August 22nd, 2009
05:43 PM ET
14 years ago

Schumer asks for U.N. condemnation of Libya

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Saturday that ‘It's clear that the Libyan government's love affair with terrorism hasn't ended yet.’"]NEW YORK (CNN) - New York Senator Chuck Schumer appealed to the United Nations Saturday to condemn Libya's joyful welcome home for the Lockerbie bomber.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man responsible for the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland was granted a "compassionate release" by Scottish officials Thursday after doctors said he was dying from terminal prostate cancer.

Megrahi, 57, boarded a jet in route to his native Libya where he was greeted with a hero's welcome shocking the world.

"If Libya wants to be embraced by the international community, embracing convicted terrorists is not the way to do it," Schumer said. "It's clear that the Libyan government's love affair with terrorism hasn't ended yet."

At a news conference, Schumer said he is asking U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to introduce a resolution denouncing Libya's over zealous heroes welcome and wants an apology.

Schumer said he wants this resolution passed before Libyan leader Moammar Ghadafi arrives in New York next month for a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

"The behavior of the Libyan government since the release of Al Megrahi has simply compounded the crime," Schumer said. "It's been appalling and grotesque."

Megrahi had been serving a life sentence for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in which 270 people were killed, 189 of whom were Americans.

The Libyan government compensated victim's families in the amount of $2.7 billion in 2007 and officially accepted responsibility for the bombing on August 16, 2003.

Bryce Daniels whose father was aboard the plane spoke at the news conference and echoed the senator's words, "The victims of Pan Am flight 103 along with much of this country as well as many of those who live in the United Kingdom were appalled at the manner in which Megrahi was received."

"We don't have all the details," Schumer said. "But if it turns out that the British government encouraged this release to gain an oil contract, shame, shame, shame on them."

A $900 million oil deal between Libya and Britain was made in 2004.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday no deals were ever made with Libya while he was in power to arrange the Lockerbie bomber's release.

- CNN's Chris Hubscham contributed to this report.

Filed under: United Nations
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    Senator Schumer can't really ask anything from anybody without sounding like he's whining. I wouldn't blame the UN for not listening. Did the senator also ask the UN to condemn Extraordinary Rendition when he wasn't standing up to the White House to stop the practice?

    August 22, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Ian

    I just don't understand why they thought he deserved any compassion? Did he show any when he murdered 270 people? The Scottish should be shunned and Libya should never be allowed anywhere near the civilized world. Just completely outrageous and really disgusting.

    August 22, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. George S.

    I guess that Scottish law enforcement officials belong to the "Honorable Yellow Regiment."

    August 22, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Steven

    Now that kind of reminds me of the republican's "Free Fries". Hmmm, have the UN condem Libya because a large group of radicals celebrated at the Airport. Well, I have a better idea Schumer, how about having the UN condem Scotland and Great Britian for releasing the terrorist in the first place? Someone agreed to release him and it was not Libya!

    August 22, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Kentucky Muslim

    Is he going to denounce Scotland too?

    August 22, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Fan of Common Sense

    Ever once in a while a democrat suggests something that actually makes sense........even Chuck Shumer.

    August 22, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. ib

    The US is being made a laughing stock all over the world because we have such a weak so called president. What a joke he is.

    August 22, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. Russ H

    That judge in Scotland needs to be put up on an airplane hog tied up, and let the plane drop to the ground. He will then realize how these other passengers felt while they were dying. There should be no compassion for a terrorist who hides behind children and women.

    August 22, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. Musa Sarkar

    Israel does the same tacitly. When they find some of their soldiers committed horrendous war crimes on Palestinian civilians, their usual response is we will investigate. And nothing ever happens. The Israeli Army and their Rabbis even gave green signal to kill innocent people before their latest Gaza attack. I think people like Charles Schumer will always keep silent on Israeli atrocities and it is immorally double standard.

