British Prime Minister Gordon Brown broke his silence Tuesday on the release of terminally ill Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, saying the British had struck no deal with Libya for its oil, and saying that he was "angry and repulsed" at the hero's welcome Megrahi received in Tripoli last week. (The Times, watch Megrahi's homecoming)
What the commentators said
Britain owes the world an apology, said Vicky Ward in The Huffington Post. Megrai murdered 270 people, mostly Americans, by bombing a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. No matter what British government says now, the Scottish authorities would never have gone so far out on a limb "without checking it out with the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown."
The shocking thing about Megrahi's homecoming, said The Tripoli Post in an editorial, is that he arrived home so near death. Scotland says it released him out of compassion, but its neglectful treatment of him was more like "premeditated murder." His countrymen—many of who, remember, still believe he's innocent—are nevertheless thrilled to have him home.
Letting Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi go home was a "sign of strength," said The Netherlands' Trouw via WorldMeets.us. The families of the dead and the American government want revenge, but Megrahi is dying of prostate cancer, so keeping him locked up is pointless. Letting him go "is a gesture that shows how the civilization that the condemned sought to undermine has proven stronger than they are."