The approaching anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing, 21 December, 1988, and publication of the US Senate report into torture of perceived enemy prisoners, are likely coincidental.
But less likely is the part played by intelligence services in both instances.
Dr Jim Swire’s letter (13 December) is a reminder of how a conviction was achieved against Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi after what many perceive as a prosecution misled by deceit, evidence and witness tampering, and general perversion of the course of justice.
If these words are too severe then perhaps what they are meant to describe requires the clarification that both Scottish and UK Governments are now demanding as to whether Britain was complicit in the torture described in the US Senate report.
Behind the bland screen of words such as “rendition” and “redaction” are harsh realities, and the culpability of intelligence services in whatever country is no less accountable because bland words might serve to airbrush the severity of the deeds.
The case against the conviction of Megrahi has assumed a much more persuasive calibre than was ever put forward to argue his guilt. With an Al Jazeera documentary series currently reporting into the failures, flaws and myriad evidence mismatches comprising the case for the prosecution, another coincidental factor is pleading for clarification.
As in the torture instance, some more admissions wouldn’t go amiss.