tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 20, 2011 6:00am-8:00am PDT
region, that the use of force can really turn a dictatorship and help contribute to it becoming a government hopefully based on democratic values. it's an important day. >> exactly. that's what the world will be watching. what kind of government put into place in libya. we here in the united states hope it is a democratic one. that does it for us. thank you so much. breaking news coverage continues with kyra phillips. thank you so much. i'm kyra phillips. >> this morning you have been following breaking news out of libya with the unconfirmed reports that the dictator moammar gadhafi is dead. as you can hear, tripoli erupted in celebration with what appears to be a pretty brutal or an end to a brutal era. 42 years of terror seemingly
ended just hours ago and now you're about to see a photo that is said to be gadhafi badly wounded and in custody and we warn you, it's pretty gruesome. >> all right, well, he has either badly wounded in this cell phone video or dead. it's a cell phone image obtained somehow by our colleagues at the french press agency. we'll point out that cnn can't independently confirm its authenticity. now, rebel leaders were excited, but a little coy when the news broke. this is what the information minister for libya's national transitional council said. >> as a big day, a big day for the libyan people. i think it's a great victory for libyan people, great victory for revolution and we know now from our sources that we have a big fish.
i don't know how big the fish is -- >> you don't know who has been captured. just a senior figure. >> yes. misrata radio confirmed the big figure as moammar gadhafi himself. we're waiting for a statement from benghazi. and to think is the one and then to see people who can confirm or deny that we caught a big fish. >> you just saw dan rivers there in tripoli. he's working his sources right now trying to get more information for us. he will join us live in just a mnlt. so, let's get to barbara starr at the pentagon. she's there at her post. barbara, what do we know about the u.s. role in all of this at this point? >> well, kyra, nothing has been c confirmed by the obama administration, but we know nato confirmed earlier today 8:30 local time on the ground in libya, nato warplanes struck a military convoy moving around in
the vicinity of sirte where the heavy fighting was taking place. it was believed gadhafi was hiding out. nato warplanes struck this convoy. they did not believe, they had no reason to believe we were told by nato that gadhafi was in it at the time, but given the subsequent events that have unfolded they are looking at the prospect that gadhafi may have been in that convoy that was hit. not confirming it yet. also reports he was in a hole somewhere and all kind of reports out there. but, certainly, looking at that convoy as a possibility. at the same time, nato confirming that as the so-called rebel forces now the emerging government of libya has increasingly taken over control in the country, in the next few days nato expects to make a recommendation to its member countries, including the united states, of course, that the military operations led by nato since march basically are coming to an end. that nato will be able to meet
in the next few days and take a vote on ending those military operations. that's something that was really under way, even separate from the issue of gadhafi's fate. but what they are telling us now is that they can't confirm it because they want to still see some very specific evidence. they want to have some independent confirmation. it's not that they don't believe the libyans, it's that they really feel nato feels it needs to see the independent confirmation and what does that mean? it means, perhaps, that nato forces in the region, maybe there are some french troops nearby or other nato forces nearby. officials that can go and view this situation whether it is someone captured or a dead body. they want to put eyeballs on this. and perhaps even go that extra mile, have a dna test so they can confirm to the world that it is moammar gadhafi, one way or the other and put it all to rest. kyra?
>> all right, barbara starr there at the pentagon. thanks. we'll talk a lot more throughout the morning. we are expecting from the national transitional council a news conference hopefully in the next hour or so with more on the reported death of moammar gadhafi. the question is, will they provide proof? dan rivers is our senior international correspondent. he is in tripoli. what can you tell us? what is the latest on the reports that gadhafi is dead today? >> well, the minister for information was just talking to us and he seems clear and certain that colonel gadhafi is dead, but he's waiting for chairman of ntc to make that formal announcement at some sort of press conference in the next hour or so, he said. it seems, he is confident it is true off camera, as well. there is this photo circulating now of a figure covered in blood. now, it's not clear if that is colonel gadhafi, but it has
certainly been touted as such by some news channels here and libyan state tv has been reporting that colonel gadhafi has been killed for some time now. they have come out with statements before the ntc that have proven to be wrong in the past. but, you can probably hear the car horns and gunfire behind me in celebration. people here want it to be true. and we should get final confirmation that it is true in the next hour, we're told, here in tripoli. >> dan, we're hearing there what we presume are celebratory gunfire behind you in tripoli. we did see that cell phone video or the still captured from that cell phone video that shows a man, a bloodied man that looks a lot like colonel gadhafi. i imagine this is something that libyans are able to see, as well, with the internet and we're seeing it, by the way we're showing our viewers right now, it is quite gruesome.
if he is, indeed, dead, what next now for the revolutionaries for this transitional council? what happens? >> well, in some senses this is the best possible outcome for the ntc because now they can move ahead with proclaiming an interim government. they can then try to set some kind of timetable for elections and have a proper elected democratic government here, which will be such a huge change in the way this country is governed. don't forget, colonel gadhafi ruled this place for 42 years since he came to power on the 1st of september 1969 in the military coup. and they have no real practice of how to hold elections or have a democratically elected government. this will all be new to people here. something they'll have to get used to. no doubt hiccups and problems along the way. but the vast majority of people
here are just overwhelmed with the historic moment that has happened here, if it is to be believed that colonel gadhafi has been believed that sirte has fallen and that this war is over. >> dan rivers, possibly another dictator gone. reportedly this dictator killed today in or around sirte. his own hometown. 42 years of the rule of colonel gadhafi coming to a real end, kyra, because he's been deposed now for several weeks. but if he's dead, this really, this is the true beginning of the new libya. >> definitely is. it opens up, obviously, the national transitional council, it opens them up to bringing in a diverse group of individuals, different voices. the question is, will that make it. ben wedemen, any easier or more difficult for this country. i mean, we're talking about gadhafi ruling libya for 42
years and a huge impact on that region and we've been looking at this picture and possibly this sewer that he was hiding in. reports also that maybe he was in a hole, sort of like saddam hussein when he was found in a spider hole. it doesn't really seem like gadhafi mo, ben. >> no, it certainly doesn't. we understand when he left tripoli in august that he left with a large++++gñ for him to end up, basically, in the same sort of spider hole that saddam hussein did, seems a bit odd, a bit out of character. and when i was there, we were hearing all sorts of reports that he was the explanation for the level of resistance there. that he was in an oasis in the southern part of the country and that he could be in sirte. it's a bit of the a surprise the way it has ended. he was not somebody that people expected to really go this
early. let's not forget that baghdad, for instance, in the case of iraq, it fell in late april. saddam hussein was not caught until december of 2003. it was expected that gadhafi could hold out a bit longer than this. >> so, ben, the fact that, i guess here's my question. if, indeed, he's dead, how much was he able to do while in hide with regard to his money, the weapons, building up stronger forces among those that were still loyal to him? is it possible -- if, indeed, he was dead, what does that mean in regard to the violence from here on out and the existence of loyalists and how much power they will have? >> well, i think perhaps his role as a leader of the anti-sea insurgency may have been somewhat overstated. i was in parts of libya where i spoke to lots of people who were opposed to the new rulers of
libya, but not necessarily great supporters of moammar gadhafi. there is a worry that this new regime in libya will be very slow, if succeed at all in moving to democracy. there's a worry that there's going to be a lot of revenge, a lot of, basically, lawlessness. so, some of the times when we were told that these were gadhafi loyalists fighting for the leader, it was wrong. they were actually people defending their homes, afraid that their homes would be looted and we have seen instances where looting has been a serious problem. so, gadhafi, yes, he was a rallying point for a certain element of the opponents of the new regime in libya. but he wasn't necessarily leading all of them. >> you've been there since the very beginning of all of this. ben wedemen, we'll talk more throughout the morning rb as well. let's get to jim clancy.
