The U.S. has asked close associates of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi to leave their leader or be ready to face the consequences of human rights violations against their own people.

“Those who are around Colonel Qadhafi and making that existential choice right now about whether they want to be on the side of the Libyan people or on the side of a leader and a regime that no longer has any legitimacy, they should be fully aware of the fact that the world is watching what they do and they will be held accountable for their actions,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The United States knows a number of the people around Colonel Qadhafi, he said, adding the Obama Administration was working to have a fuller list of people who can and will be held accountable for the actions that the regime was taking against its own people.

“We have tried to make is that we are using the full spectrum of our intelligence capabilities to assist us in identifying those who must be held accountable for the actions that they’re taking,” Mr. Carney said.

U.S. was having a broad range of contacts, including with members of the Libyan government in Libya.

“It is both true and very important to have it be perceived true that the unrest in Libya, the drive to force Colonel Qadhafi from power, and the unrest throughout the region is organic; it is not inspired by the United States or other Western or foreign countries.

“That’s an important factor here in the historic developments we see in these last weeks and months,” he said.

Responding to questions, he, however, did not say that restoring diplomatic relationship with Libya by the previous Bush Administration was a mistake.

“I think we’re focused right now on the crisis that has unfolded in Libya in the last several weeks. The fact that the Libyan government took actions to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction was obviously a positive thing.

“But right now we are focused on the crisis at hand and not the past,” Mr. Carney said.

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