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Human Rights Watch: Rabaa sit-in dispersal a ‘crime against humanity’

12/08/2014 Leave a comment

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The human rights watchdog said that they could confirm the death of 817 protesters in the Rabaa sit-in, and 1,150 in total, in the two months after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 3 July, but added that there is evidence suggesting that in Rabaa alone, over 1,000 were killed.

The report, titled “All According to Plan: The Rabaa Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt”, stated that the high death toll was the result of government policy “to use lethal force against largely unarmed protesters on political grounds”. It stressed that security forces provided no safe exit for 12 hours, opened fire with little or no warning, and shot at the crowd indiscriminately. Read more…

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything you do on the internet’

01/08/2013 Leave a comment

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Just when you thought the scale of the NSA’s surveillance programs couldn’t get more superlative, new details about a special software suite show that analysts can access “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.” If it uses HTTP, the NSA can get it.

The software’s known as X-Keyscore, and it’s gnarly. Not only does it let NSA agents and contractors like Edward Snowden (who leaked the documents detailing its existence) search the internet for a specific user, it also lets them learn the IP addresses of everybody who visited a particular website. Once users of interest are identified, X-Keyscore enables the agency to pull granular information on anything from email histories to social networking activity, even down to the user’s buddy lists and specific chats.

Legally, X-Keyscore can’t be used on Americans without a warrant, but as The Guardian’s Glenn Greewald points out, there are no technical specifications that would prevent them from doing so. Greenwald explains:

• XKeyscore gives ‘widest-reaching’ collection of online data
• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian’s earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.

“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA’s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.

Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity.

Under US law, the NSA is required to obtain an individualized Fisa warrant only if the target of their surveillance is a ‘US person’, though no such warrant is required for intercepting the communications of Americans with foreign targets. But XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known to the analyst.

One training slide illustrates the digital activity constantly being collected by XKeyscore and the analyst’s ability to query the databases at any time.

KS1The purpose of XKeyscore is to allow analysts to search the metadata as well as the content of emails and other internet activity, such as browser history, even when there is no known email account (a “selector” in NSA parlance) associated with the individual being targeted.

Analysts can also search by name, telephone number, IP address, keywords, the language in which the internet activity was conducted or the type of browser used.

One document notes that this is because “strong selection [search by email address] itself gives us only a very limited capability” because “a large amount of time spent on the web is performing actions that are anonymous.”

The NSA documents assert that by 2008, 300 terrorists had been captured using intelligence from XKeyscore.

Analysts are warned that searching the full database for content will yield too many results to sift through. Instead they are advised to use the metadata also stored in the databases to narrow down what to review.

A slide entitled “plug-ins” in a December 2012 document describes the various fields of information that can be searched. It includes “every email address seen in a session by both username and domain”, “every phone number seen in a session (eg address book entries or signature block)” and user activity – “the webmail and chat activity to include username, buddylist, machine specific cookies etc”.

Email monitoring

In a second Guardian interview in June, Snowden elaborated on his statement about being able to read any individual’s email if he had their email address. He said the claim was based in part on the email search capabilities of XKeyscore, which Snowden says he was authorized to use while working as a Booz Allen contractor for the NSA.

One top-secret document describes how the program “searches within bodies of emails, webpages and documents”, including the “To, From, CC, BCC lines” and the ‘Contact Us’ pages on websites”.

To search for emails, an analyst using XKS enters the individual’s email address into a simple online search form, along with the “justification” for the search and the time period for which the emails are sought.

KS2KS3edit2The analyst then selects which of those returned emails they want to read by opening them in NSA reading software.

The system is similar to the way in which NSA analysts generally can intercept the communications of anyone they select, including, as one NSA document put it, “communications that transit the United States and communications that terminate in the United States”.

One document, a top secret 2010 guide describing the training received by NSA analysts for general surveillance under the Fisa Amendments Act of 2008, explains that analysts can begin surveillance on anyone by clicking a few simple pull-down menus designed to provide both legal and targeting justifications. Once options on the pull-down menus are selected, their target is marked for electronic surveillance and the analyst is able to review the content of their communications:

KS4

Chats, browsing history and other internet activity

Beyond emails, the XKeyscore system allows analysts to monitor a virtually unlimited array of other internet activities, including those within social media.

