RIP John McCain's BFF
The Republican Party's favorite Libyan has bitten the dust. Just three years ago, Gaddafi had friends in high places:
President Bush called Libya's Moammar Gaddafi yesterday -- apparently the first time any president has spoken to the African leader -- to voice his satisfaction that Libya had settled a long-standing dispute over terrorist attacks, including the bombing of a Pan Am jet over Scotland, the White House said.
In their conversation, Bush and Gaddafi "discussed that this agreement should help to bring a painful chapter in the history between our two countries closer to closure," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement.
On Oct. 31, Libya paid $1.5 billion into a fund that will pay claims for the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the 1986 bombing of a German disco. Another $300 million will go to Libyan victims of U.S. airstrikes ordered in retaliation for the disco bombings. The payment cleared the last hurdle in restoration of full normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Libya.
A senior White House official told the Reuters news agency that there was no record of any previous U.S. president speaking to Gaddafi, who seized power in a 1969 military coup. Rights groups say Gaddafi's reign has been marked by human rights abuses and restrictions on freedom of expression.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to meet Tuesday with Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who will be in Washington on a private visit, officials said. In early September, after the settlement deal, Rice became the most senior U.S. official to visit Libya in more than a half century.
Pallin' around with Republicans: IOKIYAT.