When The New York Times was getting ready to publish material from the 250,000 State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks, the newspaper worked with the government to avoid publishing material particularly sensitive to national security and diplomatic efforts. Among the facts redacted? That Muammar Qaddafi's son is bisexual, Gawker's John Cook reports.
Most of them made sense -- the names of State Department sources in autocratic regimes, for instance, were routinely removed. But many of them seemed arbitrary and difficult to justify.For instance: Muammar Qaddafi's son Saadi, a hard-partying former pro-soccer player and movie producer, is bisexual, according to former U.S. ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz.
Although the Zuwara Free Trade Zone is an ambitious and expensive project, Muammar al-Qadhafi likely views it as a relatively small price to pay if it helps occupy the notoriously ill-behaved Saadi and lend a patina of useful engagement to his otherwise less than sterling reputation. Saadi has a troubled past, including scuffles with police in Europe (especially Italy), abuse of drugs and alcohol, excessive partying, travel abroad in contravention of his father's wishes and profligate affairs with men and women. His bisexuality is reportedly a point of extreme contention with his father and partly prompted the decision to arrange his marriage to al-Khweildi al-Hmeidi's daughter. Creating the appearance of useful employment for al-Qadhafi's offspring has been an important objective for the regime.
Cook has more examples of curious redacting.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.