I normally comment on issues relating to immigration and national security.
The disturbing news article I have attached below appears in today’s edition of the Washington Post and, while this article has nothing to do with immigration, it most certainly does involve national security and reports on a decision by a Scottish judge that has infuriated me.
As you will see in the article, the judge decided to release Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence agent who was the sole individual found to have been guilty of his role in planting a bomb on an airliner owned and operated by an American company, Pan American Airways, in 1988. The flight, Pan Am 103 had a total of 259 passengers and crew members on board when the bomb went off, shattering the mammoth Boeing 747 and sending its wreckage hurtling towards the ground over Lockerbie, Scotland killing all on board plus an additional 11 victims on the ground.
In a manner of speaking, all of the victims of the bombing were sentenced to death by the actions of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi.
They were sentenced to death because they decided to fly to the United States on an airliner owned by an American company.
They had no opportunity to file an appeal on their 270 death sentences.
The 270 victims were not given any consideration, whatsoever.
The man who bore responsibility for their unforgivable slaughter is now heading back to his home country, Libya because of “humanitarian” considerations!
What “humanitarian considerations” did he give to his victims?
When a criminal is sentenced to “life in prison” it must be presumed that the prisoner will, at some unknown point in the future die in prison. His ultimate cause of death may be cancer, a heart attack, a stroke or some other illness that ultimately proves fatal. The point is that the concept of “life in prison” is supposed to mean precisely that, as long as the miscreant continues to breathe, he will do so in a cage we call a prison cell.
To release such a vile and pernicious thug because he is dying is an utter and complete outrage! The point could be made that every human being who is walking the face of our planet right now is suffering from a terminal disease. It is the aging process that, as some unknown point in the future will conspire with biology or circumstances to end each and every living creature’s lives. Should this mean that we should no longer imprison anyone who would commit a heinous crime or crimes?
Perhaps the sentence al-Megrahi received should not have been referred to as “Life in Prison” but should have been more accurately referred to as “Health in Prison” he would remain incarcerated as long as he was healthy. Now that he is no longer healthy he is being released!
Certainly it would be difficult, but tragically not impossible, to find an individual who committed a more vile crime than did the terrorist who is about to head home for Libya.
Yet the Scottish judge apparently believes that compassion is appropriate for a man who demonstrated absolutely no compassion for 270 human beings whose identities were not even known to him.
He not only slaughtered those 270 men, women and children but he dehumanized them as a way of making a statement at the expense of their precious and irreplaceable lives.
If you add up all of the years that all of these victims should have been expected to live, I suspect that he deprived these people thousands of human life years in the aggregate.
He deprived their loved ones, their family members, their friends and their colleagues the unique relationships each and every one of these people had with all of those other people for whom these victims were an integral part of their lives.
The bombing of Pan Am 103 was not an accident but a brutal act of mass murder and yesterday Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill made the decision to show al-Megrahi mercy although he himself showed no mercy to those he killed or to those whose lives will be forever diminished by this outrageous crime. There is little solace to be had by the family members, friends or colleagues of the victims of a crime in imprisoning the murderer. But at least such punishment is seen as an effort, meager as it might be, to balance the scales of justice.
Where is the justice? al-Magahi’s release makes a mockery of the concept of justice.
Time and again we have seen where terrorists have found in our kindness, weakness and have gone on to exploit that weakness.
There are times when kindness and mercy are not appropriate.
In my humble opinion, this is one of those times.