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Italy - Obama Handshake With Khadafy Infuriates Bombed Pan Am Flight Families

Published on: July 10, 2009 12:35 PM
By:  NY Times
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Photo REUTERS/Stefano RellandiniItaly - President Obama and Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy shook hands Thursday, infuriating families of victims in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 by Libyan intelligence agents.

The grip-and-grin was caught on camera during the G-8 summit of world leaders in Italy. Khadafy was there as head of the African Union.

The encounter came as families who lost loved ones aboard the doomed plane met with officials in Washington and the British Consulate in Manhattan to protest the potential release of the lone terrorist convicted in the bombing.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi is jailed in Scotland. But he has prostate cancer and could be turned over to Khadafy.

“This thing with Obama happened on the same day that we spilled our guts to his own administration that this killer should not be released! I’m disgusted and disappointed. Obama sent the wrong message,” said Stephanie Bernstein, 58, of Bethesda, Md., who lost her husband, Michael, 36, a lawyer who hunted Nazis for the Justice Department.

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“I just hope this was a superficial ‘hello and goodbye,’ and not a show of support for a bad man who should have been taken out years ago,” said Jack Flynn, 71, of Montville, N.J., who lost his son John Patrick, a 21-year-old student at Colgate.

“It will be a real horror show now if they release Megrahi,” added Flynn, who broke down in a conversation with the Daily News. Both Bernstein and Flynn voted for Obama.

Although Libya is no longer on the State Department list of terrorist nations, Khadafy is still hated for protecting Megrahi.

Flight 103, a Boeing 747, was en route from London’s Heathrow Airport to JFK when it blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. The terrorist bombing killed all 259 aboard and 11 on the ground.

Khadafy refused to turn over the suspects for a decade, worsening relations between Washington and Tripoli.

In 1986, after Libyan agents killed two U.S. servicemen in a bombing at a West Berlin disco, President Ronald Reagan ordered air strikes against Libya, denouncing “this mad dog of the Middle East.”

Shortly before the handshake, White House National Security Council member Denis McDonough said Obama would greet any leader who approached him.

“I don’t think he’s given much consideration to whose hand he’ll shake or whose hand he’ll not shake,” McDonough said.

Khadafy attempted an image makeover in 2003 when he agreed to pay $2.7 billion to the families of the 270 victims and dismantled his nuclear weapons. President George W. Bush took Libya off the list of terrorist



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Read Comments (31)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:01 PM Anonymous Says:

that is obama shaking hands with all terrorist and wiping his hands from our friends and alies!

2

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:05 PM victim Says:

this obama is made from the same material like khadafy so now they both have blood on there hands this obama dose not care whom he offends like the white house said he shakes any ones hand he is in the same boat like rest may he have the same end like them all, we victim are all terrible very very terrible times now for victims of terrorism

3

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:04 PM zidukah Says:

i'll bet the meir bal hanes fundraiser from lakewood doesnt call him.....gevaldig

4

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:17 PM Anonymous Says:

did he apologize?
what a tippish.

5

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:17 PM BenEliezer Says:

Did he bow down to him as well?

6

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:35 PM mortychai Says:

"Both Bernstein and Flynn voted for Obama"...Duuuuuh!!!!!

7

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:32 PM Anonymous Says:

he is simply a big shoyteh--he will get his

8

 Jul 10, 2009 at 12:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
BenEliezer Says:

Did he bow down to him as well?

i am sure he did, but the media made sure to cover it up!

9

 Jul 10, 2009 at 01:00 PM Anonymous Says:

so what ! we shake arafat hand!!

10

 Jul 10, 2009 at 01:17 PM Sceptic Says:

So, so, so not surprised.

Obama is naive and insecure about his identity. That is his major flaw.

Think about this:

An African father that abandoned him, his mother's remarriage to yet another ethnicity, and being ultimately raised by grandparents who were somewhat racist (according to his own admission) -yet they were the ones who raised him.

Growing up, he rejects his white roots, embraces the anti-american black movement. In his bid for the presidency, his white roots come conveniently calling - and as more whites embrace him and his idea. He warms up to the USA, as does his wife, who states that for the first time in her adult life, she is proud to be American. The flag waving begins.

