball cap he wore on the day of his release. A combination of Libyan medical science, fervent prayers to Allah, and removal from the Scottish climate appears to have miraculously driven al-Megrahi’s terminal cancer into remission.
The WikiLeaks cable confirms that another crucial medicine in the terrorist murderer’s treatment was oil. Although MacAskill is driven to self-righteous comments like “I authorized it… I did so in good faith, and I believe everone involved in this has also acted in good faith,” it turns out “good faith” means “fear of Gaddafi.”
“The Libyans have told Her Majesty’s Government flat-out there will be ‘enormous repercussions’ for the UK-Libya bilateral relationship if al-Megrahi’s early release is not handled properly,” a U.S. diplomatic cable stated in October 2008. Gaddafi was said to be “furious” about the continued detention of al-Megrahi, and threatened to “cut Britain off at the knees.” Britain’s energy industry (including the beloved BP oil company) is heavily dependent on Libyan oil.
The families of the Lockerbie victims are furious, too, but they don’t have any oil, so too bad. Nothing about this “revelation” is surprising – is there anyone left in the world who honestly thinks al-Megrahi was released for humanitarian reasons? And why the hell should “humanitarian” concerns have earned him anything more than a painless lethal injection? George Bush was widely mocked for his “with us or with the terrorists” doctrine regarding the Axis of Evil, and had largely dropped it by the time he left office. Well, a sea of kids in baseball caps lined up outside Ali al-Megrahi’s luxury villa to applaud his heroic service to their murder cult is the alternative. We would dishonor the dead by averting our eyes and pretending not to see it.
We already knew the results of the formula that says Britain’s energy industry is worth 270 innocent lives; now we’re just seeing the math. It’s not pretty, but the only alternative equation produces a lot of dead Libyans, or at least the convincing threat of producing them. At least the civilized world can’t say it doesn’t know the outcome the next time it’s forced to work those equations.