George Snell, senior VP of digital and social media for Weber Shandwick, yesterday recalled his unique experience of working with Col. Muammar Qaddafi's second son, Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi, during a high-profile news event in Europe in 2007.

snell, qaddafi
Snell, al-Islam
Snell wrote on his blog Feb. 22 that he was arranging media interviews in France for al-Islam after Libya released a group of Bulgarian nurses falsely accused of infecting Libyan children with HIV, a story which drew global attention because of the country's harsh treatment of the nurses.

At the time, he had been working for Racepoint Group, which had done some economic development work with the Libyan government.

Snell said al-Islam was to be positioned as the "'compassionate' leader of Libya in waiting" and added that the heir apparent had trouble sticking to a script as he said Libyan police fabricated evidence and expressed his opinion that the country needed to draft a Constitution.

Reflecting on the events of the past week, Snell wrote:

"One wonders how that experience in France more than four years ago shaped the actions of Saif al-Islam this week as the Libyan people struggle to overthrow his fatherís harsh regime. As the revolution took to the streets and state-sponsored violence erupted, Saif al-Islam appeared on Libyan television this week vowing that the Libyan government under his father 'will fight to the last minute, until the last bullet.' He warned of 'rivers of blood' if the protests continued.

"Clearly, those were not the words of the moderate son I met in France. And with reports today of terrible and bloody violence against the protesters, many are dismissing Saif al-Islam as a pretender for democracy and not a real moderate.

"Yet Iím not convinced. "

Read more on Snell's blog