THREAD—William Barr: How many crimes did he commit as the 'Cover-up General' for Presidents since the 1980s?
A Look at Pan Am 103, the Lockerbie bombing 1/
AG William Barr is under fire right now as over 2,400 former prosecutors & officials who served for both Dem & GOP presidents signed an open letter calling for him to resign for overruling the DOJ's sentencing recommendation for Donald Trump's former campaign mgr, Roger Stone. 2/
These prosecutors and officials also emphasized the importance of current government employees to act as whistleblowers and report any signs of unethical behavior at the Department of Justice. 3/ https://medium.com/@dojalumni/doj-alumni-statement-on-the-events-surrounding-the-sentencing-of-roger-stone-c2cb75ae4937
If the past gives us an indication of how Barr is acting under Trump, things will get a lot worse.
As Barr's loyalty to Trump could prove to be his undoing, Barr was equally loyal to George H.W. Bush during his presidency (1988-1992). 4/
Photo: Marcy Nighswander/AP
Barr was Bush's Attorney General from May 1990 until the end of November 1991, but he was working in his Department of Justice all along, most notably as Deputy Attorney General. 5/
But Barr's relationship with Bush started at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where Barr worked while attending graduate school and law school. From 1973-75, Barr was an analyst in the Intelligence Directorate division. 6/
Barr worked at the CIA until 1977; Bush was appointed CIA Director in January of 1976. Barr’s father, Donald Barr, also worked in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), during World War II. The OSS was the precursor to the CIA. 7/
On Bush’s inauguration day, January 20, 1989, Barr started working at the Office of Legal Counsel, then became Deputy Attorney General about a year later. 8/
If one tended to be corrupt, the amalgamation of learning legal covert action & clandestine activities in the CIA (& possibly from their father at a very young age) combined with knowing the law—or more importantly how to circumvent it—could yield potentially calamitous results.9
During Bush’s tenure at the White House, Barr was nicknamed the “Cover-up General” by iconic New York Times journalist William Safire. He allegedly covered up for at least five scandals during that time period: Iran/Contra, Iraqgate or the BNL scandal, BCCI and Inslaw. 10/
But there’s one scandal that has been overlooked: the Pan Am 103 bombing.
And the evidence is pointing to crimes more egregious than just a cover-up. 11/
[That screenshot is of Barr, announcing indictments for the Pan Am 103 bombing.]
From the beginning: four days before Christmas in 1988, a Boeing 747 en route from London to New York, exploded. All 243 passengers & 16 crew members were killed & when the plane plunged to the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland...12/
...11 more were killed when a wing section hit a house & exploded, creating a crater 154 feet long.
In total, 270 were killed in the explosions. 13/
The plane was believed to be blown up by bomb placed in a Toshiba radio cassette player, placed in a Samsonite suitcase with items of baby clothing. 14/
Who really did it?
Were two Libyans used as scapegoats by then-Deputy Attorney General William Barr to hide crimes by a Palestinian militant organization, based in Syria and hired by Iranians bent on revenge? And to advance the Bush agenda that Libya was an evil force? 15/
One Libyan was acquitted; the other, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, convicted for the death of 270 souls, spent the rest of his life imprisoned until his compassionate release due to terminal prostate cancer in 2009—which the Unites States strongly opposed. 16/
(Then FBI Director Robert Mueller penned a letter to the Scottish justice minister saying, "I am outraged at your decision," & ending with "Where, I ask, is the justice?") 17/
But more information has been uncovered since the trial which ended with Abdel Basset al-Megrahi's conviction in on January 31, 2001. 18/
Al-Megrahi died in 2012.
