“How Bahrain Works Washington” – The Salon

Ken Silverstein writes for ‘The Salon’ on Bahrain’s PR machine in Washington:

Ever since last February, when security forces in Bahrain brutally cracked down on demonstrators at the Pearl Monument, human rights groups have documented extensive violence by the government against pro-democracy protesters. In late  November, an independent commission hired by the country’s king released a report that said 35 people had been killed during the protests, including five detainees who were tortured to death, and that hundreds more had been injured and nearly 3,000 arrested.

But to judge from Tom Squitieri — the self-described “stargazer, Award winning reporter, communications crafter” who has tweeted and blogged about events in Bahrain for Huffington Post and the Foreign Policy Association — demonstrators are largely to blame for the violence. In one item he wrote about a girl named Zahra who “was attacked with an iron bar wielded by protestors” and a demonstrator named Ali who was killed “after being hit by a police car.” While Ali’s family claimed “he was deliberately run down” by the cops, Squitieri suggested it was more likely that “the police car swerved out of control after skidding on oil poured on the road by protestors.”

Squitieri states in his blog posts that he “works with the Bahrain government on media awareness and press freedom,” which is an odd way of describing work that amounts to propaganda. But unless you count his work at NewsMax, the right-wing media organization, Squitieri hasn’t been a journalist since 2005, when he resigned from USA Today for plagiarism. Nor does he mention anywhere that he is an employee of Qorvis Communications, a Washington firm that is registered to lobby for the government of Bahrain.

Read full article here: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/08/how_bahrain_works_washington/singleton/

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