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Posted at 4:21 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Gibbs: Targeting of journalists in Egypt "totally unacceptable"

By Greg Sargent

With the news spreading today that a group of angry Egyptian men carjacked an ABC News crew and threatened to behead them, Robert Gibbs, during a press gaggle on Air Force One, used some of his toughest language yet:

I want to say a word for a second on the systematic targeting of journalists in Egypt. This also is completely and totally unacceptable. Any journalist that has been detained should be released immediately. I think we need to be clear that the world is watching the actions that are taking place right now in Egypt. And I'll reiterate again that the actions of targeting journalists, that is unacceptable, and that those journalists should be, if they are detained, released immediately. I know the President has been briefed on this as part of the daily briefing this morning.

According to ABC producer Brian Hartman, it was only through the efforts of a Lebanese ABC cameraman who appealed to the angry mob that the ABC crew was not severely beaten or even killed. Minutes later, ABC News anchor Christiane Amanpour and others were "surrounded and interrogated by a threatening crowd in Cairo," ABC reports.

Thankfully, no one appears to have been hurt, but obviously violent incidents like this one make the White House's delicate balancing act tougher and tougher to sustain.

By Greg Sargent  | February 3, 2011; 4:21 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Comments

WTF were CNBC execs thinking by sendiing sweet-Polly-purebred Erin Burnett into Cairo to interview street butchers.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1775837124&play=1

CNBC contact page is here.
https://register.cnbc.com/email/EmailSupport.jsp

For the love of Pete, get her out of there!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 3, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

These are the Mubarak guys whom AIPAC and the Fox gang are rooting for.

Yipee.

And re that last post, I'd like to see more of that kind of questioning. It appears my prayer was answered:

"Just ask these clowns how they expect to expand coverage for the thousands that are being driven out of insurance because of premium hikes and pre-existing conditions and why they aren't addressing them in all their showboat bills they are introducing and leave it at that."

Keep the heat on those jokers. Don't let up. Don't let them weasel their way out of being honest and responsible to their fellow countrymen.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 3, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind the beheading threats were made by Mubarak's goons, and yet, he is supposed to be our great and vital partner in the war against those who behead people.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Why are Leftists surprised to find Muslim Brotherhood thugs threatening to behead Western journalists?

Afterall, when their Gaza affiliates took over, they immediately legalized sharia-compliant crucifixion and amputation for collaborators with Israel.
http://www.newsmax.com/International/Hamas-bombs-Gaza-Israel/2009/01/09/id/327583

Remind us again Leftists, who controls American media-- according to Leftist orthodoxy?
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2102

*chickens roost*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 3, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mubarak supporters are the only ones attacking the media. They openly admit they are backers of Mubarak, and want him to stay. They told Ms. Amanpour that on Camera, and shouted over and over that they want all Americans out, because they are hurting the Mubarak government.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

From CNN's twitter feed:

"The US has information that the Egyptian Interior Ministry is involved in the roundup of journalists, State Dept officials tell @CNN"

http://twitter.com/natlsecuritycnn/statuses/33237175407476736

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Sue,

That new Cabinet that Mubarak swore in to enact government reforms, has gotten of to a great start.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Liam, sure enough.


TPM's Egypt Wire:


5:2 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
Egyptian PM Tells Interior Minister To Allow Protests

The Egyptian prime minister says the interior minister, who oversees the police forces, must allow peaceful protests to go forward without obstruction on Friday. - Reuters, via BBC.
----

3:58 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
Hilton Asks Journalists Not To Film From Hotel

As a crackdown on journalists intensifies -- including reports that police and others have raided journalists' hotel rooms around Tahrir Square -- The Ramses Hilton has asked journalists not to film from hotel balconies.

From the Hilton Twitter feed:

Due to the gravity, immediacy and dynamic nature of the situation in Cairo, our hotel is implementing measures to ensure the safety

and security of our guests and employees, as this remains our highest priority. These measures include a request not to film

from the property due to the threat this poses to the reporters themselves as well as others on property.

We appreciate your understanding and support during these challenging circumstances.

Security forces were reportedly watching the hotel through binoculars for camera equipment on hotel balconies, then radioing their location to raiding parties in the hotel.
-------

3:53 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
AFP: Youth Organizers Arrested After Meeting With ElBaradei

Via the BBC, AFP reports that seven youth leaders of the protests were arrested just after leaving a meeting with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei.
----

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"EYPT IN CRISIS," this was the topic of conversation lastnight on internet radio show "Center Stage." This is a must hear podcast, as you listened to Americans tell what they see looking through the windows of the Egyptian people, while warning the US to not intervene. Take a listen.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centerstage/2011/02/03/egypt-in-crisis

Posted by: ChurchFolk | February 3, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

That is what I have been afraid of. The Mubarak Fascist Forces, have the names and pictures of all the main organizers, and they will probably end up being tossed into his Gulag, never to be heard from again.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Liam, sure enough.


