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Author Topic: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI  (Read 1823 times)

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Offline SuperHansTopic starter

Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« on: August 22, 2009, 02:00:05 PM »
Quote
Dear Mr. Secretary:

Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision.

Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of "compassion."

Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world who now believe that regardless of the quality of the investigation, the conviction by jury after the defendant is given all due process, and sentence appropriate to the crime, the terrorist will be freed by one man's exercise of "compassion." Your action rewards a terrorist even though he never admitted to his role in this act of mass murder and even though neither he nor the government of Libya ever disclosed the names and roles of others who were responsible.

Your action makes a mockery of the emotions, passions and pathos of all those affected by the Lockerbie tragedy: the medical personnel who first faced the horror of 270 bodies strewn in the fields around Lockerbie, and in the town of Lockerbie itself; the hundreds of volunteers who walked the fields of Lockerbie to retrieve any piece of debris related to the breakup of the plane; the hundreds of FBI agents and Scottish police who undertook an unprecedented global investigation to identify those responsible; the prosecutors who worked for years--in some cases a full career--to see justice done.

But most importantly, your action makes a mockery of the grief of the families who lost their own on December 21, 1988. You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution. You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification--the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.

You apparently made this decision without regard to the views of your partners in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the Lockerbie tragedy. Although the FBI and Scottish police, and prosecutors in both countries, worked exceptionally closely to hold those responsible accountable, you never once sought our opinion, preferring to keep your own counsel and hiding behind opaque references to "the need for compassion."

You have given the family members of those who died continued grief and frustration. You have given those who sought to assure that the persons responsible would be held accountable the back of your hand. You have given Megrahi a "jubilant welcome" in Tripoli, according to the reporting. Where, I ask, is the justice?

Sincerely yours,

Robert S. Mueller, III
Director

This is the letter sent from the Director of the FBI to Kenny McAskill, the minister responsible for releasing the Lockerbie bomber. The man has hit the nail in the head. Al Megrahi's release is a morbid mistake, the man should have died in prison.

I find it extremely hypocritical that the UK government (in refusing to use their powers retained even in devolution to stop the release) cares nothing about defenceless cases like Gary McKinnon but when their own interests are in hand (relations with Libya, oil) they're quick to defy the US's wishes.

Morally, Al Megrahi should have gone to a US court, and faced the chair. But he didn't, and should then have lived out the rest of his days in prison. Now he's going to live as a national hero for the rest of his short life, all because the SNP have a point to prove and Westminster is too selfish to stop them. I just hope his death is slow.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 02:01:24 PM by SuperHans »

Offline Revolverman

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 03:02:17 PM »
From what I read, he seems to be nothing more then a fall man, so I don't think him being let out is a big deal.

Offline SuperHansTopic starter

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 03:06:24 PM »
There's been several conspiracy theories surrounding it true, but ultimately a court ruled that he carried out the bombings. That's good enough for me.

Offline Serephino

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009, 08:54:07 PM »
Honestly, I don't see it as that big of a deal either.  It's not like they just randomly decided to release him because he's been punished enough.  The man has aggressive cancer and the rest of his life will be very short, supposedly three months.

I don't see this as a victory for terrorists either.  The man is sick.  He's also still a human being.  All they did was exercise a little human decency.  If nothing else, his loved ones deserve the chance to say goodbye.

I won't pretend to know what went on behind closed doors, but from what was on CNN news the other night, people are blowing this way out of proportion.  He's not in prison anymore, but he's still going to suffer.  Have you ever watched anyone die of cancer?  I have, and I was only 10 years old.  It's slow and agonizing.   

Offline SuperHansTopic starter

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 01:21:01 AM »
Quote
If nothing else, his loved ones deserve the chance to say goodbye.

An ironic point, when you think about his crime.

Quote
He's also still a human being.

A human being that killed 270 other human beings, and has never shown anything close to remorse for it.

Quote
but from what was on CNN news the other night, people are blowing this way out of proportion.

With all due respect to CNN, they're not understanding the subtext. It's all about devolution. The Scottish National Party, the ruling party of which McAskill is a member, are trying to flex their muscles in doing this. They're trying to show that now they have the power to do things Westminster wouldn't (considering our relations with the US). Even with devolved powers the UK government didn't step in, and I'd be willing to bet it has to do with the recent talks about protecting British business investments in Libyan oil.

