Skip to comments.Libyan rebels closing in on Qaddafi’s compound? Update: BBC says rebels have taken control
Posted on 08/23/2011 1:14:02 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Take this with the customary grain of salt that accompanies most breaking reports from urban-warfare theaters, and perhaps especially in Tripoli, where Moammar Qaddafis sons are either in custody or acting as tour guides for the capital of Libya. Rebels now report having reached Qaddafis compound, which means that either the regime will fall shortly, or not:
Libyan rebels battled on Tuesday around Muammar Gaddafis headquarters, where a son of the veteran leader had emerged overnight to confound reports of his capture and to rally cheering loyalists for a rearguard fightback.
NATO jets flew in support of the rebels, who said they were trying to break into Gaddafis fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound. His son and presumed heir Saif al-Islam had earlier told a crowd that his father was well and still in Tripoli.
Heavy smoke drifted across the city center and a Reuters correspondent at a government-controlled hotel near the sprawling compound heard heavy gunfire and explosions. NATO declined comment on whether it had struck Bab al-Aziziya.
The revolutionaries are trying to get in through the Old Gate on the western side, rebel fighter Muftah Ahmad Othman told Al-Arabiya television from Tripoli. If theyre successful, the fighting will move inside the compound.
Its really just a matter of time before the compound falls, unless Qaddafi can find a way to get a relief column into Tripoli to break the siege. Al-Jazeera says the rebels have complete control of the perimeter now, and while regime forces are still fighting, theyre not making any significant gains. NATO warplanes are attacking the compound at Bab al-Azizya, and will likely continue until they can no longer do so without endangering rebel forces when they finally break into the compound. Reuters reports that some have already broken through, although there doesnt seem to be any independent confirmation.
So what about the chemical weapons Qaddafi has stored for desperate last stands? The US says they are keeping a close eye on storage sites, but since we dont have troops on the ground, were not in position to do much about it if any forces decide to use them. Its hard to imagine Qaddafi deploying them for close combat, but hes not exactly known for his rationality, either.
Heres a question: What if the rebels finally seize Bab al-Azizya and Qaddafis not there? The US still thinks Qaddafis in Tripoli, and the presence (and sudden freedom) of his sons would suggest were correct. But if the dictator has moved his flag outside of Tripoli, he wont last long regardless and might be thinking about taking his leave of Libya permanently.
Update: The BBC says that rebels have taken control of the compound:
Libyan rebels have taken over Col Muammar Gaddafis compound in Tripoli, one of the final areas under the Libyan leaders control.
Footage from Sky News showed gangs of rebels gathered about 50m (164ft) from the compound dressed in civilian clothes, some armed with rifles, others unarmed. The sound of shells exploding could be heard nearby.
Later reports said hundreds fighters had breached one of the gates of the compound, and that gangs were inside the compound firing guns into the air to celebrate.
Lawrence of Arabia is closing in on the endless supply of oil for the Great Empire. The endless supply of oil should be flowing by tonight. [Little humor and sarcasm there.] The commodity bears are in for more rude awakenings during the years to come.
Hours old news.
Schadenfreude: Cynthia McKinney hardest hit, if only.
Prediction: Among the Kaddafi compound documents, they will find evidence of actionable connections to the convicted terrorist Alamoudi plot.
McKinney and Farrakhan are up to their eyelids in Kaddafi funny-money.
Terp Mole on August 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM
Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com
Thursday, April 18, 2002 WASHINGTON The congresswoman who accused the Bush administration of allowing energy and defense industry profits to guide its war policy has accepted campaign contributions from employees of groups that support terrorist organizations, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., received $1,000 from Abdurahman Alamoudi, the founder and former executive director of American Muslim Council.
Alamoudi's contribution is one of 45 McKinney received during the 1999-2000 election cycle that did not list the occupation of the donor as required by the FEC. Those donations totaled $24,000.
"I have been labeled by the media in New York as being a supporter of Hamas. Any supporters of Hamas here?" Alamoudi asked, to cheers from the crowd at an October 2000 White House protest of U.S. policies in the Middle East.
'We Are All Supporters of Hamas'
"Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas ... I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah." Hezbollah and Hamas are on the State Department's official list of terrorist organizations.
McKinney received another $1,000 from Aly Abuzaakouk, who listed his employer as American Muslim Council, and $500 from Nihad Hammad, who lists Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as his workplace.
The data was compiled by Center for Responsive Politics on its Web site www.opensecrets.org.
Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's communications director, would not condemn Osama bin Laden's involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist assault in an interview with Salon shortly after the attacks.
Other CAIR officials and board members have blamed Israeli and Egyptian intelligence officials for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Federal prosecutor Mary Jo White said in a November 2001 interview with the New Republic that one former CAIR board member was a "possible conspirator" in the 1993 bombing.
'Demand to Know Her Ties'
Phil Kent, president of Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), says McKinney is "completely undermining" the U.S. war against terrorism.
"I think it's incumbent upon all of us to demand to know her ties with people like Alamoudi," Kent said.
"If she had any shred of integrity, which I don't think she has, she'd repudiate these people," he added.
On April 12, Kent wrote Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., chairman of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the committee, requesting formal sanctions against McKinney for her comments during an interview with a radio station in Berkeley, Calif.
"We believe that her statements warrant an investigation by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, specifically, that her statements appear to violate Rule 43 of the Code of Official Conduct, Rules of the House of Representatives, Adopted by 105th Congress, namely, 'a member, officer, or employee of the House of Representatives shall conduct himself at all times in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives,'" Kent wrote on behalf of SLF.
During the interview, McKinney called for an investigation into whether President Bush and other government officials had advance notice of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11th," McKinney claimed. "What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? What do they have to hide?
"Persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war," she charged.
After being confronted by the media, McKinney issued a statement "clarifying" her remarks.
'I Am Not Aware'
"I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9-11," she said. "A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case."
SLF called McKinney's comments "shameful ... unethical and dangerous."
"For perceived political gain, McKinney has dishonored the U.S. House and her constituents by alleging high treason, and has undermined the sense of the U.S. House in its clearly stated efforts to support and defend the actions of this government in its prosecution of the war on terrorism," Kent wrote.
Under Investigation for Breaking Election Law
In addition to any action the House might take against her, McKinney is under investigation for at least six counts of alleged election law violations stemming from her purported activities in a voting precinct in DeKalb County, Ga., on Election Day 2000.
An administrative law judge will hear charges that McKinney "invaded" a polling place during polling hours, harassed and intimated poll watchers, and directly solicited votes while there.
The Georgia State Board of Elections has voted unanimously twice to recommend action by the state on all six counts.
Kent doubts McKinney will acknowledge any wrongdoing in accepting donations from supporters of terrorist organizations.
"I'm wondering if she's going to give the money back," he asked rhetorically. "But I know she won't."
McKinney's office did not respond to multiple requests for interviews about the allegations in this story.
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Someone on BBC is saying it is special forces from Qatar and other Arab countries that have taken Libya. pedestrian on August 23, 2011 at 12:52 PM