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Egyptians are walking the razor's edge of social media

The rise of the revolution in Egypt can be attributed in large part to social media:

Inside Egypt's Facebook Revolt
www.newsweek.com

After hundreds of arrests in Cairo Wednesday, some protest organizers have gone missing and are presumed jailed. Now activists are using Egypt’s oldest social medium to keep up the fight.

In the days leading up to this week’s street protests in Egypt, the largest the country has seen since the 1970s, Ahmed Salah was busy spreading the word around Cairo—“in every possible way,” as he put it. A veteran activist who said agitation is his genes, Salah, 45, tapped into his usual network, called family and friends, hit the streets, and posted updates on the Web. “On the 25th, we are trying to give people a bit of hope, and a chance to express themselves,” he said in a phone interview last week. But he said the regime would fight back.

As this Egyptian woman seems to be attesting to, it starts small and can build from there. And it was not without its risks:

Asmaa Mahfouz, Organizer of Egypt Demonstrations, Talks About Her Use of Facebook to Take Action

Because any action organized on Facebook or other social media appears to be a dangerous line to walk as it can lead your enemies in the regime right to you:

Egyptian police targeted protesters via social media | Raw Story
www.rawstory.com

Egyptian police used the very instrument that sparked the recent anti-government rebellion, social media, to catch its youthful organizers, according to a published report.

Gabrielle, a 25-year-old French-Egyptian property lawyer, told The Daily Mail in a recent interview that activists in communication with each other via the Internet have been "rounded up."

"They have our names from Facebook postings and Twitter," she said. "Some have not been heard of since."

I am left wondering how many of the disappeared activists and organizers will wind up in the hands of the same kind of authorities the US would use to render people into torture and are likely never to be seen again?

torture and rendition routes, Cairo, Egypt

"Torture by Proxy" (AKA: "Extraordinary Rendition" in the USA)
routes via Wikipedia.

From Scarce at Crooks and Liars:
 

Egypt's history of rendition and torture for the U.S.

So did Fran Townsend (former Homeland Security Advisor under George Bush) just admit we sent (via rendition) detainees to Egypt to be tortured? Sort of, unintentionally.

Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake has more.

When Mona Eltahawy explicitly described what many of us learned from Jane Mayer–Hosni Mubarak’s appointed Vice President, Omar Suleiman, has a long history of cooperating with us in accepting and torturing people rendered to Egypt–and when Wolf asks whether this went on in the Bush Administration (it dates back to the Clinton Administration), Townsend explains the best known example is that of Maher Arar. Wolf corrects her that that involved Syria.

Poor Fran can't even keep her torture states straight. She should have remembered former CIA agent Bob Baer's famous maxim:

"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."

You can see the Fran Townsend sortof "confession to torture" video at C&L.

Comments

No Avatar
Connecticut Man1 on February 7, 2011 - 11:00

Updated with Wikipedia image at the time of this comment.

No Avatar
Connecticut Man1 on February 7, 2011 - 11:38


At the time of this comment and at luaptifer's suggestion I changed this:

I am left wondering how many of the disappeared activists and organizers will wind up in the hands of the same kind of people the US would render into torture and are likely never to be seen again?

To this:

I am left wondering how many of the disappeared activists and organizers will wind up in the hands of the same kind of authorities the US would use to render people into torture and are likely never to be seen again?

Because, ya know, they mean alomst exactly the opposite things and luaptifer has obviously had enough coffee to notice the difference. Me so D'uh!

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