Larison thinks that the presence of American citizens in Libya explains the administration's muted response:

[I]t would be a remarkable display of arrogance and folly to start denouncing Gaddafi’s crimes when U.S. citizens could immediately be exposed to violent reprisals or arrest. It doesn’t seem to cross the minds of interventionists in this case that our government could imperil fellow Americans by following their advice. If official condemnations have to wait a few days or weeks until U.S. citizens in Libya are safely out of the country, that is what a responsible government should do.

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