An NSA tool called DNI Presenter, used to read the content of stored emails, also enables an analyst using XKeyscore to read the content of Facebook chats or private messages.

KS55editAn analyst can monitor such Facebook chats by entering the Facebook user name and a date range into a simple search screen.

KS6Analysts can search for internet browsing activities using a wide range of information, including search terms entered by the user or the websites viewed.

KS7As one slide indicates, the ability to search HTTP activity by keyword permits the analyst access to what the NSA calls “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”.

KS8The XKeyscore program also allows an analyst to learn the IP addresses of every person who visits any website the analyst specifies.

KS9The quantity of communications accessible through programs such as XKeyscore is staggeringly large. One NSA report from 2007 estimated that there were 850bn “call events” collected and stored in the NSA databases, and close to 150bn internet records. Each day, the document says, 1-2bn records were added.

William Binney, a former NSA mathematician, said last year that the agency had “assembled on the order of 20tn transactions about US citizens with other US citizens”, an estimate, he said, that “only was involving phone calls and emails”. A 2010 Washington Post article reported that “every day, collection systems at the [NSA] intercept and store 1.7bn emails, phone calls and other type of communications.”

The XKeyscore system is continuously collecting so much internet data that it can be stored only for short periods of time. Content remains on the system for only three to five days, while metadata is stored for 30 days. One document explains: “At some sites, the amount of data we receive per day (20+ terabytes) can only be stored for as little as 24 hours.”

To solve this problem, the NSA has created a multi-tiered system that allows analysts to store “interesting” content in other databases, such as one named Pinwale which can store material for up to five years.

It is the databases of XKeyscore, one document shows, that now contain the greatest amount of communications data collected by the NSA.

KS10In 2012, there were at least 41 billion total records collected and stored in XKeyscore for a single 30-day period.

KS11Legal v technical restrictions

While the Fisa Amendments Act of 2008 requires an individualized warrant for the targeting of US persons, NSA analysts are permitted to intercept the communications of such individuals without a warrant if they are in contact with one of the NSA’s foreign targets.

The ACLU’s deputy legal director, Jameel Jaffer, told the Guardian last month that national security officials expressly said that a primary purpose of the new law was to enable them to collect large amounts of Americans’ communications without individualized warrants.

“The government doesn’t need to ‘target’ Americans in order to collect huge volumes of their communications,” said Jaffer. “The government inevitably sweeps up the communications of many Americans” when targeting foreign nationals for surveillance.

An example is provided by one XKeyscore document showing an NSA target in Tehran communicating with people in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and New York.

KS12In recent years, the NSA has attempted to segregate exclusively domestic US communications in separate databases. But even NSA documents acknowledge that such efforts are imperfect, as even purely domestic communications can travel on foreign systems, and NSA tools are sometimes unable to identify the national origins of communications.

Moreover, all communications between Americans and someone on foreign soil are included in the same databases as foreign-to-foreign communications, making them readily searchable without warrants.

Some searches conducted by NSA analysts are periodically reviewed by their supervisors within the NSA. “It’s very rare to be questioned on our searches,” Snowden told the Guardian in June, “and even when we are, it’s usually along the lines of: ‘let’s bulk up the justification’.”

In a letter this week to senator Ron Wyden, director of national intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that NSA analysts have exceeded even legal limits as interpreted by the NSA in domestic surveillance.

Acknowledging what he called “a number of compliance problems”, Clapper attributed them to “human error” or “highly sophisticated technology issues” rather than “bad faith”.

However, Wyden said on the Senate floor on Tuesday: “These violations are more serious than those stated by the intelligence community, and are troubling.”

In a statement to the Guardian, the NSA said: “NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against – and only against – legitimate foreign intelligence targets in response to requirements that our leaders need for information necessary to protect our nation and its interests.

“XKeyscore is used as a part of NSA’s lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system.

