This should not be surprising. Someone must have given the New York Times the go ahead to inform everyone. According to the article the clandestine operatives are in Libya to gather intelligence for airstrikes and contact the rebels. The rebel military leader is probably a CIA operative too so they can have a big party. For a list of a few of the operations the CIA has been involved in in Libya see this site.
Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops are involved in the Libyan campaign but groups of CIA operatives have been working in Libya for a couple of weeks already. As the NYTimes puts it ""as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi's military"" according to U.S. officials. Do not ever call these operatives troops.
Current and former British officials also said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives also have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence for stirkes. The hope is to weaken Libya's military enough to encourage defections. Of course they are also making sure no innocent civilians get killed.
The westerners are also meeting with the rebels. American officials cautioned, though, that the Western operatives are not directing the actions of rebel forces. This is probably a lie. The leader of the rebel military just arrived in early March from Virginia where he had lived for about two decades. He lived just five miles from the headquarters of the CIA in Langley. He had been involved with CIA funded groups earlier.
"We didn't have great data," Gen. Carter F. Ham, who handed over control of the Libya mission to NATO on Wednesday,. "Libya hasn't been a country we focused on a lot over past few years." Of course not because the past few years Gadaffi has been an ally of the west. Many western oil companies have production contracts with Libya. There are all sorts of projects being built by foreign firms. A Canadian company was even building a spanking new prison complex for Gadaffi when the protests broke out.
We find out now that Obama signed a secret finding authorizing the CIA to provide arms and other support for the Libyan rebels. If anyone had any doubt that the UN resolution was a farce and fig leaf it should be long laid to rest by now. As many right wing U.S. politiicans have pointed out Obama just ignores congress. Ifpulled such a trick the Democrats would go ballistic wouldn't they? Apparently weapons have not been given to the rebels yet as officials try to determine what effects giving them weapons might have.
We do know already that Egypt is providing arms and with the approval of the U.S. That providing weapons prima facie breaks the arms embargo set by the UN resolution is neither her nor there. As I set forth in my parody on how to interpret the UN resolution I noted that one could construe the resolution as allowing such shipments. The argument I parodied is now used all over the place by Clinton, Cameron, and various experts. But at least one expert I heard on the CBC noted that the coalition would have to go back to the UN and have the interpretation confirmed. He was serious but of course it will not happen..The expert did not think that this would happen either!
Jay Carney White House press secretary said that no decision had yet been made to provide arms to the rebels., a Michigan Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that he opposed arming the rebels. "We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them," Heavens is not the fact that the military leader is probably a CIA operative a good enough reference for them? Of course there is one leader associated with an AL Qaeda linked group as well. It is nice that the CIA and AL Qaeda are on the same side again. It is like old times when the jhadists with CIA funds were fighting the Evil Empire in Afghanistan.
A former British government official confirmed media reports that dozens of British Special Forces soldiers, from the elite Special Air Service and Special Boat Service units, are on the ground across Libya. A spokesman for Britain's Ministry of Defense declined to comment, citing an ongoing policy not to discuss the operations of British Special Forces.
All of these operations are just part of the background sets of the nightly televised morality play. Today the bad guys captured back an oil town. Surely the directors will be able to write in a successful counter attack with the help of their new CIA rebel commander Khalifa Hifter.