Too much information?
It’s a saying which has worked its way into our everyday vocabulary.
Certainly its all been too much for several governments to have their secret political agendas and diplomatic correspondence displayed on the internet.
Chief amongst these of course is the USA government.
There is so darn much of the stuff and so much being written about it.
Much of the material relating to Scotland, concerns the compassionate release of ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’, Abdelbassett Al Megrahi.
You’ll remember of course that Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton et al were (in public and publicly) completely outraged by the release. The Scottish government were castigated and criticised. David Cameron, then leader of the opposition got in on the act and put the boot in. New Labour nonentities Ian Gray and Richard Baker, as well as several Libdems whose names escape me, made much political capital out of the situation. The Scottish Tories……well need I go on?
Following the leaks, there have been several takes on it.
Professor Robert Black reports:
There are no surprises in the coverage by the UK and Scottish media of the US diplomatic cables. The vast bulk of the media loathe and detest the Scottish National Party and all its works and so are keen to focus on criticism by US diplomats (and, through them, by UK diplomats and politicians) of the SNP Scottish Government.
However another prof, James Mitchel writes in today’s Herald in an article headed WikiLeaks proves Scotland was right on Megrahi release
It is clear from the documents that expectations of Megrahi’s approaching death prior to his release were shared by more than the Scottish Government. Preparations were in hand for the likely consequences of the Libyan prisoner’s death in Scottish custody involving an “immutable timeline”, as American officials wrote seven months before his release. UK officials had prepared for the prospect of Megrahi’s death in custody and were “focused on transfer under PTA [prisoner transfer agreement]”, believing time was short. The Libyan reaction to the arrest of one of Gaddafi’s son’s in Switzerland had been a sobering experience. Against this backdrop, Libya’s intention to cease “all UK commercial activity in Libya” immediately, reduce political ties and encourage demonstrations against “UK facilities”, as well as implicit threats to UK citizens in Libya, could not be taken lightly. It is impossible to know how long Megrahi would have lived had he not been released but the indications are that UK and US officials were preparing for an imminent and serious backlash.
Public US opposition to the release occurred when it suited US officials. The US Government played a two-level game: maintaining a low profile in opposing Megrahi’s release for fear of provoking a Libyan reaction while strongly condemning the release to appease understandably distraught relatives and playing to a domestic agenda.
The BBC article is here
Several questions do remain on the Scottish government’s handling of the case. One gets the impression now that these questions will quietly disappear, the questioners having a few matters to attend to themselves.
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: abdelbassett ali al megrahi, alex salmond, wikileaks | Leave a comment »