It is always fascinating to read original official documents, in this case a selection of papers about the decision to release Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted for the Lockerbie bombing.UPDATE--The Telegraph's (UK) Nile Gardiner reports:
So have a look here.
Yet it all seems ... incomplete.
Where are the letters and emails from/to the FCO and No 10, and associated FCO/No 10 internal minuting including the FCO Legal Advisers thoughts?
The key constitutional/legal issue after all is, basically, how far Scottish legal norms as decided in Edinburgh might be subject to (or have to take some sort of account of) UK foreign policy concerns (including the interplay between foreign policy principles and commercial possibilities) as decided in London.
The papers as released leave us none the wiser on how that question and all the issues swirling around it were hammered out behind the scenes. I just do not believe that not a single memo/email/minute/letter was sent to or issued from No 10 or the Foreign Secretary's office on these complex and sensitive subjects.
Nice try. But not good enough.
David Rivkin, a highly respected former White House official, has told the BBC that the British government’s role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber “will damage US relations with Britain for years to come. I really can’t think about a more duplicitous act by Britain vis-à-vis the United States in the post-war period.”