you covered the fall of baghdad and also the death of saddam hussein. curious country and so many of these arab countries have been led by brutal dictators, by autocrats. once they're physically gone, which is different from being deposed. what happens to the country? >> you know, i think whether we have it confirmed killed or captured, moammar gadhafi has reached a dead end today and that's significant, most of all, for the national transitional council. there are reports published this morning that i read that indicated he was planning a hit and run guerilla-style war to destabilize their government. he could continue to cause them trouble. this changealize of that. this makes a transition in libya a much easier task for them to have him in custody or, if it is confirmed, to have him completely out of the way and dead. but there's a lot of people
really breathing a sigh of relief that this went far beyond the borders of libya. >> and as far as saddam hussein was concerned, there was capture and imprisonment of the dictator and in this case, this country isn't going to go through any of that. this makes it quite different. >> it remains to be seen. if he was captured, he could potentially face a trial. we'll know in the next few hours whether that's a possibility. there was a war crimes charges against him. he was wanted by the international criminal court. that would have turned into a circus and it's doubtful in my mind that we'd ever be turned over by the libyans to an international court of justice. we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out and how they deliver moammar gadhafi's fate. >> this could have explained, jim, why there was so much fierce resistance and at least one pocket of sirte, his hometown. the other question is, moammar gadhafi reportedly killed, but his other son, where are they?
i mean, they're still hanging in the air in libya. >> well, we know some of the family members that fled the country. it is notable, i think, that moammar gadhafi said he was going to stand his ground and, indeed, that's exactly what he did. i don't think that he was likely hiding in one of those holes. some of them have been depicted of sewer pipes or drainage pipes. that would be a typical place someone would hide from an air assault. we heard from barbara starr just a few moments ago that the u.s. or nato did conduct some air strikes in the area of sirte today on a couple of vehicles that were suspected of being military threat to civilians. so, it's significant. moammar d moammar gadhafi stood his ground as he said he would. his other family members have fled. they do not have the credibility and the following of moammar gadhafi to try to launch that same guerilla, hit and run war against the national transitional council. i think that the new leadership
in libya right now is breathing a huge sigh of relief. >> jim clancy on this day, reports that moammar gadhafi, one of the most enduring dictators in the world reportedly killed. the question is, what are other leaders in the region thinking right now. what's going through their mind? that's certainly something we're going to explore, as well. for the past three months we have been talking to a man who used to work for moammar gadhafi. he was one of his right-hand man, now a professor in connecticut. professor saad, thank you for joining me, again. did you think it would end this way, if, indeed, this is true. did you think this is how it was going to go down? >> that was one of the predictions that we have made very early or way back in february. that the only way for the libyan revolution and the fledging democracy that would rise in libya, hopefully in the future,
is the disappearance of gadhafi whether he is captured or he is dead. so far, the picture i saw online really resembles him very, very much. i cannot really confirm it exactly, but i could say easily 90% of my mind that it is him. >> did you want to see him dead or alive? >> it didn't really make a difference to me and most of the other libyans whether he's dead or alive, as long as he's captured because as long as he was on the run, he represented a very ominous danger to the libyan people and he represented a very ominous region, you know, danger, to the idea of the democracy in libya because, as long as he's alive, he can still rally some tribal groups. he can still hire mercenaries from the african countries that
have been indebted to him for decades. the fact that he is captured. for me, it doesn't make a difference he is dead or alive as long as we have him physically in capture. >> remind us, how many years did you work for moammar gadhafi? >> i worked for him for a total of nine years. >> you know this man extremely well. >> exactly. >> yes. when you hear reports that he was found possibly in a hole or other reports that she was shot in the head or while he was trying to flee in a vehicle, does that surprise you at all after all these bombastic radio addresses that he gave that he was going to lead fighters to retake the libya that he thought was rightfully his? >> you know, well, these actions that you just described whether he was hiding in a bunker or was hiding in a sewer or running
away in a car, these are the images he never showed to his supporters. he never showed such a thing to his loyal followers. all along he was telling them that he he is in a safe place and that he is going to bring them back to power, again. for the past few months, that's basically the message that he was sending. but, of course, in reality he was highing ading and running f life. so, i'm not really surprised that he's done that. when i was working for him and let me give you one very quick example here. when i was working for him, he never slet in the same place two nights in a row. he never went to sleep at the, never went to sleep at the same hour two nights in a row. so, this man has been doing it for 42 years. he has experience in hiding. so, i'm thrilled to see the libyan fighters in sirte able to kill him or capture him. either way is fine.
>> saad who worked as an aide to moammar gadhafi for nine years joining us live from connecticut. mohammed jamjoom jois joini us. tell us what you're seeing. >> dominating the news of all the arab news networks in the region. they're reporting that son of moammar gadhafi was arrested and captured in sirte and being transported to mizrata right now. they're being reported that the body of moammar gadhafi is being transported right now. this is al jazeera. also dominating the coverage here. you're seeing the same scenes
that you have been seeing. these are live pictures from sirte. celebration pictures. very happy at the news that is spreading around libya right now. al jazeera reporting that moammar gadhafi is dead and his son is captured. right now completely wall papering the airwaves. dominating all the coverage of all the major news networks at this hour. kyra? >> mohammed jamjoom our coverage is pretty fluid. we'll come back to you, mohammed. the professor spent nine years with moammar gadhafi and give us the best insight of what will happen with the country as we move forward. >> he's familiar with moammar and he knows the inner workings of the family. he mentioned there that moammar gadhafi whale he wile he was wor him didn't spend two nights in the same bed. that's fascinating insight. what about the white house and
athena jones is in washington, d.c. what are the officials saying about the reports that moammar gugo gadhafi is dead today? >> so far no comment from the white house. officials have not confirmed that gadhafi has been captured or killed and this is something that, of course, they're going to be very, very cautious about. because they don't want to be wrong. so far, we haven't heard a word from them yet. as soon as we do, we'll come out and report it. this is big news all around. if this is true, you know president obama came under some criticism back in march at the beginning of this operation to prevent humanitarian crisis. he talked about leading from behind and talked about the u.s. at the beginning provided the bulk of the fire power from these warships in the mediterranean to prevent a massacre there in libya. ee also had to do some explaining on why this was in the u.s. interest. if, in fact, moammar gadhafi has been killed or captured, this is
a big moment. so, we'll keep on the white house and looking for comment from them as we go throughout the day. >> privately, what do white house officials say about whether or not they think the best outcome was a gadhafi capture or a gadhafi death? >> this is not the kind of thing you hear people apine about a lot even in private. they said back in august, you'll remember, big advances made by the rebels, the president was in martha's vineyard and he came out and said that it's clear the gadhafi regimesoever. it's coming to an end. still a long way to go. you can imagine the focus here is going to be more on what's next for this transitional national council in terms of dealing with libya and getting it in and making the next step. the transition to a democratic society. that is more likely to be the focus than the issue of whether he was captured or killed. but in terms of that background inside information, i'm not
privy to anyone coming out and saying that we want to see him dead or we want to see him arrested and put on trial. we'll wait and see what we hear. >> good to hear reaction from the white house and the highest levels of government in the united states. to this news once it is confirmed. kyra? >> let's bring back professor saad joining us via skype. we told you about him working for moammar gadhafi as his aide for nine years. he's a professor in connecticut. we've been talking to him since february since things were intensifying there in libya. professor, as we look at these pictures out of libya and we see libyans celebrating, we talk about the mix feelings, whether they would rather see moammar gadhafi dead or alive, you were mentioning that it -- well, let me ask you this. the majority of libyans.
