White House Offers No Comment, or Denial, On Reports Of CIA Support For Libyan Rebels

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Reuters Mark Hosenball reported Wednesday that President Obama has authorized secret CIA support for Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi. The New York Times went further, saying “The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and make contacts with rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.” The Times also reported that British MI6 Intelligence officers and special forces are working in the country.

In response, White House spokesman Jay Carney issued a no-comment, non-denial.

As is common practice for this and all Administrations, I am not going to comment on intelligence matters. I will reiterate what the President said yesterday – no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya. We’re not ruling it out or ruling it in. We’re assessing and reviewing options for all types of assistance that we could provide to the Libyan people, and have consulted directly with the opposition and our international partners about these matters.