Behind the scenes

A fascinating piece at CounterPunch by Esam al-Amin, even if it contains some errors, but I have to wonder: where did he get all this information?

This lesson was not lost on the minds of a small clique of officials who were meeting in desperation in the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 31, 2011, in Cairo. According to several sources including former intelligence officer Col. Omar Afifi, one of these officials was the new Interior minister, Police Gen. Mahmoud Wagdy, who as the former head of the prison system, is also a torture expert. He asked Hosni Mubarak, the embattled president to give him a week to take care of the demonstrators who have been occupying major squares around the country for about a week.

Not only he had to rapidly reconstitute his security forces, which were dispersed and dejected in the aftermath of the massive demonstrations engulfing the country, but he also had to come up with a quick plan to prevent the total collapse of the regime.

The meeting included many security officials including Brig. Gen. Ismail Al-Shaer, Cairo’s security chief, as well as other security officers. In addition, leaders of the National Democratic Party (NDP)- the ruling party- including its Secretary General and head of the Consultative Assembly (upper house of Parliament), Safwat El-Sherif, as well as Parliament Speaker, Fathi Sorour, were briefed and given their assignments. Similarly, the retained Minister of Information, Anas Al-Feky, was fully apprised of the plan.

By the end of the meeting each was given certain tasks to regain the initiative from the street; to end or neutralize the revolution; and to defuse the most serious crisis the regime has ever faced in an effort to ease the tremendous domestic and international pressures being exerted on their president.

This much I do believe: the "pro-Mubarak protest" are the product of the regime and its NDP backers, without a doubt. Hopefully the details will come out in the months ahead.