Lockerbie Bomber's Hero Welcome

The contrast between the Lockerbie bomber's release from prison in Scotland, and his homecoming in Libya, couldn't be greater. Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence agent who was the only person convicted in the deaths of 270 in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, was granted a "compassionate release" from a Scottish prison and departed via plane for his home country of Libya on Thursday morning, amid protest and outrage from American leaders, including President Obama. Al-Megrahi's arrival in Tripoli, however, was that of a hero: Al-Megrahi exited the plane to a tarmac full of cheering crowds, waving flags and pumping their fists in support of the cancer-stricken terrorist. The New York Times reports that Washington had pressured Libya not to permit a hero's welcome for Al-Megrahi, leaving D.C. with two diplomatic failures: one with Scotland, which permitted the bomber's release, and one with Libya, which permitted the jubilant public homecoming. The father of one Al-Megrahi victim, an Army specialist, spoke against the bomber's "compassionate release": "He didn't show our kids any mercy so I have a hard time feeling compassion for him."