Death squad attacks in Libyan “rebel” capital
by Patrick Martin
Global Research, May 23, 2011
There is a mounting climate of fear and political intimidation in Benghazi, the headquarters of the Transitional National Council, the anti-Gaddafi coalition that is being backed by the United States, Britain and France in their war against Libya.
Two press accounts in American newspapers that are enthusiastic supporters of the war in Libya give a glimpse of the reality in the “rebel”-ruled eastern half of the country, where old scores are being settled with the same kind of ferocity as employed by the Gaddafi regime in its strongholds in western Libya.
Sunday’s Washington Post carried a front-page report headlined, “In Libya, reprisals draw scrutiny.” The report by Sudarsan Raghavan gives a chilling picture of brutal repression of those suspected of ties to the Gaddafi regime, which, since Gaddafi has been in power for more than 40 years, includes a huge proportion of the population.
Former employees of the Libyan government, particularly those linked to the security apparatus, have been seized by armed gangs wearing ski masks, beaten and imprisoned, and in many cases murdered. Dozens of corpses bearing signs of torture and summary execution have turned up in the streets of the city, or dumped in rural areas outside it.
According to this report, “U.S.- and NATO-backed rebels who control much of the east are carrying out what many view as a campaign of retaliation against those once aligned with Gaddafi, according to relatives and rebel commanders and officials. Such targeting raises questions about the character of the government taking shape in eastern Libya and whether it will follow basic principles of democracy and human rights.”