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Obama agenda: Clandestine operations

The New York Times: “The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and to contact and vet the beleaguered rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney released this statement: “As is common practice for this and all Administrations, I am not going to comment on intelligence matters. I will reiterate what the President said yesterday – no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya. We’re not ruling it out or ruling it in. We’re assessing and reviewing options for all types of assistance that we could provide to the Libyan people, and have consulted directly with the opposition and our international partners about these matters.”

The Times also reports, “A day after Libya’s foreign minister defected to London, dealing a blow to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government even as his forces made military advances, Britain said the Libyan official had fled of his own accord and without promises of immunity from prosecution.”

“The Obama administration’s closed-door briefings Wednesday for House and Senate lawmakers about U.S. military operations in Libya didn’t end the broadside from Capitol Hill,” Roll Call says. “Administration officials were repeatedly hammered with questions during their briefing with House lawmakers, but some Republicans said few answers were forthcoming.”

“The head of a major Wall Street company echoed White House officials Wednesday, warning that a default on America's debts would be ‘catastrophic,’” The Hill writes. “Speaking at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said America has a ‘moral obligation’ to ensure it pays its debts on time.”

This is interesting. “President Barack Obama was not on the ballot in 2010, but his campaign committee outspent all other presidential campaigns last year on legal fees, refunds to contributors and payments to the Treasury Department for unusable donations,” Roll Call reports. “Obama for America has spent more than $2.8 million on legal fees since the 2008 election, according to a CQ MoneyLine study of Federal Election Commission records. In all, the president’s campaign spent three times more on lawyers after Election Day than in the two years preceding it.”

“President Obama has threatened to veto the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill unless a provision on union organizing is removed,” The Hill notes.