Mubarak…America’s Torture Partner

Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Geroge W. Bush and Hosni Mubarak (photo: White House)
Cutting ties with President Hosni Mubarak, as President Barack Obama finally did in calling for immediate political change in Egypt, has come after years of cooperation between the two governments in torturing suspected terrorists.
From the 1990s to 2005, Egypt held more CIA detainees than any other country, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). In the words of former CIA agent Robert Baer, “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear—never to see them again—you send them to Egypt.”
At least one of the men shipped to Egypt endured interrogations during which his repeated torture resulted in false information that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
In an attempt to keep from being handed over to a foreign government, Libyan Ibn al-Shaikh al-Libi fed erroneous intelligence to American officials during the Bush administration’s rendition program. He told his torturers what they wanted to hear—that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, even though there wasn’t one.
Al-Libi’s lies did not prevent him from winding up in an Egyptian prison, where he was kept in a box less than two feet square for 17 hours a day. When let out, he was subjected to beatings, causing him to tell more lies to get his captors to cease his torture. He died in a Libyan prison in 2009.
A 2005 HRW report stated that at least 63 individuals were rendered to or from Egypt over a four-year period. The human rights organization estimated the number of rendition cases may have been higher, possibly reaching 200.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Black Hole (Human Rights Watch)


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