Amid growing demands for the Clinton administration to try harder to bring the accused terrorists to justice, President Clinton dedicated a memorial Friday to the 270 victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan American Airways Flight 103 and pledged to “never, never relax our efforts” until the bombers are caught.
The United States is “more determined than ever to stand against terrorism, to fight it, to bring terrorists to answer for their crimes,” the president said. “Despite the passage of time, nothing has dimmed our recollection … or our outrage.”
The memorial - a cairn 11 feet high - is made up of 270 rosecolored stones from a quarry near Lockerbie, Scotland, that also provided the base for the Statue of Liberty. The stones and the design were gifts from Lockerbie, where the wreckage from Pan Am 103 plummeted to earth.
As the seventh anniversary of the bombing approaches, families of the victims expressed anger and frustration at the lack of action four years after two Libyan intelligence agents were indicted by both the United States and Scotland for the deadliest act of international terrorism ever carried out against the United States overseas.
George Williams, who lost his only child in the bombing, called on the administration to initiate a unilateral naval blockade to cut Libya off from the outside world and force its hand.
“The nations of the world must be forced to stop dealing with Libya,” Williams, president of the Victims of Pam Am Flight 103, said in a speech at the dedication.
After Libya refused to turn over the two intelligence agents, the United Nations imposed air, arms and diplomatic sanctions in 1992.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has instead offered to surrender the suspects to the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, for trial by Scottish judges.
The United States also froze all Libyan assets and imposed trade sanctions, but has been unable to convince its European allies to squeeze further, mainly because several of those countries import oil from and make exports to Libya