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|The report suggests that three ostensibly unconnected flight sabotages may in fact be connected. The main focus is the Pan American Airlines Flight 103, downed over Lockerbie in December 1988. It suggested that the CIA facilitated the Lockerbie atrocity by Iranian operatives as a quid-pro-quo for the downing of the Iranian airliner some 5 months earlier.|
Subjects: Pan Am Flight 103, Iran Air Flight 655, UTA Flight 772
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A Tale of Three Atrocities
On 21 December 2009, the 21st anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing, with help from journalist/broadcaster John Coates, Charles Norrie published the results of his research into Iran Air Flight 655, Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772 in glossy booklet entitled "A tale of three atrocities" (ATOTA).
Four months earlier, in August 2009, Charles Norrie published a 126-page online report entitled "A tale of three atrocities, version 7.0".
- Abstract (1)
- A personal message (3)
- Megrahi: An innocent incarcerated (5)
- Introduction (5)
- Limited evidence (7)
- The timer chip (7)
- The Giaka story (8)
- Loading the plane (8)
- Who did Lockerbie? (9)
- Introduction (9)
- Why Iran wanted to down a plane (9)
- Why the US had to help (10)
- How the plot was formed (10)
- The Swiss agreement (11)
- Where and when (11)
- How Iran and the CIA caused Lockerbie (12)
- The Helsinki Warning (12)
- The blame (13)
- Deadly cargo to London (13)
- The Heathrow break-in (13)
- The first explosion (17)
- The second explosion (18)
- The investigation and framing Megrahi (21)
- The Toshiba manua (21)
- Suitcase? - suitcases!(21)
- Planting the circuit board (23)
- Media manipulation (23)
- Arranging some trial witnesses (24)
- What next? (25)
- Cast of characters (26)
Key arguments of the report:
- Lockerbie was carried out jointly by Iran and the CIA, as agreed revenge for the downing of an Iranian plane by the US Navy;
- All evidence against Abdelbaset al-Megrahi can be disproved and discounted;
- There was not one but two explosions on the plane, one carried out by Iran and one by the CIA;
- The CIA interfered with the scene of the crime directly after the attack, to the horror of Scottish investigators; and,
- The CIA were allowed to doctor and manipulate forensic evidence and interfere with the evidence stream in order to obtain their politically-desired outcome: a [Libya]]n attribution.
The report will have legal ramifications for those that the author accuses of being involved. It also calls for Mr Megrahi's attempts to prove his innocence to be allowed to continue. Mr Norrie comments:
- "Unlike the atrocity which killed my brother, Lockerbie has been wrongly attributed to Libya. Libya killed my brother - but they absolutely did not do Lockerbie. The extent to which the CIA have covered up their involvement in Lockerbie is extraordinary and complex, and I am excited, and indeed relieved, to be able to release my findings, now."
Charles Norrie found that a number of intriguing issues had been overlooked or unobserved:
- Can I first take you through my telegraphic and abbreviated history, of that atrocity which we have come to call Lockerbie?
- My first knowledge of Lockerbie and UTA Flight 772:
- 21 December 1988: I become aware of Lockerbie on Spanish television, for I am on holiday, touring. I learn an aircraft has crashed there with all lives and some on the ground, lost. In the past I had often passed through the little town – not a village.
- January 1989 to 19 September 1989: I don't follow Lockerbie much, as I have no connection with it, but I am aware that it has become Scotland's major terrorist investigation.
- 19 September 1989: my brother is killed on UT-772 and my life it completely transformed. Nothing is ever quite the same again. Nothing has been.
- 20 September 1989: Jim Swire invites UK relatives of UT-772 to contact him. I take up his invitation.
- November 1989: Still in the early days of UTA Flight 772, I make a trip to Lockerbie to meet the UKFF103 families, who have gathered there.
Juge Bruguière's conclusions
- 20 September 1990: The UTA families (technically the partie civile) are told by Jean-Louis Bruguière, the examining magistrate (investigator) into UT-772 that Congolese and Libyan elements are being sought over the atrocity.
- 21 September 1991: The Juge accuses 4 Libyan government officials of the destruction of UT-772 by a bomb. It is a timer bomb carried on board the aircraft by a Congolese mule who died unknowing of the contents of his baggage, technically different from what is known about the Pan Am Flight 103 device. I phone Jim Swire from a telephone box in Paris immediately after the announcement, and he says the suspects for UTA "are not on his radar for Pan Am 103.
I take that to mean that Libya will not be implicated in Pan Am 103.
- October 1991: The Juge brings formal charges against the four Libyans.
- November 1991: Charges are brought against 2 Libyans over Lockerbie. To say that these charges came as a shock to Jim (and even to me) is an understatement.
