U.S. Admiral Samuel J. Locklear Admits NATO Trying to Kill Gaddafi; Anticipates Use of Ground Troops Post-Regime Change
A leading US military commander has admitted that NATO forces engaged in military operations against Libyan government forces are trying to kill dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
According to Foreign Policy, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, Italy, told House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) that NATO forces are actively targeting Gaddafi with the goal of assassinating him:
“The U.N. authorization had three components: blockade, no fly zone, and civil protection. And Admiral Locklear explained that the scope of civil protection was being interpreted to permit the removal of the chain of command of Gaddafi’s military, which includes Gaddafi,” Turner said. “He said that currently is the mission as NATO has defined.”
“I believed that we were [targeting Gaddafi] but that confirmed it,” Turner said. “I believe the scope that NATO is pursuing is beyond what is contemplated in civil protection, so they’re exceeding the mission.”
This seems to squarely contradict President Barack Obama’s assertion that regime change is not a goal of the NATO war in Libya. The UN authorization for military action against Gaddafi’s forces does not call for regime change, either.
But Admiral Locklear, despite his admission, still says that NATO’s mission does not include regime change. “Well, certainly if you remove Qaddafi it will affect regime change,” Turner pressed at a briefing. Locklear had no response.
Locklear has also said that ground troops would be needed to help stabilize a post-Gaddafi Libya. “I would anticipate that there might be a need at some point to unfold a small force,” he said at a NATO forum in Varna, Bulgaria last month.
This remarkable statement has received little coverage in the US mainstream media.
Rep. Turner, an outspoken opponent of US involvement in the Libyan civil war, joined 122 other congressional lawmakers in voting against authorizing the war this morning. The measure failed, 123- 297. A vote to de-fund the Libyan mission also failed a House vote 180-238.
“The president hasn’t come to Congress and said any of this, and yet Admiral Locklear is pursuing the targeting of Qaddafi’s regime, Qaddafi himself, and contemplating ground troops following Qaddafi’s removal,” Turner said. “They’re not being straightforward with Congress… It’s outrageous.”
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