One of Hillary Clinton’s closest advisers traveled to Libya on the dime of a controversial group that was paid by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to enhance the strongman’s public image in the U.S., WND has learned.
Anne-Marie Slaughter was considered one of the most influential officials at the State Department until she abruptly departed last month. She served as State’s director of policy and planning, where she spearheading major initiatives for Clinton.
WND has learned Slaughter, who continues to advise both Clinton and the State Department, also has been listed as “official talent” for Monitor Group, the Gadhafi-paid organization that has come under fire in recent days for sending influential U.S. citizens on trips to Libya as part of an imaging effort for the Libyan dictator.
Monitor Group’s project for Gadhafi was officially called “The Project to Enhance the Public Image of Libya and Moammar Gadhafi.”
The group’s official summary memo of the project, obtained by WND, says Monitor Group has also been in discussion with philanthropist George Soros about ways to “advocate on Libya’s behalf.”
Michael Goldberg, Monitor’s public relations representative, refused to respond to WND inquiries about Slaughter’s relationship with his organization.
Instead, he sent a terse e-mail with an official statement that Monitor Group was “actively involved in Libya from 2006 to 2008.”
The statement also explained the group sent “leaders representing a broad array of perspectives” to Libya to meet Gadhafi.
“There is no other comment available at this time,” Goldberg told WND.
Slaughter, who has been referred to as one of Clinton’s closest advisers, told WND she was never an employee of Monitor, and while she accepted travel expenses for the April 2007 trip, she declined to be paid a consulting fee.
She said she was aware that Monitor was being paid by the Libyan government, but her understanding was that it was for consulting regarding economic and political reforms.
“The particular program regarding bringing public intellectuals to Libya was described as part of reducing Libya’s international isolation by exposing leaders to a range of ideas,” she explained in an e-mail reponse. “As far as I know, that is what the State Department understood as well.”
On her Twitter page, she wrote of her visit to Libya through Monitor Group: “Neither I nor my husband were paid anything other than travel expenses; State Dept approved trip.”
She confirmed, “I traveled to Tripoli once on trip paid for by Monitor Consulting – took no other payment of any kind.”
Slaughter is listed in Monitor Group literature obtained by WND as official “Monitor Talent.”
In Monitor Group’s summary memo of its imaging work for Gadhafi, Slaughter is listed as having traveled to Libya on the group’s behalf from April 29 to May 3, 2007.
She went with her husband, Andrew Moravcsik, a Princeton political science professor.
According to the memo, Slaughter did not meet Gadhafi on the visit.
At the time, Slaughter was dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and was an adviser to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Continued the Monitor summary: “Slaughter and Moravcsik are currently on sabbatical in Shanghai. They have indicated to Monitor that they have discussed their visit to Libya with senior Chinese officials. Slaughter and Moravcsik have indicated their willingness to return to Libya.”
Working to present Gadhafi as ‘thinker, intellectual’
Monitor was reportedly paid by the Government of Libya $250,000 a month along with an open expense account that would not total more than $2.5 million, apparently including travel for those sent to visit the country.
The Monitor summary memo says the group worked on behalf of Libya to “to enhance international understanding and appreciation of Libya and the contribution it has made and may continue to make to its region and to the world.”
Also, Monitor says it worked to present Gadhafi “as a thinker and intellectual, independent of his more widely known and very public persona as the Leader of the Revolution in Libya.”
To that affect, Monitor says it sent Slaughter and others to introduce to Libya “important international figures that will influence other nations’ policies towards the country and make a contribution to the economic development of the country.”
“Monitor anticipated that, by visiting Libya, these figures would become more informed about the country, develop a more sensitive understanding of the challenges that it is striving to overcome, as well as become part of a network building bridges between Libya and the rest of the world,” relates the memo.
Other “important international figures” sent to Libya by Monitor include Richard Perle, former assistant secretary of defense; sociologist Anthony Giddens; Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Nicholas Negroponet; Middle East and Islam historian Bernard Lewis; Joseph Nye, professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; and Harvard professor Robert Putnam.
Slaughter proposed new ‘League of Nations’
Slaughter, meanwhile, departed her position at the State Deparment last month as the unrest in the Middle East began. She has since returned to Princeton.
She wrote in a farewell letter last month that she will continue serving as a consultant to the State Department’s Policy Planning bureau.
She reportedly continues to advise Clinton, who reportedly threw Slaughter a farewell party when she departed last month.
At State, Slaughter took the lead in sponsoring activist-centered projects in Iran, Syria and Egypt. She also oversaw a new and sweeping strategic blueprint known as the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, or QDDR, which establishes priorities over a four-year horizon.
While at Princeton in 2006, she proposed a new League of Nations that she called a “Concert of Democracies.” Under her plan, which was included in the final report of the Princeton Project, a comprehensive review of national security, members of the alliance would have to be real democracies that held regular multiparty elections.
The group’s purpose would purportedly be to work within existing global institutions such as the United Nations; but in the event that those fail, to provide a framework “for organizing and legitimizing international interventions, including the use of military force.”
Slaughter has been a vocal advocate of viewing the world through a network lens. Most recently, in a recent article in the influential Foreign Affairs magazine, entitled “America’s Edge: Power in the Networked Century,” she argues that America’s best future lies in positioning itself as the world’s most networked nation, the hub of information, ideas and resources flowing though the global economy.
Slaughter previously taught alongside Obama at the University of Chicago Law School from 1989 to 1994.
She has worked on the Council of Foreign Relation’s Taskforce on U.S.-EU Policy and has addressed the Soros-funded Center for American Progress.
In recent days she has been quoted in the media saying Obama may need to act against Gadhafi’s regime, which has been accused of massacres to suppress ongoing revolts.
“We are going to see evidence of extraordinary brutality,” she told ABC News. “We’re already seeing it in terms of just mowing down civilians. But I think this is not going to be something that a president is going to want to have on his conscience.
During her sabbatical in China that began in 2007, she wrote a brief series of articles for the New York Times.
“My husband and I have just relocated to Shanghai for ten months to put our two sons, aged 8 and 10, in school here to learn as much Mandarin as possible and to get a feel for Asia,” she wrote.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott