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. Hugo

    Sounds like good old European socialistic thoughts on how the penal system is to work. No accountability, no responsibility, time served!
    I wouldn't be surprised if Ghadafi didn't put up some Libyan oil futures in the deal. Hey, what is 270 lives worth during a global economic crisis now days anyway? Now that Obama's apologies have brought up European approval ratings of America it is all good, they would never do anything to spit in our faces.

    August 23, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Allan

    @champly: Why is it that you and the rest of the far right crazies think the President is involved and supportive of every single thing that happens on the planet?? Obama IS outraged? Can't you read? Or is your mind so stuffed with garbage that you forgot how?

    August 23, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Black and Proud !!!

    @champly August 23rd, 2009 11:01 am ET
    Most of the victims of the Pan Am flight were white Americans and Europeans. Mr Obama has had every opportunity now to condemn this in no uncertain terms and he has not. There must be some reason.
    ***President Obama has Already Condem the release of this Mass Murderer ******Who is Mr. Obama ?***The ? is Who in the H_LL are YOU*** as you know President Obama is half white/and half black*** which half are you attacking ?Why did Bush ignore Katrina !!!!!!

    August 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. 60's survivor

    I see that racism is alive and well in this blog, with many Limbuagh plants like "HUGO" what a jerk...
    I equal your types right up with the terrorists...and yet, you are loose on the streets- running your mouths and always trying to start yard bully!! I'm not afraid of you – would fight back in a bleeding heart liberal here...I'll give as good as I get....

    August 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. 60's survivor

    champly – your bigotry is showing big time – go sit in the corner

    August 23, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. pakyaw

    Whoever this Mullen is, was he appalled when an american invaded the home of Suki Yaki (spelling may be wrong) in Myanmar on his own accord, sentenced to hard labor and was released leaving the frail and perhaps sick Suki Yaki, to take the rap for his misdeeds. Commendable american action! Now this is not murder of 270 people from the West, but it has put back the progress of millions of people by another four years. What does that cost the west, what does it cost the people of Myanmar....and the macho american is laughing all the way to freedom at the expense of a frail frail frail woman and millions of people.

    August 23, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Issano in Florida

    These nutty Republicons still trying to give advice on the war. Had they given George Bush the right advice on the war in Iraq, we would not be there today.
    The American people do not want the party of NO giving any advice to this current administration. The former administration has set this country back decades.
    The policy of the Republican party are too reckless, dangerous, and extreme. the cannot be trusted. Tom Ridge's recent statement proves that.
    Let's get health care signed without them. Had the Republican been in office, they would have done health care without the Democrat's support. Oh I forgot, they did nothing for health care when they were in office for the past eight years

    August 23, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Carole

    I knew that boy JP who got on flight 103. He sat in my junior high classroom. He was a bright and promising all around American. His parents relentlessly went all over the country crusading for airport security, something sorely needed at the time. A friend of his decided to extend his stay and did not get on that plane. I am outraged at this behind the scenes power play of governments to release this mass murderer. I am definitely with John Bolton calling for a Congressional investigation of what President Obama knew about the release.

    August 23, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Palin 2012 - 2014 1/2

    Libya is in Africa, not the Middle East.....just ask Palin!

    August 23, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Dan, WA

    Everybody is appalled but what does Barack Obama do? He is responsible for it. He should sit down with Qaddafi and sort it out now. He has no guts to do that. He is just a talk. I want to make sure CNN publishes this because basically CNN is liberal supporting Obama.

    August 23, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Thank God

    Remember, Christianity contains the greatest gift to all humanity

    forgiving in the face of real evil....

    remember this, and you are truly a "Super Power"

    Hats off to the Scottish!

    August 23, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. JonDie

    Then why, Admiral Mullen, did YOUR president George W. Bush embrace and pardon Libyan dictator Moammar Khaddafi, the author of the Lockerbie murders?

    We all know the business about Libya giving up WMDs was a lie, that Libya NEVER had any WMDs.

