[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/23/art.mullenwall0823.cnn.jpg 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.”