TPM's Egypt Wire:


5:2 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
Egyptian PM Tells Interior Minister To Allow Protests

The Egyptian prime minister says the interior minister, who oversees the police forces, must allow peaceful protests to go forward without obstruction on Friday. - Reuters, via BBC.
----

3:58 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
Hilton Asks Journalists Not To Film From Hotel

As a crackdown on journalists intensifies -- including reports that police and others have raided journalists' hotel rooms around Tahrir Square -- The Ramses Hilton has asked journalists not to film from hotel balconies.

From the Hilton Twitter feed:

Due to the gravity, immediacy and dynamic nature of the situation in Cairo, our hotel is implementing measures to ensure the safety

and security of our guests and employees, as this remains our highest priority. These measures include a request not to film

from the property due to the threat this poses to the reporters themselves as well as others on property.

We appreciate your understanding and support during these challenging circumstances.

Security forces were reportedly watching the hotel through binoculars for camera equipment on hotel balconies, then radioing their location to raiding parties in the hotel.
-------

3:53 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
AFP: Youth Organizers Arrested After Meeting With ElBaradei

Via the BBC, AFP reports that seven youth leaders of the protests were arrested just after leaving a meeting with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei.
----

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

This is clearly high stakes poker. Mubarak tells Christianne Amanpour one thing while his government doubles down in full brutal mode against the protest leaders and international press.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 3, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse


Last month, the Obama EPA began enforcing new rules regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from any new or expanded power plants.

This week, the EPA issued its first exemption, Environment & Energy News reports:

The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities.

According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to "grandfather" projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

There's something interesting about the Avenal Power Center:

The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine.


_______________________

Obama should resign immediately.

The authority he is claiming was never INTENDED by Congress - nor mentioned by anyone when the law passed.


The man thinks he is a dictator - here to impose his liberal agenda, socialist agenda and perhaps MUSLIM AGENDA on the United States of America.


Case closed.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 3, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Graeme Wood from the Atlantic recounts what happened to him in Cairo after he was mistaken for a Iranian national.

"I have an Iranian stamp, a tourist visa from 2009. Like the United States, Iran includes a photo of the visa-holder on the visa itself. So they saw the visa, with all my biographical details and my photo and "Islamic Republic of Iran," and thought they were looking at the passport information page of an Iranian citizen. Pretty soon I was being dragged through the street like a deformed farm animal, and the people around me were yelling "Iranian! Iranian!" while I cried out in my best English in protest. We passed two cafés, and no one even bothered to take a shisha pipe out of his mouth to inquire about me.

The men ultimately delivered me to a government building on the Nile, where a man in a police uniform spoke English and confirmed that I was either a native English speaker with an accent appropriate to his nationality, or an Iranian with an unusually effective ESL teacher. He guessed the former and let me go, but not before telling me by way of apology that there are "foreign people in the crowds who want to create danger and kill Egyptians." He said roadblocks and crowds along the corniche were advised to hunt down "Iranians, Hizbullah, Qataris, Hamas, and" -- because why not? -- "Israelis."

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/02/why-i-was-dragged-through-the-street-by-egyptian-police/70741/

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Keep an eye on this:

"Young Sudanese Start Protest Movement"

NAIROBI, Kenya — The messages started going up on Facebook about two weeks ago, to any Sudanese who cared.

“The people of Sudan will not remain silent anymore,” said a Facebook group called Youth for Change. “It is about time we demand our rights and take what’s ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage.”

“It is about time we show what we’re really made of,” the group said. “Our brothers in Tunisia did it and so did our brothers in Egypt. It is about time for us.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/world/africa/03sudan.html?_r=1

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I have been wondering in the past few days if the people of Libya are satisfied with their long term Despotic ruler, or if they might also become restless for change. I have not heard any news reports out of that country.

On a lighter, but painfully true note:

Kathleen Madigan recently returned from entertaining the Troops in Afghanistan.


She tells of having been briefed by a US Officer, on how many miles of new roads, and how many schools, the US military have provided to Afghanistan.

Kathleen said to him; That many, miles of new roads, and that many new schools. When you get back to the USA, could you please invade Detroit?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

So far, it seems Libya has been quiet, but it's another place to keep an eye on. Syria, too.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Again from TPM:

No Live Footage From Tahrir Square After Crackdown

The crackdown on journalists in Cairo seems to have been successful. No major networks are broadcasting live footage from Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protests.

As the Times put it:

By evening, it appeared that none of the major broadcasters were able to provide live footage of Tahrir Square, the epicenter of antigovernment protests. Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya television networks said their journalists had been hounded from the street and from the vantage points above the square where cameras had been placed, and both CNN and BBC appeared to be relying only on taped footage of the square. Jon Williams of the BBC said via Twitter that Egyptian security had seized the news agency's equipment from the Cairo Hilton "in an attempt to stop us broadcasting."

---------

Except they turned the internet back on, and people have camera phones....