would they have rather seen moammar gadhafi tried for his crimes against humanity or do you think at this point if, indeed, he's dead, they're glad he's gone and they just want to move forward with a new way of life? >> precisely. if he is dead, most libyans would feel a sigh of relief because you have to remember, you know, these people, the libyan people have lived under moammar gadhafi for 42 years. just imagine how much ominous that is on the lines. so, the fact that he is dead, that definitely would be a relief for them than if he was on trial. but, of course, if he was to be put on trial, i can assure you, every libyan wanted to try him in libya. if he was still alive, they will try him in libya, although the icc had already issued a warrant
for him. but if he was still alive, the libyans are not going to surrender him to the icc. they want to try him for the 42 years of atrocities they committed against him. >> let me ask you this with regard to his loyalists and i'm going to ask you a personal question, too, because you were his aide for nine years. let's start with his loyalists and those who were fighting for him and trying to protect him. were those truly individuals that believed in him, supported him and wanted to protect him or were the majority of these so-called loyalists individuals that were just scared in any way, shape or form go against him and felt that this was their only, only chance, i guess, for a future to make money, to be able to survive, if they were loyalists to him. >> well, if you want to look at this issue, you have to look at it from two points. at the very early stages of the revolution, yes, many of thiz
loyalists were just being with him because they were afraid of reprisals. but once he began to actually flee or go into hiding, which actually he started that way back after his son was killed in may. since that time, his loyalists are only the ones who believe that his rule is the best thing for them, for themselves. whether these groups who were actually tribes because he had the loyalty of a certain number of tribes who actually held on until this past week. so, those who are actually either related to him, like his own tribal group or there were fellow troops who were loyal to him because he had given them a lot of perks and he had favored them for over the rest of the libyan people.
so, if you want to really look at his loyalists, you have to divide them into two groups. dwr groups that we would call, you know, beneficiaries from the system and they were afraid to go against the system at the very beginning. but those who were benefiting from the system and afraid to go against him, once he started to be on the run, they didn't care one way or another. they just want to survive. but there are hardline loyalties who are the ones who are fighting for them. they are the ones who were actually fighting in sirte and they were fighting ferociously. >> looking to the future, though, those hardline loyalists. i mean, it's not enough to actually have the basis of an insurgent leadership, correct? >> no, no. they don't. actually, as i expressed it earlier, his death is really a sigh of relief for everyone because those loyalists that we
are looking at now and in the past couple of months really were loyal to him personally. so, once he's dead, that particular loyalty is going to decimate because his sons, whether it is safe for islam or any of his sons, even the ones that are on the run in nigeria and all of those, none of them can muster the loyalty of these tribal groups and these loyalties that their father had had. he is really the head of the whole thing. >> professor saad, please stay with us. tremendous insight from you as a former aide to gadhafi for nine years. rebel leaders were a little coy when the news broke. this morning this is what the libya minister for national transitional council had said. >> according to our people, they are attacking the house where he was and he tried to flee and
they killed him. when they met him, he was alive and he was killed in action. >> he was shot by ntc consultants. >> this is what we got from our people. a libyan political activist, the former coordinator for the national transitional council. you're in london right now? >> i am, except that you got the gender wrong. it's a he, not a she. >> hello, sir. your reaction today? >> i don't feel -- while we digest that, tell us what your reaction is to the news today that gadhafi is reportedly killed. >> yes, i can confirm with confidence that the reports we've been following all day today that gadhafi is now killed. he's dead. the events started very early in the morning about 10:00 a.m. local time in libya. 8:00 gmp. the freedom fighters were
surrounding the last few buildings in sirte where gadhafi and his aides were holding out and hiding. they tried to apprehend gadhafi alive. they attempted to arrest him alive, but he resisted arrest. there was shooting and then, obviously, gadhafi was injured ba badly. when thigot hold of him, he was still alive. they asked the people who was arresting him, who are you? what is going on? on route it seems that he died of very, very severe bad wound, including to the head and then now he's, his body is -- we have seen footage of his body. a genuine accurate photo of his body as dead.
so this culminates the whole episode of the last eight months. this is the finale, this is the end of the libyan revolution. the libyan people and the libyan freedom fighters have actually brought down and topled the gadhafi regime and the freedom fighters in sirte this morning have cornered gadhafi. but he resisted. he's now dead and -- >> there's a lot of information here. i want to sort of kind of go through the points that you've discuss would us here live on cnn and cnn international. now, you've spoken to your contacts in libya, presumably, for this information. you're saying moammar gadhafi was surrounded in the last few building still under loyalist control in sirte. he was injured in the initial attempt to capture him. that he was still alive when he was captured. and that one of the last words that he said were who are you? what is going on?
but that he died en route including severe wounds to the head. so, just recapping what you told us. >> that is the information i have first hand. >> so, you've spoken to ntc sources in libya that has given you this information? >> freedom fighters on the ground, yes. this is the accurate picture we have. we have confirmation from the head of the military confirmation of tripoli and leaders that this is the case and gadhafi's dead. >> just so i'm clear about where he was, where was he when he was captured? was he in a building, vehicle or manhole, as has been reported in the last few hours? >> i cannot say exactly. he was not in a vehicle. whether it was a building or a manhole, i don't know about
that. i haven't heard anything about the manhole. i think he was inside the building. as i said, the buildings were surrounded. they were stormed by the freedom fighters and then there was exchange of fire and they attempted to capture him alive. they put him in an ambulance and i think they attempted first aid, as well. very vital to keep him alive, but i think the injuries were too severe and he could not survive them and he is now dead. this is the end of the tyrant, the violent tyrant dictator gadhafi. >> did he resist? i mean, there was an exchange of fire, so, presumably, fighters loyal to moammar gadhafi exchanged fires with the revolutionaries. was he armed? >> look, all of these minor details will come out later on
by the freedom fighters and their leader. all i can confirm to you from my information, i am here in london, the information i'm getting regularly and steadily from libya is that that is the sequence of events i just highlighted to you. >> all right, a libyan political activist. he is a former member of the national transitional council and the coordinator in london for the ntc. kyra, just fascinating information there if it is, indeed, confirmed that moammar gadhafi was in a building, there was an exchange of fire and he was injured and not killed right away. but while he was being transported in an ambulance at that point lost his life. of course, he was severely injured, including an injury to the head, according to him. >> we want to point out to our viewers if you're just waking up at half past the hour this morning, we are making clear or the one thing we can make clear is that reports are saying that
moammar gadhafi is dead. these are reports coming from the libyan side. we have still not received confirmation from the white house, from our u.s. military and from our state department. these are reports that are coming directly from libya as you heard hala gorani talking to a political activist there. we had a chance to go live to the country and hear from reporters there and hear from leaders within the transitional council talking about the death of moammar gadhafi. we've been seeing these live pictures of celebrations. libyans chanting, how happy they are with the death of moammar gadhafi, but, once again, the u.s. not confirming that, indeed, the colonel has been killed or captured. if he is dead or alive, what does that mean next? will he be tried in libya and will he be tried in the hague? we'll talk about the legal ramifications of that right after the break.
