American Head-Basher Lands a Job in Bahrain
Posted on Dec 3, 2011
The U.S. has long exported money, weapons and propaganda know-how to foreign governments looking to contain their populations. Now the ruling Al-Khalifas of Bahrain have hired former Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney, notorious for employing brutal tactics against American protesters, to assist in a crackdown against pro-democracy activists on their soil.
Timoney’s involvement in the Al-Khalifas’ “reform” program means the ruling family’s intentions are anything but benevolent, writes photojournalist Matthew Cassel in The Guardian. Cassel had the opportunity to see Timoney’s techniques firsthand in 2003 at a union protest in Miami where he and other journalists were showered with the same tear gas and rubber bullets that are expected to drench Bahraini youth in the days ahead. —ARK
I was shocked when I reached Miami and found it similar to a West Bank town under occupation. The city was largely empty save for police vehicles speeding in every direction and helicopters hovering above. Once the protests began, it was impossible to move more than a few feet in any direction without confronting the police and their brutality. The thousands of police dressed in full riot gear and armed with teargas, rubber bullets, batons, electric tasers – all of which were used against protesters and journalists – were everywhere around Miami.
The “model”, as Miami public officials called it at the time, was the brainchild of police chief John Timoney. After leading the head-bashing of protesters as Philadelphia’s police commissioner during the Republican party’s national convention in 2000, Timoney was hired by Miami and given more than $8m to introduce a level of police brutality unlike any we had ever seen in the US.
… Now the Miami model is coming to Bahrain. The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Timoney has been hired by the kingdom’s interior ministry “as part of reforms” following the release of a report last week by a government-sponsored fact-finding commission.
AP / Hasan Jamali
Tear gas drifts toward pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain in early November.