So hey, they weren't the only ones. Swell.
According to an excellent story by Farah Stockman in today's Globe, Monitor Group, a Cambridge-based consulting formed founded by Harvard professors, "received $250,000 a month from the Libyan government from 2006 to 2008 for a wide range of services, including writing the book proposal, bringing prominent academics to Libya to meet Khadafy 'to enhance international appreciation of Libya' and trying to generate positive news coverage of the country."
Obviously, given what is happening in Libya now and the increasingly deranged Khadafy's willingness to brutalize his own people to stay in power, people aren't looking too kindly on Monitor Group's Libya connection. It's worth remembering, however, that Monitor Group wasn't alone, and that it wasn't the only institution to have cashed in on the perception that Khadafy was softening in recent years.
Monitor Group, for its part, issued a statement arguing that, in Stockman's words, "the firm’s main effort was designed to help Khadafy’s dictatorship bring about change." If so, then the relationship between the firm and Khadafy would have amounted to a historic moment, the first time in history a despot paid huge sums to an outside group to help him reduce his grip on power.