GADHAFI: WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT HIM
Seven crazy things about ex-Libyan leader
Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the dictator who ruled Libya for 42 years, was killed by rebels in his hometown of Sirte on Thursday. A dictator who oppressed his own people and sponsored terrorism abroad, Gadhafi's legacy will be stained by violence. But beyond his brutality, Gadhafi will be remembered for something else entirely… being a first-class weirdo.
In no particular order, ABCNews.com brings you the seven weirdest things about Moammar Gadhafi.
1. The 'Bulletproof' Tent:
When Gadhafi was at home in Tripoli, he lived in a well-fortified compound with a complex system of escape tunnels. But when he travelled abroad, this 'Bedouin' brought a bit of the desert with him, camping out in the world's capitals. The tent was so heavy it needed to be flown on a separate plane, wherever the dictator travelled. To complete the Arabian Nights theme, Gadhafi often would tether a camel or two outside.
2. All-Female Virgin Bodyguard Retinue:
They apparently weren't around when Gadhafi needed them most on Thursday, but the eccentric dictator was historically protected by 40 well-trained bodyguards - all of them women. The bodyguards, called 'Amazons,' were all reportedly virgins who took a vow of chastity upon joining the dictator's retinue. The women, trained at an all-female military academy, were handpicked by Gadhafi. They wore elaborate uniforms, as well as makeup and high-heeled combat boots.
3. His 'Voluptuous' Ukrainian Nurse:
For a decade, Galyna Kolotnytska, a Ukrainian nurse often described in the press as 'voluptuous,' was regularly seen at the dictator's side. Kolotnytska was described in a leaked diplomatic cable as one of Gadhafi's closest aides and was rumoured to have a romantic relationship with him. Several other Ukrainian women served as nurses and they all referred to him as 'Papa' or 'Daddy.'
4. Crush on Condoleezza Rice:
In 2007, Gadhafi called former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice his 'darling black African woman' and on a 2008 visit she made to Tripoli, the dictator gave her $200, 000 worth of gifts, including a ring and a lute. But it wasn't until rebels stormed his Tripoli compound that the depths of the dictator's infatuation were exposed. There among Gadhafi's belongings was a carefully composed photo album made up of dozens of images of no one but Rice.
5. Fear of Flying and Elevators:
Part of the reason Gadhafi loved travelling with that tent of his was that he was worried about lodging in a hotel where he'd have to ride an elevator. According to leaked diplomatic cables, the Libyan didn't like heights much either, and would only climb to a height of 35 steps. He, therefore, wasn't much of a fan of flying, refusing to travel by air for more than eight hours at a time. When he would travel to New York of the U.N.'s annual general assembly, he would spend a night in Portugal on the way to the U.S.
6. Bunga Bunga:
In 2010, one of Gadhafi's most eccentric pastimes was exposed by Italian prosecutors investigating Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A 17-year-old prostitute named Karima el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby Heartstealer, revealed that she had been invited to an orgy, called a 'bunga bunga.' 'Silvio told me that he'd copied that formula from Muammar Gadhafi,' she told prosecutors according to La Repubblica. 'It's a ritual of [Gadhafi's] African harem.'
7. An Eclectic Wardrobe:
In those photos of world leaders standing shoulder to shoulder on the sidelines of this or that international forum, Gadhafi was always the easiest to pick out. His wardrobe was an eclectic mix of ornate military uniforms, Miami Vice style leisure suits, and Bedouin robes. Gadhafi, who pushed for a pan-African federation of nations, often decorated his outfits with images of the African continent. He'd sport safari shirts printed with an Africa pattern, or wear garish pins or necklaces of the continent.
US SPENT $1 BILLION
By KEVIN BARON, National Journal.com
Call him the billion-dollar man. One billion for one dictator. According to the Pentagon, that was the cost to U.S. taxpayers for Muammar el-Qaddafi's head: $1.1 billion through September, the latest figure just out of the Defence Department.
And that's just for the Americans.
The final totals will take some time to add up, and still do not include the State Department, CIA, and other agencies involved or other NATO and participating countries.
Vice President Joe Biden said that the U.S. 'spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life.' NATO does not track the operational costs to each member country, but the funds directly taken from a common NATO account for Libya operations have totalled about $7.4 million per month for electronic warfare capabilities and $1.1 million per month for headquarters and command staff, a NATO spokesman said.
