Egypt’s Rassd network has broadcast a leaked video which it claims shows a meeting between Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and army officers in the country’s chemical warfare section. The meeting discussed what appeared to be the army’s plan to control the media and reinstate the “red lines” that were shattered by the January 25 Revolution.
During the six minute film, Al-Sisi told the officers that the revolution had “shattered” Egypt’s rules and restrictions. “Before the January 25 Revolution it would have been impossible to mention the armed forces without special permission from military intelligence,” said the coup leader. “The army has been concerned with the media since the first day that the junta took over power.” This was a reference to the transitional period that followed the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.
“To contain the media we need power and power needs time,” stressed Al-Sisi. “We will take a long time to have our appropriate share of media Influence but we are working to contain the media and we have achieved better results. However, we have not reached our goal yet.”
Al-Sisi appears to incite the officers against the then new ruling Freedom and Justice Party saying, “The future will be different. A new Parliament will come. I wonder what will we do then and how that will affect you? Therefore we must unite and understand each other.”
According to Rassd, the video dates back to late last year during the rule of President Mohamed Morsi who was overthrown by the military coup in July.
Responding to criticism of the performance of the army’s media spokesman at the time, General Ahmed Mohammed Ali, Al-Sisi said, “Ahmed is very attractive to women. However, we have chosen another person not because of Ali’s poor performance but to have an opportunity to introduce ourselves with more than one officer and in different uniforms.”
The meeting shown in the video was called, it is claimed, following criticism of the army’s involvement in politics after the January 25 Revolution. Officers called for “persuasion or intimidation” to be used in order to bring the media “into line”.