July 27, 2010, - 3:58 pm
**** Scroll Down for UPDATE ****
There are enough bad things about Barack Obama, so we don’t need to make them up. And in making them up, I mean the claim, over the weekend by an Australian newspaper quoting the Sunday Times of London & AFP (and a Drudge headline)–and the conservative seizing on it like red meat–that Barack Obama recommended the release of Libyan terrorist, Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi, who was convicted for his part in the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Michelle Fraudkin, Matt Drudge, and virtually every other right-of-center source picked up and ran the complete lie. Now that it’s been shown to be a total fraud, per their usual fakery, no apology, no correction, no nothin’.
I warned people on Sunday that this was a lie. I told them this was a Bush deal all the way. And they attacked me for it because they were asleep during the Bush Administration. But let’s be intellectually honest about who is really responsible for the release of Libyan terrorist Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi. It was President Bush who began restoring relations with Libya, after making a deal with Libyan dictator Muammar Qadaffi, who agreed to inspections over nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. And, as I noted on this site, a few years ago, several oil companies, including BP, formed a lobbying organization, the U.S.-Libya Business Association–to restore full and complete ties with Libya. President Bush–not Obama–acquiesced to their demands, the first time the US has had full ties with this nutty Islamo-state since 1979. The deal was made in exchange for paying off the families of the victims of Pan Am 103, each of them getting $10 million.
But Qadaffi was slow in making the payments. And ultimately Bush and his friend and special envoy, Tony Blair, worked out a deal. Part of that deal was ultimately the release of Megrahi, and Bush paved the way for this. He dealt with BP and the others and made the deal at their urging. And, since Blair was also Bush’s special Envoy for Squeezing Israel, that was part of the deal, too. Israel gets squeezed, Megrahi gets released, families of Pan Am 103 become mega-millionaires, and BP gets to do bid’ness with Libya. Cheers, everyone. It happened during Obama’s reign, but it was a done deal, too late to stop. And you can think George W. Period.
But The Australian newspaper story, over the weekend, alleging that the Obama administration urged Megrahi’s release to Libya on humanitarian grounds in a letter, was seized upon by many prominent conservatives. And many conservative readers–who’ve never made a peep, unlike me, about Bush’s deal with Qadaffi–were suddenly blaming Obama with zero proof. And it turns out it’s a false story. Obama opposed the release all along.
Yesterday, the Obama administration released the letter in question. And, in fact, it says exactly the opposite of what the reports claim.
So will anyone attack Bush and Blair for the release of Megrahi, as they did to Obama yesterday and over the weekend? And where is the blaring red capital letter Drudge headline on that?
Good luck with that. Like I said, I believe in intellectual honesty. But it’s in short supply, as much on the right as on the left. And it’s intellectually dishonest to blame Obama for the Islamo-pandering of Bush. It’s also intellectually dishonest to scream about the Islamo-pandering deeds of Obama that you silently acquiesced to under Bush.
If you demand more from liberal Democrats than you do from Republicans, you will always get crappy Republican choices like John McCain and crappy, liberal Democrat elected officials like Barack Obama. And you get what you deserve because you expected more from the party that told you it doesn’t care about national security and won’t change for the better. And expected very little from the party–the Republican Party–that claims that it’s the counter-terrorism party and won’t change because you don’t demand that it will.
Bush v. Obama on Libya and Megrahi is exhibit Double ZZ on this, as there have been so many examples, where you’ve looked the other way, when an R follows the name.
REALITY CHECK (and why you can’t believe a thing in The Australian, The Sunday Times of UK, or AFP):
THE US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be “far preferable” to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.
Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.
The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.
American officials were dead-set against the release of the Lockerbie bomber and warned Scottish authorities that scenes of jubilation in Tripoli over his return would upset victims’ families, a newly released document showed Monday.
The Aug. 12, 2009 letter from Richard LeBaron, the charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in London, to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond sets out the views of the American government as Scotland grappled with whether to release Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the bombing attack on Pan Am Flight 103.
“The United States maintains its view that in light of the scope of Megrahi’s crime, its heinous nature, and its continuing and devastating impact on the victims and their families, it would be most appropriate for Megrahi to remain imprisoned for the entirety of his sentence,” the letter says, declaring the U.S was not willing to support his release on either compassionate grounds or under a prisoner transfer agreement.
I don’t like Barack Obama or his pandering to Islam, but I’m not gonna lie about it and make stuff up. Nor am I gonna hold him to a higher standard than I held Bush. Bush said he was the counter-terrorism President and spent 8 years pandering to Islamic extremists and bringing them here. Obama said he’d pander to Muslims, and he’s more than lived up to the promise. But on Libya and the release of this terrorist, he did the right thing. Bush did not. He set this whole thing–the release of Megrahi, an Islamic terrorist, in motion.
And yet, he’s getting none of the blame.
I don’t want Obama as President, but as for the billboards of Bush that say, “Miss Me Yet?” my answer is, HELL. NO.
**** UPDATE: Debbie Schlussel Facebook Page (join here by pressing “Like”) Fan Ian Wilkinson writes:
Thank you again for showing how idiotic faux conservatives like Hannity & co. are–just as bad as the liberal punks the claim to detest. The past administration (Bush) has little credibility, and welcoming Qadaffi back into the fold was hardly acceptable in an administration claiming to fight islamic-terrorism.
Exactly. Thanks, Ian. You get it. Fighting terrorism isn’t a partisan thing. And partisanship isn’t fighting terrorism.
Again, join the Fan Page here (by pressing “Like”), where we have nearly 3,200 fans in less than three months and growing.
Tags: Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi, Barack Obama, BP, George W. Bush, Israel, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Letter, Libya, Lockerbie, Muammar Qaddafi, Pan Am 103, Pan Am Flight 103, President Bush, release, Richard LeBaron, Scotland, terrorist, Tony Blair, U.S.-Libya Business Association