Al Jazeera Says Kucinich Worked With Qaddafis, Kucinich Denies

The congressman allegedly solicited damaging information on the rebels

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Update: Rep. Kucinich's office has sent The Atlantic Wire a statement in which the congressman flatly denies Al Jazeera's report, claiming that the document in question is simply a summary of Kucinich's public positions on the Libyan campaign by a Libyan bureaucrat who never consulted with Kucinich himself:

Al Jazeera found a document written by a Libyan bureaucrat to other Libyan bureaucrats. All it proves is that the Libyans were reading the Washington Post, and read there about my efforts to stop the war. I can't help what the Libyans put in their files. My opposition to the war in Libya, even before it formally started, was public and well known. My questions about the legitimacy of the war, who the opposition was, and what NATO was doing, were also well known and consistent with my official duties. Any implication I was doing anything other than trying to bring an end to an unauthorized war is fiction. 

The Washington Post article cited in the document reproduced by Al Jazeera references Kucinich's sponsorship of a resolution to end U.S. involvement in Libya but doesn't summarize Kucinich's more detailed questions about the intervention.

Original post: Anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich has long opposed NATO's military intervention in Libya, filing a lawsuit to stop the campaign in June and, more recently, arguing that the mission heralded a new era of "international gangsterism." But Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal is reporting this afternoon that the Ohio congressman may have translated his opposition into outright collaboration with the Qaddafi regime. Elshayyal claims he's uncovered a document at Libya's intelligence headquarters in Tripoli, which the rebels now control, that appears to summarize a conversation between Kucinich and a representative for Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam.

The file explains that the congressman (who is not named in the document reproduced on Al Jazeera's site, raising questions about how Elshayyal pinpointed Kucinich) is seeking information from the Libyan government to file a lawsuit against NATO, the U.N., and the U.S., defend Saif al-Islam at the International Criminal Court, reform the image of the regime, and facilitate negotiations to end the conflict. The lawmaker asks for evidence of corruption within the rebel leadership, links between the opposition and al-Qaeda, reports of atrocities committed by rebel fighters, and signs of civilian deaths inflicted by NATO, among other information. Elshayyal produces documents suggesting David Welch, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state, also advised the Qaddafi regime to be on the look out for al-Qaeda elements within the opposition, and to exploit the unrest in Syria, "particularly regarding the double-standard policy adopted by Washington."

Kucinich, for his part, already landed in hot water earlier this year for traveling to Syria to meet with President Bashar al-Assad. Last week, The Guardian reported that the Qaddafi regime had offered Kucinich an all-expenses paid "peace mission" to Libya, which the congressman ultimately declined because of "security concerns." In a statement on Friday that sounded very similar to Kucinich's justification for visiting Assad, the representative explained, "In my efforts to end the war, I have been contacted by many parties--including members of the Qaddafi regime and some with ties to the rebels. Reaching a just and peaceful solution requires listening to all sides." We've reached out to Kucinich's office about Al Jazeera's latest report, and we'll update this post if we hear back.

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