Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What about Captain Paul Lorence?

On October 31, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi made a $1.5-billion final payment for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988, and the 1986 bombing of a German disco.

Relatives of victims yesterday said the settlement has been too long in coming - and that it offers little comfort. Each family, except for two that refused the money, will receive a final installment of $2 million, bringing the total per victim to $10 million.

But some relatives are still fuming.

"I'm glad that the president is satisfied with it. I'm certainly not," said Peter Lowenstein of Montauk, whose son, Alexander, was one of 35 Syracuse University students on the flight who had been in London for the semester. "I don't recall him losing a relative on Flight 103.

"His interest is to satisfy the oil industry, who are major supporters of his. ... He wants what they want, which is to get Libyan oil."

Daniel Tobin, who lost his brother Mark Tobin of Hempstead, said the money doesn't put the issue to rest. "So many have forgotten us. ... I'm still concerned that Exxon Mobil and other oil companies, that they're able to do business with Gadhafi," said Tobin, also of Hempstead. "They're allowed to do business with terrorists."

Kara Weipz, president of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, said Libya's payment - which allows Tripoli to restore its diplomatic relations with Washington - marks an important step.

"Our intent when we went into the civil suit was to find out the whole truth of what happened," said Weipz, whose brother, Richard Monetti, 20, was one of the Syracuse students.That goal hasn't been established, but "we held them accountable for being a sponsor of terrorism," said Weipz, 35, of Mount Laurel, N.J.

What about this guy? Has our country forgotten about Captain Paul Lorence and Operation El Dorado Canyon?

On April 14, 1986, President Ronald Reagan gave the order to launch Operation El Dorado Canyon, in retaliation for a terrorist attack in Germany that killed American servicemen. One of the F-111's participating in the raid on Libya was manned by Captain Fernando I. Ribas-Dominicci and Weapons System Officer Captain Paul Lorence.

On Wednesday May 7 1986, the Associated Press reported that Libyan television showed a body wearing a military uniform. The Libyans stated the body was of an American pilot shot down during the bombing raid. Also displayed were a wedding ring, bullets, $59.00 in American funds and 10 British pounds. Libyan television reported the remains of the pilot has washed up on shore 25 miles west of Tripoli. The report did not say when the body was found.

On Saturday May 3rd 1986, Libyan televison displayed a flight helmet bearing the name Lorence, saying it too had washed up on shore. After that.... nothing as far as we can tell.

Then in January 1989, Reuters reported that Libyan Press Agency JANA had announced they were about to return the body of an American pilot, shot down during the April 1986 raid, to a Vatican representative. A previous JANA report indicated the body was that of Capt. Paul Lorence.

On January 13th the body was flown to Rome and turned over to Vatican representatives. Subsequently, the remains were identified as Capt Fernando I. Ribas-Dominicci. Did the Libyan's mistakenly identifiy the remains as Capt. Lorence base on the name on the flight helmet? Or, do the Libyan's know more about Capt. Lorence then they are willing to share?

Lets bring Captain Paul Lorence home. Now.


Anonymous said...

capt. lorence is gone forever.research the case of the librarian who filed a lawsuit back in 2006 against the dod.find him, he has the goods regarding this case.if he will speak is another story.

Anonymous said...

who cares? what about the 1,000s of other service men who perished. don't be so selfish.