Big news at daybreak: Moammar Gaddafi has been either captured or killed. On CNN they showed a graphic AFP photo of what appears to be a very bloodied (dead??) Gaddafi. Identity not yet confirmed. Situation fluid at this point so consider all information suspect. No word from White House yet. I’ll post some links:
Here’s the mainbar by The Post. Conflicting reports but state Libyan TV says Gaddafi is dead.
Someone named Abdel Majid Mlegta with the National Transitional Council told Reuters that Gaddafi was shot in the head. But the report is fuzzy: It says Gaddafi was “captured” after he was found in a hole and said, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.” So perhaps he wasn’t persuasive at that point.
On CNN, Libya information minister Mammoud Shamman just said that Gaddafi is dead. Doesn’t know how. He’s fuzzy too. Here’s the CNN blog.
The New York Times has more context on the battle for Serte (in Times style, Surt. They also go with “Muammar el-Qaddafi.” Everyone’s got a different spelling.) (The only consensus is the “Colonel” rank.)
Still waiting for someone to post a What Does This Mean For Obama story.
While the news folks try to sort out fact from fiction — is Gaddafi actually dead?? — let’s pause to read a little about the man. Here’s Christopher Hitchens on the Crimes of Qaddafi, from Slate. Hitchens describes the compulsory rallies to praise the Leader:
“So addicted was Qaddafi to this sadomasochistic enactment that he, and his ghastly sons, continued it until the very last minutes. So, of course, did Saddam Hussein. So, as we speak, does Bashar Assad. In the nightmare state so cherished by such fantasy rulers, mere acquiescence or subjection is not enough. You must become a full participant in your own oppression, and find it in yourself to adore the collectivization of compulsory enthusiasm.”
Lots of Libya discussion at Foreign Policy (this was posted before today’s news broke).