I know that Neil Livingstone has a somewhat different position on torture and death squads than most Montanans, but it’s fascinating to me that he’s taking a public position that the U.S. government should coddle leaders of authoritarian regimes and even resist putting them on trial.
Livingstone told Beartooth NBC:
…the United States administration made a mistake not offering leader Muammar Gaddafi an exit strategy.
“They said if you leave the country we may put you on trial at the Hague. We’ve frozen all your assets and so on. So what incentive was there for Gaddafi to leave and as a consequence we’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of people killed in the interlude,” says Livingstone.
I’d say that Gaddafi certainly deserves to face trial for his actions as the leader of Libya. He has been charged with any number of crimes which individually warrant a trial before a war crimes tribunal and/or the International Criminal Court. It’s fascinating—but certainly not surprising—that Livingstone would join the Republican chorus criticizing President Obama for helping remove a leader they have wanted ousted for so long.
Of course, Livingstone’s analysis about Libya is suspect on more than just moral grounds. It turns out he was wrong back when the revolt started:
Well, that’s where we really need plan B now. I’m not sure that the administration or the allies have thought this through very well. Look, I don’t think he’s going to be expelled from the country, because he’s got more firepower. His army while not terribly well trained, is better trained and organized than the rebels.
And without some type of foreign intervention, he may be able to hold on there indefinitely. So we need a plan for how we deal with him in the future. I don’t think we want an angry, sullen, isolated Gadhafi in the future, who has whatever revenues that he can still put his arms around, launching acts of terrorism or striking back at the west in some way.
On another note, has anyone considered telling Mr. Livingstone he’s not running for Secretary of State or President?