"I think it would be better for the story never to come out."
— US oil industry lobbyist Bill Reinsch, to MoJo’s Suzy Khimm. The story did come out, and it’s a doozy: Find out why a lobbying outfit that represents Halliburton and other US companies opposes placing unilateral sanctions on Libya.
In February 2007 Harvard professor Joseph Nye Jr., who developed the concept of “soft power”, visited Libya and sipped tea for three hours with Muammar Qaddafi. Months later, he penned an elegant description of the chat for The New Republic, reporting that Qaddafi had been interested in discussing “direct democracy.”
Just one problem: Nye traveled to Libya as a paid consultant for the Monitor Group, a firm that at the time had a $3 million/year contract with the Qaddafi regime. MoJo’s David Corn and Siddhartha Mahanta have the scoop on how a US firm used American academics to rehab a dictator’s image. Read the full story here.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released