Influential Americans helped Gadaffi cling to power


By Mark Ellis

Deposed Libyan leader

A U.S.congressman and a former ambassador worked behind the scenes to prop up Gadaffi, according to files uncovered in the Libyan leader’s former intelligence headquarters, Al Jazeera is reporting.

In the rubble of the bombed-out headquarters lie some of the deepest secrets of the Libyan regime. “Despite the Libyan leader’s anti-American rhetoric, there is evidence that his regime maintained communication with influential American figures just a few weeks ago,” according to Al Jazeera.

The office of the chief Libyan intelligience official contained records of a meeting with David Welch, a former assistant secretary of state, who brokered the deal that restored diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Libya in 2008. “Welch now works for Bechtel, a multi-national American company with billion dollar construction deals across the Middle East,” Al Jazeera noted.

The documents report that Welch met with Gadaffi officials at the Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo on August 2, 2011. According to notes from the meeting, Welch advised Gadaffi’s team about how to win the propaganda war with “confidence building measures.” He suggested ways to undermine the rebel movement, which included the use of foreign intelligence agencies that would serve as conduits to influence American policies.

Welch also advised the Libyans to take advantage of an apparent “double standard policy adopted by Washington” with respect to the Syrians. “The Syrians were never your friends and you would lose nothing from exploiting the situation there in order to embarrass the West,” Welch advised, according to the documents uncovered by Al Jazeera.

The former U.S. official said that Gadaffi should step aside, but not necessarily relinquish all his powers, a path he said many in the U.S.would support. When the meeting closed, Welch promised to convey everything to the American administration and other influential American figures.

On the floor of the headquarters, Al Jazeera also found an envelope addressed to Gadaffi’s son Saif, which contained the summary of a conversation between U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich and one of Saif’s intermediaries. Kucinich requested information from the Libyan regime so he could lobby the U.S. Congress to suspend their support for the Libyan National Transition Council and put an end to NATO airstrikes.

Congressman Kucinich requested information from Saif about any “corrupt acts by the Opposition leaders” and wanted evidence of any “personal motives for instance to make money or gain certain types of power.” He also wanted to know if there were any links between the rebels and Al-qaeda.

Kucinich stated that the information supplied would be used for “a lawsuit against NATO/UN/USA, defending Saif in the International Criminal Court, publicity to reform the image of the Regime, to help negotiation positions,” Al Jazeera reported.

Al Jazeera made the documents available to David Welch and Congressman Kucinich, but neither responded directly.

Kucinich released a statement to The Atlantic Wire, which stated, “Al Jazeera found a document written by a Libyan bureaucrat to other Libyan bureaucrats. All it proves is that the Libyans were reading the Washington Post, and read there about my efforts to stop the war. I can’t help what the Libyans put in their files. My opposition to the war in Libya, even before it formally started, was public and well known and consistent with my official duties.”

“Any implication I was doing anything other than trying to bring an end to the unauthorized war is fiction,” he added.

Victoria Nuland, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman responded to the report about David Welch. She said, “David Welch is now a private citizen. This was a private trip. He was not carrying any messages from the U.S.government.”