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A just-retired U.S. diplomat who led negotiations that restored full diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Libya has taken an important job with Bechtel, a major U.S. company that stands to win major contracts in the former pariah state. The firm approached David Welch in his final months as assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs and in December made him vice president for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, said a Bechtel spokesman, Francis Canavan.
Mr. Welch did nothing illegal by taking the job, but his new duties illustrate the revolving door that leads so many former U.S. government officials to lucrative posts in the private sector using contacts they developed while on the federal payroll.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”