COMMENTARY | When President Reagan sent American warplanes to bomb targets in Libya in 1986, including Moammar Gadhafi's compound, Gadhafi loudly proclaimed that his infant adopted daughter Hana was killed in the raid.
The Irish Times is reporting that evidence has been found that Hana Moammar Gadhafi is very much alive, now an adult, and has studied medicine and English. Included in the material is an examination paper from a Libyan medical school with Hana's signature on it, pictures of Hana as an adult, and a British Council certificate dated from 2007 showing that Hana had gotten an "A" in an English language course taught by that organization in Tripoli.
The accusation that Gadhafi's daughter had been killed in the bombing raid, accompanied by public gestures of mourning by Moammar himself, was used for propaganda purposes by the Libyan government, as well as Reagan's political opponents, both abroad and in the United States. As late as February 2011, NBC's Andrea Mitchell claimed in a broadcast that the raid had killed Hana. According to Accuracy in Media, this accusation has cropped up in the media from time to time in the 25 years since the bombing raid took place.
Many analysts doubted that the girl had been killed or that she even existed to start with. But the recovery of the documents from Gadhafi's bunker proved that she not only did exist but also still does.
The Telegraph, for example, has a story that suggests Hana was given dental treatment in 2008 by a London-based dentist. This plus the evidence found in the bunker suggests that Hana has been living in Tripoli, at least until the recent conflict broke out.
President Reagan has been dead these past seven years. Those who vilified him in life have largely been silent, mainly because of his undoubted role in winning the Cold War and removing from the world the specter of nuclear annihilation. But perhaps an acknowledgement from the mainstream media, starting with Mitchell, that they were, after all, repeating Libyan propaganda uncritically and thus smearing a great president would be warranted.
Source: Gadafy daughter who 'died' in 1986 alive,Mary Fitzgerald, Irish Times, August 28, 2011
NBC's Mitchell Regurgitates Gaddafi Lies, Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media, February 22, 2011
Dental records for Hana Gaddafi reopen mystery of Libyan leader's daughter, James Kirkup and Holly Watt, August 12, 2011