Diogenes in Libya

In 2009, top aides to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi called together 15 executives from global energy companies operating in Libya’s oil fields and issued an extraordinary demand: Shell out the money for his country’s $1.5 billion bill for its role in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 and other terrorist attacks.

If the companies did not comply, the Libyan officials warned, there would be “serious consequences” for their oil leases, according to a State Department summary of the meeting. — NYTimes

According to this fascinating account, some of those energy companies balked, believe it or not.  But enough caved in — you know how it works: they weighed the cost of principled refusal against the price of unconscionable concession — and shelled out.  Bidness is bidness.  What’s an airplane full of dead innocents against billions in oil profits?

Encouraged by such an enlightened western perspective, the kleptocracy of Libya entertained advances from companies such as Occidental Petroleum, Caterpillar, Halliburton, Boeing, etc., to collaborate on Libyan soil.  It was strictly pay to play — you want access, you pay a “consultancy fee,” or hire a local company to assist with the transition of business.  These financial arrangements are also known (rudely) as “bribes.”

But what the hell?  Not all tent dwellers are boy scouts.

I saved the best for last:

Libya became so flush with cash that Bernard L. Madoff, the New York financial manager who stole billions of dollars in a long-running Ponzi scheme, approached officials overseeing the country’s $70 billion sovereign fund a few years ago about an “investment opportunity,” according to a State Department summary of the episode in 2010. “We did not accept,” a Libyan official reported.

You hear this?  Led by their crackpot dictator, the Libyan administration –sponsors of international terrorism, embezzling thieves, brutal oppressors and ruthless assassins of their own citizens — take one gander at Bernie Madoff and send his ass packing.  Whether they didn’t trust him or just smelled something rotten is unclear, but they weren’t having any part of him or his company.

What does this say about all these financial institutions, investment counselors, and captains of commerce who embraced Madoff, swearing they knew nothing, and claiming to be his victims?  The corrupt-to-the-core Libyans have the sense or the smarts to say No, and they have neither?

This is depravity on stilts.

In another depravity-related development, Westboro Baptist Church announced it would demonstrate at Elizabeth Taylor’s funeral.  In a message posted Thursday, a spokesman wrote “Actress Elizabeth Taylor has died…Used every gift she had to teach a generation to be proud whores. WBC will picket her funeral.”

This is why I drink on weekends.  Have a great one.

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27 Responses to Diogenes in Libya

  1. themasspube says:

    By the standards of the morals of the characters in this post, you should start drinking weeks too.

    • Ted Larsen says:

      We know he drinks himself to death every day.

      He recently told me, “I don’t drink any more, but I don’t drink any less.”

  2. Barbara Ganousch says:

    Really, the most surprising piece of this appalling tale is that some of the companies Qaddafi demanded money from actually refused. My assumption is they based their decision not on right and wrong — THAT ain’t ‘bidness’ — but calculated that this was only one of a series of such shake-downs, and that the long-term outlook wouldn’t be as profitable as they expected. That sounds consistent with the rest of this sordid little story.

  3. A Decent Christian says:

    Good for the Westboro Church. We all know Taylor was a rich but true whore who loved queers.

    So sad, such a role model for our youth.

    As for her support for fighting aids, Disgusting. Let them die. Let anyone who doesn’t profess their love of Jesus die!

    • Neil, a Christian Soul says:

      I disagree with “A Decent Christian,” and I regret that anybody would make such illegitimate claims in the name of God and Our Lord.

      God is a forgiving Being. He only asks that we love Him and one another, not wish for the death of non-believers. We pray for non-believers that they will save themselves, and we offer ourselves to help those who would learn to love God.

      Sadly, those who do not will end up in hell. But this is God’s decision, not man’s.

      • Rabbi Avi Goldschmidt says:

        Let your heart be still my son and pray that A Decent Christian will find a more forgiving life.

        Perhaps he is the product of an abusive home or has horrible emotional disorders. I’m sure he is a decent man in his own way.

        Do not muddy your own purity by feeling anger and hatred for others. This is the word of God

  4. Mr. Mirth says:

    If I were President…
    I’d have had Kadaffy indicted for the Pan Am and the Berlin bombings, issued arrest warrants and then taken him into custody WITH WHATEVER FORCE NECESSARY.

    Seems we keep electing balless pukes.

    Thank God, I’ll never be President.

    “You win wars by killing the enemy… You win wars quickly by killing the enemy leadership.” – Kevin J. Leach (2011) © ®™ SM ALL FUCKIN’ RIGHTS RESERVED!

  5. Hyman Kuntz says:


  6. Diesel Fitter says:

    Well, if you’re sick over the thieves and lowlifes in the world-wide oil industry, we can always switch over to nuclear power. They’re having a special on slightly used equipment in Japan. Priced to go.

  7. Lois Terms says:

    Whatever. The real issue for now is, Who gets to kill Qaddafi? Libyan insurgents, NATO, the United Arab League, a member of his own family? Personally I’d like to see the French get him, because Sarkoszy clearly has a hard-on for him, and wants to remake the image of the cheese-eating frogs.

