Alright, but when did this fact become apparent to all concerned - especially those without access to the latest intelligence briefings?
I first began hearing talk that the 'rebels' were in actual fact, Al Qaeda, only days ago. Prior to that, and while the situation was developing, the so-called uprising in Libya looked for all the world like a real citizen rebellion.
Of course, these revelations are embarrassing to every national level figure who's put their reputation on the line by making public comment about the Libya situation, but the administration has been in a better position to know the real facts on the ground, than anyone else. If anyone is to be excoriated for choosing the wrong response, it's them.
For more than a decade.
"I first began hearing talk that the 'rebels' were in actual fact, Al Qaeda, only days ago."
There were plenty of people - including former CIA Analyst Michael Schuerer(sp?) - who have said our involvement in this mess would be a huge benefit to al-Qaeda. People didn't listen.
The Middle East is a complicated place. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to wait, patiently.