33. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Operations, Central Intelligence Agency (Nelson) to the Executive Secretary of the 40 Committee (Ratliff)1


  • Termination of [less than 1 line not declassified] for Covert Action in Libya

1. Notice of Rescission is hereby given for [less than 1 line not declassified] Covert Action in Libya. [1½ lines not declassified] was based on the premise that the policies of the new Libyan regime were still in a formative stage. The argument concluded that members of the Revolutionary Command Council could be receptive to moderating influences, and that covert action could convey such moderate influences to the Libyan regime in such a way as to achieve the basic U.S. objective of maintaining normal friendly diplomatic and commercial relations with Libya, including the protection of U.S. oil interests.

2. The political evolution of the Libyan regime has been definitively shaped by its leader, Mu’ammar Qadhafi, and the events [less than 1 line not declassified] have defined the policy of the regime towards both the Maghreb and Egypt, as well as its intentions regarding the nationalization of U.S. oil interests in Libya. [less than 1 line not declassified] its covert action proposal have been outdated by current political realities which include the failure of the Egyptian/Libyan merger, the nationalization of U.S. oil interests in Libya, and the continued absence of ambassadorial-level diplomatic relations with the United States.

William E. Nelson
  1. Summary: The Central Intelligence Agency notified the 40 Committee that [text not declassified] Covert Action in Libya, was rescinded.

    Source: National Security Council, Nixon Administration Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Libya, Box 12, September 11, 1974–July 16, 1976. Secret; Eyes Only.