Gates kinda sorta threatens to resign if Obama sends ground troops into Libya

posted at 4:17 pm on March 31, 2011 by Allahpundit

He didn’t use the R-word but it’s easy to read between lines as broad as these. A vignette from this morning’s House hearings on Libya, in which a glum SecDef gamely tried to choke down the “turd sandwich” currently being served by his boss:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reiterated Thursday that the U.S. would not put ground forces in Libya, but conceded that allies involved in the operation might provide arms and send in trainers to aid the rebels, who have lost ground to Col. Moammar Kadafi’s forces in recent days.

In his strongest language since the U.S. deployed warplanes to protect Libyan civilians, Gates ruled out sending any U.S. forces to Libya “as long as I’m in this job” — a viewpoint that he said President Obama shared. But he admitted that the rebels needed help to withstand the assault from Kadafi’s forces, even with NATO warplanes overhead.

Gates acknowledged the administration is still considering whether to provide arms to the rebels, but said what the opposition forces need most is training.

He’s on his way out anyway this year so if it reached the point where the White House was considering putting boots on the ground, O would simply ease him out a bit early before making his move. Even so, Gates’s remark is telling in how emphatic it is. Clearly he thinks there’s a chance it’ll come to this; in fact, watch the clip below and you’ll find him arguing against using U.S. troops in Libya even in a limited capacity of training the rebels. My strong sense from watching him is that he’s already alarmed about the amount of mission creep he’s seen and is desperate to draw a bright line before it creeps any further and infantry starts getting involved. Mike Rogers noted “deep divisions” among administration officials in classified briefings about Libya yesterday, with some evincing palpable “uneasiness” about the mission — but Rogers refused to name names. I think we can now solve the puzzle.

Speaking of yesterday’s briefings, remember last night’s post about Hillary responding to questions about congressional authorization with the diplomatic equivalent of “too bad, so sad”? Somehow I missed this post at TPM before writing it. It’s worse than we thought:

“They are not committed to following the important part of the War Powers Act,” [Democrat Brad Sherman] told TPM in a phone interview. “She said they are certainly willing to send reports [to us] and if they issue a press release, they’ll send that to us too.”

The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon…

The answer surprised many in the room because Clinton plainly admitted the administration would ignore any and all attempts by Congress to shackle President Obama’s power as commander in chief to make military and wartime decisions. In doing so, he would follow a long line of Presidents who have ignored the act since its passage, deeming it an unconstitutional encroachment on executive power.

Exit question: Who wrote the following in response to the TPM post? “If the Obama administration is refusing even to abide by the War Powers Act, then the Congress really needs to vote to defund their adventurism at least or impeach them if it comes to that. Going to war outside even the War Powers Act qualifies as an impeachable offense, it seems to me.” Exit answer: Dude.


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He’s already announced he’s leaving soon.

HondaV65 on March 31, 2011 at 4:20 PM

But according to Diane Feinstein, we’re only going there to arrest Qaddafi. Isn’t that a good thing?

/sarc

JSGreg3 on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Still amazed this guy ever went to work for idiot Obama in the first place.

davek70 on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

We may need a coup before the 2012 elections to allow this nation to survive.

retiredeagle on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

In other words, Mr. Gates isn’t likin’ the taste of his crap sandwich. Welcome to the club.

ted c on March 31, 2011 at 4:24 PM

retiredeagle on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Or a Congress with a backbone.

Oil Can on March 31, 2011 at 4:24 PM

If not Clark, the weasel who’d fit Obama best, then Hillary for Sec. Defense…

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Going to war outside even the War Powers Act qualifies as an impeachable offense, it seems to me.

well then. Either he’s baiting, or he’s deadly serious. I think he should be pinged and interviewed to reiterate the case and give him a chance to redeem himself, no? If he doubles down, then…..well. hop to it, stimpy.

ted c on March 31, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Still amazed this guy ever went to work for idiot Obama in the first place.

davek70 on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Creepiness is indignant.

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:25 PM

We may need a coup before the 2012 elections to allow this nation to survive.

retiredeagle on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Be careful what you wish for. The coup may be led by Ayers and Soros.

JSGreg3 on March 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

The 1000 or so ragtag rebels, many of whom are wild ones who want you and kids dead, don’t deserve the sacrifice of one single U.S. Soldier, nor that of his/her family.

