Wikileaks on US Public Diplomacy in Libya

February 2, 2011

I’m still finishing off my marking (and buying a house) so my take on the relationship between technology and political upheavals in the Middle East will have to wait –  instead here’s something more interesting.

Wikileaks have just released a stack of documents from the US Embassy in Tripoli a quick search using the tags feature turns up three that might be of interest to PD’ers.

1. A discussion about the US collaborating with the Libyan government to offer ‘soft power programming’ against Islamist radicals in Eastern Libya.  The Libyans declined the offer but it’s interesting to see that it even took place.  I’d also be intrigued to find out what ‘soft power programming’ is.

2. There’s a message from the embassy documenting the difficulties that they are having getting visas for Americans coming in under public diplomacy visitors programmes.  These difficulties are attributed to rising political tensions with Libya.  This goes back to a point that I’ve made previously that however much PD practitioners seek to portray their work as non-political it sometimes isn’t seen this way by the receiving government or at minimum becomes another avenue for leverage.

3. Related to this point the embassy organized a viewing party to watch Hilary Clinton’s ‘internet freedom’ speech and there’s an account of reactions here.



  1. […] regime: their view shaped by the mosque and satellite TV – but also see my earlier post about the US offer of ‘soft power programming’ in Eastern Libya to the […]

  2. […] see my earlier post about the US offer of ‘soft power […]

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