Two photojournalists killed in Libya

"In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO." — One of the last Tweets posted by British photographer Tim Hetherington, before he and Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Chris Hondros were killed while documenting the civil war in Libya. Hondros is known for his gut-wrenching photographs of the war in Iraq, photos that got him kicked out of the U.S. military unit he was embedded with in 2005. (EDIT: It's currently unclear whether or not Chris Hondros was killed, but he is reported to have been seriously injured.)


  1. BBC: 20 April 2011 “Libya: France and Italy to send officers to aid rebels”

    …and so it goes; the jolly old tradition of the “unintentional” war. wherein “mission creep” is the default.

    1. Here is some mission creep for you. Time to target that a-hole Gaddafi’s palace. If he wants to murder his own people then let him do it under fire.

      I recall everyone saying after WWII, “never again”. Then the same thing after Cambodia, then Bosnia, Rawanda, etc. Now we have people begging for our help in Libya. How about going to arms for once where were are wanted instead of charging into someplace uninvited? I have no problem with this as long as it ends with the country in one piece, a reasonably representative government in place, and Gaddafi leaving.

      1. Yes, Qaddafi is an asshole. But if he has to pay for his crimes, why is the US (and our allies) off the hook? Has Qadaffi, for example, committed any crime comparable to the invasion of Iraq?

        You seem to be suggesting that international law can only be used against enemies of the US. If I’m mistaken, would you support the UN forcefully disarming the USA for it’s illegal invasion of Iraq, much like was done to Iraq after it’s illegal invasion of Kuwait?

        Would you care to respond to this argument by Phyllis Bennis?

        “On the hypocrisy argument, yes military intervention is always selective. And that’s just the point. This isn’t about weighing all the various humanitarian crises, and deciding where and how to respond on the basis of which ones impact the most people, which ones are the bloodiest, which ones are closest, which ones have the most brutal dictator… this is about moving directly to military intervention in a few select cases, while other humanitarian crises are not responded to at all, even by non-military means.

        It would be easier to believe that military intervention in Libya really was based on humanitarian motives if non-military but active intervention was already underway in other similar (if so far smaller) crises. For example, if the U.S. had immediately cut all military and economic aid to Bahrain at the first sign of its king bringing in foreign troops to suppress the uprising. If the U.S. had immediately ended all arms sales and stopped the current weapons pipeline to Saudi Arabia when its soldiers crossed the causeway. If the U.S. had announced a complete halt in all military aid to Yemen when Saleh’s forces first attacked the demonstrators. (Not to mention the possibility of a decision to cut military aid to Israel and end the decades of U.S.-granted impunity for war crimes.) All of that is possible. When none of it is done, it’s hard to accept the claim that military intervention in Libya is really grounded in humanitarian motives.”

  2. It’s worth adding that Hetherington is best known as the co-director of Restrepo (with Sebastian Junger).

  3. RIP. It takes a certain kind of bravery to enter a warzone and shoot through a lens instead of a gun.

  4. From what I’ve seen of Tim’s work, I’d like to think that he’d think this a good way to go. I hope others will pick up his baton.

    Oh and @anon, at least this time (for the moment at least) we’re trying to find ways to work around the rules, instead of just going in with both boots because no-one’s big enough to stop us. It gives me hope(tm). Not much, mind you, but a little bit.

  5. Highly recommend Hetherington’s (along with Sebastien Junger) Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo.


  6. What a brave pair; I hope to watch the documentary soon.

    Also in Libya now, though (we desperately hope) still alive, are American journalists James Foley and Clare Gillis. They’ve been detained by Gadhafi for going on 2 weeks now. The mainstream media is finally starting to cover their case, but the attention has been relatively slow in coming. Clare is a brilliant, daring woman well worthy of your support; please spread the word.

    News articles:

    Sign petition:

    Facebook and

    Twitter @freeclaregillis


    We need to bomb that asshole’s compound and get this shit over with. This softly, softly approach is just insane. Kill him and his sons NOW, drag their bodies through the streets and then make dog food from them.

    1. Brother Phil and teapot, setting aside the utter absurdity of the US claiming it is only trying to protect civilians and democracy in Libya, and setting aside the fact that this violates the War Powers Act; it’s illegal under both US and international law to assassinate a head of state. “Regime change” is also beyond the specious UNSC mandate or scope of NATO’s mission. What you are suggesting is naked criminality (aka business as usual).

      1. setting aside the utter absurdity of the US claiming it is only trying to protect civilians and democracy in Libya
        The people of Benghazi would disagree. Lucky NATO intervened or they would no longer be able to disagree. Are you suggesting it would have been better to just let them die (which would have undoubtedly happened)? What do you think the US motive is, Captain Foreign Policy? Please say oil because that would be, like, totally original. How did the whole Iraq-for-oil trade turn out for America?? That operation, no matter how it is calculated, turned out to cost the US taxpayer a huge sum for no comparative benefit in oil prices/access.

        Indiscriminate bombing of civilians is also illegal. You can’t play a clean game when one side cares not for the rules. Imagine you are armed and you witness a terrible rape being perpetrated by someone much bigger and stronger than you. If you directly intervene, you place your own safety at risk. If you ignore, you allow the cretin to get away with doing whatever they please – thereby reinforcing in them that they can get away with pretty much anything, you also chose the option which results in life-long mental & physical scaring (and possible death) for the victim. If you shoot the motherfucker, you solve the problem. Sometimes a crime is acceptable when it is committed to prevent a bigger set of crimes.

        1. (btw, different anon)

          Methinks you misunderstand the Iraq oil situation. The point was for US taxpayers to pay for the weapons, and for everyone to pay more for oil, all to benefit the military industrial complex.

          Halliburton etc. won, everyone else lost.

          Go to the Army Corps of Engineers own website, and read their proud claims with a thought to the locals in the back of your mind.

          They brag about roads and factories and ports, while complaining about locals crossing the road or failing to hand over their land.

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