Mansell hits out at “gloating media”


Originally published in Tracker Magazine.  

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

NATIONAL: Prominent Aboriginal leader Michael Mansell has hit back at “gloating” media “rejoicing” the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who he met in the 80s on a trip to forge links with the country.

Mr Gaddafi was killed by rebel fighters last week, nearly two months after they deposed him and captured the capital of Tripoli.

His death was filmed on a mobile phone and the footage streamed around the world.

Mr Mansell was one of several Aboriginal leaders who met Colonel Gaddafi in Misrata, Libya in 1987.

His trip caused a storm in Australia, with then Prime Minister Bob Hawke leading the charge, and the Queensland Parliament passing a motion stating that he should be charged with treason.

But Mr Mansell this week condemned the media’s coverage of Gaddafi’s death.

“The gloating and rejoicing by western media of the western backed assassination of an Arab leader says more about the media than the man assassinated,” Mr Mansell said in a statement.

“I see nothing to rejoice in a human being murdered.

“The assassination could not have happened without the use of U.S. satellites, electronic monitoring, bombing of Gaddafi resistance and supply of weapons to the US and NATO backed anti-Gaddafi forces.”

Mr Mansell says the way media portrayed Gaddafi was hypocritical.

“I have often been asked what I thought of Mr Gaddafi. I guess one has to compare him with other world leaders. Mr Gaddafi did not kill as many innocent women and children in Afghanistan and Iraq as (US President) Barack Obama has,” he said.

He says that President Obama, who will visit Australia this month, should be arrested and charged with war crimes.

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