In part 1 of this series we covered the exploits of Matthew VanDyke, an American Georgetown grad who traveled to Libya to join his friends and participate in the armed rebellion against Gaddafi’s 40+ year dictatorship. In part 2, Matt told me about the circumstances of his capture by the Libyan military.
“On March 12 I went with three other rebels on a reconnaissance mission to Brega. Ra’s Lanuf had just fallen to Gaddafi’s forces a couple of days before, and Brega would be attacked next. We did not think that Gaddafi would move so quickly after taking Ra’s Lanuf and thought we had a few days before Brega would be attacked. The plan was to recon the city, identify defensive positions, and then return to Benghazi to gather more men and weapons before going back to Brega to help defend it.
On March 13, during the reconnaissance mission, we were ambushed by Gaddafi’s forces. I was struck in the head during the ambush and woke up in a prison cell to the sound of a man being tortured in a room above me. I have no memory of the ambush or what happened to the men I was with. One minute we were talking to some locals in the street who served us coffee and I took their picture, and the next thing I remember was regaining consciousness for a few seconds with my hands and legs tightly bound and me being carried, and then I woke up in the prison cell.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/4340/an-american-freedom-fighter-in-the-libyan-civil-war-part-2/#ixzz1oLegZZpO
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As Americans, especially those in military and intelligence circles, we have an obsession with giving everything a name or acronym. Everyone gets a label and category. I asked Matthew VanDyke what he was doing in the middle of the Libyan Civil War. Was he a mercenary, a private security contractor, or a foreign volunteer? His answer was straight forward and to the point: he was a freedom fighter.
While the Huffington Post and others mistakenly reported that he was a journalist, Matt will tell you that he was anything but. He was conducting a recon mission when he was captured by the Libyan military and imprisoned. Once freed, he joined back up with the rebels and manned the unweildly Soviet DShK machine gun on a jeep that looked like something straight out of Mad Max, trading fire and getting into skirmishes with Gaddafi’s forces on the front lines of the war.
While the National Security Council was meeting in the situation room at the White House, no doubt dabbing beads of sweat from their collective brows with handkerchiefs, Matt crossed into Libya and went to work. Surviving the war, Matt returned to the United States and in the tradition of Ernest Hemingway, he brought back an amazing boots on the ground account of the Libyan Civil War.
It all started when Matt was contacted by an old friend named Muiz who he had met during a motorbike tour across Northern Africa, “If I die, please tell your friends about me. On the streets fighting…fighting with hands…but we have no guns…people dying for Libya.” Matt’s friends were taking up arms against Gaddafi’s forces. They were prepared to sacrifice their lives for freedom.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/4332/an-american-freedom-fighter-in-the-libyan-civil-war-part-1/#ixzz1ntTDNEGR
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