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Monday
Apr042011

Bill Clinton Says He Wouldn't Rule Out Arming Libya's Rebels

ABC News(SAN DIEGO) -- Former President Bill Clinton said he thinks the United States should consider arming the rebels in Libya's civil war.

"It would depend...and I might need to know a little more, but I would be inclined to do it," Clinton told ABC News Sunday in San Diego during an exclusive interview.

Clinton was in San Diego for his annual Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting.

The uprising in Libya stared in February during a wave of social and political unrest in the Middle East.  Fighting has escalated all across the country, but the rebels have found themselves outgunned by Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces, which are better equipped.

Last month the United Nations authorized a no-fly zone over the North African nation to prevent further attacks on civilians from Gadhafi's troops in the air.

The United States backed the no-fly zone and has also authorized additional support for the anti-Gadhafi fighters, but key U.S. lawmakers and top officials in the government of President Barack Obama have said they are not comfortable with arming the rebels -- apparently because not enough is known about them.

But Clinton said he wouldn't completely rule out the idea of supplying arms to Libya's rebels.

"Let me just say this.  I sure wouldn't shut the door to it.  I think ... we may need to know a little more," he said.

Clinton, husband of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stressed that he was speaking without "any official sanction" whatsoever.

"I'm just speaking from myself.  But I certainly wouldn't take that off the table, too," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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