However, the far left, socialist, university-type, US-to-blame philosophies are his true core. So, he's just one confused man. Which makes him insecure about his beliefs and identity. Like all insecure people, he desperately wants to be liked - by all - including the killer, Khadafi. And, according to his philosophy of the-US-is-usually-to-blame, he believes that if America makes nice with bad guys, they will start to reciprocate. Like his handler said: "Obama would greet any leader who approached him". (No matter he be a Khadaffi, an ahmandinejad, or fill in the blank.)

Hence the handshake, the bow to the Saudi King and the apologetic stance to Europe, which makes so many US citizens cringe with discomfort and humiliation. And in this case - the handshake with khaddafi - with anger, for putting the feelings of Khadaffi ahead of the feelings of grieving Americans.

Ronald Reagan, he ain't.





11

 Jul 10, 2009 at 01:36 PM Understanding Says:

obama is right...talk to them till they understand you ....
talk is gevaldig....
see how all his talked has helped in Nkorea, somalia...etc......
gevaldig

12

 Jul 10, 2009 at 02:16 PM Anonymous Says:

i thank that the leader of our country should pay attention to whose hand he shakes and should realze that some horrible people deserve to be ignored so they get the message--if the president is there representing the country then he should keep that in mind

13

 Jul 10, 2009 at 02:16 PM anon Says:

As the world saw today at a live conference, "His eyes were swimming where it’s not nice for a president to look" I'm embarrassed to be an American.

14

 Jul 10, 2009 at 02:43 PM shlemiel Says:

all this uproar from the family could v very easily... get them a "RESET button"!!!. That shld make them forget everything that ever happened before & what K. did to their loved ones.

15

 Jul 10, 2009 at 03:21 PM Boruch N. Hoffinger Says:

BS"D
Obama is a good Xristian and loves everyone.
Will he shake hands with The Klan, etc?
Let's test him!
(Xristians preach brotherly love but don't practice it.)
This is the way of idolaters.

16

 Jul 10, 2009 at 04:14 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

so what ! we shake arafat hand!!

Who's "we"? Bush never did.

17

 Jul 11, 2009 at 09:16 PM time to wake up Says:

and all the good moral people will still vote for Obama.

18

 Jul 12, 2009 at 03:03 AM PMO Says:

For those fools here who are ready to jump on the "anti-Obama" bandwagon....

Let's keep in mind that it was BUSH (not Obama) who lifted the sanctions against Lybia in 2004. It was BUSH who opened an official US State office in Tripoli. It was BUSH who agreed to restore full diplomatic relations with Lybia in 2006. In January of this year it was BUSH who officially welcomed the Lybian ambassador (and entourage) to the White House.

It was the US Congress which UNANIMOUSLY (yes... both repubs and dems) voted to exempt Lybia from section 1083 of the National Defense Act (after they paid off the victims of the bombing).

For all of you just want to blame Obama for everything without actually knowing any FACTS, I feel sorry for you. This "handshake" was already made long before Obama took office. How blissful your life must being living in such foolish ignorance.

19

 Jul 12, 2009 at 01:08 AM Elections Have Consequences Says:

Reply to #17  
time to wake up Says:

and all the good moral people will still vote for Obama.

they are NOT moral!

He shook this rosha's hand. He wants to have coffee with the mamzer who TOOK OUR PEOPLE HOSTAGE IN 1979 WHILE CARTER DID NOTHING!

He is an oysvorf who has no regards for America and its traditions.

20

 Jul 12, 2009 at 12:26 PM nb Says:

Its sad...
19 comments...and only one that makes any sense.. (#18)

21

 Jul 12, 2009 at 02:16 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #18  
PMO Says:

For those fools here who are ready to jump on the "anti-Obama" bandwagon....

Let's keep in mind that it was BUSH (not Obama) who lifted the sanctions against Lybia in 2004. It was BUSH who opened an official US State office in Tripoli. It was BUSH who agreed to restore full diplomatic relations with Lybia in 2006. In January of this year it was BUSH who officially welcomed the Lybian ambassador (and entourage) to the White House.