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Thank heavens! I was so afraid our fiscal problems would divert the administration from the important stuff.

a capella on March 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I wish he resigned two years ago. Gates is a BO tool bag.

David in ATL on March 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Exit answer: Dude.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I think.

CTSherman on March 31, 2011 at 4:28 PM

The 1000 or so ragtag rebels, many of whom are wild ones who want you and kids dead, don’t deserve the sacrifice of one single U.S. Soldier, nor that of his/her family.

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Amen, brother. I cannot believe Obama’s consdering arming these jihadis. You know that after Qaddafi’s gone, they’ll turn those weapons on us.

JSGreg3 on March 31, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Smart power…

sandee on March 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM

In other words, Mr. Gates isn’t likin’ the taste of his crap sandwich. Welcome to the club.

ted c on March 31, 2011 at 4:24 PM

He got steam rollered by the Furies to start it. Can’t be feeling too chipper about that.

a capella on March 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Meanwhile – fasten your seatbelts – we’ve told the rebels that we will bomb them – yes bomb them - if they attack pro-Qaddafi civilians.

Read it and weep, or laugh: Rebels Threatened.

At the end of the day we may bring the two sides together.

Against us.

Swell.

SteveMG on March 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM

How would you like to be in the position of defending Scooter?

kingsjester on March 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Gates kinda sorta threatens to resign if Obama sends ground troops into Libya
============================

Great Scott…….the Rats are flee’n both ships,
Team Gaddfly Libya and Team Progressive!

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

too much ‘kinetic military action’ thrown together ‘on the fly’ might make him want to resign.

jus sayin’

ted c on March 31, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I’ve alluded to this in other threads, but I’ll ask it again here. How can Obama possibly get reelected if he sends in ground troops? The left will PO’d, the right will be even more disgusted with the guy, and independents won’t be pleased either.

It would be one thing if things were going well with the economy. It’s what allowed Clinton to overcome numerous foreign policy gaffes throughout his Presidency. But with things going to hell domestically as well, Libya is shaping up to be the nail in the coffin for Obama’s political career.

Doughboy on March 31, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Hey Obama, got one of these?

No?

Impeach.

MadisonConservative on March 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

So………um,that might spook HilRod to resign
too,out of protest…no?!(sarc).

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Can’t a guy just eat his waffle, er, turd sandwich?

AZCoyote on March 31, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I assume Obama would just cut him out of the loop, like he cuts everyone else out of the loop.

RBMN on March 31, 2011 at 4:37 PM

SteveMG: we’ve told the rebels that we will bomb them – yes bomb them – if they attack pro-Qaddafi civilians.

This “civil war” is a side show. If the rebels erode Kaddafi’s assets (both political and military), then that is to NATO’s advantage.

But the issue for Americans remains whether we NOW exercise the will and moral courage to address Kaddafi’s ‘casus belli‘ against the families (orphans, widows, aging parents) of innocent American victims.

Libyan officials have now confirmed that Kaddafi (personally) masterminded the Lockerbie massacre.

“The orders were given by Gaddafi himself… This evidence is in our hands and we have documents that prove what I have said and we are ready to hand them over to the international criminal court.“

The fig leaf has been stripped away. America has NO excuse for continued inaction.

In what alternate universe is the failed Christmas panty-bomber mastermind (al-Awlaki) a legitimate target; while the successful mastermind (Kaddafi) of TWA840, PA73, PA103, UTA772, etc. is (somehow) NOT an imminent threat?

Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Unless the Kearsarge ARG is heading home, there will be two ARGs with two full MEUs, 4400 Marines, off Libya in three or four days. Add the proximity of the Army’s 173rd airborne bde, and that’s 7,000 light infantry available at very short notice.Gates knows this and may be trying to prevent their deployment by using these words.

xkaydet65 on March 31, 2011 at 4:40 PM

allies involved in the operation might provide arms and send in trainers to aid the rebels

i asked this yesterday…what arms can the rebels be given that they can use right away. TOW anti tank missles.

according to the news this morning, it would take months to train the rebels to use this weapon..so what good would it do to provide them now. if this ‘intervention’ lasts months, cindy sheehan will be setting up a tent outside obama’s crib in Chi-town.