Offline OneOfAKiind

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2009, 11:07:33 AM »
I agree with superhans...

Keeping myself in check, all I will say is that I don't think this man deserves any human decency. To commit such an atrocious crime makes him less than human in my mind.

Good for Mr. Mueller for speaking out. while it wont change the outcome, at least someone has some sense about this.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 12:39:51 PM »
I think this comes down to one thing.

What about the families who were denied justice? He should have died in prison for his crimes. 'Mercy' at the cost of the loved ones of the 270 victims is a slap in the face. And let's be honest, it was a power play to show they could do what they wanted.

Sorry, murderers of that category do not merit that sort of compassion if they have no remorse. You didn't send a man to die among family, you made a hero returning in triumph

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Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 01:52:07 PM »
There's been several conspiracy theories surrounding it true, but ultimately a court ruled that he carried out the bombings. That's good enough for me.

A court ruled the Birmingham Six were guilty too. And the Guildford Four. Turns out that they didn't do it after all, but there was enormous public pressure on at the time of the bombings to see justice done, and someone be punished for those crimes.

Someone was.

I'm not hugely familiar with the case, but I believe Megrahi has always claimed to be innocent of the crimes he was accused off, and recently there seems to have been more public belief that this was a miscarriage of justice.

One thing I find interesting is the claims that America paid millions to key prosecution witnesses. If that is indeed true, I have to wonder if paying the witnesses is a common occurrence in a trial. I'd be inclined to think not.

If we has guilty of the crimes he was accused off, then he has spent almost the remainder of his life in prison, and is now dying of a disease which will kill him painfully. He will then, if you believe such, face a judgement that will see the truth of the matter, and if guilty, suffer for it for eternity.

If he is innocent, then he has spent almost the remainder of his life wrongfully imprisoned, and is now dying of a disease which will kill him painfully, but at least he will die in the company of his family.

Either way, it will not change the past. Those who died will still be dead.

So, what do you actually want to see here? Justice, or revenge?

Offline consortium11

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 01:58:04 PM »
With all due respect to CNN, they're not understanding the subtext. It's all about devolution. The Scottish National Party, the ruling party of which McAskill is a member, are trying to flex their muscles in doing this. They're trying to show that now they have the power to do things Westminster wouldn't (considering our relations with the US). Even with devolved powers the UK government didn't step in, and I'd be willing to bet it has to do with the recent talks about protecting British business investments in Libyan oil.

The UK Government did step in... they actively campaigned for the release and now they've realised the political fallout they're desperately trying to deny it and let the SNP act as a patsy (appropriate). Westminster is the driving force behind this, not the SNP... notably the SNP itself admits it only went ahead because of Westminster's say so.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 02:02:21 PM »
Ah.. that is an interesting bit of extra info.

<goes diving in the overseas new sites..cause CNN sucks)

Offline SuperHansTopic starter

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2009, 04:08:29 PM »
Quote
A court ruled the Birmingham Six were guilty too. And the Guildford Four

No justice system is incapable of error, but you can't discount an entire trial because the defendant and some of his supporters think something else was going on.

Quote
Megrahi has always claimed to be innocent of the crimes he was accused of

While I'll admit open denial isn't the standard MO of a terrorist (they'll tell everyone who'll listen it was them) lots of guilty people claim innocence. I believe the stepdad of Baby P is currently telling the press that he was a good father. Megrahi believes himself innocent, the jury thought otherwise. I believe the jury.

Quote
One thing I find interesting is the claims that America paid millions to key prosecution witnesses. If that is indeed true, I have to wonder if paying the witnesses is a common occurrence in a trial. I'd be inclined to think not.

There's been so many allegations and conspiracy theories in this trial, I think the burden of proof is on the claimants now. Who alleged this?

Quote
He will then, if you believe such, face a judgement that will see the truth of the matter, and if guilty, suffer for it for eternity.

All due respect HH, if we incorporated the prospect of eternal damnation into the legal system we may as well halt the search for Bin Laden on the premise that he'll 'get what's coming to him' when he keels over.

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Either way, it will not change the past. Those who died will still be dead

And it's owed to their families not to show him being treated as a hero for his actions, and to see him punished for his actions.

