An Excellent Goal for Obama in Libya

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Here's a great idea from Michael Rubin, writing on the Commentary website:

Just over two years ago, Scottish authorities released Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi after he had served 3,123 days, just over 11 days per victim he murdered. The Scottish move reportedly surprised the Obama administration.

On the day of his release, the White House press secretary issued a statement which read:

"The United States deeply regrets the decision by the Scottish Executive to release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi. Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which blew up over Scotland on December 21, 1988. As we have expressed repeatedly to officials of the government of the United Kingdom and to Scottish authorities, we continue to believe that Megrahi should serve out his sentence in Scotland. On this day, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families who live every day with the loss of their loved ones. We recognize the effects of such a loss weigh upon a family forever."

Subsequent information showed that British officials facilitated Megrahi's release in hope of receiving favor for British oil companies. Well, Megrahi is still alive, in a wheelchair but well enough to have been shown on Libyan television attending a pro-Qaddafi rally just last month. If Obama was sincere in his regret, perhaps the time is right to seize Megrahi and finally win justice for the American victims of Lockerbie.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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