Counter Terrorism and Bulk Surveillance Powers – New Legislation
David Anderson QC, is the official reviewer of counter-terrorism legislation. He was asked by government to conduct an independent review of the operation and regulation of investigatory powers, with specific reference to the interception of communications and communications data. He delivered his report to Downing Street on 6 May, the day before the general election.
He has said his review considered safeguards to privacy, issues of transparency and oversight as well as powers needed by the authorities to meet the challenge of changing technologies.
21 May 2015: Investigatory Powers The Anderson Report
I was required by DRIPA 2014, (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/27/section/7/enacted) which passed through Parliament in only four days back in July 2014, to conduct an independent review of the operation and regulation of investigatory powers, with specific reference to the interception of communications and communications data, including under RIPA. That review was distinct from my normal function of reviewing the operation of the terrorism laws.
Parliament asked me, in particular, to consider:
“(a) current and future threats to the United Kingdom,
(b) the capabilities needed to combat those threats,
(c) safeguards to protect privacy,
(d) the challenges of changing technologies,
(e) issues relating to transparency and oversight,
(f) the effectiveness of existing legislation (including its proportionality) and the case for new or amending legislation.”
As I tweeted at the time, my report was completed and submitted to the Prime Minister on 6 May 2015 – the day before the General Election. A process of security-checking and preparation for publication has followed.
Given the size of the canvas that the Review was asked to cover, it will come as no surprise that it turned out to be a substantial piece of work. I am grateful to all who provided written submissions and who met with me in various parts of the UK, Berlin, California, Washington DC, Ottawa and Brussels, as well as to the small team of self-employed persons that assisted with the Review.
I am asked several times a day when the report will be published. The short answer is that the Prime Minister will decide, and that I have no privileged insight into the timing.
27 May 2015: Security services’ powers to be extended in wide-ranging surveillance bill
Surprise extension of bill’s scope beyond legislation to modernise law on tracking communications data was agreed only this week. The government is to introduce an investigatory powers bill that is far more wide-ranging than expected, including an extension of the powers of the security services in response to the surveillance disclosures by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The legislation will include not only the expected snooper’s charter, enabling the tracking of everyone’s web and social media use, but also moves to strengthen the security services’ warranted powers for the bulk interception of the content of communications.
The surprise extension of the scope of the bill beyond legislation to “modernise the law” on tracking communications data was agreed within government only this week. It appears that David Cameron has decided to take advantage of his unexpected majority in the Commons to respond to Snowden’s disclosures by extending the powers of the security services.
The Home Office says the investigatory powers bill will “better equip law enforcement and intelligence agencies to meet their key operational requirements, and address the gap in these agencies’ ability to build intelligence and evidence where subjects of interest, suspects and vulnerable people have communicated online.”
Ministers promise to provide for “appropriate oversight arrangements and safeguards”, but there is no immediate detail on how the complex web of intelligence and surveillance commissioners and parliamentary oversight might be strengthened.
The government also promises that the legislation will respond to issues raised by David Anderson QC, the official reviewer of counter-terrorism legislation, in his assessment of bulk surveillance powers used by the police and security services under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Anderson delivered his report to Downing Street on 6 May, the day before the general election, and it is expected to be published in the next few days. Anderson has said his review considered the safeguards to privacy, issues of transparency and oversight as well as the powers needed to meet the challenge of changing technologies. He has said it was a “substantial piece of work” and included him travelling to Berlin, California, Washington DC, Brussels and Ottawa.
“The report won’t please everyone [indeed it may not please anybody]. But if it succeeds in informing the public and parliamentary debate on the future of the law from an independent perspective, it will have done its job,” he said on his blog.
Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said: “The government is signalling that it wants to press ahead with increased powers of data collection and retention for the police and GCHQ, spying on everyone, whether suspected of a crime or not.
“This is the return of the snooper’s charter, even as the ability to collect and retain data gets less and less workable. We should expect attacks on encryption, which protects all our security. Data collection will create vast and unnecessary expense.”
Renate Samson, chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: “Whilst the title may have changed from a communications data bill to an investigatory powers bill, it will be interesting to see whether the content has radically changed. “We have yet to see real evidence that there is a gap in the capability of law enforcement or the agencies’ ability to gain access to our communications data.”
The extended scope of the bill may follow some of the recommendations of the intelligence and security committee (ISC), which suggested in March that the entire existing surveillance legal framework should be replaced by a single new act of parliament.
The MPs and peers suggested that the new legislation should list every intrusive capability available to the security services and specify their purpose, authorisation procedure and what safeguards and oversight procedures exist for their use. This presumably extends to the kind of GCHQ bulk data collection programmes such as Temp0ra and Prism disclosed by Snowden.
The ISC said the introduction of the new communications data legislation was “critical”, but added that a new category of data called “communications data plus” should be established. It said this would acknowledge that some forms of communications data could reveal private information about a person’s habits, preferences or lifestyle choices, such as websites visited. “Such data is more intrusive and therefore should attract greater safeguards.” they recommended.
The other four Home Office bills are largely as trailed. The extremism bill will include powers to “strengthen the role of Ofcom so that tough measures can be taken against channels that broadcast extremist content”. This is despite warnings from Sajid Javid, the business secretary, that the initial proposals threatened free speech.
The bill also includes the introduction of employment checks enabling companies to find out whether an individual is an extremist so they can be barred from working with children. This is alongside already announced proposals for banning orders, extremism disruption orders and closure orders to be used against premises that are used to support extremism.
The immigration bill will create a new enforcement agency to tackle the worst cases of exploitation as well creating an offence of illegal working and enabling wages to be seized as proceeds of crime. Ministers promise to consult on the introduction of a visa levy on businesses that recruit overseas labour to fund extra apprenticeships for British and EU workers.
The five bills mean that the home secretary, Theresa May, will be one of the busiest cabinet ministers in parliament. Her policing and criminal justice bill will implement her mental health reforms, end the use of police bail for months or even years without judicial check, and introduce sanctions on professionals including social workers who fail to report or take action on child abuse.
Ministers have been silent on the sentencing aspects of this bill but the Conservative manifesto promised the introduction of short, sharp custodial sentences for persistent offenders. The new justice secretary, Michael Gove, may be looking again at this proposal.
The psychoactive substances bill or legislation to introduce a blanket ban on legal highs is to be introduced this week. It will criminalise the trade in legal highs with prison sentences of up to seven years but will not make personal possession a criminal offence. The legislation will distinguish between everyday psychoactive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and some medicinal products and new designer drugs that imitate more traditional illegal substances. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/27/security-services-investigatory-powers-bill
UK government quietly rewrites hacking laws to give GCHQ immunity
The UK government has quietly passed new legislation that exempts GCHQ, police, and other intelligence officers from prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones.
While major or controversial legislative changes usually go through normal parliamentary process (i.e. democratic debate) before being passed into law, in this case an amendment to the Computer Misuse Act was snuck in under the radar as secondary legislation.
According to Privacy International, “It appears no regulators, commissioners responsible for overseeing the intelligence agencies, the Information Commissioner’s Office, industry, NGOs or the public were notified or consulted about the proposed legislative changes… There was no public debate.”
Privacy International also suggests that the change to the law was in direct response to a complaint that it filed last year. In May 2014, Privacy International and seven communications providers filed a complaint with the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), asserting that GCHQ’s hacking activities were unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act.
On June 6, just a few weeks after the complaint was filed, the UK government introduced the new legislation via the Serious Crime Bill that would allow GCHQ, intelligence officers, and the police to hack without criminal liability.
The bill passed into law on March 3 this year, and became effective on May 3.
Privacy International says there was no public debate before the law was enacted, with only a rather one-sided set of stakeholders being consulted (Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, Scotland Office, Northern Ireland Office, GCHQ, police, and National Crime Agency).
