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Egyptian President Mubarak, under intense pressure by protesting citizens of the country he has ruled as a dictator for 30 years, appointed a new never-before Vice President of Egypt over the weekend....his name is Omar Suleiman.
The following narrative, which includes details of Suleiman's cooperation and active participation in carrying out torture at the Bush administration's request, provides a better understanding of recent American-Eqyptian relationships.....
In late November, 2001, Pakistani authorities captured Ibn Sheikh al-Libi and turned him over to U.S. officials at Bagram Air Base, in Afghanistan, for questioning. There he was questioned by two F.B.I. agents from New York who had worked on terrorism cases for years. They believed they were making great headway—getting valuable, actionable intelligence from Libi. But back in Washington, a custody battle broke out between the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. over who should get to lead his interrogation. Suskind writes,The debate went up to [F.B.I. director Robert] Mueller and [C.I.A. director George] Tenet, and Tenet—appealing directly to both Bush and Cheney—prevailed. Al-Libi was bound and blindfolded for a trip to Cairo, where he’d be handed over to Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief and a friend of Tenet’s.
What happened to Libi in Egypt, while in the custody of the Egyptian intelligence service, is documented in detail in a bipartisan report released in 2006 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. According to the report, Libi later told the C.I.A. that the Egyptian authorities grew dissatisfied with his level of cooperation, so they locked him in a tiny cage for eighty hours. Then they took him out, knocked him over, and punched him for fifteen minutes.
The Egyptian officials were pressing Libi, who knew Bin Laden personally, to confirm the Bush Administration’s contention that there were links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. In particular, the Egyptians wanted Libi to confirm that the Iraqis were in the process of giving Al Qaeda biological and chemical weapons.
In pushing this line of inquiry, the Egyptians appear to have been acting in accordance with the wishes of the U.S., which wanted to document its case for going to war against Iraq. Under duress, Libi eventually gave in. Details from his confession went into the pivotal speech that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell gave to the United Nations in Feburary of 2003, making the case for war..
When the F.B.I. later asked him why he had lied, he blamed the brutality of the Egyptian intelligence service. As Michael Isikoff and David Corn first reported in their book, “Hubris,” Libi explained, “They were killing me,” and that, “I had to tell them something.”
For many years now, The Reverend has presented evidence explaining why the Bush administration began a never-before American torture campaign immediately after 9-11. The official Bush storyline was that torture was necessary to prevent another attack....despite the fact that the very purpose of torture is to extract phony confessions.
al-Libi's quote confirms that purpose.
al-Libi was delivered to the control of Egypt's now new Vice President, and George Tenet's friend, Omar Suleiman. Suleiman....
.....was the C.I.A.’s point man in Egypt for renditions—the covert program in which the C.I.A. snatched terror suspects from around the world and returned them to Egypt and elsewhere for interrogation, often under brutal circumstances.
Bush and Cheney needed a cover for their plan to remove Saddam's regime in Iraq. They were mindful that attacking and occupying Iraq would be a hardsell with Americans....barring some new "Pearl Harbor" event. With 9-11 as the new "Pearl Harbor" backdrop, the Bush administration ordered the extraordinary rendition of al-Libi to Egypt for the purpose of being tortured under the supervision of then-Egyptian intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman.
al-Libi was tortured in Egypt....and as the Bushies expected....he gave them a false confession connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda. The "respected" Colin Powell then used this false confession to put on a theatrical performance of imminent danger before the U.N.
The rest is bloody history.
Now, Suleiman is being touted as a possible successor to president Mubarak.