But even on his death bed, al-Megrahi maintained his innocence. 19/
After a lengthy judicial review, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) gave a statement in 2007, granting al-Megrahi the right to file a fresh appeal. 20/
"The commission is of the view, based on our lengthy investigations, the new evidence we have found and other evidence which was not before the trial court, that the applicant may have suffered a miscarriage of justice. 21/
At that time, al-Megrahi also issued a statement: "I am confident that when the full picture is put before the ultimate arbiters [the Scottish High Court], I shall finally be recognized as an innocent man." 22/
But when al-Megrahi got his release from prison in 2009 he gave up his second appeal, some speculating because it helped his compassionate release case. 23/
However, his family has applied for a fresh appeal & in May 2018 the SCCRC agreed to review his case again. 24/ https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-43987079
George Thomson, a former police detective for the Scottish police and private investigator for al-Megrahi's legal team, who visited him almost daily for 2 years straight, summed it up. "I can't possibly sit here and say that Basset Megrahi is not guilty; I don't know that. 25/
George Thomson (cont'd): But what I can say is that after a very careful examination of the evidence which convicted him: there's massive holes in it. There's something far wrong with it. 26/
George Thomson (cont'd): And I think had the appeal had been allowed to go ahead, all that kind of evidence would have come out and I think he would have gone home anyway on appeal.” 27/
A plethora of evidence points to a Syrian-based terrorist group PFLP-GC, led by Ahmed Jabril, and approved by the Ayatollah Khomeini (and his successor Hashemi Rafsanjani) was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. 28/
The Iranians wanted to avenge the downing of the Iranian Airbus A300 with a missile from the Navy missile cruiser the USS Vincennes, in July 1988, which caused 290 Iranians to die. 29/ https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/10/middleeast/iran-air-flight-655-us-military-intl-hnk/index.html
This motive was confirmed by Abulhassan Bani Sadr, who was the President of Iran from 1979-81. "Iran ordered the attack and Ahmed Jabril carried it out," Bani Sadr said in The Maltese Double Cross—Lockerbie, a documentary produced, written and directed by Allan Francovich. 31/
The film was never widely released because of legal challenges. It was prevented from being shown on television or cinemas in the United States, but eventually played in at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California in July of 1998. 32/ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172767/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Francovich suffered a fatal heart attack in a Customs area at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas in April 1997 at age 56. 33/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Francovich
In a column in January 1990, Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Anderson reported that both British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President George H.W. Bush had reports that the Iranians were responsible [for the Pan Am 103 bombing], but agreed... 34/
Jack Anderson (cont'd): that "neither could stand the political heat of making the evidence public because both were impotent to retaliate." Anderson points out that "Khomeini proved the undoing of Jimmy Carter and nearly proved the undoing of Ronald Reagan." 35/
Anderson also pointed out that "Iranian-sponsored terrorists quickly claimed credit, but the British and American governments put out the story that there were several suspects." 36/
In New York Festivals TV & Film Awards winner 2009 documentary called Lockerbie Revisited, Director/Author Gideon Levy interviews former CIA case officer and author Robert Baer, who points out some glaring faults of the Libyan guilt theory. 37/
Most importantly, if you were planting a bomb on an airplane, would you plant it in Malta, hoping for it to be transferred to two different flights, from Malta to Frankfurt, Germany, and then from Frankfurt to London, England? 38/
Baer deducted that the bomb was planted in London or it was a suicide bomber aboard the ill-fated plane. 39/
The prosecution argued strongly that the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103 did not have an altitude-sensitive barometric trigger; it had a more simple timer. If the bomb had a barometric trigger, it would have gone off on a flight before it reached Heathrow Airport. 40/
There was testimony at the trial that the altitude exceeded 30,000 feet on the flight KM 180 from Malta to Frankfurt, Germany. 41/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103_bombing_trial
What would be the motive to blame the Libyans? Baer asserts the most plausible theory which corroborates Anderson's column. "It was political," he said, "no one wanted to do anything about Iran." 42/
Photo: Jim Cooper/AP
Why? Because Iran has "70 million people and can take out the Straight of Hormuz in 3 minutes. They can take out 17 million export barrels in 3 minutes; gas will be $12 a gallon and the U.S. would go into a depression in 3 months. It would be the end of the U.S. economy." 43/
Baer made these comments in the 2009 documentary Lockerbie Revisited. 44/
