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. ron

    So where is our "president" on tis issue???????????

    August 22, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. eolufemi

    I wonder what effect our response to the Scottish decision has on the world's perception of Americans. I wonder primarily because Americans have largely sided with Obama that none of the Bush administration should be held accountable for the unnecessary loss of Iraqi and Afghan life. I am often concerned with our inability to recognize the importance of maintaining the moral high ground. Without it there are many in the world, including our purported allies who perceive us as ideological bullies and place little importance on our notions of justice. Which, explains why the Scottish official spoke in terms of their values like compassion juxtaposed against our values like retribution. If we expect retribution in accounting for offense than it stands to reason the world would expect us to apply this principle in our own justice system. So if anything this should galvanize support for reforming our own justice system, so that even criminals at the highest level of government will not be above the law. And in that context, we can seriously expect other nations to respect us enough not to insult American victims of criminals under their custody.

    August 22, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. "Feigned" Outrage!

    "Feigned" outrage by liberals. The U.S. had to know this deal was in the works. Now the Dems can pretend to be are outraged by the release of this terrorist at the same they actually forbid the use of "islamic terrorist" in the Obama administration.

    Liberals aren't fooling anybody! They waited until he was safe and sound on Libyan soil before speaking out!

    August 22, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. BILL, WI

    Why don't we send the detainees that are left in Gitmo to Scotland. That way we will be assured of a fair trial for them. That will quiet some of the condemnation the United States has had from the UN, the US senate and citizens of Scotland of our treatment of Gitmo detainees. You may not like some outcomes of the justice system, but it still guarantees that all people will have their day in court.

    August 22, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. Nutjob

    My company and employees will support wholefoods now more than ever. When we decided that we had to lay off two employees becouse of how business has slowed down so much, I took a look at two cars in our parking lot with obama / biden stickers on them and decided to let them go first. I guess this is the kind of change they are looking for, why let my good employees suffer for the mistake they made.

    John Schwab
    Los Angeles Waterproofing

    August 22, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. Too late !

    Isn't this crying over spilt milk? Blame the dumb Scots with their rotten teeth, and equally rotten judgement.

    August 22, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. dave

    Libya is a terrorist country...should we have expected any more? It is disgraceful, and I hope Libya suffers in some way for its actions.

    It is also shameful that Scotland behaved in this way! Have they no shame, no compassion for the victims families? Compassion for the criminal, but none for the families...where is the justice in that

    This whole mess is just shameful. For his crimes he should have rotted in prision, regardless of how he dies.

    August 22, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Ervin Raab

    I am astounded Momar Kaddaffi had allowed such an outward display of what could only amount to a "hero's welcome" for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.

    This is such a flagrant slap in the face of those who had no choice in the Lockerbie crash.

    Ervin Raab

    August 22, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Butch Dillon

    Blair has been lying for a long time, Schumer should be able to see through his inept bloviating. The Brits have gone soft on terror, trading a mass murderer for oil and dates. Robert Mueller seems to be the only American outraged by this British betrayal and yet his objections are barely covered in the American media. This issue is uniting all Americans but the MSM is only modestly recognizing Scotland's enormous mistake in releasing the Libyan bomber and the UK's overall wicked deal for oil with Gadafi. Get with the program CNN and the rest of the MSM, expose Britain for the treacherous ally it is.

    August 22, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Gee Chuck,you think it might have been about the oil?If you really wanted Bin Laden, Cheney could have caught him a few years ago at his Villa in Saudi Arabia having a picnic with his family.

    August 22, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Tex

    Oh my, tsk tsk tsk, shame on you, you old nasty Ghadafi. And shame on you Chucky "beaver" Shumer for being such a moron. How bout we remind Ghadoofy of what Reagan game him back in the 80's and blow up a couple of his tents again??

    August 22, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. John

    If the reports that the bomber received a hero's welcome home in Libya are really true, I'd have to agree that the organizers and participants of the welcome deserve to be rebuked or reprimanded.

    For whatever that's worth.

    August 22, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. S M R

    Cheney could build a mansion in Libya and feel right at home.

