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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  October 20, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EDT

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prime minister moammar gadhafi. -- moammar gadhafi is dead. that's the word from libya's acting interim prime minister. we have extensive coverage for our viewers here in the united states and around the world. >> all right. wolf blitzer is in washington. i'm in atlanta. we want to welcome our international viewers around the globe. >> i'm as wfl confirmed just moments ago that gadhafi has been killed. al jazeera has given us access to video of what appears to be his body. we want to warn you the pictures are very graphic. and you can see there that this is one a video showing a bloodied body of a man believed to be gadhafi. reports of his capture and
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killing came soon after the rebel forces had announced that they had taken control of sirte, his hometown. the gunfire there libyans didn't wait any time for confirmation of gadhafi's death to start celebrating there in sirte. libyan rebels fired into the air as you can see a great deal of celebration there and excitement. the burst of gunfire echoing through tripoli as well as people are filling the streets. i want to bring in our own barbara starr who's live at the pentagon for the latest there. barbara, give us a sense of what we know. what the u.s. role was in this as well as nato. >> we've been talking earlier this morning there was a nato air strike on a convoy moving around sirte. at the time the nato officials said they had no reason to believe gadhafi was inside. now they are looking at that possibility that this all began when he was in a convoy moving around the city of sirte.
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we will find out in the coming hours more details about how moammar gadhafi died. how he was killed. but right now what we should expect to see are some fairly fast moving developments all indications are this, nato will now start looking at trying to end the military mission over libya that has been going on since march. the head nato military officer who is a u.s. navy admiral now formulating a recommendation we are told to end the military mission. he's looking at critical pieces of intelligence. and they are this, can the loyalist forces still mount a counterstrike against the rebels? all indications are they could do some, but really the rebel forces, the transitional council now in control of the majority of the population centers and the country. sirte, the last stronghold perhaps now in the control of the ntc. so look for nato to come up with
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this recommendation in the next couple of days and then a special session of nato leaders will be called and they will vote on the recommendation finally to end the military involvement over libya. this will be a big win for president obama. there were a lot of people skeptical about this mission, about the u.s. getting involved in all of this, but now it has worked out and the u.s. can begin to withdraw from that mission still. a lot of concerns about libyan security. a lot of concerns about those thousands of surface to air missiles that may still be unaccounted for. >> barbara, just to be clear here, if they actually meet in the next couple of days, nato to talk about ending this mission here, do you believe that this fight, this battle is over that there are no major firefights that are taking place in libya? >> well, if they vote to end the military mission it will be on that basis. it will be that perhaps the loyalist forces can mount small attacks, individual attacks.
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you saw them try and do that in tripoli just recently. and the loyalist forces and the rebels where the ntc was able to mount a very effective counter against that and retake control of these areas. i don't think anybody believes that the violence is over in libya. the betting money now nato is saying we believe the ntc is in control. >> do they believe that any of gadhafi's sons or any of his family or his loyalists have any kind of power now to retaliate? do you believe that the violence could actually increase because of this? >> you know, i think hard to say. with gadhafi himself now gone, that will be one of the major factors to end any coalescing of forces around him. the concern had always been that he would disappear into those
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vast southern deserts of libya and run an insurgency from there. i don't think anybody believes it's completely over in libya. that's not really what nato is saying, but they were never going to stay long enough for it to be completely over. what thatly do, what the individual member countries will do now is each country, the u.s., france, some of the middle eastern allies on their own will continue with they have been doing, supplying gear, supplying weapons, supplying in the case of some countries some individual forces to help the libyans out so that loyalist element cannot take root again. it's going to be on a country by country basis. it will remain to be seen how much the u.s. will remain involved in all of this. >> our own barbara starr who's live at the pentagon. thank you. i want to go back to wolf. barbara brought up a very good point here. i assume we are going to hear from the president some point today the white house seeming
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vindicated over this leading from behind, if you will, allowing british and france's troops to take the lead in this. it seems the weight is ended, the way it's been resolved that the administration called it right, wolf. >> i'm sure we'll be hearing at some point from the president of the united states. right now let's hear from senator john mccain. he's the ranking member of the senate armed services committee. he was just in libya the other day. senator mccain is joining us live from capitol hill. senator, what do you think? what information are you getting? is it 100% confirmed that gadhafi is dead? >> i think it's 100% confirmed. there's also reports that one of his sons may have been also killed in this. that is not confirmed. apparently it was a convoy they have trying to flee the city and nato air strikes stopped them and the tnc forces went in and finished off the job. there's still great challenges that the libyan government and
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people have including trying to lock down these weapons of mass destruction. their number one priority now, wolf, is to have our -- their wounded cared for. we could be of great assistance. also i think it's very important that all these militias now be brought into a national army. it's very, very big challenge and finally, i congratulate the british and the french for their leadership and their efforts. so it's been -- it's been a significant success and we should celebrate today. >> but the u.s. played a significant role in the nato operation. not just the british and the french, senator mccain, the first few weeks, the first two weeks in particular u.s. tomahawk cruise missiles and u.s. air refuelling capabilities. the obama administration from your perspective deserves a lot of credit for this as well, don't they? >> i think they deserve credit. the fact is if we had declared a no fly zone early on we would
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have never had -- gadhafi would have fallen at the beginning. the second thing is that if we had used our -- our capablities the a-10 and ac-130 this would have been over a long time ago. the administration deserves credit. i appreciate the leadership of the british and french in this in carrying out this success. >> when you say one of gadhafi's sons may have been killed today, this report unconfirmed you're referring to mutasa, not saif. >> that's unconfirmed. that's a report that's out there. >> what do you think the u.s. should do with the 30 or $33 billion in frozen libyan assets that have been held over these past several months? >> well, libyans obviously it's their money. they are willing to reimburse us and our allies for the expenditures that we are entailed in this operation.
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they obviously are going to be a very wealthy country. and again, if we send a hospital ship to tripoli to help with their wounded, they have 30,000 wounded. we could send some of their wounded to our hospital. right now that is one of their key requirements. we senator rubio and kirk and graham and i went to the hospital there in tripoli. they don't know how to care for these kinds of wounds and people who are harmed in conflict. we could be of enormous help and generate enormous good will by helping out in that respect. >> are you saying that you have when you were in libya received official confirmation from the transitional authority there the interim government that they will reimburse u.s. tax payers approximately $1 billion that have already been spent in liberating libya from gadhafi? >> i understand that they would seriously consider it. they did not make a commitment to me nor should they have.
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they certainly have showed a willingness to do so just as the kuwaitis did after desert storm. >> i remember when the kuwaitis paid for the liberation of their country from saddam hussein. kuwait lake libya a wealthy country. i ask the question because there has been some suggestion that before the u.s. were to transfer the $33 billion in assets it deduct $1 billion for expenses and deduct other expenses that nato allies may have had. would that be smart? would that be legal to simply deduct whatever it costs? >> i don't think it's either legal or smart. they are a coverage nation. they have a government that's recognized basically throughout the world. i think it would generate enormous ill will if we carried out such activity. i don't know who would suggest such a thing. >> there have been those
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suggestions. among others, i've written about it myself. that's just me. >> okay. >> so for what it's worth on our blog, that's just -- >> that's not our money, wolf. it's their money that's been frozen. it's not our money. >> i know. by the way, the obama administration takes exactly the same position that you're taking that it shouldn't -- the u.s. shouldn't simply unilaterally deduct the funds that have been spent. let's go to the bigger picture -- >> libyans right now are very grateful to us and there's enormous good will there. if we can help them succeed getting these weapons under control, helping them organize their government, helping them with their underwounded. there will be a lot of further good will here. that's important especially in that part of the world. >> you make an excellent point. if you take a look at the sweep of changes it's breathtaking over these past several months
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of the arab spring in north africa and the mideast. you think a year ago what was going on and take a look at how it's changed over many months now, it's dramatic and no one has been more closely associated in watching what's going on than you, senator. any final point you want to make before i let you go? >> i think it's a great day. i think the administration deserves great credit. obviously i had different ideas on tactical side. this is -- the world is a better place and the libyan people now have a chance. but this is just the beginning. with eknow how hard democracy is. and and they're going to need a lot of assistance. not in money, but in other ways, i think we should be eager to provide it. >> senator, thanks very much. i know you're happy on this very special day. senator john mccain joining us from capitol hill. let's get back to the studio. >> wolf, we are going to go live to libya in tripoli.
