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Why you cant trust the Brits...

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CAG Hotshot

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Post subject: Why you cant trust the Brits... Reply with quote
Prime example of why you cant trust the Brits...

Lockerbie Bomber: Medical Prognosis Questioned; U.K.-U.S. Tensions Flare

LONDON -- It is almost exactly one year to the day that convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison on the grounds that he had only three months to live. But as new information casts doubt on that medical assessment, transatlantic tensions over this politically charged case have flared.

The bomber's release was already a source of strain between the U.S. and the U.K. when British Prime Minister David Cameron visited President Obama in Washington last month. At that time, the main question on the table was whether London-based oil giant BP had unduly influenced the British government's decision to release al-Megrahi on humanitarian grounds in exchange for a favorable oil deal with Libya. Four U.S. senators went so far as to schedule a hearing on the matter, which was postponed when key witnesses from the British and Scottish governments declined to participate.

In the last few days, however, new information has surfaced that casts further doubt on the accuracy of the three-month diagnosis. For starters, the prison doctor who played a key role in approving al-Megrahi's release -- and who, until recently, was only identified by the Scottish government as an unnamed "primary care physician" -- turns out to be a general practitioner with no expertise in cancer. Dr. Peter Kay was a key contributor to medical evidence supplied to Dr. Andrew Fraser, the director of Health and Care of the Scottish Prison Service, who drew up the report upon which al-Megrahi's release was based.

To make matters worse, it has come to light that in writing his medical assessment for Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, Dr. Fraser failed to consult with the four British cancer specialists most closely involved in the treatment of al-Megrahi. "I was surprised when I heard he was being released because I wasn't really asked for my opinion," Zak Latif, al- Megrahi's urologist in Scotland, was quoted as saying in the Sunday Times. "It's a bit odd."

It's been known for some time that the Libyan government paid three doctors to separately examine al-Megrahi and offer their opinions on his life expectancy. Two of them -- Karol Sikora, a leading British cancer expert, and Ibrahim Sharif, a Libyan oncologist -- agreed that al-Megrahi's death was "likely" within three months. The third, Jonathan Waxman, conceded that al-Megrahi did not have long to live. The Scottish government has denied that the expert evidence from these three doctors influenced its decision. But their evidence was apparently shared with Dr. Fraser before he submitted his final report.

On Sunday, Sikora went public about the case for the first time in an interview with The Observer. He expressed regret over the way his evidence was presented and disappointment that his opinion came to be interpreted as fact. "What I find difficult is the idea I took the key and let him out. I provided an opinion, others provided an opinion, and someone else let him out," Sikora explained. "That decision of compassionate release is nothing to do with me. No one asked me, 'Should we let him out?' All they said was, 'When do you think he will die?' "

The evidence and speculation that went into formulating al-Megrahi's three-month prognosis is crucial. Under Scottish legal rules, prisoners can be freed on compassionate grounds only if they are considered to have this amount of time to live or less.

This latest round of revelations have led to fresh calls from Scottish opposition politicians as well as family members of crash victims for al-Megrahi's full medical records to be released. Last week, the four U.S. senators investigating the alleged BP-Lockerbie link also requested that the Scottish government release the full medical records surrounding al-Megrahi's release -- including all doctor's notes. Their request was declined.

In an unprecedented move, these same senators are now appealing to "concerned citizens" within the Scottish and British governments to blow the whistle on any suspicious behavior surrounding this case, including Megrahi's medical condition and negotiations between BP and the Libyan government. This direct plea to civil servants in a foreign country -- bypassing national governments -- is way outside the norm in contemporary international relations.

The case is enormously sensitive on both sides of the Atlantic. In the United States, where the vast majority of the victims of the 1988 bombing lived, Megrahi's release remains an open wound so long as the convicted terrorist lives. Unconfirmed reports that al-Megrahi has recently undertaken a new round of chemotherapy despite his family's public proclamations to the contrary will only serve to further enflame this resentment. So will reports that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has ordered prayers to mark Friday's anniversary of the decision to free al-Megrahi.

In Scotland, meanwhile -- despite growing pressure from Labour Party politicians and victims' families to re-open this case -- American political pressure has been perceived as inappropriate, if not a full-scale violation of the nation's sovereignty.

Last week, the leader of Scotland's Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, contrasted the "merciful" decision of the Scottish government to release al-Megrahi with the culture of "vengeance and retribution" permeating the U.S. justice system. Writing in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, he also said that Scottish ministers were right to decline the request to provide evidence to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "We shouldn't be crawling out to America, or having them come here and questioning us on our own territory."
The hearings are currently scheduled for September. The past week's events give every indication that they will be explosive on both sides of the Atlantic.

"We shouldn't be crawling out to America, or having them come here and questioning us on our own territory."

Yet the very same Brits expect us to sover their weak pathetic asses around the world. They retired their Sea Harriers and now have no aicraft to defend the fleet with, as the "replacement" GR Harriers can only carry sidewinder and not AMRAAM. They plan to cut their nuclear aersenal, prehaps entirely, and expect the US to defend them against the threat of nuclear attack...

The Brits are an embarassment, second only to the French!
CAG Hotshot
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PostMon Aug 16 21:25:35 2010
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