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A Secret Report on a Consensus Candidate

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Dear General:

Further to our meeting with the consensus presidential candidate where you confirmed our support of him in the presidential elections, and further to your Excellency's orders, I hereby submit a number of suggestions for achieving our goals that I hope you will approve:

First, before we start supporting the consensus candidate, we must establish that he is completely loyal to us and that we will be able to maintain full control of him now and in the future. This candidate, whom we will make president of Egypt, must carry out everything we ask of him. We must not allow this incoming president to turn against us and capitulate to the provocateurs and saboteurs.

Politically, we must think of a legal way to annul the presidential elections, not for public disclosure right now, but for future use if we ever want to get rid of him. On the personal front, we have put together a detailed CV of the candidate and a complete list of his relationships with women, his habits and the places he frequents. We have CDs, videos and photographs of his private life that could scandalize and ruin his reputation at any time. I await your Excellency's orders in this matter.

Second, in order to achieve the desired result in the elections we must continue to put pressure on ordinary people. We will continue to carry out our plans. Prices will continue to rise and the shortages of basic foodstuffs will grow worse. The shortages of petrol, cooking gas and subsidized bread will continue and at the same time we will send out groups of former convicts to attack people waiting in lines. Chaos must be spread everywhere. Egyptians must understand that what they called a revolution was in fact a disaster that brought them anarchy (just as His Excellency President Mubarak said in his last speech).

We have to use our agents to escalate demonstrations by special-interest groups and strikes by staff in state establishments. We must push our agents to mobilize demonstrators to block highways and stop railway traffic. Last week we sent out groups of thugs to get on West Delta Company buses, start arguments with the drivers and then beat them up. The attacks occurred for several days until the drivers declared a strike and closed down the bus service. The breakdown in law and order must accelerate and assume more widespread and serious forms (here I would like to commend the attack on two members of the despicable parliamentary committee that recommended moving President Mubarak to a prison hospital).

Armed robberies and nighttime shootings in the street must continue. As for raids on banks, these should take place in broad daylight to show people how insecure the country is. The bank raids serve two important purposes: they frighten people and make them worry about their savings, leading them to withdraw their funds and adding to the economic crisis. At the same time, armed thugs must continue to carry out car-jackings. Former convicts must be sent to attack nurseries and girls' schools, to spread panic among parents. The thugs must continue their daily attacks on hospitals, doctors and nurses. I suggest the attacks be carefully calibrated to create panic without the possibility of anyone being killed (a high death toll could have a counter-effect and push people to rebel).

At the same time the media should give exaggerated coverage to these crises, linking them to the events of January 25. They should say that anarchy prevails and that Egypt is on the verge of bankruptcy, so that people turn against the events of January and think of them as the cause of these misfortunes. Keeping up the pressure through shortages and lawlessness will put people in the psychological state required. The aim here is to ensure that people will accept anything to restore order and normalcy. And that furthermore, they will vote for the candidate we support, and, because they want stability at any price, will ignore any irregularities in the electoral process.

Third, we have re-established control in the state media and recruited new, more cooperative, journalists, broadcasters and producers. As for the satellite channels, we have put pressure on their owners by threatening to investigate their financial abuses. This has encouraged them to get rid of provocative journalists, except for one station that has not complied. As a first step we sent a group of thugs to attack the station. But this was a temporary move until we reach a solution that allows us to close it down.

We have arranged a large media campaign to portray the presidential elections as a historic national achievement that will impress the world with Egyptian democracy. As a result, anyone who casts doubt on the fairness of the elections will look like a traitor or like someone paid to spoil the national celebration of democracy.

Fourth, the people now inciting acts of sabotage are the same people who led the events of January 2011. They are known by name and they belong to various political factions -- liberals, leftists, Islamists, revolutionary socialists and prominent independents. These provocateurs must be subjected to a comprehensive media campaign that will embed firmly in the people's minds the idea that they are working for and paid by foreign interests. At the same time, their energies must be sapped through continued complaints filed with the public prosecutor by honest citizens, accusing them of sabotage, disturbing social peace, inciting hatred of the government and receiving finance from foreign institutions. The investigations must last a long time with intense media coverage so that the idea that all the provocateurs are traitors financed from abroad becomes well-established in people's minds. Last week a video was distributed on the internet that showed a female activist drinking beer. In another operation, some thugs were sent to attack one of the leading provocateurs as he was making a speech in Embaba. Video of the event was distributed as proof that the public dismisses the man as an agent and a hireling.

Fifth, as your Excellency knows, the Islamic movement is not one block, but a group of different tendencies, and so it is impossible to control. Among the Islamists there are few who cooperate with us. The vast majority are sympathetic to what they call a revolution and have close links to saboteurs from non-Islamist groups. Over the past year, the young Islamists have disobeyed the instructions of their elders and have taken part in mass rallies with the saboteurs. I was delighted to hear your Excellency announce that the best-known Islamist group has agreed to support our candidate. They are very organized and their members are sworn to obedience. They also have effective methods of winning elections, such as giving away cooking oil, sugar and meat to the poor, and influencing voters in and around polling stations. They have followers in every constituency we could appoint as supervisors in polling stations, as we did in the parliamentary elections. Through our alliance with this group we can guarantee many voters for our candidate.

Sixth, some obscure candidates must be brought in to give the impression that the elections are a real competition and not a formality, and because the more obscure presidential candidates there are, the more people will stick to our candidate. In the midst of anarchy and crisis, people will not choose an unknown for president, but will feel at ease with our candidate, who has held senior positions for many years.

Seventh, our candidate must adopt a strongly religious discourse to strengthen his image as a committed Muslim (as you know, he is in fact not at all pious). Our candidate must announce that he will apply sharia law as soon as he takes office. He must call for an immediate ban on alcohol and on bikinis. This discourse will attract simple voters, especially in rural and working-class areas. We have good contacts with a large number of Friday preachers and we will give them clear instructions to support our candidate. In their Friday sermons they must say that our candidate is a statesman and the only one capable of applying sharia and saving Egypt from the effects of secularism, licentiousness and atheism.

The election propaganda will be based on questions posed to the people: "Are you Muslim? Do you want Islam to triumph over infidel secularism? Then you must vote for the consensus candidate." At this stage negative images of the rival candidates must be created. They must be portrayed as agents of the church, financed by the United States with the aim of de-Islamifying Egypt, who want to turn it into a secular state and ban minarets, as in Switzerland. Simple people must think that the rival candidates want to spread degeneracy and permit gay marriage. The rival Islamist candidates must be portrayed as terrorists or extremists incapable of handling the responsibility of the presidency. If they are popular, they must be soundly beaten up (I would like to record here that the operation in which Dr Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh was beaten up was a model of careful planning and successful implementation).

Eighth, the traditional methods for altering election results can be used if necessary. There are ways of altering results both at the counting stage and when the votes are added up: the rotating card method, the multiple national D number method, and so on. Even if these methods are exposed, the elections will not be overturned because the decision of the Supreme Electoral Commission is final and incontestable.

Sir, these are my proposals for supporting the consensus candidate. Awaiting your instructions,

Lieutenant Colonel X