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Post by phantomssecret Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:30 pm

Mubarak's deputy linked to secret CIA program
Feb 01, 2011 at 07:29
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By AFP
WASHINGTON - The man named by President Hosni Mubarak as his first ever deputy, Egyptian spy chief Omar Suleiman, reportedly orchestrated the brutal interrogation of terror suspects abducted by the CIA in a secret program condemned by rights groups.

His role in the shadows of the "war on terror" illustrates the ties that bind the United States and the Egyptian regime, as an unprecedented wave of protests against Mubarak present Washington with a difficult dilemma.

With Mubarak's rule in jeopardy, Suleiman was anointed vice president last week and is now offering wide ranging talks with the opposition in a bid to defuse the crisis.

Suleiman is a sophisticated operator who carried out sensitive truce negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians as well as talks among rival Palestinian factions, winning the praise of American diplomats.

For US intelligence officials, he has been a trusted partner willing to go after Islamist militants without hesitation, targeting homegrown radical groups after they carried out a string of attacks on foreigners.

A product of the US-Egyptian relationship, Suleiman underwent training in the 1980s at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Center at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

As spy chief, Suleiman reportedly embraced the CIA's controversial "extraordinary rendition" program under ex-president George W. Bush, in which terror suspects snatched by the Americans were taken to Egypt and other countries without legal proceedings and subjected to harsh interrogations.

He "was the CIA’s point man in Egypt for rendition," Jane Mayer, author of "The Dark Side," wrote on the New Yorker's website.

After taking over as spy director, Suleiman oversaw an agreement with the United States in 1995 - during Bill Clinton's presidency -- that allowed suspected militants to be secretly transferred to Egypt for questioning.

Human rights groups charge the detainees have often faced torture and mistreatment in Egypt and elsewhere, accusing the US government of violating its own legal obligations by handing over suspects to regimes known for abuse.


In the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the CIA relied on Suleiman to accept the transfer of a detainee known as Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who US officials hoped could prove a link between Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.

The suspect was bound and blindfolded and flown to Cairo, where the CIA believed their longtime ally Suleiman would ensure a successful interrogation, according to "The One Percent Doctrine" by author Ron Suskind.

A US Senate report in 2006 describes how the detainee was locked in a cage for hours and beaten, with Egyptian authorities pushing him to confirm alleged connections between Al-Qaeda and Saddam.

Libi eventually told his interrogators that the then Iraqi regime was moving to provide Al-Qaeda with biological and chemical weapons.

When the then US secretary of state Colin Powell made the case for war before the United Nations, he referred to details of Libi's confession.

The detainee eventually recanted his confession.

In "Ghost Plane," a book about the rendition program, journalist Stephen Grey writes that Egypt faced regular public criticism from lawmakers in Congress about its rights record.

"But in secret, men like Omar Suleiman, the country's most powerful spy and secret policeman, did our work, the sort of work that Western countries have no appetite to do themselves," he wrote.

AND THEN OF COURSE THERE IS OUR INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION, COURTESY OF "O"

Israel shocked by Obama's "betrayal" of Mubarak
Jan 31, 2011 at 19:58
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By Reuters
JERUSALEM - If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighbourhood and U.S. President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel's President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

"We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak," he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. "I don't say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East."

Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled "A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam". It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

Who is advising them, he asked, "to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president ... an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?"

"The politically correct diplomacy of American presidents throughout the generations ... is painfully naive."

Obama on Sunday called for an "orderly transition" to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down, but signaling that his days may be numbered.

"AMERICA HAS LOST IT"

Netanyahu instructed Israeli ambassadors in a dozen key capitals over the weekend to impress on host governments that Egypt's stability is paramount, official sources said.

"Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications," Haaretz daily quoted one official as saying.

Egypt, Israel's most powerful neighbour, was the first Arab country to make peace with the Jewish state, in 1979. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty, was assassinated two years later by an Egyptian fanatic.

It took another 13 years before King Hussein of Jordan broke Arab ranks to made a second peace with the Israelis. That treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated one year later, in 1995, by an Israeli fanatic.

There have been no peace treaties since. Lebanon and Syria are still technically at war with Israel. Conservative Gulf Arab regimes have failed to advance their peace ideas. A hostile Iran has greatly increased its influence in the Middle East conflict.

"The question is, do we think Obama is reliable or not," said an Israeli official, who declined to be named.

"Right now it doesn't look so. That is a question resonating across the region not just in Israel."

Writing in Haaretz, Ari Shavit said Obama had betrayed "a moderate Egyptian president who remained loyal to the United States, promoted stability and encouraged moderation".

To win popular Arab opinion, Obama was risking America's status as a superpower and reliable ally.

"Throughout Asia, Africa and South America, leaders are now looking at what is going on between Washington and Cairo. Everyone grasps the message: "America's word is worthless ... America has lost it."
phantomssecret
phantomssecret
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Posts : 220
Join date : 2011-06-18
Age : 63
Location : West Coast USA

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