Despite filing its complaint back way back in 2014, Privacy International wasn’t told about the changes to the Computer Misuse Act until last week; until after the new legislation became effective. The UK government is allowed to do this, of course, but it’s a little more underhanded and undemocratic than usual.
According to Privacy International’s legal experts, the amended Computer Misuse Act “grants UK law enforcement new leeway to potentially conduct cyber attacks within the UK.” Following Snowden’s leaks throughout 2013 and 2014, a cynical person might see this new legislation as something of an insurance policy: under the previous Computer Misuse Act, the courts might have found GCHQ’s hacking activities within the UK to be illegal—now they’re on more solid ground.
27 May 2015 – The Iraq War Was Based On Lies: Top Bush Era CIA Official
Twelve years after George W Bush initiated the illegal invasion of Iraq, ostensibly under the premise of pre-emptive self-defence, a stark majority — as many as 75% in 2014 — feel the so-called war was a mistake. As evidence rapidly accumulates that Bush’s yearning to launch an aggressive attack was likelier due to a personal grudge than anything else, that number will surely swell.
Indeed the former president’s intelligence briefer lent yet more plausibility to that theory in an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball, making an admission that the Bush White House misrepresented intelligence reports to the public on key issues.
Michael Morell’s stint with the CIA included deputy and acting director. During the time preceding the US invasion of Iraq, he helped prepare daily intelligence briefings for Bush. One of those briefings, from October 2002, is an infamous example in intelligence history as how not to compile a report.
The National Intelligence Estimate, titled “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction”, (https://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB129/nie.pdf ) was the ostensibly flawed intelligence cited continuously by Bush supporters as justification to pursue a war of aggression against Iraq.
However, this claim is dubious at best, and serves more as a smokescreen to lend credence to a president who was otherwise hell-bent on revenge against Saddam Hussein, as evidenced in his statement a month before the report, “After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.”
In the Hardball interview, host Chris Matthews asked Morell about Cheney’s notorious statement in 2003:
“We know he [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
MATTHEWS: Can you answer that question? Was that true? MORELL: That’s not true.
MATTHEWS: Well, why’d you let them get away with it? MORELL: Look, my job Chris—
MATTHEWS: You’re the briefer for the president on intelligence, you’re the top person to go in and tell him what’s going on. You see Cheney make this charge he’s got a nuclear bomb and then they make subsequent charges he knew how to deliver it…and nobody raised their hand and said, “No that’s not what we told him.” MORELL: Chris, Chris Chris, what’s my job, right? My job—
MATTHEWS: To tell the truth. MORELL: My job—no, as the briefer? As the briefer?
MATTHEWS: Okay, go ahead. MORELL: As the briefer, my job is to carry CIA’s best information and best analysis to the president of the United States and make sure he understands it. My job is to not watch what they’re saying on TV.
MATTHEWS: So you’re briefing the president on the reasons for war, they’re selling the war, using your stuff, saying you made that case when you didn’t. So they’re using your credibility to make the case for war dishonestly, as you just admitted. MORELL: Look, I’m just telling you—
MATTHEWS: You just admitted it. MORELL: I’m just telling you what we said—
MATTHEWS: They gave a false presentation of what you said to them. MORELL: On some aspects. On some aspects.
And the host pushed just a little further:
MATTHEWS: That’s a big deal! Do you agree? If they claimed they had a [nuclear] weapon, when you know they didn’t. MORELL: It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal.
He’s absolutely right, of course, and even further to that point, Morell made another admission of a direct misrepresentation: “What they were saying about the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda publicly was not what the intelligence community” had found. “I think they were trying to make a stronger case for the war.” Which the administration had to do, considering no such case existed.
As a matter of fact, Cheney’s statement directly conflicts with what the NIE actually stated, which is that the intelligence community only found a “[lack of] persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program.” Which is in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency report that came to the same conclusion: “[W]e have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapons program.”
All of this solidifies what former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan resolutely stated about the US invasion of Iraq in 2004: “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.”
The question most deserving an answer, and increasingly posed by the populace at large: If George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and others in the administration, deliberately misled the public on false pretences, directly contradicted intelligence information through misrepresentation, and ultimately initiated a wholly illegal invasion of Iraq that led to the deaths of well over 1 million civilian, non-combatants. WHY have they not been charged with war crimes?
The Chilcot Report – Millions of words without meaning – Philppe Sands both catalogues the report’s criticisms of Blair and points to its failings:
“Yet the inquiry has chosen to hold back on what caused the multitude of errors: was it negligence, or recklessness, or something else? In so doing it has created a space for Blair and the others who stood with him to protest that they acted in good faith, without deceit or lies. To get a sense of how this space was created requires a very thorough reading of the report. But two techniques can be identified immediately.
First, the inquiry has engaged in salami-slicing, assessing cause and motive in individual moments without stepping back and examining the whole. The whole makes clear that the decision to remove Saddam Hussein and wage war in Iraq was taken early, and that intelligence and law were then fixed to facilitate the desired outcome. On legal matters, Blair manipulated the process, forcing the attorney general to give legal advice at the last possible moment, with troops already massed and a coalition ready to roll. He would have known that Goldsmith was less likely at that stage to have said that war would be illegal. […]
Second, on the basis of material I have seen but isn’t in the public domain, I believe the inquiry may have been excessively generous in its characterisation of evidence.” Philppe Sands
A prosecution of Tony Blair for a ‘crime of aggression’ over the military invasion of Iraq in March 2003 has never been on the cards. A report is still awaited from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on whether preliminary examination of new evidence (e.g. with the Chilcot Report) may result in Blair’s prosecution for complicity in crimes over the conduct of the war and occupation.
The domestic common law crime of ‘misconduct in public office’ offers scope for prosecution. For this to proceed, an indictment must be prepared by the Crown Prosecution Service. A police investigation is first necessary to produce a file or charge sheet with evidence from which an indictment can be made.
What might a charge sheet for this offence look like for Tony Blair. Areas of the decision process which initiated the military invasion for potential examples of ‘breaches of duty’, resulting in serious betrayal of public trust, from which the offence of misconduct may be applied. http://www.iraqinquirydigest.org/
Airstrikes that went wrong, (April-mid August) against targets in – Zliten, Sirte and Tripoli. Carried out under the UN remit, authorising NATO aircraft to prevent Government air forces from attacking civilians.
21.03.2011 NATO Air strike Gharyan Western Libya. Many civilians killed.
07.04.2011 NATO Air strike Tripoli Libyan Arab Association For Human Rights buildings destroyed.
27.04.2011 NATO Air strike Misrata 12 Killed 5 wounded.
30.04.2011 NATO Air strike Tripoli Downs Syndrome School destroyed.
30.04.2011 NATO Air strike Gaddafi’s family, (Son Saif Al Gaddafi 29 and 3 grandchildren (all under 3 years of age) targeted and killed.
09.05.2011 NATO Assistance Boat in trouble sent out SOS, which was ignored 600 people died.
13.05.2011 NATO Air strike Brega Mosque. 11 imams (spiritual leaders of Islam) killed and 50 civilians injured.
17.05.2011 NATO Air strike Anti-Corruption Agency buildings destroyed,(all records destroyed).
12.06.2011 NATO Air strike Tripoli. University buildings destroyed. Many dead. Numbers not yet known.
15.06.2011 NATO Air strike Kikla. Attack on passenger bus. 12 killed and 2 injured.
19.06.2011 NATO Air strike Triploi. 9 civilians killed in bombing attack.
19.06.2011 NATO Air strike Sorman. All members of the Al-Hamedi family 15 civilians, including 3 children, were killed.
22.06.2011 NATO Air strike Libya. Great Waterway Irrigation System, (supplying drinking water to 4.5m) attacked causing major damage.
