WikiLeaks Cables Detail Egyptian Repression, Torture

Obama Administration Fully Aware, Reluctant to Press Mubarak

With the eyes of the world already on Egypt, WikiLeaks released a massive collection of cables related to Egypt today, detailing broad-based repression of political dissident and indeed even those officials conceivably could see as undermining their rule.

Egyptian officials moved against journalists, novelists, bloggers, even amateur poets, for criticism of the government and detailing the levels of police brutality around the world.

But the Obama Administration didn’t need those outlets detailing the level of brutality in the Mubarak regime, cables show that they were fully aware of it from the start. NGOs described torture as “endemic” and said hundreds of cases of torture against petty criminals, political dissidents, even random bystanders, were occurring daily in Cairo alone.

The Obama Administration continues to insist they have been pushing for “reforms” but the cables reveal that it isn’t the case, and that even broaching the subject of police brutality was considered a touchy issue for many, and led to harsh rebukes by Egypt that the US would be supporting “Communists.” The official US response was to increase funding for the police in hopes that more money and better training would lead them to torture less. Even then, officials confirmed Egypt “has not begun serious work on trying to transform the police and security service.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.