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our senior international correspondent dan rivers is in tripoli. we've been hearing celebratory gunfire behind you. tell us the reaction in day in tripoli as the news that moammar gadhafi has been killed has rolled in over the last few hours? >> reporter: a total jubilation here as you can imagine. they're still driving up and down here celebrating with flags, shooting into the air, sounding their car horns, cheering, dancing in the streets, that kind of scene being played out all over libya, i would imagine right now. we've been hearing more from the prime minister of the ntc. he's been speaking here in the last hour or so. questions about whether colonel gadhafi was alive when he was captured. he just said the details would follow about the specific circumstances surrounding his death. he also said i'd like to congratulate the libyan people and thanks those aligned with
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the libyan people. i call on the libyans to put aside grudges and i call out one word, libya, libya, libya. trying to galvanize the people together to put aside their rivalries something that is concerning many analysts here, the different tribal rivalries between different parts of the country. when asked about what would happen to colonel gadhafi's body, he said that basically the coroner will finish the job. there's an autopsy being carried out and we will decide what to do. interestingly he talked about whether gadhafi was killed by a nato air strike or not. he was very clear saying no, he was not killed by a nato air strike. still waiting for more details exactly how colonel gadhafi was killed. he alluded to reports about fighting going on around a convoy with the son of gadhafi. merely saying they are getting reports of that and no more details on that.
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we'll try to bring you more on that as we get it. >> dan, we're hearing from the television station that aired so many of those radio addresses by moammar gadhafi when he was still alive. television saying moammar gadhafi is dead. we're hearing from your services, the interim prime minister of the national transitional council saying he's dead. this is a historic day for libya. there are also reports that one of the sons of moammar gadhafi was killed as well. what are you hearing about that? >> well this is speculation around the son who was thought to be in sirte directing some of the fighting. he had formerly served as national security advisor under colonel gadhafi. and was thought to be right in the middle of the fight. i'm afraid we don't have any independent confirmation of that ourselves. that is being widely reported
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here that he was killed. obviously we'll work on that. the main point that people here are getting so excited about is that they perceive this as just such an important pivotal historic day in the history of libya. the war is effectively over. the man that has terrorized this country for 42 years is dead. they are seeing this in the streets here as the beginning of a bright new era for libya. >> what are we hearing there? is that the call to prayer? are those calls coming from a mosque in tripoli? we heard celebratory gunfire. give us a sense of the mood there in the lib can capital right now? >> reporter: right, there is a mosque just behind where we're broadcasting from. i don't know if this is the normal call to prayer. it's certainly been going on a long time. i have a feeling that this maybe, you know, sort of a prolonged call to prayer in celebration of what's going on.
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you can -- i don't know if you can see the cornish there behind me. big traffic jams are building up as people leap out of their car and wave their flags. i've seen mini buses down the highway at 160 miles per hour with a dozen people on the top waving their flags. they're incredibly excited. there's a lot of gunfire okeing around as you heard. a mood of total celebration and happiness and rereef i think here that this is over. >> all right. dan rivers is our senior international correspondent and you were bringing up the point of the body of moammar gadhafi which is being forensically examined. muslim tradition requires a burial to happen within the day. it's going to be interesting to see going forward what happens to the body of moammar gadhafi whether or not it's body, whether or not it's a public event, whether or not it happens in secret. all these things are interesting. >> what's interesting is the fact under the bush administration you have somebody in power for 42 years from
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president to president in covering bush this was an ally of the united states. not an enemy. we're going to talk to fran townsend she was in the bush administration at that time and she can give us more insight into the changing relationship into the changing relationship with this brutal dictator. ...no, i think we' pretty happy with our phones. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. i'm not a line item on a budget. and i'm definitely not a pushover. but i am a voter. so washington... before you even think about cutting my medicare and social security benefits... here's a number you should remember. 50 million. we are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits... and you will be hearing from us... today and on election day. ♪
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it's official now. moammar gadhafi is dead by all accounts. officials here in washington and in libya all confirming the 69-year-old dictator gone, died today. circumstances still a bit murky exactly what happened. the graphic video as we've been showing our viewers very graphic indeed, very bloody. but gadhafi is dead. 69 years, 42 years in power. there's a still picture that has been released. we're watching all of this unfold. suzanne. >> want to bring in our national security contributor fran townsend for some perspective.
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back in may of 2010 she visited high ranking libyan officials at the invitation of the libyan government. fran, this is interesting. i want to put this into perspective here, under president bush when i covered president bush and you were there serving, he was a friend of the united states. he was an ally. he had renounced weapons of mass destruction after september 11th. he said he was going after al qaeda asked the libyan people to donate blood for the victims after the september 11th attacks. now he's dead. he's an enemy of this country and many others, what does this mean? >> suzanne, i think i'd go back further than you did, he was responsible for pan am 103, he was on the terror list. a good deal of hard policy work had been done to get him over to the point you described when he handed over his wmd program. there were concerns about gadhafi after that. going there we were concerned about his relationship with the king of saudi arabia which was very tense.
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there had been allegations that gadhafi was trying to assassinate the king. he had made some public pronouncements renouncing terror, there was deep skepticism. i think that libya and the world are better off today now that moammar gadhafi is gone. this is a real opportunity for the libyan people to join democratic nations and establish the rule of law in libya which they've not had the benefit of under god's reign. >> how confident are you that they will move forward to a democratic society and that it will will be a more peaceful region? >> there are tremendous challenges ahead for the transitional council. there's going to be a certain euphoria today and for the near future. we have to see what happens. are gadhafi's sons living? were some of them killed today along with their father? will there be any military leaders who then sort of melt into the population only to come back to try and mount the
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insurgency. there will be some real challenges for the transitional council. this is an opportunity for the international community to support them. >> whoo do you think the united states' role should be in this president obama said let's go big and go hard in a very limbed period of time and then said let's lead from behind and small role, but over an extend period of time. should we be in libya? should we be supporting the nato mission in the long-term? >> we've heard reports from barbara starr that the supreme allied commander of europe, the u.s. head of nato is planning to have a meeting at nato to draw down the nato mission. but that doesn't mean, look, western europe in particular the italians, the french, all have strong relationships in libya. and have had commercial -- strong commercial relationships there. there's lots of civil support to help the transitional council establish civil institutions which they haven't had that can be provided without there being the need for a military
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presence. >> do you think that the president called it right in this case, fran? the approach that he took. he had a lot of heat and criticism for it. looking ahead is this potentially a model, an obama model for dealing with these kind of threats? >> it's easy to declare success today now that gadhafi is dead. i think there's some that would say we've learned some lessons from this whole engagement. frankly, it would have been an absolutely success if gadhafi had been killed or captured sooner than this. i think some lessons have been learned not only by the united states but by nato. in tend, look, this is a happy day and it is a success for the administration. but i think we've learned some about how to do this more efficiently and effectively. >> fran, thank you very much. want to bring it back to you, wolf. >> thanks, suzanne. jim clancy spent decades covering global hot spots including at libya he's at the cnn international desk where we're getting new details about
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gadhafi's violent end. i suspect also, jim, that syria is watching and has to say i wonder how this is going to effect me? >> it's going to effect him and it's going to see him up close and personal. i was online chatting with the dissidents within syria some people who have been coordinating uprisesings. they expect to see celebrations in the streets of syria. a human rights activist said those dictators have used the same methods for decades. during uprising they use the same manual of introduction to kill us and now they're falling one after another. he says he would have loved is the seen moammar gadhafi put on trial in libya, a fair trial, he said. something he never afforded his own people. about asad he said he's driving
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the country towards more and he has more in common in gadhafi than anyone ever thought and he added he hopes he ends in court and not as a cadaver. >> if someone told you last year gadhafi would be dead, what would you have said? >> some were a possibility. but moammar gadhafi gone? i expected a greater fight. it's true he stood up until the end as he promised to do. he did not flee. but at the same time he grossly underestimated the resistance to his regime. he tried brutal tactics to suppress people. when he was a young military officer some students marched in streets, he had them hung from lampposts in public so that everyone would see. he killed 1200 prisoners during
