If you didn't hate MoMo Gaddafi before, you'll be absolutely livid when you read this tidbit from LA Times:
As Libya takes stock, Moammar Kadafi's hidden riches astound - latimes.com: "Reporting from Washington— Moammar Kadafi secretly salted away more than $200 billion in bank accounts, real estate and corporate investments around the world before he was killed, about $30,000 for every Libyan citizen and double the amount that Western governments previously had suspected, according to senior Libyan officials.There's a lot of manipulative prose in this piece, and it seems to be narrowly written to elicit outrage and a gold-plated toilet bowl of envy among readers, who up until now have only had to deal with the late leader's dictatorial rule. Now we learn he was a crook, too.
The new estimates of the deposed dictator's hidden cash, gold reserves and investments are "staggering," one person who has studied detailed records of the asset search said Friday. "No one truly appreciated the scope of it."
If the values prove accurate, Kadafi will go down in history as one of the most rapacious as well as one of the most bizarre world leaders, on a scale with the late Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire or the late Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines."
Funny, many a US puppet has been implicated in a similar predilection for monumental avarice. Indeed, this seems to be the primary motivator used by the US and CIA to draw prospects into their grip. If Gaddafi seems to have been particularly adept at this, what's so bad about that?
After all, great disparities in wealth are a hallmark of the US economic system, and among our most powerful political figures this is praised rather than condemned. Is there a double standard at work here?
Of course there is, but among the shortcomings of the US oligarchy, hypocrisy is hardly the most noxious of its moral failings.
We read somewhat later in the LA Times piece that many grubby hands are clutching for a piece of the loot:
Though Kadafi's foreign investments would seem to offer a bonanza for the transitional government, it is struggling to reclaim the money because of legal barriers created by a U.N. freeze on Libyan assets and national laws designed to ensure seized assets are only released to the legal owner.This so-called "transitional government" consists of the US-sponsored lackeys who did the ground fighting for a piece of Gaddafi's stash, and now they're looking for the money they were promised. They are the Ahmad Chalabis of the Libya invasion -- except that the US government is angling for a better outcome this time, and not the travesty of Iraqi liberation.
As for the legal owner of that money, who exactly determines legal questions in situations such as this? And who could make a claim on these billions of dollars floating around in a legal limbo?
If you're interested in the last bastion of the "rule of law" in this bastardized system the US has constructed to administer international law, this will be it. All the other rules about sovereignty and law of war and human rights have flown out the window, but contract law and the fights that pit corporation against corporation are a sterling example of how the system still works -- for the wealthy and well-connected.
It's hardly worse for Gaddafi to have held on to his money, for all the good it'll do.