Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Three days after she claimed to have been brutally attacked, stomped on, her arm ripped out of its socket and ligaments torn by Egyptian authorities trying to deport her from the Cairo aiprport, Susan ‘Medea’ Benjamin appeared to be miraculously healed as shown on a video of an interview recorded Friday.
Benjamin, leader of the terrorist support group Code Pink, spoke to Bill Hughes at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The camera shot is tight from the shoulders up. Benjamin looks quite healthy. No scabs, no bruises, no swelling, no torn scalp, no broken teeth. When the camera pulls back to show her torso, her left arm which she claimed was broken, dislocated and had ligaments torn, is seen free of any sling, cast, or means of support. Benjamin is wearing two pullover shirts, meaning she had to lift her arms to get dressed. She does however hold her left arm folded against her abdomen.
Benjamin claimed in a Code Pink press release on Tuesday that in addition to her other claimed wounds, her wrists bled from two sets of handcuffs being placed on her too tightly. The video at 2:20 shows both wrists. Neither wrist is swollen or scabbed. Her left wrist has a wristwatch on it.
Earlier Friday, Code Pink posted a photo of Benjamin wearing the same outfit with something that might pass as a sling on her left arm—but she was using her left arm and hand to use a portable electronic device. Note in the photo Benjamin is able to lift her left arm and flex the fingers on her left hand to use a pointer.
— CODEPINK (@codepink) March 7, 2014
Benjamin’s own statements show that she was forcibly handcuffed after she refused to go along peaceably with her deportation.
Also on Friday, the State Department said that Benjamin had submitted a signed Privacy Act waiver and therefore the government was free to discuss her tale of woe in Egypt this week.
The State Department press corps spent quite a bit of time today on Benjamin, even more than they did earlier in the week.
Here is an excerpt:
MS PSAKI: …We can confirm that Medea Benjamin was – so because she signed a Privacy Act waiver, we can confirm that she was detained by Egyptian immigration authorities upon her arrival in Cairo on March 3rd, 2014. Egyptian authorities reported to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that they were holding a U.S. citizen around 3:00 a.m. local time on March 4th. A consular officer attempted to contact Ms. Benjamin directly multiple times. The consular officer was unable to make contact with her prior to her deportation at 11:53 a.m. that same day, but was able to talk to immigration officials and several of her friends as well as inform U.S. consular staff in Turkey. While in Turkey – because she was put on a plane back to Turkey – on March 4th, Ms. Benjamin was contacted by phone by a consular officer at 8:30 p.m. local time to check on her welfare and to arrange a visit the following morning. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara also requested that the Turkish authorities grant Ms. Benjamin humanitarian parole to allow her to seek appropriate medical care for the injuries she sustained in Egypt. She was transported to a local hospital, where she received a medical examination and treatment for a dislocated shoulder. A consular officer then visited with Ms. Benjamin at the airport the next morning at 10 a.m. She was given a Privacy Act waiver to sign, but she deferred, as we all know, stating that she wished to consult with her legal team first. She was then deported, arriving in the United States the evening of March 1st. And she signed –
QUESTION: No, no, no.
MS. PSAKI: March 5th, sorry.
QUESTION: March –
MS. PSAKI: March 5th, and she signed – that would be reversing – that would be time travel and backwards – and signed a Privacy Act waiver, which was delivered to the Department of State just today…