22.06.2011 NATO Air strike Zliten. Many civilians killed in bombing attack.
28.06.2011 NATO Air strike Tawergha east of Misurata. 16 civilians (one complete family killed) and more than 20 injured.
15.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Kikla City. 12 killed and 2 injured when the air strike hit a bus carrying innocent civilians.
17.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Tajura and Seraj. Many urban areas bombed. Upwards of 60 to 75 bombs dropped according to eyewitness reports.
23.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Factory manufacturing pipes for water systems maintenance bombed. 6 employees killed.
24.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Torghae City. Farming, Cattle and Poultry project bombed. Buildings, animals and birds destroyed.
24.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Tawergha. 15 civilians killed
24.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten Hospital 50 civilians many of them children killed.
25.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten. Food Storage buildings and contents destroyed.
25.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Bir Al Ghanam 20 civilians killed.
30.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Libyan television station destroyed. 3 killed 15 injured.
02.08.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten Law School buildings destroyed. Woman & 2 children killed.
07.08.2011 NATO Air Strike Vegetable market in Tripoli destroyed.
08.08.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten. 32 Women, 20 children and 20 men killed
Not long after the start of the troubles in Libya Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son and heir apparent of the Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi went to the Western press. (The Washington Post) and provided first hand an explanation of events in Libya from the beginning of the year. In doing so he offered a way forward which, had it been accepted would have avoided the massive loss of life and on-going fighting which has brought the nation to it’s knees and rendered it ungovernable. At the time of the interview he attributed external air power aggession to France and the UK believing rhetoric emanating from the White House that the USA would not be involved in any aggression against Libya. How wrong he was.
17 April: The following are excerpts from a Washington Post interview with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.
On the international conspiracy to destabilize Libya:
* He said “What occured was a major media attack on Libya by rebels in the Libyan press and Telecommunications Companies backed by foreign press and governments spreading disinformation through the internet, creating alarm and despondancy within the country.
* The British foreign minister Hague lied when he said that Gaddafi had fled to Venezuela.
* Al-Jazeera lied with breaking news “Gaddafi has left the country and then another headline “Saif is dead, his brother killed him”. All lies.
* The internet was flooded with misinformation. So much that it crashed due to overload.
* No telephones, television, information (except rumours of major coalition ground attacks). All this created chaos.
* There followed many raids on arms dumps and military barracks and theft of large amounts of ammunition. Armed insurrection. All orchestrated from outside Libya.
* It is not the intention of the government to kill our people, we want to build our country and live in peace. It is not in the interests of anybody to see chaos in Libya. * But unfortunately Arabic countries like Qatar, they are playing this role.”
On why he thinks the U.N. Security Council was wrong:
* The UN Security Council resolution was based on — what?
* The Libyan air force is bombing Tripoli, and bombing Tajoura and Fashloom, two districts [in the capital]. * They mentioned two districts. Show me one trace, one bit of evidence that we bombarded Tajoura.
* We took diplomats and journalists to the areas. There was no damage. No bombing.
* But now Libya has an embargo placed on it. Coalition planes are bombing Libya day and night.
* Libya is being systematically destroyed by the West in the same way as was Iraq.
On You-Tube videos of protesters being shot in Tripoli:
* They repeatedly played a “recent” video of protesters being shot. But the incident occurred over one year ago, in the city of Ras Lanuf.
* But it had nothing to do with the government of Libya. It was a problem between two tribes fighting for a new housing projectin Ras Lanuf.
* They said the government had recruited many thousands of mercenaries which is not the case.
* Were mistakes made? Were some people shot? Yes of course there were but numbered in single figures not the many thousands reported in the Western media.
On reports of widespread arrests of opposition activists:
* This is true but only in an attempt to recover the huge amount of arms and ammunition that had been stolen in raids on arms dumps. Arms and ammunition was evertywhere
* But the police have started releasing those arrested and I am taking a personal interest in this. * Why? Because, they are my people. We are living in the same country and it is not in our advantage to humiliate, torture or kill them.
* Even those who took up arms against the government are being released.
* There are prisoners. You may visit the prison and meet with them. They are in healthy, no torture. Eating well, showers, clothes, everything. No violation of human rights.
On the siege of Misurata and evidence that government forces are shelling civilians:
* What happened in Misurata? I refer you to the Cold River,in Tripoli, Lebanon where the Lebanese army attacked a number of civilian districts fighting Jund al-Sham, the soldiers of Islam, you know that terrorist group in Lebanon. They destroyed half the city, civilians died, they fought the terrorists because they were inside the buildings.
* The Americans, the West, they supplied the Lebanese army, and it was considered a legitimate mission to fight terrorists inside Tripoli, Lebanon. You remember? And I remember they sent an airlift with the Hummer vehicles, arms and munitions.
* A similar event occurred in Grozny, Chechnya, when the Russian army fought terrorists, because the terrorists went inside the buildings in Grozny.
* And what about the Americans in Fallujah. You know Fallujah? in Iraq It’s exactly the same.
* The military are not fighting or killing innocent people or civilians, because it is not in the interests of anybody to kill civilians, but the fact is terrorists are there.
* The French foreign minister said we should allow shipping to use Misurata without restriction since NATO could guarantee ships would not carry illegal cargo.*
* But arms, ammunition and terrorists are being shipped into Misurata illegally every day which is unacceptable.
* And (due to a much extended dialogue) attempting through failed negotiation to persuade them to lay down their arms and return home. the rebels fortifications are much extended making it more difficult to displace them.
* And, in case you hadn’t noticed the rebels kidnap and execute people. They utilise their own warped version of Islamic law and have their own courts, police, army. No government in the world will allow such a behavior.
* But you should discuss this with the Red Cross people. They attempted today to assess the situation. You know what happened? They shot them.
* Excuse me, shooting at the Red Cross. Today they shot the Red Cross people, because the Christian cross is crusader or whatever.
* So they are infidels who should be killed. Okay, maybe they are not Muslims but they are here to help. Not to be murdered.
* The rebels have mortars, anti-tank rockets and anti-aircraft machine guns. They are using Libyan army ammunition. * They are firing from houses, from shops, from everywhere. We will not stand back and let terrorists take our country. That is why we are fighting not for my father.
On the rebels:
* We told the World that al-Qaeda are in Libya. The West said we were lying. Perhaps you are aware of today’s statement from al-Qaeda? It’s their own statement, not mine. They announced “We are al-Qaeda in Libya, we are fighting and we have our emirates.”
* In Zawiyah and Nalut there were Algerians, Egyptians, Pakistanis fighting with Al-Queda. Many are terrorists, others Islamists, yet more are just gangsters, like in Benghazi.
* The city of Benghazi is where Al-Queda are present. If we take and hold Benghazi we will win. The problem is just the city of Benghazi.
* So there it is. So called rebels comprising Al-Qaeda, various Islamic groups, gangsters and ex-prisoners. So many groups with differing agendas fighting each other and the government of Libya. Shades of Iraq.
* The BBC and Sky News reported an attack on a hotel and street fighting in the centre of Benghazi. Many explosions and heavy fighting. But there is a change. Many of those fighting against the rebels are residents of the city fed up with the Al-Queda and the terrorists. Yet NATO continue to provide air support to the rebels. How misguided they are supporting a few hundred terrorists against 6 million Libyans. The West is talking to the wrong side
On former friends and colleagues who defected to lead the rebellion:
* They were my friends, we drank together, we ate together, we sat together, we travelled together, they were my close friends. Now I get messages from these former friends working with the terrorists. They tell me “After the victory, you, Saif, will have no place in Libya. Everything bad that has happened is because of you. You brought them to Libya, and helped them to be ministers and big guys in Libya. You and your friends have no place in the future, in Libya.
