Al Jazeera’s Secret Gaddafi Tapes: Dictatorship In The Age Of YouTube

Al Jazeera English is airing wiretapped phone calls from Muammar Gaddafi’s family members and top aides–and integrating them with social media.

Libya on the Line is a look at dictatorship in the age of YouTube, featuring audio obtained by Al Jazeera from more than 12,000 tapped calls from the phones of former Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Al Mahmoudi, and regime official Tayeb El Safi. And it is fully integrated into a live Google+ hangout. It airs in two parts, with the first segment airing on Al Jazeera English today at 1 p.m. EST (17:00 GMT). The program, hosted by Hoda Hamid, will be followed by a Google+ hangout at 2 p.m. where Hamid will answer viewers’ questions.

As for the conversations themselves, in one call, Saif Gaddafi was caught ordering the assassination of regime opponents:

TAYEB: Take care of the Gamal Abdel Nasser base in Tobruk. The commander is a traitor and they have planes. Be careful.

SEIF: We will send people to kill them. And if you have people, even just 10, let them go to Tobruk and kill them.

Other conversations caught Gaddafi’s government staging funerals for the international media. One phone call, from gravedigger Faraj Al Ghyriani, recalled instructions from El Safi to bury the bodies of civilians and dead mercenaries in ceremonies that would make them appear to be NATO soldiers killed by Libyan loyalist troops. Another call Al Jazeera obtained appears to implicate numerous members of the National Transitional Council (NTC), the de facto interim government, as informers for Gaddafi.

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