The early announcement also upset many relatives of the 270 people who died aboard Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. "This idea opens a Pandora's box, and they just want to dump the sanctions," said Susan Cohen after speaking with Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger. And with none of the logistics of conducting a Scottish trial in The Hague worked out, even President Clinton seemed skeptical: "We're looking at it but I don't know that it can be done," he said. Memo to State: Next time, make sure everyone's on the same page.
It's official: The U.S., at least, is reversing its 10-year-old policy on Lockerbie and Libya. State Department spokesman James Rubin went on the record late Tuesday over the plan to allow a trial for the two Libyan suspects in the Netherlands -- and confirmed, as TIME Daily reported, that this was an attempt to "call Ghadafi's bluff." But it appears that State was caught off-guard by the timing of the original report in the English newspaper the Guardian, confirming it while officials in London were still sticking to the original script: Trial in Scotland or the U.S. only. For the first time since Lockerbie, the U.S. and Britain seemed out of step.