Many of us wouldn't think to negotiate a glowing letter of reference from an employer eager for our departure. But maybe the tactic, employed most recently and skillfully by a departing Fayette County health official, has wider application.
We're not suggesting there are any similarities between the two individuals, certainly; but could it be, for example, that a reticent asylum-seeking dictator, under literal and figurative fire, just needs a little pen-on-paper encouragement to feel like his options remain open?
Dear Zimbabwe, Somalia, Timbuktu, et al:
Despite the fact that we have recently stretched the interpretation of the War Powers Act in order to target him with several thousand kilotons of drone-fired WMD, we'd like to take a moment to reassure you that, notwithstanding our occasional differences, Mr. Moammar Gadhafi would make a splendid addition to your Home for Former Bloodthirsty Kleptocrats.
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True enough, nearly all those who served under him are now calling for his always-nicely-permed scalp. Yet, we encourage you to consider his many positive attributes as you go forward.
Mr. Gadhafi has demonstrated great humility by taking only the rank of "Colonel," in his own army. And fessing up to an act of terrorism such as Lockerbie takes the kind of enormous courage not seen in ordinary men. Over the years, Mr. Gadhafi has surely exemplified, among other admirable traits: dedication, enthusiasm and an extraordinary ability to stay on task — even if the tasks sometimes strayed toward the unnecessarily acquisitional, or the monstrously homicidal.
In closing, we encourage you to judge Mr. Gadhafi's potential and not waste your search committee's time Googling old, irrelevant news stories. Certainly, no credence should be given to reports of occasional atrocities attributable to his various coincidental namesakes: Muhammar Qaddafi, Mohammar Khaddafi, Muhamar Qadafi and others. You know you can't rely on the media the way you can those who know him best.
Barack H. Obama
Hillary Rodham Clinton (on behalf of the United States Government)
Like we said, not everyone would think of it, but sometimes a long shot is worth a try.