An interview with Martin Cadman was made public for the first time at a screening at the British House of Commons in November 1994 of The Maltese Double Cross—Lockerbie where he ominously said
However, William Barr, at the time Acting U.S. Attorney General, blamed two Libyans at a press conference on November 14, 1991, announcing the indictments. 46/ https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/ag/legacy/2011/08/23/11-14-1991.pdf
A month after the Lockerbie bombing occurred, George H.W. Bush became President. 47/
And just short of three years later, Barr announced at the press conference, "For three years, the United States and Scotland have been conducting one of the most exhaustive and complex investigations in history. Today we are announcing an indictment in the case. 48/
William Barr (cont'd): We charge that two Libyan officials, acting as operatives of the Libyan intelligence service, along with other co-conspirators, planted and detonated the bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103. 49/
William Barr (cont'd): At this moment, Lord Fraser, Chief Prosecutor for Scotland, is announcing parallel charges. I've just telephoned some of the families of those murdered on Pan Am 103 to inform them & the organizations of survivors that this indictment has been returned. 50/
William Barr (cont'd): Their loss has been ever present on our minds." 51/
Two days prior to this press conference—November 12-13, 1991—William Barr was questioned in confirmation hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee after being appointed to the post in mid-October. 52/
He was approved by a voice vote of the full Senate on November 2139 and sworn into the office of Attorney General on November 26, 1991. (Note: his predecessor, Richard Thornburgh, had resigned to run for the Senate in Pennsylvania. He lost.) 53/ https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1991/11/21/888591.html?pageNumber=103
The indictments of the two Libyan intelligence officers: Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, 39 and 35 at the time, were shocking to many...54/
The indictments of the two Libyan intelligence officers: Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, 39 and 35 at the time, were shocking to many because experts such as...55/
...Geoffrey Kemp, former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs,who speculated right after the crash that the blame would "most likely" belong to 1. A European-based group; 56/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Kemp
2. Abu Nidal (in order to sabotage Yasser Arafat's negotiations with the U.S., but Kemp noted that it was likely Nidal did not have time to plan this attack) or 57/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Nidal
3. Iranians, seeking to avenge the U.S. Navy shooting down their Airbus A300 with a missile in July 1988, killing 290 people.
In other words, Kemp suspected the Iranians and the motive was revenge. 58/
At the time, Libya denied all involvement in the attack.
Both Al-Megrahi and Fhimah, who both worked for Libyan Arab Airlines, strongly denied the allegations.
Eventually, Fhimah was acquitted of all charges in a trial. 59/
Both Al-Megrahi and Fhimah were accused by the prosecution of being Libyan intelligence officers.
U.S. intelligence officers said that al-Megrahi used aliases and false passports to travel widely. Via @nytimes
At first in 1991, Libya refused to extradite Al-Magrahi and he lived under guard in Libya, working as a teacher, while Libya endured eight years of sanctions by the United Nations. 62/
Nelson Mandela led a negotiation resulting in a compromise in 1999: Al-Magrahi was to surrender and face a trial by Scottish judges and the UN sanctions would be lifted. 63/ https://www.nytimes.com/1999/04/06/world/2-libyan-suspects-handed-to-court-in-pan-am-bombing.html
Investigators claimed that the bag containing the bomb was put onto a plane in Malta, flown to Frankfurt, Germany where it was transferred to a Boeing 727 feeder flight that connected to Pan Am 103 in London’s Heathrow Airport. 64/
However, most airline security experts argued that the bag was much more likely slipped under the radar at Heathrow airport. Later, it was reported that the Pan Am baggage area had been broken into the day of the Lockerbie bombing. 65/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1384806/Airport-break-in-clears-Lockerbie-man.html
In The Maltese Double Cross—Lockerbie, the late Tom Dayall, a Scottish Labour party politician observed, “swarms of Americans fiddling with bodies—and shall we say tampering with those things that the police were carefully checking themselves. 66/
Photo: Still from Maltese
Tom Dayall (cont'd): I am not pretending that they said they are from the FBI or the CIA. They were just Americans who seemed to arrive extremely quickly on the scene.” 67/
A local Lockerbie police surgeon also noticed that the Americans redid the labels that he had put on the bodies. 68/
Also in the film, David Ben Aryeah, one of the first journalists on the scene also commented, “Very strange people popped out of the woodwork very early on—within a matter of three hours—there were American accents heard in the town. 69/
Photo: Still from Maltese
Aryeah (cont'd): Over that night, there were large numbers by which I mean 20-25-30 people arrived. The next day, somebody commented at the time ‘that’s subtle’: there was a whole bay of people walked down the main street with blue windcheaters and baseball hats with FBI on them.
