Gadhafi Paid Millions To U.S. Firms To Polish His Global Image

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

The mercurial leader hired The Monitor Group, a Boston-based consulting firm, to execute a public relations strategy that included paying think-tank analysts and former government officials to take a free trip to Libya for lectures, discussions and even personal meetings with Gadhafi starting in 2006.

According to a 2007 memo from Monitor to Gadhafi's intelligence chief, the campaign was to "enhance international understanding and appreciation of Libya... emphasize the emergence of the new Libya... (and) introduce (Moammar Gadhafi) as a thinker and intellectual."

The price: $3 million a year, plus expenses, for work that included consulting, briefings, analyses and a steady stream of high-profile visitors to Libya -- at least one a month.
CNN