Today, Al Jazeera reports on an explosive new story that finds that the very same Bush official who spearheaded normalizing relations with Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi was secretly working with the dictator as late as this month to design a public relations campaign to undermine both the rebel forces and NATO.
Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal unearthed files in Libya’s intelligence headquarters that suggest that David Welch — the former assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush who brokered the deal that normalized relations between Libya and the United States and who later went on to work for the manufacturing and development giant Bechtel — met with Libyan officials in early August to coordinate on undermining the Libyan rebels and NATO forces by, for example, trying to establish ties between the uprising and al Qaeda:
I found what appeared to be the minutes of a meeting between senior Libyan officials — Abubakr Alzleitny and Mohammed Ahmed Ismail — and David Welch, the former assistant secretary of state who served under George W Bush and the man who brokered the deal which restored diplomatic relations between the US and Libya in 2008. […]During that meeting Welch advised Gaddafi’s team on how to win the propaganda war — suggesting several “confidence building measures”, the documents said. The documents appear to indicate that an influential US political personality was advising Gaddafi on how to beat the US and NATO. […] Minutes of this meeting note his advice on how to undermine Libya’s rebel movement, with the potential assistance of foreign intelligence agencies, including Israel. “Any information related to al-Qaeda or other terrorist extremist organisations should be found and given to the American administration but only via the intelligence agencies of either Israel, Egypt, Morroco, or Jordan… America will listen to them… It’s better to receive this information as if it originated from those countries…”
Watch Al Jazeera’s video report about the documents:
It is unclear exactly what would motivate Welch to help Qaddafi battle the pro-democracy uprising and even his own country, but it should be noted that Welch’s position at Bechtel put him in a spot where he was incentivized to maintain strong business relationships with Libya. Shortly after helping normalize relations between the two countries, Welch became a vice president at Bechtel, overseeing the company’s Middle Eastern operations. Under Welch, the company rapidly expanded in Libya, even setting up its first office in the country since the 1960s.
Also included among the documents that Al Jazeera uncovered was evidence that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a Libya war foe, had contacts with Qaddafi’s regime and had asked for evidence of corruption or al Qaeda contacts among the rebels.