A Revealing Correction

Josh Rogin’s account of the White House debate leading up to the decision to use force in Libya contains the following rather delicious correction:

UPDATE: A previous version of this story stated that Vice President Joseph Biden pushed for the imposition of a no fly zone in Libya. Friday afternoon, a senior White House official told The Cable that, in fact, Biden shared the same concerns of Gates, Donilon and McDonough and that those concerns have been addressed by the policy announced by the president.

So let’s get this straight. Biden’s concerns about the attack on Libya “have been addressed” by the administration’s current policy. But someone (most likely Biden or someone in his camp) wanted to make sure that Biden was on the record as an internal critic of the attack, and felt strongly enough to contact Rogin to register his previous “concerns” — which, of course, are now ostensibly irrelevant, having been fully addressed by the administration’s policy. This bit of cover-your-ass gives a hint at how strong the misgivings about Libya must be among some members of the administration.

Daniel Luban

Daniel Luban is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University. He holds a PhD in politics from the University of Chicago and was formerly a correspondent in the Washington bureau of Inter Press Service.



  1. Or it could be that the opposition to US involvement in Libya was all a front until the UNSC resolution was passed as if the White House was seen to be “gagging for it”, then certain members of the Security Council might have opposed the resolution.

  2. Is this NATOs last dance? Or, might this embolden them to commence with the last dance?

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