* So, I brought them here, I helped them, I supported them. But then, Saif is finished, so we jump ship like rats. We jump from the ship and go to other ship.
* But people are weak. One month ago they were ministers and heads of security, and now they find themselves sitting with Hillary Clinton, with the British, with the French, with the whole world, Qataris sending them private jets. So okay, yesterday I was minister, today I can be a president. So the West is contributing to this crisis, because they give them false hope they will be something in the future. Those people, they were our people one month ago, we know them very well, I brought them to Libya.
On Mahmoud Jibril, a U.S.-educated professor brought back to Libya by Saif to help run economic policy, who is now the rebels’ foreign affairs representative:
* He was my best friend, he changed completely, I don’t know why. We used to talk together, work together, he was one of my best friends. He was my friend when he was living in Tripoli. Now he is sitting with Hillary Clinton, with [British Foreign Secretary William] Hague, and with [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy in the Elysees. Excuse me, he said, ‘Saif, you are too insignificant for me now.’ ”
* But his head has been turned. The entire Western world is praising him. America, U.K., France, sending private jets, telling him “You are the President of Libya. You get the oil. You get the money. Come on, he is a human being at the end of the day.
* They are selfish and they have their own self-interest and they have their own advantage. They want to advance their own advantage. They want to be famous, they want to to be rich. They want to be powerful. ‘Okay, one month ago, I was a minister here in Libya, now I will be a president, I will control Libya.’ Libya is a rich country. Everyone wants to rule Libya, its oil, gas, money. I understand it. I don’t respect it, but I understand it.
On whether there are people within the rebel movement who just wanted democracy and freedom of expression:
*Of course, yes. I know them very well. But where are they now? Ha ha. Where are they now? I tell you something. Those people, maybe they did start the story, but now they vanished. Now they have no word, they have no say with the Al Queda armed militia.
* Is it possible to have a dialogue with al-Qaeda? How can we talk with people who are killing red-cross workers and burning people to death in Misurata. * In the 21st century, they killed someone, they took his heart, they burned the heart in front of people.
* You are aware that they hanged people in Benghazi? In Eastern Libya, they hung from bridges and filmed it for the media.
* The West keep talking about democracyand the constitution. But this is not the priority of the people. Ask any Libyan if they want democracy? They will tell you “No, we want peace, security, food, drink, we want schools. The freedom of the press is not a priority anymore. Now we are at war with each other.
* If you want to help us, assist the Libyan government in restoring peace and security, then we’ll talk about reforms and national reconciliation and constitution. But now people are at war, and everybody is fighting everybody, and you are talking about democracy? S
* I know Libya. For nearly 10 years I have been talking about the constitution, freedom, democracy, everybody laughed at me. They said “What? We want houses, we want money, we want hospitals, we want cars, we want hotels. Democracy is not priority.”
* They told me. Come on, it’s just the elite here in Libya, that are talking about these things. I disagreed and committed them to writing an agenda.
* Mahmoud Jibril and all of the committee who wrote the draft of the new Libyan constitution. Now they are against us.
* But the draft constitution is my draft. It is the Libyan people who should conduct a national deliberation on the draft. If they are happy with it they should accept it, and we will introduce it.
* We need local governance, because we want a federal system and strong local governance and a new law for the media and civil society. That’s it. It would be like Switzerland.
* But nobody in Libya is talking about democracy anymore. People are talking about just one thing, peace, security and law and order, that’s it.
On his uncompromising speech when protests started:
* I told them “listen, Libyans. There is a big conspiracy against Libya, you will have a civil war, you will destroy your country, you will destroy the oil and you will have a foreign intervention,” and those four things came to be. Sometimes you have to be very serious with your people. It is a very serious issue.
On why people are fighting:
* Vice President Joe Biden. Had a son, who was fighting in Iraq. He said, “I am proud of my son, who is fighting for America and defending his country”. Biden the vice president so proud of a son fighting innocent people many thousands of kilometers from from America, He is proud of his son. So to are we Libyans. We are in our country and we are fighting for our country.
* So there is time for peace and there is time for war. We have terrorists on the ground and NATO in the air. We will stand up and fight for our country, it is our country. We want peace. We want freedom. We want a constitution. We want democracy. But I will not be happy seeing Libyan’ getting killed every day, by the bombs of NATO and the terrorists.
* Here we are the Libyans. If we fight we fight together. If we stop, we stop together. We are united and one family. We are so united.
* Nobody here in Libya is interested in revenge. Revenge, it’s not in our agenda. The agenda is national reconciliation. This is the desire and the wish of everybody. We want peace, we want security, we want to build our country, we want to have a better future, we want to go forward. Nobody is talking about revenge.
On what would happen if his father left now:
*Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Everybody knows that.
On the way forward:
* The biggest issue, the terrorists and armed militia. The moment we get rid of them, everything will be solved in one hour in the whole country.
* One European country, a very important country, came to us with a proposal, with an initiative, we have the African initiative.
* No army in the cities, no armed militias in the cities. Armed militias and army should leave the cities, police should come in. The army should control the border
* The American’s can help us do that. Come on America, help us get the army and militias away from the cities. Bring the police in.
* Elections. We accept this. Bring supervisors from Europe, America, from everywhere. Do it.
On being an ally one day and a pariah the next:
* After WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton tried to call my father, but spoke to the ex-foreign minister, saying “We are sorry for this.” Just two months ago. She said, “We are happy with Libya. We are doing good business with Libya. We want to strengthen relations with Libya. Libya is a very important country. We are friends and we are sorry for this.” This is two months ago. Now she is saying “Mr Gaddafi should leave.” It is clear that when you are strong, everyone is nice to you, if you are weak, bye-bye.
On his response to the letter from President Obama, Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron:
* To be honest, Obama is different from the British and the French. It was big shock at the beginning when the Americans did attack Libya.
* Nobody in the Middle East, and especially in Libya, thought that one day President Obama will attack Libya or an Arabic country.
* Because he came after Iraq and after Afghanistan, his name is Barack Hussein. He is of African origin, he is a peace man. And all of sudden he is sending hundreds of Tomahawk [missiles] to Libya. It was a big shock, a big shock for everybody including my father. NATO attacking us exactly like Bush attacked Iraq, because of false reports and rumours.
* As we are aware the USA is supporting the British and the French in Libya because they supported the USA in Afghanistan.
* Libyans are happy that the Americans are to withdraw from the crisis for our country and are to adopt a neutral stance unlike some other countries.
* But, we want the Americans to send a fact-finding mission to identify exactly what happened in Libya. We also want “the Human Rights Watch” to come to Libya to work with us.
* We are not afraid of the International Criminal Court. We are confident and sure that we didn’t commit any crime against our people.
* The terrorists recruited boys, 10, 11, 12 years old to fight, they killed hostages, prisoners, hung and tortured innocent people. They filmed everything so identification of the criminals will not be difficult.
* For us, we are doing the right thing, we are fighting the right cause, and we fighting for our people. We are uniting the Libyan people. The Americans should support us.
* The Libyan case is not difficult to resolve but to say Gaddafi should leave makes it very complicated. Priorities need to be decided. Either they are help Libya or to destroy Gaddafi. If the choice is too destroy Gaddafi that’s fine. But don’t then say “We want to help Libya.” But, in Libya the reception for the Americans will always be kind to the USA but so the Europeans.
On his father:
* The most important person now in Libya is the Prime Minister. Ask any Libyan, the Prime Minister.
* My father is not talking about contracts, about laws, about companies about business, about this, this is the executive work, this is the work of the prime minister.
* He is the most important person in Libya, and in the new constitution you will have an elected Prime Minister and also an elected president.
* As President my father is like a symbol of the country, he is purely symbolic.
