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The Headless Horsemen of Tahrir Square

By       Message WILLIAM FISHER       (Page 2 of 11 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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One TV outlet reported that 10,000 prisoners had broken out -" or had been let out -" of a large prison just North of Cairo.


In the suburbs of Cairo, residents formed "vigilante groups" of family, friends and neighbors to protect their property from vandalism and theft.


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Meanwhile, in the United States -" Egypt's longtime benefactor and financier -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went on the television talk shows on Sunday and called for "an orderly transition to meet the democratic and economic needs of the people" in Egypt.


She did not, however, say President Mubarak should resign. But she may have been preparing the ground. Some media in Egypt were reporting over the weekend that the president's wife and family are already in London and that the president had arranged for the transfer there of large sums of money. These reports remain unconfirmed.

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In her TV appearances, Mrs. Clinton said the Egyptian people would determine Mubarak's future. She added that the US was prepared to help a   transition that will address the political and economic freedoms sought by the demonstrators.


Secretary Clinton referred to Mubarak's hurried appointment of a Vice President -" the first in 30 years. It was Omar Suleiman, currently head of Egyptian central intelligence and before that head of intelligence for the air force. Mubarak also ordered his government to resign and appointed a new prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq.


CNN's veteran Egypt correspondent, Ben Wederman, reported that the new vice president and prime minister "are as Mubarak as Mubarak. Egyptians are in no mood for more of the same."

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According to " The Dark Side ," a prize-winning book by New Yorker investigative journalist Jane Mayer, Suleiman has been Egypt's coordinator of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program. Extraordinary rendition involves the transfer or kidnapping of a "war on terror" detainee or suspect procedure in which and then transfering them illegally to a countryknown for its use torture during interrogation. 


Suleiman "s appointment is prompting some analysts and protesters to question the sincerity of the Mubarak's commitment to democratic change.

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William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)

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