From the beginning of Operation Unified Protector in March, critics have questioned whether the U.S. could afford to open a third front. The Congressional Research Services estimate the Afghanistan war has cost nearly $500 billion so far. With Iraq, the figure easily tops $1 trillion.
In the first week of Libya operations, bombs were dropped from B-2 stealth planes flown from Missouri and roughly 200 missiles launched from submarines in the Mediterranean, causing alarm that any extended campaign would quickly cost billions more.
But after the U.S. military ramped up the operation, other NATO countries shouldered most of the air burden. Americans took a supporting role: aerial refuelling tankers, electronic jamming, and surveillance.
The behind-the-scene role was something President Obama celebrated in remarks in the Rose Garden on Thursday.
'Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives and our NATO mission will soon come to an end,' Obama said.
As to when that mission would end, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement NATO issued from Brussels: 'We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council.'
U.S. and NATO officials steadily maintained their mission was never to hunt, capture or kill the Libyan leader. The mission, they said, was to enforce the arms embargo, establish and hold a no-fly zone, and take actions to protect civilians from attack or the threat of attack.
That last directive seemed to give plenty of reason to target Libya's top commander. But Pentagon officials said for months that if Qaddafi should happen to be at one of those locations when NATO missiles strike, so be it.
Since the operation began on March 31, getting to Qaddafi's final stand required 7,725 air sorties and 1, 845 strike sorties, 397 of which dropped ordnance, and 145 Predator drone strikes.
NATO aircraft, including those supplied by the U.S., totalled 26,089 sorties and 9,618 strike sorties through Wednesday.
More than 70 U.S. aircraft have supported the operation, including Predator drones.
NATO flew 67 sorties and 16 strikes sorties over Libya one day before Qaddafi was killed.
The NATO mission also employed submarines, aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, destroyers, frigates, and supply ships - as many as 21 vessels at one time.
Additionally, as of one week ago, the U.S. had sold participating countries in the operation roughly $250 million in ammunition, parts, fuel, technical assistance, and other support, according to the Pentagon.
Several members of Congress put out statements celebrating Qaddafi's downfall but did not comment on the cost. Several offices contacted did not provide additional reaction to the monetary figures.
But presidential candidate Ambassador Jon Huntsman did question the cost of the Libya operation. His statement on Thursday said: 'I remain firm in my belief that America can best serve our interests and that transition through non-military assistance and rebuilding our own economic core here at home.'
UN AGENCY RAISES QUERY
By Joe Sterling, CNN
The circumstances of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's death are 'unclear' and need to be investigated, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Friday.
'More details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in the fighting or after his capture,' the agency said.
'There seem to be four or five different versions of how he died. As you are aware, there are at least two cellphone videos, one showing him alive and one showing him dead. Taken together, these videos are very disturbing.'
The agency said it's important that 'justice is done' to bring 'closure on the legacy of Gaddafi's 42-year despotic rule, and on the bloody conflict this year.' It said 'human rights must be the cornerstone of all policies and actions' in a new Libya.
'The thousands of victims who suffered loss of life, disappearance, torture and other serious human rights violations since the conflict broke out in February 2011, as well as those who suffered human rights violations throughout Gadhafi's long rule, have the right to know the truth, to see the culture of impunity brought to an end, and to receive reparations,' the office said.
'In order to turn the page on the legacy of decades of systematic violations of human rights, it will be essential for alleged perpetrators to be brought before trials, which adhere to international standards for fair trial, and for victims to see that accountability has been achieved.'
Mahmoud Jibril, Libya's transitional prime minister, said Gadhafi was captured alive and unharmed on Thursday as troops from the National Transitional Council overran his hometown of Sirte. But a gun battle erupted between transitional council fighters and Gadhafi's supporters, as his captors attempted to load him into a vehicle, Jibril said, leaving Gadhafi with a wound to his right arm.
More shooting erupted as the vehicle drove away, and Gadhafi - overthrown in August - was hit in the head, Jibril said, Gadhafi died moments before arriving at a hospital in Misrata, Jibril said, citing the city's coroner.
Amnesty International urged the NTC 'to make public' the 'full facts' on Gadhafi's death.
'It is essential to conduct a full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish whether Colonel Gadhafi was killed during combat or after he was captured,' the group said on Thursday.
Amnesty urged the NTC 'to ensure that all those suspected of human rights abuses and war crimes' get humane treatment and are given fair trials if captured. That includes Gadhafi's family members and his inner circle.
