Gaddafi compound struck by Western forces, Gaddafi missing?

posted at 11:30 am on March 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Color me skeptical, in a kind of reverse-Baghdad-milk-factory sort of way. The US had just announced that they would not target Moammar Gaddafi in the prosecution of the UN resolution demanding an end to Gaddafi’s violence against civilians, and then suddenly Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli gets struck by a missile — which, despite “hundreds” of people gathering to “protect” the facility as human shields, didn’t result in a single casualty, according to a Gaddafi spokesman:

The heart of Moammar Gadhafi’s compound in Tripoli lay in shambles Monday following bombing by the United States and its allies, prompting a debate about whether the allies were trying to kill the Libyan leader.

A coalition military official insisted neither Gadhafi nor his residence were intended targets of the bombing late Sunday. The official — who was not being identified because of the sensitivity of the information — said the compound was targeted because it contained command-and-control facilities for Libyan forces.

U.S. Vice Adm. Bill Gortney concurred. “We are not going after Gadhafi,” he said at a Pentagon press briefing. Asked about reports of smoke rising from the area of Gadhafi’s palace, Gortney said, “We are not targeting his residence.”

Why wouldn’t we target his compound?  The alliance has already struck military targets across Libya under the authority of UN1973 with the justification that attacking those assets will weaken Gaddafi’s ability to wage war against his own people in Benghazi.  In that context, it makes more sense to attack command and control locations than runways outside of the specific fighting zone.  Removing command and control over Gaddafi’s military forces would go much farther toward ending the siege of Benghazi than strafing infantry and armor in and around the city.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s gone missing again:

Gadhafi’s whereabouts — and his plans after promising a “long-drawn war” — remained unknown Monday.

I wouldn’t read too much into that, either.  In a war of this type, leaders don’t typically release their schedules to the media, understanding that they are a legitimate target of war.  That’s exactly what this is, a war, and we’re fighting in it for the purpose of protecting Libyans from Gaddafi, and at least Gaddafi understands that.  If the alliance is suddenly treating an attack on command and control facilities as a mistake, the question is whether we realize it.


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I’ve seen some Libyans claim it appears Gaddafi is no longer in Tripoli.

Which would explain why he’s not in front of a camera.

Though obviously grain of salt.

amerpundit on March 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Gaddafi’s in Brazil, working on his ‘brackets’. Oh wait, that’s a different idiot.

Never mind.

Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

If we’re going to be involved in this thing at all, killing Gaddafi strikes me as job one.

Mr. D on March 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Let’s just kill ALL the bad guys in the whole entire world…and then we can hope that no one returns the favor.

PierreLegrand on March 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Having Libyans think he’s dead, because he’s so deep in hiding, is almost as effective as killing him. Not as satisfying, but effective.

RBMN on March 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

If we’re going to be involved in this thing at all, killing Gaddafi strikes me as job one.

Mr. D on March 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Indeed.

amerpundit on March 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Looks like the gang that can’t shoot straight has straightened out its ‘shooting’ but it’s still getting tripped up by its messaging?

a persistent issue…

ted c on March 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Gaddafi’s in Brazil, working on his ‘brackets’. Oh wait, that’s a different idiot.

Never mind.

Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Omoron to consider legislation to get Pitt back in the tourney.

VegasRick on March 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Who knows? I don’t know what our true intentions are. I don’t know what will happen when it’s all over. I don’t know whether media reports are accurate. I don’t even know who’s really in charge.

I’ve come to embrace ignorance.

pugwriter on March 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Let’s just kill ALL the bad guys in the whole entire world…and then we can hope that no one returns the favor.

PierreLegrand on March 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Hope who doesn’t return the favor? We just killed them.

Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I’ve come to embrace ignorance.

pugwriter on March 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Second look at obambi, eh.

VegasRick on March 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Check under all the smelly burqas’ being worn on Citgo vessels headed to Hugo’s Heaven, or maybe Sean Penn’s guest room.

Hening on March 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Where is Saif? Is he contemplating something spectacular at the end like Saddam’s two sons accomplished? Hope so, but doubt it. I suspect the family still has some large bucks saved for a rainy day. Keep an eye on the Caracas incoming ramp.

a capella on March 21, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Spider hole!

yubley on March 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM

If the alliance is suddenly treating an attack on command and control facilities as a mistake, the question is whether we realize it.

