The Envoy
  • Clinton meets the Libyan opposition–again


    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Libyan opposition leader Mahmoud Jibril on the sidelines of a London conference on Libya Tuesday. Meanwhile, world powers endorsed the opposition group selling oil on international markets.

    Clinton held a closed-door meeting with Jibril in Paris earlier this month. But unlike Tuesday's meeting, which was held at the British Foreign Office, no photos of that earlier and more tentative meeting were released.

    The 40 some U.S., European and Arab leaders attending the London Libya summit Tuesday also moved closer to granting the Libyan Transitional National Council the right to access some of the billions of dollars of Libyan regime assets frozen in accounts abroad, the Financial Times reports, as some leaders said they were open to a potential exile deal for Muammar Gadhafi:

    Libya's opposition Transitional National Council significantly boosted its relations with world powers confronting Colonel Muammer Gaddafi on Tuesday, winning the right to sell Libyan oil on international markets and getting potential access to hitherto frozen regime assets.

    As more than 40 nations convened in London for an international summit on the future of Libya, Qatar formally announced that it would facilitate the sale of Libyan oil in rebel held areas, delivering humanitarian goods in return. [...]

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  • Frontline obtains Manning stepmother 911 call

    Bradley-Manning-007For a forthcoming documentary on Wikileaks suspect PFC Bradley Manning, PBS's "Frontline" obtained the transcript of a 2006 911 call made by Manning's stepmother after he allegedly threatened her with a knife.

    Wired's Kim Zetter reports:

    A year before he entered the Army, police removed WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning from his father's home after he allegedly threatened his stepmother with a knife, according to a news report Tuesday.

    Read More »from Frontline obtains Manning stepmother 911 call
  • obamandu

    In relatively brief remarks Monday night, President Barack Obama sought to strike a delicate balance, justifying his decision to use force in Libya while assuring a doubtful nation that the U.S. military actions would be limited and low-risk. Obama built his case for intervention by arguing that swift intervention in Libya was necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe on the scale of the 1990s Bosnia genocide. But while Obama repeatedly attacked Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi for creating that impending catastrophe, he insisted that international military action would stop well short of toppling the Libyan dictator, and declared that U.S. allies would soon take over leadership of the operation.

    "I said that America's role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge," Obama said, saying the 28-member NATO alliance would take over command of all military functions in Libya starting on Wednesday.

    With Gadhafi's forces closing in on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi ten days ago, "the United States and the world faced a choice," Obama said at the National Defense University. "Gadhafi declared that he would show 'no mercy' to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment."

    "We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi -- a city nearly the size of Charlotte -- could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world," Obama said. "It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing."

    While making the case for action to skeptics, Obama also defended the limited U.S. military mission in Libya from critics on the right who argue the mission will not succeed until Gadhafi is overthrown.

    "There is no question that Libya — and the world — will be better off with Gadhafi out of power," Obama said. "But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake."

    "If we tried to overthrow Gadhafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground, or risk killing many civilians from the air," Obama said. "To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq."

    Read More »from Obama: Action in Libya was justified, but mission will be limited


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