“Allegations of widespread, unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data are simply not true. Access to XKeyscore, as well as all of NSA’s analytic tools, is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks … In addition, there are multiple technical, manual and supervisory checks and balances within the system to prevent deliberate misuse from occurring.”

“Every search by an NSA analyst is fully auditable, to ensure that they are proper and within the law.

“These types of programs allow us to collect the information that enables us to perform our missions successfully – to defend the nation and to protect US and allied troops abroad.”

via:
news

 

NSA’s XKeyscore program – read one of the presentations

تقرير مراسلون بلا حدود السنوي عن حرية الصحافة لعام 2013

03/05/2013 Leave a comment

2013-carte-liberte-presse_1900

أصدرت منظمة مراسلون بلا حدود تقريرها السنوي عن حرية الصحافة في العالم، متضمناً تصنيف لحرية الصحافة في دول الربيع العربي، و أظهر التصنيف أن حرية الصحافة في تلك الدول (خاصة التي تغيرت الأنظمة الحاكمة بها مثل مصر و ليبيا و تونس) لم تتحسن بالقدر المتوقع بعد الثورات التي هزت أركانها. و إحتلت مصر المركز 158 بتحسن 8 طفيف عن العام السابق، بينما تراجعت تونس 4 مراكز لتحتل المركز 138، و جاءت سوريا في ذيل القائمة لتحتل المركز 176 و هو المركز الأخير قبل ما يسمى بالمثلث الشيطاني و هو تركمستان و شمال كوريا و أريتريا.

و جاء في القرير:

بعض الحكومات التي أفرزتها هذه الأحداث انقلبت على الصحافيين والمواطنين الذين نقلوا صدى المطالب والطموحات من أجل الحريات على نطاق واسع. تونس، ومصر، جاءا في مرتبتين غير مشرفتين بسبب ما حصل فيهما من فراغ قانوني، وتعيينات على رأس وسائل الاعلام العمومية واعتداءات جسدية، ومحاكمات متكررة. في حين جاءت ليبيا التي سجلت تقدما هذا العام (المركز 131)، فكرة عن المطبات التي
عليها أن تتفادى الوقوع فيها لتضمن انتقالا نحو صحافة حرة وتحافظ على ذلك.
سوريا (المرتية 176)، البلد اكثر دموية للصحافيين في عام 2012، حيث تشهد حربا إعلامية شعواء لم ترحم أ الصحافيين ولا المواطنين، وهي لا تزال واقعة بين براثن نظام بشار الاسد الذي لا يتردد في شيء من آجل القمع في صمت، وأيضا فصائل المعارضة الغير المتسامحة مع
الأصوات المخالفة لها.

و من الجدير بالذكر أيضاً أن إسرائيل قد تراجعت في الترتيب 20 مركز لتحتل المركز 112 بسبب إنتهاكات الجيش الإسرائيلي و التي تمت هذا العام على نطاق أوسع.

قراءة التقرير كاملاً:

بالعربية

بالإنجليزية

U.S. Engaged in Torture After 9/11, Constitution Project Report Concludes

17/04/2013 Leave a comment

188324_425871010809473_910316927_n - Copy

WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.

The sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” The study, by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, is to be released on Tuesday morning.

Debate over the coercive interrogation methods used by the administration of President George W. Bush has often broken down on largely partisan lines. The Constitution Project’s task force on detainee treatment, led by two former members of Congress with experience in the executive branch — a Republican, Asa Hutchinson, and a Democrat, James R. Jones — seeks to produce a stronger national consensus on the torture question.

While the task force did not have access to classified records, it is the most ambitious independent attempt to date to assess the detention and interrogation programs. A separate 6,000-page report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s record by the Senate Intelligence Committee, based exclusively on agency records, rather than interviews, remains classified.

“As long as the debate continues, so too does the possibility that the United States could again engage in torture,” the report says. Read more…

مذكرات حرب أكتوبر: بقلم الفريق سعد الدين الشاذلي

07/10/2012 1 comment

هل رأيت هذه الصورة من قبل ؟ هل سمعت الاسم ” سعد الشاذلي” ؟ هل تعرف من هو ؟

سعد الدين محمد الحسيني الشاذلي او كما تعود الجميع على تسميته سعد الشاذلي ، هو باختصار مهندس العبور والقائد الحقيقي والعقل المدبر لانتصار اكتوبر العظيم 1973 .

