A billboard erected in the middle of the square in Benghazi gives thanks to the “Fantastic 4” — Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice — the NATO and UN leaders who vowed to keep the Libyan people safe during government attacks.
But the sign-makers need to add another name. It was revealed this week that one NATO country’s foreign minister personally traveled to Libya delivering piles of cash to the National Transitional Council for use in paying salaries and providing basic services during these weeks leading up to the historic ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.
Bypassing any bureaucracy, the country of Turkey delivered cash to the Libyan rebel leadership just when they needed it most — $100 million in currency and another $100 million as “a gift,” for humanitarian projects, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Also notable this week was the story of a surprising “hero” for many Libyans who backed the overthrow of the military dictatorship: The Governor in charge of the notorious Boslin prison in Tripoli suddenly surprised his captives with their release.
Col. Juma Assaya apparently ordered his guards to “throw open the prison doors” releasing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of men who had been rounded up since February when the uprising began. Some of the prisoners were simply relatives of men who had volunteered to fight with the rebels.
“Group by group he led the prisoners out and freed them,” reported one captive, an IT professional from a wealthy suburb, in an interview with the Telegraph. “We thought he was taking us out to be shot before the rebels arrived. But they showed us the gate, and let us run off.”
“I spent months hating him when I was behind bars, but Col. Assaya is a hero of the revolution for letting us go.”
Similar to yesterday’s freeing of journalists from a hotel in Tripoli, it appears that some thugs working under the Gaddafi regime, upon learning of the monumental changes underway in society, eventually throw up their hands and lay down their guns (which they literally did at the hotel, after hearing the news that the Colonel’s compound had been overrun).