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good morning, everyone. welcome back to our special coverage. reporting that his corpse has been brought to the city of miseraha. >> secretary of state hillary clinton saying a short time ago and another report claims that gadhafi's son was captured alive in tripoli. people are celebrating, take a listen.
talking about 42 years of terror seemingly ended just hours ago and you're about to see a photo that is said to be gadhafi badly wounded in custody. we warn you it's pretty gruesome and, hala, from what i understand, this is not just a photo, this is part of a video, a cell phone video that was frozen. there could be more. i'm being told that reporters are trying to get access to this video. >> right, this would be a screen grab of a cell phone video. certainly looks like moammar gadhafi. those who know him, including his aide who worked with him for nine years say he's 90% sure this is moammar gadhafi, although we always have to be careful in situations such as these. we're waiting for confirmation and the rebels, kyra, are going to hold a news conference in the coming hours and there we believe more proof will be brought forward to confirm the death of moammar gadhafi. >> let's bring in spider marks
now, army intelligence center. because i'm not quite sure what you know, sources that you've been able to talk to. are you in any way, shape or form able to confirm the death of moammar gadhafi or what are your military sources telling you at this point? >> either way you're going to get the animal back. gadhafi is in custody, one way or another. he's in custody severely wounded or having been wounded in the engagement in sirte, either as a result of direct fire from the opposition forces or from nato support, which might have been present, which certainly was present or he's dead. either way, the key thing is to understand that going forward how the new government in libya declares itself and handles what will be the inevitable challenges between the loyalists that they will capture and the citizens and the new government of libya moving forward. absolutely critical right now to
see how that transitions. >> well, spider, you know, you're the retired general. i want to talk military action here. we're getting a lot of various reports on how this went down. what can we confirm? was this a nato operation working with revolutionary forces? was this mainly revolutionary forces calling in for a little support from nato? who contributed intelligence wise? could it go to the cia, to nato, to other branches of the military? what can you tell us more than likely about the operation that finally led to this point? >> kyra, everything and every scenario that you just described is possible and probably occurred. i can tell you that nato provided intelligence support. the cia in some way was involved.
in a number of different activities, i'm convinced. the rebels on the ground, the opposition on the ground really controlled the ground and had the best sense of where the loyalists were. so, they were controlling the tactical fight on the ground. nato, all along, has provided close air support and strike missions against known targets where gadhafi was. so, whether this was completely coordinated or a real fused event, i can't tell you. most likely it was not, but nato was striking against some known targets. they achieved separation from the rebel forces so as not to endanger them and cause fratricide and after that strike was over, i'm sure nato said you're cleared to move in and the ground forces came in and engaged who was left. so, i think everything you described is absolutely correct. >> so, spider, when you look at saddam hussein and a moammar gadhafi, these men with so much power for so long, so many loyalists, so much money, so
many weapons, if indeed moammar gadhafi also was found captured, killed in this manhole in this sewer that we've been seeing a picture of, how is it that men like this with so much power, so much money and so many assets end up going out like this? >> we should be surprised. our history reveals a lot of folks that are just like this. these turanical messy kind of leaders that are so incredibly caught up with themselves and no o one's willing to tell them that the king is naked. you've achieved some incredible, injustice has defined you and nobody is prepared to do that until you see what just occurred in libya and has occurredalcy whe else where in the mideast. what is the measured response moving forward? is it cuthaathcathardic or bloo
going on? we need to see and make sure that doesn't happen or you'll have more chaos on the streets in libya. >> general spider marks, thanks for your time this morning. >> thanks, kyra. >> big day military wise and also politically. we'll talk about the ramifications, including the legal ramifications, as well. >> general spider marks there was talking about revenge killings and possible ethnic or tribal score settling. but, if we take into account what's happened so far, kyra, in the aftermath of the fall of moammar gadhafi, we haven't seen as much as some had predicted of this type of killing. so, possibly this is a new chapter for libya. maybe this is the end of one chapter for libya and truly the beginning of another. politically, but also for the country as a whole in terms of its identity. celebrations right now in green square. this is where moammar gadhafi gave his speeches for decades and decades after he created green square and we are going to
welcome back, everyone. if you're just joining us. reports that moammar gadhafi, the long-term dictator of libya is dead today. >> 42 years ruling that country and we are now getting reports and pictures, actually, a picture taken from what we are being told was cell phone video that was taken when moammar gadhafi was either shot or killed. we're getting all kinds of reports in from libya that he was shot in the head or in the legs and that he died on the scene and we're trying to weave through all the reports that we're getting and talking to our sources in libya and i want to make it clear that the white house has not confirmed the death or capture of moammar gadhafi and neither has the state department. we're still waiting to hear from the u.s., but if you were to go
overseas, which we have done since early this morning and where we got this initial information. reports from libyan state televisions to loyalists there saying moammar gadhafi either captured or killed. senior international correspondent dan rivers is there in libya with the very latest on what we know. dan? >> thanks, hala. yeah, i just spoke to another official, this time with the prime minister and he confirmed, again, that colonel moammar gadhafi is, indeed, dead. we are expecting a press conference with the ntc's prime minister and the information minister who was speaking on cnn earlier today. both men will give more details, we're told, of the circumstances surrounding colonel gadhafi's killing. nato confirmed that there was an air strike in the sirte area at 8:30 local time this morning. they said there were armed
vehicles maneuvering in the vicinity of sirte and conducting military operations and presented a clear threat to civilians and so they struck. i think that is unusual because we haven't seen much activity in terms of air strikes in sirte over the last week or so. certainly while we were there we didn't hear or learn of any air strikes. there are reports coming in from other sources that we haven't confirmed ourselves saying there was some sort of nato air strike. gadhafi's column was on the western outskirts. and it was at that point that colonel gadhafi was captured and killed. this is what is being widely reported by a number of newspapers and other tv stations here and online. as i say we should get more details in about the next 15 minutes we're being told that we'll have a press conference with the prime minister of the ntc.
>> we should point out as we're hearing dan rivers, we're seeing the pictures there, the celebratory pictures out of tripoli where dan is. if you're hearing gunfire in the background, that's celebratory gunfire as we monitor what's happening in tripoli. dan rivers, thanks so much, we'll continue to talk to you throughout the morning. >> are those celebratory gunfire can sometimes be dangerous. >> yes. >> libyans have been warned about it over the last several weeks. what's next? mark elis is in london. he's an executive with the international bar association. if it is indeed confirmed that moammar gadhafi is dead today, presumably that's the end as far as the icc is concerned. >> it is. the case against colonel gadhafi would be dropped almost immediately and that certainly would be the case. i think there will be great disappointment in the hague because the prosecutor went out of his way to quickly indictment
mr. gadhafi in really the fastest turn around that we've seen at the icc or for that matter any international court. the icc really wanted to bring him to the hague and to justice under judicial proceedings. again, we'll be disappointed. but they will have no choice but to dismiss that case. >> what about the members of the gadhafi family who are also under indictment by the icc? >> those cases are definitely still -- still relevant. if in fact, for instance, gadhafi's son has been reported -- has been captured, then the icc will pressure the libyan authorities to transfer him to the hague. that's really the requirement that came from the security council resolution that said that libya and its governments have to -- have to cooperate with the icc. but it is possible. we've seen this before where
the -- the transitional council has suggested that they have the right and the ability to try these individuals. that may cause some conflict between the icc and the transitional government council because the icc really has jurisdiction over these crimes with the exception of when a country is willing and able to undertake trials. and if this council argues that it can do so that that may be a conflict. >> mark elis with the international bar association, thanks very much. >> we'll have more on the reported death of moammar gadhafi. what role nato air power played in that take down next.
