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1 item from 2011

Arab Regimes and the Dictator Protection Plan

21 February 2011 7:19 PM, PST | The Daily Beast | See recent The Daily Beast news »

All the Praetorian guards, torture, and "coup-proofing" haven't stopped a wave of protests from deposing two Arab regimes and threatening many more. John Barry and Christopher Dickey on how Mideast despots have stayed in power so long.

A ritual of sorts tends to mark the fall of a dictator. His torture chambers are opened, and the electrical cables and bloodstains testify to his crimes. Under the worst tyrants, like Iraq's Saddam Hussein, there are photographs, too. His torturers were meticulous record keepers, taking pictures up to and including the subject's gruesome death. As light shines into those fetid cells, emotional cleansing begins. Responsibilities are understood and must be assumed.

Related story on The Daily Beast: Facebook Chat Gets Hijacked

The torture chambers have not been opened yet in Tunisia or Egypt. The dictators are gone, but not their Praetorian guards, who are now in charge. The military, the secret police, »

- John Barry & Christopher Dickey

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