Testifying before Congress this morning, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates claimed that the United States would put no military "boots on the ground" in Libya, only hours after the New York Times revealed that President Obama had signed an order authorizing CIA agents to operate in Libya, where they have been on the ground for some time now.
In testimony to the House armed services committee on Thursday, Mr Gates said: "I can't speak to any CIA activities but I will tell you that the president has been quite clear that in terms of the United States military there will be no boots on the ground." Responding to a question from Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican opponent of the war, Gates averred that we don't really know whom we are arming and assisting with our CIA boots on the ground:
"To be honest, other than a relative handful of leaders, we don't have vision into those who have risen against" Gadhafi, Gates said. "In a way, speaking of the quote-unquote opposition is a misnomer. It is very disparate. It is very scattered and probably each element has its own agenda."
It is beyond dispute that the Obama administration has not thought through its most solemn responsibility: taking military action. The voting public recognizes that our goals are not clear, there is no coordination among agencies, and no one has any idea where this will end. A mess, where lives are at stake.