Monday, February 04, 2013

Is Iran Responsible for Lockerbie?

An interesting article in the NYTimes magazine hints that novelist Gerard de Villiers, a man with extensive spy contacts, thinks that Iran -- and not Libya -- may have been directly responsible for the Lockerbie attack that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 killing all 243 passengers and 18 crew members:

"I asked de Villiers about his next novel, and his eyes lighted up. “It goes back to an old story,” he said. “Lockerbie.” The book is based on the premise that it was Iran — not Libya — that carried out the notorious 1988 airliner bombing. The Iranians went to great lengths to persuade Muammar el-Qaddafi to take the fall for the attack, which was carried out in revenge for the downing of an Iranian passenger plane by American missiles six months earlier, de Villiers said. This has long been an unverified conspiracy theory, but when I returned to the United States, I learned that de Villiers was onto something. I spoke to a former C.I.A. operative who told me that “the best intelligence” on the Lockerbie bombing points to an Iranian role. It is a subject of intense controversy at the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., he said, in part because the evidence against Iran is classified and cannot be used in court, but many at the agency believe Iran directed the bombing.

Persia, one cannot fail to note, is where chess began. But why would Quaddafi do such a thing? Take the blame -- for years -- for something he did not do? Reputation among the evil forces in the world? It boggles the imagination (then again, he was quite mad). The payouts alone were astonishing. And the fallout led, indirectly, to his liberalization with the West and the destabilization of his rule which collapsed in the Arab Spring. Is this another case of Persian gamesmanship?

Is this why the neocons -- many, in the Senate, are on the intelligence committee -- are so intense about Iran? If this is the case -- and it may not be -- imagine how the Lockerbie families will rally to pressure the Obama administration to get even tougher on Iran ... and how we will be even more hard pressed by the neocons to not agree to diplomacy with the Persians. And what effect will this have on the confirmation hearings of hagel, who is pro-diplomacy on Iran?

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