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August 23, 2011

Uprising in Libya: The liberation of a country

After nearly 42 years of brutal dictatorship, the people of Libya are poised to reclaim their country and their freedom. This long-awaited moment is most deserved and welcome. Tyranny never endures.

The appalling blood trail of Colonel Moammar Qaddafi has blighted Libya's, and the world's, stage long enough. He has ruled as a true despot by swindling the oil resources of the country for his own wealth - estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars - while terrorizing, torturing and murdering his people and others in the constant pursuit of protecting his megalomaniac rule. A rule as delusional as it was bloody.

To achieve justice for the victims and family members of victims of his ruthless reign of terrorism, Motley Rice LLC has pursued Qaddafi in the courtrooms of America. His murderous trail is legendary.

In the early 1970's, Qaddafi established terrorist training camps in Libya, provided terrorist groups with arms and offered safe haven to terrorists. Among the groups he aided were Provisional Irish Republican Army, Spain's ETA, Italy's Red Brigade and others. The list goes on. Qaddafi was also implicated in assassination attempts of the leaders of Chad, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).

Qaddafi's murderous rage was responsible for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people on board and on the ground. His regime was also responsible for the 1989 bombing of a French passenger jet over Niger in which 171 people died. In 1986, Libya sponsored the bombing of a Berlin disco, La Belle Discothèque, popular among U.S. servicemen, killing two servicemen and injuring 230 other people. He is even accused of using chemical weapons against Chadian forces in 1986 and 1987.

We are proud of the efforts of victims and attorneys here and abroad who have kept this battle alive in courtrooms and before our governments when the world repeatedly tried to turn its head to the horrors of this delusional despot in the name of oil and the money that follows it. And while Qaddafi convinced the Bush Administration to settle U.S. cases against Libya in 2008 under the Libyan Claims Resolution Act, many claims were left out by excluding non-U.S. nationals and other claims of U.S. nationals remain unpaid. At this moment in history, all such claims should be resolved and justice restored to families and victims as Qaddafi has evaded accountability for the IRA bombings for long enough.

I congratulate the Libyan people. As for Qaddafi, he should be treated like the unrepentant, opportunistic mass murderer he is.

Ron Motley