Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton says if Libyan rebels want to show “gratitude” to the United States for helping to oust tyrant Moammar Gadhafi they should extradite the man accused of masterminding the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Bolton also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Monday he believes the State Department was “complicit” in Abdel Baset al-Megrahi’s release from Scottish imprisonment.
“I have no doubt Gadhafi himself gave the order to blow up Pan Am 103,” Bolton said. “And while we’re at it, why don’t we ask them to send us Gadhafi, if they can find him somewhere, so we can try him first. So if, in fact, the rebels want a complete break with the Gadhafi era, what better way to show that than to turn Megrahi over to us.
“If they want to demonstrate a little gratitude to the United States for having overthrown Gadhafi, this would be a good way to do it, and to show they’ve renounced what the practices of that regime were,” he said. “This thing is outrageous from start to finish — the Scots didn’t have the discretion to do what they did — and I think our State Department really dropped the ball.”
Van Susteren asked Bolton whether the State Department just “dropped the ball” or was it “complicit” in the Scottish release on humanitarian grounds of Megrahi, whose actions let to the deaths of 270 people, many of them Americans.
“I think they were complicit — I’ll go that far — I think if they had jumped up and down and said: ‘Under no circumstances do we agree to this,’ I think the British government would have had to think twice,” Bolton said. “Which is important for the point — the Scots pretend that they had discretion to do this — they did not.
“The only reason Megrahi was tried under Scottish law was a three-way agreement between Washington, London, and the Scottish judicial authorities to try him that way,” he said. “And it was expressly put out by the U.S. government in the Clinton administration, Megrahi would remain in a Scottish jail, period, close quote — it’s a disgrace — inexcusable.”
Bolton, who has hinted at a posssible 2012 presidential run, noted Megrahi’s release was all about the British government trying to get a better foothold in Libya, which would facilitate BP access to Libyan oil.
“Well, it had to do with British Petroleum and their desire to get commercial concessions,” Bolton said. “The British have wanted to get into Libya for a long time — they’ve negotiated with Gadhafi.
“I think the Congress ought to stay on this — I don’t think we ought to let this go — I think what we have done to give the rebels control of Libya justifies us pursuing this,” he said.
On Sunday, CNN reported that Megrahi’s family said he was comatose and near death.
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