Armed US Predator drones are set to carry out missions in Libya, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said. Mr Gates said their use had been authorised by President Barack Obama and would give "precision capability" to the military operation. US drones are already used to target militants along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Libyan rebels have been battling Col Gaddafi's troops since February but have recently made little headway. "President Obama has said that where we have some unique capabilities, he is willing to use those," Mr Gates told a news conference. He said two armed, unmanned Predators were being made available to Nato as needed. Mr Gates denied that the drone deployment was evidence of "mission creep" in Libya and said there was no plan to put US "boots on the ground" in Libya.
Tag Archives | Libya
Ben Smith writes for Politico:
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A prominent libertarian constitutional lawyer and civil libertarian has drafted an article of impeachment against President Obama over his attack on Libya, throwing down a legal gauntlet that could be picked up by some Congressional Republicans.
Bruce Fein, a former Reagan administration official in the Department of Justice and chairman of American Freedom Agenda writes in his 15-page argument of Obama’s course that “Barack Hussein Obama has mocked the rule of law, endangered the very existence of the Republic and the liberties of the people, and perpetrated an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”
Fein is a small-government conservative who worked on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and also called for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and his work doesn’t represent the Republican Party line. But it comes as some Republicans on the Hill, led by Senator Rand Paul, object vociferously to Obama’s decision to strike targets in Libya without Congressional authorization.
WASHINGTON – Bender Arena at American University was generously packed for former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s remarks Wednesday. The 74-year-old retired four-star general gave a one-hour talk at the behest of the Kennedy Political Union, and at its culmination, responded to inquiry regarding the pre-no-fly zone presence of Special Forces and CIA agents in the civil war-torn North African nation of Libya. Powell couched Barack Obama’s metonymous statement that there would not be “boots on the ground” by suggesting that the group of elite American soldiers “on the ground” would only be indirectly involved in enabling insurrection against Gadhafi’s regime.
A presidential finding leaked by various news outlets a few days after the enforcement of a United Nations no-fly zone over Libya evidences Obama’s willingness to deploy America soldiers into Libya weeks before he would tell the American people on television that they would not have to count on “boots on the ground” being deployed into Libya.… Read the rest
Trevor Snapp writes in VICE Magazine:
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The Friday after former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak fled Cairo, I strolled through the postrevolution euphoria in Tahrir Square: men and women on their knees reciting thankful prayers, cheering teenagers, and giddy, hopeful children. It was a brand-new world, and the people’s revolution seemed unstoppable, which proved to be the case as insurrections and protests spread through Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Syria, and God knows where else by the time you’re reading this article.
A few days later, I left for the Libyan border. According to Twitter, it was open for the first time in decades. Even more than in Egypt, uncertainty counterbalanced jubilation as generations of repressed tensions were only beginning to uncoil. Would Colonel Muammar Gaddafi gracefully forfeit his country and leave peacefully, or would he ensure its destruction by stubbornly refusing to abandon his self-appointed post?
Scholar Tarak Barkawi argues revolutions are caused by human agency; not telecommunications technologies, in Al Jazeera:
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To listen to the hype about social networking websites and the Egyptian revolution, one would think it was Silicon Valley and not the Egyptian people who overthrew Mubarak.
Via its technologies, the West imagines itself to have been the real agent in the uprising. Since the internet developed out of a US Defense Department research project, it could be said the Pentagon did it, along with Egyptian youth imitating wired hipsters from London and Los Angeles.
Most narratives of globalisation are fantastically Eurocentric, stories of Western white men burdened with responsibility for interconnecting the world, by colonising it, providing it with economic theories and finance, and inventing communications technologies. Of course globalisation is about flows of people as well, about diasporas and cultural fusion.
But neither version is particularly useful for organising resistance to the local dictatorship.
A couple of weeks ago Minister Louis Farrakhan upset a lot of people in a radio interview in which he publicly told President Obama: “You can’t order him [Gadaffi] to step down and get out; who the hell do you think you are?” Many of us probably didn’t realize at the time that the controversial minister’s Chicago mosque was funded by Mr. Gaddafi; Manya Brachear reports for Chicago Breaking News:
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Warning that destruction could be on America’s doorstep because it oppresses “God’s chosen people,” Minister Louis Farrakhan, the controversial Nation of Islam leader, defended Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi today, calling the U.S. action in Libya hypocrisy.
Speaking from the pulpit of Chicago’s Mosque Maryam, the Nation of Islam’s international headquarters, purchased 40 years ago with a $3 million loan from Gadhafi, Farrakhan blamed demons for altering President Barack Obama’s moral conscience and driving the assault on Gadhafi, who he calls a brother.
Pepe Escobar writes in the Asia Times:
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Lies, hypocrisy and hidden agendas. This is what United States President Barack Obama did not dwell on when explaining his Libya doctrine to America and the world. The mind boggles with so many black holes engulfing this splendid little war that is not a war (a “time-limited, scope-limited military action”, as per the White House) — compounded with the inability of progressive thinking to condemn, at the same time, the ruthlessness of the Muammar Gaddafi regime and the Anglo-French-American “humanitarian” bombing.
United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 has worked like a Trojan horse, allowing the Anglo-French-American consortium — and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — to become the UN’s air force in its support of an armed uprising. Apart from having nothing to do with protecting civilians, this arrangement is absolutely illegal in terms of international law. The inbuilt endgame, as even malnourished African kids know by now, but has never been acknowledged, is regime change.
At first I thought this was an April Fools’ joke … Dana Kennedy writes on AOL News:
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What if the biggest mystery surrounding Col. Moammar Gadhafi had nothing to do with his long, brutal reign as the world’s most eccentric and violent leader turned pariah?
And what if a long-lost letter from a Catholic cardinal who knew Gadhafi’s true identity was evidence that could have solved the mystery?
To many Libyan people, the biggest question mark about Gadhafi does not involve his repressive and dictatorial rule, delusional statements or brazen lies. Behind closed doors, for years, they’ve wondered if he is Jewish. 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.
Conflicting reports surrounding Gadhafi’s birth have circulated since about 1970, two years after a Gadhafi-led coup made him the de facto leader of Libya.
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CIA operatives are providing intelligence from Libya, where opposition forces are on the run and the defiant government suffered the embarrassing defection of its foreign minister Wednesday.
The NATO-led coalition, which is enforcing a no-fly zone and protecting civilians from the intense fighting, got no help from the weather in its ongoing efforts to protect the fragile opposition movement.
“The weather conditions did not allow close combat support by aircraft in the last couple of days,” said Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Moammar Gadhafi’s government, for its part, kept up the war of words. State-run Libyan TV late Wednesday quoted a military source as saying a “civilian location was shelled tonight in the city of Tripoli by the colonizing crusader aggression.”
Amid debate on whether the allies will arm the retreating and undertrained rebels, a U.S. intelligence source told CNN the CIA is in the country to increase the “military and political understanding” of the situation.