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a prison revolt back in the 1980s. it was a brutal, brutal regime. everyone knew to be quiet. wolf? >> dramatic and historic moment in the history of libya throughout north africa and the mideast right now. jim, thank you very much. it is really pretty amazing when you think what's going on in the mideast and north africa right now someone who's covered that story for a long time. it's breathtaking. >> it is breathtaking. it's something that crossed my mind. a year ago we hadn't even started seeing the beginnings of these arab revolts. in tunisia the man who burned himself in the street who started the revolution in tunisia to spread to egypt and other parts of the arab world eventually led to the downfall of arab dictators and autocrats. now this historic day for the arab world with moammar gadhafi killed. the u.n. secretary-general ban
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ki moon had this to say about the death of gadhafi moments ago. >> we have reports of the death of colonel moammar gadhafi and the end of fighting in sirte and other cities. i clearly this day marks an historic transition for libya. in the coming days we will witness scenes of celebration as well as grief for those who lost so much. yet, let us recognize immediately that this is only the end of the beginning. the road ahead for libya and its people will be difficult and full of challenges. >> ban ki-moon it's the end of the beginning. ben wedeman has reported. what does the death, the physical removal of moammar
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gadhafi mean for libya? >> it means a day of a lot of celebrations in tripoli. in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't change the basic facts on the ground. the fact tons ground is that as of this august the regime in tripoli had fallen. it was only a matter of time before moammar gadhafi would be either caught or killed. his sons may also have just a few days left. but at the end of the day, libya still has a lot, a long way to go in terms of forming a coherent government of reconciling all the different parts of the country which participated in the uprising that led to the downfall of the regime. there's still a lot of rivalry, a lot of distrust among these who led this uprising. you have regional differences, tribal differences, and we've seen in tripoli that within the tnc itself, the transitional national council there's a lot
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of mistrust for instance, between the western part of the country and the east. between the civilians and the military. >> let's talk about the wider arab world. this is playing in to the wider context of these arab uprisings the so-called arab spring starting with tunisia and now this. what impact will it have regionally in the arab world for sort of syrians, other parts of the arab world watching their tv stations, watching their cable news channels and seeing the death of this tyrant? >> certainly in places like yemen and in syria they've seen another domino fall in the region. we've already seen tunisia, egypt, mubarak behind bars. it certainly is significant. i think we need to go back a few
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years. i was in egypt and throughout the arab world they watched very closely as that statue of saddam hussein in the square in baghdad was brought down when the american troops came in. i think that was when people saw that these monolithic regimes, these bigger than life dictators they can come down. they can fall. certainly we're seeing it. there's three down already this year. and there's still two months and a half left. >> saddam hussein wasn't taken down by the arabs. these are arabs who took down their long time dictators that made them suffer so much. that makes a difference. >> of course. i'm not equating the american led invasion of iraq with revolts that have taken place in year in the arab world. it had a huge impact. i was in egypt in the months following the fall of saddam
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hussein's regime and this coincided with a push by the george w. bush administration by demock ratization in the arab world. in egypt you had a huge cry for democracy which was quashed for a few years but came back with force a few years later. this is not an odd phenomenon sparked by the death of that young man in december in tunisia. this goes back many years. >> all right. it has been a desire. ben, thanks very much. it has been a desire of arabs in that part of the world to see more democracy and more freedom. we're seeing it express itself there in these uprisings and revolutions culminating for libya at least for today in the death of moammar gadhafi. >> it's a complicated story. the united states wanted to see democracy in libya in the region for a long time. each of the administrations taking a different approach having covered clinton, bush and
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obama they all had a different perspective on gadhafi. we'll talk about gadhafi's background and how he was called the mad dog of the mideast to a u.s. ally and back to being a brutal dictator and enemy. we'll have more on that after we'll have more on that after the break.ibed lipitor, i wot go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor. numbers don't lie. my cholesterol's stayed down. lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. it's backed by over 19 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. [ man ] still love that wind in my face! talk to your doctor. don't kid yourself about the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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i'm wolf blitzer in washington. welcome back to c nshs n's special coverage of the developments today. following confirmation of moammar gadhafi is dead after 42 years in power. >> we're in atlanta. we want to welcome back our international viewers around the world. >> i'm suzanne malveaux. our correspondents are bringing you the latest. it is a major breaking news story. libya's interim prime minister confirming a short time ago that gadhafi has been killed. al jazeera has given us access to video of what appears to be his body. i want to warn you, these images
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are graphic. you can see them here. the video showing a bloodied body of a man believed to be gadhafi there on the ground. the reports of his death came soon after rebel forces announced that they had taken control of sirte. that was the last gadhafi stronghold. you can see it. you can hear it. sirte the rebels firing into the air celebrating, bursts of gunfire, sounds of honking horns, echoing throughout tripoli as people started to fill the streets and celebrate. moammar gadhafi had been turning up trouble for decades. the so-called mad dog of the mideast always had a complicated relationship with the united states. in 1969 a handsome 27-year-old army officer named moammar gadhafi vowed to change the world. overthrowing libya's king he
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immediately took control over nearly everything, business, media, military and oil. as he grabbed more power he expelled american and western gas companies and investors. tortured and a assassinated libyan opposition. by 1980 u.s. had severed all ties. >> colonel gadhafi is an irresponsible animal. he has no scruples or morals. >> in the early 80st tensions intensified. >> we know that this mad dog of the mideast has a goal of a world revolution, muslim fundamentalist revolution. >> after years of minor skirmishes between u.s. and libyan aircraft, gadhafi turned into public enemy number one. bombings in rome, vienna and then a disco in west berlin frequented by americans, all linked to libya. the u.s. retaliates. >> at 7:00 this evening eastern time air and naval forces of the
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united states launched a series of strikes against the headquarters terrorist facilities and military assets that support moammar gadhafi's subversive activities. >> that attack left 100 libyans dead including gadhafi's daughter. some believe for revenge gadhafi responded with a bomb aboard pan am flight 183 over scotland killing 270 people. the u.n. security council answered with crippling sanctions. after years of refusing in 1999 gadhafi finally relented handing over the lockerbie suspects and following the september 11th attack and the iraq war gadhafi went further. he took responsibility for the bombing and agreed to compensate the victim's families. the u.n. lifted sanctions. and that same year gadhafi abandoned his efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. >> colonel gadhafi correctly judged that his country would be better off and far more secure without weapons of mass murder. >> the u.s. eased travel
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restrictions and western oil companies returned. the u.s.' closest ally great britain took the lead. >> i am conscious of the pain that people who have suffered as a result of terrorist actions in the past must feel, but the world is changing. >> in september 2008 u.s. secretary of state condoleezza rice met with gadhafi in libya. the first such meeting between libya and a high u.s. ranking official in more than half a century. >> i thought he was serious. he said at one point that it has taken too long. that the lessons of history had to be learned. >> the very next year with great britain's cooperation scotland released one of the lockerbie bombers on humanitarian grounds which sparked outrage. scotland allowed the bomber who was said to be terminally ill to go home to libya to die, but he is still alive today. his release has raised questions if there was something else at
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play behind the deals further complicating the thawing relationship between libya and the west. now things have taken another turn as the arab spring engulfs the middle east. gadhafi slaughters his own people to stay in power. nato and the u.s. respond with air strikes. the conflict brings the end of gadhafi's 42-year-old regime forcing him to flee from power. now after a bloody battle against his own people, gadhafi's reign of terror finally over he is confirmed dead. i want to go to some live pictures we're looking at now this is out of his hometown of sirte. you can see the celebrations taking place on the streets. celebratory gunfire as people have been gathering over the last several hours to look for a new beginning and a new way in that country and wolf, it's fascinating simply to see when you look at the piece you see secretary rice, former president bush, their assessment of gadhafi back then, back in 2008
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how much has changed since then and how this really has come full circle from about 40 or so years ago when he really was public enemy number one and once again a pariah to the world now dead. >> what a moment that all of us who have covered gadhafi over the years will never forget. suzanne, thanks very much. let's bring in our senior political analyst for a little perspective. david, you served four american presidents. gadhafi was around during all of those administrations. i think if you do all the math 42 years in power. a lot of american presidents had to worry about moammar gadhafi. give us your immediate thought now that it is officially confirmed that gadhafi is dead. >> thank goodness. the world is rid of a tyrant. the world is rid of -- i think he was probably called by president reagan the mad dog of the middle east. it does promise something new for the people of libya. they deserve it.
