Told by those who directly served the late Libyan dictator, from nuclear smugglers to hit men on the run, to virgin bodyguards, Mad Dog: The Secret World of Gaddafi is a study in the exercise of absolute power, revealing how the “Mad Dog” of the Middle East used his oil billions to manipulate and terrorize the world. The documentary airs on the eve of Libya’s trial of Gaddafi’s sons and his former spy chief for charges ranging from murder to embezzlement.
Colonel Gaddafi was called Mad Dog by Ronald Reagan. His income from oil was a billion dollars a week. No other dictator had such sex appeal and no other so cannily combined oil and the implied threat of terror to turn Western powers into cowed appeasers.
When he went abroad – bedecked in fake medals from unfought wars – a bulletproof tent was flown ahead, along with camels that would be tethered outside. His sons lived a Dolce & Gabbana lifestyle – one kept white tigers, while another commissioned a $500 million cruise liner with a shark pool.
Like other tyrants, Gaddafi used torture and murder to silence opposition, but what made his rule especially terrifying was that death came so casually. A man who complained that Gaddafi had an affair with his wife was allegedly tied between two cars and torn in half. On visits to schools and orphanages Gaddafi would tap underage girls on the head to show his henchmen which ones he wanted. They would be taken to his palace and abused. Young boys were held in tunnels under the palace.
Yet because of his vast oil lake there seemed no limit to Western generosity. British intelligence trapped one of his enemies overseas and sent him to Libya as a gift. The same week, Tony Blair arrived in Libya and a huge energy deal was announced.
Filmed in Cuba, the Pacific, Brazil, the US, South Africa, Libya and Australia, the cast of this documentary consists of palace insiders and those who gave shape to Gaddafi’s dark dreams. They include a fugitive from the FBI who helped kill his enemies worldwide; the widow of the Libyan foreign minister whose body Gaddafi kept in a freezer; and a female bodyguard who adored him until she saw teenagers executed. Gaddafi was a dictator like no other; their stories are stranger than fiction.
A Fresh One production for BBC and Showtime, Mad Dog: The Secret World of Gaddafi is directed and filmed by Christopher Olgiati. Executive Producer is Roy Ackerman.
The trial of two surviving sons and top aides of toppled Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is scheduled to open on April 14, 2014. Sief and Saadi Gaddafi, as well as Gaddafi’s former spy chief and two premiers, are among the more than 30 officials from the ousted regime who are to stand trial on charges that include murder, kidnapping, complicity in incitement to rape, plunder, sabotage and embezzlement.