Rohrabacher, an early supporter of the revolt, cited the rebel refusal
to issue a commitment to repay the United States for the military mission
against the regime of
Libyan Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Rohrabacher, a leading Republican, was part of
a delegation of six House members who met rebels in Libya earlier this month, Middle East Newsline reported.
Other House members expressed concern that the Libyan rebels were linked
to Al Qaida. They said Al Qaida and other insurgency groups were buying
surface-to-air missiles and other weapons captured by the rebels from
At a news conference on June 9 in Qatar, Rohrabacher said he was
expressing congressional unease over the Libyan rebel movement, which has
received hundreds of millions of dollars from Arab allies. The House member
from California said his request to the rebels was based on the assessment
that the United States could no longer afford major military missions.
"The United States right now is going broke, we are spending one and
half trillion dollars every year for the last three years more than what we
are taking in," Rohrabacher said. "This means that we are on the edge of a
major economic crisis now. And it's not right for us to borrow money from
China or anywhere to give it to the people of Libya to help them when they
Rohrabacher was the author of a resolution introduced in March that
recognized the rebel Transitional National Council as the "legitimate
representative of the Libyan people and nation." He said that Libya would
become an extremely rich nation once Gadhafi was replaced.
"The compromise that I have been trying to work out is that the Libyan
revolutionaries agree that once they win their freedom they would repay the
U.S. for the expenses in helping them in their freedom," Rohrabacher said.
"I think it's a reasonable request."
Congress has been told that NATO air strikes have significantly weakened
the Gadhafi regime. But House and Senate members warned that the United
States has failed to recruit an international coalition to stabilize a
"I think there are some signs that if we continue the pressure, if we
stick with it, that ultimately Gadhafi will step down," CIA director Leon