NATO: Gadhafi Is a Legitimate Target UN resolution authorizes killing leader, official says By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Jun 10, 2011 2:41 AM CDT 3 comments Comments Smoke billows from an area near Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli after NATO airstrikes earlier this week. (Getty Images) (Newser) – As NATO jets continue to pound Tripoli, a senior military official in the alliance refused to tell CNN whether Moammar Gadhafi was being directly targeted. He did, however, stress that the leader, as head of the Libyan military, is a "legitimate target" to protect civilians. The UN resolution authorizing NATO's action in Libya says forces can use "all necessary measures" to protect civilians. Gadhafi may still make it out of Libya alive: Hillary Clinton says people close to the leader have approached other countries in an attempt to negotiate his exit.