February 5, 2011

"2 Detained Reporters Saw Secret Police’s Methods Firsthand."

Could you please read this NYT article very carefully and explain to me how we know it was the Egyptian government's secret police as opposed to an exercise by opponents of the government, done to induce reporters to write stories antagonistic to the government?

The reporters were kept in "a plain room," where they were not beaten but they could hear what sounded like beating. What did they actually see?
We saw a journalist with his head bandaged and others brought in with jackets thrown over their heads as they were led by armed men....
A plainclothes officer who said his name was Marwan gestured to us. “Come to the door,” he said, “and look out.”

We saw more than 20 people, Westerners and Egyptians, blindfolded and handcuffed. The room had been empty when we arrived the evening before.

“We could be treating you a lot worse,” he said in a flat tone, the facts speaking for themselves. Marwan said Egyptians were being held in the thousands. During the night we heard them being beaten, screaming after every blow.
Isn't that odd? Lots of blindfolded people, and then alarming sounds coming from elsewhere? They were kept for a day and then released.
They put us in our car with orders to put our heads down. “Look down, and don’t talk. If you look up you will see something you don’t ever want to see.”

They left us that way for 10 minutes. The only sounds were of guns being loaded and checked and duct-tape ripping.
Again, the hearing without seeing. Isn't this a strange article? Seriously, I am not trying to make trouble. I just read this article and felt like the reporters could have been duped by people manufacturing disinformation.


traditionalguy said...

My oh my. The NYT is deep into this campaign to remove the linchpin of Israel's defense position. The blowback from this effort could finally bring the NYT down. Trying to destroy the Augusta National Golf Club is one thing, but trying to destroy the Israel National Existence is another thing.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Learn to trust more. Life will be more enjoyable and your observations will become more interesting.

Lem said...

“You are talking to journalists? You are talking badly about your country?”

Moose said...

As my 13 yo would say, they were p0wned.

As I would say, the press is composed of pussies...

AllenS said...

The NYT oftentimes has no news to tell, but a tale to tell. I don't believe anything that they say.

Automatic_Wing said...

Yeah, it could have been a setup. The journalists could have made it up, too. That's been known to happen. The details of the story are pretty generic.

My guess, though, is that it's true. More or less. Cops beating people up is par for the course in that part of the world and the Egyptians are already pretty well known for it. In fact, I thought the police brutality in the story was kind of underwhelming. Even if it's completely true, it shouldn't surprise anyone or change anyone's opinion of the regime. That's just the way the authorities operate in the Middle East. I have no doubt the next Egyptian regime will employ the same tactics.

G Joubert said...

You're right to be suspicious. There is so much about what is going on in Egypt that we don't know, and so much of what we think we actually know has the feel of misdirection, of being the product of manipulation.

I'm betting we aren't going to know what's really going on here unless/until Mubarak steps aside or is driven out, then the players orchestrating it will emerge.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Your healthy skepticism will blunt your chances for employment with the media's non-blogosphere division.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

AllenS said...

The NYT oftentimes has no news to tell, but a tale to tell. I don't believe anything that they say.


If you go looking for truth in the New York Times, you deserve to be fooled.

The Crack Emcee said...


The press is composed of pussies...

That would be The Macho Response. They were in a car, for 10 whole minutes, and no one - not one of them - looked up, or even peeked, to see what they could?

Shit, during my rabble-rousing days I broke out of police custody, knowing they were going to beat the shit out of me, but I still did it. (I know: it was here, but still) What kind of journalists are these?

They're liars, or else they're pussies, neither of which reflects well on them.

Anonymous said...

The Egyptian government has nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing this to reporters and especially foreign reporters.

But the opposition, at a time of focus, has everything to gain and nothing to lose making it look like the government is brutal.

(I'm not saying that the Egyptian government hasn't been brutal to the internal opposition, but to reporters? Ever?)

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

How's this for a tale?