if you're just tuning in this morning we're almost at the top of the hour 10:00 a.m. eastern time. after 42 years of ruling libya, reports now that moammar gadhafi has been captured and killed. we've been following this all morning. we'll continue to. let's get to phil black who's joining us live from london. here's there at 10 downing street. what do you know, phil, and what are you hearing from your point? >> reporter: well, we know at that stage 10 downing street the prime minister's office is making no comment whatsoever. they like we are still waiting for some sort of confirmation
out of lib yachl it's highly unlikely that they're going to say anything. before they receive that confirmation, they're hopeful that will come through today. across europe, other european governments are being equally cautious. they're all of a similar tone. words to the effect if this is true, then it's great news for the libyan people. cautious optimism would describe the general tone from leaders in this part of the world so far. and it's wise and sensible. i have little choice to do so because of the fog of war and particularly in the libyan case wherein many cases since the fall of tripoli there have been enthusiastic claims about high ranking gadhafi figures caught. they've all proven to be not true so far. >> that's true. we are not getting anything from the prime minister of london. we're not getting anything from the president of the united states. but rebels reporting that they have captured and killed moammar gadhafi. >> we've seen cell phones, screen grabs, we've heard from the national transitional council that moammar gadhafi is dead today. a new chapter for libya or more
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erupted in celebration to what appears to be the end of the brutal era, 42 years of terror seemingly ended just hours ago. and you're about to see a video now that's said to be moammar gadhafi badly wounded in custody and we warn you, it's pretty gruesome. >> let's take a look. this looks like cell phone video and there rebels tell us is either the badly injured or the dead body of moammar gadhafi. let's just let this play out. >> all right. so they're where seeing shaky cell phone video. we're seeing the face of a man that looks a lot like moammar gadhafi. bloodied. after his capture. one of the ntc sources we spoke with earlier said he didn't die right away. it's difficult to tell if this is moammar gadhafi dying or a moammar gadhafi who's lost his life. >> there were reports that a nato air strike came in, struck
the convoy. moammar gadhafi was taken out of the vehicle. there was talk that he was shot directly in the head. there were also reports that he was shot in the legs. this was the screen grab that we got from that video earlier this morning that was the first image that we received. we got the okay to go with it. now we're getting video from a cell phone of the -- the situation that came to us about two hours ago and we are still not hearing from the united states on this. we're hearing just out of libya at this point. now getting this video. and who knows? maybe this will be the link now to the reports that we've been getting. maybe we will hear from the white house, the state department. we were we are standing by for that. whether or not this is moammar gadhafi this is when the air strike hit the convoy. if we are getting correct reports out of libya, this is the moment where he was shot and killed.
>> it looks as though he is -- well he's shirtless there at least part of his torso is visible. we can see blood pouring from what looks like a wound to his head. this would square away with reports we've received that he was shot in the head. it certainly looks like moammar gadhafi. no official confirmation yet. we're not hearing from the u.s. officially that moammar gadhafi is indeed dead today. dan rivers joins us live from tripoli. there is celebration in the libyan capital today. tell us what you know. what's the latest, dan? >> reporter: well, again, just more confirmation of those pictures that moammar gadhafi is dead. another source telling us with the prime minister confirming that gadhafi is dead. we're expecting to hear from the prime minister of the ntc in the next few minutes. he is expected to give more detail around the circumstances in which colonel gadhafi was
killed. as you say there's speculation that a nato air strike may have proceeded his death. he was then according to some reports bundled out of the car on a road to the west of the city as his convoy tried to punch through the rebel lines and there are some suggestions that it was in a drainage ditch under that road where he was finally cornered and shot. some reports notably from the information minister suggesting when the ntc soldiers got him he was still alive and then he died before they could move him. but we are waiting more details in a press conference that's happening in this hotel we're told right now. these things normally are delayed, i'm afraid. we'll hopefully get that to you as soon as we can in that we should learn much more about exactly how he died and who was involved in terms of nato and the ntc and more details.
you can hear behind me there's celebratory gunfire. people riding on the tops of their cars at about 80 miles per hour below me on the highway. throwing all cautious to the wind. they don't care anymore. they are going to have one hell of a party here in tripoli tonight. they realize the massive historical significance of this moment. not only that sert has fallen and the war is over, but the man who has ruled this country so viciously and cruelly and inhumanely for 42 years is dead. >> dan rivers is the senior international coronet. he is live in tripoli. we are awaiting a national transition news conference. perhaps they will provide us with more proof or tell us certainly give us more details about what led to the reported death of moammar gadhafi. that's something we're eagerly awaiting for. >> we're also waiting for response from the white house.
also the state department. i can tell you now our kate baldwin sending me this statement from senator john mccain's camp. senator john mccain according to a spokesman saying ta the senator is confident that gadhafi is dead. in the statement just briefly, i won't read the entire thing, but john mccain saying the death of moammar gadhafi marks an end to the first phase of the libyan revolution while some final fighting continues, the libyan people have liberated their country. we're hearing from senator john mccain the first individual in our country saying that he is confident that moammar gadhafi is dead. we are still waiting to hear from the white house. we're still waiting to hear from the state department. meanwhile let's get to the pentagon and our barbara starr is at her post. what are you getting from your sources? we've talked a lot about nato being involved in this -- in this strike. possibly leading to what we just saw in the cell phone video that's been released of a
possible dead moammar gadhafi. >> well, you know, nato officials struck this convoy earlier today near the town of sert where heavy fighting was going on. they're still trying to figure out from libyan authorities whether gadhafi was really in that convoy, that is how this all unfolded. what nato officials are rapidly moving towards now is not even so much the confirmation that gadhafi is dead, but working towards ending the nato military operations over libya that have been going on since march that the u.s. has been very central in. what a nato official has told me is this now may in fact speed up plans that were already in place to look at terminating that military operation. the chief military officer of nato, if you will, u.s. navy admiral is now looking at key pieces of negligence about all of that.
is the town of sert really under rebel control. they now believe it is. can loyalist forces effectively mount a counterstrike to the rebel forces, to the national transitional council. the indications are now that they cannot. there still will be some pockets of fighting, but the belief now is that the ntc does control libya to the maximum extent that it can. these are the key pieces of intelligence that nato is now looking at. what you can expect to see in the next several days, maybe even a couple of days is a recommendation to end the military operation. the admiral will take that to nato. there will be a meeting of the north atlantic council, the military arm of nato and nato will vote. it is expected to vote to terminate the operation. na doesn't end the concern. the security concerns about all the weapons that are uncontrolled in lib yachl it will not end.
