Curt Weldon, former Republican Congressman of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 2007 and only foreigner to sit on the board of the Gaddafi Foundation (Photo), traveled to Libya at the head of a small US delegation to negotiate a way out of the crisis with Colonel Gaddafi. In the opinion pages published by the New York Times on 5 April 2011, he underlined the private nature of his initiative, indicating that the Obama administration had been duly briefed.

As former vice-chair of the Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee, Mr. Weldon compiled an impressive address book that he exploited to set up some juicy ventures on the fringes of legality.

He was in the news in recent years for being involved in a series of international arms trafficking. In particular, one of his companies - Defense Solutions - signed a contract for the refurbishment of a large fleet of T-72 Hungarian tanks, BMP-1 army combat vehicles and BTR-60 troop transport vehicles, and other Soviet vestiges - all of which were intended for Libya. However, the deal would appear to have crumpled.

Affiliated with the military-industrial complex, Mr. Weldon is a Center for Security Policy adviser and participates in the political forums of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

He maintains that he went to Tripoli at the invitation of Colonel Gaddafi’s chief of staff. Yet his goal was to convince the "Brother Leader" to step down in favor of his children.

Whatever the case, Mr. Weldon’s escapade was paid for by Steve Payne and Brian Ettinger - CEO’s of Worldwide Strategic Energy, the largest oil lobby group in Houston - who went along for the ride.

It is obvious to anyone that Mr. Weldon’s variegated activities, especially in North Korea and Iraq, could only have prospered with a nod from the CIA and possibly even at its behest. It is equally glaring that Congressman Curt Weldon had introduced Joe Biden (Senator of Delaware at the time) to Colonel Gaddafi, and that Brian Ettinger was serving as legislative director for Senator Biden, currently Vice-President of the United States. With the result that Mr. Weldon’s initiative was construed within diplomatic circles as a White House effort to restore a communication channel with the Libyan leader.

In the end, Colonel Gaddafi decided to deny the audience requested by his old friend Weldon and "private" US party, preferring to host the African Union Chiefs of States delegation instead.

===

- "U.S. Arms Dealer Tests Legal Bounds in Middle East Arms Bazaar", by Sharon Weinberger, Wired, 7 March 2008.
- "Time’s Up, Qaddafi", by Curt Weldon, The Opinion Pages/The New York Times, 5 April 2011.