They are denying it because his compound was a command and a control facility only because he might be in it and communicating with his troops. Basically anywhere Daffy is with a radio is a command and control facility. This was a straight out attempt to get lucky and take him out by the French who want him gone badly.

The US is bugging about it because they know taking Daffy out will result in a long term split of the country and civil war. They want to make ruling Libya so miserable he leaves. The Rebels in the east want to lead all of Libya and it’s perfectly clear tribes in the west don’t wan them. The current ruling tribes know they are in for so serious payback after 40 years and they know that doesn’t mean a fine. The rebels have no shot at peace if the US takes out their opposition’s leader.

Rocks on March 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM

This weasel was out of town before the bombing started, you don’t think the U.N. warned him first?
You know he is shivering somewhere, trying to figure out what to do, where to go…that man is as radioactive as a nuclear plant in Japan.

right2bright on March 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I’m looking forward to seeing how his beard turns out.

Sharke on March 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

…The crowd included many women and children, and some said they had family in Colonel Qaddafi’s forces. They said they had come to protect Colonel Qaddafi’s compound from bombing by volunteering to be shields. “If they want to hit Muammar Qaddafi, they must hit us because we are all Muammar Qaddafi,” said Ghazad Muftah, a 52-year-old widow of a soldier from the Warfalla tribe, who said she was there with her six grown children…

Hmmm… Any word on the human shields?

Fallon on March 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I thought K’daffy lived in a tent? K’daffy is missing? So is our commander-in-chief!

cartooner on March 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Hope who doesn’t return the favor? We just killed them.
Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Any number of bad guys who might realize that it is now open season on leaders.

Btw this guy has been escaping assassination for 43 years. And you think he is dead? Muahaha….the sheer naiveté is amazing.

PierreLegrand on March 21, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Gaddafi’s in Brazil, working on his ‘brackets’. Oh wait, that’s a different idiot.

Never mind.

Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

:)

mankai on March 21, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Jeremiah Wright hardest hit.

mankai on March 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM

K’daffy is missing? So is our commander-in-chief!

cartooner on March 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Bazinga!

Fallon on March 21, 2011 at 11:52 AM

He has a room next to Osama bin Laden…

albill on March 21, 2011 at 11:52 AM

It’s days like this that make me wish that somebody would just go ahead and release the Kraken.

GoodBoy on March 21, 2011 at 11:53 AM

It would be a golden opportunity to fake his own death and fade into the woodwork. Particularly if he was planning on the international community backing down, and doesn’t have a viable plan for controlling the country under air strikes.

Count to 10 on March 21, 2011 at 11:55 AM

No Pierre. You said we should “kill them all”. I just took it to its logical conclusion. If they’re all dead, no one could “return the favor”.

Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Who knows? I don’t know what our true intentions are. I don’t know what will happen when it’s all over. I don’t know whether media reports are accurate. I don’t even know who’s really in charge.

I’ve come to embrace ignorance.

pugwriter on March 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

When we have been “Dumbed Down” sufficiently, it will all make sense

Guest1.1 on March 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Where’s a Baghdad Bob when you need him?

Where’s CNN’s imbedded reporters with Kaddafi’s regime?

Where’s the stories about Coalition forces deliberately targeting journalist?

I want the truth!!! (even if I can’t handle it)

Rovin on March 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Is Kaddafi in Brazil? seems to be the place to go when you need to get outta town for a while….

jus sayin

ted c on March 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I would expect him to be in hiding no matter what. Whether or not if he is in in Libya is anyone’s guess.

jeffn21 on March 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM

We were just trying to send a message. Maybe the message was, “Boom! You’re dead.”?

bugsy on March 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I’ll be happy when part of Khadaffy is in Tripoli, part is in Benghazi, part is in Tobruk and part is in Barqa.

profitsbeard on March 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM

This looks like a job for…………..

BAGHDAD BOB!!!!!

pilamaye on March 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Btw this guy has been escaping assassination for 43 years. And you think he is dead? Muahaha….the sheer naiveté is amazing.

PierreLegrand on March 21, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Saddam comes to mind.

NJ Red on March 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM

If he is dead, you-know-who will be hailed as a hero. And they will lap it up.

SouthernGent on March 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Why aren’t we going after Gaddafi? Of course we are going after Gaddafi! What kind of idiots do they think we are?