DrW on March 31, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Troops to Libya, Gates goes under the bus.

Troops out of Afghanistan, Petraeus goes under the bus.

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:41 PM

In case anyone hasn’t seen the video,MUST SEE!
Yes,the Mental hoops,the Twisted Logic,the Morale
Lefty BackAwkWards Justification for Abama’s Libya
War!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
==================================================
**************************************************

Roseanne Barr & Michael Moore: An Epic Clash of Ignorance Over Libya(Video-Cnn-Behar Show)
********************************

Essentially, what Michael Moore and Roseanne Barr are saying here (though she argues with him before she appears to agree on principle) is that America shouldn’t have gone into Libya because George W. Bush destroyed the trust the world had in us. And so, as a consequence, the number one priority for our Pentagon and military is that they should take a “time out” and stop doing anything until the world trusts and loves us again.

Translation? Sitting on our hands as untold thousands of civilians are butchered in the Middle East will help rebuild the trust the people in the Middle East have in us.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2011/03/30/roseanne-barr-michael-moore-an-epic-clash-of-ignorance-over-libya/
=================================================

‘ÀMERICA NEEDS TO GO TO THE TIME-OUT ROOM`’
-Micheal Moore

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Kaddafi has NOW vowed to resume targeting civilian airliners.
The clock is ticking. Kaddafi’s typical retaliation turnaround time is measured in mere weeks or months.

March ’86 (Reagan) Gulf of Sidra
April ’86: (Kaddafi) Berlin bombing + TWA840

April ’86: (Reagan) El Dorado Canyon
Sept ’86: (Kaddafi) PA73 + Dec ’88: PA103 + Sept ’89: UTA772

Perhaps you don’t believe Kaddafi?

Fine. But don’t ask the orphans, widows and aging parents of innocent Americans murdered by Kaddafi (TWA840, PA73, PA103, UTA772) whether they should take Kaddafi’s threat seriously.

There is no statute of limitations on mass murder of innocent Americans. America has a sacred obligation to either bring Kaddafi to justice– or justice to Kaddafi.

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Ugh,I got Alabama on my mind,should be
Obama,not Abama’s!

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Apparently Sully isn’t craving the one’s tool anymore…

… anyway, are we all Ronulans yet?

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 4:45 PM

What’s that? A $14T debt and U6 unemployment at 20%?

Hmmm, what to do, what to do???

Hey look, over there…..a war!!

That should shut up the masses for a while.

angryed on March 31, 2011 at 4:46 PM

There is no statute of limitations on mass murder of innocent Americans. America has a sacred obligation to either bring Kaddafi to justice– or justice to Kaddafi.

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 4:44 PM

And?

What’s your point?

IF we’re lucky, Kaddafi will be c

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Hey Obama, got one of these?

No?

Impeach.

MadisonConservative on March 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

MadisonConservative:Preach it bro,true dat!:)

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Over at powerlineblog, Steven Hayward weighs in. Here are several key paragraphs:

In a post here last week I expressed puzzlement and potential objection about the constitutional ambiguities of the command structure of our multinational Libyan enterprise. I wasn’t concerned as much about whether our involvement requires congressional approval or not, though Lee Casey and David Rivkin, two of the right’s favorite popular legal commentators, argued that Obama does not.

Well, one of my gurus in the area of international law, Michael Glennon of Tufts University, has weighed in against Casey and Rivkin today with a letter to the Washington Post, and along the way notes the problematic nature of Obama relying on a UN resolution. In short, Mike argues, Obama can’t:

Contrary to the claim of David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey ["Obama's Libyan authority," op-ed, March 24], the U.N. charter and the Security Council resolution do not obligate the United States to use force in Libya; they merely authorize it. They cannot serve as a substitute for congressional approval for three reasons.

First, constitutionally, the House of Representatives cannot be cut out of the decision to go to war. Second, under the Supreme Court’s 2008 Medellin ruling, the resolution and U.N. charter are non-self-executing, meaning that they are not domestic law, and the president therefore cannot rely on any power to take care that they be faithfully executed. Third, because neither is implemented by statute, the war powers resolution (in a provision that has never been challenged) precludes inferring from them any authority to use force.

