In an announcement that might seem to indicate that the new revolutionary government of Libyan won't be as compliant to NATO wishes as some have hoped, a minister in Libya's National Transitional Council said Sunday that Libya will not extradite Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing. According to Reuthers:
"We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West," Mohammed al-Alagi, the NTC justice minister, told reporters in Tripoli. The NTC is the de facto government of Libya's rebel movement.
"Al-Megrahi has already been judged once and he will not be judged again ... We do not hand over Libyan citizens. (Muammar) Gaddafi does."
Megrahi, who had been diagnosed with cancer, served eight years in a Scottish prison for orchestrating the bombing of the Pan Am passenger plane which blew up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 killing 270 people. He was released in 2009 on compassionate grounds after doctors gave him only months to live.
Megrahi's release angered politicians in the United States -- where many of the victims of the bombing came from. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron later said the decision by Scotland's justice minister was a mistake.
Also new details have emerged about Mummar Qaddafi attempt to influence Dennis Kucinich in his views of Libya and NATO's involvement. Common Dreams reports:
Secret documents in Tripoli seen by the Guardian reveal the desperate attempts made by the Libyan government in its final months to influence US and world opinion. It approached key international opinion formers from the US president Barack Obama downwards.
The regime tried to persuade the Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich – a well-known rebel who voted against Nato military action in Libya, and opposed the Iraq war – to visit Tripoli as part of a hastily arranged "peace mission". The Libyan government offered to pay all Kucinich's costs related to the trip, including "travel expenses and accommodation".
On 22 June a letter sent to Libya's prime minister, Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, by a US-based lobbyist for the regime, Sufyan Omeish, noted that Kucinich was "concerned that his personal safety in Tripoli could not be guaranteed". He preferred to conduct meetings with regime officials outside Libya. The plan was for Kucinich to meet "senior Libyan officials, including Gaddafi". The proposed trip never took place. Kucinich visited Syria instead
Omeish, a US based filmmaker, was active in arranging other image building trips to Qaddafi's Libya. He worked with Libyan Foreign Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi to arrange them. In one correspondence with him that has been revealed:
He then discusses an urgent proposed peace mission to Libya to try to sway international opinion in their favour. He writes: "We have already obtained confirmation of the involvement of a high-profile US congressman to participate … and are making additional overtures to obtain further congressional involvement from other members.
"Moreover, we have also obtained a new confirmation from a high-profile Princeton professor of international law and a former UN fact-finding commissioner to join our delegation." Omeish boasted that he was also working with "award-winning/Oscar-nominated filmmakers to help document the truth about Libya … to ensure maximum world-wide exposure."
In another message, Omeish urges Baghdadi not to communicate via Gmail, but to use a more secure private account.
Baghdadl has since denounced the Qaddafi regime and fled to Tunisia. As he talks and more of the regimes secrets come out, it will be interesting to find out more about the connections some of the more prominent anti-interventionist had with the Qaddafi regime.
Meanwhile in the capital city of Tripoli, alexblx's posterous reports that things are moving towards a kind or normalcy and stability given that the liberation of the city about a week old:
The citizens of Tripoli – have moved as efficiently as their Benghazi compatriots in establishing civil society in the city. To date – police and traffic wardens are back on duty – rubbish is being cleared – shops are opening – many people are out in the streets.
The NTC are distributing cooking gas in Tripoli - & have ordered bulk fuel supplies to power water pumps - to get water pipes working again Libya
NTC says it will start distributing 30,000 tonnes of petrol on Sunday, and provide cooking gas within the next 48 hours.
A ship carrying fresh water and diesel for the power stations is due to dock in the next couple of days.
Gun signs have been erected against celebratory shooting in Martyrs Square – and local neighbourhoods – have started gun registers so all neighbours can track the issue of firearms – and guns are being handed back in at these registries. As I predicted in the article below – “the Tripoli people show the same commitment to civil government as Benghazi”
Then she talks about the NTC stewardship of the large eastern city:
Take a look at Benghazi civil society since liberation
Boy scouts directing traffic - teenagers cleaning streets - mothers preparing community meals - policemen and civil servants turning up for work even if not always paid - parents forming education committees for their children - citizens establishing charities to provide food, housing, and medical services for displaced African and Arabic foreign workers stranded in the city during the uprising - intellectuals forming political and philosophical discussion groups - newspapers and media outlets opening up like there's 42 years of lost expression to make up for![there is].
And all this 'civilization' has happened - during a major military conflict - in which the city's very existence was under threat - by the massive military might of Gaddafi goons and Regime contract killers.
It will be interesting to see how things develop in the new revolutionary Libya. It will also be interesting to see what we will now start to find out about the old Libya.
James Bay of AJE has been out in the filed reporting on Libya for a long time. Below is his latest report on the situation in Tripoli.
For more background on the Libyan Revolution and links to lots of information see my other writings at the DailyKos and WikiLeaks Central:
Who really beat Qaddafi?
#Feb17: @NATO Please help MEDEVAC wounded from #Libya
What should those that opposed NATO's intervention in Libya demand now?
BREAKING: Qaddafi's Tripoli Compound Falls!
Does PDA Support Qaddafi?
BREAKING: Operation Mermaid Dawn, the Battle to Liberate Tripoli is JoinedHelter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure
Qaddafi's Long Arm
SCOOP: My Lai or Qaddafi Lie? More on the 85 Civilians presumed killed by NATO
Did NATO kill 85 Libyan Villagers As Qaddafi Regime Contends?
CCDS Statement on Libya - a Critique
The Assassination of General Abdul Fattah Younis
NATO over Tripoli - Air Strikes in the Age of Twitter
How Many Libyans has NATO Killed?
Qaddafi Terror Files Start to Trickle Out!
Have Libyan Rebels Committed Human Rights Abuses?
Tripoli Green Square Reality Check
Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today
Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left
NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!
2011-07-01 Qaddafi's Million Man March
NATO's Game Plan in Libya
February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
North African Revolution Continues
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 8:59 AM PT: Call for Megrahi's return
Pressure was mounting last night on the British Government to seek the return of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who has been a vigorous supporter of the Gaddafi regime since being returned to Tripoli from a Scottish jail two years ago. The Tory MP Robert Halfon said rebel leaders should be urged to extradite the former intelligence officer. The Foreign Office said: "He was convicted in a Scottish court under Scottish law. He could be returned under the terms of his release but that is a matter for the relevant authorities."