Qaddafi reported dead

From my CNN News alert:

Moammar Gadhafi is dead, according to reports on Arab media. CNN has not confirmed the reports.

One of the networks reporting the news was Al-Ahrar, a National Transitional Council TV station. It didn’t cite a source and the news couldn’t be independently confirmed.

The New York Times says the death was also verified by the head of Libya’s Military Council.

My guess is that he was killed rather than having committed suicide.

UPDATE: The NYT now reports that Qaddafi was indeed killed in a battle in his hometown of Surt.  There are supposedly photos of the body.



  1. Posted October 20, 2011 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Why is it too much to ask that that the rule of law and civilized norms be respected?

    The world is a better place for not having either bin Laden or Gadhafi in it, but it’s a significantly worse place for the means of their demise.

    Apparently, we are no longer a people of laws, but simply of competing strongmen. It is naught but fortune that “our” strongmen are nominally more genteel than “theirs.”


    • daveau
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      You’re right. How did we end up here cheering for this stuff? I can’t only blame W or Reagan. Maybe we’ve always done this, and we’ve just been lied to by everyone for the last 235 years.

      I don’t like that we have ideals that we are willing to break anytime it is convenient. They aren’t very strong ideals then, are they?

    • Posted October 20, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I don’t particulary mourn for a murderous dictator’s death, but the violence consumes both the guilty and the innocent. It will take out the leaders working for justice just as easily, actually more so, as the oppressors.

      Even despots need due process.

      • Christian
        Posted October 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Maybe in an ideal world but in an ideal world you wouldn’t have any despots to begin with.

        The early death of a dictator removes the linchpin that holds the whole system of cronies and lackeys together. (Of course, in this case he managed to survive till the end)
        But even if you capture him, there is usually a hard core that won’t stop fighting but try to free him instead, causing more casualties.
        Also, such processes turn either into a farce, going on forever or a kangaroo court (cf. Ceausescu).

        You have to take into consideration that a dictator is not your run of the mill mass murderer but a mass murderer with an army of fanatics that won’t give up easily. And the best way to make them surrender is to present the carcass of their dear leader.

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      I wonder how your ideals would suffer if a family member was one of the thousands of people Gaddafi tortured to death during his regime?

      • Fraser
        Posted October 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

        That’s why we leave issues of justice to a (theoretically) disinterested system, rather than to the mob.

        • Ichthyic
          Posted October 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

          so, the people trying to liberate themselves were just a mob…

          got it.

          it’s amazing how simple this all is.

          • Fraser
            Posted October 21, 2011 at 1:26 am | Permalink

            You read what you want to read.

      • Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        I would want him given a free, fair, and public trial so the whole world may know, without doubt, that he is a monster and we are civilized.

        What better way to formally establish his guilt in the eyes of the public than by trying him as a common criminal?

        I mean, you can’t be afraid of the outcome of an honest trial, can you?

        So what’ve you got to lose by following the rule of law?

        What’ve you got to gain by acting barbarically other than providing proof that, given the opportunity, you’re no better than the worst scum of the earth?



        • Posted October 21, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          If anybody with a gun thinks he can kill ‘the leader’, without a trial, then that’s going to continue to happen — to the decent leaders as well as the bad ones.

          I’m not crying for Qaddafi, since he was a murderous SOB by all accounts. I’m just lamenting that the rules of justice were not applied, and a lot of other people are going to suffer because of that.

  2. JBlilie
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Dr. C: Sirte.

    • Matt Penfold
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Surt is a valid spelling. It depends on how you transliterate from the Arabic.

      • Dominic
        Posted October 20, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Are you cert?

        • Dominic
          Posted October 20, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          Sorry – frivolous comment which is silly when people are dying there.

  3. Posted October 20, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Just saw the photo on MSNBC. It’s Khaddafi, no doubt about it, unless he had a twin.
    The question now is which petty despot will replace him and resume oppressing the Libyan people?

    • Jack van Beverningk
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      The one that does exactly as we tell him.
      Until he starts to get ideas (like Sadam), then it’s “NEXT!”.

  4. Ian
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    He was apparntly found alive hiding in a drain,dragged out and sometime very shortly afterwards, shot!

    • Jack van Beverningk
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      *Almost* predictable. Both events.

  5. Adrian Johnson
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Makes me wish there were a hell. Tonight I raise a glass in memory of P.C. Yvonne Fletcher: they got him Yvonne, they got him.

  6. Jack
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Barbaric animals:

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 22, 2011 at 3:50 am | Permalink


  7. Filippo
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    In no particular order:

    Saw on the news video that he is dead.

    Heard on the news that Hillary Clinton said words to the effect that she hoped he was caught or killed. (As opposed to both, one on the heels of the other?)

    Saw some victorious opposition forces shooting guns into the air. Is it a Middle East thang? Have any innocents ever been accidentally killed by those bullets? Do they care? What did they do before the invention of guns – throw rocks in the air?

    They captured him alive; why not put him on trial?

    Saddam Hussein was put on trial.

    Remember that video from 1983 of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam? Was Saddam more saintly then than he was a couple of decades later?

    I look forward to women immediately being given equal rights and privileges by Libya and other pure-as-the-driven snow emergent Middle East governments.

  8. Posted October 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    He would have gotten a show trial and then killed. This was just a case of speeding the much deserved process up.

    • Posted October 21, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      The difference is in establishing principles and a system of justice. It could be a much better outcome for the country.

      • Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Show trials are about fooling ourselves into believing we’re less savage about vengeance than we are. It’s a veneer of civility, nothing more.

        • Posted October 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          …and that would be why I’ve been careful on this page to always wish for a free, fair, and public trial.

          A civilized people has nothing to fear from honest justice, even for those for whom our emotions would deny it.

          All criminals, from the petty thief to the tyrant, deserve the gold standard from our criminal justice system, no more and no less.



  9. Posted October 22, 2011 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    yes this was a shocking news that he died. nobody was able to question him to know his intent.
    A lot of people died because of him.So unfortunate

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