WIKILEAKS RELEASE: Obama Complicity in Egyptian Torture, Rape & Murder
On Friday, the whistleblower website Wikileaks released dozens of sensitive US diplomatic cables revealing Washington has long been aware that the brutal regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was torturing and murdering its opponents.
The Obama administration is but the latest of five US presidential administrations that have vigorously supported Mubarak despite his atrocious human rights record. The US has given Egypt tens of billions of dollars in aid over the nearly 30 years of Mubarak’s cruel reign.
Most of this is military aid which is used to brutally repress the Egyptian people. The reasons for this unconscionable support all boil down to a cold brand of American realpolitik that values Egypt as a bulwark of “stability” (read US control) in what is one of the most volatile corners of the world.
The leaked US cables prove without a doubt that the Obama administration is complicit in the torture, rape and even murder of Egyptians who were guilty of nothing more than daring to dream of the freedom that the United States claims to champion. One cable from Margaret Scobey, the US ambassador to Cairo, dated January 15, 2009, notes “routine and pervasive” police brutality and “police using force to extract confessions from criminals” on a daily basis. Embassy informants “estimate there are literally hundreds of torture incidents every day in Cairo police stations alone.”
It’s not just criminals who are being tortured. An activist from the April 6th Youth Movement was arrested in November 2008. “The GOE [government of Egypt] is probably torturing him to scare other April 6 members into abandoning their political activities,” the cable states, referring also to the “sexual molestation of a female April 6 activist.”
The same cable says that there are “standing orders from the Interior Ministry between 2000 and 2006 for the police to shoot, beat and humiliate judges in order to undermine judicial independence.”
The vile Mubarak regime leaves no opponent untortured. The cable notes “a recent series of selective actions against journalists, bloggers and even an amateur poet.”
Despite this appalling litany of Mubarak atrocities, the United States continued to pump billions of dollars in aid into his coffers, much of it directly used to violently repress any opposition. During the George W. Bush administration, the US even kidnapped suspected terrorism suspects and in the process known as ‘extraordinary rendition’, and sent at least one of them to Egypt knowing full well that he would be tortured during his interrogation. Newly appointed prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, formerly the nation’s intelligence chief, was a key figure in the US extraordinary rendition program.
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