Friday, March 4, 2011

Running from Libya

Who didn't court Libya in 2008 and 2009?  Numerous American and British political and corporate heavy hitters courted Colonel Gadhafi's son Saif.  Approaching from the British side were Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Lord Mandelson, Tony Hayward, Queen Elizabeth Edward Miliband and Sir Howard Davies.  James A Baker, III, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Frank Carlucci and David Rubenstein hosted Saif in Washington, D.C.  The Carlyle Group held a dinner in Saif's honor at The Washington Club in 2008.

White House Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend visited Gadhafi at this Tripoli compound in summer 2007.  She characterized the visit as bizarre.  So why did the Bush administration continue a full court press with Gadhafi in 2008?

Senator John McCain tweeted from the Gadhafi ranch in August 2009.  His message stated:

Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his "ranch" in Libya - interesting meeting with an interesting man.

The only person to resign as a result of their Libyan contacts is Sir Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.  LSE sponsored a lecture series on The Future of Global Capitalism, which featured Saif Ghadafi.  In promoting his talk on May 25, 2009, LSE stated:

Saif Ghadhafi received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics in 2009. The topic of his thesis was "The Role of Civil Society in the Democratization of Global Governance Institutions: From 'Soft Power' to Collective Decision-Making?"

How are the Ghadhafis moving toward civil society, democratization or collective decision making?  It seems they've gone well past "soft power" in putting down protesters. Government forces and rebels battle over Libya's oil sites.  Roughly half of Libya's oil production is shut down.  Western companies want to keep their recent contracts with Gadhafi, but a greater bonanza could come from new rulers

CNBC said Libyan oil comes out the ground for the low cost of $1 per barrel.

With oil at $102, anyone holding cheap Libyan oil would have a golden goose.  The chess game for Black Gold continues.  Rest assured Western oligarchs, government and corporate, will do their best to reorder Middle East uprisings to their advantage.  I expect it will involve the people formerly courting the Gadhafi family, minus Sir Howard Davies.  He's their abject sacrifice for hope.

(Thanks to Economic Policy Journal )

Update 3-5-11::  Judith Miller sacked Harvard's Michael Porter and Monitor, a consulting firm, for their ties to Saif.  Her Daily Beast piece mentioned the younger Gadhafi's outreach to the West from 2003 to 2007.  She omitted his oversight role in negotiations to release the Lockerbie bomber and steering a Gaza aid ship to Egypt to avoid confrontation.  In those deals Saif ran with the global capitalist crowd, Baker, Blair, Mandelson, Rothschild, & Rubenstein.  None got a mention in her piece.  I expect Blair and Baker's business deals have many similarities to the Gadhafi family's "kleptotocracy."  Howard Davies and Michael Porter are the West's burnt offerings, at least for now.

Update 3-7-11:  David Corn of Mother Jones and NPR ran with the 2006 Monitor story   How long before they find The Livingston GroupRollCall reported on the $2.4 million deal.  According to Harpers, Livingston "organized events at Libya’s Embassy, met with Senators/Congressmen, pitched corporations (ExxonMobil, Carlyle Group, Northrop Grumman) and squired a military delegation around D.C."  I found the Carlyle meeting in 2008, courtesy of Libyan news sources.  Harpers noted it in March 2009.  The Monitor Group continues to roast.  Livingston, Carlyle and 31 Congressmen aren't close to sweating.

Update 3-9-11:  50 Cent is the latest artist to make a donation to charity after it was revealed he performed at a 2005 Venice Film Festival event linked to the clan of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.  Who's next?

Update 6-18-11:  Bloomberg found the Livingston Group

Update 7-1-11:  The media continues offering small fries as sacrificial lambs in the West's efforts to open up Libya.  The big boys skate under the radar.