Maybe I could see +3 Interesting, but I can't believe this is what qualifies as +5 Insightful nowadays, by Slashdot nonetheless. By an infallible low UID at that! I could see on a conspiracy forum this theory getting heavy support, but having followed the Libyan conflict since its inception (to the point of knowing all the major battles day-after-day and going from next to zero knowledge on the country to knowing most of towns/cities of any significance in the country) I can tell you that that opinion is mendacious and ill-supported at best.
Consider the totality of the evidence and not what amounts to more than a conspiracy theory, because it's insulting to many intelligent people when they have to put up with this everywhere online including such touted intellectual bastions as Slashdot.
It's one thing to point out this fact, it's another to imply it's the reason there was a war and NATO support for one.
I could write ad nauseam on this, but I'll sum things up and if you want to go from there we can:
Consider the timing and events. An unprecedented wave of discontent and protests sweep the Arab world around this time. Tunisia has expelled its longtime strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt, of all places, just successfully forced out its dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Protests in Algeria and Morocco and huge discontent and uprisings in Bahrain and Yemen (Syria as well, but to a far less extent around this time). So what happens in Libya? Major protests and then an armed insurrection against one of Africa's longest-serving dictators.
Not only does Gaddafi not yield to the initially peaceful demands, he mocks the protesters and vows to hunt them down "alley by alley" and proceeds to employ brutal military force that up until this point hadn't been widely seen after Tunisia and Egypt's revolutions were largely peaceful. The international community is largely silent in terms of action despite this, but recognizes the significance and there are calls for no violence against protestors. Mass defections are reported, Libyan fighter jets land in Malta, military units abandon the government, citizens take up arms and demand change after Gaddafi's crackdown, multiple cities fall to the rebels and things look good, everyone wants the brutal dictator Gaddafi to step aside...then Gaddafi and his much-championed "reformer" son Saif incite further violence and Gaddafi uses the full might of his military and remaining loyalists to crush city after city.
Calls for the international community to intervene or face enormous massacres occur from Libyan protestors. The Arab League requests it. Human rights organizations want a no fly zone largely. When a U.N. vote comes up China and Russia abstain from a veto.
That's how much international and diverse support there was for intervention.
Anyone who followed this could tell the U.S.A. did not want to intervene until the last minute. Pray tell, if the Gaddafi gold conspiracy theory invasion plan is true, then why wait so long? Why not preach justice and democracy early on and overthrow the government, why wait until Gaddafi had his tanks literally at Benghazi's gates to crush him?
Furthermore, this was an intervention championed by France and the U.K., not the U.S.A. and all indications are that Obama was against it for the longest time, hence the delay, the back off after the initial assault (which we were best able to handle logistically), and wait for broad international support (including the Arab States and noncommittal from BRIC). Considering the unprecedented Arab revolutions nearby, that degree of support, the resiliency of the rebels and how close things seemed to be at the time to an overthrow, and the fact that Gaddafi was literally crazy and dangerous as well as the fact that this seemed like a just cause to gain traction with the Muslim world - as in we at least do more than lip service to supporting people going against a dictator some times as opposed to supporting dictators - then it makes simple sense why the intervention occurred without the ridiculous conspiracy theories that some person gets from following the conflict in a news article once a month.
Plus, we had a very cozy relationship (the West that is) with Gaddafi and family following reforms in the early 2000s that saw him shut down his nuclear program, allow lots of FDI into Libya and nice oil contracts, and which made him pay reparations for terrorist acts in the past. So it'd be ridiculous to sacrifice all that without some deeper meaning, which is what happened when all those factors came together as I mentioned above.
Gaddafi, contrary to some propaganda, was not a great boon for many Libyans. He was a dictator, brutal and crazy. Yes, Libya had a higher standard of living than other African nations, but it came at the cost of personal freedom for all and even economic freedom for many (Berbers and Cyrenicans were largely discriminated against by Gaddafi and left out of his economic machine). Dictatorships are remarkably efficient sometimes and when one guy can massacre thousands and steal billions without much thought, then him being able to create an economically well society isn't hard. Forced indoctrination in schools, support of terrorism and rebel insurrections abroad, executing anyone who disagreed with him and his personality cult, a culture of fear, exploitation of the country's resources, nepotism to the extent that his own tribe controlled most of the country's important elements (a big reason why he could control the country so well and allow him to keep power so long), and severe persecution of many other tribes/ethnicities/etc. are just a few of his endearing qualities. He was only truly beloved by those he distributed his largesse to (many in Niger benefited from it for example, but tell that to Chadians/Sudanians who suffered because of his arrogance and violence) and similar dictators to him. He empowered Africans as well and was an effective propagandist, so I guess he had those going for him (too well, since it reaches a lot of Westerners apparently, some on Slashdot).
I think I spoke enough on this. Doubt my comment will even see the light of day beneath the veil of obfuscation that conspiracy theorists have shrouded over this issue, but one can hope.