It was the US Congress which UNANIMOUSLY (yes... both repubs and dems) voted to exempt Lybia from section 1083 of the National Defense Act (after they paid off the victims of the bombing).

For all of you just want to blame Obama for everything without actually knowing any FACTS, I feel sorry for you. This "handshake" was already made long before Obama took office. How blissful your life must being living in such foolish ignorance.

What has any of that litany got to do with this? Of course Bush lifted the sanctions; is there some reason why he should have left them on? They'd complied with all the requirements, and had handed over their entire nuclear program the day Saddam Hussein was captured (and that was NOT a coincidence). And that nuclear program was far more advanced than the CIA had thought; that's a whole lot worse than overestimating it, as they did in Iraq. And of course, once the sanctions were lifted, it was time to open an office there, and eventually an embassy.

But how does any of that translate into being friendly to Ghadaffi? Do you embrace every convict who serves his sentence and gets out of prison?

22

 Jul 12, 2009 at 06:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Will all you PRO Obama people go on record. We would love to be able to find you in a year or so and ask you again. It would be interesting.

Of my friends from shul who voted for Obama, 9 out of 20 (yes there were 20) have already said they screwed up.
Some say they voted for Obama because they thought having a black president would do the country good. They voted for his skin color.
Some say they voted for Obama because they really did not like McCain, and Obama was just the only other really available candidate.
Some said they believed he would govern from the Center as his people tried to get everyone to believe through rumor. He never said he would. He allowed others to say it for him. But he said he would be a far-left Liberal. This was the only TRUTH he told.

23

 Jul 12, 2009 at 09:01 PM educated Says:

Reply to #21  
Milhouse Says:

What has any of that litany got to do with this? Of course Bush lifted the sanctions; is there some reason why he should have left them on? They'd complied with all the requirements, and had handed over their entire nuclear program the day Saddam Hussein was captured (and that was NOT a coincidence). And that nuclear program was far more advanced than the CIA had thought; that's a whole lot worse than overestimating it, as they did in Iraq. And of course, once the sanctions were lifted, it was time to open an office there, and eventually an embassy.

But how does any of that translate into being friendly to Ghadaffi? Do you embrace every convict who serves his sentence and gets out of prison?

sorry milhouse. condi did it first, and she was much mroe friendly to qadaffi than obama was. deal with it. You are as usual, very wrong.

24

 Jul 12, 2009 at 11:59 PM The Truth Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

Will all you PRO Obama people go on record. We would love to be able to find you in a year or so and ask you again. It would be interesting.

Of my friends from shul who voted for Obama, 9 out of 20 (yes there were 20) have already said they screwed up.
Some say they voted for Obama because they thought having a black president would do the country good. They voted for his skin color.
Some say they voted for Obama because they really did not like McCain, and Obama was just the only other really available candidate.
Some said they believed he would govern from the Center as his people tried to get everyone to believe through rumor. He never said he would. He allowed others to say it for him. But he said he would be a far-left Liberal. This was the only TRUTH he told.

I voted for mccain. and what obama did doesnt hold a candle to what condi rice did and no one here seemed to give a care.

25

 Jul 13, 2009 at 01:44 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #23  
educated Says:

sorry milhouse. condi did it first, and she was much mroe friendly to qadaffi than obama was. deal with it. You are as usual, very wrong.

She was not the president.

26

 Jul 13, 2009 at 10:50 AM Oy Says:

I hate to break it to you all, but Obama stopping to shake Qadaffi's hand is a conti8nuation of PUS policy set in Motion by the Bush administration. After all of Qadaffi's many overtures to regain legitimacy as a new person and former terrorist, it was our or own George W. Bush who made the first gesture, by removing Qadaffi from our terrorism list for the first time in decades. That was followed by him sending Condoleezza Rice to have a very long chit chat meeting with him. It was just a few months ago - this past September, when she was the first ever high ranking us government official to sit down with the whacko in several decades. Where were you all then? did this not obther you then? or did you just not know beause it was rice and not hillary? I can just imagine the outcry if it had been hillary in april and not condi in september. this proves yet again the blind hypocritical partisanship of some people, who only have standards when tis the person they dont like, but are totally ignorant when its the person they do like who might be doing the worse thing. COndi even had iftar dinner with qadaffi - the feast of ramadan. (again taking the lead from bush who was and thus far still is the first and only us president ever to have celbrate the arab muslim holiday of ramadan in the white house for 7 years.) whereas obama was the first and only to ever have a pesach seder.
if you beleive in the school of though that always blames Bill clinton for "legitimizing Arafat" then Kla vchomer, surely it is obvious very recent current events in history that George W. Bush and Condi Rice are responsible for re legitimzing wacky qadaffi! and that now since that new relathionship was forged by them , that obama stopped to shake the dudes hand.
This is the truth, the whole truth amnd nothing but the facts.

