The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen (R) and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, AP photos.
Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, believes that the release of the Lockerbie bomber has been a ‘political’ decision.
Speaking on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’, Adm. Mullen said on Sunday that he was ‘appalled’ by the decision to release Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of killing 270 people in the 1988 Pan American airliner bombing.
“This is obviously a political decision,” said Mullen joining a group of high ranking US officials, who have denounced the decision.
The US President Barack Obama has described the release as ‘highly objectionable’, while the FBI Director Robert Mueller said the move ‘gives comfort to terrorists’ across the universe.
Al-Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 and was sentenced to life in prison in Scotland.
Last week, Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill ordered al-Megrahi’s release and his repatriation to Libya.
MacAskill based his out-of-compassion decision on the grounds that al-Megrahi is suffering from terminal prostate cancer.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond responded to criticism of al-Megrahi’s release and said it was the ‘right decision’.
“No-one, I think, seriously believes that we made any other decision except for the right reasons,” he added.