What the president constitutionally needs from Congress he cannot get from the U.N. Security Council.

onlineanalyst on March 31, 2011 at 4:48 PM

There is no statute of limitations on mass murder of innocent Americans. America has a sacred obligation to either bring Kaddafi to justice– or justice to Kaddafi.

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 4:44 PM

And?

What’s your point?

IF we’re lucky, Kaddafi will be killed in a bombing gone wrong

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 4:48 PM

There is no statute of limitations on mass murder of innocent Americans. America has a sacred obligation to either bring Kaddafi to justice– or justice to Kaddafi.

MeatHeadinCA: And? What’s your point?

Nemo me impune lacessit

Don’t tread on me

Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Troops to Libya, Gates goes under the bus.

Troops out of Afghanistan, Petraeus goes under the bus.

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Do not ask for whom the bus rolls, it rolls for thee.

SlaveDog on March 31, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Soros controls the US.

Soon he will control Libya. Thanks to the US Navy and AirForce.

faraway on March 31, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Nemo me impune lacessit

Don’t tread on me

Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Don’t tread on me but please spend more money on helping Islamic rebels?

OK.

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I.dont.believe.him. He has served under several presidents. I was really amazed at how much he pivoted his positions when he went from serving under Bush to Obama. The guy will do whatever is necessary to sell the administration’s policy in my opinion.

KickandSwimMom on March 31, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Soros controls the US.

Soon he will control Libya. Thanks to the US Navy and AirForce.

faraway on March 31, 2011 at 4:52 PM

And more?

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Last week the issue came out in the open, as NBC’s Richard Engel reported from Libya that one in five rebels was fighting Gadhafi because he believes the leader is Jewish.

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/31/the-mystery-behind-moammar-gadhafis-birth-some-say-hes-jewish/

We’re dealing with backassward people… We’ll probably help them set up a Sharia compliant democracy, too.

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Well, whoever heard of the Sec.State implementing a war before? I thought that was Sec.Defense. So seems to me that Gates had the wool pulled over his eyes, the president won’t make a decision, so he let Hillary screw up the War Powers Act.

Who’s in charge over there anyway?

Tennman on March 31, 2011 at 5:00 PM

we’ve told the rebels that we will bomb them – yes bomb them – if they attack pro-Qaddafi civilians.

SteveMG on March 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Quagmire!

bitsy on March 31, 2011 at 5:01 PM

“They are not committed to following the important part of the War Powers Act,” [Democrat Brad Sherman] told TPM in a phone interview. “She said they are certainly willing to send reports [to us] and if they issue a press release, they’ll send that to us too.”

Does that mean that Congress reads newspapers?

Steve Z on March 31, 2011 at 5:01 PM

American ground troops are already in Libya.

Heckle on March 31, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Libyan rebels sold Hizballah and Hamas chemical shells DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 31, 2011, 11:24 AM (GMT+02:00)
***************

Senior Libyan rebel “officers” sold Hizballah and Hamas thousands of chemical shells from the stocks of mustard and nerve gas that fell into rebel hands when they overran Muammar Qaddafi’s military facilities in and around Benghazi, debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources report.
Word of the capture touched off a scramble in Tehran and among the terrorist groups it sponsors to get hold of their first unconventional weapons.

According to our sources, the rebels offloaded at least 2,000 artillery shells carrying mustard gas and 1,200 nerve gas shells for cash payment amounting to several million dollars.

US and Israeli intelligence agencies have tracked the WMD consignments from eastern Libya as far as Sudan in convoys secured by Iranian agents and Hizballah and Hamas guards. They are not believed to have reached their destinations in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, apparently waiting for an opportunity to get their deadly freights through without the US or Israel attacking and destroying them.
(More………….)

http://www.debka.com/article/20811/

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 5:02 PM

we’ve told the rebels that we will bomb them – yes bomb them – if they attack pro-Qaddafi civilians.

SteveMG on March 31, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Quagmire!

How can we tell the difference? Maybe we should leave and let allah sort them out…

sandee on March 31, 2011 at 5:03 PM

American ground troops are already in Libya.

Heckle on March 31, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Probably

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Shouldn’t Al Qaida at least pay us for all those cruise missiles we have used to support their side in the Libyan civil war? Seems like that’s the least they could do. They could get it from their rich Saudi friends if they are having any cash flow problems right now because of other commitments.

