Scotland has temporarily given compassion a bad name, and in this author's humble opinion, done a disservice to the concepts of trial and justice, and perhaps as some have opined, rewarded terrorism.
In 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, including 189 Americans. In January 2001, a Scottish court convicted one man, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, for his complicity in this atrocious act. Mr. al-Megrahi was feted to a fair trial, with all opportunities to avail himself of any defense in the evidence. He was justifiably sentenced to 27 years in prison for mass murder.
If anything, his sentence was too short. Yet, due to a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer, the justice secretary of Scotland, Kenny MacAskill decided and announced last week that, for humanitarian and compassionate reasons, he was releasing al-Megrahi. This was misplaced compassion.
It was enough compassion for a monster the likes of al-Megrahi to have been fairly tried and permitted to live his life behind bars. He was not threatened with torture or execution, notwithstanding he might have deserved such punishment. Nor was he treated with the same dearth of compassion his home country of Libya is well known for.
So it was too much for MacAskill to grant al-Megrahi his freedom; his freedom to die on his own terms, in his own bed, among his own family. All these things al-Megrahi evilly worked to deny hundreds of innocent people of, and thousands of their surviving family members. And the reports that he was greeted in Tripoli with a hero's welcome only turns the stomach that much more, twists the screws into the minds of right thinking people, and stands the concepts of humanitarian and compassion on their heads.
So, Mr. al-Megrahi, may you soon touch the face of Satan, and may he chew your foetid soul with dull teeth for an eternity, liKe a cow chews their cud. And to Mr. MacAskill: may you lose your job and think better the next time you want to reward a convicted terrorist and mass murderer with overwhelming and undeserved compassion.