Monitor Group, an international consulting firm headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, today admitted violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act regarding its lobbying for Libyan dictator Muammar Khadafy. The Harvard University-linked company also admitted breaking federal law regarding its 2010 media work for the Kingdom of Jordan but did not provide details.
Monitor Group was under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for failure to register as a foreign agent after details of multi-million dollar deals with Libya were earlier reported following disclosure of the company’s contracts by a Libyan opposition group.
In a written statement Monitor Group said: “Monitor is committed to ensuring that we consistently live and manifest the values, ethics and standards that have characterized our Firm for more than 25 years.”
Some of Monitor’s ethics and values included directing Libya’s publicity campaign in the wake of revelations Khadafy’s forces tortured Bulgarian nurses doing humanitarian work in Libya. Monitor Group also made recommendations to Khadafy’s regime on restructuring the dread Libyan secret police apparatus to make it more efficient.
Monitor Group CEO Mark Fuller also worked on a flattering biography of Muammar Khadafy and helped orchestrate a “visitor” program where influential academics and political leaders were paid to take junkets to Libya in a bid to boost the regime’s reputation.
The decision to belatedly register with the Department of Justice was made on the recommendation of law firm Covington & Burling hired by Monitor following media disclosures about the extensive lobbying effort.
Monitor executive Stephen Jennings said, “We made some mistakes along the way.” Jennings did not explain how an international consulting firm could have been ignorant of its federal reporting requirements raising new questions about the quality of advice provided by the firm founded by several Harvard Business School professors.
Monitor spokesman Eamonn Kelly told the Boston Globe the failure to comply with the law was the result of a “misunderstanding about legal requirements.”
Mark Fuller told the newspaper he intends to step down as head of the company and concentrate on intellectual property issues. Fuller played a key role in the Libyan operation and authored fawning letters appealing to Khadafy’ ego to secure the dictator’s business.
Monitor Group landed its Libyan business through the efforts of Harvard professor Michael Porter, one of the company’s founders. Porter’s role has stung other faculty members and has led to an internal call for censure of Porter by Harvard University.
One of Monitor’s visitors to Khadafy was Joseph Nye, former dean of the Kennedy School of Government. Nye has denied wrongdoing and defends the junkets to Tripoli as an effort to bring reform to the rogue nation. Nye has not explained why his Monitor paymasters were not registered as foreign agents as required by law.
To view all of the Monitor Group articles click HERE