“Evidence that could have helped the controversial Lockerbie bombing prosecutions was withheld from trial, The Sun Online can reveal. Document provides further evidence the plot was carried out by Libya and that the bomb was placed on the jet in Malta.”
The SUN Online — 8 February 2017
A report published on the website of ‘The Sun’ claims to have discovered an important CIA ‘Internal Memo’ detailing the role of Libyan agents in the Lockerbie bombing. This is simply Fake News. This is pretty sad for this document could be the subject of several worthy stories. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
The 2007 CIA document was approved for release on July 29 2014. This document is well-known to the Lockerbie experts and was mentioned for instance on the PT35B blog in April 2015. Full Stop.
Wikipedia just ruled out the ‘Daily Mail’ as a reference citing ‘reputation for poor fact checking and sensationalism’. Perhaps, the Online encyclopaedia editors will add the ‘SUN Online’ to the list of banned references?
I shall take this opportunity to suggest several real stories about this CIA Memo that are worthy of serious investigative journalism.
The Story behind the CIA Memo
Why was this Memo declassified? Former CIA Jeffrey Scudder was working on the agency’s historical files. Scudder thought that some of these files should be shared with the public. Scudder submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act. Four years later, the CIA released some of those articles on its official website.
Meanwhile, Scudder was placed on administrative leave, instructed not to travel overseas, questioned by the FBI, and eventually forced out of the Agency. Not worth a documentary?
A Clear but Puzzling Statement about PT/35(b)
PT/35(b) is a small fragment of a circuit timer that was allegedly found among the debris of Pan Am 103 near the town of Lockerbie.
PT/35(b) was the key piece of evidence of the Lockerbie Case. As Richard Marquise (FBI Agent who led the US side of the investigation) himself said: “Without PT/35(b), there would have been no indictment.”
The Memo states the following.
The sequence of events that really changed the focus to the Libyans occurred in the fall of 1989. Months after the plane went down, the Scots discovered a piece of a circuit board from the timer [PT/35(b)] that came from the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103. A shredded shirt containing the fragment was found by a Scotsman walking his dog after the formal recovery effort had ended. […] This farmer saw this fabric, looked at it, knew, of course, the plane had crashed… and brought it to the attention of the Scottish police. The shirt had been destroyed . However, … the label in the back of the collar had a tag that linked it to Mary’s House…
This statement clearly disagrees with the timeline reported by the UK investigators. Then again, the FBI and the BKA (BUNDESKRIMINALAMT) have reported two other dates for the discovery of the central evidence in this case!
Many academics, researchers and journalists believe that PT/35(b) was planted to frame Libya. [There is an on-going investigation in the UK regarding — among other things — this central piece of evidence: Operation SANDWOOD.]
In fact, there are some reasons to believe that PT/35(b) may have been fabricated AFTER the Lockerbie tragedy. Not worth an investigation?
The continuous secrecy about the ‘Senegal Chapter’ of the PA103 Investigation
This fragment — PT/35(b) — was eventually matched to a timer (MST-13) discovered among the weapons and material seized from rebels after an attempted coup in Togo on 23rd September 1986.
In February 1988, the CIA became aware of another MST-13 Timer that was found in a luggage “belonging” to a Libyan citizen travelling to Dakar, Senegal.
It is amazing to notice that most of that sub-story is almost entirely redacted in the Memo.
Recently, I wrote a short letter to former Senegal President Abu Diouf asking him if he would be willing to give me additional information regarding what he wrote in his biography about the arrest of the two Libyans at Dakar airport in February 1988.
President Diouf kindly replied to the letter but explains that he has withdrawn from public life and that he considers that he has been very clear about this event in his book.
The book makes it clear that the affair was a sting operation conducted by the government in close collaboration with French Intel Agencies and at least the knowledge of the CIA.
[I believe that a careful reading of the CIA cables, the precognitions of CIA Steiner, the interview of Collin in France and the Report from the SCCRC can only lead a reasonable person to the conclusion that Jean Collin (A close aide to President Diouf) was indeed a source for the CIA. Specifically, I believe that Collin is the source referred to as “S/2” in the CIA cables.]
By the way, the man used to lure the Libyans to Dakar is Ahmed Khalifa Niasse who has become one of the richest and most influential person in Senegal. Not worth an interview?
The CIA KNEW that the Star Witness was Lying
Michael Scharf is an international law expert at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Scharf joined the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence in April 1989. He was also responsible for drawing up the UN Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on Libya in 1992.
“It was a trial where everybody agreed ahead of time that they were just going to focus on these two guys, and they were the fall guys,” Sharf wrote.
“The CIA and the FBI kept the State Department in the dark. It worked for them for us to be fully committed to the theory that Libya was responsible. I helped the counter-terrorism bureau draft documents that described why we thought Libya was responsible, but these were not based on seeing a lot of evidence, but rather on representations from the CIA and FBI and the Department of Justice about what the case would prove and did prove.”
“It was largely based on this inside guy [Libyan defector Abdul Majid Giaka]. It wasn’t until the trial that I learned this guy was a nut-job and that the CIA had absolutely no confidence in him and that they knew he was a liar.”
Our Man in Malta
There is quite a bit more in this Memo that I wish serious journalists would investigate. But I hope I made my point.
For those who are sceptical about the Lockerbie affair and the fact that the CIA knew that their super-witness Giaka was a fraud, I offer this comment from former CIA officer Robert Baer who has been following very closely this case for three decades.
“I asked our men in Malta what the fuck was going on. And they said, look, we took one for the team, by making up this stuff about Libya. That was their exact words, we took one for the team. Meaning they knew Giaka was a fraud, a swindler”.
CIA Role in the Pan Am 103 Investigation and Trial — CIA Website
CIA employee’s quest to release information ‘destroyed my entire career’ — WP July 2014