Friday, July 27, 2012

None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See (The Sheikh Is Staying In Prison)

The NYT reports that Just Off Tahrir Square, Protesters Demand Release of Blind Sheik Jailed in U.S:

When Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s president-elect, pledged on Friday that he would work for the release of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted of conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks in 1995, some Egyptian bloggers expressed shock and dismay. But Mr. Morsi had promised to do just that on the campaign trail, as Ahram Online, a state-owned news site, reported last month.

Let those losers express shock and dismay. Personally, I'm glad to learn that a campaign promise still means something, even if it's in Egypt.

But it seems that some people don't trust President Morsi to keep his word, and they are making vague threats directed at the U.S. Embassy employees in Cairo.

Son of 'Blind Sheikh' threatens US embassy employees:

The son of Omar Abdel Rahman, a Jama’a al-Islamiya leader known as the “Blind Sheikh” who was convicted of terrorism charges in the US in 1995, threatened to organize a protest at the US Embassy in Cairo and detain the employees inside. Abdallah Abdel Rahman’s threat came during a press conference organized by the sheikh’s family near the highly fortified American embassy compound on Thursday evening.

Abdel Rahman demanded that President Mohamed Morsy intervene for the release of his father as he did in the case of Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Adel who was detained for nearly two weeks for covering protests in Sudan then flown back to Egypt on a plane with Morsy.

He called for applying the “principle of reciprocity,” saying that every American detained in Egypt should be put in solitary confinement and refused visitors like Egyptian prisoners are in the US. He said that his father has been treated badly in US prison.

Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman is “a wronged man whose case has been fabricated, and he should be retried because some witnesses retracted their statements, which they made because of pressure from the former regime,” said Aboud al-Zomor, a member of Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Shura Council who was in jail until the revolution for being involved in the assassination of former President Anwar Sadat.

Following the press conference, Abdel Rahman’s family distributed a statement to attendees that calls on Morsy to form a committee to visit the sheikh in prison, check his health and assign him legal counsel to file a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice over his long-term solitary confinement.

I give the son points for loyalty, but Morsi will be thinking about getting Egypt's customary boodle in U.S. aid next year, and that concern is liable to, ah, temper his enthusiasm for making a big fuss about the Blind Sheikh.

Pardon me, but I have to ask - are those Ray-Ban Wayfarers that the Blind Sheikh is always sporting?

I lost a pair of those a while ago and never replaced them because they seemed so old fashioned. A kid at Starbucks had asked me where I got the "classic Blues Brothers glasses" (he had never heard of Wayfarers), and that made me suspect those shades are no longer the epitome of cool. So I got some more contemporary wraparound sunglasses, but those made another kid, this one a co-worker, smile whenever he saw me wearing them. Now, I am thinking I should go back to the more age-appropriate Wayfarers. Thanks, Sheikh!


Anonymous said...

That's great TSB. That Butler Medical Center looks pretty posh. I wonder how it compares to the place they stashed Mubarek? gwb

TSB said...

Ex-dictators get the very best medical treatment, I'm sure. (Actually I'm guessing about that, since I haven't seen any trace of Mubarek in a long time.)

Anonymous said...

They sent Mubarek back to the army prison hospital. I hope it's better than the Afghan Army Hospital in Kabul where you have to sell your farm to get money to bribe the staff to feed your wounded soldier family member. I guess the head of the Army has found a "profit center" in that hospital. gwb

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your service Ryan Crocker! TSB: Crocker is originally from Spokane and wrote a great memo for Colin Powell outlining exactly what would likely happen if we invaded Iraq. I hope he writes a book after he (hopefully) recovers from the past 12 years. gwb

TSB said...

Crocker's memo (reportedly titled The Perfect Storm) has never leaked. I can't wait for that one to get declassified. Hey, where is WikiLeaks when we need them?