America's Torturer, Israel's Friend

Omar Suleiman has blood on his hands.

When the dictator of Egypt appointed Omar Suleiman as his apparent successor, the ruling regimes in Israel and America were clearly pleased. But the people of Egypt only increased their uprising because they know that Omar Suleiman has blood on his hands.

As the head of Egypt's spy agency, Suleiman personally organized torture as part of the CIA's illegal rendition program. Mamdouh Habib, an Australian citizen, has written a memoir of his experiences being tortured by Omar Suleiman on behalf of the CIA. In his book, Habib testifies that Suleiman personally directed a torture session where he was "repeatedly zapped with high-voltage electricity, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks." Later, "to loosen Habib’s tongue, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a gruesomely shackled Turkistan prisoner in front of Habib – and he did, with a vicious karate kick." Mamdouh Habib was later transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he was ultimately declared innocent and released.

In addition to his career as torturer, Suleiman has worked closely to protect Israeli interests. Haaretz reveals that during the 2002 invasion of Ramallah, "Arafat pleaded with Suleiman and asked that Egypt at the very least take some symbolic action that would express its displeasure. Suleiman did not respond and enabled Israel to strike at the Palestinian Authority at will until it nearly collapsed."

Suleiman, a blood-thirsty would-be tyrant, is America's ideal choice to rule Egypt because Suleiman is also Israel's favored pick. But after thirty years of despotism, the people of Egypt are not easily fooled. Essam al-Erian, a leading opposition figure, summed up the defiant mood on the street when he recently declared, "even after Mubarak goes, we refuse to deal with Omar Suleiman."