A woman born on the frontier, while skinning moose and hunting wolves, rose from obscurity to hunt down the evil corrupt political establishment of small towns and big government in Alaska. Then she tore the evil, corrupt government in D.C. a new butthole. It was awesomer than Xena the Warrior Princess come to life. And it included social media, too! (Just to let you know that you, her fans, could be personally included in all the glory).

Yep. I think that's a better tale.

Fen said...

I see Ritmo still has his nose up in Palin's vagina.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

So Fen, do you always reduce women to nothing more than genital anatomy? Or is that just the kind of trash talk we should expect from a guy who compares gay troops to "orphans committing incest"?

As your leader in the struggle would say, "lame".

Anonymous said...

It was actually an Inception exercise.

Fen said...

Sorry, but I can't muster much sympathy for Pravda Whores. They all deserve a good beat down.

Fen said...

Ritmo: a guy who compares gay troops to "orphans committing incest"?

Never said that. Learn to read please.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

I will. Just as soon as you learn to say things that don't make you feel ashamed you said them later.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

This is pointless. I only mentioned Palin because Allen accuses NYT of telling tales and Althouse posted about the biggest tale ever told (and constantly retold here) just 45 short minutes earlier.

Anonymous said...

Ritmo, straining for a thread hijack.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

I've said all I need to say on tall tales and who believes which ones.

Chef Mojo said...

Hey everybody! Fun fact about Egypt! Did you know that 90% of Egyptian girls elect to undergo female circumcision? Oh. Did I say, "elect?" What I meant, is that 90% of Egyptian girls are subjected to the horror of female genital mutilation! How cool is that? And that rat-bastard dictator, Hosni Mubarak, passed laws outlawing this barbaric custom. Shame! And his wife campaigns tirelessly throughout Egypt against this sordid violation of human rights! Westernized bitch-whore!


Nice bit of analysis, that. Boils down to the fact that no matter who's in charge in Egypt, Egypt is still going to be seriously boned and its girls will continue to be tortured. Enjoy, "democracy" supporters!

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

That's an interesting avatar, Chef. But I honestly preferred the previous one.

Chef Mojo said...

Ritmo, what can I say? I'm a big Nick Cave fan.

Unknown said...

Easily could have been a false flag op - they heard a lot more than they saw.

That said, government (we're talking anybody, not just Egypt) forces over the years have done lots dumber things than this.

PS Big Gov't Trickling Down His Leg hasn't got anything to contribute, so he launches into a diatribe of a previous post.

And, yes, lame is about all one can say.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Ed, I'll believe my tales, you believe yours.

Substance? Here's substance: In the Middle East, there are groups affiliated with terrorism. Some of you may have even heard of them. Yet, they are powerful and popular enough among the locals to garner/require attention from reporters. Obviously, they often like to keep the whereabouts of their central headquarters unknown, or at least obscure. I guess that might have something to do with there being other governments in the area with superior firepower.

Blindfolding is a more common habit in getting people interested in information from these surreptitious groups than the True Blue, Red Blooded, Fox News watching Amerrkuns here would therefore know or understand.

I apologize for intruding on the conspiracy theory of the day with some actual facts and reasoning. Continue as before...

traditionalguy said...

I loved your tale, Conservative4mental health. Have you heard the Ballad of Sarah Palin...She killed a bar when she was only three. She wore a Neiman Marcus dress when McCain needed her to defend his Alamo. Her rifle shoots high, but still hits death Panelists between the eyes. Her strong Tea has brewed up election victories. She is a lot like Davy Crockett, who won his seat in the House of Representatives with his autobiography But her winebox is filled with Fess Parker Chardonay.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

There ya go, TG!

William said...

I don't doubt that Mubarak's agents beat up reporters. What I doubt is whether his replacement will be any gentler. Also I don't think his forces are scary cruel in relation to the standards in that part of the world. Compare and contrast Egypt and Tunisia with Syria and Libya.

