This was very hard to believe.
I did not write about what I learned at the time as i could not get anyone from the Muslim Brotherhood or anyone in or close to the military to confirm this fantastical idea.
What I did was share what I learned with some at senior levels of the State Department, White House, Pentagon and CIA -- hoping for some feedback or traded information that might help confirm what I had heard about Suleiman, who had been after all a key ally and supporter of US interests for many years but particularly since 9/11.
In each case, the individual from the Obama administration or diplomatic/national security bureaucracy I spoke to simply thanked me for the information and never came back with anything. This doesn't imply complicity; perhaps my administration contacts were as incredulous as I was that the military would put forward someone like Suleiman. I don't know.
What I do know now is that Suleiman did not come out as a candidate at the last minute in some tactical game being played by the Commission and the Army to block and disqualify the Islamist candidates. Gehad El-Haddad, steering committee member for the Muslim Brotherhood's Renaissance Project, has said "We have a strong understanding that Suleiman came to the scene just (so he could) be removed with Shater and Abu Ismail to afford the decision a higher level of legitimacy."
With due respect to El-Haddad, this was not the case as Suleiman's candidacy had been hatched eight months earlier -- and some of El-Haddad's brothers may have known he was coming down the pike.
In the final days of the month of January 2012, protestors and revelers massed in Tahir to celebrate the first anniversary of the revolution and to protest the slowness of political reforms. What was interesting during these events was that many of the regime's lead personalities -- not just the Mubaraks but many Ministers of state and security chiefs -- were targeted and lambasted in the protests as enemies of Egypt and of Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood organized many of these protests and identified and created the Mubarak-era human targets around which to rally.
Omar Suleiman, the long time head of intelligence who had participated in many US and European intel confabs to target, render, and occasionally torture Islamists in the wake of 9-11 and who was selected by Mubarak to be his Vice President in the wobbly moments before Mubarak fell from power, was never mentioned or protested against during these January-February 2012 rallies.
For me, this was circumstantially supportive of the still seemingly bizarre notion that Suleiman would be put forward as a candidate for Egypt's presidency.
I don't know what undid the alleged secret deal between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Army-supported Ruling Council in Egypt, but the entry into the race of the popular Salafist Abu Ismail seems to have triggered the decision for the more 'moderate' Muslim Brotherhood to break its pledge not to enter a candidate and push forward businessman Khairat al-Shater.