Heckle on March 31, 2011 at 5:04 PM

MeatHeadinCA: spend more money on helping Islamic rebels?

Yeh. I know. Everyone’s fascinated by the sideshow.

Don’t repeat the propaganda lies of the Kucinich-Farrakhan Axis your whole life.

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:06 PM

I have the feeling that a lot of the Obama’s ‘spine,’ or cojones, left when Rahm left. He was not much of ditherer.

rgeaste on March 31, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Wanted: Spooks to Lead Libyan Rabble
March 31 2011(Video)
**********************
***********************
Coming on the heels of administration leaks that the CIA’s special activities division operators (maybe even sheep-dipped CAG kickers) have been spooled up to go put some kind of cerebral guidance system on the herd of cats that is the fighting arm of the Libyan “Transitional National Council,” we saw this report from a tres ballsy Orla Guerin of the BBC from the front lines.

Holy-quagmire Batman! Are we seriously hitching our Arab Spring wagon to these bozos? I bet there are a lot of unanswered phone calls to the SAD types who’re giving this one look and saying, “Sorry, I’m gonna sit this one out…” Stand by for a “Plan B” in which Langley calls Blackwater/Xe for some outside help. Would you want to go lead a group of fighters who don’t know which end of an RPG-7 to point at the bad guy?

One things for sure: By the look of these guys’ tactical acumen and organizational skills, I think it’s safe to say this is one group al Qaeda is not involved with.

http://defensetech.org/2011/03/31/wanted-spooks-to-lead-libyan-rabble/

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 5:07 PM

The 1000 or so ragtag rebels, many of whom are wild ones who want you and kids dead, don’t deserve the sacrifice of one single U.S. Soldier, nor that of his/her family.

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Amen, brother. I cannot believe Obama’s consdering arming these jihadis. You know that after Qaddafi’s gone, they’ll turn those weapons on us.

JSGreg3 on March 31, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Come on, people. It’s not like if we arm the Palestinian Authority with American weapons, they are gonna use them against out allies.

Wait a minute . . .

BigAlSouth on March 31, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Troops out of Afghanistan, Petraeus goes under the bus.

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2011 at 4:41 PM

I have a dream. Those troops, after resting up, can be deployed along our southern border and Petraeus can replace Lakin in Leavenworth.

Heckle on March 31, 2011 at 5:08 PM

MeatHeadinCA: Don’t tread on me but please spend more money on helping Islamic rebels?

I ask again: In what alternate universe is the failed al-Qaeda panty-bomber mastermind (al-Awlaki) a legitimate target; while the successful mastermind (Kaddafi) of TWA840, PA73, PA103, UTA772, etc. is (somehow) NOT an imminent threat?

Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Bone Joins the Fray(B-1)
March 31 2011
******************
******************

The B-1 bomber, that Carter-era relic originally designed to fly low and fast to evade Soviet air defenses, has added itself to the ever-growing laundry list of platforms used in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

Rapid City Journal (hometown paper for Ellsworth AFB, where your humble scribe has stopped to gas-up Tomcats (that Nixon-era relic) a bunch of times) reports:

The wheels of two B-1B Lancers hit the Ellsworth Air Force Base runway Wednesday morning bringing home eight airmen from an airstrike mission in Libya.

“We, of course, were striking military targets that were designed to protect the Libyan population,” said Col. Jeffrey Taliaferro, 28th Bomb Wing Commander. “It was nearly 100 targets, nearly 100 weapons and those weapons did achieve their intended effects.”

Two jets, 100 bombs, and beaucoup flight hours for those blue suiters. What else are they gonna do? Let the B-2 boys have all the fun?

http://defensetech.org/

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Yeh. I know. Everyone’s fascinated by the sideshow.

Don’t repeat the propaganda lies of the Kucinich-Farrakhan Axis your whole life.

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:06 PM

What are you smoking?

You aren’t even making sense.

What I surmise is that you support doing something to Lybia because we need to get Kaddafi and that you support the current thrust.

Well, by all means, you and Diane Feinstein can take a UN helicopter to Tripoli and arrest Kaddafi … maybe take him to the Hague.

Meanwhile, you leave the nation building of Islamic Democracies to the rest of us taxpayers.

