WikiLeaks sheds light on Monitor Group work with Libyan security organization |
As Libyan dictator Muammar Khadafy battles rebels seeking to topple his authoritarian regime, the international media continues to explore the dealings of Cambridge-based Monitor Group. The Massachusetts consulting firm, formed by a group of Harvard University professors, is at the heart of an academic scandal.
The Monitor Group was hired by Khadafy to modernize Libya’s business environment and polish the image of the Khadafy regime. Monitor worked on a flattering biography of the dictator that was never published and helped son Saif Khadafy write his Ph.D. thesis for the
London School of Economics.
Monitor also ran a “visitor” program that may have put the company in violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act and is driving the media scrutiny of the Monitor Group. Less well reported is the work of Monitor to reshape Libya’s security structure.
In a bid to expand the company business with Khadafy, a proposal was made by Mark Fuller, the Monitor Group CEO, to develop and train a new security apparatus. On August 22, 2006, Fuller wrote to Tripoli, “We agree that it is time to set the National Security Council to work.”
Monitor proposed a “personal tutorial curriculum” for Mutassim Khadafy, the dictator’s fourth son and current National Security Advisor. Monitor is a privately held company and it is unknown if Fuller was successful in selling Khadafy his training package.
Fuller, in proposing the National Security Council to Libya, closed Monitor Group’s initial proposal letter, “We are keen to start.”
A WikiLeaks cable from Tripoli. dated December 23, 2007, shows that Monitor’s recommendations were at least partially implemented. Classified “Secret” by Charge d’Affaire Chris Stevens, the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable was sent to the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council.
The secret cable summarized the situation: “Libya’s newly-constituted National Security Council continues to experience growing pains. A shortage of skilled staff, questions about its mandate, and friction between National Security Advisor Mutassim al-Qadhafi with some senior GOL [Government of Libya] officials have limited the NSC’s organizational effectiveness.”
The WikiLeaks cable says the NSC was established in early 2007 by “Law Number Four” and by the end of the year was “experiencing growing pains” with a “shortage of skilled, trained individuals.” Mutassim pulled operatives from various branches of Libyan security agencies over objections because of feared “repercussions if they refused requests from a son of Leader Muammar.”
“NSC as an organization is still trying to define its role,” noted the cable author. Mutassim used his clout to “grow his fiefdom” and recruited the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Public Security and Chief of Defense to serve on his council.
The secret cable concluded: “Mutassim’s ambitions have caused frictions with others in the leadership accords with the view of some local observers that Mutassim is an increasingly important player in the political firmament.”