The Cost of Letters
Hugh Miles on Libya
A Libyan opposition group – calling itself the National Council of the Libyan Opposition – has published confidential documents online in an attempt to embarrass the Gaddafi regime. The documents, which are in English, were produced by two US consultancy firms, the Livingston Group and Monitor Group, and lay out strategies for securing the Libyan leader’s ‘reintroduction on Capitol Hill’.
They also include invoices for millions of dollars in fees. Among the more lucrative schemes the Monitor Group proposes is to produce a book about Libya based on a series of conversations between Muammar Gaddafi and ‘renowned expert visitors', including Richard Perle and ‘Lord Anthony Giddens’ [sic]. Clearly, a lot of work is involved:
- Frank Fukuyama remains very enthusiastic about the project and could be invited for a future visit to talk further about the challenges of direct democracy and Libya’s approach.
- We will also arrange additional visits by new experts. We have had positive preliminary conversations with Professor Cass Sunstein (Constitutional Advisor to Barack Obama) and others.
Monitor estimates the cost of preparing the manuscript at $2.45 million, with another $450,000 earmarked for visitors’ honoraria and travel expenses. ‘We would expect the book to be reviewed by the most prestigious international publications, including,' the report tastefully notes, ‘the London Review of Books.'
The consultants claim their PR campaign thus far has led to a wave of positive coverage about Libya in the Western media and had many positive knock-on benefits. ‘Soros regularly plays tennis with Anthony Giddens, and they are known to have discussed Libya a number of times,’ the report reveals. If that isn’t already an impressive enough achievement, the US firms provide more than just PR. The documents also include a letter addressed to Abdullah Sanussi, the head of Libyan internal intelligence convicted in absentia for the bombing of UTA Flight 772, and a ‘personal tutorial curriculum’ for Mu’tassim al-Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s fourth son.