Does anyone remember how the US media and the Bush Administration were excoriating Saddam Hussein for the hideous dictatorship he was running and it later turned out that not only did he have no WMD but news coverage after the invasion made it clear that many Iraqi households had an AK-47 or two lying somewhere around the house. It rather suggested that Saddam was less oppressive and consequently less afraid of his own people than had been assumed.
I am getting the same feeling about Libya. God knows it is difficult to make excuses for Gaddafi, but I note that most of the major US and international news outlets appear to have correspondents reporting relatively freely from Tripoli. If Gaddafi the Monster wanted to control the message going out from his embattled regime wouldn’t these people be shot/imprisoned/disappeared/exported? Maybe what we are being fed is not quite what it seems to be.