    August 22, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. John Ruch

    At the same time we were going to war against Iraq, which produced no American-killing terrorists, because negotiations supposedly never would work, we made friends again with Libya, which did produce American-killing terrorists, because negotiations supposedly work great. Tony Blair got his photo taken shaking hands with Ghadafi at that time. Now Americans and Brits are shocked, appalled, disgusted, etc. by this? They are the ones who befriended an actual terrorist dictator-king while killing thousands of innocent people in an attempt to assassinate a fake one in a $3 trillion war. And as usual, that's all down the media memory hole already. We are a nation of pathetic murderous hypocrites and ignoramuses.

    August 22, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. Gerry

    Schunar is a idiot – there were 19 UN resolutions against Saddam and he just did nothing what will condiming Lybia for there actions. Nothing they don't care what is said to them by the western world.

    August 22, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. nea

    The man have been released now too late! Just pray he have been changed in heart and mind. Another thing i have to say is there is a lot of people out there that wants our President to fail, well i got news for you if he fails this country is going down with him just like under the previous President administration when he failed this country went down with him and GUESS WHAT ALL YOU HATERS this country is slowly improving again thanks to President Obama and administration whether you like it or not. I THANK GOD THAT HE IS NOT LIKE MAN!

    August 22, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Jasmine in Germany

    There are many people in Libya (and other parts of the world) who believe Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi was innocently convicted. Most of us believe the two Asian-American journalists who were recently released by North Korea to be innocent of "spying", yet there are many world wide who don't. Both of these parties received welcomes at home. So what? Isn't that normal? Libya has come a long way in being part of the communicative world over the years, I am thankful for that. Scotland took the high road, rightly so and has set a wonderful example for humanity. Schumer is wrong, Libya does not owe the US an apology. Libya paid long ago. Please don't call me insensitive or stupid; I'm a US citizen and a dear friend of mine was murdered on the Pan Am Lockerbie flight. Senator Schumer, it wasn't your decision, just let it go. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi will die soon, how dare you speak for the USA? Are you the Secretary of State? And you wouldn't really have to doubt any decisions made by a member of the UK had the US been honest to the UK in the last administration. You should be asking for apologies at home, not abroad.

    August 22, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. George

    If we are to believe this was an act of pure altruism, then we must believe Libya and radical Islam are benign. I'm sure all the prisoners at Gitmo want to be transferred to Scotland now.

    August 22, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Seth Hill

    They keep saying Islam is a religion of peace, but they keep cheering and blowing horns to welcome back a convicted terrorist. I keep trying to understand, but it gets harder and harder...

    August 22, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  20. rufus

    Well Chuckie boy; you libs all think you can negotiate and cajole these animals into being human and you know ; its impossible! Surely someone can figure out a way to get this terrorist to his 72 virgins quicker than prostate cancer!

    August 22, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. Audrey

    Are you also going to ask for a condemnation of the Bush Administration Government for what they did to Iraq and the Iraqi people. You have no moral authority anymore.

    August 22, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. valwayne

    I have no liking or respect for Libya, but the criminal behavior here wasn't in the greeting of this murdering terrorists it was in the release. Sen Schumer should be asking for a vote of condemnation of the British/Scottish Government, not the Libyan! The weak kneed protest by President Obama of this terrorist who murdered 189 Americans also deserves condemnation! Will Sen Schumer ask for that? And now its becoming clear that there was a corrupt deal between the British Government and Libya to release this terrorist. There should be an investigation of that, and I would also like to know what the U.S. Government about the deal? That would explain the weak protest and the little outraged act we are getting now?

    August 22, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. jules sand-perkins

    My compassion is for Bryce Daniels and others loved by the victims of the released criminal.
    Try to identify with the victims' feelings, not with the criminal's.
    I had two colleagues at work who were killed in a plane crash: it is a shock that one can't imagine.
    Am I supposed to have compassion for the bomber of a plane?
    I am not immoral enough to feel compassion for him.

    August 22, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. Keith in Austin

    Schumer and the bleeding heart liberals voicing idle threats while King Barry is frolicking at Martha's Vinyard. What ever happened to this great a powerful nation?

    August 22, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. David Newport, OR

    what's that in the sky? bright more problem.

    August 22, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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