Boots On The Ground

By The Daily Dish

Al Jazeera notes the following:

US and Egyptian special forces have reportedly been providing covert training to rebel fighters in the battle for Libya, Al Jazeera has been told. An unnamed rebel source related how he had undergone training in military techniques at a "secret facility" in eastern Libya. He told our correspondent Laurence Lee, reporting from the rebel-stronghold of Benghazi, that he was sent to fire Katyusha rockets but was given a simple, unguided version of the rocket instead.

"He told us that on Thursday night a new shipment of Katyusha rockets had been sent into eastern Libya from Egypt. He didn't say they were sourced from Egypt, but that was their route through," our correspondent said. "He said these were state-of-the-art, heat-seeking rockets and that they needed to be trained on how to use them, which was one of the things the American and Egyptian special forces were there to do."

Are special forces not military? And has the US already made a decision to arm and train the rebels, while saying in public that the question is still being debated? I'm told that only the CIA is involved and there is no arming of the rebels going on. And then you hear of a "secret facility" in Eastern Libya for training one side in a civil war.

I cannot verify it, but it seems pretty clear to me that the press needs to ask the president or his spokesman to give a clear yes or no to the question of whether there are any US forces on the gound in Libya - and whether weapons are being secretly funneled to the rebels. If Obama has done that, and told us the opposite, he has a serious credibility problem. So let's clear it up, can we?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2011/04/boots-on-the-ground/173429/