03
Feb
2011

Torture, Egypt and the USA

In light of our upcoming production of Conversation Storm, which deals with torture and America’s involvement with it, we are keeping an eye on major stories that have a torture angle. And it doesn’t get any more major than Egypt. The distinguished investigative journalist Jane Mayer, in her 2009 book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals , is providing timely insight to the fast developing events there, and their relationship to the United States and torture.

President Hosni Mubarik appointed Omar Suleiman as Vice President, the first in thirty years. Suleiman is currently in charge of Egyptian central intelligence and formerly head of air force central intelligence. CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wederman tweeted that “that the new vice president and prime minister “are as Mubarak as Mubarak. Egyptians are in no mood for more of the same.”

According to Mayer’s “The Dark Side,” Suleiman was the coordinator of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program in Egypt. Extraordinary rendition, which began with an executive order signed by Bill Clinton in the mid 90′s, involves the illegal transfer of foreign suspects to countries where they can be interrogated in ways prohibited by the laws of the United States. President Obama on his second day of office in 2009 signed an executive order entitled Ensuring Lawful Interrogations. However, this did not end extraordinary rendition by the United States.

Mayer’s book is also a fascinating look into the alleged torture techniques used during the previous Bush administration.

We’ll be updating this story as major developments break.