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21 articles

How Libya Blew Billions and Its Best Chance at Democracy

Following Muammar Qaddafi’s death in 2011, Libya had hundreds of billions of dollars. This is the story of how it was erased.

Previously: David Samuels on the Longform Podcast.


A Deadly Mix in Benghazi

Investigating the murky reality behind the attack in Libya.


40 Minutes in Benghazi

The story of the attack that killed U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, told from the persepctive of the security agents there to protect him.


Arming Syria’s Rebellion

In a Turkish hotel, veterans of the Libyan Revolution meet with their fractured Syrian counterparts to transfer know-how and heavy weaponry.


New Old Libya

In the wake of revolution, Libyans envision their future.


Arab Spring Break

A 21-year-old UCLA math major leaves his $9,000-a-month internship to fight with the rebels in Libya.


Jamming Tripoli

Inside Moammar Gadhafi’s secret surveillance network.


In Libya, the Captors Have Become the Captive

The tables have been turned – brutally – on Qaddafi loyalists.


The Good Bad Son

A profile of Seif Qaddafi.


The Strange Power of Qatar

How the contradiction-rich “country the size of Connecticut” that birthed Al-Jazeera has played an integral and surprising role in the revolutions of the Arab Spring.


King of Kings

On the life, legacy, and last days of Muammar Qaddafi.


Inside Obama's War Room

Why the US intervened in Libya.


The Surreal Ruins of Qaddafi’s Never-Never Land

The aftermath of a revolution:

Amid all the chaos of Libya’s transition from war to peace, one remarkable theme stood out: the relative absence of revenge. Despite the atrocities carried out by Qaddafi’s forces in the final months and even days, I heard very few reports of retaliatory killings. Once, as I watched a wounded Qaddafi soldier being brought into a hospital on a gurney, a rebel walked past and smacked him on the head. Instantly, the rebel standing next to me apologized. My Libyan fixer told me in late August that he had found the man who tortured him in prison a few weeks earlier. The torturer was now himself in a rebel prison. “I gave him a coffee and a cigarette,” he said. “We have all seen what happened in Iraq.” That restraint was easy to admire.

Woman of the World

On Hillary Clinton’s Arab Spring.


On Libya's Revolutionary Road

The sudden, bloody transformation of normal citizens into rebels.


4 Times Journalists Held in Libya Faced Brutality

No one really knows the script for days like these, and neither did we.

From Libya With Love

What did $3M paid to a US consulting firm get Qaddafi? A glowing profile in The New Republic, written by a Harvard professor, who travelled to Tripoli to interview him. On the consulting company’s dime. Which he failed to disclose.


'Volcano of Rage'

On the structural underpinnings of the revolts currently shaking the Arab world.


The Heir

One of most popular Libyan figures amongst Western intellectuals and democracy advocates is… Qaddafi’s second son, Saif.


Letter from Libya: Circle of Fire

On Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, “the permanent revolutionary,” and his son Seif.