Who delivered the Gaddafi Coup de Grace
As I suggested on Thursday
morning, wait to see the body before believing that Gaddafi is
the video. I won’t embed it here – pretty graphic and you only get a couple
of glimpses of a terrified Gaddafi being manhandled by the crowd. Then a couple
of gun shots and a couple of glimpses of Gaddafi on the ground
One thing is sure – the
version of Gaddafi’s death put out by the Libyan government is a
Gaddafi was still alive when he was
captured near Sirte. In the video, filmed by a bystander in the crowd and later
aired on television, Gaddafi is shown being dragged off a vehicle’s bonnet and
pulled to the ground by his hair.
“Keep him alive, keep him alive!”
someone shouts. Gunshots then ring out. The camera veers off.
“They captured him alive and while he
was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed him,” one senior source
in the NTC told Reuters. “He might have been resisting.”
In what appeared to contradict the
events depicted in the video, Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council said
Gaddafi was killed when a gunfight broke out after his capture between his
supporters and government fighters. He died from a bullet wound to the head, the
prime minister said.
The NTC said no order had been given
to kill him.
Gaddafi called the rebels who rose up
against his 42 years of one-man rule “rats,” but in the end it appeared that it
was he who was captured cowering in a drainage pipe full of rubbish and
“He called us rats, but look where we
found him,” said Ahmed Al Sahati, a 27-year-old government fighter, standing
next to two stinking drainage pipes under a six-lane highway near
Apparently, the dictator and a few
dozen loyalists tried to make a break for it from Sirte and a NATO plane –
probably French, got them while they were in the open. The scene, according to
Reuters, was pretty gruesome with most of Gaddafi’s people burned to death in
Fighters on the ground said Gaddafi
and a handful of his men appeared to have run through a stand of trees and taken
refuge in the two drainage pipes.
“At first we fired at them with
anti-aircraft guns, but it was no use,” said Salem Bakeer, while being feted by
his comrades near the road. “Then we went in on foot.
“One of Gaddafi’s men came out waving
his rifle in the air and shouting surrender, but as soon as he saw my face he
started shooting at me,” he told Reuters.
“Then I think Gaddafi must have told
them to stop. ‘My master is here, my master is here’, he said, ‘Muammar Gaddafi
is here and he is wounded’,” said Bakeer.
“We went in and brought Gaddafi out.
He was saying ‘what’s wrong? What’s wrong? What’s going on?’. Then we took him
and put him in the car,” Bakeer said.
At the time of his capture, Gaddafi
was already wounded with gunshots to his leg and to his back, Bakeer
Other government fighters who said
they took part in Gaddafi’s capture, separately confirmed Bakeer’s version of
events, though one said the man who ruled Libya for 42 years was shot and
wounded at the last minute by one of his own men.
So ends the rule of one of the
strangest and most bizarre dictators of the 20th century. His death was rather
ordinary compared to the life he led – a life full of bloodshed and oppression
of the Libyan people and countless victims of terrorist attacks that in his
bloodlust, he encouraged and became responsible for.