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- March 09, 1987
- Vol. 27
- No. 10
Gaddafi Plays Desert Phantom—Staying Under Wraps After That American Death Plot
The aim, as it happened, was not so precise. Half of the mission's 18 F-111s experienced problems with their laser missile-guidance systems; the only Gaddafi killed in the attack was the colonel's 15-month-old adopted daughter, Hana. As a result, Gaddafi, 45, was left with the wits to gather the press for a rigorously composed photo op with Hana's teddy bear (right). According to Hersh, whose reporting seems to be accurate, Gaddafi escaped with his life by only a hairbreadth this time (the latest of a dozen such attempts in as many years); some two hours before the strike, Israeli intelligence had spotted him working in the family tent. One U.S. general who spoke to Hersh concluded bitterly: "He must have been in the head."
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