An accident that polluted the Gulf of Mexico and possibly negotiating to speed up the release of the Lockerbie bomber in order to get oil contracts from Libya? The latter has yet to be proven, so we’ll see where it leads, but I can think of better years as far as public relations goes:
Senior American senators have written to BP to demand it hand over records detailing how the firm lobbied the British government in the run-up to the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
The request came after BP issued a statement confirming it had spoken to government in 2007 about the “slow progress” being made in negotiating a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya.
The senators said that the American public deserved to know whether “justice and punishment for terrorism took a back seat to back-room deals for an oil contract”.
It is understood that the firm has minutes of two telephone conversations between Sir Mark Allen, a former senior MI6 official who is now an adviser to BP, and Jack Straw, the former Justice Secretary. There is also a private letter between the pair.
Within months of these communications, the Government agreed to a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya which paved the way for Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to be sent back to Tripoli.
BP has since won valuable oil contracts in Libya and is poised to begin deepwater drilling in the country next month. It is estimated the deal could be worth $20 billion.
Keep in mind that this is being pushed in part by one of the biggest chest-thumping attention-whores in the Senate, Charles Schumer, along with Democrats Frank Lautenberg, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bob Menendez.
That doesn’t mean it’s not true — it just means that I’m a little more skeptical given the source, but we’ll see.