Home / General / The Desperation of a Tyrant is an Ugly Thing

The Desperation of a Tyrant is an Ugly Thing


Not surprising, of course:

The Egyptian military has secretly detained hundreds and possibly thousands of suspected government opponents since mass protests against President Hosni Mubarak began, and at least some of these detainees have been tortured, according to testimony gathered by the Guardian.

The military has claimed to be neutral, merely keeping anti-Mubarak protesters and loyalists apart. But human rights campaigners say this is clearly no longer the case, accusing the army of involvement in both disappearances and torture – abuses Egyptians have for years associated with the notorious state security intelligence (SSI) but not the army.

The Guardian has spoken to detainees who say they have suffered extensive beatings and other abuses at the hands of the military in what appears to be an organised campaign of intimidation. Human rights groups have documented the use of electric shocks on some of those held by the army.

Well, yes, but how do we know that the protesters weren’t torturing themselves? Certainly, that seems much more plausible than a regime with an extensive history of torture using torture against dissidents that pose an immediate threat to his regime…[/Althouse]

…in case you were wondering why Althouse would bother to come up with a nutty conspiracy theories in an attempt to discredit anti-Mubarak forces, here you go.

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  • Robert Farley

    Damnit. I hate it when my columns are rendered obsolete before they’re even published. Nevertheless, this latest round of Egyptian Army repression remains central to my point regarding the socializing effects of international mil-to-mil ties…

    • Scott Lemieux

      Well, if it would if there was an actual repression, rather than an elaborate kabuki cooked up by the Potemkin resistance, Code Pink, Jessica Valenti’s sweater, and Bill Clinton’s penis…

      • Robert Farley

        I am fully prepared to accept the consequences of having been proven demonstrably wrong in my latest column. This is to say that I will be eagerly awaiting this afternoon’s phone call and job offer from Fred Hiatt.

        • I’m not convinced this refutes your entire argument about mil-mil ties. First, your column begins by pointing out the military hasn’t (yet) fired on the protesters, and they’ve pledged not to. Well, you didn’t say anything about torture…

          But seriously, your broader argument about mil-mil relations is based on probabilistic large-N studies that still hold some validity in general whether or not they’re borne out in any particular case. The question becomes, I guess, on what basis we can assume they have any predictive value…

        • asdfsdf

          Not only has the Egyptian military not fired on protesters, the US military *has* illegally detained and tortured hundreds or thousands of people, and they were facing a problem that was much less immediate than these protests.

          If your point is invalid, it’s not because of this.

          • Malaclypse

            My question is along this line: is there any empirical evidence to suggest that the US is unwilling to illegally detain and torture people?

  • c u n d gulag

    In all fairness, I waterboarded myself many times when Little Boots was Preznit.

    I used vodka until I passed out. I called vodkaboarding.

    I forgot if I told myself any actionable intelligence, though.
    Mostly I suspect it was screaming and thrashing whenever he was on my TV.

    • SEK

      I forgot if I told myself any actionable intelligence, though.


  • Larkspur

    Desperation, Scott.

  • Jamie Mayerfeld

    I can’t believe this idiocy. Nor can I believe the commenters on her blog who want to back her up. The depth of dishonesty here is staggering.

  • KC45s

    I hope this hasn’t created a backlog that delays torture of the people the U.S. sends to Egypt.

    • Kurzleg

      SEK was wrong – THIS if ftw.

  • Simple mind

    Mubarak fleeing in the dead of night to Sharm el Sheik. It is done, so they say. History unfolding, self nation-building.

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