Aryeah (cont'd): But there were a lot of other Americans in the town over the first 12 hours that weren’t wearing FBI windcheaters. I don’t know who they are. I knew who some of them were. And they certainly weren’t tourists.” 71/
Other witnesses reported seeing a plethora of helicopters—some unmarked —dropping off people to search. What were they looking for? 72/
In the Francovich doc, Lester Coleman, a former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) who reported on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s activities in Cyprus, said that a compromised American covert drug-operation allowed Iranian-backed terrorists (PFLP-GC) to plant the bomb. 73/
In 1993, he wrote a book on the subject, Trail of the Octopus From Beirut to Lockerbie — Inside the DIA, which was banned in the U.S. until 2009. 74/
[Note: Coleman is not a great witness because of arrests, incarceration, etc.] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Coleman https://www.amazon.com/Trail-Octopus-Beirut-Lockerbie-Inside/dp/1439237808
According to Coleman, drugs were routinely flown to the United States from London and Frankfurt, in marked suitcases which were purposely overlooked by three governments. 75/
Photo: via @amazon
Coleman (cont'd): “They could not eradicate the drugs in Lebanon so they only could do two things. That is to monitor what was being produced and how it was being shipped out. 76/
Coleman (cont'd): And two, use DEA informants from Lebanon in drug sting operations back in the United States to set up drug buys and catch drug buyers in the U.S. And that was a big part of what they were doing. 77/
Coleman (cont'd): The DEA informants would fly in to Los Angeles, for example, or Detroit, and they would be loaned out to the local DEA office and used in a drug sting operation. 78/
Coleman (cont'd): Many times they would haul in heroin with them—in a controlled delivery—sometimes they would take in cash and act as a buyer.” 79/
Coleman (cont'd): A controlled delivery is when a courier carries a predetermined amount of heroin through security checkpoints, with the knowledge and consent of the local law enforcement people, for example the Germans in Frankfurt, the British Customs...80/
Coleman (cont'd): and Excise service in London, to pass the heroin through on the way to New York and then onto Detroit or Houston or Los Angeles.” 81/
Via: The Maltese Double Cross—Lockerbie
Commentary: Even though Lester Coleman has been incarcerated, his story is extremely detailed and credible.
That's where William Barr's corrupt CIA/Law Enforcement skills could have thrived: discrediting witnesses who are no longer needed.
Or a fate far worse (Epstein).
Juval Aviv, an investigator hired by Pan Am, added that the American, German & British gov'ts were all aware of these controlled deliveries & they would always use a brown Samsonite suitcase & switch the suitcase with the drugs with an identical suitcase filled with clothes. 83/
The Francovich documentary alleges that the bomb was actually taken on board Pan Am 103 by an unwitting drug mule named Khalid “Nazzi” Jafaar, a Lebanese American, and...84/
(con'td): the suitcase was not searched by airport officials because it was believed to be part of a “controlled” delivery and protected by the three governments involved. Coleman recalled seeing Jafaar multiple times and confirmed that he was a drug mule. 85/
The film crew traced Jafaar’s steps from several points in Germany to Upsalla, Sweden.
They also traced a one-way student ticket to Detroit on Pam Am 103 purchased for Khalid Jaafar, with the form of payment listed as “not shown.” 86/
Did the U.S. government have to cover-up their involvement with this drug operation to protect their law enforcement and intelligence agencies and those of other countries?
In this case, the British and German governments would have equal incentives to cover this up. 87/
The main pieces of evidence
The case revolved around the brown Samsonite hard suitcase, the origin of the clothing in the suitcase and the bomb's timer. 88/
A replica of the Samsonite hard suitcase
Photo: Via https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/remembering-pan-am-flight-103-30-years-later-121418
A replica of the Toshiba "Bombeat" cassette radio with explosives inside. /89
Photo: Via FBI
A tiny fragment of the bomb's timer, extracted from a grey "Slalom" shirt. This piece of evidence with the shirt collar was dubbed PI 995 and the timer fragment that was extracted from the collar was named PT/35(b).
Photo: via https://pt35b.wordpress.com/
Documentarian Allan Francovich interviewed one of the local volunteers who search the forest area in Lockerbie for evidence. 91/
Bobby Ingram told Francovich that he was approached two years after the search and asked by authorities to sign for three pieces of evidence: a piece of cloth, a brown piece which looked like part of a suitcase and a third item he couldn’t remember. 92/
These two items were critical in in the trial. 93/
The trial was held at a specially constructed courthouse for the Scottish High Court of Justiciary at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, thought of as "neutral territory."
