Buried in the rubble of Muammar Qaddafi's Tripoli compound is a sheaf of documents indicating that David Welch, the assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs under the Bush Administration who now works for infrastructure giant Bechtel, was providing urgent and detailed advice to the Qaddafi regime as the NATO bombs fell.
Welch is a career diplomat who shepherded the restoration of diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Libya in 2004. Not long after, he joined Bechtel, a move that raised eyebrows seeing as how Bechtel is a multi-billion global corporation that has construction contracts throughout the mideast and was eager to get Libya's billions of dollars in oil and natural gas business.
Things didn't go so well for Bechtel! Instead of re-emerging on the world stage as a sanction-free economic powerhouse, Libya descended into a Mad Max hellscape. And instead of wheeling and dealing with the Qaddafi clan in his post-government career, Welch ended up offering the embattled regime advice on how to best lie to the United States. From Al Jazeera, whose correspondent found the minutes of a meeting between Welch and three Qaddafi deputies in the compound rubble:
The documents record that, on August 2, 2011, David Welch met with Gaddafi's officials at the Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo, just a few blocks from the US embassy there.
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..."
Welch also told Qaddafi he'd be happy to "convey everything to the American administration, the congress and other influential figures" on Libya's behalf.
The documents also show that elfin congressman and purported peacenik Dennis Kucinich was in touch with Qaddafi's men. One memo recounts a list of questions Kucinich had posed to the regime to help him argue against NATO action: "He is going to fight for us but he has asked for evidence."
[Photos via AP (Welch) and Getty Images]