Egyptian ex-dictator Mubarak accused of torture


This video about Egypt is called Mona Eltahawy on Mubarak‘s “parallel Universe”.

From Aswat Masriya in Egypt:

Egypt: Rights Group Accuses Mubarak, Adli of Torturing Citizens

22 August 2013

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights filed a formal complaint to Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat demanding swift investigations into complaints filed by the organization against former President Hosni Mubarak and his Interior Minister Habib al-Adli.

The complaint accused Mubarak and Adli of torturing citizens and violating their rights.

The organization said it filed complaints, over the span of 25 years, to report incidents of torture and maltreatment as well as violations of the right to live.

Torture is one of the most brutal crimes committed against the Egyptian citizen over the past few decades, said Hafez Abu Saada, the organization’s director.

The organization based its complaint on the Egyptian legislation, which includes articles from the Egyptian penal code, as well as articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

THE DRAFT Protest Law to regulate the right to peaceful assembly, issued by Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour on Sunday, has been widely criticised as an attack on basic democratic rights, including the right to strike: here.

NSA spies confuse Washington and Egypt


From the Washington Post in the USA:

NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds

NSA spying

By Barton Gellman, Friday, August 16, 2:48 AM E-mail the writer

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.

Read the documents

NSA

NSA report on privacy violations

Read the full report with key sections highlighted and annotated by the reporter.

FISA court finds illegal surveillance

The only known details of a 2011 ruling that found the NSA was using illegal methods to collect and handle the communications of American citizens.

What’s a ‘violation’?

View a slide used in a training course for NSA intelligence collectors and analysts.

What to say (and what not to say)

How NSA analysts explain their targeting decisions without giving “extraneous information” to overseers.

More on this story:

FISA court judge: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited

FISA court judge: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited

Carol D. Leonnig 2:48 AM ET

Spy court chief judge says it must rely on government to say when it improperly spies on Americans.

NSA statements to The Post

NSA statements to The Post

Barton Gellman 3:10 AM ET

The National Security Agency offered these comments on The Post’s story on privacy violations.

The documents, provided earlier this summer to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance. In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. A notable example in 2008 was the interception of a “large number” of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused the U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt, according to a “quality assurance” review that was not distributed to the NSA’s oversight staff.In another case, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has authority over some NSA operations, did not learn about a new collection method until it had been in operation for many months. The court ruled it unconstitutional.[FISA judge: Ability to police U.S. spying program is limited]

The Obama administration has provided almost no public information about the NSA’s compliance record. In June, after promising to explain the NSA’s record in “as transparent a way as we possibly can,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole described extensive safeguards and oversight that keep the agency in check. “Every now and then, there may be a mistake,” Cole said in congressional testimony.

The NSA audit obtained by The Post, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Most were unintended. Many involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure. The most serious incidents included a violation of a court order and unauthorized use of data about more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders.

In a statement in response to questions for this article, the NSA said it attempts to identify problems “at the earliest possible moment, implement mitigation measures wherever possible, and drive the numbers down.” The government was made aware of The Post’s intention to publish the documents that accompany this article online.

“We’re a human-run agency operating in a complex environment with a number of different regulatory regimes, so at times we find ourselves on the wrong side of the line,” a senior NSA official said in an interview, speaking with White House permission on the condition of anonymity. …

In the case of the collection effort that confused calls placed from Washington with those placed from Egypt, it is unclear what the NSA meant by a “large number” of intercepted calls. A spokesman declined to discuss the matter.

See also here.

Egyptian Vice President resigns because of violence


This video is called ElBaradei: U.S. Used False Pretext to Invade Iraq.

From Ahram Online in Egypt:

BREAKING: Egypt Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei resigns

The vice president for foreign affairs and former Nobel peace laureate will resign after today’s violence

Wednesday 14 Aug 2013

Egyptian Vice President for Foreign Affairs Mohamed ElBaradei announced his resignation in a letter to the interim president on Wednesday, according to Ahram Online sources.

The decision to start the operation to forcefully disperse the sit-ins were taken jointly by the police and military leadership without prior notification of the Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi or the vice president for external relations, these sources told Ahram Online.

ElBaradei’s resignation comes after scores were killed in a crackdown by security forces on loyalists of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

ElBaradei earlier demanded high-level assurances that the operation would not step away from the boundaries of law and according to two sources “threatened to resign if the death toll among the protestors proved to be high”.

More to follow.

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier:

15 August 2013

The bloody massacre and imposition of emergency rule carried out yesterday by Egypt’s military junta testifies to the ruthlessness of efforts of the Egyptian ruling class and its imperialist backers in Washington and Europe to drown the Egyptian revolution in blood.

The army’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 was a pre-emptive action amidst mass working class protests against the elected government’s reactionary policies. The military coup has since developed into an open attempt to restore the military-backed dictatorship that existed before the Egyptian revolution under the regime of Hosni Mubarak.