الفريق سعد الدين الشاذلي (أبريل 1922)، رئيس أركان حرب القوات المسلحة المصرية في الفترة ما بين 16 مايو 1971 وحتى 13 ديسمبر 1973. ولد بقرية شبراتنا مركز بسيون قي محافظة الغربية في دلتا النيل. يوصف بأنه الرأس المدبر للهجوم المصري الناجح على خط الدفاع الإسرائيلي بارليف في حرب أكتوبر عام 1973.

تاريخ البطل

حظى الفريق سعد الدين الشاذلي بشهرته لأول مره في عام 1941 عندما كانت القوات المصرية والبريطانية تواجه القوات الألمانية في الصحراء العربية، خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية وعندما صدرت الأوامر للقوات المصرية والبريطانية بالانسحاب. بقى الملازم الشاذلي ليدمر المعدات المتبقية في وجه القوات الألمانية المتقدمة.

اثبت الشاذلي نفسه مرة أخرى في نكسة 1967 عندما كان يقود وحدة من القوات المصرية الخاصة المعروفة بمجموعة الشاذلي في مهمة لحراسة وسط سيناء ووسط أسوأ هزيمة شهدها الجيش المصري في العصر الحديث وإنقطاع الاتصالات مع القيادة المصرية وكنتيجه لفقدان الاتصال بين الشاذلي وبين قيادة الجيش في سيناء، فقد اتخذ الشاذلي قرارا جريئا فعبر بقواته الحدود الدوليه قبل غروب يوم 5 يونيو وتمركز بقواته داخل الاراضي الفلسطينيه المحتله بحوالي خمسة كيلومترات وبقي هناك يومين الي ان تم الاتصال بالقياده العامه المصرية التي اصدرت اليه الاوامر بالانسحاب فورا. فاستجاب لتلك الاوامر وبدأ انسحابه ليلا وقبل غروب يوم 8 يونيو في ظروف غاية في الصعوبة، باعتباره كان يسير في أرض يسيطر العدو تمامًا عليها، ومن دون أي دعم جوي، وبالحدود الدنيا من المؤن، واستطاع بحرفية نادرة أن يقطع أراضي سيناء كاملة من الشرق إلى الشط الغربي لقناة السويس (حوالي 200 كم). وقد نجح في العوده بقواته ومعداته إلي الجيش المصري سالما، وتفادى النيران الإسرائيلية، وتكبد خسائر بنسبة 10% إلى 20%. فكان اخر قائد مصري ينسحب بقواته من سيناء. Read more…

US Embassy Cables: in 2009 “APRIL 6” Leader talks with US Congress about Maher ties to Freedom House

06/02/2012 Leave a comment

“APRIL 6” LEADER PLANS U.S. TRAVEL; DESCRIBES MOVEMENT IN DISARRAY

Ref ID: 09CAIRO695
Date: 2009-04-23 15:45
Origin: Embassy Cairo
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

VZCZCXRO7514
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0695 1131545
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231545Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2268
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000695

SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ELA, DRL/NESCA AND H
NSC FOR KUMAR AND KUCHTA-HELBLING

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/23/2029
TAGS: PHUM KDEM EG
SUBJECT: “APRIL 6” LEADER PLANS U.S. TRAVEL; DESCRIBES
MOVEMENT IN DISARRAY

REF: A. CAIRO 591
B. CAIRO 580
C. CAIRO 468
D. 08 CAIRO 2572

Classified By: Economic-Political Counselor
Catherine Hill-Herndon for reason 1.4 (d).

