One Way to Make Sending Frank Wisner to “Negotiate” with Mubarak Look Smart

CNN is reporting that Curt Weldon, the ethically and legally challenged former Congressman with ties to Manucher Ghorbanifar, has gone to Libya to try to negotiate with Muammar Qaddafi. In a NYT op-ed, Weldon makes the case for why he’s the guy to persuade Qaddafi to step aside.

Seven years later I am back in Libya, this time on a much different mission, as the leader of a small private delegation, at the invitation of Colonel Qaddafi‘s chief of staff and with the knowledge of the Obama administration and members of Congress from both parties. Our purpose is to meet with Colonel Qaddafi today and persuade him to step aside.

[snip]

First, we must engage face-to-face with Colonel Qaddafi and persuade him to leave, as my delegation hopes to do. I’ve met him enough times to know that it will be very hard to simply bomb him into submission.

Simultaneously, we must obtain an immediate United Nations-monitored cease-fire, with the Libyan Army withdrawing from contested cities and rebel forces ending attempts to advance.

Then we must identify and engage with those leaders who, if not perfect, are pragmatic and reform-minded and thus best positioned to lead the country.

[snip]

The world agrees that Colonel Qaddafi must go, even though no one has a plan, a foundation for civil society has not been constructed and we are not even sure whom we should trust. But in the meantime, the people of Libya deserve more than bombs. [my emphasis]

Noah Shachtman elaborates on the history Weldon and Qaddafi have in common. The short version? At a time when Weldon served on Qaddafi’s “foundation,” he was pitching selling arms to him.

It wasn’t long ago — April, 2008, to be exact — that Weldon was boasting in a report that he had become the “1st non-Libyan Board Member of the Ghadaffi Foundation.” During a trip to Tripoli the month before, the self-proclaimed “friend of Libya” carried “a personal letter from Libyan Chamber [of Commerce] President to U.S. Chamber President.” Weldon also visited with with the country’s “Nuclear Ministry Leadership and agreed to reinforce U.S. nuclear cooperation/collaboration.”

Finally, Weldon agreed “to quickly return to Libya for meetings with [Gadhafi's] son Morti regarding defense and security cooperation.”

Two weeks later, Defense Solutions — a company which, at the time, counted Weldon as a key executive and adviser — drew up a proposal to refurbish the country’s fleet of armored vehicles, including its T-72 tanks, BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and BTR-60 armored personnel carriers.

Now, granted, Weldon says he is undertaking this trip with the knowledge–not the endorsement–of the Obama Administration. Still, I can’t help but wondering whether this is an elaborate plot (with Weldon, there’s always a plot) to make Obama’s decision to send Frank Wisner–also a business associate–to negotiate with Hosni Mubarak look remarkably smart by comparison. After all, both Wisner and Weldon have troubling conflicts that make them poor choices to represent our country’s interests. But Wisner, at least, is diplomatic and sane. Weldon? I’m not so sure.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

0 Responses to One Way to Make Sending Frank Wisner to “Negotiate” with Mubarak Look Smart

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @TimothyS: "We have no way of knowing how people like [Alexander] formed their business relationships..." Me, in NYT last year: http://…
5mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel All these privacy NGOs don't know whether they're endorsing contact chaining on location or not. That's ... rash.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Again, Leahy's USA Freedom retains "connection" chaining--which has never been publicly defined. Why legislate blind? http://t.co/KqEa9AkAeT
24mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Good plan. RT @Casual_Obs: @JimWhiteGNV yeah, we're leaving asap.
29mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @smsaideman: @JimWhiteGNV hey, I was offended when Alberto Gonzalez was teaching at TTU.... because he was TEACHING!
30mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV So fear mongers get to profit directly from their fear mongering and war criminals can become educators. The US is hitting rock bottom.
35mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @LysaMyers Dunno. Assume OKC measures it, tho.
36mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV How in the world is someone who specialized in night raids and hiding prisons from ICRC a good candidate to run an educational system?
37mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Holy shit! Notorious war criminal McRaven to be next University of Texas Chancellor? Just wow... http://t.co/eCHuCC46c7
39mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ashk4n Right: we don't (at least I don't) know whether Internet dragnet moved to 12333 or FBI dragnet or both. But "end bulk"!
40mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ashk4n: Even though 2 sections call for 'Prohibition on bulk collection' in new #USAFreedomAct, #EO12333 collection persists http://t.…
40mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @KevinBankston I have said bill is an improvement--except for connection chaining which may be vast expansion. But this lets DOJ break law
51mreplyretweetfavorite