Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton brought some of the State Department’s intelligence to an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Tuesday night as she said that Libyan officials close to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and perhaps even Qaddafi himself, are looking for ways out of the current conflict.
“We’ve heard about other people close to [Qaddafi] reaching out to people that they know around the world -- Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America, beyond -- saying, ‘What do we do? How do we get out of this? What happens next?’” Clinton told Sawyer. “I’m not aware that [Qaddafi] personally has reached out, but I do know that people allegedly on his behalf have been reaching out.”
She also said that the State Department has been hearing from multiple sources that one, and perhaps two, of Qaddafi’s sons had been killed, but could not confirm the information. She was quick to say, though, that if they were dead, it was not the U.S. who was responsible.
Like President Obama in Santiago, Chile, a few days ago, Clinton took pains to make the distinction between wanting the U.S. using military force to carry out a United Nations Security Council resolution and a desire for Qaddafi to leave the country.
“I don’t want to jump beyond where we are right now. We are implementing the U.N. Security Council resolution. We are establishing the no-fly zone, which everybody was calling for, from the United States Senate to the Arab League,” Clinton said. “Now obviously, if we want to see a stable, peaceful, hopefully someday democratic Libya, it is highly unlikely that can be accomplished if he stays in power as he is.”
Sawyer also asked the secretary of State about her plans to depart the administration. Clinton has said that she will not stay on in her post for a second term, but she told Sawyer that she plans to stay until the beginning of Obama’s next term -- she’s confident there will be one -- in order to ensure a seamless transition.