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06 Sep 2011 17:47


World: Documents show CIA, MI6 supported Gaddafi with renditions

  • MI6 and the CIA knew absolutely how much torture was taking place. They knew that these people would be abused in custody when they were sent back to Libya. Why else would you hand them over to the Libyans? You captured him, you have all of your black sites anyway, but you offered him to the Libyans. Of course the [CIA] letters say, ‘Please commit to us that you will respect their human rights.’ But that’s just talk.
  • Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch • Speaking on the trove of documents he himself copied in Tripoli and released to various media. They show that following Gaddafi’s 2003 vow to give up his weapons of mass destruction, the CIA and MI6 both engaged in renditions to send political opponents of Gaddafi’s regime into Libya, presumably knowing the sort of inhumane treatment and torture would await them. One example: A current commander of rebel forces in Tripoli, Abdulhakim Belhadj, was rendered into Libya by the CIA, where he claims he was isolated and tortured.  (h/t ZeitVox) source

01 Sep 2011 17:21


World: Libya: Animals at Tripoli Zoo neglected amidst fighting

  • Languishing in cages: A video from CNN highlighting the plight of the animals still locked in the Tripoli Zoo, where their care and basic necessities have been both neglected by many, and made generally unavailable. The images of visibly undernourished tigers and lions are unpleasant to see, as it is to reflect on the fate these animals could face unless they get help — presumably a slow death by hunger and dehydration. source

31 Aug 2011 15:26


World: Libyan transition deputy chairman says Gaddafi is in Bani Walid

  • Libyan rebels believe Gaddafi is cornered: The New York Times is reporting that the Libyan rebels believe Muammar Gaddafi has been pinned down in Bani Walid, a desert town that sits about 150 miles from Tripoli. Said Abdul Hafith Ghoga, the deputy chairman of Libya’s transition council: “Since today we have learned that he is staying in Bani Walid, we are waiting to give him a chance to surrender.” It’s worth remembering that yesterday, Libyan council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil gave Gaddafi loyalists a four-day surrender deadline. source

31 Aug 2011 11:06


World: Duh: Gaddafi’s spokesperson rejects demands his boss step down

  • No dignified, honorable nation would accept an ultimatum from armed gangs.
  • Still-around Gaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim • Denying that his boss would give in to demands that the longstanding Libyan dictator should give in to the rebels. Time’s running out if Gaddafi actually plans to surrender — the rebels plan a major military strike if he doesn’t. source

28 Aug 2011 11:12


World: Border between Tunisia, Libya opens up, ensuring supply chain

  • Tripoli needs lots of food. There is nothing there … we’re bringing this to them and then we’ll do more runs as needed.
  • Libyan man Lassad Trabelsi • Regarding the decision to open up the main border between Tunisia and Libya. Trabelsi was one of many people driving trucks through through the crossing in order to get supplies, which has been tough considering, you know, the deadly civil war in the country. And Tunisians are ready to help. “We’re ready to supply whatever our brothers need,” said one supplier who set up near the border. source

24 Aug 2011 10:16


World: From the scene: Trapped journalists at the Hotel Rixos in Tripoli

  • What a sad little sign: It may say the word “TV” on it, but the hand-scrawled sign that the journalists put up in this video really says so much more — for example, “we’re desperate,” “let us out,” “we didn’t sign up for this,” “I want to see my family,” “this is unfair treatment,” and “we hope to get out of this alive.” Never have two letters said so much. source

24 Aug 2011 09:55


World: Rixos hotel crisis: Trapped journalists fear for safety in luxury Tripoli hotel

  • We are not being allowed to leave. We want to leave. We are obviously in a very fragile position.
  • CNN reporter Matthew Chance • On the situation in the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, where roughly 30 journalists have been stuck for a number of days — unable to leave the luxury hotel due to Gaddafi loyalists blocking their departure. The journalists, who have been wearing bulletproof vests and helmets during the day (and sleeping in hallways, so as not to get hit by shards of glass from fighting), have been relegated to finding random foods inside cabinets. They have enough to last a few more days; but after that … These guys need your thoughts. These are the people that make this coverage possible. Let’s get them home safe. Somehow. source

23 Aug 2011 10:24


World: Tripoli rebel siege: Don’t expect this to be an overnight thing, guys.

  • The tensions are far from being over. The situation is dynamic and complex.
  • NATO Col. Roland Lavoie • Emphasizing that the situation in Tripoli is far from over. You know, just in case you had any questions about it. A key sign of this was the reappearance of Saif al-Islam, a symbolic flash point that suggested to many that this wasn’t going to be an overnight change. Regarding the explanation on his sudden reappearance, rebel spokesperson Dia Alhutmany explained off earlier reports that he helped circulate about al-Islam’s reappearance: “Anyway, whether he is arrested or still free, the regime is no longer (ruling) the country, and very soon he and his father will be captured.” Either way, the fighting is still on. Much more to do. source

22 Aug 2011 10:20


World: Muammar Gaddafi: A man of many contrasts losing his grip on power

  • More than any of the region’s autocratic leaders, perhaps, Gaddafi was a man of contrasts. He was a sponsor of terrorism who condemned the Sept. 11 attacks. He was a brutal dictator who bulldozed a jail wall to free political prisoners. He was an Arab nationalist who derided the Arab League. And in the crowning paradox, he preached people power, only to have his people take to the streets and take up arms in rebellion.
  • The Associated Press • In a lengthy piece glancing over the long rule of Muammar Gaddafi. It’s a good read that goes a long way to explain the often-confusing nature behind a man who gave North Africa fits for decades, and even occasionally showed up in the West to offer up a little bit of fresh weirdness. No place was that more obvious than when he went to the United Nations to speak in 2009. It was a weird, rambling speech that left more that a few world officials bewildered. In some ways, though, it proved the leader’s last big gasp. Less than two years later, it appears that his regime has been all but taken away. source

21 Aug 2011 14:18


World: Libyan rebels: The advantages and disadvantages they face

  • The rebels in Libya might have acted too soon. While they are converging on Tripoli now, they aren’t certain as to how much support Gaddafi still has there — and it might end up being really bad for them. They have another disadvantage too. The fighting in Tripoli is urban warfare, which is extremely difficult and grueling for soldiers, who face a much-stronger Gaddafi force. But don’t count them out, here’s what the rebels do have going for them:
  • Unclear uprising While it’s unclear if the population in Tripoli is loyal to Gaddafi or not, the rebels are pretty much relying on the possibility that they aren’t. Gaddafi knows how important it is for them to be loyal, too, so he’s been doing demonstrations and making speeches for weeks to keep them on his side.
  • Gaddafi’s departure? It’s likely that Gaddafi isn’t in Tripoli anymore — he’s not making the extravagant television appearances or showing up in public. It’s unclear where he is. If he leaves Libya altogether, (similar to Saddam Hussein, when he disappeared from power in Iraq and was later found near Tikrit), that would turn the tide.
  • Rebel reserves The rebels are coming in from a few different places (check the video if you haven’t yet) so they will be better off soon. the problem with this lies with the fact that the reinforcements might not get to Tripoli in time, especially depending on the resistance they encounter on the way to Tripoli. source