Famous photo of bin Laden leading al Qaeda minions, which later turned out to be a photo-op with hired extras according to the BBC (source)
It seems that America and Libya have more in common than we think. We know that the United States government tortures "War on Terror" (in the past it was "Communist revolutionary") suspects as well as its targeted "enemies", either directly or through proxies, and has done so by the thousands over the decades, most of it out of sight and out of mind until after 9/11, when emboldened officials began to openly condone the use of torture, always, of course, with the ticking-time bomb scenario offered as a blanket excuse for any and all acts of intentional infliction of pain on another human being. Indeed, George Bush openly flaunted ordering water-boarding in his recently released book (or should we say dictation?), while reprobate Rubert Murdoch's Fox TV glorified it through the increasingly neurotic character of Jack Bauer in 24 Hours for 8 years, actually making torture "cool" in the minds of many gullible Americans who had accepted the fantasy that there really are thousands of 2-dimensional cartoon characters out there comprised of pure evil and zero humanity whom we have an intrinsic right to abuse. There aren't enough ticking-time bombs on the planet to serve as cover for all the torture sessions condoned in the name of American security.
Now it is out in plain daylight for all to see, thanks to Al Jazeera, that Colonel Gaddafi, pseudo-King of Libya, has been doing the same thing to his own people for years as well, with as much gusto as any tin-horn Banana Republic dictator anywhere in the world:
Indications from various reports on CIA rendition flights over the past decade in the so-called War on Terror are that Gaddafi has also been torturing CIA kidnapping victims as a tit-for-tat favor too, as Libya keeps popping up as a destination for some of the known CIA rendition planes. Is this part and parcel of the rapprochement package between Libya, the US, Britain, France and others in recent years, years which saw a sudden largess of arms and security sales to Gaddafi, arms that are now being used to murder and torture civilian protesters by Gaddafi's North African version of the Gestapo?
Finally, be it noted that State-controlled Libya and the US Government also share the very same supreme Bogey Man, al Qaeda. Since 911, this shadowy phantom/fantasy organization with its always out-of -reach Grand Vizier, Osama bin Laden, whom Benazir Bhutto let slip was murdered years ago in her now memorable final interview with Jack Frost, has served as the casus belli for the American "War on Terror", no matter how strained or absurd the explanations were for unleashing and expanding this war. So now, ironically, megalomaniac Colonel Gaddafi has taken to borrowing a page from our own playbook to justify his brutal crackdown on his own citizenry as legitimate self-defense against, once again, mythical, omnipresent, omnipotent, evil al-Qaeda, with its thousands of drug-seduced Libyan dupes. With further irony, American officials are now calling Gaddafi delusional for such rantings, while, I imagine, Gaddafi might just seem baffled that his demonizing rhetoric has not magically rallied America to his side. But in this case, American officials have to actually throw war propaganda to the wind to have any credibility at all in the eyes of the world, properly denouncing Gaddafi's al Qaeda fig leaf to cover his barbarity for what it is, utter BS. Now, if only they will direct their critical faculties inward for a moment to condemn their own institutionalized BS about al Qaeda, then perhaps we can begin to help not only the Libyan people, but war-ravished humanity.