27

 Jul 13, 2009 at 04:23 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #26  
Oy Says:

I hate to break it to you all, but Obama stopping to shake Qadaffi's hand is a conti8nuation of PUS policy set in Motion by the Bush administration. After all of Qadaffi's many overtures to regain legitimacy as a new person and former terrorist, it was our or own George W. Bush who made the first gesture, by removing Qadaffi from our terrorism list for the first time in decades. That was followed by him sending Condoleezza Rice to have a very long chit chat meeting with him. It was just a few months ago - this past September, when she was the first ever high ranking us government official to sit down with the whacko in several decades. Where were you all then? did this not obther you then? or did you just not know beause it was rice and not hillary? I can just imagine the outcry if it had been hillary in april and not condi in september. this proves yet again the blind hypocritical partisanship of some people, who only have standards when tis the person they dont like, but are totally ignorant when its the person they do like who might be doing the worse thing. COndi even had iftar dinner with qadaffi - the feast of ramadan. (again taking the lead from bush who was and thus far still is the first and only us president ever to have celbrate the arab muslim holiday of ramadan in the white house for 7 years.) whereas obama was the first and only to ever have a pesach seder.
if you beleive in the school of though that always blames Bill clinton for "legitimizing Arafat" then Kla vchomer, surely it is obvious very recent current events in history that George W. Bush and Condi Rice are responsible for re legitimzing wacky qadaffi! and that now since that new relathionship was forged by them , that obama stopped to shake the dudes hand.
This is the truth, the whole truth amnd nothing but the facts.

Did you even bother to read the thread? Your Obama-apologist friends already tried to make that non-point, and I answered it thoroughly in #21. I'm not going to just cut and paste it.

28

 Jul 13, 2009 at 05:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #27  
Milhouse Says:

Did you even bother to read the thread? Your Obama-apologist friends already tried to make that non-point, and I answered it thoroughly in #21. I'm not going to just cut and paste it.

Justfiy and validate all you want. the fact is that non of you hypocrites bothered to say a word in september when rice did her thing. They opened a big door, and walked right through it, so now obama is a bad guy for peeking through? Gimme a break. you are so full BS

29

 Jul 14, 2009 at 06:35 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #28  
Anonymous Says:

Justfiy and validate all you want. the fact is that non of you hypocrites bothered to say a word in september when rice did her thing. They opened a big door, and walked right through it, so now obama is a bad guy for peeking through? Gimme a break. you are so full BS

RICE WAS NOT THE PRESIDENT. Coddling useful dictators is the SecState's JOB.

30

 Jul 14, 2009 at 07:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Milhouse Says:

RICE WAS NOT THE PRESIDENT. Coddling useful dictators is the SecState's JOB.

Is that the excuse we should give for everything Hillary Clinton does?
Gimme a bloody break. She was part of the BUSH administration. the same guy who opened the door to embrace kadaffi and crossed his name off the terror list.

You twist and spin just to make it work for your own partisan politics. The fact remains that you wouldnt afford the same generosity or courtesy of the parties were reversed.

Bottom Line, Bush and Condi opened the door. So Obama passed the guy by and stopped to shake his hand.

Rice was not the president? of course not. remember , neither is hillary clinton.

31

 Jul 14, 2009 at 10:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
Milhouse Says:

RICE WAS NOT THE PRESIDENT. Coddling useful dictators is the SecState's JOB.

she was just doing her job? what a laugh. like you would be so generous to clinton?
man you ARE creative, ill give you that.
Rice was the worst thing about the bush term II.

32

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