News Release

Egyptian Torture Victim: Suleiman “Should be Arrested”


Former Ambassador, CIA Official Weigh In

On Wednesday, the Institute for Public Accuracy distributed a news release titled “Omar Suleiman, ‘Egypt’s Torturer-in-Chief,’ Tied to False Iraq WMD Tortured ‘Intel.’

Reporter Robert Tait writes in the Guardian on his abduction in Cairo just this week. The Guardian reports Tait could “only listen as fellow captives were electrocuted and beaten by Mubarak’s security services.” Writes Tait: “I had ‘disappeared,’ along with countless Egyptians, inside the bowels of the Mukhabarat, President Hosni Mubarak’s vast security-intelligence apparatus and an organisation headed, until recently, by his vice-president and former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, the man trusted to negotiate an ‘orderly transition’ to democratic rule. Judging by what I witnessed, that seems a forlorn hope.”

Loewenstein is an independent journalist and author in Sydney, Australia. He just interviewed Mamdouh Habib, an Egyptian-born Australian who wrote the book “My Story: The Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn’t.” Loewenstein’s web page features audio of a new interview with Habib in which he says of Suleiman: “He should be arrested, he should be in jail, he’s a criminal. … If America supports Suleiman, people in Egypt will say Obama is a criminal.”

Loewenstein’s webpage also features selected excerpts from Habib’s 2008 book in which he recounts how Suleiman personally threatened his life and tortured him and how he was offered money to state that he was planning a terror attack. Twitter feed:

Peck served in Tunisia and Egypt, was chief of mission in Iraq and Mauritania, and deputy director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan White House. He said today: “As America understandably dithers over the important question of what, if anything, it can, could, should or might be able to do in advancing its interests in Egypt and the broader Middle East, there is one critical point that must not be ignored: The long-quiescent population has had far more than enough of quasi-dictatorial rule.

“They have gone to very considerable lengths to make this point absolutely clear to anyone and everyone. The government nominally headed by Mubarak has been completely and indelibly rejected. To offer as his replacement, however temporarily, one of his most reprehensible subordinates is certainly not going to satisfy the demonstrators. They can perhaps be coerced into silence but not surrender, and the eventual day of reckoning will  probably not be as relatively restrained as what we are seeing now.

“In order to have any hope of salvaging even a shred of any remaining status with Egyptians, and many others, we must pull back from appearing to consider ourselves as having a legitimate role and a significant responsibility in determining their country’s future. At an absolute minimum, we should abandon all indications that we consider Suleiman to be worthy of consideration as a successor. He, too, must go.”

McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He said today: “Relatively little attention has been paid to the major factor in play with respect to the crisis in Egypt. That factor involves the stakes for Israel, which stands to lose what has become an ally in Egypt, and might have to revert to worrying about security in additional border areas and in Gaza, not to mention elsewhere in the Arab world.

“Egypt can be expected to do all it can to keep Suleiman or another official from the old regime in power. And, for that to happen, strong U.S. support will be indispensable. Israeli pressure on Washington probably accounts largely for the vagaries in Washington’s recent statements and positions. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak just met with Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates in Washington to coordinate the Israeli-U.S. response. If the Obama administration continues to keep itself joined at the hip with Israel, both countries stand eventually to lose out in Egypt and in other Arab countries — and lose big time.”

The Telegraph reports, based on WikiLeaks documents: “The new vice-president of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is a long-standing favourite of Israel’s who spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret ‘hotline’ to Cairo, leaked documents disclose.”

Hajjar is a professor in the sociology department at the University of California-Santa Barbara and a co-editor at the new journal Jadaliyya, where she recently wrote the piece “Omar Suleiman, the CIA’s Man in Cairo and Egypt’s Torturer-in-Chief.” She was featured on IPA’s Wednesday release

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167