Deny the obvious! Typically Democrat, Orwellian approach. Just lie, because you can lie, and it’s more fun than telling the truth. Isn’t that a mental disorder? When you lie as a matter of habit?

Gaddafi calls Obama his son. So this takes on a Greek myth type of feel. Will Obama have the strength to kill his evil father? Greek myth or Star Wars, I’ve heard it both ways.

petunia on March 21, 2011 at 12:09 PM

First off killing them all would be endless because there are an endless supply of bad guys. Second of all we aren’t very far along on the killing the bad guy route. Plenty of bad guys will be left to return the favor.

PierreLegrand on March 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

If we’re going to be involved in this thing at all, killing Gaddafi strikes me as job one.Mr. D on March 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Agreed, however in the surreal world of International Law and Diplomacy, where all nations are equally worthy, acknowledging Job One might earn you a date before the International Court of Criminal Justice – which is why the most frequent statement out of U. S. miltitary spokesmen yesterday was: “it wasn’t us. It might have been the British”.

Basilsbest on March 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

If he is dead, you-know-who will be hailed as a hero. And they will lap it up.

SouthernGent on March 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM

I don’t know about that. The MFM will continue to lick his boots, but I don’t see lefties totally embracing the Nobel Prize winner for killing an Arab when it’s the Jews they want bombed. And, the muzzies might have a question or two that they’ll want answered. Perhaps another speech in Cairo is in order…

joejm65 on March 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

“Why wouldn’t we target his compound?”

Because this fight has Obowma’s stink all over it…

Seven Percent Solution on March 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

He will pull a Sadaam. All tyrants are basically cowards. This guy will go to ground. I hope he and the PanAm bomber are in the same hole together and when they are found, are killed. We do not need no stinking trials.

retiredeagle on March 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Cripe, did yall see the headline on drudge….Obama grahib

Yikes

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I’ve seen some Libyans claim it appears Gaddafi is no longer in Tripoli.

Which would explain why he’s not in front of a camera.

Though obviously grain of salt.

amerpundit on March 21, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Look for the umbrella.

unclesmrgol on March 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Remember, Gaddafi was his weakest state as a dictator right about the time Saddam Hussein was assuming room temperature. Contessa Brewer is suggesting/wishing the G-man would surrender. General McCaffery: “make no mistake, this IS an unprecedented AMERICAN assault with superior intelligence and logistic support with little input from the British or French forces”

Too funny—-Brewer is now arguing in Obama’s defense with/against the spaceman Dennis Kucinich, quoting the War Powers Act. My how this liberal media has “changed horses”.

Rovin on March 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM

CNN is reporting the following:

“Commander in charge of US operations in Libya says coalition is not supporting opposition fighters, mission remains protecting civilians.”

Indy82 on March 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Kill em
might as well finally get him for pan am 103

blatantblue on March 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM

This is so stupid. The announcement was that we were going to take out Qaddafi’s anti-aircraft so that the Brits and the French could enforce the no-fly zone. Now all of a sudden we’re sending U.S. bombers over Libya and possibly bombing Qaddafi’s “compound” again? And where the French and British in all this?

Outlander on March 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

“It’s not about regime change,” the official, Ben Rhodes, told reporters on an Air Force One flight from Brazil to Chile

“days, not weeks” -Barry

Well, Barry, if you don’t kill him how do you make it days?
Is your “days, not weeks” spin because you are handing off the mission to NATO so now it is their fault if it is weeks not days?

Limerick on March 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

And where the French and British in all this?

Outlander on March 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

1625: More from the US commander on coalition operations in Libya: he says the coalition has flown 70-80 sorties on Monday, which is well over half of those non-US.

Spain also flew sorties today, as did Denmark.

Limerick on March 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

So French, British, & Americans are marching all over the Middle east? If I were a Muslim, I’d wonder if Colonialism wasn’t happening again.

portlandon on March 21, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Brewer just another WH mouthpiece

Okay for man with a D next to his name

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM

CNN is reporting the following:

“Commander in charge of US operations in Libya says coalition is not supporting opposition fighters, mission remains protecting civilians.”

