Swapping a Dictator for a Torturer in Egypt
As things now stand, the United States appears ready to have Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak tossed out in exchange for his newly-named Vice President, Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian spy master. That is, maintain the status quo by swapping one dictator for another.
Of course, Israel must sign off on this deal aimed at assuring that Egypt can remain as America’s main base in the region, straddling as it does North Africa and the Middle East. Without that status quo, the U.S. would have to rethink its entire neo-colonial policies in the region.
But Suleiman looks like a nasty piece of work.
You don’t get much about him in the US corporate media, but Agence France Press has pulled together the basics:
“For US intelligence officials, he has been a trusted partner willing to go after Islamist militants without hesitation, targeting homegrown radical groups Gamaa Islamiya and Jihad 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….
“After taking over as spy director, Suleiman oversaw an agreement with the United States in 1995 that allowed for suspected militants to be secretly transferred to Egypt for questioning, according to the book “Ghost Plane” by journalist Stephen Grey. ..
“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 account."
Thus our loyal ally Egypt provided the fake information used by the United States to justify go to war in Iraq.
Stephen Soldz of the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis and co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology provided the following excerpts from authors who discussed Sulieman:
Jane Mayer, in The Dark Side, pointed to Suleiman’s role in the rendition program: