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Rumors of the United States Arming Libya's Rebels: Are they True?

Reuters got a major scoop today: according to the news outlet, President Obama has given the go-ahead to provide covert help to Libyan rebel groups. Reuters reports Obama signed a secret order, called a "finding," making it legal for the United States to covertly aid the rebels:

The New York Times reports today, however, that Central Intelligence Agency operatives are already in Libya and have been meeting with rebel groups:

Because President Obama apparently signed the finding several weeks ago, the presence of the C.I.A. in Libya is legal.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Reuters reporter the Obama administration hasn't made the decision yet to arm rebels in Libya. But the prospect gives many lawmakers pause. Rep. Mike Rogers, head of the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC news he has deep reservations about the possibility of arming Libyan rebels:

I gotta say, I agree with Rep. Rogers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we arm Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war? And the after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan? And aren't we now in wars against the very groups we armed? To bastardize an old saying, "Arm in haste, repent in leisure."