Indy82 on March 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Heh. Someone needs to tell the rebels that. They think they have their own air force now. I expect they’ll fret when told otherwise. Maybe chant and throw shoes at us?
AlJazeera:

12:41pm The Guardian newspaper’s Chris McGreal was on the road today near Ajdabiya, around 160km south of Benghazi, where Gaddafi troops are still fighting with rebels. That appears to be the current front line. The rebels, he says, view the coalition airstrikes “as part of their campaign.” That’s not what the West wants to hear; they’re trying to keep themselves from becoming embroiled in a full-scale regime change effort.

a capella on March 21, 2011 at 12:40 PM

So French, British, & Americans are marching all over the Middle east? If I were a Muslim, I’d wonder if Colonialism wasn’t happening again.

portlandon on March 21, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Colonialism has never been America’s pattern. Just look at Iraq. Iraq has its own legitimate government–one that cannot fairly be described as a “puppet” regime like you’d expect to see in a colonial system.

Outlander on March 21, 2011 at 12:40 PM

1640: France has deployed around 20 planes over Libya on Monday, an army spokesman has said, Reuters reports

Limerick on March 21, 2011 at 12:43 PM

France deploying the Charles De Gaulle tomorrow.

Limerick on March 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Obama’s lack of leadership is really going to make the world a less safe place.

Russia and China do not care one wit about Libya and its leader. But they are not going to miss the opportunity to make things difficult for the United States and, if possible, to set a trap for the United States to be blamed for the inevitable problems that will arise from Libya’s civil war, especially if Gaddafi’s removal creates a leadership vacuum that leads to years of bloodshed.

Whether he likes it or not, Obama and the United States will own the future of Libya no matter how well our military perform.

RedSoxNation on March 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM

LOL – how does hitting Daffy’s residence jibe with the mission of a “no fly” zone?

What – did he have some magic flying carpets hidden in his tent?

HondaV65 on March 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM

France deploying the Charles De Gaulle tomorrow.

Limerick on March 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Probably wouldn’t be doing this if they were expecting a short stay.
I hope they can keep the thing afloat.

a capella on March 21, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Doesn’t he have an extensive underground bunker, stocked with all the necessities? Sort of a deluxe spider hole?

cheeflo on March 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Whether he likes it or not, Obama and the United States will own the future of Libya no matter how well our military perform.

RedSoxNation on March 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM

I think you can anticipate the coalition ROE will tighten down very shortly. Civilian deaths( legitimate or not), will drive it all.

a capella on March 21, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Other than color me skeptical that even this numbnuts was there when the rapidly expanding meet n greet party favors arrived, this was from the beginning an everybody else against the evil clown, party, and if the coalition were successful in a whack da punk action (with prejudice) that’s a big step in the right direction.

Speakup on March 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM

This is what was being shot as the regime used CNN as human shields against a British attack.

Good job, CNN.

MayBee on March 21, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Only under the cover of consensus does Obama supposedly stand up for what is right.

CWforFreedom on March 21, 2011 at 1:07 PM

1. Did the UN tell us to do this, or did we seek its permission?

2. Did Obooba seek the permission of congress?

Akzed on March 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM

The US had just announced that they would not target Moammar Gaddafi in the prosecution of the UN resolution demanding an end to Gaddafi’s violence against civilians

It seems to me the best way to end the violence is to end Gaddafi.

tinkerthinker on March 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM

NATO Tomahawk missiles dropped on Libya total up to $186 million

Did congress authorize this expenditure?

Akzed on March 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Plenty of bad guys will be left to return the favor.

PierreLegrand on March 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM

That’s only because ‘useful idiots’ keep us from finishing the job.

In WWII, we didn’t rebuild Germany and Japan until we were finished smashing them. We’re rebuilding Afghanistan before we’re done crushing the enemy, and look how swimmingly that’s going.

Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 1:30 PM

NATO Tomahawk missiles dropped on Libya total up to $186 million

Did congress authorize this expenditure?

Akzed on March 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

So it’s less than the cost of Obama taking hundreds of people to Europe? Chump change (in his eyes.)

Squiggy on March 21, 2011 at 1:32 PM

NATO Tomahawk missiles dropped on Libya total up to $186 million

Did congress authorize this expenditure?

Akzed on March 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I think that is 36 minutes of the February debt.

sharrukin on March 21, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s gone missing again:

Not surprising. If he were to show himself in public on TV, some US or NATO intelligence people might recognize the location from the background and send a Tomahawk that way. Kill the shepherd, the sheep will scatter!

Still, it took us nearly 9 months to find Saddam Hussein after Shock and Awe, and there are probably lots of places to hide.

