Earlier today Barack Obama - echoing Hillary Clinton's earlier remarks - expressed his unhappiness at the decision of the Scottish government to release the Lockerbie bomber on 'compassionate grounds':
For Janet Daley of The Daily Telegraph the release is another proof that Obama has made America more likeable but not necessarily more influential:
"The rehabilitation of America’s standing in the world was going to be one of the great gains, if you remember, of the Obama election victory. No more was the voice of the US to be held in contempt by its old allies. The Obama White House would restore the moral authority of the nation, and thus its influence in the world. So much for that. As the Scottish Justice Secretary intoned his ruling that Megrahi was to be permitted to go free because he was “a dying man”, most Americans (even of the liberal Obama persuasion) would be wondering what a life sentence meant if it did not involve dying in prison. But the important political lesson will have gone home. The President and his Secretary of State could do nothing - for all their administration’s supposed global prestige - to prevent what they considered to be an outrage. On yet another score, Mr Obama could not deliver the goods."