Sunday, November 20, 2011

By the way, where is Omar Suleiman and what is he doing now?

"Even if we disagree with some of their actions, it can be resolved through discussions and not through pressuring and threatening the military. Egypt, in some cases, is no more than masses and crowds."

Omar Suleiman, El-Ahram, Friday, November 18, 2011

OK, so unarmed demonstrators in Tahrir Square are "threatening the military." The Egyptian military must have a low threshold for being threatened, or maybe they're used to being bullies and cowards. That would would seem consistent with this excerpt from the Iacobucci Inquiry:

“One of his inquisitors may have been Egypt’s top spy. ‘Mr. El Maati thought that he recognized his interrogator from the news and that he might be Omar Soleiman, the head of Egyptian intelligence,’ the Iacobucci report says, using an alternate spelling of the Egyptian vice president’s name.“Unlike other interrogations, that session in the spring of 2003 did not involve violence. ‘A man in plain clothes sat across the desk from Mr. El Maati, asking him questions … the interrogator had a pile of papers in front of him and wrote down the answers Mr. El Maati gave.’“At the time, the Canadian prisoner had a sense that others were watching through a one-way window. The Iacobucci findings revealed that Western intelligence agencies – including the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service – were closely monitoring what the Egyptians were doing, even passing along questions."

[I had to quote myself because the Government of Canada wants to charge me $28 to read the results of a public inquiry conducted in private with public money about the complicity of Canadian intelligence services in the abuse of international humanitarian law, and furthermore my source for the original quote at the Globe and Mail has been hidden behind a paywall. I'm working on it. Weirdly, previous references to the entire Iacobucci report on reputable websites like that of the Toronto Star lead to irrelevant pornography, arguably more socially acceptable than whatever went on with Canadian citizens in Egyptian prisons.]

...later the same day....

[OK, I think I've got it. This has been so weirdly difficult in an age of open government and transparency that I'm starting to worry, like Uri Avnery, that I'm living in the Weimar Republic.]

And from the Australians:

"In Egypt, where torture seems to be a Government sport, Habib was interrogated by the country’s Intelligence Director, General Omar Suleiman, whose is ranked second in power to President Hosni Mubarak. Back in 2001, Suleiman took a personal interest in anyone suspected of links with Al Qaeda. As Habib had visited Afghanistan shortly before 9/11, he was under suspicion. Suleiman slapped Habib’s face so hard, the blindfold was dislodged, revealing the torturer’s identity. According to his memoir, Habib was repeatedly zapped with high-voltage electricity, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks. "He was again interrogated by Omar Suleiman. To loosen Habib’s tongue, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a gruesomely shackled Turkistan prisoner in front of Habib – and he did, with a vicious karate kick. Suleiman is expected to be the next President of Egypt."

Of course, Omar Suleiman has a long history of acting in the public interest, with the support of American Non Governmental Organizations like the CIA. Ah, bring back the good old days of stability, order, and lousy, corrupt, tyrannical government.