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as ben has been saying this morning it does not bring stability to libya. it does not bring stability to the mideast. there's a long way to go. this is as you say a milestone and one that so many of the presidents that have been in the white house while gadhafi has unleashed his terror would celebrate. president reagan was particularly hated gadhafi. there was a moment during the george w. bush administration when people thought maybe he was going to change. i would note that his son saif is still at large. he is -- can be a power in his own right. he could still rally the loyalists. he's a much diminished figure now. he's obviously they're going to be looking for him now, too. >> they certainly will be. david, stand by for a moment. want to take a quick break. lots more to assess. lots more to digest. we're following the breaking news. moammar gadhafi is dead.
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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. for our viewers just tuning in, we're following the breaking news. moammar gadhafi is dead. 69 years old. killed today circumstances still a a bit mir ki. david is joining us. what are the ramifications of gadhafi's death on the re-election campaign that president obama is undertaking right now? >> it's interesting how we almost automatically go to that question. we're getting close enough to the elections. i don't think we're going to see much of a spike in president
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obama's ratings. we didn't see that after bin laden. the spike didn't last very long. getting others didn't give him much. so i don't think he's going to get much of a lift. here's what i think it does make a difference. it fortifies him as he goes toward the next election on foreign policy. it's going to be very, very hard for republican candidate to make the argument that barack obama's been ineffect yal on foreign policy. he didn't put any american boots on the ground. he didn't get us way out in front. he got the other nations in western europe to get involved. and he succeeded in bringing down this regime. and that is important. so when republicans go at him as they will about you've been weak on foreign policy, he's got fortification here now that will help him. he's not going to get much help
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politically in terms of the upside, the economy overrides everything else. but in terms of the campaign itself, i think he's pretty well protected now on foreign policy. the campaign will play out on the economy. >> i know suzanne's got a question for you as well. want to point out the pictures, live pictures from sirte, gadhafi's hometown where they're celebrating right now. suzanne. >> david, you were part of the those administrations with various presidents. why is it do you think there was such a position when you had president carter calling him an animal, president reagan called him the mad dog of the mideast. there was back and forth with president bush trying to establish rapport and relationships with the united states. why wasn't it consistent? were we reacting to some sort of strategy he was using? >> suzanne, there was a series of acts undertaken by gadhafi
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and especially by his son saif to send signals to the west that they wanted to change. and you'll particularly remember when he gave up his nuclear ambitions and how the george w. bush presidency welcomed that. and then his son went around the world and visited new york, washington, and made the argument we want to become a western nation. we want to join the international economy. condi rice went there, in part, because of those signals. so there seemed to be a window that opened and it was the right thing in american diplomacy then to reach out but it turned out the tiger hadn't changed its stripes. you see how many times did he change his behavior. >> he was a very erratic man. when reagan went after him, wolf will recall this very well.
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he changed. obvious force was the thing he really listened to in the end. >> the shifting alliances in the arab world between the united states and various arab countries always a fascinating topic of discussion but today is a day for celebration as far as many libyans are concerned. our dan rivers is on his way to green square. we catch him in the car on his way to where these live celebrations are taking place. dan, tell us what you're seeing just outside of your vehicle there. >> we're just jumping out now, hala. this is martyr square. they've renamed it. used to be green square. but look at it, a sea of flags and people and lots of
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celebrations. and you can see the victory sign. since we're mobile, we can give you a little tour i want to just give you a flavor of the party atmosphere that's developing here. you can see the streets full of people that have come out, some of then wrapped in flags, some of them dancing and singing. there's music. lots of people on their phone. and it's such a contrast. when i was last broadcasting here, which was i think august the 21st when tripoli fell, and there was that sense of excitement, but also that sense of this is not over by a long shot. now it's different. it's calmer. it feels much more relaxed. people aren't shooting like they were before and you get a real sense there of a kind of carnival really that's starting
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here. there's some guy in front of us with his coffee and he's happy. >> well, that image just froze. he might need that use that crutch, by the way, if he keeps on sort of running in front of moving vehicles. >> he's literally dancing in the street there. >> right. we're going to try to reconnect there with dan rivers but he was essentially in a van driving past green square which was renamed liberation square. liberation square was the name given to it by moammar gadhafi. is this live? we are back. dan, take it away. we saw the man with the crutch dancing. that was the last image you left us with but now you're back. tell us what's going on right now around you? as you can understand, the image just froze there. >> it's technology. it is pretty amazing though, he's driving in the car going live. >> we'll take a break and then
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come back and have a lot more on this day. the death of moammar gadhafi in libya today. celebrations inside of libya. reaction from outside of the country after this. stay with us. [ inner voice ] establish connection. give me voice control. applications up. check my email and text messages. hands in position. airbags. ten of 'em. perfect. add blind spot monitor. 43 mpg, nice. dependability. yeah. activate dog. a bigger dog. [ male announcer ] introducing
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we're following the break news out of libya. moammar gadhafi is dead. our own dan rivers in tripoli right now. dan, you've got some live pictures. they're celebrating throughout libya right now, although i suspect there are pockets of resistance still, even though gadhafi is dead. some of his loyalists probably going to continue on fighting. so this is by no means completely over with, is it? >> reporter: no. and i think that's important to
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realize. but equally you've got to realize what these people have been living under. look at this scene. they are partying like they've never partied before! because, wolf, they've endured 42 years of colonel gadhafi and finally now it's over. some these kids have never known anything else. let me just let you listen for a second to the theme here. take it away, guys. they're all very excited down here and as you can see, this is such a kind of historic day for them. they've renamed the square martyr square. it used to be green square. it is going to be an enormous celebration that i imagine will continue for days here. and, yes, this isn't over completely. although gadhafi is dead. there are worry about how you
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galvanize these different tribes and get everyone together. but for one day at least i think there's going to be some pretty good celebrations in this square. i don't know if we can find anyone that speaks english. we're slightly restricted here, i'm afraid. but over here they're selling baseball caps with the new flag on it. someone's -- you can see they're sort of dancing around here with the flag. chanting "libya" "libya." it's interesting as well, there are a lot more women and kids on the streets than i've ever seen before here. i think they've all realized that things have changed dramatically and historically and they wanted to be here to be part of it. some of these kids are pretty young, as you can see. there are also a few soldiers that have come back from the
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fronts in various parts of the country but they're not firing which is a relief. because before, we've seen how they've been firing loudly and there have been lots of warnings to stop firing, people have gotten injured by all that gunfire in the air. now it feels pretty good here. >> you're not seeing still any evidence, dan, of nato aircraft flying overhead or anything along those lines. you're not hearing any loud explosions. that's all quieted down? >> we haven't seen any nato aircraft here. we did see nato aircraft in sirte when we were there a few days ago and nato confirmed that this morning they were involved with an air strike at 8:30 this morning. and that may well have been an air strike -- you're happy? >> i'm happy, yes!
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they were the right wing. now we are agree. look. killing everybody here! you know, i'm happy! so happy! >> reporter: i think we get the general feeling here, wolf. maybe we'll move off and see some other stuff. but this is the scene down here. >> cnn? you know what's going on in libya? >> yes. >> we finishing deja vu. no more deja vu. no more deja vu. >> how do you feel today. >> i'm flying. in my mind i'm flying. reare doing to the world a favor. you know, you been trying too much. you people. to collect this rubbish and you couldn't. we could.