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

kindness1, do you feel that the 13th Amendment should be optional?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 3, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Sue,

It is clear now, which path the regime has chosen to take. They are going to play ever trick in the book, to suppress the revolt, and stay in power.

It is playing out much like I thought it would.

Tyrants do no become tyrants, because of their accommodating dispositions.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't be squandering American money on sick people. Mubarak and Karsai need it more.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"incidents like this one make the White House's delicate balancing act tougher and tougher to sustain."

I don't know why it should be so difficult. Yes, we have a long relationship with the current dictator, but the U.S. needs to get out of this notion that we can do something about another country's destiny. Obama is right in not intervening. I think we can root for the protestors, but we need to let them do it themselves. It's frustrating, but we seriously need to get out of the business of nation building. We can't afford it.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 3, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

At some point Mike Mullens will make a call and say,

"Hey Hosni, about that spare parts order...yeah, well, it's gonna be indefinitely delayed..."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

And Hosni will say; Hey Mike; I hold in my hand some communications from President Bush, which I am sure Wickileaks, would just love to turn in to Quickyleaks, so I will receive my parts shipments, by overnight express; right Mike?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg

Did you have to hear about Anderson Cooper getting punched in the head before you realized the Muslim Brotherhood should not be given any chance to be part of any government in Egypt???


or was it some other time?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 3, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

And Mike will say, " Hosni, hang on a minute..The Hague is on the other line..."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

TPM again....this oughta be interesting...

"6:22 PM | Rachel Slajda | #
GOP To Call Obama Team To Testify On Egypt

From Foreign Policy:

House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) will bring two top national security officials to Capitol Hill next week to testify on the administration's policy concerning Egypt, and its implications for the escalating crisis there.

Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy will testify next Thursday before the GOP-led committee. But before Ros-Lehtinen hears from the administration officials, she will first call upon two former Republican officials for their take on the upheaval in Egypt: Former NSC Middle East senior director Elliott Abrams and Lorne Craner, a former assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights, and labor during President George W. Bush's first term. Craner is now president of the International Republican Institute.

Abrams was perhaps the first person to claim the Egyptian unrest is a vindication of Bush's foreign policy."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/happy_hour_roundup_178.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 3, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah the right wing support of Mubarak is interesting... Authoritarians tend to flock together.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 3, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Rainforest - The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the conservative movement according to Frank Gafney. Therefore, how can we trust anything you say? For all we know you could be attempting to manipulate opinion! My god, the muslim brotherhood might be under your bed! In your closet!! GASP!!! LIONS, TIGERS AND MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD. OH MY!!!

Posted by: Alex3 | February 3, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Geore Packer on Egypt...

When the people rise up, there’s no guarantee they’ll succeed. Just ask a Burmese or an Iranian. Egypt’s revolution has a number of counts against it, the main one being the hollow core where Egyptian civil society ought to be—the absence of institutions, groups, and leaders that could shape this massive expression of popular will into an organized counterforce to the regime’s violence, with the means to reach deep into the military hierarchy and a strategy for victory. Instead, Mubarak systematically closed off that space, so that he could say to the world: me or the Islamists, choose. In Burma in 2007, there was a similar void of opposition leadership, other than the moral power of the monks. Young Burmese later told me that they considered their headless revolution more flexible and durable than the older kind—one student called it “post-modern”—but the regime crushed it without much trouble, and hundreds of young Burmese are now rotting away in far-flung prisons."

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2011/02/egypt-and-the-velvet-revolutions.html#ixzz1CwUHK7Hx

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2011/02/egypt-and-the-velvet-revolutions.html

Posted by: bernielatham | February 3, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

And Mike will say, " Hosni, hang on a minute..The Hague is on the other line..."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 6:27 PM

And Hosni will say:

Mike if I am to go to Hague in a handbasket, I am going to take George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and many others with me.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Will Leftists present any EVIDENCE to support their assertion that these unidentified Islamo-thugs were Mubarak supporters?

There is every reason to expect Muslim Brotherhood of running false flag operations to deceive Westerner audiences. We certainly know the MB's Leftist Code Pinko co-conspirators employ "moby" tactics.

But why are Leftists surprised to learn Muslim Brotherhood thugs threaten to behead Western journalists?

Afterall, when their Gaza affiliates took over, they immediately legalized sharia-compliant crucifixion and amputation for collaborators with Israel.
http://www.newsmax.com/International/Hamas-bombs-Gaza-Israel/2009/01/09/id/327583

And the MB's al-Qaeda affiliates are infamous for beheading Daniel Pearl.

Remind folks again Leftists, who controls American media-- according to Leftist orthodoxy?
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2102

*chickens roost*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

[Alex3 sneered: "The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the conservative movement according to Frank Gafney"]

The relevant distinction (naturally) is that conservatives widely regard these dhimmis as INFILTRATORS-- not allies.

Conversely, Leftists have formed "Unholy Alliance" with Islamo-supremacists.

The Obamaterur is ready to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/02/AR2011020206550.html

"Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!"
[Matt. 23:24]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

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