Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising

The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

 

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Protesters and army on the streets of Cairo Photo: AP
Egypt's military has deployed troops and tanks to enforce curfew in the country's cities, as protests demanding the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak reached a crescendo.  

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Protesters continue rioting on the streets of Cairo Photo: REUTERS
Egypt's military has deployed troops and tanks on the streets of cities torn by a day of rioting and chaos that has challenged the legitimacy of the thirty year old regime of Hosni Mubarak, the country's president.  

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The Egyptian army moved on the streets of Cairo tonight to try and quell the protesters Photo: AP
 

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An Egyptian protester walks past burning vehicles inside the premises of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) headquarters Photo: EPA
Egypt's military has deployed troops and tanks to enforce curfew in the country's cities, as protests demanding the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak reached a crescendo.  

Image 1 of 5
Rioters parade an Egyptian flag on the streets of Cairo Photo: REUTERS
By Tim Ross, Matthew Moore and Steven Swinford 9:23PM GMT 28 Jan 2011263 Comments 

The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.

On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.

He has already been arrested by Egyptian security in connection with the demonstrations and his identity is being protected by The Daily Telegraph.

The crisis in Egypt follows the toppling of Tunisian president Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, who fled the country after widespread protests forced him from office.

The disclosures, contained in previously secret US diplomatic dispatches released by the WikiLeaks website, show American officials pressed the Egyptian government to release other dissidents who had been detained by the police.

Mr Mubarak, facing the biggest challenge to his authority in his 31 years in power, ordered the army on to the streets of Cairo yesterday as rioting erupted across Egypt.

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in open defiance of a curfew. An explosion rocked the centre of Cairo as thousands defied orders to return to their homes. As the violence escalated, flames could be seen near the headquarters of the governing National Democratic Party.

Police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

At least five people were killed in Cairo alone yesterday and 870 injured, several with bullet wounds. Mohamed ElBaradei, the pro-reform leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was placed under house arrest after returning to Egypt to join the dissidents. Riots also took place in Suez, Alexandria and other major cities across the country.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, urged the Egyptian government to heed the “legitimate demands of protesters”. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said she was “deeply concerned about the use of force” to quell the protests.

In an interview for the American news channel CNN, to be broadcast tomorrow, David Cameron said: “I think what we need is reform in Egypt. I mean, we support reform and progress in the greater strengthening of the democracy and civil rights and the rule of law.”

The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But the leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.

In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Cairo, recorded that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for “regime change” to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year.

The memo, which Ambassador Scobey sent to the US Secretary of State in Washington DC, was marked “confidential” and headed: “April 6 activist on his US visit and regime change in Egypt.”

It said the activist claimed “several opposition forces” had “agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections”. The embassy’s source said the plan was “so sensitive it cannot be written down”.

Ambassador Scobey questioned whether such an “unrealistic” plot could work, or ever even existed. However, the documents showed that the activist had been approached by US diplomats and received extensive support for his pro-democracy campaign from officials in Washington. The embassy helped the campaigner attend a “summit” for youth activists in New York, which was organised by the US State Department.

Cairo embassy officials warned Washington that the activist’s identity must be kept secret because he could face “retribution” when he returned to Egypt. He had already allegedly been tortured for three days by Egyptian state security after he was arrested for taking part in a protest some years earlier.

The protests in Egypt are being driven by the April 6 youth movement, a group on Facebook that has attracted mainly young and educated members opposed to Mr Mubarak. The group has about 70,000 members and uses social networking sites to orchestrate protests and report on their activities.

The documents released by WikiLeaks reveal US Embassy officials were in regular contact with the activist throughout 2008 and 2009, considering him one of their most reliable sources for information about human rights abuses.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egyp…

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Ilene R. Burwick Permalink Reply by Ilene R. Burwick 20 minutes ago

Notice in the riots, all young Muslim men and a very few women with covered heads and face protection. Work of Anarchists.

