The White House dramatically stepped up its response to the crisis in Libya after Americans were evacuated out of the country Friday afternoon, with spokesman Jay Carney saying leader Moammar Gadhafi has “zero” legitimacy.
The administration is crafting unilateral sanctions against the regime and is working with allies to impose unilateral sanctions as well. President Obama will discuss the situation Monday with UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon in Washington.
Saying Mr. Obama’s highest priority is the safety of U.S. citizens, Mr. Carney acknowledged that the president was “certainly willing to take a few days of consternation in the press” over what some called a tepid response as the government sought to make sure all U.S. diplomats and citizens who wanted out of the north African nation were evacuated.
Still, the administration is not calling on the longtime strongman to step down. Mr. Carney said it’s up to the Libyan people to determine their leader.
Mr. Obama broke his public silence on the violence in Libya Wednesday, making a brief public statement from the White House in which he said the crackdowns on protesters “violate international norms and every standard of common decency.”
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Kara Rowland, White House reporter for The Washington Times, is a D.C.-area native. She graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied American government and spent nearly all her waking hours working as managing editor of the Cavalier Daily, UVa.’s student newspaper.
Her interest in political reporting was piqued by an internship at Roll Call the summer before her ...
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