Clinton Fails To Address Release Of Lockerbie Terrorist Megrahi
November 4, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In a press briefing en Route to Cairo, Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs made a curious reference to Secty State Hillary's Clinton's meeting with Libyan Foreign Minister, Musa Kusa.
Mr. Kusa seems to have a rather notorious reputation, as noted in today's Wall Street Journal, Clinton, Libyan Spy Chief Meet in Marrakech.
"Clinton, attending a regional-development conference in Morocco, met for 10- to 15-minutes with Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa, according to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.
Kusa served as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence chief during the 1990s and had been posted overseas in Tripoli's diplomatic missions a decade earlier. Kusa was never changed with involvement in any specific terrorist act, but Britain expelled him in 1980 for his alleged involvement in assassinating a Gadhafi opponent in London. He's also been accused of complicity in the Lockerbie bombing and a second attack on a French airliner traveling in Africa."
We include the full text of the relevant portions of State Dept. spokesman Crowley's remarks dealing with Musa Kusa.
MR. CROWLEY: "...On Iran, I think it was mostly the Secretary just reporting on our view of the current situation, and quite honestly, it tracked, in fact, very directly to what she said to you all last night.
And then she met with Foreign Minister Musa Kusa -- M-u-s-a, K-u-s-a - who's a - he's a graduate of Michigan State University. At one point, he said, Spartans and gave a thumbs up.
QUESTION: Wasn't Musa Kusa indicted for terrorism at one point? Can you check, because was the intelligence chief before he became the foreign minister?
QUESTION: I thought he was indicted for killing Americans.
QUESTION: Were you going to tell us about this? Can I have the next question?
QUESTION: Why was this not on the schedule and why was there no photo opportunity of this?
MR. CROWLEY: The short answer is it happened almost - let me back up. I mean, we had a limited time and we had a number of potential candidates for bilats. And in some cases, there were a couple countries that we were looking at bilats. And for example, and - but the Secretary was able to have pull-asides during the GCC meeting, for example. I mean, Libya is a country that we are - we have an emerging relationship with. And we think it's best to continue talking to them and seeing where we can continue to advance the relationship.
And that - but I mean, it was something that - this was just a - kind of like a target of opportunity where the ministers found themselves with a similar hole and they got pulled into a room and sat for about 15 minutes.
QUESTION: Did they discuss the Lockerbie bomber's recent release back home?
MR. CROWLEY: I was in the meeting; that did not come up. They --
QUESTION: She didn't bring it up? I mean, you guys - excuse me, sorry. I mean, you and Ian were having to brief for about 10 days straight to us. Every single day we were asking you - hammering you guys with questions about the seeming welcome parade that he got and how upset people were about that, and you guys kept saying how upset the U.S. was about that. She didn't bring that up when she had an opportunity?
MR. CROWLEY: We didn't bring up the tent either. (Laughter.) Sorry.
QUESTION: The tent's a little bit less of foreign policy issue.
MR. CROWLEY: No, the - I mean, Libya has a perspective on the region. They have been very helpful and integrally involved in developments in Sudan, so we did talk about Sudan, talked about Darfur. There has been cooperation from the countries on counterterrorism. And they continue to talk about advancing our relationship. But it was about a 10- or 15-minute meeting.
QUESTION: (Inaudible.) Sorry, you just said it was only 10 or 15 minutes. Was that the first time (inaudible)?
MR. CROWLEY: I'll check.
MR. CROWLEY: Yes, that's the first time that they've met.
QUESTION: Is the Secretary talking with the President by phone during this?
MR. CROWLEY: We're staying in close contact with the White House throughout this, but I can't say that she has talked to the President. But I'll double check that.
MR. CROWLEY: I think - I don't think so, other than the press conference.
MR. CROWLEY: Tonight, I think, you go relax in the hotel, and we go to dinner. But we'll see you in the morning. Okay.
But just to close the loop, obviously, while the issue of Megrahi did not come up, we - our views on that have not changed and our view - the Libyans understand our concerns very, very well. The Libyans understand our concern about Megrahi very, very well.
MR. CROWLEY: It did not come up"