Last updated on January 4th, 2011
Who? Who Are Megrahi and Calley
Megrahi is a Libyan, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering 270 people by blowing up a 747 over Lockerbie in Scotland – but released early after 8 years (but 10 years in prison) and sent to Libya to die of cancer.
Calley is an American, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on 22 sample charges of murdering over 500 people by shooting, beatings, torture, mutilation and sexual abuse in Vietnam – but released early after 3 years and has so far lived quietly for over 35 years.
Further similarities and differences exist.
- Megrahi has always said he was innocent and was convicted on one piece of clothing evidence and the say-so of a disgruntled acquaintance in Malta.
- It’s been suggested that people at the highest level in Libya organised the plane bombing. Gadhafi has always remained aloof, grunted and ambiguously farted.
- The evidence could have easily have been tampered with as it remained for many months in disputed, easily corruptible circumstances.
- Lt Calley admitted the murders but always claimed he was acting under orders. This higher command, Ernest Medina, has always disputed this. Medina too, was tried. His trial lasted 60 mins and he was acquitted of all charges. Nevertheless, this ‘innocent’ man’s career was over.
When Calley was released by the soon-to-be-disgraced Republican President Nixon, many in the US and elsewhere were outraged and shocked. Calley was hidden from view and eventually forgotten about, except for his recent admission that he’s ‘sorry every day’ – see news link.
Along with a whole charade of political shenanigans including the notable damning silence from prime Minister Brown, Megrahi has been released to Libyan custody who immediately paraded him as a Terry Waite-like hero. The custody thing is a blur. He will die soon. Megrahi’s public statement on his release bears detailed reading. If he is telling the truth, his words are those of a patient, honourable man, restraining himself against the unjust forces of the world.
- He bears no ill-will to the Scottish people, medical and prison staff.
- For the victims’ relatives of the bombing, he expresses sincere sympathy.
- For his trial, he expresses disillusionment at the failings of a supposedly fair system. I’ve studied his face in Amsterdam and elsewhere. This is genuine.
- Now these are his actual words:
I cannot find words in my language or yours that give proper expression to the desolation I have felt. This horrible ordeal is not ended by my return to Libya.
It may never end for me until I die. Perhaps the only liberation for me will be death.
And I say in the clearest possible terms, which I hope every person in every land will hear: all of this I have had to endure for something that I did not do.
The remaining days of my life are being lived under the shadow of the wrongness of my conviction.
He finishes by saying,
I say goodbye to Scotland and shall not return. My time here has been very unhappy and I do not leave a piece of myself. But to the country’s people I offer my gratitude and best wishes.
These are not the words of a lying man. He is a disillusioned patsy, a fall-guy for bigger forces. This is the likely reason for his release. It’s as if there’s an un-written code that everyone knows but dare not admit – but it must be enacted to equalise the communal guilt of an informed nation that suspects a gross injustice.
Gadhafi, on the other hand, is laughing up his sleeve. And the rabid right in the USA just use his release as fuel for their strident cries for battle. The real power in the USA just sit tight, saving that fuel for another day, when another mass of innocents are mown down for profit in the hills of Pakistan.
Calley, exams failure of the US schools system, is right to think on his actions every day, and to think how truly lucky he is to be alive. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, ha ha.