* But the people who will run the country will be elected. This is in the draft [constitution]. We worked on this draft for the past four years.
* There will be a President and a Prime Minister. There will be a parliament. The way forward is the constitution.
Libya – Sledgehammers and nuts – Gaddafi’s Airforce was grounded on day one on receipt of a warning from the UN – This is what the UK , France and a few NATO countries and the USA deployed against him
The UK has Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets stationed at the Gioia de Colle airbase in southern Italy. These have carried out bombing missions in Libya using Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Nimrod and Sentinel reconnaissance planes have also been deployed for surveillance. Warships HMS Cumberland and HMS Westminster are also in the Mediterranean for support.
Dassault Rafale fighter jets were the first to be used in allied operations in Libya. Around 20 planes, also including Mirage 2000, have been involved in bombing missions to neutralise Libyan air capacity. The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier was expected to join operations on Tuesday.
As well as making its air bases available for allied planes, Italy has provided eight aircraft, including F-16s and Tornado jets. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said they will not shoot at targets.
Madrid has provided four F-18 fighter jets that were used in operations on Monday.
Belgium has provided six F-16 fighter jets.
Has supplied six F-16s.
Six Norwegian F-16 fighter jets landed at a NATO base on the Greek island of Crete on Monday, ready for deployment.
Athens has allowed the allies the use of three NATO bases. One is in Crete, the other two in the western of the country. Greece has said it will not take an active part in operations.
The Dutch foreign minister said on Monday that the Netherlands will not get involved in military operations against Libya until formally requested to do so by NATO.
Canada has supplied six CF-18 fighter jets and two 2CC-150 Polaris transport/refuelling aircraft to the allies’ cause. Four CF-18s took part in a military sortie on Monday, without opening fire. The planes are based in Trapani, Italy.
US hardware being used in Libya is thought to include several attack submarines and destroyers (USS Providence, USS Scranton, USS Florida, USS Stout and USS Barry) These carry cruise and Tomahawk missiles that have been fired at Libyan targets. The command ship USS Mount Whitney is also in the Mediterranean to oversee the joint operation. Reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 also deployed as well as E-3 Sentry (AWACS) warning and control aircraft. The US has 42 F-16s at a base in Aviano, Italy. B-2 stealth bombers also used in strikes at the weekend.’ http://www.euronews.com/2011/03/19/international-forces-in-libya
Libya – The Poor Humpty Dumpty State – Ripped Apart By The West – They Cannot Put It back Together Again – So What Are We To Do?
2011: In December 2010 trouble broke out in Tunisia resulting in the overthrow of the government and removal of it’s President. The event proved to be the catalyst for disaffected populations across the arab middle east and resulted in the much vaunted “Arab Spring”. Governments and leaders of many countries affected by unrest feared Western style democracy and were not willing to give up long established controls and systems of governance widely accepted by Muslim society.
This included Libya tightly controlled by Gaddafi for decades. Fearing a growing influence of hard line Islamic agitators including Al-Queda within Libya, (in particular Bengahzi) he clamped down hard on any disturbance. The West, keen as ever on spreading democracy persuaded strict Islamist arab countries, unfriendly with Gaddafi (who was more relaxed about the imposition of Islamic law on Libyans), to apply pressure.
Quatar, (backed by the UK, USA and others) started supplying arms and ammunition to rebel groups encouraging their growth and influence and faced with growing unrest Gaddafi instructed his forces to destroy any islamist groups operating against his government. This they speedily accomplished within a matter of days.
Small pockets of resistence took up sniping positions within Benghazi and there was a deal of hard fighting before they were dislodged. Unfortunately there were many civilian casualties caught up in bitterly fought exchages between government forces and the rebels.
Failure by the rebels to establish themselves in Libya was imminent and France and the UK went to the UN seeking a mandate allowing NATO forces to be deployed over Libyan airspace preventing Libyan government airforces from attacking the civilian population, (which had been reported to the West from within Libya).
The UN supported a very narrow remit allowing NATO aircraft unrestricted access to Libyan airspace, but strictly only to provide the humanitarian support to the civilian population as stated in the request placed with the UN. Many countries abstained from the vote so it was not inanimously agreed.
The UK and France armed with their remit consulted NATO members seeking support but the response was disappointing. Only 3 countries agreed to get actively involved. President Obama, facing an election advised that the USA would not become directly involved but would provide logistic support to the effort.
What occurred over the next 9 months invited shame on the USA, UK France and Italy who, by their actions brought about the wholesale destruction, (NATO planes flew 22,000 sorties over Libya over a period of 9 months) of Libya. NATO ignored the UN remit and brought about regime change the adverse effects of which are being foisted upon the EU through a mass migration of many thousands of muslim refugee’s which is expected to increase further over the next decade. The population of Libya is reduced by about 25% so it is not a good place to be.
The full impact of uncontrolled unremitting migration will bring about major difficulties within the EU and may well result in some countries withdrawing from it adopting isolationist agenda’s taking control of their own immigration policies.
This is the sequence of events: 16 February: Riots break out in Libyan city as regional unrest deepens
* Hundreds of people clash with police and pro-government supports in the Libyan city of Benghazi in a rare show of unrest.
* Crowds armed with petrol bombs and rocks clashed with police and government supporters in the city of Benghazi in a rare show of unrest in the oil exporting country.
* According to local media reports and witnesses, protesters gathered outside a government office then marched to the city’s Shajara square where the clashes began.
* Libya has been tightly controlled by leader Muammar Gaddafi for over 40 years but has also felt the ripples from popular revolts in its neighbours Egypt and Tunisia.
* The Quryna newspaper, based in Benghazi, said rioting was now over and that government supporters had taken over the square, although tensions have remained high.
* Fourteen people were injured including ten police officers, none of the injuries are reported to be serious. The clashes came ahead of a planned “Day of Rage” by on Thursday.
* Witnesses said those involved in the clashes were relatives of inmates in Tripoli’s Abu Salim jail, where militant Islamists and government opponents are held.
* Libyan state television said separately that rallies were being held across the oil exporting country on Wednesday in support of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
* Libyan state television showed footage of a rally in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, of government supporters.
18 February: Human Rights Watch reports 84 deaths since the start of riots.
22 February: Arab League suspends Libyan delegates from its meetings.
* UN Security Council calls for an end to the use of force against protesters and reminds the Libyan government it must “meet its responsibility to protect its population.
* Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls the situation “unacceptable” and says it must “immediately stop.”
24 February: European Union diplomats meet to discuss sanctions
* To include EU travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.
* EU suspends negotiations on bilateral relations with Libya.
16 March: Saif al-Gaddafi asks Sarkosy to repay Libyan contibutions to his presidential campaign.
* He said “Sarkozy must repay Libya the money he took for his election campaign. * We financed his election campaign and we have all the details and we are ready to publish them.
* The first thing we ask of this clown Sarkozy is that he repay this money to the Libyan people.
* We helped him become president so that he would help the Libyan people but he has disappointed us.
* Very soon we will publish all the details and the documents and banking pay slips.* What is being seen in the streets is not protesters but armed militias who kill people and frighten them and hang them.
* You have seen them in Albayda executing police officers, hanging people from the bridges, and in Misrata they burned a man in the public square.
* These people don’t believe in dialogue or human rights or democracy. They are criminals and luckily they take photos and videos of what they do and publish them.
* Today the Libyan people have revolted and are defending their land and their country.
19 March: International forces in operations in Libya.
* Several Western countries as well as some Gulf states intend to lend their military support for the operation to impose and maintain a no-fly zone over Libya.
21 March : Not long after the first wave of coalition airstrikes, the bitter battle for control of the rebel-held city of Misrata
* Shortly before the Gaddafi regime claimed it had ordered a ceasefire, government forces entered the last city held by rebels in the West of Libya.
