Pan Am Flight 103 Reparations Paid By Oil Companies, Not Libya
The New York Times is reporting that the reparations that Libya paid as part of the settlement of the claims against it for the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 were actually paid by BP and other oil companies:
WASHINGTON — In 2009, top aides to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi called together 15 executives from global energy companies operating in Libya’s oil fields and issued an extraordinary demand: Shell out the money for his country’s $1.5 billion bill for its role in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 and other terrorist attacks.
If the companies did not comply, the Libyan officials warned, there would be “serious consequences” for their oil leases, according to a State Department summary of the meeting.
Many of those businesses balked, saying that covering Libya’s legal settlement with victims’ families for acts of terrorism was unthinkable. But some companies, including several based in the United States, appeared willing to give in to Libya’s coercion and make what amounted to payoffs to keep doing business, according to industry executives, American officials and State Department documents.
As the article goes on to detail, this was but one example of the extent to which the Libyan Government was used by Gaddafi, his family, and their associates, to line their pockets and build their personal fortunes. The Pan Am connection, though, is just disturbing. We’ve already seen evidence, revealed last year during the oil spill crisis, that BP may have been involved in lobbying the British and Scottish governments to release the only man ever convicted of that terrorist act. Now, it seems like they were helping Gaddafi evade personal responsibility on the other end as well.