Sharon Ostwinch Permalink Reply by Sharon Ostwinch 17 minutes ago
If this is true  the lies told to the American people are really out of control.  People are getting hurt and all kinds of things are happening  This is Obama doings  I can’ t imagine what will happen now.  This is truely scary and now he is not even paying attention to it.  This is a disgrace to everyone.  Obama is really out of control
Dick Wells Permalink Reply by Dick Wells 14 minutes ago
We never tire of regeme change, do we? How about some of the same for us? How long will we endure before the “Hope and Change” folks rise up and recognize that they have been had? When they do, look out, they can be just as unruly as the Egytians…Oh, I almost forgot, they showed us that in Watts.
Virginia Gomez Permalink Reply by Virginia Gomez 13 minutes ago

A WHILE BACK I HAD RECEIVED AN EMAIL WARNING THAT THE SHITES AND SUNNIS WILL BE GOING TO WAR AND WE HAD BETTER BE PREPARED—BECAUSE IF YOU PEOPLE THINK THAT THE OIL CRISES IS BAD NOW—-

YOU HAVEN’T SEEN NOTHING YET!!!!!!!!!

MAYBE 10.00 A GAL OF GAS??⁄!!

ONE MORE THING— I WAS ALSO TOLD THAT THE OIL RICH COUNTRIES ARE LYING ABOUT THE OIL RESERVES THEY TRULY HAVE—– REMEMBER—-NOTHING LASTS FOREVER!!  WORSE TIMES ARE COMING

Guy L W Hardy Permalink Reply by Guy L W Hardy 21 seconds ago
We need someone in the Oval Office who will authorize access to the Bakken.
Debrajoe Smith-Beatty Permalink Reply by Debrajoe Smith-Beatty 12 minutes ago
I do not doubt for one minute that BH Obama backed the uprising. It is my belief that Obama is not a nice man. If this is true, we now know what happened to the missing money from America. I believe that this is serious business.
Guy L W Hardy Permalink Reply by Guy L W Hardy 11 minutes ago
Why anarchists? I though anarchists, extreme-right wingdings, were on our side – just WAAAAAAAAYYYYY off to the right. 

These disaffected pot-stirrers remind me more of student activists throughout the 20th century: angry, poorly-equipped, counting on their anger (and the government’s civilized forebearance) to carry the day. Stinks of Saul Alinsky and Bill Ayer (anyone remember “Days of Rage”?”).

Mac Permalink Reply by Mac 10 minutes ago
I knew it, so what else is new.
Chance1 Permalink Reply by Chance1 9 minutes ago

John Bolton was just on Mark Levin. He says Obama is in over his head.

Mic hael Savage says Obama either doesn’t know his history or he is siding with the radical muslims. I agree with both since Obama himself said he will always side with the Muslims. What do you think. This mand has to be removed from our White House immediately!

Egypt is an ally and Obama wants the radical muslims to take over. Just like the and Hilliary supported the takeove of Honduaras.  God, I wish we had the Honduaran Military HERE!

Debrajoe Smith-Beatty Permalink Reply by Debrajoe Smith-Beatty 6 minutes ago
Now can we kick Obama out of the white house while there is still time. He is a total mad, crazy person.
Robert James Burkholder Permalink Reply by Robert James Burkholder 4 minutes ago
Imagine what would happen in America if our people took to the streets in the manner the Egyptians have–to demand our President and Congress live like the majority of Americans do? It ought be international law that no nations Government  can live in luxury -when the common people are kept in poverty.IF the people are starving or dressed in rags–their leaders ought be required to live likewise.No fancy feasts,pomp or gala events-if the people are too poor to do likewise.
Jim L. "Shots" Hendershot Sr. Permalink Reply by Jim L. “Shots” Hendershot Sr. 1 minute ago
WHO WAS IT THAT SAID “NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE” ???
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  1. #1 by Jb on January 29, 2011 - 8:50 am

    Why does this story refer to “leaders”, when the actual story is about one person, who is not a leader of anything? Clearly because they want to inflate it’s importance. Read the original document online: US paid for one person to attend a conference, and in exchange had a chat with him about what was happening in Egypt. not a big deal. So, stop going crazy on Obama over it. Wait till some real evidence arrives

  2. #2 by Daphine Honeycott on February 19, 2011 - 9:21 pm

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