1. (C) On April 22, “April 6 Movement” leader Ahmed Saleh told us that he plans to travel to Washington from May 2 to May 9 to testify in a May 7 Congressional hearing on a draft resolution on human rights in Egypt sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). Saleh said that Dina Guirgis of the Washington-based NGO “Voices for a Democratic Egypt (VDE)” is working to schedule meetings for him with Congress, and VDE will provide him with accommodation. Saleh believes that Egyptian activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim is “personally” funding Saleh’s plane travel to the U.S. Saleh requested assistance in setting up meetings with USG officials so he can “explain the importance of democracy in Egypt.”

2. (C) According to Saleh, the “April 6 Movement” is in increasing disarray. Saleh said that Islamist members, such as Labor Party activist Dia Isawi, are accusing him and secular “April 6” leader Ahmed Maher of “treason” for their association with the U.S. NGO Freedom House, which Isawi views as a “Zionist organization.”

(Note: Saleh is secular and is allied with Ahmed Maher in advocating a secular orientation for “April 6.” End note.)

Saleh noted that the Islamist members held a mock trial of Ahmed Maher for “treason” into the early morning hours of April 22 after obtaining Freedom House documents detailing planned funding of “April 6 activities.” Saleh said that as a result of this internal “April 6” strife, programming with Freedom House is now “impossible.” Saleh speculated that Isawi might be working as an agent for State Security.

3. (C) Saleh noted that youth activists from the secular Ghad party are also accusing him and Ahmed Maher of “treason” because of their contacts with Freedom House. Saleh claimed that the prominent blogger Wael Abbas is working with Dia Isawi to undermine the secular “April 6” leadership so that Abbas can claim the mantle of internet activism for himself. According to Saleh, Abbas has threatened to post information about Saleh and Maher’s links to Freedom House on his blog. Saleh told us he is still planning to establish an “underground” secular wing of “April 6” (ref C).

4. (C) In a separate meeting April 23, Wael Abbas criticized “April 6” leader Ahmed Maher as weak and the movement as disorganized, but did not voice any support for Isawi.

(Comment: We do not believe that Abbas wants to dominate other internet activists, as Saleh suggested. Abbas has worked closely with other activists in the past, and has expressed to us his hope that more internet activists will participate in political life. End comment.)

-SCOBEY

Source: WikiLeaks

US Embassy Cables: in 2009 “APRIL 6” tells US GOV they kicked out Islamists before elections & supports Ayman Nour

06/02/2012 Leave a comment

“APRIL 6” MOVEMENT CONSOLIDATES RANKS, LOOKS TOWARD COMING ELECTIONS

Ref ID: 09CAIRO1464
Date: 2009-07-30 13:45
Origin: Embassy Cairo
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

VZCZCXRO0250
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #1464/01 2111345
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301345Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3299
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 001464

SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ELA AND DRL/NESCA
NSC FOR KUMAR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2029
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM EG
SUBJECT: “APRIL 6” MOVEMENT CONSOLIDATES RANKS, LOOKS TOWARD COMING ELECTIONS

REF: A. CAIRO 695
B. CAIRO 591
C. CAIRO 580
D. CAIRO 468
E. 08 CAIRO 2572
F. 08 CAIRO 697

Classified By: Economic-Political Minister-Counselor Donald A. Blome for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. KEY POINTS

— (C) “April 6” movement leader Ahmed Saleh told us July 26 that the group has ejected Islamist and Nasserist members to try to preserve its secular, western orientation.

— (C) Saleh urged U.S. pressure on the GOE for international monitors for the 2010 and 2011 elections. He is planning to travel to the U.S. with Ayman Nour in October to press for international monitors.

— (C) According to Saleh, a U.S.-based Freedom House official recently received a letter from the Egyptian MFA criticizing the organization’s association with Saleh.

— (C) Meeting us for the first time July 28, “April 6” coordinator Ahmed Maher said the group is open to working with secular opposition parties on voter education and other activities.

2. (C) Background: “April 6” is a small, youth-based movement which advocates replacing the current regime through a peaceful transition to democracy that would include a weak presidency and an empowered parliament and prime minister.
The movement organized a largely successful strike in Cairo on April 6, 2008 through Facebook to protest price increases and political and economic conditions (ref F). Following the strike, the GOE has arrested and tortured “April 6” members, and has prevented the group from staging public demonstrations (ref E). End background.