Chef Mojo said...

As for Althouse being skeptical? She should be. This is commonly practiced opposition tactic in the Middle East and South Asia. Shaping the narrative, the hard way. The North Vietnamese used a willing Western press in the same way. We always heard about the American "atrocities" and "war crimes." The North Vietnamese did a beautiful job of shaping the narrative against the US. When, in the aftermath of Tet, mass graves of the victims of NVA and Viet Cong murders were found in and around Hue, the Western press just sort of mentioned it and passed it by.

The NY Times piece is very weird, but it is a prime example of a method of misdirection. Could it have happened? Sure. But, in this case, it doesn't make sense.

But, who benefits from a "beat down" of the Western press in this case, using this method? Certainly not the government, and they know it. They know how the Western press operates; the Egyptians are not idiots.

If the Egyptian government were serious about stopping Western reporters from reporting, it would simply remove them from Egypt. It wouldn't be difficult. It's not like the government doesn't know where they are at any given time. Or, if they really wanted to send a message, they could arrange to have a crew regrettably caught in a crossfire or blown up in their vehicle because the Islamists discovered they were spying for the the Zionist Entity.

This behavior smacks of play acting on the part of the opposition. Things are heard and not seen, and what is seen is very specifically described to them. They themselves are not mistreated, but are led to believe that others like them are being mistreated, as a matter of course.

What makes these guys so special?

Michael said...

NYT reporters tricked? You must be kidding.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

Reporters reporting on reporters. One wonders what the news would be if a reporter never showed up to cover it.

Al Jazeera has the best coverage in Egypt, because their reporters venture outside of their hotel rooms.

PatCA said...

Of course it's faked.

There's a long history of duping the Western journos.

LL said...

I saw this on an episode of "Burn Notice."

I wonder if Michael Weston, Fiona, and Sam were involved in this?

Quaestor said...

New York Times reports duped? Impossible. The NYT, the venerable Gray Lady, is the newspaper of record. History itself rolls from her press every morning. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Albert Gore, and all the Best and Brightest in this land wisely rely on her words and support.

Really, Ann, when are you going to grow up? The New York Times is not deceived and never has been.

Rabel said...

I completed the assignment and was struck by this quote,"They left us all night in a cold room, on hard orange plastic stools, under fluorescent lights."

Cold room:

Orange plastic furniture:

Fluorescent lights as torture:

What exactly was your involvement in this incident?

kjbe said...

Ocean's Eleven?

roesch-voltaire said...

Let us see, they speak Arabric, were shown a police badge, were actually there, and every other news person on the scene has reported similar events, but us arm chair pundits have a right to be suspicious? Maybe we should stop spending millions to send reporters to dangerous foreign places, and just make up stuff instead.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@Conservatives for Better Oral Sex @10:33

Congratulations. Your resume for Sarah Palin is essentially factual. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

I'm Full of Soup said...

LOL. Me too! Burn Notice is such a great show!

Big Mike said...

... but us arm chair pundits have a right to be suspicious?

Yes, we always have a right to be suspicious. A little skepticism is a good thing to have, especially these days.

Maybe we should stop spending millions to send reporters to dangerous foreign places, and just make up stuff instead.

Yes, because right now we -- meaning the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the major networks are apparently doing both.

Known Unknown said...

The climax of Micmacs is a fabulous example of false-flag operations.

The film is "left-wing" to be sure, but Jeunet is such a master that the politics tend to disappear into the story.

And the 2 villains are deliciously well played.

Big Mike said...

Seriously, I am not trying to make trouble.

Doesn't matter if you are, Professor. I thought I was very good at skepticism, but I am learning from you. And that is good.

Anonymous said...

"I just read this article and felt like the reporters could have been duped by people manufacturing disinformation."

It is also quite possible, Ann, that since this story appeared in the New York Times, that it is entirely a fabrication.

