1988: The US intervenes on Iraqs side in the eight-year war it helped start against Iran. A US Navy Aegis cruiser, "Vincennes," violates Iranian waters and "mistakenly" shoots down an Iranian civilian Airbus airliner in Irans air space. All 288 civilians aboard die. "Vincennes" is known in the US Navy as "robocruiser" for its extremely aggressive, provocative actions against Iran. To Irans fury, the "Vincennes" trigger-happy captain was subsequently decorated by President Bush Senior with the Legion of Merit medal for this crime. Washington quietly paid the families of the Iranian victims US$131.8 million in damages. Five months later, Pan Am 103 with 270 aboard is destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland. The US and Britain pressure Scotland to convict Meghrahi, who insists he is innocent. His co-defendant, another Libyan security agent, was acquitted. Serious questions about the evidence were raised during and after the trial. Some critics accused CIA of faking evidence to blame Libya. Pan AM 103 is yet another example of Americans paying the consequences for a criminal federal government.