The site was a former U.S. Air Force base in Utrecht. 94/
Photo: Getty Images
The trial took 18 months.
The most important piece of evidence was labeled PT/35(b) at the trial. It was a part of a circuit board made by a Swiss company called Mebo.
It was critical to the case that convicted al-Megrahi. 95/
“I don’t think we would have ever had an indictment” if it weren’t for PT/35(b), according to Richard Marquise, the FBI special agent (now retired) who led the U.S. side of the Lockerbie investigation. 96/
Video: clip from Lockerbie Revisited https://vimeo.com/41131094
During the trial, the actual timer fragment, PT-35(b) was compared to samples from the original batch Mebo produced in an outsourced deal with a company called Thuring—which were supposed to be identical.
So-called experts at the trial testified to this. 97/
However, while preparing al-Megrahi’s second appeal, tests showed that the PT/35(b) fragment was manufactured with a pure tin coating, and the Thuring sample was covered with a standard alloy of tin and lead. 98/ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/lockerbie-if-not-megrahi-then-who-9008961.html
According to Ludwig De Braeckeleer, who has a PhD in Nuclear Sciences and teaches Physics and International Law and has been studying the Lockerbie case for many years and written numerous articles about it, the fragment used in the trial PT/35(b) was a forgery for 3 reasons: 99/
De Braeckeleer (cont'd): 1. The fragment was pure tin while the MEBO boards had copper tracks covered with a lead-tin alloy and Alan Feraday, the alleged forensic expert had committed perjury at the trial; 100/
De Braeckeleer (cont'd): 2. The resin used as an epoxy by MEBO did not match that on PT/35(b); 101/
De Braeckeleer (cont'd): 3. The board from which PT/35(b) originated had copper (from one of the tracks) that was produced at the earliest in late 1989—after the Lockerbie tragedy. 102/
The fragment was allegedly found embedded in a piece of charred material, but there were differing accounts of where and when it was found and by whom. 103/
However, Thom Thurman, who worked at the FBI from 1977-1998, said in the Maltese film that he identified the circuit board fragment on June 15, 1990. “I knew at that point what it meant because if you will I’m an investigator as well as a forensic examiner.
Photo: Still from doc
Thurman (cont'd): I knew where that would go. At that point, we had no conclusive proof of the type of timing mechanism that was used in the bombing of 103. When the identification was made of the timer, I knew we had it.” 105/
But later in 1997, Thurman was outed by an FBI chemist whistleblower, Fred Whitehurst (see clip above), which prompted the inspector general, Michael R. Bromwich, to write a report implicating Thurman in falsifications regarding...106/
...the Oklahoma City bombing case and other high-profile cases during the 1980s and 1990s. 107/
Thurman was transferred as a result of the report and left the FBI a year later, although he claimed in Lockerbie Revisited that he “retired” of his “own free will.”
He also denied manipulating evidence. 108/
Whistleblower Whitehurst also said in Lockerbie Revisited that Thurman was not a scientist nor an electronics expert. 109/
Whitehurst sued the FBI and won a $1.1 million judgment. As a result, the FBI agreed to 40 reforms to improve the forensic reliability of its testing. 110/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Whitehurst
Much of the “evidence” and testimony presented at the trial was later deemed to be unreliable.
At the trial, Mebo’s owner, Edwin Bollier testified that twenty MST-13 timer devices such as the one allegedly found at the crash site in Lockerbie had been sold to Libya. 111/
Another Mebo employee, Ulrich Lumpert, also testified, and identified the fragment.
It was alleged that a Mebo MST-13 timing device was attached to Semtex plastic explosives and inserted inside a Toshiba RT SF 16 “BomBeat” radio. 112/
Mebo employee Lumpert also admitted he lied at the trial, stole a timer and gave it to a Lockerbie investigator.
The fragment he identified was never tested for explosives residue and this was the only physical evidence implicating the Libyans. 113/ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2007/sep/02/theairlineindustry.libya
Note: this thread has 234 tweets, no idea how this got separated, but here is 114-234.
At least I hope it is. https://twitter.com/AliAdair22/status/1230209965530456066?s=20
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.