Monday, July 26, 2010
Obama won't release letter revealing administration backed freeing of Lockerbie bomber
Obama is under growing pressure to release a letter that reveals the US grudgingly supported freeing the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds.
The letter was sent to Scottish ministers by a senior diplomat at the US embassy in London last August, eight days before Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released from prison because he was dying from inoperable prostate cancer.
Obama's administration has refused to allow publication of the letter, in which the US says allowing Megrahi to live at home in Scotland would be "far preferable" to sending him back to Libya under the prisoner transfer deal brokered by former prime minister Tony Blair in 2007.
Although Megrahi was allowed to go home to die in Tripoli, Scottish officials believe this undermines Obama's vigorous criticisms of the decision to free Megrahi earlier this month, when he said he was left "surprised, disappointed and angry" by the Libyan's release. David Cameron said he and Obama were in "violent agreement" that freeing Megrahi was a bad decision.
According to our Washington sources, the US president switched course after hearing Saudi King Abdullah assert explicitly: "We cannot live with a nuclear Iran."