A good editorial that reflects the different perspectives in the USA and UK. This came up in the comments on my earlier post. h/t TitusOneNine for the link.
Wright provides some helpful insights, but I still don't hear any answers to my earlier concerns:
1) Clemency/mercy was already granted - it is built into a UK system that does not impose a death penalty. IOW, Scotland already said, “Yes, you murdered our citizens, but our system will not kill you in retaliation.”
2) Compassion for his terminal condition could have been offered by bringing loved ones to him in some sort of secured hospice set up. There was no compelling need to release him and set up the obscenity of a hero’s welcome in Libya.
3) Still no calling the act what it was: a “crime against humanity.” The bombing of non-combatants, of multiple nationalities on an international flight is not a somewhat-more-serious-crime than shoplifiting. It is the sort of thing for which Nazis and Japanese officials were hanged after WWII.
Wright brings up the UK opinion that al Megrahi was a "fall guy." If so, the release was not "clemency" or anything noble at all - it was a cowardly face saving maneuver exploiting moral language.
The Bishop also opens the question of "Was this a deal to get Libyan oil?" If so, the depravity of the whole escapade becomes hellishly deep.
I still see the release as a massive moral failure, whether as an unnecessary and unintended consequence laden effort at compassion, a political face saving gesture, or a craven oil deal. And the "You just don't get our culture" argument doesn't change my thinking.