The Maltese double cross part 2.
As almost always, American and Western lives are regarded as having far more worth than those towards the east. You might have thought that some would have mentioned Iran Air Flight 655 today; after all, it's still possible that the Lockerbie bombing was revenge for it. Flight 655 was shot down by the USS Vincennes whilst it was inside Iranian territorial waters, killing all 290 on board. The crew of the ship were not even slightly disciplined: they instead received Combat Action Ribbons, while the captain received the Legion of Merit. The Iranians received no apology, the US has never accepted responsibility and also never admitted wrongdoing. It did however eventually pay $131.8 million in compensation. Libya, by contrast, ended up paying more than $2.16 billion for the Lockerbie bombing.
It's also fairly remarkable how in this instance the Scottish government has managed to stand up to American pressure not to release al-Megrahi. How very different to the extradition of Gary McKinnon, where Westminster has refused to intervene and where Denis MacShane even claimed that McKinnon's diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome was a ruse. Similarly, David Miliband continues to refuse to disclose 7 paragraphs of a memo concerning Binyam Mohamed, claiming that if he did the Americans would withdraw intelligence cooperation. It might well be that the Scottish, unlike the UK government as a whole, doesn't have to worry about the relationships which would be affected by playing politics as it were, but it also exposes both the cowardice and the disparity of the "special relationship", as well as just how nasty both Labour and the Conservatives have become, both of whom would have apparently denied a man with three months to live a compassionate release. I'm no fan of the SNP, and their authoritarian tendencies especially over alcohol are repugnant, yet they've made the right decision for exactly the right reasons, the only downside being that al-Megrahi apparently had to drop his appeal for his release to be agreed. Justice may not have been fully served, but this may well have been the best outcome out of a slew of worse ones.