Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remembering Pan Am 103

The bombing that brought down Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was 20 years ago today.

For those of you who seek remembrance, rather than linking to a forlorn picture of the wreckage here is a picture of one of the memorials.

For those of you who seek reprisal, well, that matter is done and settled. The Libyan Government's settlement and compliance is a matter of record. There is no need for more on their account. Never forget, but do find some way to forgive the Libyans.

For those of you who seek understanding, and can endure the effort such requires, here is the DIA FOIA package on what was learned. Fair Warning: it is both heavily redacted in parts and a composite of several source documents, running ~100 pages.

Personal Note: SEMTEX, the plastic explosive used in the bombing and in many other terrorist activities in the 1980's, was so hard to come by in the U.S.A. at that time that when I asked for assistance in supplying a sample to researchers working on explosive detection systems, the U.S. Government special investigator who fulfilled the request (paraphrased-->) told me that it would have been legally easier to supply the researchers with several kilograms of pure cocaine than it was to bring the same amount of SEMTEX. The stuff really was considered mysterious and very very dangerous "alchemy" back then.

...and the Libyans had 700 tons of the stuff. They were giving it away (to the Provos and other IRA factions, for one example). Nasty stuff indeed.

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