A killing that is broadcast on live TV is not unprecedented. It was nearly 50 years ago that TV news cameras captured the fatal shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. But as someone who woke up sleepy-eyed one morning late last week and, as I still lay in bed, switched on the TV just in time to see the reports on the capture and execution of Moammar Kadafi, I couldn't help but think to myself that this is a little bit too much for morning TV. Or any other time of the day for that matter.
It was a bizarre end that was perhaps fitting for a man who had lived a bizarre life. A heartless dictator and international terrorist in his own right, you could always count on Kadafi to be unpredictable. One day he might show up wearing some Lawrence of Arabia get-up. The next day he might be dressed like the bell captain at a midtown Manhattan hotel.
So now there's one more mystery to add to the list of things we may never know about Kadafi. Besides puzzling over how to correctly spell his name or wondering why he never promoted himself beyond the rank of Colonel, we may never know who bears ultimate responsibility for his death. The front page of the New York Post that appeared the day following his capture and killing reported that it was a Libyan rebel wearing a New York Yankee hat who pulled the trigger. Nathan Hale's dying words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Kadafi's last words might very well have been, "Damn Yankees!"
(Continue reading at the Montecito Messenger)