Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) voiced her opposition to American military intervention in Libya on Thursday, saying there was just too little intelligence about the opposition to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said there’s no question Libya would be better off without Gadhafi, but expressed reluctance to support any military action in that country.
“There's no question that Gadhafi is not a great guy, that the people of Libya would be better off without him,” the conservative firebrand told Fox Business Network on Thursday.
“However, on that score I'm reluctant to go in, and I'll tell you why: We don't know who the opposition is. We have no idea, and no intelligence community will tell you that we know who the opposition is,” she said.
“For us to go in with American soldiers on the ground, right now, would be a mistake. We should not go that route. The same with arming — I think that would be a mistake right now.”
The United Nations on Thursday gave the green light for “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya from attacks by Gadhafi’s forces. Gadhafi’s army is approaching the rebel-held town of Benghazi, and the longtime Libyan dictator has promised to go door to door to “cleanse” the city.
It is unclear whether the U.N.’s decision could lead to U.S. troops in Libya. Most of the focus has been on setting up a no-fly zone over Libya that could halt an attack on Benghazi.
Bachmann, speaking before the U.N. vote on Thursday, did not specify whether she was against air strikes against pro-Gadhafi military targets or whether she supported a multinational intervention.
Until Thursday, the Obama administration and Pentagon officials had suggested a no-fly zone was an option, but had also cast doubts about moving forward with one given the cost of the operation and the potential risk to the U.S., which already has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the U.S. supported the Security Council vote at the U.N. on Thursday that authorized action.