August 23rd, 2009
10:24 AM ET
13 years ago

Mullen: I was 'appalled' by release of Lockerbie bomber

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen deferred comment Sunday about whether possible military sales between the Pentagon and Libya could be affected by the release of the Lockerbie bomber."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A top military adviser to President Obama is deferring comment on the political or longer-term strategic implications of the recent release of the only man convicted of bombing Pan Am flight 103. But Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed his personal displeasure Sunday at the release.

“Just personally, I was appalled by the decision,” to release Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, Mullen told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King on CNN’s State of the Union.

Asked whether al Megrahi’s release and the celebratory welcome he received upon returning to Libya might impact any proposed sales of military hardware by the Pentagon to the Middle Eastern country, Mullen responded “well, we’ll deal with those down the road. That’s just where I am right now.”

Asked about the message sent by decision of Scottish authorities to release al Megrahi, Mullen also said Sunday that the release “was obviously a political decision which is out of my lane.”

Filed under: Mike Mullen • State of the Union
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. champly

    I am shocked that Mr. Obama didn't speak out about this in advance of the outrage committed by Scotland. But maybe not, since he has been kissing the butt of every Islamic terrorist group around the world.

    The outrage here is that Obama is not outraged. Shame on him for encouraging acts of violence both at home and abroad.

    August 23, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. champly

    Mr. Obama broadcast worldwide a message of well wishes on the event of Ramadan. Will he do that for a Christian religious observance ? Probably not since he appears to be sympathetic of Jihadists.

    August 23, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. independent Jim

    Quadaffi (the Libyia leader) became much more passive after Reagan bombed his palace. Will he stay the same after the easy release of the Lockerbie bomber?

    August 23, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Ron

    This action did not surprise me! The People in general in the Western Blk countries have gone soft and it seems they no longer believe in crime punishment. Not a week ago they let another murderer out of prision, Sqeaky Frome had been handed a sentance of life in prison, now she is sick so they let her out!
    Life seems to have been cheapened some where along the road.
    God help us!!
    Releasing this terrorist was a slap in the face of every country that is fighting terrorism! I am surprised that the Army of Scotland does not ask to be returned home, I believe they still have troops fighting in Afghanstan, they are probably wondering why? We catch them, Our Government lets them loose!! What do we accomplish!

    August 23, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. champly

    Since Obamists like to get down and dirty in pointing out the faults of others not in tune with their correctness, lets play "turn about is fair play" here.

    Most of the victims of the Pan Am flight were white Americans and Europeans. Could Mr. Obama's racism, clearly exhibited in his attack on the New Haven police department, as well as his blind support for the racist black Harvard professor, be seeping into his decision to ignore the release of this mass murderer ? Mr Obama has had every opportunity now to condemn this in no uncertain terms and he has not. There must be some reason.

    Who is Mr. Obama ?

    August 23, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. tpco

    Hey- Well at least he didn't apologize to them. Probably because he couldn't come up with a way to blame Bush.

    August 23, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Art

    Someone better keep an eye on him.

    August 23, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Joe Smith

    I'm sure Bush and his oil buddies are involved in this somehow!

    August 23, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. g

    some brop bombs from F16 some in a suit innocent people get killed every country has its heros atleast lybbia payed 2 billion to familys will america

    August 23, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. unshrub

    champly: You are an idiot.

    As for most of the others commenting today: This must be the day for you to get your frustration of Obama out in the open. BUT you don't know how to pick your fight. What has Obama to do with this? He did condemn releasing Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, but what else can he do, send the special forces into Scotland. You guys as such idiots. You don't have a clue about the facts, only that it must be Obama's fault. And yes, it was BUSH who made nice with the terrorist government of Libya and now to treat Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi like a hero.

    August 23, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Lynne

    Scotland is a democratic gov't with its own rules, laws and values and are entitled to make their own decisions. That president Obama could have interfered in Scotlands decisions is laughable.

    It is also astounding that some Americans are basing their opinions of Kadafy"s word over the word of the Scottish and British gov't. America has its own backroom deals, blood and oil stained hands to account for with the invasion of Iraq.

    August 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Peoples Voice

    Yahoo for the British oil companies.

    Just in case those of you who think like my girlfriend, the liberals are not in control in Britain. It's the right wing who let this man go.

    Nice job, Old Chap.

    August 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. jules sand-perkins

    Racist voices in these blogs may stop crying, "racism, racism," when they consider this fact; the opposition to Obama is not based on race. If it were, he could never have won the election.

    August 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. J.P.

    Appeasement of terrorists does not curry favor with them. It merely increases their contempt for your timidity, and makes them despise you even more.

    Five thousand years of recorded human history have shown that peace can never be "negotiated." The loser must beg for it.

    At the rate we're going, the islamic terrorists will have brought the western world to its knees and we as the pitiful defeated will beg for "peace."

    When you find yourself in a thousand-year war of Islam's making, a war which is being waged against you whether you choose to participate or not, you have a choice. You either sink to their level and decimate your aggressors or you bow to become their slaves. There is no middle ground here. And I for one, as a husband and father to an amazing daughter, have no intention of kissing the feet of people who do not deserve the designation of "human."

    August 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Scots Away

    If the US sells arms to Libya now, we'd be as dumb as the Scots. And that's DUMB !

    August 23, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. jules sand-perkins

    Admiral Mullen is very professional, a gentleman, and by training a good follower.
    He leaves it for us to discern why he can offer only his own personal displeasure.

    August 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Ralph

    Alright, can't blame the Obama administration for this one even though their response was extremely weak. Wouldn't it be great to get a covert operative into Libya, find this scumbag, cowardly murderer and kill him where he stands-Now that's a message to send to Libya and other cowardly terrorists. We will get you no matter where you cower in fear, no matter where you hide. All terrorists scumbags will die and by the way, no virgins waiting for you, only hell.

    August 23, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    OK, so my question to all of you saying President Obama has been so silent is this. People, "on what planet do you spend most of your time?" The President has already spoken out on the "Catch and Release Program" the government of Scotland appears to be running. So what are we to do? Should we invade Libya and bring this terrorist to the USA and complete the sentence imposed by Scotland? We have our own courts telling us we must release terrorist from our detention units.

    What we really need to be doing is bringing our troops home and putting them on our borders to secure them and use them to erect markers to indicate where drug smugglers were caught so their families can collect their remains and take them back to Mexico but no we can't do that because so many Americans want to make drugs they smuggle across the borders legal in this country.

    I have a much better understanding now of my mothers concerns when she used to make the comment that she worried about what this country would be like when my generation grew up. Well at my age now, I look back at the two generations behind me and I have concluded that her fears, while off by a couple of generations, were well founded.

    August 23, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Ralph

    joey smith: if you truly believe what you wrote, then you are a brainless idiot.

    August 23, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. james windings

    so was i he should of stayed in jail and rotted.

    August 23, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Peter

    Question for champly. "Are you serious"?

    August 23, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Rick in OP

    “I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air".

    This quote by Margaret Thatcher seems to be most appropriate to describe the actions of the Scottish Government.
    I wholeheartedly agree with FBI Director Mueller’s letter to the Scottish government. In the world of international terrorism in which the Libyan regime lives, this act will be perceived as a propaganda victory for them and a sign of weakness for Western Europe as represented by the government of Scotland.

    August 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Beau

    I'm protesting by not buying Scotch (and other exports) ........ and I'm inviting every American (and restaurants and clubs) to join me in this boycott.

    August 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Steve in Denver

    @Champly: Surely you aren't serious? What does the Gates arrest have to do with the Pan Am bombing, or the release of the murderer?

    Gates was in his own home and arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is, by definition, creating a disturbance in a public place. While the description of Colin Powell, saying some adult supervision should have stopped the arrest is more favorable, Obama's "acted stupidly" is certainly accurate.

    Now, again, what does this have to do with Scotland releasing the Lockerbie bomber?

    August 23, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. I'm Sick To My Stomach

    The Scottish Gov't did not think this through, obviuosly. Now, the story is evolving, Gordon Brown my have brokered a deal with Lybia. The families are the ones hurting and suffering and they werent given a choice in the matter. Even here in the US when a prisoner is up for parole the family has an opportunity to address the court before making a decision. Why didn't Scotland do something similiar?

    Conspirary theorist former Ambassador J. Bolton calling for a congressional investigation on what Obama know about the I'm sitting down reading the report from BBC and I'm saying why does this man hate Obama? He would like to blame Obama for anything so he can go on Hannity show and say......"I told ya Obama is not one of us" As long as republicans have characters like that in their party they cannot get a majority in congress. These folks are too stupid for and let live.

    August 23, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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