The Observer reports:
Thousands of documents that reveal in chilling detail orders from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s senior generals to bombard and starve the people of Misrata have been gathered by war crimes investigators and are being kept at a secret location at the besieged Libyan port.
The documents, some of which the Observer has seen, will form damning evidence in any future war crimes trial of the Libyan leader at the International Criminal Court. The court’s prosecutors are expected to travel to the city to view the documents once the daily bombardments have ceased.
One document shows the commanding general of government forces instructing his units to starve Misrata’s population during the four-month siege. The order, from Youssef Ahmed Basheer Abu Hajar, states bluntly: “It is absolutely forbidden for supply cars, fuel and other services to enter the city of Misrata from all gates and checkpoints.” Another document instructs army units to hunt down wounded rebel fighters, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Plans to bombard the city are also in the archive, say investigators, who also claim they have a message from Gaddafi relayed to the troops ordering that Misrata be obliterated and the “blue sea turned red” with the blood of the inhabitants. The documents are expected to form a crucial element of any trial against Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi if, as is expected, ICC judges confirm indictments for war crimes and crimes against humanity that are demanded by its chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.
Juan Cole has an article today in his informed comment about ending the Libya war, whereby guaranteeing the Family of Gaddfi a safe haven. This continual bombing of the infrastructure, seems to be out of the playbook from the wars since the Balkans. This shock & awe aspect is nothing more than practice for the military powers to be to insure combat experience for the pilots of the N.A.T.O. participants. Indeed, why N.A.T.O. allowed Gaddfi’s tanks and armored vehicles to roll across the open desert to menace the civilian population, is just another reminder of the poor planning involved.