the u.s. military involvement expect to see a very much more normalized relationship with the emerging libyan government. it is expected now that the bombing campaign by nato will end and that these very aggressive military operations that the u.s. has been part of will come to a close. >> barbara starr at the pentagon. thanks. >> gadhafi ruled libya for 42 years. he was then deposed and today reportedly killed. let's bring in ben weedman. he is in new york right now. ben, what next? is this now smooth sailing for libya going forward? >> no, smooth sailing. we have to realize that this has been a complete change of regime. many of these people have no experience running a country. yes, it's an important step along the way. but the killing of moammar gadhafi certainly doesn't mean that it's going to be smooth
sailing. all you have to do is look around you. egypt, the revolution, only 18 days and months and months later it's still a very unstable, uncertain place. libya has certain elements working in its favor. a smaller population, a better educated population. lots in the way of natural resources, but no, just because moammar gadhafi is now gone, we believe, does not mean that things are going to be rosy from hereon in. >> what are the biggest challenges for the country? and also the revolutionaries, the national transitional council, what could go wrong? what are the biggest risks for libya? >> on the one hand there's a strong impulse among those that led this revolution. the political leaders, but more importantly the men with the guns, the fighters to get revenge. to get rid of the elements of the old regime. that could be a very destabilizing element. and i saw it firsthand.
what happens is that a lot of the resistance that we've seen to the new regime in tripoli is not necessarily from people who still actually believe in moammar gadhafi and his somewhat unique ideology. it's a worry that there will be a spate of revenge killings of looting of instability, of revenge against all of those -- >> let me ask you this. i'm sorry to jump in, this is something that was predicted by people after moammar gadhafi was deposed. libya would descend into some iraq style sectarian or tribal conflict. but that hasn't really happened, has it? >> no, it hasn't. let's not forget even in iraq and of course, there are huge differences between iraq and libya, but even in iraq, the first few months after the fall of saddam hussein were relatively quiet. it's when the new people in
power start to exercise that power at every level of society when things can get very complicat complicated. there's been a lot of talk about tribal differences. there are however important local differences. there are tensions between for instance the people from one town and other parts of libya. there are tensions between the men in the western part of the country and the people of tripoli. we've seen internal conflicts within the tnc itself. so far, so good. but i would not in any sense bet my bottom dollar that libya's going to be smooth sailing now that gadhafi's dead. >> all right, ben knows the country well. he's reported from libya over the last several months. and just sort of a note of caution today that today might be the end of the chapter for libya, but difficult times might still be -- very much difficult
times ahead for the country. >> we're going to talk more about that for from a man who used to work for gadhafi, he was an aide for gadhafi in nine years. he's now a professor in the u.s. we'll get his thoughts after the break. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. we continue to follow our breaking news that moammar gadhafi after 42 years of ruling libya has been captured and killed. >> we've seen new cell phone video of a man who really appears to be moammar gadhafi. we heard from national transitional council sources that moammar gadhafi is dead. television is reporting that his body has been taken to a town on the mediterranean coast in
libya. there you're seeing this new video shot on a cell phone, we understand of a man who appears to be moammar gadhafi. according to one source we spoke with, he was not killed right away. he was injured and died en route in an ambulance. >> it happened according to our sources in libya after a nato air strike hit his convoy where he was headed to we don't know. we saw that his body was brought out of the car that was struck and that video was taken. >> what's interesting is this all reportedly happened in sert, the hometown of moammar gadhafi. and some said that it was surprising that the entire time it seems as though he was hiding there. are you surprised that it appears as though moammar gadhafi who's reportedly dead today was in sert the whole time? >> that's my assertion since
back if february. that was my statement when everybody was talking that he was in other places. i said, no, he's not in tripoli. he had left libya. i was guessing either sert or somewhere in the south. i'm not surprised at all. actually, i feel vindicated in this instance in my prediction. >> you know him well. you worked as his aide for nine years. you spoke earlier about the man how he never slept two nights in a row in the same bed in the same room. didn't even sleep at the same time of day so his movements wouldn't be tracked by someone who might want to do him harm. now that he's gone, what happens with libya? we've heard from some that say there will be some sort of civil conflict in that country, not as bad as iraq, but it will be. do you agree with that or do you think it will move forward?
>> most of these people really do not understand the libyan culture. the libyan people are diverse. we have so many try bral groups. we have so many regions that sometimes they do have their own internal conflicts and things like that. but you have to realize that new leadership of libya, the ntc and the ones who are really backing them up, most of them are western educated. people don't realize that. and most of them are really thirsty just to get going on with democracy. of course they don't have the experience. of course they're going to have bumps in the road. of course they're going to have hiccups. that's natural. in a country that has been ruled by a dictator for 42 years that would be foolish to think that it is going to be smooth sailing. but you have to realize here, even the current ntc has tried very hard to have a representative from every major
city in libya even before they liberated the country, even before they took over tripoli and all of these areas they still had representatives from tripoli before even tripoli was liberated. so this is the thinking that it's a new line of thinking. these predictions of gloom and doom have no presence whatsoever. these people are very thirsty. of course they don't have experience and they really don't know how to run government. they don't know how to control the flow of information. you have witnessed it dealing with them all along. so, they are learning as they go along. but the intentions are to avoid revenge. the intentions are to rally the libyan -- >> please stand by. we're going to get back to you. not as pessimistic as far as the
future of libya is concerned as others. he was an aide to moammar gadhafi reportedly killed today for nine years. we'll get back to you throughout the morning with more reaction. thanks so much. >> fran townsend is a member of the external advisory board for the department of homeland security and the cia. she met with gadhafi in libya in 2007. fran, i'm just going to get right to it, all these various reports of this operation. we've seen the cell phone video now, give us the inside look, the background, if you will. how involved do you think the cia was with this working with nato, working with rebels. how do you think this call came together to where they were able to locate moammar gadhafi in a convoy and know that they had a target. >> remember president obama going back a little ways had said we were providing our special capabilities. we have to assume that's across the board whether it's human intelligence or signals
intelligence and overhead way that we collect precisely this kind of targeting data. also the admiral the four star supreme alied commander of nato, you've got it. it was a nato led operation there was tremendous american leadership and support in terms of putting together the targeting information that allowed the successful operation. >> securitywise, what are you thinking about? what are you looking at moving forward now? moammar gadhafi is out. no longer in hiding. how does this country move forward? and what's your take on what will happen with the loyalists? >> i think what you're going to see, we've seen from the photos just today coming out of tripoli you will go through a period of euphoria and sell bragts rightly so for the libyan people. this is a real success from their point of view. this is an opportunity for real democratic reform and change in
libya. there will then be a period of quiet. during the period of quiet will the loyalists try to regroup and re-organize. will someone emerge as a leader perhaps one of gadhafi's son or flee. if you see well known people flee it's likely there will be less of a backlash towards the transitional council. that gives them the space to build institutions that gadhafi refused to have built. there aren't any existing civilian institutions. >> real quickly, your thoughts on could we see an insurgent leadership and a strong insurgency like we did or like we do in iraq? >> libya's quite different. you run the risk that there are those in the military who are loyal to gadhafi's son who could rise up and pose a threat in terms of an insurgency to the transitional council. we're going to have to wait to see if that happens. >> fran, thanks.
