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Reuters Reports Death of Gaddafi In Libyan City of Sirte 302

Posted by timothy
from the now-you-can-spell-his-name-however-you-want dept.
syngularyx writes with a snippet from Reuters' report that "Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya's interim rulers said. His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen." An anonymous reader links to the news as reported by Al Jazeera (citing confirmation from the military spokesman of the National Transition Council). Time reports that many Libyans were celebrating even preliminary reports of Gaddafi's death.
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Reuters Reports Death of Gaddafi In Libyan City of Sirte

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  • I'm gonna wait: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hartree (191324) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:17AM (#37774134)

    Is this as reliable as when they captured his son and he showed up on TV soon after?

    I think they've supposedly killed Kamis a couple of times. Resilient young man, that one.

    • Re:I'm gonna wait: (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xest (935314) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:27AM (#37774342)

      Well judging by the fact the BBC just posted a still from a live feed from Al Jazeera which shows someone who looks pretty much like Gaddafi being dragged through the street I'd say it's pretty much more reliable. It's further bolstered by the fact the kid who supposedly found him was shown waving round a gold plated desert eagle or similar. I doubt that's the type of expensive custom side arm that's just left lying around.

      Unless Gaddafi is capable of coming back from the dead I think there's a fair chance he's gone.

      Kamis is long dead, even Gaddafi's own Syrian based TV station accepted that.

  • by Thud457 (234763) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:18AM (#37774150) Homepage Journal
    Actually, it was Tito Jackson.
  • Netcraft... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by idontgno (624372)
    or it didn't happen.
  • First thing that popped into my mind when I heard this was that damn song from the Wizard of OZ. Ding dong the wicked witch is dead! Now just waiting to hear:

    As Coroner, I must aver
    I thoroughly examined him
    And he's not only merely dead,
    He's really most sincerely dead

    (Mayor)
    Then this is a day of independence for all the Libyans
    And their descendants
    Yes, let the joyous news be spread
    The wicked old witch at last is dead!

  • by bstarrfield (761726) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:29AM (#37774382)

    A trial would have been a farce. How can you try a dictator in the heat of battle, especially in a nation where the very same dictator had destroyed civil society?

    Ghaddafi's government functioned as a true totalitarian regime, with all functional aspects deriving from the dictator himself. The Transitional Government still is in its infancy, and could not organize a legitimate court system for years.

    What I regret is that Ghaddafi could not be interrogated by neutral agencies - say at The Hague. He had close relationships with the IRA, various Palestinian terrorist groups, and very interesting relationships with major oil companies. Now we cannot find out who he worked with, what bribes he paid, and what other crimes he and his government had committed.

    And remember, this man ordered the destruction of an airliner, killing 270 in the air and on the ground - including a large group of college kids, researchers, purely innocent civilians. I hope the families and friends of the victims can find some peace that the murderer is dead.

    • by Millennium (2451)

      A trial would have been a farce. How can you try a dictator in the heat of battle, especially in a nation where the very same dictator had destroyed civil society?

      This. I do still think it would have been better to capture him alive, because a man like him deserves to watch as everything he built crumbles around him, and despair. But there was no possibility of a fair trial; any attempt would have been a pointless illusion at best, and more likely would have been actively harmful.

      And really, this outcome is

    • A trial would have been a farce. How can you try a dictator in the heat of battle, especially in a nation where the very same dictator had destroyed civil society?

      What? Libya was one of the most free countries in the world, have you ever head of direct democracy? I think that only Switzerland and Finland come close:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamahiriya#Transition_to_the_Jamahiriya [wikipedia.org]

      I don't marginalize Gaddafi's brutality, but Libya was freer six months ago than it will ever be again. Do you have any idea what is becoming of "free" Egypt today?

  • by necro81 (917438) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:31AM (#37774426) Journal
    My first reaction is "good riddance." The human race is much better off without him; too bad it couldn't have happened 30 years ago, etc.. It really is a whole lot cleaner for him to be dead than to have him captured and alive, expounding his delusional nonsense to anyone within earshot, and all the messiness of putting him on trial.

    On the other hand, his sudden death does mean that the Libyans, and the rest of the world, lose the opportunity to air out the closet (so to speak) and try him for his many crimes. The result would almost certainly have been the same (death), but the process would have been important for Libya: to delegitimize his legacy, to legitimize the rule of law under a new government, to exorcise old demons and grievances so as to move on, and to ferret out his many collaborators. I wouldn't say it was a complete success in Saddam's trial in Iraq. It may not come to pass for Mubarak in Egypt. The international criminal court has mad mixed success with the perpetrators in the former Yugoslavia. Still, I believe these things do matter, and there is merit in attempting it.
    • by Reziac (43301) *

      Conversely, I look at the relative stability of Libya before and with Gaddafi, and I wonder if his removal is really such a good thing, especially for the average Libyan. Seems to me Libya is more likely to descend back into perpetual civil war than to become a "democratic" state.

      And if you want to see what a relatively uneducated voting populace spits up for leaders, look no further than California. Name recognition trumped a 13% approval rate -- 100% were nonetheless re-elected last time around. Tell me h

  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:38AM (#37774566)

    Damn, and I was hoping for a Gaddafi reality TV show.

    How cool would that have been to see him and some courtesan bad mouthing each other in front of hidden cameras and then acting all smoochy with each other afterwards.

    Guess no chance of having an "I'm a dictator, get me out of here" reality show. Can you imagine Gaddafi, Saddam, Kim Jong Il and Amadinejad on a desert island together? Which one would be voted off first... ....ooops silly me, voting is for democracy.

    • Oooooh... or the Bachelorette- where she has to pick from dictators.

