Last week, with British PM, David Cameron at his side, Obama condemned the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi:
The bottom line he says is that “we all disagreed with it”…
It’s true that all along, Obama has expressed his disapproval of the release in public statements, and privately to the victims’ families, as seen in this video from last August (1:07):
Now, The Australian is reporting that the Obama administration favored a conditional release on compassionate grounds as an alternative to prisoner transfer to Libya:
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.
The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama’s claim last week that all Americans were “surprised, disappointed and angry” to learn of Megrahi’s release.
Scottish ministers viewed the level of US resistance to compassionate release as “half-hearted” and a sign it would be accepted.
The US has tried to keep the letter secret, refusing to give permission to the Scottish authorities to publish it on the grounds it would prevent future “frank and open communications” with other governments.
In the letter, sent on August 12 last year to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and justice officials, Mr LeBaron wrote that the US wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime.
The note added: “Nevertheless, if Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the US position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose.”
Mr LeBaron added that freeing the bomber and making him live in Scotland “would mitigate a number of the strong concerns we have expressed with regard to Megrahi’s release”.
The US administration lobbied the Scottish government more strongly against sending Megrahi home, under a prisoner transfer agreement signed by the British and Libyan governments, in a deal now known to have been linked to a pound stg. 550 million oil contract for BP.
Al-Megrahi, who it turns out, will live to a ripe old age, was released with the United States Government’s blessing.
Michelle Malkin has more: Lockerbie release: So much for “smart diplomacy.” So much for “surprised.”
Here is what Team Obama’s “smart” and sensitive form of diplomacy has wrought: A hero’s welcome home to Libya for the murderous Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was released last August claiming he had terminal cancer and three months to live. A year later, the jihadist is still alive, senators want an investigation, and The Australian reports that the Obama administration backed “compassionate release.”
See also: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air
Linked by Michelle Malkin, buzzworthy, thanks!
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit