Acid Rabbi probably ought to apologise for the gross stereotyping in this image. But we're not going to.
The US government has opposed his release every step of the way, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally urging the Scottish Justice Secretary to keep him in jail. However, it seems that those politicians who choose to remain in Scotland rather than hoofing it down to the bright lights of London have backbones of their own, are prepared to stand up to the Americans and make their own decisions about what happens in their own nation, unlike Blair (born in Edinburgh) and Brown (Glasgow) who are more than happy to let them walk all over us and demand extradition of British citizens virtually on a whim. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said, "Our interest is justice, and our interest is the commitment that we made to the families that we would find the perpetrator of this terrorism act...He was brought to trial. He had a fair trial. He was convicted. He's serving his time. And we think he should stay in jail," adding that there are "compelling reasons" why he should do so.
"Mr al-Megrahi did not show his victims any comfort or compassion," says Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, "They were not allowed to return to the bosom of their families to see out their lives, let alone their dying days. No compassion was shown by him to them. But that alone is not a reason for us to deny compassion to him and his family in his final days." Mr. MasAskill, it seems, is that rare thing - a politician who understands that revenge has no place in justice and that in showing compassion and mercy we make ourselves better human beings than those who do not. One of the reasons we invaded Iraq - assuming it was not in fact because we need their oil - was to rid that nation's people of a tyrant who carried out public execution on a vast scale. By hanging Saddam, and then showing the horrific footage on television, in the eyes of many Iraqis we made ourselves look little better than him - perhaps England and the USA could learn a valuable lesson from the Scottish and realise that if the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are to accept democracy, we democrats need show compassion in our ways so that they're aware of democracy's advantages. Right now, all they can see is that one load of vicious, torturing tyrants have been replaced by another load of vicious, torturing tyrants that differ from the old ones only in that they're foreign.
Mr. MacAskill added, "Compassion and mercy are about upholding the beliefs the we seek to live by, remaining true to our values as a people - no matter the severity of the provocation or the atrocity perpetrated. For these reasons and these reasons alone, it is my decision that Mr Mr Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi, convicted in 2001 for the Lockerbie bombing, now terminally ill with prostate cancer, be released on compassionate grounds and be allowed to return to Libya to die." Libyan Megrahi will be flown by a specially chartered plane to Tripoli today, following a decision that he cannot remain in Scotland for security reasons.
Now - isn't it a pity that Glasgow-born Asperger's Syndrome sufferer Gary McKinnon was living in England when he naively hacked NASA and Pentagon computers while looking for information on UFOs and later e-mailed them alerting them to the weak spots in their security? Had his case have been dealt with by the Scottish government and legal system, he might not now been facing the extradition that doctors fear is likely to lead to his suicide.