US receives 1.5 billion dollars in compensation from Libya http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_receives_1_5_billion_dollars_in__10312008.html
Published: Friday October 31, 2008
The United States said Friday it has received 1.5 billion dollars from Libya, the entire sum required under a major deal to compensate the families of victims of terrorist attacks.
"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice certified to Congress that the United States has received 1.5 billion dollars pursuant to the US-Libya Claims Settlement Agreement," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
President George W. Bush meanwhile issued an order to carry out the agreement, which meets US requirements for compensating the victims, and the way is now clear for the families to receive the money, he said in a statement.
The Bush administration will "now move expeditiously to arrange for distribution of these funds in lieu of the pending US court cases against Libya," McCormack said.
A senior US official told reporters earlier this month that the US government could not restore Libya's immunity to legal action in US courts until Tripoli paid the full agreed amount.
Nor could the US government begin distributing the funds to the victims and their families until the full sum is received, the official said on the condition of anonymity.
The sum is to compensate US and other families for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people, and for US families of a Berlin disco bombing that killed two Americans and hurt 50 others.
On August 14, Libya and the United States signed the compensation deal in Tripoli for victims of Libyan attacks and Libyan victims of US reprisals, paving the way for full normalization of ties between the two countries.
Under the deal, a US-Libyan fund of 1.8 billion dollars was set up with "voluntary" contributions from firms and other sources -- with some 1.5 billion dollars for Americans and 300 million dollars for Libyan victims of US attacks.
After the disco bombing, Libya was subjected to several retaliatory US air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi on April 16, 1986, in which 41 people were killed, including an adopted daughter of Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi.
State Department officials said the families of non-American victims of the Pan Am bombing are covered by the 1.5 billion dollars.
The deal prompted a visit to Tripoli in September by Rice, who became the first US secretary of state to visit Libya in more than 50 years. Other diplomatic steps will follow.
"Libya's decision to resolve outstanding claims through the US-Libya Claims Settlement Agreement is a laudable milestone in our bilateral relationship," according to McCormack's statement.
He said it offers "a measure of justice to families" of US victims of terrorism and paves the way for a further improvement in US-Libyan ties.
McCormack said relations have changed dramatically in the last five years.
"Libya is an important partner in the common effort against terrorism and serves as a model for other countries that may wish to renounce isolation and rejoin the community of nations," the State Department spokesman said.
After being severed in 1981, US-Libyan relations were restored in early 2004 a few weeks after Libyan leader, Colonel Moamer Kadhafi, announced Tripoli was abandoning efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
In 2006, the United States announced a full normalization of ties, dropping Libya from a State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism and raising diplomatic relations to the level of ambassadors.
Is this some kind of ponzi scheme that will have US taxpayers then pay $100 Billion for terrorist attacks against Libya?
What other BS is in this fricking agreement?