Lockerbie bomber likely to be freed

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Matt Black, Aug 20, 2009.

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  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    By the time most of the US BB members are awake, it is highly likely that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi will have been freed by the Scottish Executive 'on compassionate grounds' and en route back home to Libya courtesy of Ghaddafi's private jet. I have mixed but largely unhappy feelings about this, and here is my list of pros and cons or winners and losers as it were:

    1. Winner - al-Megrahi and his family, obviously
    2. Winner - Ghaddafi: he gets to crow about how their man has been released in time for the 40th anniversary celebrations of his 1969 coup on 1st September.
    3. Winner - relations between Libya and the West. This is the only real 'pro' I can see in the affair; Ghaddafi has been trying to play the Good Boy for about the last half dozen years or so and has done much to transform Libya from a pariah state to, if not a partner of the West, then at least a grudging co-operator. His goodwill towards the West will increase as a result of this which will hopefully mean that Libya's role as something of a bastion against Islamic terrorism will rise also. Plus there's all those oil concessions for Western companies...
    4. Winner - Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond: he gets to stick two fingers up to the USA very publicly.
    5. Loser - Hillary Clinton, and various prominent US legislators: see #4 above.
    6. Loser - US-Scottish relations: see #4 above.

    I've saved the most important to last:

    7. Loser - Justice: whilst al-Megrahi has always protested his innocence and there is something of a question mark over the safeness of this conviction plus the suspicion that he's Ghaddafi's fall guy for Lockerbie, the fact remains that he was properly convicted of 270 murders and, as such, he never showed compassion to any of his victims, so why the heck should the Scottish government now?

    8. Loser - the victims' families: whilst there are one or two (notably Jim Swire) who think he should be released, because of the doubts referred to in #7 above, the overwhelming majority think he should die in jail. His release would be a smack in the face for them.

    Of that list, only #3 comes anywhere close to being a reason for his release and to my mind is easily outweighed by #7 and #8.
     
  2. donnA

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    I am in agreement, the man should die in prison.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    His final punishment is yet to come.
     
  4. tinytim

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    Poor thing has prostate cancer!!! boo hoo...

    Justice is spit on....
    He should rot in prison...

    You cannot have Love for the innocent, if you overlook Justice for the guilty.
     
  5. donnA

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  6. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Hmmm....I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable with the way we're all (including me) reacting to this one. As Christians (and not merely citizens of two Western nations who were mightily injured by this outrage), what role should attributes such as grace, mercy and forgiveness have here...?

    [ETA - I'm asking myself this question as much as anyone else]
     
  7. donnA

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    does forgiveness wipe out all consequences, does it mean he no longer has to answer for his crimes, no, nowhere in scripture do we see this.
     
  8. Matt Black

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    What about the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:10)? She didn't have to answer for her crime. I'm not saying that this is the only principle under which a judicial system should operate (obviously, otherwise no-one would ever be imprisoned for anything), but it seems to have played a prominent role in the Scottish Justice Secretary's thinking:

    Full speech here
     
  9. Agnus_Dei

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    honestly, and I'd probably get booed off of here, but little is preached about grace, mercy or forgiveness in most protestant churches. So that's why you see the lack of attributes you speak of. Most don't know how to battle their passions (or even know what they are), thus pride is the rule of the day.

    The guy's a dead man, the Court showed mercy and compassion to the guy and by cutting him loose they let someone else deal with the financial burden and it's not like the guy was sitting behind bars...he was probably in and out of a hospital anyway. Next week this will be old news.

    In XC
    -
     
  10. donnA

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    well, we don't have to punish criminals at all do we, much less terrorists, we can hand down a legal judgement and terms of punishment, but we don't really have to give them any meaning, we can just let it go without punishment, who really cares about the people murdered by his terrorist activity, he should have consequences removed, becasue he's sick.
     
  11. Tom Bryant

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    Forgiveness is an individual forgiving another individual. And only the person who has had the wrong committed against her/him can do the forgiving.

    In my opinion, forgiveness is not something that is given by a government.

    As to the women taken in adultery, the case wasn't there because the man was not taken with them. The law said they were both to be stoned. The case wouldn't fly.
     
  12. Matt Black

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    A couple of further points to be made:

    1. There is a long tradition of early release on compassionate grounds on these shores, regardless of the heinousness of the crime, particularly in Scotland, which has a different legal system in any event than that of England and Wales, and is perhaps more informed by Presbyterian standards of grace and mercy (if you listen to the YOUtube speech of the Justice Secretary linked to in my last post, you'll see it's shot through with Christian references - "answering to a Higher Power" etc), so this case is not exceptional.

    2. The wider economic argument. The oil companies already have significant contracts with the Libyan government and this affair will only strengthen those. Now, it leaves a pretty poor taste in my mouth that the fat cats at the top of the oil giants will rake in $millions as a result of this Faustian bargain represented by Megrahi's release....BUT it will also mean better employment prospects for thousands of UK and US workers - and cheaper gas at the pumps, with all the knock-on effects for GDP growth and economic recovery. Yes, I would find it extremely hard to look a member of a victim's family in the eye after this, but I would also find it hard to look those thousands of workers in the eyes and say "Sorry, chums, but because I'm so high-minded that I don't believe this guy should be released you're going to have to stay on the dole. Of course, I have a job, so I don't mind". Lesser of two evils...? Not sure, but I'm not sure in the midst of a recession that we can afford the sort of morality we'd like....
     
  13. RAdam

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    "but I'm not sure in the midst of a recession that we can afford the sort of morality we'd like.... "

    Trading morality for money is a sad thing to see a Christian support. I wasn't aware that morality depended on financial circumstances. In fact, I'm quite sure it doesn't.
     
  14. Matt Black

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    Show me where I said I supported it. I said it was a consideration and it was 'a tough one'. And would you prefer your countrymen to stay on the dole and be unable to support their families? In what way is that Christian?
     
  15. RAdam

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    You have a strange view of Christianity and Christian values. No, I wouldn't want my countrymen to suffer, but I also don't believe making deals with wicked men is the wa to go. This man should stay in prison, not be released.
     
  16. Matt Black

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    I might say the same of you re those Christian values - where is mercy, compassion, grace, in all of this? Some of the views I've seen expressed here have little or nothing in common with Jesus' teachings; if we purport to follow Him, surely we should adopt His values?
     
  17. RAdam

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    And where do you see Jesus once teaching His disciples to skirt morality, much less to do so in favor of money?
     
  18. Matt Black

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    I see Jesus teaching about the need for forgiveness. I see Him teaching about grace. I see Him warning not to judge others lest we be judged. I see Him saying that we shouldn't pass by on the other side when we see our neighbour in need. I see Him condemning to Hell those who fail to feed the hungry, clothe the naked etc

    With which of these His teachings do you have a problem as a stated follower of Him?
     
  19. Johnv

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    We don't like it when other countries try to tell us what to do. The guy was tried in Scotland, and convicted in Scotland. It's their call if they wanted to release him. We might disagree with it (I certainly do), but we need to respect Scotland's right to do so.
     
  20. Tom Bryant

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    Wow, did you go to law school to come up with a "Have you quit beating your wife ?" question? :rolleyes:

    So do you have a problem with the court system? Do you believe that there are no rights for a country or locality to enforce the laws? Do you think we shuld just forgive the men who do wrong?

    As I stated earlier, forgiveness is for the individual, not for a country. Paul states that the gov't has the right to use the sword (Rom 13). The Lord Jesus stated that Pilate had no power except what had been given to him.

    And, one more thing, where does Jesus send people to hell for not feeding the poor? Amazing... I always thought that we went to heaven through faith in Jesus apart from works... silly me for believing the Bible.
     
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