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Pentagon Investigators Return to the US
[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 27 - July 29, 1988
Ludwig De Braeckeleer (ludwig)     Print Article 
Published 2008-07-30 04:47 (KST)   

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Thursday, July 29, 1988

"We do not consider the poor state of relations between Iran and the United States to be in our interest. We would like to see them improve."
--Richard W. Murphy, US assistant secretary of state

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The six-member team investigating the downing of Iran Air flight 655 left the Persian Gulf for its home base in Tampa, Fla.

According to a Pentagon spokesperson, the team is expected to complete its report on the downing of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes next week.

Rear Adm. William M. Fogarty, the head of the investigation team, is to report to the commander of United States forces in the Persian Gulf, Gen. George B. Crist.

It is not known when the results will be announced, nor how much of the report will be made available to the public.


On this day, Gorbachev announced that he will push a plan for direct election of the president and parliament members in March 1989. On a less positive note, the South African government has banned the antiapartheid film "Cry Freedom."

Looking in the Mirror

Patrick Haseldine, a former United Kingdom diplomat, has taken a strong stand on the Lockerbie affair and written much about the subject. Haseldine is campaigning for a United Nations inquiry. The following summarizes his belief.

The way that Libya was fitted up for both crimes [Pan Am 103 and UTA Flight 772] is succinctly explained by French investigative journalist, Pierre Pean. [1]

The obvious starter question for the UN Inquiry to address is: But if Libya didn't do it, who did? There is no shortage of suspects but for my money apartheid South Africa is the clear favorite. This is why:

1. The Reagan/Gorbachev summit in Moscow in May 1988 decided that South Africa had to grant Namibia its independence, in return for Cuba's withdrawal of troops from Angola and the cutting off of military aid by the Soviet Union. [2]

2. It was US presidential election year in 1988, and Democrat nominee Michael Dukakis would have declared South Africa to be a "terrorist state", along with Libya and Iran, if he were elected US president. [3]

3. South Africa's nightmare was to have SWAPO take control of Namibia with more than 66% of the vote, since this would have allowed SWAPO to re-write the independence constitution. [4] Measures were therefore taken for South Africa's Civil Cooperation Bureau to disrupt the election process, to harass the UN Special Representative Martti Ahtisaari [5] and to take out prominent SWAPO activists, such as Anton Lubowski.

The Koevoet paramilitary force was also deployed to prevent SWAPO's military wing returning from overseas bases. And, according to The Guardian of July 26 1991, Foreign Minister Pik Botha told a press conference that the South African government had paid more than 占20 million to at least seven political parties in Namibia to oppose SWAPO in the run-up to the 1989 elections. He justified the expenditure on the grounds that South Africa was at war with SWAPO at the time.

4. UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was in an anomalous position. In theory, Carlsson was the UN's Governor of Namibia [6] But, United Nations authority over Namibia was never recognized by the South African Government, who administered the territory through an Administrator-General, Louis Pienaar, and it is unclear what role Bernt Carlsson would have played in the run-up to Namibia's independence. A UN Inquiry into Carlsson's death on Pan Am Flight 103 will doubtless help to resolve this anomaly.
According to a well informed source, Pik Botha and the entire South African delegation cancelled their reservation on Pan Am103 a short time before leaving South Africa. The rebooking was decided on the basis of a warning. The source never revealed the origin of the warning but made it clear that it was the kind of intelligence that could not be ignored. South African officials have given three different accounts of the rebooking of their delegation. None pass the test of scrutiny.

Bernt Carlsson was supposed to fly back to New York on Dec. 20. However, he was pressured to meet with officials of De Beers in London and was rebooked on Pan Am 103. Neither his girlfriend, Sanya popovic, nor his sister, Inger Carlsson-Musser, were able to identify a single piece of clothing or personal belonging recovered from his checked luggage. Nevertheless, the investigators concluded that they had definitely identified his suitcase.
1. See " Pierre Pean: FBI fabricated evidence against Libya."

2. See "New York Accords."

3. See "Dukakis Backers Agree Platform Will Call South Africa 'Terrorist'."

4. "History of Namibia: Negotiations and transition."

5. "Martti Ahtisaari: Diplomatic career."

6. "U.N. Officer on Flight 103."


The full text of 10 letters that Haseldine has published in The Guardian is at Wikipedia. The first letter was published 14 days before the Lockerbie bombing. The nine subsequent letters all seek to incriminate the apartheid regime for Pan Am Flight 103, and one even suggests that South Africa was responsible for the UTA Flight 772 bombing (the bearer of strange tidings from Islamic Jihad).

"Investigators Leave Gulf," July 29, 1988.


Ludwig De Braeckeleer has a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences. Ludwig teaches physics and international humanitarian law. He blogs on "The GaiaPost."
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ludwig De Braeckeleer

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