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. Brian, Orlando

    NFL fans are applauding Vick...... Why can't Libyans applaud Megrahi?

    They are both convicted felons..... perhaps if the Eagles hire him all would be forgiven.

    August 22, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Peter, San Francisco

    That's what you get when you try to deal with terrorist rogue nations. They'll say thanks and next time you know try to bomb you.

    August 22, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. Julie in VA

    Huh. I didn't know ol' Schumer was a big anti-terror guy.

    August 22, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Amanda

    Who cares ?

    August 22, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. MikeB.

    Has anyone thought to check what the Scottish ministry may have gotten from the release of this terrorist?? If not, why not?? One person had the power to release him. Hmmmmmm?????????!!!!!

    August 22, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. MikeB.

    Also what other comments have the Scottish ministry said on the subject other then humanitarian reasons. I guess we should then release other such criminals on these grounds. Maybe the Nazi's. Not what I want to see. How about those who kill people because they are mentally sick. Should they also be released?

    I do not think so.

    August 22, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. terry mason

    Schumer, you and your boys are crying foul. Everyone knows if Obama had any juice he could have stopped the release by calling Blair. This is all lip service, not action. You and the liberals can go we-wee'd all the way home!!!

    August 22, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Alan

    Ast the UN to condemn?? What did everyone expect? This just shows us how our officials are so "out of touch".

    You would think that after a while we would take these people for what they are!! TERRORIST

    August 22, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. peter

    B.S.!!! Wake up! There is hardly any innocent Arab/Muslim and peaceful Islam! After 9/11 dance in the street, celebrating now in Lybia, Plastinians DO NOT WANT either peace or state: want JEWS KILLED and Israel "wiped off the map". WALE UP and get rid of appeasement. Taliban tortures a 9 yr old boy, cuts of fingers of voters. Allah-u Akbar!!! ETc, etc, etc... UN??? For the life in me I do not get it why US did not kick out UN from NYC yrs ago and stop playing this idiotic upmanship game.

    August 22, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Albo58

    Wow, I actually agree with Schumer for once! Of course if the US strength, influence, respect, and friendship with our UK allies were more acute, then that rat would still be in prison in Scotland! Our weak political leadership once again plays the reactive role...too little, too late!

    August 22, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. Bill from CA

    Isn't ironic that Bush and the GOP claim to be so much tougher on terrorism than the Democrats, but yet it was under Bush's watch the U.S. renewed relations with Libya and their terrorist-loving leader because he was deemed to be "with us." By all the fanfare and welcome home for a convicted terrorist, it certainly seems like Libya is "against us" now, doesn't it? This whole situation makes me sick. When you release a terrorist so he can die with his family, was any consideration given to the fact that this terrorist didn't afford any of the 259 people he killed that same opportunity? What good is a life sentence if you get to get out early?!?

    August 22, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Joe m

    and what would that accomplish? if the administration and our politicians wanted to affect this decision more they should have done more while it ws being made. now that it is made this individual is back in his homeland where no one can touch him and no amount of condemnation will change the situation. these politicians have failed to serve the needs of the families of the vicitims of this individual, again.

    August 22, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. American Joe

    WHOOOOOOOOA!!!!!!! That's the way to tell & get them, Chuckie. I'm sure Moa'mar Qahdafi and the Libyans are shaking in their sandals over the threat of a UN condemnation......... Why don't you blame the leftist Scots & Brits and (Blair & Brown). they cut the deal for OIL. The europeans will throw the U.S. under the bus for any reason on anyday, unless they are REALLY on the recieving end.

    August 22, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Rob Stumpf

    If we're going to condemn Libya, why not Scotland?

    August 22, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  15. Ridgeway

    If Obama and the libs get there way with health care invite the bastard to America for treatment then we can watch him die a slow and agonizing death. Excellent.

    August 22, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  16. TR

    Condem SCOTLAND

    August 22, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  17. joe

    everytime a united states politician said somenthing hateful about
    another country i get bery concern because the u s a is not strong is it
    use to please stop being too arrogant!!! washington,.

    August 22, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  18. Denna

    I would not be too outraged about Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi getting out of jail. He is a doomed, condemned man and his sentence will not be commuted by soft-headed jailers. He is more locked up now than he ever was before. He will never be free, not now, not ever. Sometimes jail is not the worst thing that can happen to you.

    August 22, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. Independent

    Do you smell what I smell???? Another WAR!!!! Surprise, Surprise!!

    August 22, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  20. Dreaded_1

    What about americas embracing of terrorists??? Bush is still walking free amongst others who should be locked away for the rest of their lives!!

    August 22, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  21. Donald William. Dyer

    Mad as Hell would be the phrase we are looking for. Now is a good time to see just who is with us and who is not.

    What a slap in the face..... Thank you Scotland

    Donald Dyer
    Salem, Oregon

    August 22, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  22. LKM

    Where but in the Middle East, excluding Israel, would the return of a mass murderer of 270 innocent persons be celebrated? That is tantamount to California welcoming Charles Manson back into society. I believe we need to understand the differences in cultural mindsets of not only Western civilizations and the terrorists, but the civilian populations in countries where this sort of thing is celebrated. We have seen very similar things in Palestinian areas for example, when Jews are killed, but never the converse. Why is that and what can be done about it, if anything? If we are fighting terrorism we had best know everything possible about the enemy so we can address the root causes, though admittedly that might be an exercise in futility.

    August 22, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  23. aliousalam

    Get a life. What he did was no different from what our soldiers are doing in Iraq and Bagdad. We chose smart bombs that kill pregnant women in their home in far away places while the killer sits in a comfy chair in his office, using his computer.

    The rest of the world hasn't got that sofistication to respond to us. However, we can't chose their weapons as we chose ours.

    The truth is, the scottish gov. chose its policy and we can't control that either.

    We have death penalty in this country and the pope and others have tried all they can to stop texas government murders camps or slaughter houses.

    We can't stop gun owners here from shooting and killing anyone they want.

    So why are we so upset about scottland chosing to send a sick inmate home to his family? Remember that these family members were not proven to be part of his organization's plan. They were casualties just like the familes of those who lost lives here. They lost their father too.

    The only way to stop this is to stop all wars. Just stop it. Stop going to other countries and fighting for oil and other stuff, thus subsidizing companies which follow the wars for more business.

    The wars cost this country billions more than any healthcare could have. Yet we are all for wars and keep fighting against health care for all Americans.

    Get a life and let it go. Make peace here, and let the rest of the world learn from us. not the other way around.

    August 22, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. Angi's Mom

    This terminally ill man was sent home to die. Schumer's hatred is ugly.

    August 22, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. GuyInVA

    Senator Schumer is right about the Libyan government's behavior, but asking (or even getting) a U.N. condemnation is a waste of time. The U.N. is a toothless paper tiger. Not many countries tremble at the thought of an "official condemnation". It's the equivalent of a "non-binding shame on you".

    August 22, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
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