American officials outraged by decision
It's hard to imagine.
Try to picture yourself, waiting at the airport for a family member flying home from overseas to celebrate Christmas. As you wait for the flight number to arrive, word begins to spread through the airport terminals that Pan Am Flight 103 has exploded - all 259 people aboard and 11 more innocent bystanders on the ground have been killed.
The pain was compounded when it was revealed that the explosion was an act of terrorism.
For more than a decade, no one was held accountable for the act until finally, in 2001 Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was convicted and a man reported to be his accomplice was acquitted.
Only eight years later, a controversial decision led to the release of al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds. The 55-year old terrorist reportedly has less than two months to live due to the effects of prostate cancer.
Needless to say, American officials have been outraged by the decision.
John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, recently said: "As someone whose grandparents were Scottish, I'm appalled by the decision of the Scottish government."
President Barack Obama also expressed his opinion that the decision to release al-Megrahi - who was sentenced to life in jail for his crimes - was incorrect.
The most troubling aspect of Scotland's decision to release the prisoner back to Libya is the claim by Saif Gaddafi that the release was a part of an energy compact negotiation between the two countries.
Scotland quickly and directly denied the claims made by the son of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
But doubt lingers.
The Scots are less than repentant for releasing al-Megrahi.
First Minister Alex Salmond said there had been many conversations with American families and politicians, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"I understand the huge and strongly held views of the American families but that's not all the families who were affected by Lockerbie," Salmond said, apparently implying that the families of Scottish victims were somehow more open to the idea of freeing the man who killed their relatives. "As you're well aware, a number of the families, particularly in the UK, take a different view and think that we made the right decision."
One man, whose criminal actions created an international reaction, has now created a similar international debate about his release from jail.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been purposefully silent in the matter although his involvement seems obvious.
Brown asked the Libyans to please keep al-Megrahi's homecoming low key. Instead, Gaddafi welcomed the recently released terrorist personally during a hero's welcome and even thanked his friend - Brown - and the British government and royal family for their help in achieving this agreement.
Gadaffi understandably believes Brown to be "his friend" since, in a letter recently made public,
Brown addressed him as "Dear Muammar" and wished him a happy Ramadan in closing the letter.
Everyone knows the European justice system is far less severe than ours in America. But claims of secret deals to secure the release of terrorists have to be investigated.
The ties between Great Britain and the United States are strong. But this type of insidious decision can damage even the strongest alliance.
Hopefully England and Scotland can prove that no consideration in energy contracts was received in exchange for the release of this terrorist.