New York Times reporters frequently make up stories and the paper prints them as if they were true. Many times, it's because the stories represent narratives the editors WANT to believe. And so they don't do any due diligence before printing them.

The damage, thus done, is never able to be put fully back in the bottle.

This has happened hundreds of times in the history of the Times. New York Times editors are notorious chumps, unable to detect when their own reporters are making up stories and taking them for a ride, fleecing them out of thousands in salaries and "expense reports" that are never checked.

Take for example, the stories written by reporter Jason Blair. He wrote dozens of stories and "interviewed" hundreds of people. These stories all made it past credulous NY Times copywriters and editors ... only they were all fabrications. He never actually interviewed anybody or even went to the locations where the stories allegedly took place. He turned in tens of thousands in fake expense reports.

The New York times does not, in fact, employ layers and layers of editors and story checkers. Many of its editors WANT these sorts of stories to be true ... so they print them.

Frequently, entire stories are merely typed out on computers in far away lands and the "reporters" never stepped foot from their posh hotel rooms.

So, in all probability, the entire story is a bunch of horseshit.

Certainly wouldn't be the first time for the NY Times.

You really have to look to the credibility of the source first, Ann. And the NY Times has no credibility.

Trooper York said...

Roachy, that is what the main stream media does best. They make shit up.

Remember the rapes and murders that when on in the Superdome when the media was trying to destroy President Bush? They made that shit up.

Remember how the Tea Party and Sarah Palin caused that guy to go nuts and shoot a Congresswoman? They made that shit up.

Remember how they told us that Barack Obama was fully qualified to be the President of the United States? They made that shit up.

That's what they do. They make shit up to serve their purposes.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

roesch-voltaire said...

Trooper you are confusing opinion with reporting, which may happen sometimes. The dome reporting was low, but there were many, many other reports which followed that made up for that. To name two NYC folks who do a great job: Dexter Filkins, and Nicholas Kristof--both who inform us better than any TV talking head.

Trooper York said...

All reporting is now opinion journalism. Nobody just gives the facts. They just make stuff up. All the time.

Everytime the press has reported something I have personal knowlegde of they have got it totally wrong. Even to the point of the street locations.

Their opinions force them to make up facts and create a "narative" that conforms with their world view.

Ransom Stoddard: You're not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?
Maxwell Scott: No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
(The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 1962)

Fen said...

Trooper you are confusing opinion with reporting

No, its the media that routinely confuses opinion and reporting.

And the "journalists" were coached to gin up outrage. They behaved like actors.

but there were many, many other reports which followed that made up for that

Never heard a single one of them. Not when it mattered.

Fen said...

Don't you remember all the "reporters" pretending to be mad and angry on the air?

Trooper York said...

The made it sound like the 'Rape of Nanking."

When it turned out to be a big bag of bullshit.

Who was the worst offender?

Anderson Cooper.

Who is broadcasting more big bags of bullshit to make him look like a hero "Journalist?"

Anderson Cooper.

Same shit. Different day.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

Fen said...

My fav Katrina clip is of a female journo sitting in a row boat in "flooded" streets. Half-way through her serious-concerned report, some guy walks behind her set in ankle-deep water.

DADvocate said...

Reminds me of the Spike Lee movie, Inside Man. Lots of fakery. Journalists are generally easy to fool because they want to badly to believe and portray a certain view point. Just give them the slightest feint and they fall all over themselves.

DADvocate said...

Anderson Cooper

I saw the clip where he was "beaten." I wonder if that was staged. Wimpiest beating I ever saw.

Crimso said...

"The reporters were kept in "a plain room," where they were not beaten but they could hear what sounded like beating."

Was Milgram involved in this?

traditionalguy said...

Roesche-Voltaire... You may find this hard to believe , but Professional Wrestling is a choreographed dance of holds and throws that would make a Hollywood stunt man proud. Some people who believed in well done imitation as children never grow out of the desire to be fooled by imitations. The NYT relies on that response. And how is all that dirty CO2 "carbon air" doing warming up the Globe since 1998?

