' “Shoot them,” a tall soldier said calmly in Arabic.
A colleague next to him shook his head. “You can’t,” he insisted. “They’re Americans.”
They bound our hands and legs instead — with wire, fabric or cable. Lynsey was carried to a Toyota pickup, where she was punched in the face. Steve and Tyler were hit, and Anthony was headbutted.
Even that Tuesday, a pattern had begun to emerge. The beating was always fiercest in the first few minutes, an aggressiveness that Colonel Qaddafi’s bizarre and twisted four decades of rule inculcated in a society that feels disfigured. It didn’t matter that we were bound, or that Lynsey was a woman.'