…WIFE INSISTS ON INVESTIGATION
A television station based in Syria that supported Muammar Gaddafi said Friday that the slain Libyan leader's wife has asked for a United Nations investigation into his death.
According to Reuters, the wife of Gaddafi 'asks the United Nations to investigate the death of the fighter Muammar and Mo'tassim,' Arrai television said in a news headline, referring to one of Gaddafi's sons as well.
The headline also said Gaddafi's wife was proud of her husband's courage and her children who, it said, stood up to 40 countries and their agents throughout six months and considered them to be martyrs.
LIBYAN STRONG MAN MAY BE BURIED AT SEA
• As burial is delayed
Libya's government has delayed Muammar Gaddafi's burial amid uncertainty about his final resting place and the circumstances of his killing.
Oil minister Ali Tarhouni said the body of the ex-leader maybe kept 'for a few days.' Under Islamic tradition, burial should take place as soon as possible.
The UN is seeking an inquiry into Col Gaddafi's death in Sirte on Thursday.
Meanwhile, NATO is expected to declare an end to its Libya campaign in the coming hours.
French President, Nicolas Sarkozy said the death of Col Gaddafi meant NATO's military intervention had reached its conclusion.
'Clearly the operation is coming to its end,' he told reporters.
The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Tripoli says the authorities now have to decide how to deal with Col Gaddafi's death and in particular his burial.
They have said they will conduct a secret burial and there is speculation that they might even try to bury him at sea, as al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was buried, to prevent any grave being turned into a shrine, she adds.
Authorities now have the dilemma of what to do with the body of Muammar Gaddafi, now in the town of Misrata, where it was paraded in the streets on Thursday.
Disagreements appear to have broken out over what should be done with it. Under Islamic law, Col Gaddafi should be buried within 24 hours of his death.
Interim authorities want a secret burial but no decision has yet been taken on where it should take place – in Misrata, Sirte or out in the Libyan desert.
One official told the BBC that fighters from Misrata, who captured the fugitive leader don't want to give up control over what happens to his body now.
Mr. Tarhouni told Reuters news agency that Col Gaddafi's body was not going to be released from a morgue in Misrata for immediate burial.
'I told them to keep it in the freezer for a few days… to make sure that everybody knows he is dead,' he said.
Asked about the burial arrangements, he said: 'There is no decision yet.'
Reuters also quoted an unnamed official as saying there was disagreement within the National Transitional Council (NTC) over what to do with the body.
In a separate report, it quotes senior NTC commander Abdel Majid Mlegta as saying members of the colonel's tribe are in contact with anti-Gaddafi fighters to discuss the possibility of taking on the task of burying him.
… HIS DEATH ENBOLDENS SYRIANS
• 13 die in protests
At least 13 people were killed across Syria after protesters returned to the streets following Friday prayers, activists said.
Most of the deaths were in the central city of Homs, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The death of Libya's Col Gaddafi was said to help galvanise activists, who regularly protest after Friday prayers. Protesters are demanding an end to the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a transition to democracy.
More than 3,000 people – mostly unarmed demonstrators – have been killed since the revolt began in March, the UN says.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 10 of the deaths took place in Syria's third city, Homs, according to AFP news agency.
'Ten martyrs were killed in Homs, the revolutionary capital of Syria, including eight who took part in mass protests across the majority of the city's neighbourhoods,' the group said in a statement cited by AFP.
Two civilians were shot dead ahead of the protest by security forces manning a checkpoint in Bab al-Sibaa, it said.
Homs, a city of one million, has been a focal point for unrest since demonstrations began.
Others were reportedly killed in Deraa and Hama, AFP cited the group as saying.
There has been no independent confirmation of the latest deaths.
Foreign journalists are severely restricted in Syria and information is tightly controlled by the government.
'Gaddafi is finished. It's your turn now Bashar!' shouted demonstrators in the town of Maaret al-Numaan in the northwestern province of Idlib, one witness told Reuters news agency.
In the town of Qusair near the Lebanese border, Syrian forces closed all mosques to prevent people from gathering, AP reports.
Syria has faced mounting international condemnation for its violent response to protesters, including being the subject of US and EU sanctions.
On Sunday, the Arab League called for talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces to take place within 15 days.
Arab foreign ministers at an emergency meeting in Egypt decided not to suspend Syria from the organisation.
Damascus has expressed reservations about the plan although correspondents say it is beginning to feel the pressure as criticism increases.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have already withdrawn their ambassadors from Syria in protest.