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
emptywheel @KailiJoy They could extort donations on a vote by vote basis?
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @raynetoday They've got video of assassin's car. @jason_corcoran
38mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Which remarkably didn't outlast Hash Bash? @MichiganHist
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade 3) Strong reporting there's a financial dragnet. And lots more confirmation of poss uses. @csoghoian
52mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Sure. But we have 1) official FBI confirmation of explosives precursor 2) DOJ IG confirmation Internet = most orders @csoghoian
52mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Huh. It was 18 in NY and VT until just before I got there. And I'm younger than you. @MichiganHist
53mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Sure. But a BIG mistake activists made last time was in only focusing on phone dragnet. This is not that. @csoghoian
55mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade I think getting at hackers via traffic rather than content. But don't think metadata like that, either.
55mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade But as I noted, the reporting on this was unreliable.
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Ask @csoghoian. I think rather than getting content they're tracking who's coming in where.
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DanMyer82366100 Drinking age was lower back then, I imagine. I RTed that just to hear from someone who knew it at that time @MichiganHist
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade The smart people think they're using it to get data flow.
1hreplyretweetfavorite