Britain secures privileged access to Libya's oil riches; Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi claims a diplomatic victory on the eve of celebrations to mark his 40 years in power; Scotland's nationalist politicians get to strut on the international stage. That was the plan and it has gone wrong.
The release on compassionate grounds of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, has led to an outbreak of claim and counter-claim.
But Megrahi is innocent. Evidence produced over the years by journalists, including Paul Foot, and victims' families have demolished the case against him.