- 1991-1998: The Lockerbie case largely goes to sleep
Developments in three cases
- early 1990s: France, the UK and US work together and bring in UN sanctions against Libya. I am told by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that this is the only official co-operation between the three countries over the two atrocities UT-772 and Pan Am 103.
- 1996: The French Juge adds two more names to this charge sheet over UT-772, closes his file and passes it to the Parquet of the Paris court of Grand Instance (Paris County Court Prosecutor).
- 1996: In a settlement with the Iranians the US pays Iran about $65million for the 290 lives lost on IR-655.
- 1997-9: The Libyans refuse to release 6 of their citizens for a trial in France and the French proceed with a trial in contumacy (in absentia), a process permitted by French law. In a three-day trial before a bench of about 15 judges the prosecution presents the equivalent of what would be the opening prosecution speech in an English court. Partie civile lawyers representing the relatives of the deceased passengers and crew and the airline company make their submissions. The six Libyans are sentenced to life imprisonment.
- 1999: The Libyans are forced by the threat of ever-increasing Western and UN sanctions to send the Lockerbie 2 for trial in a novel court, outside Scotland but using Scottish law and without a jury before a bench of three judges.
- 1999/2000: Just before the Lockerbie trial begins the defence produce their take on what will be the Crown's evidence, in a programme on UK TV station Channel 4, and it seems as pathetically thin as it had been when the charges were brought, nearly a decade earlier.
- 2000: The trial lasts nearly a year, and the Libyan two do not give evidence in their own defence, relying on a defence of incrimination. One of them is convicted (Megrahi), the other acquitted (Fhimah).
Many onlookers and observers think the evidence weak and conflicting. The forensic evidence seems thin and problematic.
I have been involved in researching Lockerbie for over 20 years. My solution has developed over those years and now is a comprehensive take on many aspects of the atrocity, some of which are frequently ignored or overlooked, but are necessarily in the public record.
Indeed almost all of the facts I use are in the public record. Some, though frequently overlooked, are highly significant.
Thus, I think it very important that the Iranian foreign minister said, possibly as an aside, at a conference in Beirut, Lebanon, three days before the Lockerbie atrocity that the downing of the Iranian Airbus, IR-655, was shortly to be avenged.
I have also permitted myself, in contradistinction to almost every other commentator to interpolate the gaps in the evidence.
For example, Mr McKee's suitcase was quickly found on those winter Lockerbie hills, recovered, taken to the interim investigation HQ, and then returned by Scottish detectives to the location it had been found. How had it been found, and why? I put forward a reasoned and reasonable account of how it came to be found, which, nevertheless because it has not been confirmed by the CIA, who caused it to be found, is treated as mere speculation and a conspiracy theory in its own right.
The key issues I have come to a reasoned explanation of are:
- The reason for the meetings between US and Iranian negotiators in Switzerland from August to November 1988
- The Toshiba warnings
- The Helsinki warning
- The Terminal 3 Heathrow break in of 20 December 1988, just before midnight
- The reason why the account of the destruction of Pan Am 103 in the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report is so unsatisfactory, misleading, but not factually inaccurate
- The matter of Mr McKee's suitcase
- The date and location of the fraudulent intervention with the MEBO chip evidence
- The impossibility of the Toshiba chip evidence
- The misinterpretation of the Horton Toshiba manual finding
- The reasonable interpretation of Mr Paul Channon's statement, a question prompted by the UK Pan Am 103 relatives
- The real reason why Mr Fhimah apparently wrote the word "taggs" (note spelling) in his Arabic diary
- The proper understanding of the story of Mr Behbahani, an Iranian national, partially recounted by Mr Marquise and also by Mr Baer's television team
- An overall explanation about what the destruction of Pan Am 103 is about.
I ask anyone who decides to read this material, to undertake to read it as a whole and then settle back and formulate a measured response and not take single issues at random, saying "this is impossible", or "I don't believe that".
I think I have thought about many of the reservations that you may have on my theory (I think I have probably spent more hours than you considering it) – and it is not an issue of this essay to say whether I have been wasting my life or not. I have chosen to use it this way.
Thus I shall tend to disregard arguments that do not take a wholesale account of my views, rather than sniping.
One memorable encounter I had was with a blogger who said the CIA did not have portable radars! Really! Mobile radar, aircraft flyable, first used on 30 January 1943. I may not know what kit is available today, but it is reasonable to assume a hand held device is available today. I understand that the man carry-able atomic weapon has been around for more than 50 years (WS 54 of 1961 – 1962).
And also arguments along the lines that a US agency is morally incapable of such a crime. Or even the US Government.
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