Now, excuse me while I worship my aqua-Kucinich.

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 5:10 PM

For all Bozo Obama knows the rebels could be members of the Tea Party. Now, wouldn’t that be special!

Heckle on March 31, 2011 at 5:11 PM

I ask again: In what alternate universe is the failed al-Qaeda panty-bomber mastermind (al-Awlaki) a legitimate target; while the successful mastermind (Kaddafi) of TWA840, PA73, PA103, UTA772, etc. is (somehow) NOT an imminent threat?

Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:09 PM

You know how we could get Kaddafi? Drop a nuke on Tripoli. Just saying.

Now, would you pull your head out of your a$$ and realize that our Obama’s mission is not to bring Kaddafi to justice?

What’s the Latin phrase for irrelevant posts?

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Who’s calling in AirStrikes,yup,thought so!!!!
===============================================

C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels
March 30 2011
****************
*******************

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and to contact and vet the beleaguered rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.

While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said.

In addition to the C.I.A. presence, composed of an unknown number of Americans who had worked at the spy agency’s station in Tripoli and others who arrived more recently, current and former British officials said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces and missile installations, the officials said.

American officials hope that similar information gathered by American intelligence officers — including the location of Colonel Qaddafi’s munitions depots and the clusters of government troops inside towns — might help weaken Libya’s military enough to encourage defections within its ranks.

In addition, the American spies are meeting with rebels to try to fill in gaps in understanding who their leaders are and the allegiances of the groups opposed to Colonel Qaddafi, said United States government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the activities. American officials cautioned, though, that the Western operatives were not directing the actions of rebel forces.
(More……….)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/world/africa/31intel.html?_r=1&hp

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

What’s the Latin phrase for irrelevant posts?

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 5:13 PM

arptay olemay.

Heckle on March 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

This is the mess you get when you allow dipsh*ts like Samantha Power to run your foreign policy and use our military for purposes it is not intended for. I hope Obama gets fried for listening to that batsh*t crazy woman!!

JAM on March 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

MeatHeadinCA: “What I surmise is… that you support the current thrust.”

Convenient for you to “surmise“; but I did not write that I support the current thrust.

If this thrust ends with Kaddafi’s head on a pike, fine with me.

If not, it doesn’t change our sacred obligation to American victims of Kaddafi’s thuggery.

Try harder to stay focus and avoid assisting the Kucinich-Farrakhan Axis efforts to give aid and comfort to Kaddafi.

Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Convenient for you to “surmise“; but I did not write that I support the current thrust.

If this thrust ends with Kaddafi’s head on a pike, fine with me.

If not, it doesn’t change our sacred obligation to American victims of Kaddafi’s thuggery.

Try harder to stay focus and avoid assisting the Kucinich-Farrakhan Axis efforts to give aid and comfort to Kaddafi.

Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Do you support it or not? It’s pretty simple. Do you think we should be doing what we’re doing? If so, why?

For the record, I don’t support this vague mission that may start bordering on un-Constitutional and perhaps even violate US sovereignty. I do not support Islamic nation building.

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 5:32 PM

MeatHeadinCA: Do you support it or not? It’s pretty simple.

it“?

I support what I stated. There is no statute of limitations on mass murder of innocent Americans. America has a sacred obligation to either bring Kaddafi to justice– or justice to Kaddafi.

How many times do you need “it” repeated?

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Training? How long have we been in Iraq training and these ragtag rebels need training? They need an army.

::sigh:: Half measures will get you every time. If Obama wasn’t willing to go in full hog, he should have stayed out of it.

Sue on March 31, 2011 at 5:44 PM

I don’t support this mission either, MeatHead.

We have no more reason to be there than anywhere else in the ME. These folks have been killing each other for eons. We certainly don’t need to spill any more blood of our brave young people for people who hate us.

Obama started this for political reasons…as part of his ’12 campaign. Shame on his dark soul.

None of this will end well.

marybel on March 31, 2011 at 5:49 PM

MeatHeadinCA: I do not support Islamic nation building.

Good for you.

That is utterly irrelevant to the widows, orphans and aging parents of mass murdered American innocents at Lockerbie– or the innocent Americans NOW (once again) in Kaddafi’s sights.

Kaddafi has NOW vowed to resume targeting civilian airliners.