* Tanks are in position and snipers stationed on rootops in a bid to maintain control.
* Warnings of heavy casualties and horrific injuries as troops shelled homes and businesses.
* Residents also claiming government boats were circling the port, preventing aid from reaching the city.
* News of the invasion came just hours after about 20 air-defence sites in Misrata – and the Libyan capital Tripoli – were battered by air strikes from French jets.
* The jets began a second night of patrolling Libyan airspace to enforce a no-fly zone.
* Abdelbasset, a spokesman for the rebels in Misrata, said the number of rebel casualties was rapidly growing.
* He said “There is fighting between the rebels and Gaddafi’s forces. Their tanks are in the centre of Misrata … There are so many casualties we cannot count them.”
* One resident, called Sami, said snipers killed two people in the port. “They are supported by four tanks, which have been patrolling the town.
* It’s getting very difficult for people to come out. There are also boats encircling the port and preventing aid from reaching the town.”
* Dr Khalid Abufalgha, who works at Misrata’s main hospital, pleaded for help “The international community has to come to protect the civilians.Yesterday, I have 25, today, since morning I have three and they are coming. They are amputations … severe injuries, crushing – I don’t know what they are using but please, come and protect the civilians – babies, women, all the civilians that is coming here, they have no … water, no food.”
* Residents in Misrata claimed that Gaddafi forces were shelling homes “with some force”.
* On a strategic road in East Libya, heading towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Colonel Gaddafi’s wrecked tanks and other army vehicles smouldered.
* The coalition strike appeared to have taken government forces by surprise, placing a dramatic halt to the advance towards the city.
* Many bodies litter the roadside, about 14 Gaddafi tanks, 20 armoured personnel carriers, two trucks with multiple rocket launchers and dozens of pick-ups all destroyed.
* One tank a blackened wreck with its turret blown off. Another tank, a tank transporter and armoured personnel carriers smouldered.
* A few hundred metres ahead, munitions were still exploding as flames licked around vehicles.
* The attack gave rebels, who had been driven back to their stronghold of Benghazi by the Libyan leader’s air, sea and land offensive in the past two weeks, the chance to return to the town of Ajdabiyah – the hard fought over gateway to the East.
* Rebels, have mainly relied on 4×4 pick-ups with machine guns, heavily outgunned by Colonel Gaddafi ‘s forces before the airstrikes.
* Pharmacist Mohamed Joma said the planes had struck about 4am that day. “The tanks were pointing to Benghazi,” he said. “They wanted to go to Benghazi. They did not escape.”
* Agricultural worker Jamal al-Majbouri, who owns a farm nearby, showed no sympathy for the Gaddafi forces. He said “Tell the West to destroy Gaddafi slowly, piece by piece by piece, the way he did to us for 40 years.”
4 April: Gaddafi’s few friends leave limited exit options
* Dozens of chanting supporters stood alongside the Libyan leader in his bombed-out bunker in Tripoli, waving their flags.
* It is the image that Colonel Gaddafi would like to portray to the world. A Libya where “everyone loves me”, as he said in an interview before the coalition strikes began, denying there was any meaningful uprising against his rule.
* The defiant stance is good for morale. But Gaddafi has not made an appearance like this – or any outing in public – since mid-March. Far from loving him, several of his entourage have been queuing up to leave. First there was the ex Libyan Ambassador to the UN, then Moussa Koussa the Foreign Minister, and this weekend came the turn of his adviser, Ali Triki.
* Even before foreign ministers gathered at the London summit, the U.S Secretary of State said that people close to the Colonel were making overtures, seeking a possible way out.
* Hillary Clinton told the summit “We must continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator but to the Libyan people.
* We agree with the Arab League that Gaddafi has lost his legitimacy to lead.
* We agree with the African Union on the need for a democratic transition process.
* Although the Libyan opposition want Gaddafi brought to book, the main goal is an end to the fighting and his regime.”
* A scenario where that could be brought about by the dictator fleeing the country would have its merits.
* The question is who would want him? His friends are few and far between.
* Hugo Chavez has defends Gaddafi. His vociferous anti-Americanism is well known.
* At the start of the conflict false rumours had the Colonel on a plane to Venezuela.
* Chavez’s own future is in question. Welcoming an international outcast may not help.
* A possible shelter closer to home has been mooted. Like Gaddafi’s Libya, Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe has not been averse to using terror to crush opponents.
* Saudi Arabia has been a haven for ex- dictators. Tunisia’s Ben Ali fled there. But Gaddafi is no friend of King Abdullah, and the Gulf state is not seen as a serious option.
* So, the solution may have to come from within Libya itself.
* Unless more defections cause the regime to collapse, the coalition’s main hope must be that the opposition can seize the moment.
* Air strikes have paved the way. But rebel inexperience and disorganisation have been exposed. If their will outlasts that of their long-term oppressor may well be decisive.
* As Colonel Gaddafi’s envoys travel across Europe proposing a whole raft of peace settlements, representatives of the Gaddafi regime still insist that the ‘Brother Leader’ will not step down and that forces loyal to the regime are not killing civilians.
* Commentators note that this volley of peace proposals may, in fact, be no more than a delaying tactic designed to destabilise the coalition currently enforcing UN Resolution 1973 and give Gaddafi time to re-consolidate his hold on power.
* The defection of Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa has been seen by the West as a blow for the regime although the Libyan spokesman has denied this.
* Saif Gaddafi, the most high-profile of Gaddafi’s sons, still appears to be angling for a solution in which his father retires, handing the reins of power on to him.
5 April: ICC prosecutors seek Gaddafi arrest
* International prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, accusing him of committing crimes against humanity.
* A son of the Libyan leader as well as his spy chief are also targeted.
* International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said “The evidence shows that Muammar Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians. His second eldest son, Saif al-Islam, is the de facto prime minister. And (Abdullah) al-Sanussi, Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, is his right hand man, the executioner, the head of military intelligence. He personally commanded some of the attacks.”
* Saif has become a recognisable face on the international stage, defending his father’s crackdown on rebels.
* Libyan officials have already denounced the ICC prosecutor’s actions, saying the court is a creation of the West to prosecute African leaders.
* But rebel-held Benghazi had been crying out for such a move. ICC judges must now see if there is enough evidence for warrants to be issued.
1 July: Internal Report Shows Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) Was in Chaos Even Before War,
* Internal audit completed by the Libyan Investment Authority, dated April 2010 revealed multi-billion dollar SWF pegged at a value of $64billion as of November 2010.
* Wracked by mismanagement and confusion almost a year before the country became embroiled in a civil war.
* In their analysis the auditors identified there were no effective policies in place to insulate the fund’s managers from conflicts of interests or taking bribes.
* Portfolio management tools, risk management tools, investment accounting, reconciliations and reporting systems are urgently required.
* Report detailed startling missteps and blunders, such as how the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) bought large currency hedges for currencies that it did not own.
* Picture emerges of Western firms descending on the fund taking advantage of the fund’s inexperience, overcharging selling it investments it didn’t need.
* Another leaked document dated September 30, 2010 revealed a furious LIA directing anger at its investment partners.
* Investments with BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, and the Permal fund of hedge funds all targets of criticism.
* High fees directly responsible for the poor results, the conclusion.
* SEC investigating multiple firms over possible illegalities involved with the LIA.
2 August: Libyan state television broadcasts a defiant message from Colonel Gaddafi’s son, at a time when the conflict shows signs of getting mired in stalemate.
* Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who along with his father is accused by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity, told a group of families from Benghazi that fighting the rebels would continue come what may.
* No one should think that after the all sacrifices we have made and the martyrdom of our sons, brothers and friends, we will stop fighting. Forget it. Regardless of whether NATO leaves or not, the fighting will continue until all of Libya is liberated,” he said.
