Ken Silverstein of Harpers Magazine Goes Undercover to Find Out What US Lobbyists Do for Dictators (link)

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Thursday, June 28th, 2007
Democracy Now!

In New Expose, Ken Silverstein of Harpers Magazine Goes Undercover to Find Out What US Lobbyists Do for Dictators

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Ken Silverstein of Harper’s Magazine visited Washington’s top lobbying firms posing as a representative of a fictitious investment firm with a financial stake in Turkmenistan. He claimed that he was eager to bolster the image of a regime widely described as one of the most authoritarian in the world. Two prominent firms fell for the bait, promising unparalleled access to Washington’s decision makers and improved media coverage — for a fee of up to $1.2 million.


“Foreign agents — what US lobbyists do for dictators” – all it takes is the right amount of money and a little help from the skilled lobbying firms in Washington, DC. That’s according to an article in this month’s edition of Harper’s Magazine by Washington Editor, Ken Silverstein. In February, Silverstein visited Washington’s top lobbying firms posing as a representative of a fictitious investment firm with a financial stake in Turkmenistan. He claimed that he was eager to bolster the image of a regime widely described as one of the most authoritarian in the world. Silverstein’s expose is titled “Their men in Washington: Undercover with D.C.”s Lobbyists for hire.” It focuses on two prominent firms, APCO and Cassidy & Associates, that fell for Silverstein’s bait and were soon vying for a lucrative contract to remake Turkmenistan’s tarnished image. For $600,000 to $1.2 million dollars a year, they promised unparalleled access to Washington’s decision makers and improved media coverage.

  • Ken Silverstein. Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine. He also publishes a blog on political corruption in Washington, DC called Washington Babylon.

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