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>> congratulations. >> no more headaches. >> no more headaches. wolf, they're happy back here and we'll drive around and get back to you when we can. >> dan, thanks very much. i can see those folks are pretty happy over there. i think a lot of questions still remain as to precisely how gadhafi was killed. did that nato air strike did the job, did the rebels finally do the job, was he captured alive and then killed, was he captured alive and then die on the way to the hospital? lots of questions still to be resolved. we're watching all of the breaking news unfold. it's been a very, very dramatic moment indeed. hala gorani and suzanne malveaux are with us as well. >> and, wolf, and suzanne, we heard from that man there in martyr's square renamed martyr's square telling dan rivers, the west, you tried hard to get the rubbish. in the end it is the libyans who did it. so with moammar gadhafi dead, nato's mission in libya could be ending soon. the alliance plans a meeting to
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talk about it. retired army general mark kimmitt is with us now from maclean, virginia. he's also a former assistant u.s. secretary of state. general kimmitt, let's talk about going forward now militarily within libya. before we get to that, nato. what happens now with nato in terms of its operation in that country? >> well, it would appear that nato is going to be finishing up the mission, handing over responsibility to the tnc. but it will also be going through a reflection on lessons learned on the last six months of operations. they will probably also offer some help in terms of training and assistance for whatever security forces emerge. but there ought to be some hard loosh looks on the part of nato, what went right and what went wrong as a military organization. >> as you know, the orange o igs
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to last weeks, not months. it certainly lasted months. so these are questions that will have to be asked as well in terms of the strategy, the planning going into it. so what did go wrong in terms of nato? >> well, very little went wrong but i think most people at nato will take a hard look at some key questions. do we have enough precision weapons in our inventories, do we have enough participation from all the nato members, not just the eight that participated. do we have the right kind of equipment for the 21st century. do we have enough tankers, do we have enough intelligence and most importantly do we have enough human intelligence. these are the questions that hopefully nato will be asking itself because this will not be the last operation that nato's involved in and what every military organization wants to do is, sure, be triumphant for one day, but going forward figure out how not to make those same mistakes and how to get
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better in the future. >> well, there was talk when the operation started that an air campaign alone doesn't usually guarantee success. in this case the air support by nato countries who participate in the operation did help the rebel forces in the end make those gains and take those last few strong holds. so what lessons can be learned from that in particular? >> well, i think the main lesson there is the ability for nato as 20 nations in europe working with local forces, in this case the libyan rebels, to have not just an air campaign or not just a ground campaign but a coordinated campaign that takes advantage of foreign forces on the ground, nato assets being provided to leverage their capabilities so that they can accomplish their mission. >> general kimmitt, this is suzanne malveaux. just wanted to toss in another question, if i can. what do you suppose the libyans
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really need at this moment? what is the most important asset in light of the fact that you still do have -- or could have people who have melted into society who used to wear those uniforms in support of gadhafi? how do you make sure that those folks, those citizens in libya, are safe? >> well, first and foremost the transitional national council has got to reach out and offer some sort of amnesty to those former loyalists to gadhafi, say, look, it is over, you need to come in and be a part of the new libya. what we must not see in libya is what we've seen, which is after the downfall an that insurgency or terrorist threat grows and we have other kinds of violence, tribe on tribe, east on west, islamist versus secular. so the quickest way to resolve the situation and increase the stability, get the weapons off the street, get the former
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trained loyalists in the military back into libyan society, then go after some of those other threats such as the shoulder fired weapons that are unaccounted for, the mines that are unaccounted for. otherwise we'll continue to have a very dangerous situation inside the new libya, the post-gadhafi libya. >> general kimmitt, let me ask you to compare iraq and libya. we heard after the fall of tripoli that there were concerns that there would be sectarian conflict or in the case of libya, tribal conflict across the country. is this something that you see happening in libya with all these differences that we're seeing emerge, even among the revolutionaries? >> well, it certainly could and that just be job one of the transitional national council to make sure that the stability holds. there are risks within the libyan society. many of those risks were induced by gadhafi. he favored some tribes, he
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punished other tribes. there are differences in culture, there are differences in view of what the next libya's going to look like. so the tnc has got to come to some sort of accommodation with society to ensure that this doesn't look like post-2003 iraq. it is interesting to note that the insurgency really didn't start for about a year after the overtaking of baghdad. what we can't let happen, what the libyan society can't let happen is that after the celebration, after a couple of months of not having a common enemy, they start splitting apart into sectarian divisions, political divisions, geographical divisions and fall into a civil war. we can't let that happen. we as part of the international community must assist the process to ensure that doesn't happen. >> all right, mark kimmitt, retired army general mark
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kimmitt, thank you. that being said, the big mistake being pointed out after the big invasion of iraq, especially firing hundreds of thousands of army soldiers, the police being disbanded, all that are not conditions that exist in libya today so the hope at least is that if there are divisions, that at least they remain political, that they don't descend into open tribal conflict in libya. libya is a very different country to iraq in terms of how big its population is, and also how the tribs relate to each other. there isn't that shiite majority and sunni minority. >> i want to bring you up to speed here. if you are just joining us, this is breaking news. moammar gadhafi, the former leader of libya of 42 years, brutal dictator of that country, now dead, confirmed dead. this happened just hours ago. there are celebrations on the streets of sirte.
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that is his hometown. we have seen live pictures of those celebrations as people fire gunfire into the air, rename the square martyr's square. we've also seen those very graphic pictures provided a chaotic cell phone image taken of the man believed to be moammar gadhafi after a nato strike on a convoy. lots of questions in terms of how that happened but clearly the outcome is that this brutal dictator is dead. there are a lot of people who are celebrating, and of course there are big questions in terms of the future of the people in that country and the middle east in general, whether or not this will bring about an era of peace, whether or not this is certainly a significant moment forward in the arab spring, now turned to fall. so these are questions that a lot of people are looking at the country, the people in the streets and wondering where do they go from here, can this become a democratic society? is it going to devolve into some
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sort of violent civil war? or is this going to be a moment where the region is transformed? >> make no mistake about it, in syria, in yemen g, in bahrain, other parts of the world people are watching their satellite news channels today and are seeing the death of a long-time dictator, and some might be thinking the same can happen in my country. so that's going to be interesting also to see, the regional reaction. wolf, once again, in washington. wolf? >> i think even beyond the region, hala. and suzanne. i suspect people are watching all over the world, including leadership let's say in a remote isolated country like north korea itself. they might be watching what's happening in the middle east, in north africa right now wondering could this potentially even happen in a country like north korea. we'll watch that story as well, especially as u.s. talks with
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north korean officials resume in geneva next week. let's go to the pentagon right now. barbara starr, pentagon correspondent, is watching what's going on. what are they saying over there, barbara, about any u.s. or nato role that may have played a role this morning in killing gadhafi? >> wolf, we don't have the exact details yet. we haven't been confirmed. a lot of discussion this morning about that nato air strike against a military convoy moving around the city of sirte where gadhafi was killed. was he in that convoy. there are conflicting reports about that. but as far as the u.s. and nato goes right now, you should expect to see developments moving very rapidly. we are told that nato now will take up the question of whether and when to cut its military involvement in libya in the next few days. you should expect to see the nato supreme commander who is a u.s. navy admiral make a
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recommendation to nato that it can wrap it up in libya and get out of there and end its operations. he's looking at critical intelligence right now about how strong the loyalist forces may be and the finding, we are told, is that they are no longer able to mount any significant action. we still will see sporadic firefighters, we will see still the rebel forces, the tnc now, interim government, fighting loyalists in some parts of libya. i think nobody believes it's all over, but you should expect to see nato making a public decision in the next several days that it can end its operations over libya, and that of course means that the u.s. can end its participation in those operations over libya. president obama, who in march when he announced this, thought it would only last a few weeks, can finally say this part of the operation is over. wolf? >> is defense secretary leon panetta in town today?