* If that did not happen, he added, they would continue fighting until they were all killed.
* The broadcast followed attempts to marginalise the Libyan leadership. Last month rebels welcomed an African Union offer to hold talks with the government without Colonel Gaddafi’s involvement.
* Britain’s Defence Secretary Liam Fox has admitted that military efforts alone will not be enough to topple him, saying the best chance of doing so is via a coup.
19 August: Ben Shatwan says billions stolen in Libya
* Questions are being asked about some in the Libyan rebel leadership. Who are they, and do they have clean hands?
* One of its leading spokesmen, Dr. Fathi Ben Shatwan was the industry minister for several years and then energy minister for two years.
* For years he was as close to Muammar Gaddafi as any non-family member, until 2006 when he quit the regime and fled on a small boat to Malta and from there to France.
* At interview he said “When the revolution began on February 20th I went to Misrata, my home town, with my family. I joined in the revolt for freedom, but after 45 days myself, Mustapha Abuljalil, the Justice Minister, and Interior Minister, Abdulfattah Younes and some others thought it would be better serving the revolution from Malta.
* He went on “As you know the revolution began peacefully, But the regime embarked on a violent route, which surprised everyone. This is the reason Britain, France, the United States and some other countries intervened. Remember when the bombardment of Benghazi began. If that had continued many innocent civilians would have died.
* I was Energy Minister, but in name only since for the last 10 years Saif Al Islam has been in charge of all economic affairs, the Libyan economy was in his hands.
* Those who worked on the Popular General Committee took their orders directly from him.”
* He was also in sole charge of transferring money and channelling funds abroad.
* Assessing oil production these last few years it would be safe to say that between $200-250 billion dollars US would have acrued.
* The bulk of it would have been transferred to investments or in other some other form.”
* Referring to Ghadhafi he said “I think the vice is tightening. He is encircled in a 50 kilometre circle around Tripoli.
* There are two options open to him. Continue to fight on with resulting high casualties or agree to a safe passage from Libya.
23 August: Gaddafi’s son free and confident of victory
* Saif al-Islam the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has made a sudden appearance in the centre of Tripoli.
* Only hours earlier rebels and the International Criminal Court had said the 39-year-old had been captured.
* After jubilant supporters welcomed his arrival Saif al-Islam told journalists his father was safe and well and in Tripoli.
* Firstly I want to deny all the rumours, NATO and the West have modern technology and they blocked and jammed communications.
* They sent messages to the Libyan people through the internet. They stopped state broadcasts, and they’ve created a media and electronic war to spread chaos and fear in Libya.
* He told the BBC that by entering Tripoli, the rebels had fallen into “a trap” and that fighters loyal to his father were winning the battle for the capital.
* Gaddafi’s other son Mohammed who was taken by rebels while giving a live interview is now said to have escaped from house arrest.
* Muammar Gaddafi has not been seen in public since June although at the start of the uprising, he made several spontaneous and often bizarre appearances.
* Speculation is rife over the Libyan leader’s whereabouts. He could be in his Tripoli compound which his troops are fiercely defending or he could have fled to his home region of Sirte.
* Refuge in foreign countries cannot be ruled out although he has always vowed never to leave Libya.
24 August: White House: Obama method for regime change better than Bush method
* This week’s toppling of the Qaddafi regime in Libya shows that the Obama administration’s multilateral and light-footprint approach to regime change is more effective than the troop-heavy occupation-style approach used by the Bush administration in Iraq and Afghanistan, a top White House official told Foreign Policy today in a wide-ranging interview.
* Despite criticism from Congress and elsewhere, President Barack Obama’s strategy for the military intervention in Libya will not only result in a better outcome in Libya but also will form the basis of Obama’s preferred model for any future military interventions.
* On the role of the NATO operation in Libya, the civilian protection mission continues but that consultation will soon begin in Brussels on the conclusion of the mission.
* The need for the NATO protection mission is still present for now, Rhodes said, but the White House doesn’t anticipate the TNC requesting a peacekeeping force from NATO or the United Nations that involves any foreign boots on the ground. “There’s no plan for that type of effort,” he said.
* Rhodes said the drive to release between $1 billion and $1.5 billion of Qaddafi’s frozen assets to the TNC is moving along quickly. “We think that should be complete in the next few days and we don’t foresee an insurmountable problem there.”
* The Obama administration feels confident the TNC can manage the money and prevent it from being stolen or funneled to unsavory actors.
* The administration will also try to ensure the money goes to the urgent needs identified by the TNC.
27 August: Obama: ‘leading from behind’ on Libya
* Downfall of Muammar Gaddafi has been claimed by the White House as a vindication of President Barack Obama’s decision to “lead from behind”.
* Almost as soon as the rebels reached Tripoli, the administration’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes, began spinning the media that Obama’s light footprint approach to regime change was infinitely superior to the Bush approach.
* Administration officials fell over themselves to point out that the entire operation had not cost a single American casualty. One official even crowed that “Reagan targeted Gaddafi; George W Bush targeted Bin Laden; Obama has done both.”
* American commentators were not far behind the administration in declaring this operation as a victory for President Obama.
* Some wondered whether the Libya operation would aid President Obama’s chances at re-election. Others declared it a “nuanced victory” for a reluctant wartime president.
* Still others complained that President Obama was not getting enough credit from Republicans for his strategy of “limited engagement” in Libya.
* Even the normally sensible Fareed Zakaria heralded the Libya operation as ushering in a “new era in US foreign policy”.
* Such fulsome praise put the Republicans in a particularly difficult bind. Most of the current Republican leadership were cheerleaders for President Bush in his bloody experiment with regime change in Iraq, but are now tying themselves in knots trying not to credit Obama for his own regime change intervention in the Middle East.
* Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham even released a statement that congratulated the British and French but expressed “regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower”.
* The most evasive response came from GOP candidate Mitt Romney, who kept changing the subject in his media appearances by insisting that Libya hand over those behind the Lockerbie bombing to US authorities.
* Such self-aggrandisement, spin and dishonesty is predictable but disheartening. At the most basic level, the Beltway take on Libya reveals the narcissistic myopia of the American political establishment.
* On both sides of the political divide, American foreign policy experts seem incapable of imagining a crisis that does not demand more American “leadership”.
* They cannot believe that events such as the revolution in Libya are possible without the backing of America or that such events are not necessarily a referendum on the foreign policy of the sitting American president.
* Neither side questions the hyperactive interventionism of American foreign policy or challenges the premise that “regime change” should be pursued even when (as in Libya) it falls well outside the limits of the UN mandate.
* The focus on scoring this war as a “win” for one side in American politics is merely symptomatic of how detached and self-regarding this establishment is.
* It is absolutely true that the US deployed special forces to coordinate with the rebels and used its intelligence and satellite assets to facilitate Nato airstrikes in support of their advances.
* But any glance at television images from Libya makes clear that those doing the fighting (and dying) are Libyan.
* The overthrow of this odious regime – one that murdered its own people, supported terrorism and committed grave human rights abuses – should be credited to the Libyan people, not to Obama, Prime Minister Cameron or any of the other supporting players.
* Even if one wanted to engage in point-scoring for domestic American politics, it is hard to call this messy war a victory for the Obama administration.
* As argued previously, the Obama administration’s “strategy” in Libya – if, indeed, it merits the term – has been incoherent and contradictory.
* The performance of Nato hardly inspired confidence, taking six months of sporadic bombing to remove a decrepit regime that had already lost control of half of its territory.
* And as many others have noted, neither the US nor Europe appears to have a plan for managing the aftermath of the regime’s collapse.
* If this is a victory, it is one produced by circumstance and a fair amount of luck, rather than any ingenious plan from Washington.
