(Politico) — President Barack Obama told congressional leaders there are no plans to use the U.S. military to assassinate Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi — despite the administration’s policy of seeking regime change in the North African country — according to sources familiar with a Friday White House Situation Room briefing.
“There was a discussion of how we have other ways of regime change,” Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee told POLITICO. “It’s not our role to do anything at this point from a kinetic point of view. It is our goal for regime change, but we’re not going to do it from a kinetic point of view.”
Another source briefed on the one-hour meeting confirmed that account.
“It’s not just military efforts that can force his removal,” the source said.
The hastily arranged briefing came amid fierce criticism from Capitol Hill of the president’s decision to strike Libya’s defenses. The stakes of Obama’s communication effort with leading lawmakers on foreign policy are high because liberals, conservatives and some moderates have questioned his strategy, the costs of the engagement and the appropriateness of deploying U.S. forces without the consent of Congress.