The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and to contact and vet the beleaguered rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials. While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said. – C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels

Whether Congress approves Obama’s escalation for Libya that’s the road we’re on. We knew Obama was a fan of Reagan, but he didn’t have to go down the Contra-esque road to prove it.

As for where this leaves unconsulted Democrats, they’re stuck with this cold crap sandwich and have to swallow the reality that Obama doesn’t think much of Congress. But considering they’ve not done their equal branch job for a very long time no president today would respect them.

The position the progressive Left is in is as bad as it gets.

Nobody should be surprised about what we’ve learned today. It was inevitable. This post on the CIA being on the ground is in the weeds but worth it with a grain of salt applied, if only for the note to CIA Director Panetta that invokes “Samantha’s War for Virtue.”

As for Sec. Clinton, this is the second time she’s been as close to the presidency as you can get without being the president herself. She’s doing the heavy lifting for Pres. Obama, while he spends some very difficult moments ruminating about the colossal mess he’s gotten himself into and how serious it all is.

V.P. Biden may be Obama’s consigliere, but the President isn’t listening to him. It proves that Obama never intended the vice presidency to be anything close to what Cheney was to Bush, which means Clinton’s in the right spot for her personality and the job Obama needs her to do.

But even if Obama intends to employ the full weight of the presidency, Congress can still cause him trouble.

President Barack Obama’s foreign policy “A” team ““ led by Cabinet secretaries Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates ““ failed to quiet criticism of U.S. military action in Libya Wednesday during a pair of classified briefings on Capitol Hill. More than anything, the meetings served to underscore how little influence Congress has in shaping the war.Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates win no love on Capitol Hill

There’s no telling why Sec. Clinton now has the highest approval rating she’s had since ’99. But it could be because Pres. Obama’s leadership style is cool, distant and arrogant, while she comes off as a woman in charge, which is exactly where her boss has put her.

Libya has also aligned Obama and Clinton as tightly as a President and his Secretary of State can be.

No doubt Madeleine Albright is living vicariously through Clinton’s power. In her memoirs Ms. Albright hoists up a quote through a question to Colin Powell that is now legendary: “What’s the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can’t use it?”

The biggest loser in all this is V.P. Joe Biden, the most experienced foreign policy hand within the range of Pres. Obama’s voice. But Biden was against ratcheting up in Afghanistan, so he sure wouldn’t buy into Libya. Looks like he’s two for two, though I doubt it gives him any comfort.