Nightly News | February 25, 2011
>> said further tonight, by the way, tripoli is calm and this is all the work of terrorists. back here in the u.s., the white house turned up pressure on libya today and there was an extraordinary scene at the u.n. late today. nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell , watching it all from our washington newsroom tonight. andrea, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. as soon as american diplomats and civilians were safely out of libya , the white house announced it will impose sanctions on mow mar todgadhafi and declared he had zero legitimacy after attacking his own people. galvanized by the blood shed , the u.n. security council heard a dramatic plea for help from libya 's ambassador.
>> please, united nations , save libya . not blood shed , not killing of innocents.
>> reporter: it was a rare display of emotion for the u.n. as his fellow ambassadors got up to embrace the libyan diplomat and the u.n. secretary general called for a broad range of sanctions against gadhafi 's government. in geneva, the u.n. human rights council applauded the diplomats as they defected to the opposition. the council voted today to investigate libya for human rights abuses and called for libya 's suspension from the human rights council . at the white house , president obama decided to close the u.s. embassy in tripoli, suspend limited military cooperation, freeze arm sales and the treasury department sent this advisory to banks, to be on the lookout for any movement of gadhafi 's money. this as they prepare to freeze his assets, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. the british and swiss already have.
>> it's clear that colonel gadhafi has lost the confidence of his people.
>> reporter: the white house still stopped short of calling for gadhafi 's ouster. france's president sarkozy was tougher. he said mr. gadhafi must leave.
>> we shouldn't kid ourselves. sanctions, asset freezing, travel limits and the rest are not the sort of tools that are going to turn a situation like this around.
>> until the money runs out, until the mercenaries run out, until those family members who control security units around gadhafi decide that he has to go and that may well not happen, there's not a whole lot we're going to do.
>> reporter: still in washington today at their residence, libyan residents raised the ole flag before gadhafi 's rule. although they met to consider a no-fly zone, most military officials believe constant air controls are too difficult to implement. the president is likely to head the sanction order tomorrow and secretary clinton heads there sunday. none of these options are enough to force gadhafi to give up.