Drama Queen: Code Pink Leader Medea Benjamin Makes Good on Threat to ‘Make a Scandal’ for Egypt if Deported
Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Susan Medea Benjamin threatened to “make a scandal” against the government of Egypt if she was deported. Sure enough as Egypt enforced the deportation order against Benjamin on Tuesday she took to Twitter and then the radio and other forms of media to accuse the Egyptian government of brutally beating her and breaking her arm.
“Help. They broke my arm. Egypt police.” Benjamin tweeted from Cairo.
Benjamin’s inflammatory charge was reported by sympathetic U.S. media outlets from the AP and Reuters to the New York Times, CNN, Huffington Post and Democracy Now!
Creating scandal and making accusations of abuse against those detaining you is a ploy straight out of the field manual for Code Pink’s allies al Qaeda:
“In a raid on an al Qaeda cell in Manchester, British authorities seized al Qaeda’s most extensive manual for how to wage war.
“A directive lists one mission as “spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy.”
“If captured, the manual states, “At the beginning of the trial … the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security before the judge. Complain of mistreatment while in prison.””
Benjamin’s threat of scandal was reported by the AP:
“An Egyptian airport official denied Benjamin was assaulted, and said she was deported on orders from a security agency.
“The official, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said that after being told to leave the country, Benjamin threatened a senior security official that she would “make a scandal” for them before the world if they deport her.
“Benjamin confirmed the encounter with the official. She said he told her she was on a blacklist but didn’t explain why and never said the border was closed.
““I said I am a friend of Egypt. I said it is not good for U.S.- Egypt relations,” she said. He “started screaming that I was threatening him, and that he will take legal action against me.”
Benjamin’s tale of how her arm was allegedly hurt gets a bit murky as she describes having to be dragged across the airport to the plane to Turkey because she was resisting deportation.
“When she refused to board a plane to Istanbul without first meeting with U.S. embassy officials, the 61-year-old Benjamin said security agents wrestled her to the ground, sat on her back and yanked her arms behind her.
““They put (on) extremely, extremely tight (plastic) handcuffs” on, she said. She said it was then that her shoulder was dislocated and that a doctor later reset it but told her it was fractured and a ligament was torn. She said the police dragged her across the airport to a plane for Istanbul. “It was as if I was some kind of crazy terrorist,” she said.”
Benjamin spun her tale of woe to several news outlets once she arrived in Turkey. To Yahoo! News she said:
“After hours spent in the cell, “five very scary-looking men came for me,” she said. Through contacts with friends in the United States and Egypt she had learned that American diplomats were just 10 minutes away, so she resisted going with the men, who removed her by force, she told Yahoo News.
“They grabbed her, threw her to the floor, and put two sets of handcuffs on her, she recounted. In the scuffle, “I heard the ‘pop’ of my shoulder, and I started screaming. They wouldn’t stop.”
“”They stomped on me,” she said.
“The men dragged her to a Turkish Airlines flight bound for Istanbul. The airline initially argued that she was in no shape for a flight. An Egyptian doctor agreed, but in the end she boarded the plane and ended up in a middle seat with an Egyptian security officer on either side. “I was between two of the same guys who beat me up,” she said.
…” She said she was speaking from the clinic at the Istanbul airport, waiting for staff there to fix their MRI machine, having just received her third shot of painkiller for what doctors have described as a torn ligament.”
Various Egyptian officials have denied Benjamin’s allegations of abuse. The New York Times reported:
A spokesman for the Egyptian foreign ministry said that Ms. Benjamin had been stopped at the airport because the Gaza border crossing was closed, and that she had then physically resisted the airport security agents. “She arrived in Cairo and insisted on going to Gaza,” said the spokesman, Badr Abdelatty. “She was prevented because the border crossing is closed.”
…”Mr. Abdelatty said Ms. Benjamin had refused to board a flight back to the United States and had struggled as she was forcibly escorted to another flight, to Istanbul.”
“An Egyptian airport official denied any abuse and said she had been deported after 20 hours. The official told Reuters that Benjamin was on a watch list for “involvement in acts harmful to Egyptian national security”.”
Benjamin and her group Code Pink worked with the Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow the Egyptian government of former President Hosni Mubarak. They have used their travels to Egypt to agitate against Israel by working with the terrorist group Hamas in trips to Gaza.
Code Pink has also acted as a messenger between Hamas and President Barack Obama on their trips.
Audio and a transcript of Benjamin’s drama queen interview from Turkey with Amy Goodman can be found at the Democracy Now! Web site.
“I’m in a hospital in the airport right now. The doctors just gave me another shot. They’re going to do an MRI on my shoulder. And they are going to continue with the deportation. There’s not a plane until tomorrow, so I will be here overnight, and then I will be leaving tomorrow back to the U.S.”
Code Pink said on Twitter Tuesday evening that Benjamin was being transferred to another hospital:
Update from @medeabenjamin: she's in terrible pain and is being transferred from an Istanbul medical facility to the hospital now
— CODEPINK (@codepink) March 5, 2014