[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 153
DECEMBER 2 1988
“Team of Palestinians not associated with the PLO plans to attack American targets in Europe. Targets specified are Pan Am and US military bases.” US Intl Report dated Dec. 2 1988
According to an US Intelligence document dated December 2 1988, US officials were expecting a revenge bombing for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner.
“Team of Palestinians not associated with the PLO plans to attack American targets in Europe. Targets specified are Pan Am and US military bases,” the report warned.
In that particular context, the reader may safely assume that “Team of Palestinians not associated with the PLO” would mean Ahmed Jibril, the PPSF and Abu Nidal organizations, that all opposed Yasser Arafat for his willingness to work with the US and to accept a two States solution.
Upon learning the existence of this document, UK Families Flight 103, which represents most of the British relatives of the Lockerbie dead, wrote to John Major with a series of urgent questions about this warning on July 31 1995.
Eight weeks later, on September 22, a reply from Edward Oakden, Major’s private secretary, finally arrived.
Q: Was this warning passed to the British intelligence services at the time? NO REPLY.
Q: If so, was this information passed to government departments, civil servants and/or ministers? NO REPLY.
Q: Was the warning given to the US Federal Aviation Authority and/or Pan Am by US or British intelligence? NO REPLY.
Q: What if any, steps were taken by the intelligence services or government departments as a result of the warning? NO REPLY.
Q: Finally, in the light of the release of this information, do you still stand by your comment in a letter earlier this year to John Mosey [whose daughter Helga died on Pan Am 103] that ‘no specific warnings were received before the Lockerbie disaster’?
REPLY: ‘The analyst [of the report] assessed the threat as circular reporting, possibly versions of two earlier Counter Intelligence Daily Summaries. ‘These earlier summaries remain classified, but the US authorities have assured us that neither made mention of Pan Am, nor of any other specific suspected target, but rather referred to a threat to US suspected targets generally. It appears that some with whom the original non-specific intelligence reports were shared jumped to conclusions about possible specific targets based on their own conjecture and that the December 2 report recycled this feedback. The US document was thus not the specific warning that it might first appear. I’m afraid that it adds nothing new of substance.’
“Oakden [John Major’s private secretary] claims that an intelligence officer, reading previous reports that US targets generally were in danger from terrorist bombing, took it on himself, without any information or intelligence, to make a random guess that a target might be a specific airline, namely Pan Am, a guess which he coolly passed on in an official intelligence report. The guess miraculously turned out to be completely accurate,” wrote UK investigative journalist Paul foot in the London Magazine Private Eye.
As noted by Chomsky, “the brazen arrogance of the powerful passes far beyond the imagination of ordinary mortals.”
“The plain truth is that the December 2 warning, which after a four-year delay has been wrenched from the US Government under the Freedom of Information Act (and was certainly not passed on to Pan Am at the time), is the plainest proof that in the weeks before Lockerbie the authorities were issuing warnings that Pan Am was a terrorist target. Those warnings were effectively ignored; and now there is no limit to the cover-up by the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic,” concluded Foot.