Congressional leaders have received a letter purportedly from Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, asking for a cease-fire as NATO forces ramped up bombing of his compound in Tripoli this week. The Hill's Bob Cusack reports:
The June 9 letter, which The Hill obtained, is addressed to the White House and lawmakers. House and Senate leadership aides say they have received the document, but have not confirmed its authenticity. The White House declined to comment. ...
Gadhafi calls for "a cease fire, the funding of humanitarian relief and assistance in fostering and furthering accommodation between the parties within Libya that are at odds." In exchange, he pledges reforms.
Gadhafi chastises France, which he claims led the charge on recent Security Council resolutions against Libya. He argues that France is motivated to "seize Libyan oil" while simultaneously trying to smooth relations with the U.S.
Read the full story, with quotes from the letter, at TheHill.com.
Pelosi's office says it does not have the letter. One congressional leadership aide seemed unconvinced, one way or another, whether the letter was real or fake. If it had reason to believe the letter is real, one might assume the White House would have said something about it by now. Sources in Congress seemed kind of unimpressed with its existence. As Cusack notes, however, the letter could be designed to separate the U.S. from its European allies, in which case the White House (and others) would have little incentive to advertise it.