Lockerbie Bomber – Comments

I received very interesting comments about the Lockerbie
bomber from some of you. Thanks. I should add that my Edinburgh host lost a
student on that fight and one of my IMF colleagues missed it and thus is still
with us. He is a Lebanese Palestinian and no he didn’t miss it on purpose.



In 1988 I was serving as a flight attendant for Pan Am,
regularly crossing the Atlantic on flights from Washington.  I had
joined the company in January of that year, and during training had met and
befriended an extraordinary young woman whose (short term) goals were the same
as mine – take advantage of a rare opportunity to go places and see things that
we might not have otherwise have been able to do. 

She opted to transfer to the London base in the fall of
that year, and, as fate would have it, decided to work Pan Am 103 on December
21st – a flight she was not originally scheduled to work.

I do not know whether Mr. Al-Megrahi is guilty or
not.  Nor can I know whether he was truly released for humanitarian

What I can say is that when I think back to that December
day I remember the wonderful woman I met, thought so fondly of, and
whose bright life was stopped tragically short….along with so many people
just like her.  


Bill (Moore, Falls Church, Va)



Hi Warren,


Interesting.  I had
forgotten about the Iranian airliner.  But you piqued my interest in
suggesting Libya had no motive for bombing the Pan Am.  The link below may
be of interest.  It includes the other hostile actions between US-Libya,
notably, the US bombing of Tripoli, which killed one of Gadafi’s children and
injured two others.  Two years later the Pan Am was bombed.



Bob (Gregorio, Arlington Va)



Pretty disgusting is what I make of it. Really no shame.
If the Scots wanted to be humanitarian they could have flown in his friends and
relatives for the final weeks of his life. How humanitarian were the Libyans by
holding on totally trumped up charges these French and Bulgarian nurses for I
don’t know how long?


Jan Willem van der Vossen (IMF colleague)



A very nice man
therefore. Oddly enough I heard about Megrahi many years before Lockerbie from
my Milano friend. Ing. Franco Giugovaz was a contractor in Libya who fell out
with his local partner, who called in his secret police friends, in the usual
way. Megrahi threatened to have him killed if he did not leave the country
& all his equipment behind. Megrahi also personally took Franco’s
hand-made 4×4  desert SUV with all sorts of gadgets. It is still parked in
front of his house. Do pay a call on Megrahi when next there and ask him where
he got it from.


Edward (Luttwak, Washington,



No doubt there is plenty more to the investigation than
a history of clothing, but it makes me wonder if a man should be nervous should
clothing go missing from his wardrobe, and whether a man should ever give used
clothing to charity for fear that a stray hair will make him the object of
enthusiastic detectives.


David (Garland, Roanoke, Va)



Bravo, Warren, for a bit of level-headed commentary.
When one considers that the circumstantial evidence which led to al-Megrahi’s
conviction was supplied by a Maltese shopkeeper who was paid for his evidence
by the Americans and taken fishing by the Scottish police afterwards, the
security of the conviction does indeed become questionable. And the witness
statement that the baggage room at Heathrow was entered, and, possibly, another
case added, was never admitted to the court for examination. Much has been made
by the “guiltyists”, to coin a term, of the fact that he has never expressed
any remorse. Well, he has always maintained his innocence, so why should he? No
one is arguing that he is a nice guy, but it seems plain, as you suggest, that
our dear governments have been busy with something else in the background.



Martin (Anderson, A Scotsman living in London)






That is a very thoughtful and balanced letter.  It
should be run in the LA TIMES and San Francisco Comical.  You might have
mentioned how unreliable eye witness testimony is, as well.  Forensic
evidence is no better than eye witness testimony when it is coupled (as here)
with it.  I hope that the covered up evidence of the "railroad"
is forthcoming.


Bill (Hulsy, Santa Anna, CA)


Author: Warren Coats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My recent books are One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina; My Travels in the Former Soviet Union; My Travels to Afghanistan; My Travels to Jerusalem; and My Travels to Baghdad. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.

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