Hogan's Alley

Saturday, September 05, 2009

We Used To Play For Silver, Now We Play For Lives

A story in today's Times, by the inestimable John Burns, reports that current British Justice Minister, Jack Straw, gave an interview with The Telegraph:

Asked ... whether trade and oil were part of the cabinet decision to include Mr. Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, Mr. Straw replied: “Yes, it was a very big part of that. I’m unapologetic about that. Libya was a rogue state. We wanted to bring it back into the fold and trade is an essential part of it — and subsequently there was the BP deal.”

Said with a frankness that will no doubt displease Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former PM Tony Blair. Both gentlemen swore up and down that there was no connection between the release of the 1998 Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and any sucking up for something so crass as an oil deal.

Straw has now told the truth, destroying any lies or spin coming from the Government. They needed the Lybian oil and wanted some influence over Qaddafi et fils, the hell with the mostly American passengers who died at his hand. Gone is the pretense that there was any notion of pity for his prostate condition, as fatuous as that was from the get go.

The renewed appearance of Jack Straw, former Foreign Minister under Blair, leads my mind back to the wonderful Greatful Dead song with that name, written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir. The lines most appropriate to the present Jack Straw are:

Jack straw from wichita cut his buddy down,
And dug for him a shallow grave and laid his body down.
Half a mile from tucson, by the morning light,
One man gone and another to go, my old buddy youre moving much too slow.

For the full song, here they are doing it in Copenhagen in 1972. God, were we all once truly that young?

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