An Interview with Noha Atef – Egyptian Journalist, Blogger and Dissident – on the Historic Events Underway in Her Country

29 January, 2011 — NarcoNews

“Mubarak’s Regime Is Dead… That Is What the People Want, and I Think That It Will Happen”

By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

Publisher’s Note and Full Disclosure: In October 2009, a then-24-year-old Egyptian journalist and blogger, Noha Atef, sent us her completed application to the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism. We were moved by the work she had already accomplished, putting the issue of police torture of Egyptian citizens on the international and national agendas through her blog,, for which she and family members had been harassed, threatened and brought into police stations on multiple occasions. Noha attended the 2010 j-school last February in Mexico, where she also led a plenary session on her work, and collaborated with other students and professors there to produce, in a few days, this viral video, also titled Torture in Egypt. Last June, I invited Noha to co-chair a plenary session (video, here) with me at Tufts University in Massachusetts, at The Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict, an annual event organized by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. In May, Noha will return to the School of Authentic Journalism not as a student, but as professor and will co-chair our Online Reporting work group.

Noha Atef photographing the Mexico offices of the daily Por Esto! newspaper, February 2010, while at the School of Authentic Journalism.

Continue reading

Confirman presencia del ex presidente Jean Bertrand Aristide en Cuba (Aristide in Cuba)

30 January, 2011 — El

aristide-cuba.jpgEl ex presidente haitiano, Jean Bertrand Aristide, quien permanece en exilio forzoso desde 2004 se encuentra en Cuba por razones médicas, según confirmó Inmácula Nervil, directora de la Casa de Hermandad Haitiana Bolivariana y miembro del Movimiento Unido Socialista Haitiano que presiona por el regreso del ex presidente a la nación caribeña en febrero.

“Se encuentra en Cuba por razones de la visión. Los médicos sudafricanos ( donde se encontraba hasta su viaje a Cuba) aconsejaron que debía recibir tratamiento en un clima tropical”, aseveró Nervil, quien dijo haberse comunicado con los asesores del ex presidente.

La activista haitiano-venezolana aseveró además que los movimientos sociales aprovecharán su estancia en un país miembro de la Alianza Bolivariana de los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA) para instar a los gobiernos pertenecientes al bloque a que exijan al presidente haitiano, René Préval, que renueve el pasaporte de Aristide, permitiendo así su regreso a Haití.

“La Constitución proclamada en 1987 dice que ningún haitiano puede permanecer en el exilio”, aseveró Nervil, quien considera que Préval “tiene la obligación de permitir la renovación del pasaporte de Aristide, que es la única razón que impide su regreso”.

Semanas atrás el mandatario expresó que se encontraba listo para regresar, cuando se lo permitieran.

My partial translation:

Jean Bertrand Aristide is in Cuba for medical treatment according to Immaculate Nervil, director of the Haitian Brotherhood House Bolivarian Socialist Movement as well as getting his passport renewed so that he can return to Haiti.

“The Constitution proclaimed in 1987 says that no Haitian can remain in exile,” said Nervil, who believes that Préval “has the obligation to allow the renewal of the passport of Aristide, who is the only reason that prevents his return.”

Weeks ago the president said he was ready to return, when permitted.

Live From the Egyptian Revolution by Sharif Abdel Kouddous

29 January, 2011 — Democracy Now!

Cairo, Egypt—I grew up in Egypt. I spent half my life here. But Saturday, when my plane from JFK airport touched down in Cairo, I arrived in a different country than the one I had known all my life. This is not Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt anymore and, regardless of what happens, it will never be again.

Continue reading

Egypt: Egyptian Military Succession Plans Told to US Embassy

28 January, 2011 —

Leaked cables from the embassy of the United States of America in Cairo, Egypt, throw light on the situation there, and belief that ‘threats to daily survival, not politics’ are the sole criteria for bringing Egyptians into the street for mass protests

The Egyptian military planned for a “smooth” transfer of power to the president’s son in the event of regime change, according to US diplomatic cables recently published by WikiLeaks.

Continue reading

Western powers line up against Arab democracy By Tony Iltis

30 January, 2011 — Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalGreenleft Weekly

egypt-protester.jpgAbove: young woman protester in Egypt. ‘The protests have been led by educated young people frustrated by poverty and lack of political freedom.’

Having started with a fearless uprising for democracy and economic justice that is sweeping the Arab world, 2011 is shaping up to be a decisive year for the Middle East. By January 14, the first dictator had already been overthrown: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak looks set to follow.