——————————————–
Cleaning House: Islamists and Nasserists Out
——————————————–

3. (C) Saleh told us July 26 that the group ejected 13 Islamist and Nasserist members the previous day in an attempt to consolidate its secular, western orientation. Saleh had told us previously that these members had tried to hijack “April 6,” and turn it into a Islamist movement opposing the west and rejecting Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel (refs A, D). Saleh said that following the ouster, “April 6” published a new “manifesto” on its Facebook page, reaffirming the group’s interest in working with western countries and organizations. Saleh assessed that the movement would now be more internally “harmonious,” but that the ousted members would try to attack the group from the outside. He predicted that thousands of young Egyptians would join “April 6” now that the movement has resolved its internal issues.

——————————————— —
“April 6” Looking Toward 2010 and 2011 Elections
——————————————— —

4. (C) Saleh said “April 6” is now focusing on the 2010 parliamentary and 2011 presidential elections. He asked for U.S. pressure on the GOE to allow international monitors as the only way of ensuring free and fair elections and open campaigns. He asserted that the political opposition would only be able to operate freely under such conditions, as the GOE would otherwise use the Emergency Law to prevent campaigning. Saleh noted that he had made this point to USG,Congressional and NGO interlocutors during his June-July trip to the U.S. Saleh said he is also coordinating his actions with Saad Eddin Ibrahim.

5. (C) Saleh asserted that free and fair elections as part of a gradual non-violent transition to democracy would be the only way to address Egypt’s acute economic and political problems. He said that “April 6” plans an internet voter education campaign to decrease voter apathy, and wants to stage street demonstrations to support this goal. However, he predicted the GOE would prevent such demonstrations.
According to Saleh, “April 6” members are currently not planning to run for seats in the 2010 parliamentary elections, but he noted that this calculus could change if the elections were “more open.” Saleh stressed that if movement members chose to run, they would do so as independents, not as opposition party candidates.

6. (C) “April 6” Coordinator Ahmed Maher told us July 28 that the group is open to working with secular opposition parties such as Al-Ghad, the Democratic Front and Anwar Esmat Sadat’s nascent Reform and Development Party on voter education and other activities such as anti-corruption initiatives. Maher said he is working to establish an organizational structure for the group that would include a Cairo-based coordinating committee overseeing smaller chapters in each governorate.
(Note: This was our first meeting with Maher who was arrested and tortured following the April 6, 2008 strike, and tries to keep a low profile. End note.)

——————————–
New Coordination with Ayman Nour
——————————–

7. (C) Saleh said he is working with former opposition presidential candidate Ayman Nour on a planned October 1-7 visit the U.S. to urge the USG to press for international election monitors. Saleh said that he, Nour and another opposition politician would travel together. Saleh told us he is working with U.S.-based Egyptians such as Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Dina Guirgis of Voices for a Democratic Egypt and Sherif Mansour of Freedom House to coordinate an Ayman Nour trip focused on monitors. He said Guirgis is the lead U.S.-based coordinator for the trip. According to Saleh, Saad Eddin Ibrahim travelled to Europe in mid-July to urge European officials to press for international monitors.

8. (C) Saleh told us that “April 6” would support Nour as a presidential candidate in 2011 if he were able to run. Saleh noted that he recently began discussions with Nour about future coordination with “April 6” to achieve democratic change. He described Nour as slightly “unbalanced from his time in jail,” but voiced hope that Nour could be an agent of change in open 2011 presidential elections.

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Saleh’s U.S. Travel
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9. (C) Saleh said that during his June-July travel to the U.S., a Washington-based Freedom House official told him that the Egyptian MFA had sent Freedom House a letter criticizing the organization’s relationship with Saleh. According to Saleh, the Freedom House official said the letter criticized Saleh as “an illegitimate opportunist seeking asylum in the U.S.” Saleh told us GOE customs searched him for 2 hours on July 20 at Cairo International Airport upon his return. He believed customs gave his papers to MOI State Security Investigative Services (SSIS) officers.

-Tueller

Source: WikiLeaks