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How Gaddafi, like Najib, spent millions on US publicity and lobbying

Fri 2011-Apr-8 @ +08 01:47:30 am

Muammar Gaddafi, Mahathir Mohamad and Najib Tun Razak have something in common — they paid out millions to American publicity and lobbying agents to improve their country’s image, and their own, in the United States and to influence American opinion makers.

Gaddafi paid US3mil a year, plus expenses, to the Monitor Group, a Boston-based consulting firm, starting in 2006 “to execute a public relations strategy that included paying analysts and former officials to take a free trip to Libya for lectures, discussions and even personal meetings with Gaddafi,” according to CNN on Thursday. He also used two other lobbyists, before Monitor Group, and after.

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Mahathir paid US lobbyist Jack Abramoff US$1.2mil in 2002 essentially to get him into a White House meeting with the president, then George W Bush, and lift Malaysia’s international profile after years of running down western nations and western culture. It was at that time that Malaysia signed a secret agreement with the US to allow the US military to conduct training in Malaysia, and the US Navy to use Malaysian ports for resupply and to carry out maintenance.

But the amounts they spent cannot even begin to compare with the largesse showered on APCO, the publicity agents and lobbyists hired by Najib’s government

Najib has told Parliament that APCO was paid RM77mil (about US$25mil) but opposition politicians and other observers said that amount was only for the first year of APCO’s contract, in 2009. The contract has been renewed and now runs into hundreds of millions — a figure that has not been officially stated.

Just as with Gaddafi, the current Malaysian PR and lobbying campaign in the US is to lift the country’s image as well as that of Najib personally and that of his government, which had suffered international criticism over his widely-speculated involvement in matters concerning the murdered Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, and his alleged affair with her. In addition, official actions against his political rival Anwar Ibrahim have also received worldwide condemnation.

In Gaddafi’s case, the PR campaign was to help remove Libya from a list of countries believed to be sponsoring terrorism, and to get the country accepted again in the international community after the bombing of a Pan-American plane, killing all passengers, over Lockerbie, Scotland. Libyan intelligence was blamed for the bombing.

“Just a few years before becoming embroiled in fighting a rebellion, Moammar Gadhafi was spending millions of dollars a year to wage a PR campaign to burnish his global image as a statesman and a reformer, confidential documents show,” CNN reported.

The campaign was to “emphasize the emergence of the new Libya… [and] introduce Muammar Qadhafi as a thinker and intellectual.”

Monitor Group of Boston engaged high-profile analysts, academics and former US officials to visit Libya for lectures and other activities, and to write articles in leading publications. The high-profile visitors ranged from TV interviewer David Frost to eminent professors such as Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University and Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter.

The Monitor Group also took credit for positive media coverage and also highlighted a half-dozen positive articles written by some of the participants they sponsored, CNN said: among them, an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled “Gaddafi’s Libya: An Ally for America?” and a piece in Newsweek called, “A Rogue Reforms.”

There is no indication any of the pieces were written at Monitor’s behest, CNN said.

“They really wanted these intellectuals to be able to influence policy on Libya,” CNN quoted analyst Paul Blumenthal of a watchdog group, “to talk to “people in the State Department and the Defense Department, and really convey the sense that Libya was this great new open place.”

Monitor Group also offered to produce a book about Gadhafi, at a cost of US$2.9 million in fees and expenses, to cover Gadhafi’s “ideas on democracy”. The book never cameabout.

Gadhafi paid millions to U.S. firms to polish his global image

  1. semuanya OK kot permalink
    Fri 2011-Apr-8 @ +08 13:38:52 pm 13:38

    The US govt. is a business based on ” I help you, you help me”. Its citizens have successfully turned into serfs with no rights, even as many of them continue to believe they are in the “greatest country”. The most influential puppeteers are
    – US Chamber of Commerce
    – AIPAC representing Zionists.

    Other countries are trying to emulate this “profitable model”.

  2. Fri 2011-Apr-8 @ +08 15:44:52 pm 15:44

    Just like everyone mentioned in your posting, the money don’t belong to themselves.

  3. Fri 2011-Apr-8 @ +08 18:07:39 pm 18:07

    APCO contract is still running and so eventual cost may be naother entry if Guinness Book of Obscene Records!

    we are all of 1 Race, the Human Race

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