- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Question of the Day
ENVOY IN TANGLED WEB
The British government is defending its ambassador in Washington against predictions that he will be the scapegoat in the embarrassing, tangled web involving Libya, the Lockerbie bomber and a massive contract for the London-based BP oil giant.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who met with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday, authorized aides to spread the word that Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald is doing a “superb job” and that he has no intention of replacing Mr. Sheinwald before the normal end of his diplomatic tour in about 18 months.
Mr. Cameron spread his defense of Mr. Sheinwald through Benedict Brogan, an influential reporter at the London Daily Telegraph, after a rival newspaper, the Daily Mail, wrote the ambassador’s diplomatic obituary on Tuesday.
The “Lockerbie affair” is shorthand for a triad of scandals that erupted just before Mr. Cameron’s visit to Washington. The British media earlier this month reported new details on the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan terrorist convicted of masterminding the 1988 bombing of an American airliner over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland. The bombing claimed 270 victims, including 189 Americans.
One newspaper revealed that al-Megrahi, who has prostrate cancer, is likely to live another 10 years instead of the three months he was given before Scotland released him last August. A doctor who issued the three-month prognosis claimed he was paid by Libya, which gave al-Megrahi a hero’s welcome after his return to Tripoli.
Another report linked BP, the oil conglomerate now polluting the American Gulf coast, to the prisoner release and a Libyan oil-exploration contract worth more than $900 million.
As a foreign-policy aid to former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003, Mr. Sheinwald helped in negotiations that led to Libya’s decision to abandon its nuclear weapons program. He also was involved in talks over an agreement on a prisoner exchange with Libya in 2007. At the same time, BP was pressing for the prisoner exchange in order to get the oil contract, according to a statement released by the company.
“Sir Nigel is seen as tainted by the Lockerbie affairs,” one source told the newspaper.
However, a former British diplomat in Washington told Embassy Row on Thursday that the report is “rubbish.”
“From everything I hear, London thinks he is doing an excellent job,” said the former diplomat who asked not to be identified because he did not want to be dragged into the controversy.
Frank Duggin- a Washington lawyer and president of the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, which represents the relatives of those killed in the bombing - said an aide to Mr. Cameron dismissed the rumor this week.
- Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail jmorrison@washington times.com.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: Israeli at the White House in another Golda moment
- Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, dies at age 95
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Huh? 'Universal word' signals total confusion wherever you go
- Sen. Ben Cardin hits Ukraine for crackdown on Kiev protests
Latest Blog Entries
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Embryonic stem cell research falls out of favor as scientists go ethical
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!