Thursday, August 20, 2009

In memory of John Mulroy and all who died on Pan Am Flight 103

I am appalled by the Scottish government's decision to free Abdel Baset al-Megrah, the Libyan who was found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing, on "compassionate grounds" as he is dying from cancer.
Compassionate grounds? Where is the justice here? Why should this man, who was convicted in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, when it exploded over Scotland on December 21, 1988. All 289 passengers and crew aboard the plane were killed. Eleven people on the ground in Lockerbie were also killed.
Al-Megrah served only eight years of his life sentence. I applaud the White House and other U.S. officials for condemning this release.
I lost a co-worker on this flight. John Mulroy, 59, who was Associated Press' director of international communications, was on board that plane with five members of his family. I worked for AP at the time, as a news librarian. John's office was across from the library, and he often came in to visit, and ask me for help. We both left the office at 5:30 on Monday, December 19, and we got on the elevator at the same time. I noticed he was carrying a small suitcase, and he said he was going to London. I pouted, and said, wish I were coming too. He smiled and said that it was to be a short trip and he would be back by the end of the week. "and I won't forget your Smarties, " he said.
I told him to have a safe trip.
The Associated Press began reporting on a missing Pan Am Flight on Wednesday afternoon. The next morning, as I came into the office, my boss took me aside to tell me that John was on the plane that went down in Scotland.
John Mulroy joined the AP in 1984 after spending 25 years with Pan Am as their director of communications. He was returning to New York with his son, Sean and daughter-in-law, Ingrid, who lived in Sweden, and his sister, Bridget, and her husband and son. The entire family planned to celebrate the Christmas holidays together. John was survived by his wife, Josephine, of East Northport, New York, and a daughter, Siobhan and son, Brendan.
Compassionate grounds! Where was the compassion by al-Megrah, when he took part in a terrorist attack that took the lives of more than 300 people?
What about justice for the victims?


Michelle said...

i'm sorry about your friend.

and i completely agree - where's the justice?

compassionate release for one who doesn't even know the word's meaning, let alone how to act it? WRONG.

is it the scottish gov't that is ultimately responsible for the release? i'd like to know where to direct my angry letters...

henry young said...

What, all we all of a sudden giving out FREE Lunches? Since when??? Under what premise? Did this guy learn his lesson? Who knows, right? Well I guess we’ll have to find out the hard way, maybe???

Anonymous said...

How can anyone have compassion for this terrorist when he clearly did not have compassion for his victims? His "hero's welcome" in Libya was sickening.


Anonymous said...

It's a good thing the U.S doesn't have "compassionate grounds", otherwise we'd be expierencing the same problems. My Boyfriend was killed by the 9/11 attacks and yet I don't know what to say in regard to your Ap associate. All deaths are different and I wish you the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible time for all the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones and great friends in an act of terrorism just as you did Marlene.

I think that we can all relate to how you are feeling.

Sincerely, Keith.

Barbara said...

I'm terribly sorry for the lost of all these people in PanAm 103, and it for sure becomes even another dimension if one
knew a person/persons who was/were killed in this cruel attack. The report of your last few minutes with Mr Mulroy let me shudder...

This Lybian guy was found guilty for the Lockerbie bombing... after a tribunal of indications. He never, never declared
himself guilty, AFAIK, he alway denied to be 'The One'. I really do not want to offend somebody, but I think, without
that final proof of his guilty can be still a small doubt of whether he was the bomber or not. And exactly this small
doubt gives the Scotch authorities the legitimation for their compassionate decision. I really would not be in these
people's shoes who had to decide "to release or not"...

I refer to Jesus Christ who taught us to love our enemies (Luke 6, 27+28) and not to strike back, but to present the second cheeck (Luke 6, 29). He made this new federation which replaced the old one with the "tooth around tooth" attitude . I'm deeply convinced, that there IS a higher
power who will search for justice, if the decisions to release that man should have been completely wrong.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Most people who are guilty of crimes, certainly in the ANglo-American justice systems do not declare themselves to be guilty. One is innocent until found guilty by a jury of one's peers - and Meghet was found guilty and sentenced. Many, many guilty people claim to be innocent ...

Anonymous said...

I was friends with Sean and Ingrid. So many years later I am still reeling over this and am so disappointed by the lack of effort of our government to fight against this outrageous release.

Rudi Gingele said...

As I was a Pan Am employee for 25 years,and also a desk clerk at AP offices in Buenos Aires (1971/1973), I had the opportunity to meet personally John Mulroy at his office when he was with Associated Press, at the fourth floor of the Rockefeller building. I had a short talk of about ten minutes with him, and I was very well impressed for his personality. I kept his business card, and as a rare fact, later on, this card appeared with a strange spot (like an ink blot),into my business card file. I also remember his secretary then, Mrs Cunningham. This happened sometime, in the eighties but can´t remember exactly which year it was. With all my heart for all those victims of the Panam 103 flight. Rudi Gingele