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Dear Right-Wing Bedwetters: George H.W. Bush Sought to Try Lockerbie Terrorists in US Court

Pictured: a terrorist-enabling ACLU pacifist

Pictured: a terrorist-enabling ACLU civil liberties extremist

Jim DeMint, summing up the ZOMG-you-can’t-give-these-terrists-a-trial meme on Sunday.

If we had treated this Christmas Day bomber as a terrorist, he would have immediately been interrogated military-style, rather than given the rights of an American and lawyers,” Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said on CNN. “We probably lost valuable information.”

But back before Republicans reflexively went into a fetal position every time someone of Arab decent sneezed, things were different.

Remember the Lockerbie bombing? Pan Am Flight 103. Killed 270 people, including 179 Americans.

And what was the response of the first Bush administration?

[excerpt from the Washington Post – 11/4/89]

Regarding the investigation into the mid-air bombing that killed all 259 people aboard Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 more on the ground in Scotland, [CIA Director William] Webster said the U.S. government is still not at the point where it could issue indictments and arrest warrants for anyone.

Webster praised the combined efforts of investigators from four nations to track down the terrorists responsible but said there had been “too much discussion” in the news media about their work.

“It makes it very difficult to lay traps and find new evidence when people start reading about themselves. And it makes countries and [security] services defensive. Right now the name of the game is for the bomb not to have been put on board in their country,” he said. He added that by using the term “lay traps,” he meant surveillance of suspects. […]

Asked whether the goal is to apprehend those responsible and bring them back to the United States for trial, the CIA director replied, “That’s correct.”

How times have changed.

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