Quote
So, what do you actually want to see here? Justice, or revenge

When it comes to a man who has killed 270 people and left scars on their families that still have not healed, I don't think there's a fine line between the two.

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Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2009, 04:42:43 PM »
No justice system is incapable of error, but you can't discount an entire trial because the defendant and some of his supporters think something else was going on.

No, but in situations like that, especially when there has been a high body count, there is a lot of public pressure put on those in positions of authority to do something and to show that justice is done.

While I'll admit open denial isn't the standard MO of a terrorist (they'll tell everyone who'll listen it was them) lots of guilty people claim innocence. I believe the stepdad of Baby P is currently telling the press that he was a good father. Megrahi believes himself innocent, the jury thought otherwise. I believe the jury.

The jury would pass the verdict that they believe, certainly. They can only form that opinion (or at least should only form it) based on the evidence provided. The little I've read around this does throw up a few odd things around some of that evidence though.

There's been so many allegations and conspiracy theories in this trial, I think the burden of proof is on the claimants now. Who alleged this?

I think I read it off the BBC news site. I was flicking through a few different places at the time.

All due respect HH, if we incorporated the prospect of eternal damnation into the legal system we may as well halt the search for Bin Laden on the premise that he'll 'get what's coming to him' when he keels over.

Not the point I was hoping to make. I'm a firm believer in justice being done. I believe that if someone is guilty, then they should be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Given that the guy is going to die a painfull death in the next few months, and that he has spent the last however many years in prison, I don't see the problem with some compassion being shown here.

And it's owed to their families not to show him being treated as a hero for his actions, and to see him punished for his actions.

I believe that the reaction on his arriving home was down to the fact that the people there have seen him as innocent and a scapegoat. I can understand why they would react to welcome him home, under those circumstances.

When it comes to a man who has killed 270 people and left scars on their families that still have not healed, I don't think there's a fine line between the two.

Perhaps, perhaps not. I believe in justice. I'm not so big on revenge.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2009, 05:36:04 PM »
Sorry I don't see how letting him out is justice.

Offline OneOfAKiind

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2009, 05:50:11 PM »
Given that the guy is going to die a painfull death in the next few months, and that he has spent the last however many years in prison, I don't see the problem with some compassion being shown here

I do. I see a big problem with showing this guy compassion. Did he show the people he killed compassion? He doesn't deserve compassion.

While the justice systems have flaws, i have faith in them, and I believe that punishments should be carried out the way they were given. I assume his punishment didn't say "life in prison, until he is about to die of cancer, and then he may be released." it's absurd.

Offline SuperHansTopic starter

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2009, 05:57:44 PM »
Quote
No, but in situations like that, especially when there has been a high body count, there is a lot of public pressure put on those in positions of authority to do something and to show that justice is done.

I wouldn't dream of condemning someone on the basis of 'no smoke without fire' but this is what it essentially boils down to in this case...Al Megrahi is not some innocent picked off the street, he is someway implicated in the bombings whichever conspiracy theory you prefer. Whether it was the Mafia, the CIA, J Edgar Hoover or the Russians who shot RFK, Sirhan Sirhan was still responsible because he actually fired the shot. It's the same for Al Megrahi. There's been countless attempts to establish him as a patsy for a more sinister power, but patsy or not he still had an active role in the deaths.

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I don't see the problem with some compassion being shown here

Compassion is fine. But while I hate quoting the Daily Mail, where's the compassion for the families of the victims?

Quote
I believe that the reaction on his arriving home was down to the fact that the people there have seen him as innocent and a scapegoat. I can understand why they would react to welcome him home, under those circumstances.

I have to beg to differ on this point. Don't forget, Libya was carpet bombed by the government of the victims of the attack just over twenty years ago. Gadaffi's regime is associated with fringe extremists all around the Middle East, and helped create the Janjaweed in Sudan. The people in Tripoli have been fed the same anti-Western indoctrination as their counterparts in Afghanistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia. I think they're celebrating what Al Megrahi did, personally.