* Obama administration has also waded into this mess in Libya without pausing to consider its regional implications. Until very recently, Gaddafi was held up for praise as a rehabilitated former enemy who gave up his weapons of mass destruction in return for diplomatic ties and trading relationships with the US and Europe.
* But when his people turned against him, his new allies were willing to throw Gaddafi under a bus to get on the right side of the Arab Spring.
* Of course, there were reasons for this: better to bet on the side of the young people seeking their freedom than on an autocratic ruler who had held power for 42 years.
* But even if the decision to abandon political support for Gaddafi was prudent and morally justifiable after the Libyan uprising, it does not follow that the US had to go further by supporting the rebels in forcing his removal, especially if this has dangerous regional implications.
* What conclusions will Syria and Iran draw from this turn of events?
* The decision to militarily back the rebels will remind these nervous regimes in the Middle East of the value of WMD programmes as an insurance policy against an aggressive and opportunistic America.
* Before he surrendered his weapons programme in 2003, Gaddafi was courted and threatened, but his regime remained intact; without them, he was cast aside as soon as a credible alternative appeared.
* After this experience, Iran, Syria and similar regimes may conclude that surrendering their weapons programmes or even opening themselves up to the West carries more dangers than it does rewards.
* It is one thing to withdraw support from a dictator who was past his sell-by date, but it is quite another to militarily back the overthrow of a regime if the consequence is to accelerate the nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
* Finally, it is hard to call this a victory for the US given the blatant unconstitutionality of the operation.
* President Obama waged the entire campaign to overthrow Gaddafi without authorisation under the War Powers Act because his lawyers insisted that “US operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve US ground troops.” But the last few days have shown that this was clearly untrue.
* The US ultimately fought a covert war for regime change in Libya – its third violent overthrow of a government in the Middle East in ten years – without congressional authorisation and with barely a word of explanation to the American public.
* Even those glad to see the end of the Gaddafi’s rule will find it hard to celebrate yet another war waged by presidential prerogative alone.
29 August: wounded Gaddafi loyalist calls for peace
* Many Gaddafi loyalists wounded in the battle for Tripoli are now in the same hospital in the Libyan capital.
* Mustafa Saeed Awedat was wounded. His father is an important military commander whose clan is close enough to that of the Gaddafi’s to make him part of the family.
* Mustafa advised he had only taken part in fighting in Tripoli and had not left the city.
* I want to send a message to all the Libyan people, to my family, to my people to my brothers. They all love Muammar Gaddafi and should still love him but without bloodshed.
* Those who support the rebels can stay with the rebels also without bloodshed.
* The February 17 revolution came with freedom and democracy.
* Don’t let freedom of speech be built on blood between you, and don’t let it be like my legs,” he added, pulling back the blanket to reveal heavily bandaged limbs.
* Don’t let the hatred between you make you enemies. It’s not like people say, that Libya is many tribes. Libya is one tribe – it’s the tribe of Libya.
9 September: Interpol ‘Red Notice’ issued for Gaddafi
* Interpol has joined the hunt for Muammar Gaddafi.
* The world police organisation has issued what it calls a Red Notice for the arrest of the former dictator.
* His son Saif Al-Islam and former director of military intelligence Abdullah Al-Senussi are also the subject of notices.
* The International Criminal Court has requested Gaddafi’s arrest on charges of crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution.
* Gaddafi has so far avoided capture, but opposition forces say they are confident he will be found.
* A convoy of pro-Gaddafi officials, including a top general, this week fled to Niger, and there has been speculation that Gaddafi himself may try to go there.
* But Niger says it will respect its commitments to the International Criminal Court if the ousted leader or his sons enter the country.
20 October: Nato Winds Down Libyan War Effort After 26,000 Air Missions
* Nato’s conduct during the campaign heavily criticised, particularly over the potential damage it has done to the UN concept of “responsibility to protect”.
* Dr Jonathan Eyal, senior fellow at Rusi, advanced “The moment the resolution passed, the West proceeded to interpret it in any way it wished.
* Officially, military intervention intended to protect civilians in Benghazi. But after Benghazi had been secured, the operation expanded and became open-ended.
* Officially the aim was not regime change, but many argued that this was precisely the objective.
* UN arms embargo had been set aside allowing Qatar to supply the rebels. A senior Whitehall source conceded “It was inevitably about regime change at the end of the day.”
* Though Nato insisted it worked within the UN resolution, it took its meaning to the legal limits to help bring down Gaddafi, and then provide support to hunt him down.
* Eyal said “the more this strategy is repeated, the more reluctant other countries will be provide a handful of western nations a blank cheque to use force.
* The West may be preventing the concept of humanitarian intervention from taking shape through its own short-sighted behaviour.”
* On a more parochial level, Libya stretched the British military. It was the first time Eurofighter Typhoons unsuited to the task had been used in a ground attack role.
* RAF relied heavily on ageing Tornado’s due to be slashed in number. The UK badly missed the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, scrapped in defence cuts the year before.
20 October: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi obituary • Muammar al-Gaddafi, politician and soldier, born 1942; died 20 October 2011
20 October: Muammar Gaddafi’s death averts legal headache for National Transitional Council
* Death of Muammar Gaddafi avoids a potentially fraught legal process that could have pitted Libya’s NTC against the demands of international justice.
* His death will have prompted huge relief in several western capitals. In the dock, there was every prospect that the former dictator, with nothing to lose, would have spilled embarrassing secrets about Libya’s relations with leading European powers, international oil firms and former statesmen such as Tony Blair.
* Many oil corporations struck lucrative deals with his regime. including BP, Italy’s ENI and France’s Total. They too must be breathing a sigh of relief.
21 October: Has Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam been arrested?
* Captured or still on the run? The question remains with conflicting reports about the fate of Muammar Gaddafi’s most high-profile son, Saif al-Islam.
* Some sources say he has been arrested in the coastal city of Zlitan, around 300 kilometres west of Sirte, after suffering serious injuries in a bombing raid.
* Others suggest he escaped the clan’s final showdown and is heading across the Sahara for Niger, which has given refuge to another son and other senior aides.
* Saif al-Islam, once considered a possible heir-apparent to his father, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
23 November ICC: Saif al-Islam to be tried in Libya
* Libyan transitional government has been given a stamp of approval by the international criminal court.
* ICC had earlier issued a warrant for Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam. But they now say they have confidence, that the new government can deal with his trial, internally.
* Abdullah al-Senussi, Gaddafi’s former spy chief, is also to be put on trial. He was captured by fighters not far from where Saif al-Islam was seized a day earlier.
* France has said it may ask for his extradition in relation to an airliner bombing in 1989.
* Louis Moreno-Ocampo, ICC chief prosecutor said “Libya is now established, it is a new government and they have the right to prosecute Saif and Sennussi here, and in according to our rules the primacy is with the national system. If they conduct the proceedings, the court will not intervene.”
* It has not been all plain sailing for the new government however, as a number of Libya’s clans have said they will refuse to recognise it.
* Colonel Gaddafi ruled the country for over 40 years and expertly managed the tribes, but rivalries are beginning to revive which threaten the countries stability.
23 November: New Libyan government aims to soothe rivalries
* Security, stability and a return to normal life are the priorities outlined by Libya’s new transitional government, unveiled by interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib.
* National reconciliation is another key aim amid growing signs of regional tension, three months after the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.
* A Tripoli resident said “I would like to advise them to look after the Libyan people as they have suffered for 42 years under Gaddafi’s regime and before that under Italian and Turkish colonisation. But we are optimistic and hope for the best. We hope good times lies ahead.”
* The NTC cabinet will run Libya until elections are held. And that is no easy task in a country still deep in the wreckage of the failed state that is Libya.