A US official told Fox News that plans are afoot to establish a framework of legal authorities for covert action.
Those involved can be asked to authorize specific actions, such as arming the rebels, or establish authorities under which future actions might be taken after permissions are given to undertake them.
In other words, covert actions won't start until the president signs off again.
The Pentagon has begun drafting plans for arming the rebels if needed, sources told Fox News, but officials caution that no decision has been made because not enough is known yet about the rebels.
Obama and his national security team are still hoping that events on the ground - such as the death or resignation of Colonel Qaddafi - might spare them from having to make a decision about arming the rebels, the senior administration official told Fox News.