Documents discovered by Al Jazeera reporter Jamal El Shayyal, who scoured the Gaddafi compound after rebels overran Tripoli, reveals that a former Bush administration official was advising the deposed leader as late as August 2 on what strategy he might take to remain in power.
One of the documents showed the minutes of a meeting with David Welch, the former assistant secretary of state from 2005-2008, who now works for government contractor Bechtel. During his time at the State Dept., Welch was instrumental in brokering the U.S.-Libya Comprehensive Claims Settlement Agreement, which restored diplomatic and commercial ties between the countries after 25 years on hiatus.
According to Shayyal, Welch was still advising Gaddafi as late as August 2, 2011, suggesting that the former dictator funnel information about Al Qaeda connections to the nation’s rebels through Israeli, Egyptian, Moroccan or Jordanian intelligence agencies to give it greater prestige in U.S. intelligence circles. He also reportedly told Gaddafi that if he would “step aside” from command of the Libyan government, he could potentially cling to some of his power.
Shayyal’s report also noted that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) had communicated with an intermediary for one of Gaddafi’s sons, asking for intelligence on possible Al Qaeda links to Libya’s rebels, in an effort to bring the U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign to an end. Kucinich was one of the most vocal opponents of NATO’s efforts to aid Libya’s rebels, going so far as to call the bombing campaign an “impeachable offense.”
This video is from Al Jazeera, broadcast Wednesday, August 31, 2011.