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Professor says Monitor Group brought shame to Harvard University over Libya

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Respected Harvard University Professor Harry Lewis has called upon Harvard President Drew Faust to censure Professor Michael Porter for bringing shame to the university over his work with Monitor Group.

The Cambridge-based consulting firm was co-founded by Porter and several of his Harvard colleagues. Monitor Group has come under unfavorable attention of the international news media over its work for Moammar Khadafy.

The Harvard Crimson broke the story about yesterday’s closed faculty meeting where Lewis confronted Faust over Porter’s business dealings with the Libyan dictator.

Lewis said: “Harvard rightly expresses its pride when a member of our community does something noble. I wonder if the University should not also express its shame when a faculty member disgraces the University.”

Lewis continued, “I don’t know if Professor Porter broke any laws….Yet taking money to support a tyranny by dubbing it a democracy is wrong.”

“To put it simply, a tyrant wanted a crimson-tinged report that he was running a democracy, and for a price a Harvard expert obliged in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary,” chastised Lewis.

Faust said she was not “scold-in-chief” and continued the ivy-league school’s policy of silence about Monitor Group’s ties to the university.

While Faust keeps a tight lip about Monitor Group, the Massachusetts company is ending its silence on its Libyan contracts for a bit of damage control.

Two days after international law expert Jonathan Levy said Monitor Group was likely the target of a Department of Justice inquiry into the company’s failure to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, the firm issued a press release.

Monitor said: “We are aware that questions have been raised regarding activities that could conceivably be construed as “lobbying,” and therefore raise questions of regulatory compliance.”

A Monitor Group “internal task force” has been assigned to study the matter. A company spokesman, Eamonn Kelly, a Monitor Group partner, submitted to questioning on Boston’s WBUR yesterday about noncompliance with FARA reporting requirements.

Kelly said possible lobbying was just “one piece of the work” Monitor did for Libya. “We are very aware of this program” and recognize that “an element of our work has come under scrutiny.”

Kelly told the radio station: “We take it quite seriously. If external legal counsel advises us we will take remedial steps….We don’t know the answer yet.”

Kelly concluded, “We were working under the policy of the U.S. government as we understood it.”

Monitor Group has not yet commented on its work on overhauling Khadafy’s secret police apparatus or its media spin work over the Libyan torture of Bulgarian nurses doing humanitarian work in Libya.

To view all of the Monitor Group articles click HERE

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