    August 22, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. embracing convicted terrorists

    we embraced 8 years of hellish Bush

    that doesn't play well with the international community either

    is Bush a terrorist... he did attach Iraq with NO real justification, just hurried reasons based on the lies of one person with a poor reputation, when he was called on his actions, he punished the whistle blower by outing his CIA operative wife

    No Bush was our president, not a terrorist, but what he did in those 8 years, allowing torture, attacking Iraq, spying on our own citizens... we need a new word with all the bad things he did as the definition... should the UN condem Bush?

    August 22, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. jon from canada

    why condem libya. scots are to blame....

    August 22, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. zago

    I understand Sen Schummer, but I believe the issue has more to do with the humiliation of London by Tripoli in London's hunger for new colonial resources. This is another example where the colonizers would do whatever it takes just to exploit other nations. London is caught off-guard. Nonetheless, the very moral of those who would do anything to steal other nations' wealth is in full display here. A mere condemnation of Tripoli without addressing the MORAL of London is a plain hypocrisy and wont heal the wounds. We have here two rogues partners: London and Tripoli that should equally share the blame.

    August 22, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. JK Ashburn, VA

    Ah, Chuckie. You're just a loud mouthed blow hard. All talk and no action. Try to find something substantive to do with your life, will ya?

    August 22, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Tumon Tamuning

    The Scottish judge should be reprimanded somehow. I can't believe he let the suspect go "compassionately."

    August 22, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Helmetbreaker

    The Question of the Day is: Is Libya's love of terror as big as Chuckie's love of himself?

    August 22, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. Tina

    I feel deeply sorrowful for those who lost loved ones in the Lockerbie tragedy. I know that this latest outcome (allowing compassionate release of the perpetrato) has opened old wounds and stirred up the old grief and anger.

    However, I have to wonder what happened to the Christian attitude about forgiveness. Many Christians are constantly congratulating ourselves that we, as Christians, are so morally superior to Muslims who seem so brutal to us in their lack of forgiveness. Yet, every person I have heard on TV has said the man should never be forgiven, should have his brains blown out, etc. This sounds a lot more like "an eye for an eye" than the "turn the other cheek" message as taught by Christ. And again, I know how much the families of the victims are hurting, and rightfully, but Christ himself said there is no grace in forgiving your friends, but grace lies in forgiving your enemies.

    So, I can understand the message of the Scots Minister of Justice, and I believe this is the basis on which his decision is based.

    August 22, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. John McCoy

    I'm getting sick and tired of all the yelling about the release. Commenter’s merely look foolish, even the FBI director. Apparently it was done according to Scottish law and that's the only important point. He was neither a prisoner of the United States nor of the United Kingdom. Scotland is a sovereign nation and has a right to make its own decisions. Had it been up to me, the man never would have served a second in prison – he would have been executed on conviction. Find something else to talk about. Get us into space and headed for the stars before what happened to Jupiter happens to us. Read LUCIFER’S HAMMER by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven if you’d like to know what I mean.

    August 22, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Albert

    Libia Sponsors Terrorism and Harbors Terrorists.

    Iraq does not have so many Terrorists as Libia.

    Yet Bush attacked Iraq.


    ................ OIL .........................

    August 22, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Any condemnation from the UN is about a useless as tits on a boar hog!

    August 22, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. jules sand-perkins

    No! Don't condemn Libya.
    Condemn the Scottish officials who released the bomber.
    Libya's welcome could have been anticipated.
    There are some crimes for which the death penalty is the only appropriate punishment. This bombing is a fine example.

    August 22, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. AJ

    It seems to me we should be making more of a stink about Scotland releasing him to begin with...

    August 22, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. cd

    you spelled brice's name wrong.

    August 22, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Illinoistom

    Ooohh. The big bad UN will make a strongly worded statement and the Scots will go get that mass murderer back. It will be interesting to see if any gas/oil deals are now struck between the UK and Libya.

    August 22, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. MatthewDetroit

    Schummer thank you for wasting time.
    The UN does not matter and the condemnation does not matter.
    Waste of time like when you jokers investigate baseball.
    Work on the economy and finding people jobs.
    Cut taxes and cut spending.

    August 22, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. Clifford in New York

    For once in my life I agree with Sen.Charles Shumer.

    August 22, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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