Friday, July 30, 2010

Qatar Pays Bud McFarlane $2.3 M for Sudan Services

Former U.S. National Security Advisor Robert "Bud" McFarlane recently filed another disclosure with the Justice Department regarding his work on behalf of the government of Qatar.


- Qatar has paid McFarlane Associates $2.3 M between May 2009 and March 2010. This seems to match up with a previous disclosure from '09 forecasting an annual budget of $2.473 M.

-The latest disclosure shows $1.064 M in payments between December and March for "advisory services." Specifically:
"We have engaged in regular consultations with representatives from the Government of the State of Qatar to advise on the Darfur Peace Process. We have also periodically met with tribal leaders from throughout Darfur to nurture unity among them and assist in the development of political, economic and security goals to be sought in the Darfur Peace Process."
- While taking in $2.3M from Qatar, McFarlane laid out about $756K in related disbursements. $350K alone went to BKSH Associates, the lobbying firm led by Republican mega-lobbyist Charlie Black and currently owned by public relations behemoth Burson-Marsteller.

-McFarlane discloses 12 personal contacts with the US government officials between December '09 and June '10 (10 emails and 2 phone calls), all of them to Scott Gration, President Obama's special envoy to Sudan. McFarlane's colleague Amanda Jane made 5 phone calls to Gration's deputy, Tim Shortley. Worth noting:
(1) This Washington Post article reports that McFarlane discussed Sudan with National Security Advisor James Jones and Gration sometime during '09; we find no mention of Jones in any of McFarlane's disclosures and no mention of any contact with US government officials prior to December 2009, though it's possible that the meeting occurred before McFarlane entered into a contractt with Qatar contract.

(2) The White House flickr feed shows McFarlane meeting with President Obama and Jones in March 2010. From what we can tell, one is not obligated to report contacts with US officials if their foreign client work is not discussed.
- McFarlane made two political contributions while working for Qatar, both to Republicans with military backgrounds: Mike Pompeo in Kansas ($1388.75) and Lang Sias in Colorado ($500). McFarlane hosted a fundraiser for Pompeo at his Washington DC home, prompting Pompeo's opponent to remark that she was "pretty shocked to learn that the host of this fundraiser was someone who has been working with the governments of Qatar and Sudan."

- The original signed agreement between McFarlane and Qatar was to expire at the end of April; work performed past that date suggests the agreement has been renewed.

Payouts, disbursements and contacts with US government pasted below. All of this data and more can be found on the Justice Department's Foreign Agents Registration Act website.



USG contacts:

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