So Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, got his release, to cries of outrage from the United States government. It was “absolutely wrong”, said Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
Then in a bizarre coincidence, up popped former US army officer Lt William Calley – not much heard of since the 1970’s when he was convicted of the mass murder of 500 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. Yesterday Lt Calley offered his first public apology for the crime.
Back in 1971, he was sent to gaol for life. And what was the reaction of the US government? The unbending determination that it would be “absolutely wrong” to release a mass murderer before he had served his full sentence? No, actually President Nixon quickly cut his punishment to three years’ house arrest.
And there were no doubts about Calley’s guilt unlike that of Megrahi (see my blogs of July 27 and Aug 16), nor was he dying of cancer. Double standards, anyone?