Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt's new vice president ~ expert on rendition and torture

Posted by Christian  |  at  31.1.11

Stephen Soldz of Dissident Voice has the goods on the former intelligence chief and newly crowned vice president, Omar Suleiman. Here is a passage from Stephen's piece.

Shortly after 9/11, Australian citizen, Mamdouh Habib, was captured by Pakistani security forces and, under US pressure, tortured by Pakistanis. He was then rendered (with an Australian diplomats watching) by CIA operatives to Egypt, a not uncommon practice. In Egypt, Habib merited Suleiman’s personal attention. As related by Richard Neville, based on Habib’s memoir:

Habib was interrogated by the country’s Intelligence Director, General Omar Suleiman…. 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. 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.

That treatment wasn’t enough for Suleiman, so:

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.
It'll be interesting to see which of Israel's Egypt's allies welcome him, and which {if any} join the citizenry in their demand for wholesale change. As the article points out, the Obama administration, at least two high ranking members that I have heard, have come out and criticized Mubarak for re shuffling the deck. But if I had to predict what the U.S administration ends up doing regarding Suleiman, I'd say they back off their previous position and accept that "orderly transition" to democracy crap I keep hearing about.


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