On its way to New York’s JFK, shortly after leaving London’s Heathrow Airport, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown apart as it flew over Lockerbie Scotland. The falling, flame engulfed wreckage of the Boeing 747 fell down on and crashed into the tiny Hamlet killing 11 of its residents. All 243 passengers that were on the plane and its 16 crew members were killed immediately.
With 270 people dead, investigators began to piece the plane together as well as the puzzle of how this happened.
Years of discovery disclosed that what brought the plane down was a wireless transmissions that triggered explosive plastics packed in luggage within a cargo hold of the plane.
In time the makers of the bomb and conspirators behind the plot were discovered but in In 2001, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a Libyan, was the only person actually captured and convicted for his involvement in the bombing. He received a life imprisonment sentenced for his actions and a certain degree of closure was achieved.
But yesterday, 8 years later, Al Megrahi was diagnosed with terminal prostrate cancer. For most such a diagnosis means death. But thanks to the Scottish judiciary and its representative in this case, Secretary Kenny MacAskill, for this terrorist, terminal prostrate cancer meant freedom.
In a powerful statement MacAskill stated that while the courts must dole out justice they must also demonstrate compassion and they believe that the fatal cancer that Al Megrahi has warrants their compassion.
I suggest that the families of those 270 who were killed by Al Megrahi’s actions deserved some compassion. I believe that the 270 who were killed could have used a little compassion. I also believe that justice has a role in securing the safety of all those who were fortunate to be spared an untimely death at the hands of terrorists.
Call me heartless if you wish but I am glad that fate dealt Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi prostate cancer. He deserves it. In this case, fate provided a deserving man with a debilitating disease that could provide him with the pain and suffering that a civil society has no right to apply themselves. Furthermore, I believe the legal authorities had no proper justification for altering the sentence that this terrorist deserved simply because he has become ill.
Prostrate cancer does not exonerate one of murder and it should not be a get out of jail free card.
Having been freed, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi received a heroes welcome upon his return to his Libyan homeland. Many fellow countrymen cheered his triumphant return home.
Freeing Megrahi was not compassionate. It was stupid. What is to prevent this man from repeating his dastardly deeds before his well deserved cancer renders him to weak?
Yesterday, by freeing Megrahi, justice was denied and society as whole was victimized.
We have the Scottish judicial system to thank for it because while they sought to be compassionate to one murderous terrorist they allowed themselves to be callous to the safety and security of everyone else.
Call me heartless if you want but I can only hope that, now free, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi’s cancer progresses so fast that he dies quickly because now that he is free, his death is the only way to keep us safe from him.