[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/09/25/gadhafi.meeting/art.gadhafi.libyatv.jpg caption=" Lisa Gibson, who met with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, called herself an ambassador of reconciliation. "]
Lisa Gibson - who lost her brother in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing - sat down the other day with the man many blame for the notorious attack: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
"I welcomed him to America," Gibson told CNN.
The 39-year-old Colorado Springs lawyer said she and another relative of a Lockerbie victim went to see the controversial figure in New York on Wednesday, the same day he delivered a rambling speech to the U.N. General Assembly.
Calling herself an "ambassador of reconciliation," she views the encounter as the latest step in a journey to build bridges between Libyans and Americans - a mission energized by her strong Christian faith.
"I wanted him to know there were some people out there who've lost loved ones who have a different vision and different heart," she said. "He warmly received us."
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/09/01/libya.lockerbie.bomber/art.scottish.parliament.spa.jpg caption="Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill says he followed "due process" in releasing Lockerbie bomber."]
Tom Foreman | Bio
The British government has been under sharp pressure over allegations that the release of the Lockerbie bomber was in exchange for Libyan oil deals. The Brits deny it, but have now released a series of letters between government officials in London and Scottish officials. Having read through all of these letters, I’ve prepared a little quick breakdown here.
The synopsis: London assured the Scots from the outset of negotiations with Libya, that the Scots would have the final say in any release of the Lockerbie bomber, al Megrahi. However, the Brits also abandoned efforts to make the Libyans accept Megrahi’s continued incarceration, prodded the Scots to be aware of the sensitive and valuable new relations with Libya, and pushed the Scots to consider the Libyan application for Megrahi’s release. They even assured the Scots that they were under no legally or diplomatically binding agreement to the UN or the US to keep him locked up.
In the letter of the law, London is correct to say, English officials did not make his release happen. In the spirit of their correspondence with the Scots, however, it does appear that they made it clear such a release should be considered and might be looked upon favorably given the higher negotiations.
Here is the breakdown of the letters.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/09/01/scotland.libya.lockerbie.documents/art.megrahi.gi.jpg caption="Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, second from left, arrives in Tripoli, Libya, on August 21."]
EARLY SUMMER, 2007: British officials are negotiating new international relations with Libya, including a transfer of Libyan prisoners held in Brit jails. They assure the Scots that Megrahi will not be included in any such deal.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/08/24/oakley.lockerbie/art.scottish.parliament.spa.jpg caption="Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill says compassion was the only factor in the release."]
An act of compassion or an undercover deal? What is the truth about the release of Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi from the Scottish prison where the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing was incarcerated?
Defending his controversial decision Monday at an emergency session of the Scottish Parliament, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill argued that it was a case of "Do as you would wish to be done by."
He would not have let out al Megrahi, he said, on a prisoner transfer. That would have been against the promises given to the U.S. authorities and to the Lockerbie victims' families that the Libyan would serve his full life term in Scotland.
But when MacAskill, a member of the Scottish National Party-run government, was told by doctors and prison authorities last December that al Megrahi had terminal and untreatable cancer the situation changed.
He released al Megrahi, he said, strictly on grounds of compassion - the kind of compassion the terrorists had failed to show the Lockerbie victims.
Filed under: Lockerbie Incident
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/08/24/scotland.lockerbie/art.megrahi.gi.jpg caption="Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi (second from left) arrives in Tripoli, Libya."]
Imagine if one of the September 11 hijackers had lived, that he was fairly tried, convicted and sentenced to a lengthy jail term. Then, after just a few years, under an agreement with the Afghan government, we sent him back to serve out his term with the Taliban under Osama bin Laden.
Although it seems almost impossible, a painfully similar scenario is playing out in the Scotland. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – the terrorist convicted in the Lockerbie bombing – may soon be released by the Scottish government and handed over to Libya, the very government that plotted this cowardly mass murder.
Filed under: Lockerbie Incident
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