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Viewing cable 09TRIPOLI475, ASSESSING AL-QADHAFI'S HEALTH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TRIPOLI475 2009-06-16 14:02 2010-12-07 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Tripoli
O P 161408Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4917
INFO AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 
CIA WASHDC
CIA WASHINGTON DC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
S E C R E T TRIPOLI 000475 


NOFORN 
DEPT FOR INR 

E.O. 12958: DECL:  6/16/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR KBIO LY
SUBJECT: ASSESSING AL-QADHAFI'S HEALTH 
 
REF: 07 TRIPOLI 1033 

CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy - 
Tripoli, U.S. Dept of State. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
1. (S/NF) Summary: A XXXXXXXXXXXX diplomat assessed reports that Muammar al-Qadhafi was suffering from cancer as "unreliable" and 
speculated that they may have been prompted at least in part by 
information from XXXXXXXXXXXX, but whose actual contact was much more limited and indirect.  Separately, XXXXXXXXXXXX told us he was not suffering from cancer, but was hypertensive and borderline diabetic. Al-Qadhafi was described as "a hypochondriac", who insisted that all examinations and procedures be filmed and then spent hours 
reviewing them with physicians whom he trusted.  While the  specific nature of his physical ailments remains unconfirmed, it 
does appear that al-Qadhafi is not entirely well.  XXXXXXXXXXXX told us al-Qadhafi's schedule of meetings - especially at night - is less intensive than it used to be and that he spends more time  resting during the day, complicating the process of scheduling meetings for him.  End summary. 

GERMAN DIPLOMATS ASSESS CANCER REPORTS AS "UNRELIABLE" 
 
2. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX he assessed reports that Muammar al-Qadhafi was suffering from cancer as "unreliable".  XXXXXXXXXXXX said he had heard from various contacts -- XXXXXXXXXXXX-- that al-Qadhafi suffers from throat or prostate cancer.  He offered that XXXXXXXXXXXX may have been responsible for initiating and perpetuating reports that al-Qadhafi has cancer of the throat. 
3. XXXXXXXXXXXX 
HYPERTENSION & DIABETES, 
BUT NOT CANCER

4. (S/NF) Separately, XXXXXXXXXXXX al-Qadhafi was not suffering from cancer. XXXXXXXXXXXX hypochondriac" who obsesses about his physical ailments and insists that all examinations and procedures be filmed. XXXXXXXXXXXX al-Qadhafi reviewing film of an endoscopic examination the Leader had undergone. 5. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX al-Qadhafi suffered from hypertension and was borderline diabetic, but that he did not suffer from cancer. XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX. There have been reports that a medical specialist, usually described as either Austrian or Swiss, recently traveled to Libya to supervise cancer therapy for al-Qadhafi. End note.) XXXXXXXXXXXX noted that shortly before the period in question, al-Qadhafi -- whom he described as "extremely vain" -- had botox treatments. XXXXXXXXXXXX the attendant loss of control of facial muscles could have been misinterpreted as a sign that al-Qadhafi had suffered a stroke. In addition, al-Qadhafi had within the past year had hair implants; however, he had suffered a rare auto-immune reaction to the procedure and the plugs had had to be removed. 6. (S/NF) Comment: Speculation about al-Qadhafi's health is a perennial feature of the rumor mill here. Post noted in televised coverage of al-Qadhafi's June 10 arrival in Rome that he appeared to be tentative in descending the steps from his aircraft to the tarmac. As reported reftel, Spanish diplomats told us in the run-up to al-Qadhafi's visit to Spain in December 2007 that GOL officials had insisted that the Leader not be housed above the first floor of the hotel in which he stayed and that his room have as few stairs as possible. When pressed, GOL officials conceded that al-Qadhafi had difficulty physically negotiating stairs. While the specific nature of his physical ailments remains unconfirmed, it does appear that he is not entirely well. Emboffs who visited Libya in 2004-2005 and participated in meetings with al-Qadhafi have noted that his face is much heavier and more slack in appearance now than it was then, and that he appears to have more difficulty moving. XXXXXXXXXXXX recently told us al-Qadhafi's schedule of meetings - especially at night - is less intensive than it used to be and that he spends more time resting during the day, complicating the process of scheduling meetings for him. That said, he is 67 and maintains a very active international travel schedule. XXXXXXXXXXXX. End summary. CRETZ