March 23rd, 2011
08:55 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Gadhafi's Inner Circle Reaches Out to U.S.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/03/23/t1larg.libyarebels.gi.jpg caption="Libyan rebels deploy near the city of Ajdabiya to try to attack government forces that have encircled the town." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Members of Moammar Gadhafi's inner circle are reaching out to the U.S. and Arab States, senior U.S. officials said. This includes Gadhafi's close confident and brother-in-law, Adullah Sanussi, who they said has been calling the U.S. State Department almost daily.

But does this mean Gadhafi is considering leaving Libya? We'll have the latest on this development tonight on AC360°.

On day five of the airstrikes by coalition forces 175 sorties were flown in Libya, 113 by U.S. warplanes. Coalition forces are also putting more pressure on pro-Gadhafi forces on the ground, which are targeting rebel-held towns to the east of Tripoli.

"Our primary focus is to interdict those (pro-Gadhai) forces before they enter the city, and again I said they were targeting population centers in the city, interdict those forces before they enter the city, cut off their lines of communication and cut off their command and control," Rear Adm. Gerard Hueber, Chief of Staff of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn told reporters today.

Tonight you'll hear from an eyewitness to the fighting in Misrata. We'll also talk with CNN's Arwa Damon in Benghazi and David Kirkpatrick in Tripoli.

Should the U.S. even be part of the coalition fighting in Libya? You'll hear two sides of that debate tonight. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, says U.S. intervention is a bad idea. While Princeton University’s Anne-Marie Slaughter, former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department and others say it's the right move.

We'll also look at the growing uprisings across the Middle East. 15 people were killed in clashes with Syrian security forces today. While Yemen's embattled president has accepted opposition demands for constitutional reforms and elections by the end of the year. There's also been violence in Bahrain. What could all of this mean for the region and the U.S.?  We'll ask our panel of experts.

In Japan, there are new fears over one of life basic necessities - water. In Tokyo, 150 miles south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, new testing shows radioactive material in tap water at levels two times higher than what the government says is safe for infants.

Plus, officials evacuated some workers from the plant today when black smoke rose from the No. 3 reactor. That reactor is a priority because its fuel rods have a mix of plutonium and uranium, which experts say could cause more harm in a meltdown.

The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami is now 9,487 and at least 15,617 people are missing. And, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reports that 387,000 survivors are staying at 2,200 shelters in northeast Japan.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. kias

    pres. Obama did the right thing by getting involved in Libya. How can anybody stand by and watch a mad man kill thousands of his own people and not do anygthing about it. Mr. Obama you are 100% right.

    March 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  2. John Hankins

    If the UN resolution was intended to protect the Libyan people from it dictator, why waste time debating the question when all one has to do is remove the source of the problem and that would be in compliance. It's ludicrous to think a moral nation such as our can standby and do nothing while innocents are slaughtered. What's going on is not a civil war, but a revolution! This is a Les Miserables in the making . . . A step forward without being concerned what other arab nations will say if we intercede is unworthy of our concern because wounds heal readily between many of those nations and or principalities . . .

    March 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    Those brave reactor workers who are still trying to get the reactors and the spent rods under control are to be admired; hopefully, they will not have long-term effects from the radiation. They certainly are the modern day examples of Japan's samurai tradition.

    Gadhafi may not be able to read the writing on the wall that he needs to cut and run, but his advisors and family may read better than he does. The contact with DC may just be for them to have a path out of Libya and not include Gadhafi. Hopefully, it is a signal that this is almost over – without the coalition, which is maintaining the airspace, giving the Rebels better weapons it is doubtful that the Rebels will be able to overcome Gadhafi's forces.

    Looking forward to the show tonight. The world seems to have never been this busy before!

    March 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm |