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Open Letter To President of the United States, Barack Obama

from Stephen Adler, March 27th, 2011


President Obama,

The events in Libya are unfolding at a breakneck pace. This is due to your work as well as that of European and Arab countries to bring a halt to Gaddafi's efforts to violently suppress the Libyan citizen's right of free expression and self-determination. Since March 5th, 2011, a group of citizens gathered in Benghazi Libya to form what is now called the Interim Transitional National Council(external link). This move was necessary to fill a leadership void caused by Gaddafi losing the legitimacy of his rule over the citizenry in Libya. Gaddafi lost the legitimacy of his rule when he ordered national troops to open fire on Libyans who were demonstrating peacefully. He further cemented the loss of his legitimacy when he brought into Libya hired mercenaries to attack these same citizens.

There are reports that Italy will try and broker a deal(external link) which would allow Gaddafi to flee into exile, leaving behind his son Saif Gaddafi to rule a transitional government. The reports indicate that this plan will be presented on Tuesday(external link) in London at a meeting of foreign ministers.

As a citizen of the United States, I oppose any deal which would give safe passage to Gaddafi or any of his family members who have directed the army in its brutal repression of the Libyan citizen to a foreign country. The Libyan Interim Transitional National Council has explicitly called(external link) on the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, to issue arrest warrants against Gaddafi, his family, and all associates who are guilty of war crimes against the people of Libya. The future of Libya should be in the hands of the Libyan people, and the Interim Council is their new voice. The charter of the Council is to bring about "free elections and the establishment of a constitution for Libya." This mission of the Interim Transitional National Council aligns directly with the foreign policy objectives of our country. We should be supporting the ITNC. The Interim Transitional National Council has called on the internatinal community to bring Gaddafi as well as his family and associates to justice, and to not allow him to escape into exile. I ask you, Mr. President, to support the Council in its efforts to bring Gaddafi to trial for his crimes.

Any deal which would allow Gaddafi, his family, and any of his associates, to go free and live in exile would violate the demands of the new voice of the Libyan people. Furthermore, if Gaddafi, his family, and any of his associates do go free, this would set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the world. By allowing Gaddafi to go free, one would be sending a signal to dictators that they can get away with their crimes. All they have to do is cut a deal with the international community, beg forgiveness, and live out the rest of their lives in quiet comfort enjoying the fortunes they have stolen from their citizens.

Therefore, Mr. President, I urge you to oppose any measure or deal which would allow Gaddafi to escape Libya. Gaddafi has to face the citizens of Libya and stand trial for his crimes. This is the will of the Libyan people.