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do we expect any formal statement from him? what are you hearing over there? >> he is. right now we're told not to expect a formal statement from him. this is all going to be very heavily coordinated all indications are, through the white house. it will be very touchy business, because the whole mission -- remember, the whole military operation was not to assassinate moammar gadhafi. convenient though that may be on this day to the outcome of all of this, nato and the u.s. consistently said they were not out to kill gadhafi, they were not targeting him, but that they were going after the regime and the regime's threatening actions against the people of libya. so this is a case where they want to make sure the u.s. and nato are not portrayed as being in the assassination business in any way, shape or form like they were with osama bin laden in that so-called capture, but
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really kill mission. this was about going after the regime. so you'll see a little bit of a delicate diplomatic dance here to make sure that they don't say anything too much about it that could make it sound in the muslim world like they were going out to assassinate this person. wolf? >> yeah, as they were not only bin laden, but anwar al awlaki, the leader in the iranian peninsula, killed in a drone air strike. barbara starr, thank you very much. hala, i wouldn't be surprised if we do hear directly from the president of the united states at some point, i would assume today he'll tell the american people what's on his mine in the aftermath of the death of moammar gadhafi. >> absolutely, wolf. we'll also hear from our jill dougherty after the break who's traveling with secretary of state hillary clinton. she's now in afghanistan. interestingly, we're going to play this after the break -- we heard hillary clinton's initial
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reaction to the unconfirmed early reports that moammar gadhafi had been at the time captured, we didn't know that he had been killed. jill dougherty is in fact in pakistan. we will go to her after this. stay with us. but did you know they're good for you too? they're high in vitamins and potassium. and idaho potatoes are now certified to carry the heart checkmark from the american heart association for foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. so they're good for my family, and for yours. heart smart idaho potatoes. always look for the grown in idaho seal.
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just two days ago, secretary of state hillary clinton was on the ground in tripoli to meet with libya's transitional government face to face. well, she told reporters then that she had hoped that gadhafi would soon be killed or captured. that wish now has come true. want to go to talk with jill dougherty, our foreign affairs correspondent, to talk about what's happening next. she is traveling with the
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secretary now in islamabad, pakistan. but jill, first of all tell us -- give us a little bit of background here. we know that you were with the secretary in afghanistan, in kabul, earlier today. she had been doing a lot of traveling. and i understand that is when she got the news about the nabt gadhafi might have been killed. this was between some tv interviews that had happened. i want to see if we can actually take a look or even hear what her reaction was when she looked at her blackberry. >> wow. >> unconfirmed. >> unconfirmed. yeah. unconfirmed. unconfirmed reports about gadhafi being captured. unconfirmed. yeah. we've had -- we've had a bunch of those before. we've had -- have had him captured a couple of times.
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>> jill, you think she just had a game face on there. she said unconfirmed. do you think she was really trying to play it down. initially she said wow. do you think she thought this was the real thing? >> well, i can tell you, we were doing the interview at that moment and it really was the case that nobody could totally confirm it. the secretary herself said, there have been reports before. you remember unconfirmed and turning out to be not correct reports for quite a while about gadhafi killed, gadhafi's captured, his sons are killed, his sons are captured. so there were reports all the time. and she was right, i think, to have some caution. nobody knew at that point. but as we sat down and did the interview, in fact -- i talked with her about that. we both agreed that that was a place where there had been these rumors. but then during the interview, again not being able to confirm it, she said in an answer to my question, what would it mean if
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he really were captured or killed? and she said, the legitimacy and relief, as she put it, for a new government. and if he were at large and still out there, that he would have continued to present a security problem and without him, she said, the secretary said, there are still problems but there's not this organized attempt or let's say command and control with his loyalists. >> jill, what happens next now with u.s. involvement in libya? >> well, i think it continues pretty much the way it has been, which is encouraging them now to move ahead and form a government. because you know, there were -- i tell you, i was in libya a few weeks ago for several weeks, and the mood there was, even if gadhafi is still out there, he's really kind of past history, he's not really influencing events other than providing a threat which he certainly was.
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but what they needed was, once sirte had fallen and once he was captured, but especially once sirte had fallen, then that was a trigger for creating or moving toward creating a new government. so as soon as they declared the liberation -- and this is a major step. as soon as they declared the liberation, then they can go forward with a government, then this can go to elections and things really begin to happen politically. so i would say that the u.s. position is continues pretty much what it was, which is encouraging them to create a democracy, transparent democracy, hold elections, and proceed. >> jill, real quick here, the secretary said that she had wished -- she hopes gadhafi was either captured or killed. was there a preference here? would it have been better for the united states if he was just wounded and he had been taken to the international criminal court?
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>> i think that's one of the questions. we have been in transit so i am not quite sure of the latest report -- in fact, you can tell me -- but exactly how he died. because there is that question -- was he captured and then killed? in other words, executed? or was he killed in some type of shoot-out legitimacy? because one thing the national transitional council had said and the u.s. was aurnurging the very strongly to uphold the rule of law, not to do anything that would be a preprireprisal or an like that, so i think it will be important to find out how he died and whether there is, let us say, a legitimate killing in war or whether it was something else. because that coulde undercut, i it were not. >> jill dougherty, thank you
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very much out of pakistan. ha hala, don't you think that's an interesting question, would the libyan people have been more satisfied if he was hauled before either their justice system or before an international body and brought to justice that way or if these days this moment of celebration really is kind of putting that final point and moving forward for potentially a democratic society? >> well, if libyans are anything like egyptians, for instance, when you ask them when hosni mubarak was detained and now on trial, many of them told me, they said, we want to see him judged. we want to see him on trial. we want him to answer for the crimes that he committed and for all the pain that he forced this country to go through for the last several decades. so if they're anything like egyptians i've spoken to over the last several months, they probably would have preferred a trial. however, it is something that is difficult, it is something that is in terms of a country like libya would be difficult to imagine a justice system that is
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ready to put together a trial such as that one, suzanne. so it is a question going forward, is this a clean slate in one day of killing this brutal dictator, or would it have been better -- perhaps even for the unity of the country to see this man tried. >> right. certainly a lot of people in the international community wanted to see him before the international criminal court. >> that's right. well, dan rivers is in tripoli right now. dan, tell us exactly where you are and what you're seeing right now. i understand it is about -- almost 7:30 p.m. local time where you are. >> reporter: it's 6:30 coming up to local time. this is the scene here. we have huge numbers of people, hala, gathered in what they call now martyr's square. real sense of celebration and of relief and of reflection, i think, as well, thinking back about the sort of who are roars that the gadhafi regime and what these people have endured for 42
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years. you can see them all waving their flags, there are a lot of women and children out here as well. there is again a lot of younger people here that have not known anything other than colonel gadhafi for the last 42 years. what's your reaction here? >> well, our reaction, we are very free and i feel that my birthday is today. really i feel like i'm 6 hours old. really. libya is free without him. >> you feel like you've been reborn. >> i feel like libya's been reborn. really. i can't express my happiness. really. >> is it a disappointment that colonel gadhafi will not be put on trial? >> well, we prefer that we have caught him alive. however, he has gone under -- this is maybe better so they don't come out again. you know? so at the end the devil is gone. >> is there a danger that some of his loyalists will try to fight on? >> no, no, no.
