- Human RightsTorture
- October 24, 2007
- 3 minutes read
BACKGROUND: ’Dirty and seamless’: Egypt’s torture is our torture (Chris Hedges)
In a report on the American outsourcing of terror, author Chris Hedges noted Monday that one of the front corporations used by the U.S. national security state to “render” torture victims to Egypt (“or perhaps Morocco or Jordan”) is located here in the Pacific Northwest: Bayard Foreign Marketing of Portland, Oregon. — George W. Bush and other representatives of the United States have denounced torture in Burma, but about Egypt they have nothing to say. — “We have nothing to say to Mubarak,” the Egyptian president who has ruled with American support for twenty-six years. — The reason is simple: “He is us.” — The U.S. has been making use of the Egyptian torture camps for years, but in recent weeks Mubarak”s crimes against humanity have increased by one or more orders of magnitude. — “Mubarak has in the past few weeks decided to shut down the last remnants of opposition. He has sent in riot police to arrest dozens of striking labor leaders, rounded up more than a thousand members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group, and tossed seven journalists into prison. The charges against the journalists range from misquoting Egypt’s justice minister to spreading rumors about the health of Mubarak to defaming his designated heir, Gamal. The detainees, as usual, complain of torture and beatings. And persistent rumors of death squads, bolstered by the “disappearance” of some of the regime’s most outspoken critics, have turned Egypt into a state that has mastered the art of internal and external extraordinary rendition.” — “There are now 80,000 political prisoners held in Egyptian prisons,” Hedges said, and the apparatus that represses them is financed by the United States: “The United States has subsidized Egypt’s armed forces with over $38 billion in aid. Egypt receives about $2 billion annually — $1.3 billion in foreign military financing and about $815 million in economic and support fund assistance — making it the second largest regular recipient of conventional U.S. military and economic aid, after Israel.” — As Hedges sees, what”s being practiced in Egypt is on the way to the United States: “[T]he moral rot that has beset the American state” is working its way toward the center. — “If we do not confront our hubris and the lies . . . the despotism we empower abroad will become the despotism we soon experience at home.” — See the link to the Truthdig site for additional sources….