Quote
Perhaps, perhaps not. I believe in justice. I'm not so big on revenge

While I admit I have angry thoughts on this issue that could cloud objective justice, the concept (whether you look at it legally, sociologically or morally) is all about rectifying that what has been done wrong and supporting the victims of injustice. The initial victims of this injustice are dead, and thus cannot be wronged further...but this crime has had a knock on effect. Lockerbie did not just destroy the immediate terror victims, it destroyed their families as well, and their pain is freshened after seeing this. I know our concepts on it differ, but that doesn't sound like justice to me.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2009, 01:14:35 PM »
That letter was well-written and it made its point beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

That said:

It always saddens me when I see people describe others as no longer human, less than human, a monster, etc. We have no right to determine who else is deserving of death, and many wars have been fought against people who somehow got it in their heads that they could limit the basic rights of others just because they are different. Because they are convenient. Because they deserve to be mistreated. The first step toward inhuman atrocities is dehumanizing your targets.

No one deserves to be mistreated. Not the victims, not their families, and certainly not this Libyan. Does he deserve to carry out the sentence he was given? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

However, he should be carrying out the system as a consequence of his actions, not for the sake of the families, and not for the comfort of prosecutors. Nothing will bring those people back, and nothing will erase the event from happening. Crucifying the man deemed responsible is an unnecessary step that leads ultimately to the protraction of grief, and is a detriment to the healing process. It is revenge that's being sought - and honestly, what more do people want than the death this man will get? Make no mistake, dying of prostate cancer is not glamorous, it's not painless. It's humiliating, marked by erectile dysfunction and incontinence. How many men would be happy if their penis didn't work and they had to wear a diaper? How much of a hero would you feel like? Would you even have time for feelings of superiority when your very bones are in agony? When your spine compresses and you can no longer walk upright?

Make no mistake, the man will suffer whether he deserves it or not. What we need to ask ourselves is why we're sinking to his level and saying things like this:

I do. I see a big problem with showing this guy compassion. Did he show the people he killed compassion? He doesn't deserve compassion.

... when we really should seek to be better than him in all ways.

Offline Serephino

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2009, 08:00:37 PM »
That's pretty much what I was trying to say.  I don't think anyone would disagree that what he did was horrible, but when you start calling revenge justice than you become no better than him.  He expressed how he felt by showing no compassion and killing others, and now the world wants to do the same to him.

You know what I think is unfair...  The news report I saw said it's believed that several people were involved, and yet he was the only one convicted.  So he could've played a small part as far as anyone really knows, but because people were crying out for blood he got landed with the entire burden.  Then people were happy and no one else was caught.  So now everyone is so angry because he hasn't suffered enough, while everyone else involved is free and going on with their lives. 

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2009, 09:39:46 PM »
Reading back on some of the responses herein I'm floored people so readily give this guy the benefit of the doubt and brush aside the fact he played a hand in blowing people out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland.


Some crimes are so vile, in my opinion you forfeit any shred of mercy or humanity. No, don't lecture me on morality and fairness. If a grown adult takes upon themselves to murder indiscriminately they deserve no accord at all.

So he had cancer, big freaking deal. So stand aside and let the monster suffer and die.

Boo freaking hoo.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2009, 09:47:30 PM »
The problem with that logic is that it's used to kill people via the death penalty.

But the very reason people commit such crimes is via the justification of killing people. They either deserve it, or they're dying for a greater good, or something. It all gets very Machiavellian... which is fine when everyone qualifies as 'the end'... not so fine when someone happens to fall under the category of 'the means'.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2009, 09:57:50 PM »
Who gave him prostate cancer? His jailers? I think not.

Releasing him on grounds of mercy is just nonsensical. No action was needed. He likely was going to develop prostate cancer in either event so its irrelevant in my opinion. With that in mind, it has nothing to do with capital punishment, his sentence was for life right?

Offline Trieste

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Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2009, 12:24:06 AM »
I think you're possibly misunderstanding me. I'm not saying he should have been released. I'm expressing disgust at the fact that he is being labeled less than human, a monster, etc. He should have served out his sentence because it's his sentence. Because there was not evidence to exonerate him. As punishment for his crime.

The line needs to be drawn at doing things for any other reason, such as 'for the families' or 'because he's an animal'.

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Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2009, 07:44:57 AM »
That letter was well-written and it made its point beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

That said:

It always saddens me when I see people describe others as no longer human, less than human, a monster, etc. We have no right to determine who else is deserving of death, and many wars have been fought against people who somehow got it in their heads that they could limit the basic rights of others just because they are different. Because they are convenient. Because they deserve to be mistreated. The first step toward inhuman atrocities is dehumanizing your targets.