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we try to be optimistic now. really. everything you can be is optimistic about. we are optimistic. >> gadhafi killer of people of the libya. six months ago. now libya is free. without gadhafi. thank god. >> you are asking where is gadhafi now? why don't you see? >> that's the question that hala was just posing, the same in egypt you were saying, hala. they want to see the evidence. some images have been put out of what purports to be colonel gadhafi's body. it is very much a feeling the people here want to see it. not everybody has had a chance to see those images and make their own decision. >> all right, dan rivers is live in tripoli with the mood there on the streets of the libyan capital on this day, the day
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moammar gadhafi has been killed by rebel forces in sirte. his hometown. 42 years of moammar gadhafi. dan rivers there was saying that the children and that the young teenage boys that were in the square hadn't known anything else but moammar gadhafi was in power so long, middle-aged adults hadn't known anything else. so this is a very important transition for libya. wolf, as we continue to see this breaking news unfold from that country, what impact will it have outside of the borders of libya is an important question. we're going to answer that as well. >> you remember, hala db -- i'm sure all of our viewers remember back in may when bin laden was killed in pakistan, how sensitive u.s. and political leaders were to not show pictures of bin laden and burying him at sea as quickly as possible in accordance with islamic religious law. and i sense we're seeing a little different behavior on the libyan part right now as far as
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gadhafi's concern. but we'll see how it unfolds over the coming hours. it will be a sensitive issue, no doubt about that, as well. much more on the breaking news coverage here on cnn right after this. helps defends against occal constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
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we're continuing to watch the breaking news coverage. moammar gadhafi dead. we've just received some very graphic, dramatic video. want to warn our viewers that it is dramatic and it is graphic. video coming in to us from al arabiya, the arabic language television station. this is what we believe we're seeing here. a wounded moammar gadhafi earlier in the day, earlier this
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morning in sirte, his hometown in libya. it looks like he's still alive in this picture, although badly wounded. he's being taken away. there he is, i don't know if we want to freeze that shot right in the middle. you can see gadhafi is still alive in this video that al arabiya has made available in sirte. we are told that he is dead. so he obviously died afterward. we don't know the circumstances of this. it is still very, very murky. hala gorani, suzanne malveaux are watching. you looked at that video, hala, it's pretty chilling when you think about it that they got him alive, but he's now dead. >> well, the question is how did he die. question is did he die of wounds that he sustained in this initial attack or was he executed later? that's a question that's going to be answered in the coming hours or days. but he is clearly alive here. this appears to be moammar gadhafi -- it appears as though he's able to stand on his two
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feet with some assistance. he's bloodied so he's definitely injured. but then how did he end up dying is going to be the question we're going to want answered. as soon as possible. >> i think barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent, brought up a very good point, and that is that nato and the united states have always emphasized that the mission was not to assassinate gadhafi, but rather take out his regime, take out his forces. and barbara made that very clear, that that was not part of the -- at least of what they said was a plan and so again that does raise questions in terms of how he ended up dying, whether that was simply from his wounds, whether or not someone decided to finish the job and what kind of reaction, what kind of response would that get from the libyan people and the international community, quite frankly. >> i think what they're going to do, guys, they're going to be looking at this video frame by frame by frame, authorities, people all over the world, and
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the other video that we got, that cell phone video, of gadhafi dead. because there was some suggestion in the other cell phone video also very graphic, it looked like had he a gunshot wound to his head. i wonder if we're going to see a gunshot wound to his head in this earlier video where he's clearly still alive or somebody later after he was captured alive wounded, decided to kill him with a gunshot wound to the head if in fact there was a gunshot wound to the head. we'll look closely at these two sources, these two videos to see what we can find out. let's bring in the former assistant u.s. secretary of state jaime rubin ha's been watching all of these developments unfold. when you see what's going on right now, jaime, it is very, very murky, the circumstances surrounding gadhafi's death and whether the u.s. and nato were directly involved. >> yes, it is very murky. i think we really ought to
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distinguish between the various cases that you've die describes saddam hussein on one hand, bin laden, and now gadhafi. in the case of saddam hussein he was brought to trial in iraq but i don't think the trial yielded the result that people wanted where there was the kind of real justice because it ended so badly with this horrific execution of saddam hussein. and so i think when people are looking at gadhafi now and saying, okay, if he had been alive would it have advanced the cause of justice, would the libyan people have preferred to see that, the saddam hussein precedent wasn't very encouraging. and it certainly seems from all the news reports that i've seen today and some of the video and some of the discussions that i've had, it seems unlikely that it was the air strikes that led to this outcome. the account that seems most credible right now is that the
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libyan government forces now came across him. there was a firefight and then it appears to me at least that most likely explanation is that he was executed. and i just -- because of the nature of that army, that it isn't a formal army getting orders in the kund ind of organ way the west might envision, this would have happened without plans but somebody in the firefight just did it before anyone could stop them. so i guess my instinct is there's not going to be a big outcry in libya and there's not going to be a big outcry around the world because gadhafi in the end had almost nobody can be described as a supporter or defender, and frankly, it avoided the battle that might have occurred over where he was going to be tried and whether the trial could have occurred fairly in libya. >> one of the sensitive issues that the libyan authorities now are going to have to deal with is what to do with the body.
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do they bury the body there? it could become a shrine for gadhafi supporters. do they take the body and bury the body at sea? what do they do with that body right now? i assume they're going to want to do it in accordance with islamic law. >> i think that's right. again i would here make -- as i made a distinction between gadhafi and saddam before on the trial, let's make a distinction here between gadhafi and osama bin laden with respect to the burial. i think the decision to bury osama bin laden at sea was the correct one because he is an individual who potentially inspired many, many, many people around the world to commit terrorism and continued to do that up until the time he was killed, and frankly, his organization continues to do that. i don't think that's the case with gadhafi. i don't think he has a following of any significance. he had his family perhaps, some tribe members in the area of
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sirte who fought for him. maybe some mercenaries who fought for him. but nothing like the kind of following that bin laden had or even probably saddam hussein had in the sunni-shiite divide that existed in iraq. so my guess is they may not feel they need to take the steps that were taken for osama bin laden. apparently the body is in a mosque right now. they'll follow islamic law and somehow i doubt they'll do a burial at sea and i doubt it will become a shrine to that many people. >> all right, stand by. we'll continue watching all of this unfold. suzanne, we're still waiting for official confirmation from the obama administration. many members of congress have already made it official from their perspective. they've been told that gadhafi is dead but we are waiting for an official statement. it may come at some point. i suspect it probably will from the president himself. but we'll watch and wait and see. we're certainly awaiting the
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white house briefing to see whether or not the president would come forward. we'll wait and see if he decides that that's the proper time to actually make a statement. we are also going to be hearing from our jonathan mann. he traveled twice to libya in interviewing gadhafi and he learned a lot about kind of the strange characteristics of this dictator. he really was -- i've just been told the president is going to be making a statement in the rose garden at 2:00. it is less than -- about 90 minutes away. the president of the united states, barack obama, will be making that statement and that will -- he will address the killing of moammar gadhafi. so that's just coming in right now, that the president is going to be making a statement in the rose garden before the cameras and before reporters in less than two hours. we'll go to a quick break. they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times.
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so just getting word in now, president obama's going to be speaking in the rose garden at 2:00 this afternoon. that is less than 90 minutes away. he'll be making a statement. we can safely assume that he'll be addressing the breaking news of the day. moammar gadhafi being killed and what will come next when it comes to the u.s. and nato mission there in libya. again, stay tuned for the president's address to the nation, a statement out of the rose garden at 2:00 this afternoon. want to go to our jonathan mann. he's traveled to libya twice and he has interviewed moammar gadhafi, the last meeting back in 2006. jonathan, you described this kind of as a strange interview. can you tell us why? >> absolutely. make no mistake about it,
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moammar gadhafi was dictator, he was a sponsor of global terrorism. he has the blood of a lot of innocent people on his hand. but at the same time, there was no getting around it -- he was just plain bizarre. he was the strangest head of state i've ever met. moammar gadhafi received me several years ago for an interview in a large tent in tripoli, a then-quiet port city where just about every billboard and sign was painted with his picture. ronald reagan once called him a mad dog and gadhafi's behavior was indeed particular. he was famous for his flamboyant dress, his legion of female body guards, and his bizarre fixations, such as a plan to abolish switzerland. in person he seemed lethargic, his eyes even behind sunglasses seemed unfocused. his answers through a translator seemed rambling. we never saw the female body guards and his clothing was relatively low-key. a camouflage shirt festooned with maps of africa.
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but that fly whisk never stopped flying. libya today is in transition. its revolution has triumphed and its people are demanding democracy. but when i brought up democracy, he threatened to sue me for slander. >> translator: if you or somebody else says libya is not a democracy, he told us, then it would be considered an insult and maybe we could go to court to redeem honor from that insult. >> reporter: back then, libya was a rogue state trying to redeem itself. it had surrendered its most dangerous weapons to the west. it was trying to open its economy to the world. its leader was the wild card. the unpredictable element. now he's gone and libya's future is the big unknown. you know, suzanne, he was in power for 47 years. i mean it is astonishing that he was able to hold on so long. he could barely seem to hold a thought. he could barely seem to fix his eyes on any object in particular.
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so visiting him in that strange tent on a dirty stretch of patchy grass, it was just hard to figure -- hard to know how a man like that could take and hold a country that should have been rich, a should have been free and now may finally have its chance. >> he was just 27 years old when he first took power. just a bizarre life that he led, cleveland towards the end and throughout a reign of terror in libya. very colorful person as well. when he was here for the u.n. he was always looking for a place to pitch his tent and caused a lot of controversy. >> a man of many eccentricities. it is difficult not to chuckle him when you see him with the fly swatter and the tent and sort of colorful shirt. but then you also have to put that within the context of this brutal regime, how brutally dissent was squashed.
