So BP lobbied the British Government for the release of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the alleged Lockerbie bomber, in order to get prior access to Libyan oil – or so say 4 US Senators. Al-Megrahi was almost cetainly not the culprit; the bombing was much more likely to have been carried out by the Iranian-backed Ahmed Gibril’s revolutionary Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – but that’s another story. The deal that was hatched whereby Libya would give up its nuclear ambitions (which showed no sign of materialising anyway), Al-Megrahi would be released on compassionate grounds that he was in the final stages of a terminal illness (which we now know he wasn’t), and Britain would graciously respond to these magnanimous gestures of goodwill from Libya by opening up its markets to Libyan goods (i.e. grabbing the oil).
Jack Straw, earlier Foreign Secretary, openly admitted as much. He said last year: “We wanted to bring Libya back into the fold. And yes, that included trade…and subsequently there was the BP deal”. No country oozes high-mindedness to cloak its base commercial interests like the UK. Indeed this motif has been played out repeatedly. (more…)