This will probably last until Gaddafi’s army cries “uncle”, then Gaddafi will show up where you least expect him.

Steve Z on March 21, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s gone missing again:

He’s wrestling tigers with Putin.

BobMbx on March 21, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Spain also flew sorties today, as did Denmark.

Limerick on March 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Bringing in the toilet paper and Gatorade. Important, not worth credit.

BobMbx on March 21, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Akzed: NATO Tomahawk missiles dropped on Libya total up to $186 million. Did congress authorize this expenditure?

Some on the right (chiefly Andrew McCarthy) argue that no Congressional authorization exists. They ignore our recent attacks on terrorist belligerants– outside the Afghan and Iraq theatres (Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc.).

There is nothing inconsistent in reacting to these ever shifting theatres in our global war on terrorism.

During WWII, Allied forces didn’t hesitate to send forces into the China-Burma-India theatres.

Recognizing Kaddafi’s threat to resume destroying civilian airliners (TWA840, PA103, UTA772) squarely aligns Kaddafi (once again) with US-targeted terrorist belligerants.

The post-9/11 Congressional authorization should be regarded as extending to Kaddafi, in the same sense it applies in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc.

FDR didn’t go back to Congress before invading North Africa. Libya is merely another theatre in our Congressionally authorized global war on terrorism.

It would be tragic if a Kucinich-Buchanan alliance of appeasement crippled our war effort.

*Kaddafi_Delenda_Est*

Terp Mole on March 21, 2011 at 2:38 PM

That’s exactly what this is, a war, and we’re fighting in it for the purpose of protecting Libyans from Gaddafi,

Are we? How sure are we that what comes after Gaddafi is any better? And, what steps are we taking to ensure that it is?

I remember arriving off the coast of Liberia and going in to secure the embassy. We met with the Ambassador to discuss what needed to be done about Charles Taylor. The Ambassador went through a whole review of the situation and how dealing with Taylor was a waste of time and how essentially he was just an evil person. So, the General says well why don’t we just kill him. The Ambassdors response was we could do that, and that there were a lot of people that wanted him dead and would be willing to help. But, he went on to say that the problem was that they didn’t just want to get rid of Charles Taylor, they wanted to be Charles Taylor. So, if we killed him we’d just get a different face and name with the same personality. Essentially turning Liberia around would take a lot more than getting rid on one man.

I wonder if there is anybody in Libya with the potential of being something different than Gaddafi? And, are we willing to make the commitment to ensure they succeed if there is?

SoonerMarine on March 21, 2011 at 2:49 PM

SoonerMarine: something different than Gaddafi?

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do ______?

Munich Olympic Massacre
London Constable Murder
Rome/Vienna Airport Massacres
Berlin Discoteque Massacre
Greek TWA840 massacre
Lockerbie PA103 Massacre
French UTA772 Massacre
IRA proxy massacres
EU Nurse Prison Sextortion
Swiss hostage extortion

Kaddafi has now promised to resume targeting civilian airliner. He has richly earned our Coalition forces’ targeting.

What comes after is beside the point.

*Kaddafi_Delenda_Est*

Terp Mole on March 21, 2011 at 3:01 PM

This looks like a job for…………..

BAGHDAD BOB!!!!!

pilamaye on March 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Which one?
They were both kind of ‘reality-challenged’.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM

What comes after is beside the point

Terp, no it’s not. And exactly the point. I’m not arguing that Gaddafi should be left alone. But, unless you’re willing to go all in and come up with a plan that will put Libya on the right path then we are just wasting our time. We’ll be back doing this again with the next tyrant. Or, worst case we get to face a unified Caliphate.

SoonerMarine on March 21, 2011 at 4:54 PM

NATO Tomahawk missiles dropped on Libya total up to $186 million

Did congress authorize this expenditure?

Akzed on March 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM

They were about to expire anyway. You can’t keep stuff like that on the shelf forever and ever.

BrideOfRove on March 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Costs $$ to store those things, too. Really. It’s just better to drop them and recycle. If you must complain, bitch about the delivery fees.

BrideOfRove on March 21, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Lots of things wrong with the whole thing. To me, bottom line is this is over øbama’s ego, to bump his polls, rev up his base, & to show he’s not a dithering wimp.

jodetoad on March 21, 2011 at 9:24 PM