The clock is ticking. Kaddafi’s typical retaliation turnaround time is measured in mere weeks or months.

March ’86 (Reagan) Gulf of Sidra
April ’86: (Kaddafi) Berlin bombing + TWA840

April ’86: (Reagan) El Dorado Canyon
Sept ’86: (Kaddafi) PA73 + Dec ’88: PA103 + Sept ’89: UTA772

Perhaps you don’t believe Kaddafi?

Good luck with that.

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Gates finally, almost possibly gets courage, err convictions, err whatever?

“Please, sir, may I have some more?”

Caststeel on March 31, 2011 at 5:56 PM

This is the mess you get when you allow dipsh*ts like Samantha Power to run your foreign policy and use our military for purposes it is not intended for. I hope Obama gets fried for listening to that batsh*t crazy woman!!

JAM on March 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

<—this

nwpammy on March 31, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Kinda sorta? Reading between the lines? Some people need it writ large I guess: GATES THREATENS TO RESIGN IF OBAMA INVADES LIBYA.

Basilsbest on March 31, 2011 at 6:02 PM

We may need a coup before the 2012 elections to allow this nation to survive.

retiredeagle on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM

.
Staff cars to 1600 after dark,SS told step aside as there is big back up at all the entrances and tunnels. Citation at Regan, rooms available in Kenya.It may have to come to this,sad.

Col.John Wm. Reed on March 31, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Somehow bozo thinks this whole mess will help his 2012 run. Beats me how this twisted thinking works but we do not live in DC and drink the water there. bozo is as crazy as the powers woman. A good hit team and real Intel could/would be what it takes to put kay daffy out,we could hire some x Blackwater folks to handle the job and then claim that they just went in for a practice run.

Col.John Wm. Reed on March 31, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Belgian NATO F16 destroys Libyan fighterjet
NATO release March 30
************************

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b1c_1301568913

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Bozo’s MSLSD supporters also claim not producing his LFBC is helping him. They’re getting some help from weak minded testicular-lacking Republicans, but common sense on this issue is our trump card.

Basilsbest on March 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Belgian NATO F16 destroys Libyan fighterjet
NATO release March 30
************************

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b1c_1301568913

canopfor on March 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM

That’s gotta be the all-time past and future highlight of the Belgian military.

slickwillie2001 on March 31, 2011 at 7:23 PM

My bet: Øbama‘s Libyan adventure will get ugly, Øbama will try to pull his chestnuts out of the fire by committing ground troops, and Gates will resign.

petefrt on March 31, 2011 at 7:38 PM

My bet: Øbama‘s Libyan adventure will get ugly, Øbama will try to pull his chestnuts out of the fire by committing ground troops, and Gates will resign.petefrt on March 31, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Obama’s intelligence is vastly overestimated but the kenyan is not that stupid.

Basilsbest on March 31, 2011 at 8:13 PM

My bet: Øbama‘s Libyan adventure will get ugly, Øbama will try to pull his chestnuts out of the fire by committing ground troops, and Gates will resign.

petefrt on March 31, 2011 at 7:38 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 31, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Technically, we already have boots on the ground (special ops, the ones guiding the “kinetic” strikes). We just don’t want to deploy an infantry battalion or two, nor should we.

Gates is voicing the dissent of the brass on the stupidity of opening a third front.

Do you support it or not? It’s pretty simple. Do you think we should be doing what we’re doing? If so, why?

For the record, I don’t support this vague mission that may start bordering on un-Constitutional and perhaps even violate US sovereignty. I do not support Islamic nation building.

MeatHeadinCA on March 31, 2011 at 5:32 PM

That’s a cope out and you know it. Bush used the same act to go to Iraq. If Libya truly went to hell in a hand-basket, then we would have a national security crisis where the violence would spread to areas of US interest. Obama is trying to mitigate what could be -and will probably- turn into a disaster. Moreover, if this was the Bush admin the majority on this site would support this action. This is just like Bosnia all over again…

And this bs about an Islamic caliphate… there’s no basis for it. Only rumors. Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, whatever other freaking Muslim group will be a facet of the opposition in the Middle East (AQ has been in every front where Muslims are fighting for the past 30 years). We’ve never supported those ideological groups (we didn’t with Operation Cyclone) and we never will (current op). We should be involved with this mission to remove Qaddafi (who has supported terrorism and bases his government on Islamic socialism) and usher in a pro American government. That’s why the CIA’s there.