    And we all know that we pardoned Khaddafi to get the oil.

    That includes YOU!

    August 23, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. the old sage

    My mother's family is from Scotland and I have always been proud of my Scottish background until now. SHAME SHAME SHAME for having zero respect for the Americans who lost their lives from this terrorist.

    August 23, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. nurse

    It's interesting that the first black president is pushing for segregation in Israel . ............... Oh and don;t say Jihadist .. obama doesn't want you to use it .

    August 23, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Dan

    How does he feel about the US giving safe haven to the two Cubans who blew an Venezuelan airplane full of innocent people out of the air?

    August 23, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Winnie

    I am appalled at the release of the terrorist who was responsible for the murder, in such a horrific manner, of so many innocent people on Pan Am 103. I am also appalled at the blatant ignorance of grammar and spelling of those who are ostensibly writing in the English language in these comment sections. God help us if they are reflective of the average person turned out by our educational system.

    August 23, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Sarge in Florida

    I'm impalled that that Bush and Cheney aren't in jail yet facing war crimes.

    August 23, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Ken in Gainesville

    Once again, the failure of the dismal American school system is evident in these blogs. People don't know where Libya is (Africa), the history of relations with the country (tense at best, but improved because of its oil and American desires for business, especially under Bush), anything about Scotland (foreign affairs handled by GB, but largely independent on domestic issues), or the influence of America and President Obama on a single judge in Scotland (absolutely none). What do you idiots want the President to do? Shoot down the Libyan plane? Invade Scotland? Republican oil interests will thwart any attempt at retaliation. Then there's the fool who brings race into this. What a bunch of morons. If you follow Hannity and Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter and FOX, get ready to dive off the cliff (and good riddance). It's easy to see why right-wingers hate education so much. They all ought to move to South Carolina with Sanford and DeMint.

    August 23, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. maria

    These other countries can't tell us what to do, why should be able to tell them what to do or not do? We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan illegally, we kept prisoners illegally and without rights, we had Blackwater killing people illegally and were asked to leave the country, and didn't... the list goes on and on.
    I don't agree with them letting this man out of prison but we have our own issues here in this country that we need to deal with. This man is going to die. This is just another distraction to keep from working on the real problems in this country.
    American is a very corrupt greedy prideful country that is heading toward becoming a third world country.
    We as American, tax paying citizens need to stay focus on the issues going on right here and keep on our representatives..... unemployment, crime, diminishing food supplies ( see Detroit), increasing homelessness,increase illiteracy in our children, soldiers coming home with untreated PTSD, lack of medical care,corrupt politician, much needed social programs being cut, greedy corporate America thriving at the expense of the people.......are some of our issues.
    Agree or disagree those issues are still here. Keep focused.

    August 23, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Why would you care Mikey.

    August 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Solomon

    Just hope west understand what they are doing? I think this guy was released for economic gains

    August 23, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Solomon

    Just hope the west understand what they are doing? I think this guy was released for economic gains

    August 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    What appalling is that George Bush and Dick Cheney, who used deception to launch a war of choice for profit in Iraq that got 4,300 U.S. troops and 1.3 million Iraqis killed, not only have yet to face charges of treason and war crimes, but both enjoy lifetime free salaries and free health care paid for by the citizens they deceived and endangered.
    If there's no justice for their staggering scale of crimes, there's no justice in America.

    August 23, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Karen

    Where was President Obama BEFORE the release of this terrorist?
    I agree "Life seems to have been cheapened some where along the road." At least it has in Washington!
    God help us!!

    August 23, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    What's appalling is that George Bush and Dick Cheney, who used deception to launch a war of choice for profit in Iraq that got 4,300 U.S. troops and 1.3 million Iraqis killed, not only have yet to face charges of treason and war crimes, but both enjoy lifetime free salaries and free health care paid for by the citizens they deceived and endangered.
    If there's no justice for their staggering scale of crimes, there's no justice in America.

    August 23, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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