Coopting The Opposition, Ctd

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Robert Mackey profiles one of the most fascinating characters at the center of the coup:

Less than two weeks ago, Slim Amamou, a Tunisian blogger and activist, was using his @slim404 Twitter feed to let friends know that the police had been to his house. Later the same day, after he was arrested, the 33-year-old computer programmer managed to turn his phone on and log on to Google Latitude to broadcast his location: inside the country’s feared ministry of the interior. On Tuesday, five days after he announced his release from custody on Twitter, and one day after he used the same tool to say that he had accepted an offer to join Tunisia’s new transitional government, Mr. Amamou’s status update on the social network said simply: “in a ministerial meeting.”

The pace of Mr. Amamou’s sudden transformation from dissident prisoner to secretary of state for youth and sports has been matched by the speed of the backlash against his decision to serve in government alongside senior members of the old regime.