    • Rousalou LaFond says:

      Please do not refer to our President as a ” cheese-eating frog.”

      Show your respect and write, “grenouilles de mangeant de fromage.”

      Rousalou LaFond
      Lyon, France

      • You May Call Me Pierre says:

        Indeed, as I noted once before, American resentment of French exceptionalism is as bottomless as it is imbred in the general population. The Libyan initiative was launched by the French while the world stood by timid and clueless, and we will see it through to the conclusion as well while you Americans chase your tails in Iraq and Afghganistan for another decade. But you will neither learn from your brashness nor acknowledge our leadership.

  8. Rousalou LaFond says:

    My Dear Pierre: My English does not write well, so I must reply you in the language mutual we share.

    Je dois dire votre sont un magnifique exemple d’un vrai Français et d’un connard total.

    Rousalou LaFond
    Lyon, France

    • You May Call Me Pierre says:

      My dear Rousalou:

      You are not French at all, but a piddling self-indulgent fool amusing himself and no others. This makes you a typical American, if somewhat less serious.

      • Rousalou LaFond says:

        My Dear Pierre:

        Piddling…Mai no

        Self-indulgent…Mai oui

        Fool… Vous monsieur est l’imbécile pour croire n’importe quoi que j’écris.

        Rousalou LaFond
        Lyon, France

  9. You May Call Me Pierre says:

    Yes….Fool. “Mai” is spelled “mais.” You are no Frenchman. You are…..something other. Something worse. Pfff.

  10. Rousalou LaFond says:

    Vous eez veery corny man, speeled…MAIZE!

    Rousalou LaFond
    Lyon, France

  11. Kim Chee says:

    Here’s my takeaway from the Madoff saga: he realized early on that the whole world of finance and investment is absolutely corrupt, from top to bottom, and that it was much bigger than any one person, so why not embrace that corruption when it was futile to resist it? The opposite of Good is Poor.

    And sure enough, he was proved right over and over. Everybody was a twisted, greedy, and willingly corrupt as he was. Everybody played ball. I almost feel sorry for him. Maybe he was the worst, but only in degree.

    As for Khaddafi’s people, don’t kid yourself. The sole reason they said No is they didn’t trust a Jew. They happened to be right this one time, if for the wrong reason.

    • Dr. Robert Bentley, M.D says:

      While I have no disagreement with what you say or your right to say it, you should consider a different “blog nom de plume.”

      My extensive study has discovered that consumption of kimchi and other related fermented vegetable foods contributes to Korea’s relatively high rates of gastric cancer.

      “Kim Chee” does nothing to add credibility to your thoughtful espousals.

      Dr. Robert Bentley, M.D
      Chairman, Dept. Of Asian Food Studies
      Massachusetts General Hospital.

      • Kim Chee says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful concerns, Dr. Bentley. Kimchi is of such stature in my culture that I chose the name both proudly and with tongue in cheek.

        I am aware of its link to cancer, as are many Koreans who devour it passionately. There are also many benefits to kimchi, including digestion, stress reduction, etc. I suppose the answer is moderation, which is the answer to many dilemas.

  12. Dr. Robert Bentley, M.D says:

    Dear Sir: One of my favorite quotations is from Mark Twain, “Everything in moderation, except moderation.” Perhaps you have head it. It a good plan for a healthy life and really not such a dilemma after all.

    I ask a favor of you. A colleague of mine is doing research on industrial pollution in the city of Ulsan, and has asked me to read and comment on the following. Though fluent in conversational Korean I am having difficulty with this passage, so I ask for your help.

    이 작은 새끼돼지는 시장, 이 조그만 집에서 머물렀던 새끼돼지, 이 작은 새끼돼지가 구운 쇠고기, 이 작은 새끼돼지은 한 명도 없었습니다. 그리고 이 작은 새끼돼지는 … ” 절제돼 절제돼 김지
    윤) 모두 집으로 돌아가는 길…

    Many thanks in advance.

    Dr. Robert Bentley, M.D
    Chairman, Dept. Of Asian Food Studies
    Massachusetts General Hospital.

    • Kim Chee says:

      You are funny doc tor.

      Like yourself, I do not read Korean very well although I speak it at home with my parents and their parents. I showed this to my mother who told me it was a silly partial translation of 3 little pigs with a refrence to Kim Jong-Il.

      BTW I am female.

      • Dr. Robert Bentley, M.D says:

        Dear Kim: Thank you for your concern. Kimchee does make me ill, but I warned you of the possible health consequences.

        It appears my colleague played an unfortunate joke on me. I had inquired about his research regarding the comparative toxicity of the harmful chemicals, 2 Bis-Phenoldioxy Benzol and Hydroxy3 Nonalyl Nitrile.

        However I am confused. You say you are a female, but a female what? A female human or a female pig? Perhaps even a piggy female human.

        I have met many fat pig females on the internet. A very unsettling experience.

        Please clarify.

        Thanks in advance.

        Dr. Robert Bentley, M.D
        Chairman, Dept. Of Asian Food Studies
        Massachusetts General Hospital.

  13. Mumblety Peg says:

    Men are such pigs.

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