NBC's Richard Engel in Cairo holding a tear gas canister that says "Made in the USA by Combined Tactical Systems of Jamestown, Pennsylvania"

The people of Egypt are in revolt against Hosni Mubarak, an oppressive dictator propped up for thirty years with billions of dollars in United States military aid — your tax money.

Wikileaks reported today that the US has known of widespread abuse, torture, and even murder of political dissidents under the regime of Egypt’s dictator, Hosni Mubarak. In the streets of Cairo this week, American-made and supplied weapons are aimed at Egyptians, who are choking from tear gas also made in the USA.

That’s OUR tax money, used to torture and kill innocent people in Egypt.

Earlier today, the White House said it was going to “review” the $1.3 billion in military aid we send to Egypt every year. But the time for action is now while the people of Egypt fight for their freedom.

American policy in the Middle East is designed to help autocratic leaders like Mubarak torture Egyptians and suppress dissent. There have been rumors about Egypt as a channel for extraordinary rendition by the CIA, and we’ve seen the use of American weapons for thuggish purposes in the streets of Egypt this week.

We do not want to hear boilerplate public statements about “meaningful dialogue,” because there is no reason to assume the US government is being truthful about its backchannel communications with Egypt. And we do not want to hear that the government is “watching the situation,” as Egypt’s government beats back its own people who simply want a democracy.

We’ve watched long enough. Our tax dollars have propped up Egypt’s murderous regime for 30 years. It’s time for that to end.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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