welcome back to our breaking news coverage. if you're just waking up, the news today is that moammar gadhafi is dead. >> we have new cell phone video of the -- of what appears to be moammar gadhafi after he was shot. we understand there are reports he was shot in the head. let's run that video right now. it is cell phone voork i understand. this is the newest -- these are the newest images we have of
people celebrating the death of the -- the reported death of moammar gadhafi. >> there you see the body of a man dying or already dead who looks a whole lot like moammar gadhafi. with celebratory gunfire surrounding the fighters who killed him. >> this is what we can tell you so far. we have not got en confirmation from the white house from the state department, but we have received a number of confirmations out of libya through sources there, through leaders there, through rebel leaders there that a nato air strike took place above this convoy that moammar gadhafi was riding in. and, and apparently when the convoy was struck, his body or
he was taken out of the vehicle. not sure if she was shot when taken out of that vehicle or if indeed his injuries happened while in that convoy. we're also reporting that we cannot confirm whether right there he had been shot and killed or if he died en route. >> that is something that we've heard from ntc sources that he was not killed right away. either way it really looks like moammar gadhafi at this point. we're also hearing from the ntc's prime minister according to reports that moammar gadhafi is dead today. it is his bloodied body according to rebels this is the newest video we have of the reported death of moammar gadhafi. a chaotic cell phone video showing a man with an apparent wound to the head that looks like moammar gadhafi. we also understand from sources that the former defense minister for libya was killed. we are hearing some reports that
one of the sons of moammar gadhafi was also killed. all these reports we are unable to confirm with 100% certainty. when you put it all together various sources telling us the long time dictator of libya moammar gadhafi killed today. for our viewers watching tv now cnn now images that look like the body of moammar gadhafi bloodied and injured from a gunshot wound to the head. >> as you saw there in military clothing possibly his last words shouting don't shoot. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be right back. is an uh-o. see if we can "stitch" together a better deal. that's a hint, antoine. ooh! see what anandra did? booking your flight and hotel at the same time gets you prices hotels and airlines won't let expedia show separately. book it. major wow factor! where you book matters. expedia.
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well this might be one of the important images, one of the historic images in the arab world in this early part of the 21st century. the images, the cell phone video of a dead moammar gadhafi. these are at least the reports coming to us from rebels. these are graphic images. i want to warn you. but you do see a man who looks like moammar gadhafi bloodied and either dying or dead after having been killed by rebel
fighters in sert. >> it was his hometown of sert that was captured and then the deposed dictator. you get a glimpse of his body lying on the ground in what appears to be a military uniform. reports said when he was dragged out of either a vehicle or some reports say he was hiding possibly in a sewage area, possibly a manhole much like we saw with saddam hussein when he was found in his hometown, we're finding the same thing here for the deposed dictator. now another angle. you can see him lying on the ground, blood from the head. reports say he was possibly struck in the head, possibly struck in the legs. there have been mixed reports of how exactly he died and where exactly he died. our wolf blitzer joining us out of washington, d.c. wolf, you've got some of the best sources in the business. you have been brought in obviously to add context to what
we're seeing now. what do you know about what have you been told about the death of moammar gadhafi? >> everybody assumes that it's official that moammar gadhafi is dead. they're not making the official public statements along those lines either at the white house or the state department, the department of defense, cia, but everyone's working under the assumption that these reports from the libyan authorities, the new regime in libya are accurate and that it's over. moammar gadhafi, 69 years old, dead that according to all of the indications, although it hasn't been officially confirmed by washington. 42 years in power. so obviously an historic moment not only in the history of libya, but indeed throughout north africa and the mideast. someone well known to an entire generation, maybe two generations. the world has never really known by and large libya without gadhafi. that is changing right now. i assume at some point we'll get official statements first from nato, nato deeply involved over
these past few months in trying to a, protect civilians in libya. but b, more directly to get rid of gadhafi and bring some sort of stable regime in power in libya. that nato operation is going to wind down very, very rapidly now. i assume the gnat toe alies in europe and here in the united states and in canada no great appetite to continue this nato military mission. after nato speaks i assume we'll hear directly from officials in washington. i wouldn't be surprised at all if the president, president obama makes a statement to the nation at some point probably at some point today when all the dust settles. everything is clear who exactly is dead, who is alive, what about gadhafi's sons? all of the other sons who are still alive. two of his sons over these past few months have been killed in this uprising in libya. it's a dramatic and very bloody experience that the people of libya are going through. with all the indications now,
all the reports coming in that gadhafi himself is dead, a new chapter about to begin. >> and wolf, you mentioned the son. there are reports ntc being quoted saying that he is dead as well. this is something that we have not confirmed. we have waiting to confirm that particular report. it does appear as though right now libyan leader moammar gadhafi is dead on this day. a historic moment for libya, but then we must ask the question, wolf, going forward for libya as far as the rebels are concerned, the national transitional council how is this country going to be led? what will the relationship of the ntc be to countries such as the united states and other nato allies who participated in this operation to help the rebels in libya? >> in this operation, this nato led operation there were arab countries that were involved in this operation. as you well know the united arab
emirates, qatar, jordan, there were other countries involved. this was a combined arab/nato operation that came to the assistance of the libyan rebels who are now in charge. there are as you know in libya right now some very talented officials who have come back. libyans who have been living in exile for many years including here in the united states have who have gone back to help in this transition and new government in libya. the united states and european allies have all recognized this transitional authority. having said that there are some pretty talented people there in charge in the economic sphere, the national security sphere and some of the other areas of libya, i don't want to underestimate the enormous problems ahead. there are tribal battles that almost certainly will still continue even after gadhafi -- there's a lot of work that needs to be done.
the euphoria that will exist in many quarters in libya that could be short lived depending on how the transitional authority handles this very, very delicate situation. an immediate question that u.s. authorities are going to have to answer those billions of dollars that have been frozen in libyan assets here in the united states at one point u.s. authorities said about $33 billion in libyan assets. some of that has been freed up, a lot of it hasn't been freed up. what's going to happen to that money. how do they make it available. what happens to the expenses that the u.s. and nato alies incured $1 billion in u.s. taxpayer money spent in liberating libya from gadhafi. is the libyan authority, the new regime are they going to reimburse the nato alies including the united states for those expenses as many officials in congress would like to see happen or is that money simply going to go away. u.s. tax payers won't be reimbursed. many have pointed out libya is a wealthy country. it's a my jor oil exporting
country. once they get their business in order, this will be a wealthy country and presumably will have a lot of opportunities to do good for its own people. >> wolf, since i've got you now, by the way we're getting reports that the libyan prime minister has come forward confirming that moammar gadhafi is dead. we've been talking a lot about the future of libya. but how about politics here in the united states? we're gearing up for another election. how is this going to play into president obama's re-election campaign? we saw how his numbers went up when osama bin laden was captured and killed. how do you see this playing out for the president? >> it will help the president, but i'm not sure it will help him a great deal. this coming election almost by all accounts unless something drastic happens to the u.s. internationally is going to be -- is going to be largely impacted by jobs, the u.s. economy, the domestic economic situation as much of these national security achievements killing of bin laden, getting
rid of moammar gadhafi, some of the other developments that have happened throughout the arab spring, mubarak gone and yemen, a lot is still unfolding in syria as all of our viewers know, these will be issues that will be debated and discussed. but for most american voters out there, the economy is still issue number one. the job situation and unemployment rate that will dominate the u.s. political environment. >> wolf blitzer joining us with our breaking news coverage if you're just tuning in, moammar gadhafi captured and killed this morning. >> we heard from the interim libyan prime minister that moammar gadhafi is dead. we are hearing reports that his body is currently held and some sort of medical examination to determine how he died. many sources now confirming moammar gadhafi the long time dictator of libya dead. it's a region in transition and the question is how do other
leaders who are facing their own uprisings in the arab world, what is going through their minds today. a lot to discuss after a short break. still ahead his father jailed by the gadhafi regime 20 years ago and to this day the family has no idea if he's dead or alive. the son of a missing libyan activist joins us live in the studio. [ male announcer ] humanatpyo p d medicare prescription dru. ♪ with the lowest nationalpl. ♪ ...and copaysas low a.
