This author has observed, “If the media wanted to conserve resources, they could simply fuse the words ‘The Obama administration lied’ to the opening line of each day’s edition and fill in the blank appropriately.” Today proved no exception. Despite President Barack Obama’s assurances that no ground troops would ever be sent to Libya, the Pentagon confirmed Monday that U.S. soldiers are on the ground.
Four servicemen landed in Tripoli over the weekend. The newly elected commander of the Tripoli Military Council, Abdel Hakim Belhaj (aka Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq), is an al-Qaeda asset and founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who twice met with Osama bin Laden. Belhaj has claimed U.S. agents tortured him for days, but he does “not want revenge.”
Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby refused to answer whether Obama would send additional troops to the region.
This contrasts with Obama’s pledge on March 18, as he launched his war-by-decree, when he stated, “The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya.” A few days later, Obama reaffirmed, “I said that America’s role would be limited, that we would not put ground troops into Libya…Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.”
White House officials have insisted this weekend’s deployment in no way constitutes a violation of Obama’s no-troops promise, because these soldiers are only assigned to determine whether it is safe for U.S. diplomats to return to the country. However, they are armed and may defend themselves if attacked.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland asserted, “When the president made his commitment to ‘no boots on ground’…obviously that had to do with entering into the fray between the Qaddafi forces and the Libyan freedom fighters” — many of whom are al-Qaeda members — “and that’s not what these guys are engaged in.”
In fact, it appears Obama broke his promise before he ever made it. CIA agents were on the ground in Libya before the United States engaged in
hostilities kinetic actions in the six-month-long war, which he vowed would last “weeks, not months.” American intelligence operatives worked alongside British MI6 and French special forces.
The foreign reinforcements have proven unable to assure victory for the Libyan “rebels.” Despite repeatedly claiming they had Muammar Qaddafi surrounded or on the brink of surrender, as of this writing the Libyan leader remains free and at large.
Obama is reportedly considering breaking his campaign promise to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by his original deadline, as well.