Tough Guy Marco Rubio Tweets Still From Gaddafi Snuff Film as Warning to Venezuela’s Maduro

Tough Guy Marco Rubio Tweets Still From Gaddafi Snuff Film as Warning to Venezuela’s Maduro

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) would like to see the crisis in Venezuela end with President Nicolás Maduro removed from power. Fine, believing the country would be better off without Maduro in charge is not a radical opinion.

What is not fine is a United States senator tweeting out pictures from a video made of the death of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to his 3.76 million followers as an apparent threat. That is a grotesquerie, and a better person than Rubio would feel at least an ounce of shame:

There is no question Rubio meant this as some sort of warning to Maduro. The senator has been the most prominent voice in the Senate for removing the Venezuelan dictator from power. He has spent months publicly encouraging the opposition in the country. He has lobbied President Trump to take a harder line to try and push Maduro out of office. And it was the second time in 12 hours he used his Twitter account to show the end of a dictator, this one from Latin America:

It might be helpful for Rubio, the good religious man who loves to push Bible quotes on his Twitter account, to know the circumstances of Gaddafi’s death in 2011. In the midst of a rebellion against his regime, the Libyan dictator was cornered and captured by rebel forces. There are still conflicting reports about whether Gaddafi was wounded or not when he was taken. But there is little doubt about what happened to him, as his captors filmed it with multiple cellphones.

Those videos show a wounded and bleeding Gaddafi being stripped and beaten nearly to death. At least one video showed a rebel sodomizing him with a bayonet. He was at some point apparently put out of his misery with a bullet to the head.

There is no doubt that Gaddafi was a dictator who had terrorized and repressed his own people for the 40 years he held power. There is also no doubt that his capture and execution, along with the filming of both, were extrajudicial acts illegal under international law. The United States opened up space for it to happen with its bombing of Libya and assistance of the rebellion against him, which makes us complicit in this extrajudicial act, for which the perpetrators were never arrested or held accountable. This is not something to celebrate, or use as a warning to future dictators.

Sending out this tweet could be construed as an endorsement of the extralegal killing of the head of a foreign government. Even if the international community were to decree Maduro’s government as illegitimate, no member of the United States Senate should endorse murder by a bloodthirsty mob as a way of removing it from power. Donald Trump might have reduced America’s international standing, but there are still some countries that look to it for moral leadership.

Add in the United States’s long history of meddling in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, with all the resulting misery, chaos and death from those interventions, and Rubio gleefully warning Maduro like this becomes even more irresponsible.

Even if you set all the legal and geopolitical issues aside, the people of the United States deserve better senators than snuff film-loving ghouls. Too bad Rubio didn’t retire in 2016 as he had promised to do before changing his mind.


Gary Legum

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.