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before. we've had him captured a couple of times. >> it's interesting a behind the scenes look at hillary clinton being given a blackberry with news that there are unconfirmed reports of gadhafi's capture, not his death at that stage as she was getting ready to do an interview there in kabul. wow was her first word. >> it's amazing that just maybe about an hour and a half ago she was talking about the politics of our presidential race in the united states with karzai. and now look at how the chain of events has turned around. we should be hearing from the secretary of state and the white house hopefully within the next hour. >> right. we do have more reaction there to the reports out of libya. >> that's right. joining us now is someone who knows a lot about the conflict in libya. we had a chance to talk to him about a month ago. he's the son-of a political activist who was jailed by the gadhafi regime in the 1990s. the family has no idea where the father is if he's dead or alive.
achmed, i wanted to bring you in again today, the last time we talked your mom was headed to libya right there in the midst of the uprising hoping that the fall of the dictator would lead her back to your father. since we talked, you had received word that possibly your father was being held in sert in an underground prison. now we know sert has been captured. we're getting reports that moammar gadhafi is dead. what's your first reaction and have you heard from your mom? >> my first reaction was -- it's something i can't explain. it's something that i've been wanting to hear all of my life. hopefully it really was him that was captured. hopefully he didn't get away with it that easily and killed. as far as my mother, i spoke with her a few days ago. unfortunately, i didn't get ahold of her now. >> so just to set the scene for
our viewers, ahmed, your dad, explain to those that are watching and we are also -- we want to welcome our international viewers as well, just so you know, ahmed that people are watching overseas as well as here in the united states probably people that know your father, set the scene for what he was involved in directly and what it means to you the chance now that you may actually find out whether your father is dead or alive after all these years? >> my father was part of national front for the salvation of libya. he basically joined to try to bring democracy to libya and freedom to all libyans. and unfortunately, he was kidnapped by the egyptian security services and handed over to the libyans in 1990 and he hasn't been able to
accomplish his mission in bringing democracy to libya, but with all that's happened with the revolution, i'm sure he's -- if he's not alive currently with us, he's smiling down happy of all the news and everything that he's seen. >> ahmed, we sure hope that we'll be able to get news from your mom and at some point you'll be able to find out if indeed your father has made it through many years of fighting for exactly what's happening in libya right now. ahmed, thanks for coming in today. >> thank you so much for having me. >> well, we are going to have a lot more of our breaking news coverage on the reported death of moammar gadhafi. we'll speak to nick christophe, the op-ed columnist for "the times." [ mom ] scooter? your father loves
your new progresso rich & hearty steak burger soup. [ dad ] i love this new soup. it's his two favorite things in one... burgers and soup. did you hear him honey? burgers and soup. love you. they're cute. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ boy ] hey, i thought these were electric? uh, it is, yeah, it's a chevy volt. so what are you doing at a gas station? well it still takes gas to go farther. but you're not getting gas. true. not this time. uh, don't have to gas up very often.
welcome back to our breaking news coverage. if you're just tuning in, we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states as well as around the world. after 42 years of rule, we're getting word that moammar gadhafi has been captured and killed. we're seeing live images of tripoli. we also saw video of what appeared to be the bloodied body of moammar gadhafi. some sources are saying he was injured with a gunshot wound to the head. the interim prime minister of the international council has confirmed that moammar gadhafi is dead. the question now is what's next for libya? will the next chapter be easier for a country that was ruled for decades by a brutal dictator.
we have a professor at the london school of economics. i can see you're in paris not in london today. >> i just arrived in paris. >> what is next for libya. is it going to be difficult but somewhat stable with the national transitional council taking the lead, or is there a real risk here of tribal conflict, of conflict as far as fighting for the resources of this country? what do you think will happen? >> let me give you an idea about today's event. to give you an idea for your viewers how difficult the situation will be for libya. it was the council which basically first announced that gadhafi was killed, captured alive and died after his capture. it was the council independent from the ntc that is the government of libya.
it took the leaders, the ntc quite a while to follow up on the council and noi announce that gadhafi was killed. what does this tell you? it tells you that there is no unity government in libya. it tells you that the council, which is a regional council acts independently from the ntc which is based in tripoli. it was first in benghazi. it tells you there's a fierce political struggle taking police in libya. even though we should not underestimate the significance of this day. gadhafi was the head of the state. the most important symbol of the country. he repeatedly tried to rally his supporters to fight on. i hope that this particular day will not just -- means it be end of an era, but basically represents the beginning of a new era, an era of unity, reconciliation and a functioning
government, a functioning government without the infighting that i fear might plunge libya in the next few years. >> that was the hope. that's the hope for the national transitional council for libyan people who suffered for decades under the rule of a brutal dictator. you're talking about the council on one hand, the national transitional council on another. there is no unity among the post gadhafi government. will the battles be only political or will we see civil conflict in this country? is that a right concern, a real fear? >> you know the middle east as well as i do. i'm not being patronizing at all. we have been presented a romantic view of the libyan uprising. for a variety of reasons gadhafi did a great deal of harm. we have hoped that the rebels will rise up to the occasion. but at the end of the day we're talking about politics, the
politicians of libya does not differ very much from the politics of yemen. you have regional differences we're just talking about benghazi, about tripoli, about cert. the fighting have exposed some major tribal and regional cleavages they do not bode well for libya. so far i'm not convinced with my hopes for libya, i'm not convinced not only there's not a unity government, i fear that the political cleavages and the reej federal cleavages would easily escalate given the extent and the intensity in libya. we hope that libya will transition more peacefully, we should not underestimate the risks and the vulnerabilities that libya and the libyan people have in the next few weeks and next few months. >> some fear for the future of libya. will these political differences escalate into more of a civil conflict in that country on this
day the day that moammar gadhafi the long time ruler of libya has been reportedly killed. thanks very much. >> we're going to take a quick break. and we're going to talk to former general jim jones he was nato commander also national security advisor to the president. he'll be joining us with his perspective right after the break. [ male announcer ] succeeding in today's market requires decisive action.
bloodied body that appears to be moammar gadhafi and the interim prime minister of the national transitional council has said that moammar gadhafi was killed today. for our viewers just joining us now very graphic images of what rebels say is the dead body of moammar gadhafi. wolf blitzer is in washington with more reaction from the united states and from washington, d.c. today we saw a little bit earlier wolf interestingly hillary clinton the secretary of state being handed a blackberry on which he presumably read news of the reported capture of moammar gadhafi of her first word was, wow. >> she was excited. only yesterday she made that unexpected visit to libya. now she's in afghanistan on her way to pakistan. but the secretary of state was getting ready to do a series of one-on-one interviews with reporters traveling with her on this visit to north africa, the mideast, south asia and once one of her aides handed her that little blackberry and she
started reading it, you could see the excitement in her face. then she calmed down and said it hasn't been confirmed yet. let's check it out. at that point she was just getting word as you saw there that gadhafi had been captured. now libyan authorities the interim government officially stating not only he's been captured, but he's been killed. all the details of his death they're still a little bit murky. we've shown our viewers some of that video that was coming in. it was pretty dramatic and pretty graphic that video we've seen video supposedly of moammar gadhafi. there you can see -- i want to warn ou viewers the video is really, really graphic. there he is. it certainly looks like gadhafi in that shot the 69-year-old moammar gadhafi had been in power for 42 years in libya, but now it is over by all accounts. i'm wolf blitzer in washington this is cnn's special cov