By Jason Ditz
WikiLeaks cables, including 07CAIRO3348, released today by the Daily Telegraph, detail the Bush and Obama Administrations were providing training to Egypt’s secret police, the SSIS, which cables and human rights NGOs have repeatedly cited for routine torture of detainees.
The cable details SSIS chief Hassan Abdul Rahman describing Egypt’s political rivals as “terrorists, not political oppositionists.” The FBI’s deputy director John Pistole appears to have been at the center of training, and was praised for his “excellent and strong” cooperation with the SSIS.
The details of exactly what training the SSIS received was not revealed in the cables, but one can only imagine that Pistole, now infamous for his role as the chief of the TSA, probably gave them details on more than simply enhanced pat-downs.
[In Why Mubarak Is Out, Paul Amar notes that "So, the Interior Ministry and the Central Security Services started outsourcing coercion to these baltagiya, paying them well and training them to use sexualized brutality (from groping to rape) in order to punish and deter female protesters and male detainees, alike." ~Ed.]
Cable 09CAIRO2064 pointed out just how brutal and widespread the torture by the FBI-trained group was, but there has been no evidence that the Obama Administration ever even considered severing ties with the group, and quite the contrary appears to have swept the brutality under the rug until it exploded in their face, in the form of the ongoing Egyptian uprising.