Continue reading

The CIA's Role in Egypt's Regime Change? Who Is Omar Suleiman? By Jane Mayer

30 January, 2011 — Global ResearchNew Yorker online

One of the ‘new’ names being mentioned as a possible alternative to President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is actually not so new to anyone who has followed the American policy of renditions for terror suspects. After dissolving his cabinet yesterday, Mubarak appointed Suleiman vice-president, and according to many commentators he is poised to be a potential successor, and an alternative to Mubarak’s son and intended heir until now, Gamal Mubarak. Suleiman is a well-known quantity in Washington. Suave, sophisticated, and fluent in English, he has served for years as the main conduit between the United States and Mubarak. While he has a reputation for loyalty and effectiveness, he also carries some controversial baggage from the standpoint of those looking for a clean slate on human rights. As I described in my book ‘The Dark Side,’ since 1993 Suleiman has headed the feared Egyptian general intelligence service. In that capacity, he was the C.I.A.’s point man in Egypt for renditions—the covert program in which the C.I.A. snatched terror suspects from around the world and returned them to Egypt and elsewhere for interrogation, often under brutal circumstances.

As laid out in greater detail by Stephen Grey, in his book ‘Ghost Plane,’ beginning in the nineteen-nineties, Suleiman negotiated directly with top Agency officials. Every rendition was greenlighted at the highest levels of both the U.S. and Egyptian intelligence agencies. Edward S. Walker, Jr., a former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, described Suleiman as ‘very bright, very realistic,’ adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to ‘some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way.’

Technically, U.S. law required the C.I.A. to seek ‘assurances’ from Egypt that rendered suspects wouldn’t face torture. But under Suleiman’s reign at the intelligence service, such assurances were considered close to worthless. As Michael Scheuer, a former C.I.A. officer who helped set up the practice of rendition, later testified before Congress, even if such ‘assurances’ were written in indelible ink, ‘they weren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.’

Read more:

Wikileaks Newslinks for 30 January, 2011

30 January, 2011 —

Is WikiLeaks leaking? Norwegian paper scoops Assange
OSLO — As if there isn’t enough intrigue around Wikileaks and its enigmatic founder, a Norwegian daily that laid hands on the same US classified documents …

Continue reading

VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 29 January, 2011: Egypt’s uprising and its implications for Palestine

29 January, 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

17-year-old Boy Killed In Beit Ummar, Hundreds Protest After Funeral
IMEMC – Saturday January 29, 2011 – 16:13, Hundreds of residents of the town of Beit Ummar, near Hebron took to the streets in the funeral of 17-year-old Yousef Ikhlayyil who was shot dead by Israeli settlers on Friday.

Continue reading

Egypt cuts off access to the internet from inside the country By Saed Bannoura

30 January, 2011 — International Middle East Media Center

In the latest move to repress the wave of protest that has swept across Egypt in the last four days, the Egyptian government has apparently cut off access to the internet by re-routing traffic from the five major internet providers in the country. This comes after the Egyptian deployment of US-made attack software to stifle online dissent failed to stop online news reports and organizing.

Internet traffic in Egypt (image from Renesys)

Jim Cowie, the Chief Technology Officer of Renesys Technology Company told Digits magazine that he believed the shutdown was done by a re-routing of traffic by each of the main Egyptian internet providers, beginning at midnight on Friday January 28th. He said, ‘What is most likely is that somebody in the government gives a phone call to a small number of people and says, ‘Turn it off.’ And then one engineer at each service provider logs into the equipment and changes the configuration of how traffic should flow.’

The internet cut-off comes a day after the internet freedom group ‘Free Press’ called on people around the world to challenge the Egyptian government’s use of ‘attack software’ produced by a Boeing-owned subsidiary, Narus, of Sunnyvale, California. The technology, known as ‘Deep Packet Inspection’ (DPI), can be used by the regime to track, target and crush political dissent over the Internet and mobile phones.

When the deployment of the DPI technology failed to stop the online dissent and organizing against the Egyptian government, the government apparently made the call to cut off the internet altogether.

Although the Egyptian government has denied disrupting communications networks, the government had earlier denied disrupting or preventing facebook and twitter feeds – a denial which was repudiated by the evidence.

According to the technology website Cnet, ‘An analysis posted by network analyst Andree Toonk, who runs a Web site devoted to monitoring networks, shows that yesterday there were 2,903 Egyptian networks publicly accessible via the Internet. Today, there are only 327 networks’.

Only one Internet Service Provider in Egypt, Noor Networks, appears to still have connectivity to the internet.