America Has Decided on Its Reward for Helping to Topple Qaddafi: The Lockerbie Mastermind

Megrahi providing Nike with some unwanted advertising as he gets ready to leave Scotland in August of 2009. Photo: Danny Lawson - Pool/Getty Images

The collapse of the Qaddafi regime in Libya isn't even complete, but already presidential candidates, sitting members of Congress, and political pundits are calling for the new Libyan government — once it, you know, exists — to arrest and extradite Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the supposedly near-death mastermind behind the Lockerbie bombing who was released from a Scottish prison in 2009 in order to (allegedly!) further the United Kingdom's oil interests in Libya.

Among those clamoring for Megrahi's head today was Mitt Romney, in a statement:

“The world is about to be rid of Muammar el-Qaddafi, the brutal tyrant who terrorized the Libyan people. It is my hope that Libya will now move toward a representative form of government that supports freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. As a first step, I call on this new government to arrest and extradite the mastermind behind the bombing of Pan Am 103, Abdelbaset Mohmed Ali al-Megrahi, so justice can finally be done.”

He was hardly alone. New Jersey senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez are also calling for Megrahi to be extradited, while New York senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand would at least like him to be imprisoned in Libya.

Meanwhile, writing at Commentary, Michael Rubin just wants to cut to the chase and have Obama "seize" Megrahi, and the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg calls this an "excellent goal." It's kind of like how Donald Trump just wants us to "take the oil." Let's just "take the Megrahi."

Gadhafi's downfall revives bitter dispute over Lockerbie bomber [CNN]
Schumer, Gillibrand: Imprison al-Megrahi again [Hill]
Recapture the Lockerbie Bomber [Contentions/Commentary]