Obama authorizes secret support for Libya rebels

Reuters News

3/30/2011 3:59:47 PM - Reuters News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter.

Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA and the White House declined immediate comment.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by David Storey)