Based on a number of different reports, it seems clear that deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was probably killed by his captors, not by random crossfire in a gun battle with loyalists as some have claimed. That’s not surprising. He was not captured by a disciplined military unit nor by police, but by a gang of Libyan rebels — armed young men high on adrenalin and hate and the smell of victory. A mob dishing out mob violence. Did anyone really expect these young men, coming upon the devil himself, would be able to restrain themselves and each other enough to keep the man alive and turn him over to international authorities?
It was unnecessary to show the world repeatedly and in graphic detail the photos and videos of Gadhafi’s capture and brutalization, and later, his corpse. The media must take the blame for much of that. And it was certainly ghoulish to pose the body in a meat locker and allow the public to parade past it for four days. Four days was more than enough time for someone in authority to take command of the situation and enforce more civilized behavior, especially when the whole world was watching. But that didn’t happen. It may be representative of the difference between Western and North African sensibilities, or it may be no more than a reflection of the chaos in Libya.
In either case, at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, Gadhafi, his son Muatassim, and former defense minister Abu Bakr Younis were finally buried in an unmarked grave not far from Misrata, Libya, in a modest Islamic ceremony. The location of the grave is to remain secret to protect it from desecration and from loyalists who might make a shrine of it. Still, a number of individuals helped with the burial, and international organizations asking to see the site are to be given access. It’s difficult to imagine the burial site will remain a secret for long.