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America Has Long Supported Egypt’s Dictatorial Leadership

As I wrote Tuesday:

Egypt’s president Mubarak is a yes-man to the U.S., and the fall of the Tunisian and now Egyptian leaders are really the ouster of U.S. puppet regimes in the Middle East.

Indeed, Egypt was for many years the second-biggest recipient of American aid in the Middle East, behind Israel). As leading military publication Janes notes:

Egypt is reliant on US military aid to finance major equipment and this is worth just over 25 per cent of the total defence spend in 2008, US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) is fixed at USD1.3 billion annually.

America has also long provided training to Egypt‘s army. See this and this.

And as Free Press notes, American companies have helped to maintain Egyptian leaders’ dictatorial powers:

An American company — Boeing-owned Narus of Sunnyvale, CA — has sold Egypt “Deep Packet Inspection” (DPI) equipment that can be used to help the regime track, target and crush political dissent over the Internet and mobile phones.

The power to control the Internet and the resulting harm to democracy are so disturbing that the threshold for using DPI must be very high. That’s why, before DPI becomes more widely used around the world and at home, the U.S. government must establish clear and legitimate criteria for preventing the use of such surveillance and control technology.

In addition, Egypt has long tortured prisoners, and the U.S. used extraordinary rendition to fly prisoners to Egypt to be tortured. As Wikipedia notes:

In a New Yorker interview with CIA veteran Michael Scheuer, an author of the rendition program under the Clinton administration, writer Jane Mayer noted, “In 1995, American agents proposed the rendition program to Egypt, making clear that it had the resources to track, capture, and transport terrorist suspects globally — including access to a small fleet of aircraft. Egypt embraced the idea… ‘What was clever was that some of the senior people in Al Qaeda were Egyptian,’ Scheuer said. ‘It served American purposes to get these people arrested, and Egyptian purposes to get these people back, where they could be interrogated.’ Technically, U.S. law requires the CIA to seek ‘assurances’ from foreign governments that rendered suspects won’t be tortured. Scheuer told me that this was done, but he was ‘not sure’ if any documents confirming the arrangement were signed.”[30] However, Scheuer testified before Congress that no such assurances were received.[31] He further acknowledged that treatment of prisoners may not have been “up to U.S. standards.” However, he stated,

This is a matter of no concern as the Rendition Program’s goal was to protect America, and the rendered fighters delivered to Middle Eastern governments are now either dead or in places from which they cannot harm America. Mission accomplished, as the saying goes.[32]

Thereafter, with the approval of President Clinton and a presidential directive (PDD 39), the CIA instead elected to send suspects to Egypt, where they were turned over to the Egyptian Mukhabarat [Egypt‘s intelligence service].

Vice President Biden’s attempt to defend President Mubarak by saying he’s “not a dictator” is like Nixon saying “I am not a crook.”

And the statement of CNBC’s Erin Burnett to the effect that the U.S. must support Middle Eastern dictators to keep cheap oil flowing doesn’t really help.

Make no mistake … a revolution in Egypt is a refutation of American policy.

And see this.

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