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.