Gadhafi's Media Day Backfires; Obama Tells Him to Resign

President says he's lost the legitimacy to govern
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2011 4:04 PM CST
Gadhafi Bid to Show Off for Media Backfires
The former Royal Libyan flag flies above an abandoned and damaged police station during a demonstration against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in the city of Tobruk, eastern Libya, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Moammar Gadhafi invited foreign reporters into the country for the first time in a bid to show he remains in control, but the gambit instead made clear the depths of the nation's chaos, reports the New York Times. Witnesses described firsthand the sniper attacks on civilians and the quick removal of bodies by Gadhafi's henchmen. One chilling quote from a doctor: “Even the ones with just a broken hand or something they are taking away.” President Obama, meanwhile, called on Gadhafi to step down for the first time, notes AP.

"When a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now," the White House said in a statement. Various reports suggest the Libyan leader is losing control of at least parts of the capital—see al-Jazeera and the Independent—but the Times thinks he's got enough firepower deployed to keep Tripoli "for some time." Click here to read about Gadhafi arming civilian supporters or here for more on the day's developments. (More Libya stories.)

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