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as to how moammar gadhafi died, we saw a video of him still alive in rebel hands. bloody but still alive. then we saw that video of him apparently dead. one thing is certain though -- the face of the arab world has changed once again. a middle east expert joins me now to join me. fouod ajami, are you still with hopkins university or stanford. >> no, behind me is stanford. >> that's what i thought. >> is withstand ford university. how does the symbolic death or killing, i should say, of moammar gadhafi change things in the arab world? >> well, hala, i should actually be interviewing you. i've covered that world. you know that world so well. i was listening what you said, you are view thely right. there is a question, would the libyan people have preferred this man shot dead as we apparently think he was or would they have wanted to hear him? sometimes, in a way, these death spots, whether it is mussolini
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or saddam hussein, it is too bad they only die once. i mean this would be sentiment of many, many libyan peoples. for 42 years of tyranny, for 42 years of violence, he only dies once. almost in a way people feel swindled. >> what difference would it make if it turns out he was executed after capture, if any? >> hob ton nest with you, maybe because i am a child of beirut -- none. it doesn't matter to the world. when you consider this man -- and i think americans, the american viewers we have should consider this. he is owed justice from this country. he killed about 170 people aboard the pan am 103 flight in 1988. so no tears need be shed for this man and i don't really spend that much time worried whether he was executed or whether he died in a firefight. we do know that earlier reports said he came out saying "don't shoot, don't shoot." it is amazing how these killers don't want to be killed.
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>> i suppose some would say it makes a difference because these revolutions are fought for another kind of arab country where there are trials and where there is, as brutal as the person might be, legal fair treatment of a suspect. so you're saying in this particular case, no. >> well, look. i mean did the italian people worry about in the way mussolini was caught with his mistress and they were both hung by the ankle upside down? it really doesn't matter. it doesn't matter in the end of things when you consider the record of these people. i suspect he died in this fight. i suspect this is what happened. i think people would not want to execute him because they want to hear from him. they want to hear about them. they want to hear what he did to them. >> let me ask you about other countries. there's arab satellite channels in the last decade or so. the arab world has changed. because it is not just governments in control of the message. now it's arab satellite channels who show these live images of
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people celebrating in martyr square. they show the cell phone videos of the dead dictator. what's going through the minds of the other dictators right now? >> well, you know, hala, there's a country you covered and a country we both know -- and feel for -- and that's syria. there was a message that was posted on al jazeera blog from a man named ahmed. he says, congratulations to the libyan people, may the same thing happen here in syria. so other people will be with -- thinking about their own tyrant. the enemies. the syrians want the same fate for bashar al assad. obviously people think saddam hussein coming out of this fighter hole and amazingly enough saying i'm saddam hussein, i'm the president of iraq and i want to negotiate. >> let me ask you one last question. perhaps especially for the american viewers as well as we're broadcasting around the world right now. and that is the risks going forward.
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these aren't countries that have a tradition of democracy. and these are countries that have a tradition also of factional, of tribal, of sectarian divisions. so going forward, how hard is it going to be -- especially when you look at egypt right now and the transitional army leadership over there, breaking promises and disappointing revolutionaries. are we looking at years of struggle? >> well, we might be looking at years of struggle but we also witnessed decades an decades of tyranny and authoritarianism. this is, hala, the arab's 1989. this year is to the arabs what 1989 was to the communist world. and as we looked at communist world post-communism was never easy but was good and people witnessed liberty. i don't want to sit in judgment of this arab awakening, this arab spring, in the very same year, in the first year of its eruption. people make mistakes but the arabs are now coming into ownership of their own history and we have to celebrate this. remember what this is all about. >> fouad ajami from stanford,
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university, thanks so much. >> he did spend 30 years teaching at my alma matter, the johns hopkins school of vansof d international studies. let's take a quick break and when we come ba go to the united nations and see what the world is saying about what's going on. gadhafi is dead. our own correspondent richard roth is standing by to join us. we'll also be hearing from the president of the united states. the president will be speaking at 2:00 p.m. eastern. but right now in plymouth, new hampshire, the vice president, joe biden, is speaking. let's listen. >> but look how that all came about. for years and years we've been talking about burden sharing in nato. everybody carrying their fair share. not the united states carrying the load and spending all the money for the whole world. so you remember when the president and i came along and
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said, look, we will support nato, we'll support nato but nato has to take the lead. that's what it was designed to do. wasn't supposed to be the u.s. runs nato. it was supposed to be nato which we are a part of, the most important part of is able to act. so in this changed world because of all the different wars and because, as the two blox have broken down and there's only one super power left and it is no longer the way it was when the soviet union exists, we have a whole new set of problems. we don't have 18,000 icbms aimed at the united states, which is a wonderful thing, but we also have emerging nations in chaos and new movements. so in this terrible beauty, this all changed world. what happened? nato got it right. nato got it right. and guess what? libya, gadhafi, one way or
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another, is gone, whether he's alive or dead, he's gone. the people of libya have got be rid of a dictator of 40 years hey personally knew. this is one tough not-so-nice guy. and guess what? they got a chance now. but what happened? in this case, america spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life. this is more the prescription with how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has been in the past. so that's an example of the world's beginning to work together a little bit better. lot of problems out there. but this is what's going on. and my father and -- my father's generation went through this after world war ii. we're in the midst of going through it now. that's a long answer to your profound question -- no, but i think it is important, by the way. could i give you a glib answer and -- but you deserve more. you're entitled to it.
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folks, that's why i'm optimistic that, because the same thing at its core, seems to me, is motivating both these groups that are capturing the public's attention and the public, that there is a kernel in there that we can organize. for 50 years we had a national consensus between democrats and republicans on reasonable regulation of wall street. we had national consensus on education in america. we had a national consensus on -- and we can name -- we had differences on the margins. there was no difference in the last 50 years with republicans on medicare than democrats. some, but the major parties, there's no fundamental difference about social security, which there was when it came about.
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there was no fundamental difference -- >> all right, we're going to continue to monitor what the vice president is saying in plymouth, new hampshire. he's there at a town hall meeting. the vice president saying he's not ready to officially confirm that gadhafi in libya is dead. i think he's waiting as all of us are for 2:00 p.m. eastern, a little bit more than one hour from now when the president of the united states is scheduled to go into the rose garden at the white house and speak on gadhafi's death. but you did hear the vice president make some important points about what's going on in libya. first of all he says it's cost u.s. taxpayers so far $2 billion but he says that's a lot better than what the previous administration spent to liberate iraq. that was hundreds of billions of dollars, if not more than $1 trillion. so some implied criticism of the bush administration's handling of iraq as opposed to the obama administration's handling of the situation in libya right there praising nato and its mission over these past several months. we'll take a quick break.
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we're getting ready in an hour or so to hear from the president of the united states. much more of the breaking news coverage on the death of moammar gadhafi in libya today when we come back. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. your core competency is...competency. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm getting an upgrade. [ male announcer ] as you wish, business pro. as you wish. go national. go like a pro.
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i'd like to welcome our viewers from around the world. i'm don lemon here with hala gorani. he ruled by decree for almost 40 years overthrowing a king. with nato support, moammar gadhafi is dead. >> don, it is a historic day for libya, for region, for the world as well. welcome by the way to our cnn international viewers. we continue to cover all the fast-moving developments in this still-emerging details as only cnn can. >> we have been watching pictures unfold. here are live pictures now. it's been a very caucus day of celebrating in tripoli, the libyan capital. that's martyr square there. the new prime minister from the national transitional council says, and i quote this -- all the evils have vanished from
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this beloved country. the council plans to declare the nation liberated as soon as today. >> gadhafi was killed in his own hometown. the entire time it appears, don, as though he was there. this is graphic video that we're showing you. cell phone camera video from sirte, east of tripoli, images of the fall be dictator's body were obtained by al jazeera. we note a nato air strike hit the pro-gadhafi compound. we are told he met his death by the new regime. first, a look at the life of moammar gadhafi. as a 27-year-old army officer, moammar gadhafi overthrew libya's king in 1969. and then set about wiping off foreign influence from th

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