Gaddafi Plays Desert Phantom—Staying Under Wraps After That American Death Plot
updated 03/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST
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."