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"Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus" AKA "Antoninus Pius"

Political Scientists Not Behaving Well Watch...

UPDATE: Joe Nye writes that Franklin Foer is simply wrong when he claims that Joe Nye did not disclose to TNR the circumstances of his trip to Libya:

It is important to emphasize that I disclosed my connection with the Monitor Group when I wrote the article.... When Mother Jones asked The New Republic if I had disclosed that Monitor had paid me as a consultant, TNR maintained that I had not.But this was mistaken. I dug out the first draft I sent to TNR, and it says clearly, “I was in Libya at the invitation of a former Harvard colleague who works for the Monitor Group, a consulting company which has undertaken to help Libya open itself to the global economy. Part of that process is meeting with a variety of Western experts whom Monitor hires as consultants.” The final sentence of this disclosure was dropped by the editors at TNR. I have sent the original to both TNR and Mother Jones and asked for a retraction of the false statement that I did not alert them...


Guys. Think as hard as you can. Remember that politicians are politicians because they are unusually persuasive. Say what you think. Don't trim what you say in the hopes of pleasing your paying clients or the politicians. It does not work.

And even if it does work, what are you then? You are the Attorney General for Wales:

It's really not worth it.

This is a old story: Plato and Dion in Syracuse; Aristotle and Alexander in Pella; Seneca and Nero in Rome; Thomas More and Henry Tudor at Hampton Court; Voltaire and Friedrich Hohenzollern in Potsdam; Sidney Webb and Stalin in Moscow; C. Wright Mills and Castro in Havana.

David Corn and Siddhartha Mahanta have a number of targets--a bunch of people who worked with Monitor but did not flack for the regime; Joe Nye, whose sin appears to have been insufficient disclosure rather than flacking for a tyrannical regime by saying something he did not believe; and then Barber, Giddens, and Moravcsik--who do seem to have gone far wrong not in that they engaged with a tyrant but rather that they flacked for him.

David Corn and Siddhartha Mahanta in Mother Jones:

From Libya With Love | Mother Jones: In February 2007 Harvard professor Joseph Nye Jr.... sipped tea for three hours with Muammar Qaddafi. Months later, he penned an elegant description of the chat for The New Republic, reporting that Qaddafi had been interested in discussing "direct democracy." Nye noted that "there is no doubt that" the Libyan autocrat:

acts differently on the world stage today than he did in decades past. And the fact that he took so much time to discuss ideas—including soft power—with a visiting professor suggests that he is actively seeking a new strategy.

The article struck a hopeful tone: that there was a new Qaddafi. It also noted that Nye had gone to Libya "at the invitation of the Monitor Group, a consulting company that is helping Libya open itself to the global economy"... [but not that] he [was]... as a paid consultant of the Monitor Group... orking under a $3 million-per-year contract with Libya... "to enhance the profile of Libya and Muammar Qadhafi."... [A] source familiar with the Harvard professor's original submission to the magazine notes, "It took considerable prodding from editors to get him to reluctantly acknowledge the regime's very well-known dark side." And Franklin Foer, then the editor of the magazine, says, "If we had known that he was consulting for a firm paid by the government, we wouldn't have run the piece."...

The two chief goals of the project, according to an internal document describing Monitor's Libya operations, were to produce a makeover for Libya and to introduce Qaddafi "as a thinker and intellectual, independent of his more widely-known and very public persona as the Leader of the Revolution in Libya."... [A] few of the "visitors," as Monitor referred to them, did write mostly positive articles, without revealing they had been part of the Monitor Group's endeavor to clean up Qaddafi. Some might not have even known they had been recruited for an image rehabilitation effort....

Benjamin Barber... took three trips to Libya as a paid consultant to Monitor.... "Did I realize that I was working within an autocratic regime and the odds of making change were low?" Barber remarks. "Yes."... [I]n August 2007, Barber wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post.... In the article—headlined "Gaddafi's Libya: An Ally for America?"—Barber wrote that his one-on-one conversations with Qaddafi had convinced him that the Libyan leader had arranged for their release to show his desire for "a genuine rapprochement with the United States":

Libya under Gaddafi has embarked on a journey that could make it the first Arab state to transition peacefully and without overt Western intervention to a stable, non-autocratic government....

But Barber did not mention in the Post piece that he himself had been a paid consultant for the Monitor Group. Was this an oversight? "I don't think so," Barber says, adding that he assumed he was on the payroll to help Monitor promote reform in Libya, not sell Qaddafi in the United States....

Other intellectuals squired to Libya by Monitor also chronicled their experiences in articles that bolstered the notion—for which there was a true basis at the time—that Qaddafi was heading in a positive direction.... Princeton University professor Andrew Moravcsik....

Kaddafi may have no desire to surrender power himself—but he has come to see that embracing modernization and globalization is the best way to assure his survival. Thus the historical irony: after three decades of isolation, Libya may be emerging as the West's best hope in the turbulent Middle East.

Asked about his trip to Libya and his relationship with Monitor—and whether he should have disclosed any connection in the Newsweek article—Moravcsik initially refused to comment; a spokeswoman for him said, "He is not available to discuss this issue."...

Anthony Giddens....

As one-party states go, Libya is not especially repressive. Gadafy seems genuinely popular.... Will real progress be possible only when Gadafy leaves the scene? I tend to think the opposite. If he is sincere in wanting change, as I think he is, he could play a role in muting conflict that might otherwise arise as modernisation takes hold.

The article did not mention the Monitor Group.... Giddens did not respond to an email request for comment.... Monitor did not reply to questions from Mother Jones about its intentions in Libya, about its payments to consultants, or about the various articles that were written by the academics it brought to Tripoli. "We do not discuss specifics of our work with any client," the Monitor statement says. "That said, we are deeply distressed and saddened to witness the current tragic events in Libya." The group did not say whether it regretted mounting, on behalf a brutal dictator who proved to be no reformer, a behind-the-scenes PR campaign that snared prominent intellectuals hoping for the best in Libya.

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