Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Shocking Story of One CBS Reporter In Egypt

Word has recently come out that Lara Logan, a longtime CBS foreign correspondent, suffered a brutal, horrible assault and sexual assault at the hands of a gang of Egyptian men celebrating the downfall of Mubarak. According to this CBS report (H/T to Carol Maka), Ms. Logan was covering the celebration for "60 Minutes."

And that's when it turned ugly for her:
[snip] It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently home recovering.[snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

Let us pause and reflect on how a "celebration" results in a brutal assault, both physical and sexual, of a woman.

This is so disturbing on so many levels. But this was not the first indignity suffered by Ms. Logan while covering the Egyptian uprising. Howard Kirtz of The Daily Beast had this report regarding Ms. Logan:
[snip] The assault occurred a week after Logan and her crew wound up in the custody of Egyptian military authorities. At first, she was essentially confined to her Alexandria hotel.

"It was literally like flipping a switch," Logan said in a video. "The army just shifted dramatically to a much more aggressive posture. They have absolutely prevented us from filming anywhere today—no cameras, no cameras, is what we're being told." She said when her crew went out to shoot so-called beauty shots, "they were intimidated and bullied, and in fact marched at gunpoint through the streets, all the way back to our hotel—a very frightening experience, and one that was repeated throughout the day for us."

After that video was made, Logan and her crew tried again, and were taken into custody.*

"We were detained by the Egyptian army," Logan told Esquire. "Arrested, detained, and interrogated. Blindfolded, handcuffed, taken at gunpoint, our driver beaten. It's the regime that arrested us. They arrested [our producer] just outside of his hotel, and they took him off the road at gunpoint, threw him against the wall, handcuffed him, blindfolded him. Took him into custody like that."

There was more: "They blindfolded me, but they said if I didn't take it off they wouldn't tie my hands. They kept us in stress positions—they wouldn't let me put my head down. It was all through the night. We were pretty exhausted… We were accused of being Israeli spies. We were accused of being agents. We were accused of everything." In the process, Logan said, she became "violently, violently ill." The army eventually released Logan and the crew. And then, because it is hard to keep Logan away from a hot foreign story, she went back. [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)

* This is the video referred to above:

So, even before the horrendous attack against Ms. Logan, she had been "arrested, detained, and interrogated," forced to stay in a "stress position" for hours. Wow.

Ms. Logan is a brave woman, having worked in countries like this before. For a woman in that neck of the woods, that is quite an achievement. Ms. Logan spoke about this in an interview a few years ago (h/t to Samb):

How prescient was that, sad to say?

Ms. Logan is home now, recovering from her assault, at least physically, that is.

Meanwhile, as if things were not already bad enough for women in the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood is working to form a recognized political party. And they are one of eight representatives on the Transition Panel. Despite attempts by some to minimize the dangers of this organization, and their "extensive terrorist operations" (and that is from the Anti-Defamation league), dangerous they are, both in Egypt, and to the West. Sharia Law, and Jihad, are an integral part of what and what they are.

Oh, and for those who keep trying to claim the Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate, peaceful organization, despite it being outlawed in Egypt for an assassination attempt against Nasser (I think that pretty much rules out the "non-violence claim," though its connections to Hamas do that, too), their support for Sharia Law, for the denigration of women, speaks volumes. In other words, pssst, your misogyny is showing - you might want to zip it up.

It is disturbing, horrifying, infuriating, and saddening, that CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan was so brutally attacked and assaulted. It is a glimpse into the scene there that at Tahrir Square, in the midst of a celebration, something so heinous could occur.

I cannot help but worry that, should the Muslim Brotherhood continue to ascend in Egypt, how much worse it will be for the women who live there, and the women who travel there. If something like this could happen out in the open, well, that alone is unthinkable, yet it happened, so it does not bode well for the future.

In the meantime, my heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to Ms. Logan. Sadly, she has a long row to hoe ahead of her as she deals with the effects of that day. All the best to her...

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