New Internationalist

Killing Gaddafi: the death of legal justice

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First it was Saddam, then bin Laden and now Gaddafi. The West gets its man but loses its humanity, says Felicity Arbuthnot.

Photo by ssoosay under a CC Licence.
Photo by ssoosay under a CC Licence.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. - Ephesians: 6:12.

What a decade it has been for assassinations, liquidations, exterminations - for state terrorism led by the Land of the Free. Summary executions include Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. On 5 February 2003, General Colin Powell stated that he headed a deadly terrorist network within Iraq – just six weeks before the US headed a deadly terrorist network, in an illegal invasion, which entirely destroyed Iraq.

On 7 June 2006, at Hibhib, near Baquba, al-Zarqawi was killed by two five-hundred-pound bombs, dropped by US Air Force F-16 jets, killing five others including his wife and child. Legality, trying in law those accused of wrong doing, is, seemingly, so yesterday.

President Saddam Hussein and some of his sovereign government were subject to a kangaroo court, laughable had it not shamed and disgraced the word ‘legal’ at every level. Then he was lynched.

Osama bin Laden’s alleged death, with still unaccounted for others, was another blot on legality and humanity, with his body seemingly summarily disposed of as shark food. Why observe religious and legal niceties when they may, in turn, preserve forensic, legal evidence?

Hilary Clinton and her partners in crime, were, of course, shown ‘watching’ this gruesome slaying, by illegal immigrants who had entered ally Pakistan, without bothering to request permission for air space or passage. It then had to be admitted there was in fact no transmission from a video, previously said to be screened from one of the assassin’s helmets. Hollywood meets Capitol Hill?

Subsequently this tasteless, part-fictional scenario with Ms Clinton’s hand over her mouth, feigning personal ‘shock and awe’ was, the gullible were informed, due to ‘an allergy.’

Seldom has a bloody, illegal, apparent summary execution of a Head of State been more tastelessly lauded

Her repellent performance on CBS shortly after Gaddafi’s death, execution, and street dragging – early days for the exact sequence of another bloody illegality, was Madam Clinton for real. She near punched the air, roared with laughter and announced: ‘We came, we saw, he died.’ ‘Did this have anything to do with your [18 October] visit?’ The interviewer asks her. ‘Nnn …I’m sure it did.’ Clinton replied with a wide grin.

During her brief trip she had stated: ‘We hope he [Gaddafi] can be captured or killed soon …’

Arguably, not since Madeleine Albright, when the US Ambassador to the United Nations stated that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children were: ‘A hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it’ (60 Minutes, 12 May 1996) has such abhorrent, shaming filth been spewed over the airwaves.

But then, the UN was the vehicle for the silent killing fields which were the strangulating 13-year embargo on Iraq. And there was silence on 13 years of illegal, unsanctioned bombing by the US/UK. Then last March, they endorsed UNSCR 1973, which became the completely overt mass murders of Libyans in a seven month (and ongoing) ‘humanitarian’ blitzkrieg.

Sewer rhetoric

In the UK, the newspapers did their best to vie with Clinton’s sewer rhetoric. Seldom has a bloody, illegal, apparent summary execution of a Head of State been more tastelessly lauded.

‘Bullet in the Head – That’s for Lockerbie’ (The Sun.) Apart from their excursion to the literary drainage pipes, The Sun apparently neither attended the trial, or have registered the deep legal concerns surrounding the Lockerbie verdict. ‘End of a Tyrant’ trumpeted The Independent, of whom a little more is expected. ‘Tyrant Showed no Mercy, Shot by Rebels’, celebrated The Mirror. ‘Gaddafi’s Death: Key Moments’; MSN was in trash movie mode.

‘Death of a Tyrant’, is the choice of many, with The Star perhaps managing to plunge to an all time journalistic depth with: ‘Mad Dog Put Down.’

NATO’s depraved allies in the ‘New Libya’ are - in defiance of all decency, and of any religion, especially Islam - displaying his body, and that of his son Mutassim, naked to the waist, in freezers, in a meat store in Misrata, inviting souvenir photographs.

Necrophilic tourism is not an option - and bodes a sinister future if indicative of the values of those now seemingly holding power

It is a pitiless, shocking re-run of the display of the bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons, Qusay and Uday, also summarily executed, rather than being treated in accordance with the law as prisoners of war, along with Hussein’s fifteen year old grand son, courtesy US troops in Mosul, northern Iraq.

Islam is specific as to rituals for the deceased: ‘After the soul leaves the body, eyes must be closed’ (Colonel Gaddafi’s were not for considerable time, according to pictures) ‘when the soul is taken, the eyesight follows.’ The washing must follow specific procedure and then body fully covered, including the head and face. Necrophilic tourism is not an option - and bodes a sinister future if indicative of the values of those now seemingly holding power, legally or otherwise.

There may be worse to come. Seizing the illegal precedent which has been set by the disposal of Osama bin Laden’s bullet ridden remains, by the body snatching killers in Afghanistan, there is talk of burying Gaddafi at sea. As bin Laden, it would get rid of the evidence. Dead men don’t talk of past deals, commitments, betrayals - and disappeared ones leave no forensic evidence of seemingly, a murdering mob of NATO-facilitated thugs.

Will pressure for the body to be handed over to his tribe, tempt another disgraceful act? That tribe have issued this statement: ‘We call on the UN, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International, to force the [National] Transitional Council to hand over the martyrs’ bodies to our tribe in Sirte and to allow them to perform their burial ceremony in accordance with Islamic customs and rules.’

Flouting Geneva conventions

Further pressure is building from the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch. Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur, is adamant. ‘The Geneva conventions are very clear that when prisoners are taken they may not be executed willfully and if that was the case then we are dealing with a war crime, something that should be tried’, he told Al Jazeera.

Less than 24 hours after Gaddafi’s death, Britain’s replacement defence minister, Phillip Hammond, announced that the UK had presented a licence to drill for oil request

One eye witness allegations of Colonel Gaddafi’s death hardly seems to meet with Geneva Convention criteria: ‘ … he was being beaten, kicked, with rifle butts, boots. He looked confused … he was saying “help me, help me”, but his voice was really strained, he was croaking. A few of us were around him, we thought we should get him somewhere we could question him about the others. But he was then taken away in a wave of people and then there were shots.’

Less than 24 hours after the announcement of Gaddafi’s death, Britain’s replacement defence minister, Phillip Hammond – his predecessor, Liam Fox, got into a little local difficulty – announced that the UK had presented a licence to drill for oil request, to the National Transitional Council.

‘Libya is a relatively wealthy country with oil reserves, and I expect there will be opportunities for British and other companies to get involved in the reconstruction of Libya,’ he said in The Independent on 22 October. ‘I would expect British companies, even British sales directors, (to be) packing their suitcases and looking to get out to Libya and take part in the reconstruction of that country as soon as they can.’

When the US Ambassador, Gene Cretz, ran the stars and stripes up over the American Embassy in Tripoli, at its re-opening ceremony on 22 September, he remarked: ‘We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libya’s natural resources.’

On Sunday 23 October, 2011, the non-elected insurgents (sorry, National Transitional Council) are to declare Libya’s ‘liberation.’ October 23 marked the centenary of an Italian pilot becoming the first to use aircraft in war, taking off from Libya to observe Turkish troops in the Turko-Italian war. Ironically it also marks the fist meeting of the UN General Assembly (23 October 1946) a body which has strayed so far from its fine, stated, aspirations.

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