No one deserves to be mistreated. Not the victims, not their families, and certainly not this Libyan. Does he deserve to carry out the sentence he was given? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

However, he should be carrying out the system as a consequence of his actions, not for the sake of the families, and not for the comfort of prosecutors. Nothing will bring those people back, and nothing will erase the event from happening. Crucifying the man deemed responsible is an unnecessary step that leads ultimately to the protraction of grief, and is a detriment to the healing process. It is revenge that's being sought - and honestly, what more do people want than the death this man will get? Make no mistake, dying of prostate cancer is not glamorous, it's not painless. It's humiliating, marked by erectile dysfunction and incontinence. How many men would be happy if their penis didn't work and they had to wear a diaper? How much of a hero would you feel like? Would you even have time for feelings of superiority when your very bones are in agony? When your spine compresses and you can no longer walk upright?

Make no mistake, the man will suffer whether he deserves it or not. What we need to ask ourselves is why we're sinking to his level and saying things like this:

... when we really should seek to be better than him in all ways.

Well said my dear

I think there are some serious issues in this case and some of the "conspiracy theories" and other little facts I have heard on TV make me wonder just how guilty this man is.

But regardless, the man is dying, he will die. Who cares where it happens?
So it makes it matter more to the families if he does it one place as opposed to another?

This isnt about justice because in truth, there could never BE justice for the families of those killed.

So yeah... me thinks there are far graver matters to worry over in our country than this man being released.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2009, 09:10:12 AM »
I think you're possibly misunderstanding me. I'm not saying he should have been released. I'm expressing disgust at the fact that he is being labeled less than human, a monster, etc. He should have served out his sentence because it's his sentence. Because there was not evidence to exonerate him. As punishment for his crime.

The line needs to be drawn at doing things for any other reason, such as 'for the families' or 'because he's an animal'.

Understood. While we may part other ways, neither of us believe his release was necessary on any grounds.

Offline Malina

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2009, 08:43:20 AM »
For all I know, revenge only does more harm. Hatred will ultimately destroy you from the inside. By reducing another being to less than human status for whatever reason, you are travelling down a very dangerous, a horrible road.

By denying an act of compassion or mercy to a dying man, what good can you achieve? For yourself, for any of his victims, for those he did not kill but made victims nonetheless?

If your concern is for the victims, do something for them. Don't invest your time and energy into hatred or revenge, but into doing good for the victims. For any victim you might know.

So much effort and money is invested into finding the guilty and dealing out what we perceive or define as justice by the law. Money is made, too, if possible, a lot. Books and books are published about the one who commits the crime, films are made. The details of the crime are unravelled, analysed, the parts that might sell are not left alone until they are entirely sucked dry. Everybody seems obsessed with the atrocities commited and the criminal, be it a rapist, child abuser, torturer, murderer, war criminal, terrorist... Where, in all this, is the victim's place? It is pretty easy to cry hatred and revenge against someone who committed a crime. But whom does it do any good?

Once the trial is over and the hype dies down, what becomes of the victims? Or of those indirect victims, relatives and friends, who will live with the crime committed against a loved one or even by a loved one? What is done for them? When it rips their lives and hearts and families apart, who is there to help them? What could they possibly gain from all the waves of hatred washing over the guilty one?

How can an act of compassion as this, a minimum of mercy shown to a dying human, feel so wrong to some? Dehumanising and vengeful hating, coming up with terrible ideas of what suffering should be dealt out against another being - it makes me sad and sick to the bone, no matter against whom it is directed. More, it makes me angry, if it is done in the name of victims.

After a crime was committed, you can never hope to get even. There is no such thing as and act of justice or a punishment that will level things out, make up for the damage. As you cannot undo it, you can never make up for it, you just cannot, ever. But you can help, you can ease suffering, you can be there, support, protect, encourage, make life seem worth living again, help to heal. Is not that a thousand times better? I should think so.

Offline consortium11

Re: Kenny McAskill vs the FBI
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2009, 04:07:22 PM »
Without wanting to agree or disagree, if we bring up a "think of the victims" type arguement it is worth noting that those crying hardest that Megrahi is inhuman etc etc are actually the victims relatives.