      Well... I....errrrm, like, ummm... thing Fidel is kinda hot, like, ummm, yeah, he's kind of old, right... but... ummm that beard tickles me a lot...and like you know... in a good way...

      But Gaddafi, like, he soooo dreamy, ummm... like err, that moustache... yeah... um... like I love them both... they so nice to me... they only kill people that like deserve it... give them a break people.... .... I ummmm... like, so not going to give Robert Mugabe a rose, he ummm won't even let me keep my farm.

    • I'm hoping for something equivalent to this: WWI Game Parody [photobucket.com]. (Caveat - I don't think this was the original version).

    • Can you imagine Gaddafi, Saddam, Kim Jong Il and Amadinejad on a desert island together?

      Such a gathering would only last a micro-second as they were nuked from space turning the entire desert into a sheet of glass. I can dream, can't I? Ya ya, I know. Fallout and all that stuff. But damn that would be satisfying to watch.

  • That sux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:40AM (#37774588) Journal
    Like OBL, he should have been tried.
  • I've often wondered what happens with all the ammo that is shot up in celebration when something like this occurs. I know the mythbusters did something on the matter some time ago, and I don't recall what they found. You would think that when people are shooting off their AK's into the air in a city that something would get hit, even if it was just lead falling onto building rooftops.
    • They found that a bullet fired straight up isn't dangerous to people on the ground. Its just like dropping a bullet from a hot air balloon.

      That said, bullets fired at, say, a 45 degree angle would be very dangerous.

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday October 20, 2011 @11:38AM (#37775706) Homepage Journal

        Firearms expert Julian Hatcher studied falling bullets and found that .30 caliber rounds reach terminal velocities of 300 feet per second (90 m/s) and larger .50 caliber bullets have a terminal velocity of 500 feet per second (150 m/s).[8] A bullet traveling at only 150 feet per second (46 m/s) to 170 feet per second (52 m/s) can penetrate human skin,[9] and at 200 feet per second (60 m/s) it can penetrate the skull.[10] A bullet that does not penetrate the skull may still result in an intracranial injury.[11]
        (go chase citations here [wikipedia.org])

        got three different ~.30 caliber rifles here... amusingly none are a .30 carbine. but all should be able to be used to accidentally kill someone standing next to you with indirect fire.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        They found that a bullet fired straight up isn't dangerous to people on the ground. Its just like dropping a bullet from a hot air balloon.

        Yes, but only because their terminal velocity speeds were ridiculously wrong based on a flawed experiment in a wind tunnel. They tried blowing air at a bullet until it stopped falling and assumed 150 fps of wind resistance works the same on a bullet travelling 0 fps and one travelling 150 fps. In reality the bullet is extremely aerodynamically stable at 150 fps and will continue to accelerate until it reaches a terminal velocity of 3-500 fps, depending on the type of bullet. Around 200 fps is the border for

    • by Quila (201335)

      Deaths are common during weddings where celebratory gunfire is traditional.

      • Do you have a source for that? I've heard it claimed before but the chances of someone actually getting hit by a round fired at a low enough trajectory to kill seems extremely low, and if it were to happen then it wouldn't be anywhere near the actual celebration.

        • by Marcika (1003625)
          Lots of good sources are linked in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebratory_gunfire [wikipedia.org]
        • Or just search "killed by celebratory gunfire." Thousands (or millions) of such events each year, each with thousands of bullets going up in a populated area, odds are someone's going to get hit.

          The trajectory does not have to be low, it just has to be enough off 90 degrees for the bullet to keep a ballistic trajectory instead of tumbling.

  • His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte...

    s/killing/death/

    The actual reports on Al Jazeera and elsewhere suggest that he was badly wounded in the legs and head while being captured and died of his wounds in captivity. The phrase above suggests that he was first captured, then deliberately killed which none of the reports suggests. Just FYI, for those who don't have time to read any of the many articles that are flashing up as AJ has posted what is claimed to be an actual (rather
    • DNA doesn't lie, but you can't always tell what it's "saying"

      And those doing DNS tests might lie, and those collecting it might collect extra DNA (it's too small to see) or tamper with it on purpose.

      • Sure, but I'm guessing that we (the US and NATO) have access to Gadhafi's DNA, and of course many of his offspring are still living so we have access to his first degree relatives' DNA. I'm also fairly certain that NATO (and probably the US) have people on the ground in Libya who will be given the opportunity to take samples of his tissue to confirm beyond reasonable doubt that the dead person is indeed him, just as they have done for many other tyrants or terrorists.

        Besides, if they are wrong, how long
  • Now why didn't we kill the motherfucker with a single missile at the beginning of this whole thing rather than let thousands die in the fighting for what was already a forlorn conclusion?

  • There seems to be conflicts in the story about how & where he got killed.
    I wouldn't be so sure its really him until they do DNA testing. He was known to employ body doubles.

  • by Greyfox (87712)
    I was looking forward to a trial and hanging. Those are so much more fun! Oh well. I guess you takes what you can gets...
  • (Libya, Tripoli) Sign Painters are busy removing Libya's prior reigning ruler's name off the office door at the main palace. It has been a while since the painters have had to do this job. Quoted from one on the painters, "This paint has been on the door way to long." A concerned paint supervisor admonished the paint team by saying, "hurry up, it is almost lunch time."

    "Wake me up when something important happens" - President Ronald Regan, 1986
  • by Eddie the Jedi (13243) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @11:43AM (#37775804) Homepage

    You should have learned from the Lone Gunmen debacle not to post stories like this. Some of us are Tivo-ing the Arab Spring and don't want to see spoilers in the meantime.

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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