Anonymous said...

Reporters duped? How can it be?

The Crack Emcee said...

When The National Enquirer can beat EVERYBODY to a national story - and it's true - you know journalism's been over for a long, long time.

Even worse (and I'm almost positive the JournoList had something to do with it) they colluded not to report it.

Anyone who can't see the writing on the wall, after that, is blind.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course they are being duped. The question is just by whom, and toward what ends.

Likely, they're being duped coming and going, by all sides, some of whom have obvious agendas and others who don't.

But hey, they could be lying to us knowingly in this story, too.

dave in boca said...

This is the same NYT that refused to post the Essex hacked e-mails debunking Global Warming, but gleefully printed hacked wikileaks US top secret documents. What about this fishwrap's strange story about its reporters hearing screams and noises from another room, but seeing nothing. I for one believe Ann's hypothesis that this was a setup by agents provacateurs, possibly anti-Mubarak acting and cinema students setting up a sting just like Newman and Redford did for a gambling parlor.

Anonymous said...

I just read this article and felt like the reporters could have been duped by people manufacturing disinformation.


Everyone knows that innocent brown people from the Third World are far too simple and unsophisticated to run a false flag operation. Their primitive brains are not advanced enough to handle such concepts.

That's why they need the Vanguard of the Proletariat to make their decisions for them.

LakeLevel said...

Anyone who has had inside knowledge of a news story or has personal expertise in what a news story is talking about knows that journalists get most details about most stories wrong. This fact is crucial to understanding the news media in the USA. They start from a pre-conceived narative and just make up stuff to fit that narative. This makes them really easy to manipulate by people like these Egyptians. It doesn't matter how crude or amateurish these attempts are, if it fits the narative, it goes into the news.

dave in boca said...

Florida is right. I've been to and reported from Egypt over twenty times. I remember a clown named Chris Hedges who was the NYT head honcho there who always was concocting huge conspiracies by the govt. and victim-BS by the poor brown Egyptian fellahin just off the farm and getting persecuted by the bad boys.

Why never one syllable about the HUGE Sufi brotherhood clans and professional organizations that are perhaps more influential than the Muslim Brotherhood? If I could find out about these political groups under the radar, but the NYT never has, how can an Amoco Political Risk analyst know shit the NYT never reports on?

Why doesn't the NYT and pretty boys like Anderson Cooper report on the interesting sociology of the baltigiyya thugs recruited by Mubarak who hate the elitist students and snobbish Upper West Side equivalent society-wannabes and will come in to bash heads for almost nothing?

These actual facts don't fit their narrative line concocted by the Soros-influenced JournoList 2.0 bloggers and the NYT's Bill Keller, mesmerized by the prospect of another Pulitzer, that corrupted prize given by the corrupted UColumbia Journalism School. So actual facts take a back seat to pulling up the seat and watching Anderson get his greylocks mussed up by [perhaps hired] local acting students.

Focko Smitherman said...

Chris Hedges. God, he's a moron in every sphere, it seems. He thinks Christian fundamentalists are American fascists, and he once leapt the counter and assaulted a KLM employee--the stress of having been in a war zone, he claimed.

metasailor said...

I just don't even know where to start.

Well, look. If you read the article, you'll see that they were pulled over from an actual checkpoint. That other cars were going through. And that their driver, a native-born Egyptian, and other nameless native Egyptians also driving through, thought this was legitimately official Egyptian police without question.

So are you suggesting that an Egyptian pro-Mubarak group that was NOT an official part of the Mubarak government, was able to take over a checkpoint and imitate it so well it fooled native Egyptians as well as experienced reporters?

Is that seriously easier to believe, than that the Egyptian government might detain and torture reporters?

I mean, why even ask that question? It's not that it's challenging, it's that it honestly makes no sense to me. Please explain.