Last month we were all happily incredulous to hear from the NTC that the 'state security prosecution and courts, which sentenced opponents of the old [Gadaffi ]regime to prison' were to be abolished. This meant that the principal purpose of the old Internal Security Agency (ISA) was gone. The ISA was a cross of the worst attributes between the FBI and Homeland Security, it sawed fear in Libyans' hearts and abused Libyans and non-Libyans alike who had the misfortune to fall in its hands as any country with a despot or powerful blind 'homeland security' knows and where the most dangerous accusation was for not being a patriot. A patriot in Libya included in its criteria the persona of the 'Leader of the Revolution' Moammar Gadaffi.
Ironically enough the fact that this government body by spying on all your online and offline activity knew or sought to know everything about your private and public life was in a way comforting, as you could stop fearing it. If they never approached you and if you never dabbled in politics or showed an inclination to free thinking it meant you were considered harmless to them and you could go on leading the semblance of a normal life: that is eat, sleep, study , raise a family, work, and have whatever type of entertainment you can afford even if non halal (as long as you are discreet). If this was your cup of tea and you were lucky that no one was jealous enough of you to make false accusation against you, you could survive in Gaddafi's Libya.
So having this apparatus basically dismantled by abolishing the courts above and by the de facto disappearance of its most hated components due to the war was a breath of fresh air and some Libyans dreamed that there will no longer be a Damocles sword hanging over their heads ready at any time to cut it off. But it would be naive to believe that any government can survive without internal security and so it came with no surprise to read today that although the old ISA was being effectively dissolved by the NTC they were instead
"setting up a security agency whose main task would be to root out those who remain loyal to deposed autocrat Muammar Gaddafi in towns and cities it now controls."
Reading the words of the internal affairs' minister raises a huge red flag for those who still had an atom of hope that things could be different in Libya in terms of how security. Now this hope has the potential to be dashed at all the prospective abuses that the Libyans could be experiencing at the hands of an organisation whose force would be giddy with the newly achieved feeling of power as Power is irresistible!
As long as the NTC have not clarified how exactly this organisation was going to hunt loyalists and what is the definition of a loyalist and how exactly justice will be meted out it is feared a new McCarthyism type of witch hunt could be unleashed which would open the gates of vengeance and private retribution. This is apparently already taking place in Libya at some level with the currently fashionable expression 'fifth column' being brandished left and right but because of the nature of the Libyan terrain and the vastness of its land only mild echoes reach the international news agencies with most reporting saying that this or that place is being crushed because there are still pockets of Gaddafi's army while in truth it is allegedly a personal pogrom led by a city against another, a family against another and a region against another or a neighbour against another. This is human nature! But having an organisation with one specific mandate is really really scarier than the old ISA.
Since internal security in all its factions is an essential component of the state Libyans are expecting that we will have the opportunity to rebuild it along proper guidelines identifying exactly what would the role of this force be and what threats was it going to protect Libyans against.
However with this projected anti-loyalist hunters with no clear mandate it means that we will have people spying on Libyans in all the cities as before, and a number of shadow organisations who answer only to God knows who minus the comfort of knowing that at least they knew everything about you and so will leave you alone as these people are going to start from scratch to protect their hard acquired power. Any one who read about the Stanford prison experiment would understand.
Could this be the direct result of the cyanide we all drank and which I discussed in the previous post of am I just being pessimistic today ?