Leader: A kooks' charter

SCOTS will be bemused this week by the appeal by the four US senators conducting an inquiry into the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for whistleblowers to come forward and furnish information about the case.

This is an invitation to every conspiracy theorist to air his views; it is a kooks' charter - perhaps the senators should advertise in the Fortean Times. It also reveals some unorthodox expectations of the Scottish public.

What is the point of canvassing the Scottish medical community's view of Megrahi's diagnosis, when only specialists who have examined a patient can supply an informed opinion? Requests for information about negotiations between the UK government and BP are irrelevant, since Megrahi's release was ordered by the Scottish Government. Asking for whistleblowers to divulge the UK intelligence community's perspective on Megrahi's release sounds like an attempt to suborn British security services personnel. How would the senators like it if a British parliamentary committee asked CIA staff to reveal sensitive information?

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The undertaking that the source of any information will not be disclosed unless permission is given discredits the exercise. What kind of transparency does that bring to an inquiry? We should have been spared this farcical initiative by a group of US politicians who appear to be acting disingenuously. This is not the way to proceed.