What America needs is non partisan approach to foreign policy, which is a pipe dream in this country.

Cr4sh Dummy on March 31, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Soros controls the US.

Soon he will control Libya. Thanks to the US Navy and AirForce.

faraway on March 31, 2011 at 4:52 PM

I hate Soros the way my parents and grandparents hated Hitler. I admit that’s probably overkill, but not by much, especially when you consider that Soros was a Nazi sympathizer who profited by the deaths of Jews who died in the Holocaust. Since, unlike Hitler, Soros is not a military target, my only consolation is that he’s fairly elderly and will probably have an uncomfortable interview with his Maker soon.

Mary in LA on March 31, 2011 at 8:25 PM

This is the mess you get when you allow dipsh*ts like Samantha Power to run your foreign policy and use our military for purposes it is not intended for. I hope Obama gets fried for listening to that batsh*t crazy woman!!

JAM on March 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I suspect that little Bammie thinks exactly like she does, as do the loopy Susan Rice and Obama’s-brain Valerie Jarrett. Not like they had to twist his arm.

slickwillie2001 on March 31, 2011 at 8:26 PM

That’s a cope out and you know it. Bush used the same act to go to Iraq. If Libya truly went to hell in a hand-basket, then we would have a national security crisis where the violence would spread to areas of US interest. Obama is trying to mitigate what could be -and will probably- turn into a disaster. Moreover, if this was the Bush admin the majority on this site would support this action.

Your comment is beyond stupid. Libya disbanded its nuclear weapons programs when we invaded Iraq. Saddam refused to establish that he had given up his programs (as required by the Gulf War Ceasefire Resolution) through another 16 Resolutions. Hussein trained terrorists and provided sanctuary for terrorists including the man who made the 1993 WTC bomb. He never gave up his nuclear and WMD ambitions.

Libya going to hell in a hand basket will have no impact on U.S. national security. This is all about misplaced humanitarianism and putting U.S. military assets at the disposal of the UN – at the request of, as Hillary Clinton calls them “our Arab Partners”. The very concept of Arab Partners is a joke.

Basilsbest on March 31, 2011 at 8:47 PM

I hate Soros the way my parents and grandparents hated Hitler.
Mary in LA on March 31, 2011 at 8:25 P

An apt analogy, I think. I’ve been watching this jerk since ~2000, and every year he exceeds expectations… on the anti-American side If he can crash our economy, he will. Meanwhile, if he can stack the ME deck against Israel, he’ll do that too.

petefrt on March 31, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Basilsbest on March 31, 2011 at 8:47 PM

This is all about misplaced humanitarianism using “humanitarianism” as a pretext for pursuing a political agenda and putting U.S. military assets at the disposal of the UN

I won’t buy it. No way. I’m with ya, partner.

petefrt on March 31, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Thanks for the improvement Peter.

Basilsbest on March 31, 2011 at 9:36 PM

That is utterly irrelevant to the widows, orphans and aging parents of mass murdered American innocents at Lockerbie

Terp Mole on March 31, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Sounds like a liberal talking point.

Anyway, you wanna to kill Kadaffi – great.

That’s not what’s going on now, though.

MeatHeadinCA on April 1, 2011 at 1:12 AM

Cr4sh Dummy on March 31, 2011 at 8:25 PM

What Basilsbest said + actually being consistent with limited gov’t. The Constitutional requirement for our gov’t to get involved in Lybia is not clear. In fact, I’m pretty sure George Washington would tell us to get the heck out of Lybia.

MeatHeadinCA on April 1, 2011 at 1:13 AM

Yes, the WPA is likely unconstitutional. BUT, the Commander in Chief is very pointedly NOT allowed to declare war or initiate hostilities. That function is 100% reserved for Congress.

Maybe it’s time for YOU to read the Constitution, carefully, Allahpundit.

{^_^}

herself on April 1, 2011 at 3:21 AM

Better start cleaning out your desk Bobby. As we all know, Marines were there over a week ago…

Mr. Grump on April 1, 2011 at 9:16 AM

I think it’s past time to start whispering “Vietnam”.

LarryD on April 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM