Wed February 23, 2011
The Two-Way

WikiLeaks Cables Reveal Gadhafi Clan's 'Lavish Spending ... Bitter Rivalries'

There's more about Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his sons in today's New York Times:

"As the Qaddafi clan conducts a bloody struggle to hold onto power in Libya, cables obtained by WikiLeaks offer a vivid account of the lavish spending, rampant nepotism and bitter rivalries that have defined what a 2006 cable called 'Qadhafi Incorporated,' using the State Department's preference from the multiple spellings for Libya's troubled first family.

"The glimpses of the clan's antics in recent years that have reached Libyans despite Col. Qaddafi's tight control of the media have added to the public anger now boiling over. And the tensions between siblings could emerge as a factor in the chaos in the oil-rich African country."

Late yesterday, The Financial Times said that the American diplomatic cables paint "a picture of country run as a personal financial fief by Mr Gaddafi and his relatives." One cable, the FT said, reported that while Gadhafi "often speaks out publicly against government corruption," he lets his family and others who he favors have "direct access to lucrative business deals."

Meanwhile, as Korva reported earlier, eastern Libya appears to have slipped from Gadhafi's control. And The Associated Press reports that "foreigners fled the turmoil in Libya by the thousands on Wednesday, climbing aboard ships, ferries and planes or fleeing in overloaded vans to the country's borders with Egypt and Tunisia."

NPR's Andy Carvin (@acarvin) continues to follow what's being reported on Twitter about events in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and other nations where protesters are demanding reform or that their leaders step down.

And yes, we realize that Gadhafi's name is spelled several ways in this post. We follow the style adopted by the AP. Other news outlets have different rules. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.