The Brits are in a mess: They have freed the Lockerbie bomber for reasons that nobody truly, or reasonably, believes. And yet, maybe they know what they're doing.
True, something always seems terribly off about Gordon Brown's government. It is not just that so much of what they do has been incompetent, but that it looks squirrelly, shame-faced, and defensive. They're not just sneaks, but they keep getting caught.
In theory, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi has been freed from his life sentence in Scotland to return to Libya on compassionate grounds: He has cancer and will reportedly be dead in three months. This theory has not been helped by the fact that he is ambulatory, almost jauntily so, and has been giving interviews to almost anyone who asks. But even more to the point, governments, as everybody knows, seldom do the compassionate thing. They do the most politically viable and expedient thing. When they do something different than that, every sentient person's don't-ever-trust-a-politician radar goes off. In this instance, the Scottish government, full of sudden, abiding, compassion, and with hardly an objection from the British prime minister, decides to free one of terrorism's most dastardly evil-doers, even knowing that it would provoke a political firestorm large enough to threaten many careers.
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