Long accustomed to luxury, Moammar Gadhafi spent his last days shuffling between safe houses in a residential section of Sirte, eking out an increasingly frustrated existence on pasta and rice his guards swiped from empty houses, reports the New York Times. “He would say: ‘Why is there no electricity? Why is there no water?’ ” says Mansour Dhao Ibrahim, a close Gadhafi aide who was captured alongside the former Libyan strongman. But though the rebels increasingly controlled Libya, Gadhafi refused to leave the country he had led for 42 years, remaining defiant and bellicose until the end. “The only decision was whether to live or to die,” says Dhao.
Gadhafi never participated in any fighting himself, preferring to spend his time on his satellite phone or reading the Koran, Dhao says. Gadhafi fled to Sirte in a small convoy on Aug. 21, the day Tripoli was captured by the NTC. His son decided they should stay in the city, a pro-Gadhafi stronghold, because the town had been so heavily bombed by NATO that he thought it would be the last place anyone would look for him. “I’m sorry for all that happened to Libya,” Dhao says, “from the beginning to the end."