While there is much stirring in congress about the NGO crackdown in Egypt, it seems pretty clear to me that the Pentagon/Department of Defense/US military and SCAF are re-iterating their importance to each other (Link 1 below) - apparently the US-military leaders Egyptian cooking and music based on his generosity!  On the next level, the State Department continues to re-iterate their belief in SCAF but still pressing on the NGO issue (Link 2 below).  Congress seem to be the only ones too concnerned with punishing Egypt for NGO business - bloody elected bodies represeingting the masses always a thorn! (Search congress, NGO Egypt on Google to find many  articles with various senator quotes - including John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, etc.).

Interestingly, since 2007, the US government apparently believes that this type of anti-American sentiment was likely to arise regardless of who was to come to power (Link 3).

1. Defense.gov News Article: Dempsey Discusses Issues With Egypt’s Defense Leaders 
http://ow.ly/91cTM (some of the random detail – e.g. musician coins, chef handshake, are amusing – especially in light of no details regarding discussions)

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met here today with Egypt’s top defense officials to discuss a wide range of issues related to the long-standing security relationship between the two countries, said Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan, the chairman’s spokesman.

Discussions included Egypt’s investigation into the allegedly illegal foreign funding of pro-democracy nongovernmental organizations by more than 40 Egyptian and American activists, including 19 U.S. citizens.

Lapan, declined to give details of Dempsey’s “private” discussions with Egyptian defense officials.

Later, after a wild motorcade ride through the Saturday streets of Cairo, Dempsey arrived at the Ministry of Defense with Patterson. There he met with Enan and Tantawi. 

He also met with Maj. Gen. Mohamed el-Assar, assistant minister of defense and a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces; Maj. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, director of military intelligence; Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Mohamed Noshy, chief of the Egyptian Army’s training authority; and others. 

During a seven-course official lunch with the Egyptian military leadership, Dempsey sat between Enan and el-Assar at the head table. During lunch he asked to thank the chef, who came out of the kitchen for a handshake and a coin from the chairman. Dempsey also thanked and gave coins to a group of local musicians who played during the meal. 

2. State Department on Egypt: SCAF may not be behind NGO raids | The Cable http://ow.ly/91cTf

a top State Department official has been sending the message that the Egyptian military leadership is not behind the recent raids on NGO organizations

Part of Burns's message has been that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took executive power last February after ousting President Hosni Mubarak, may not ultimately be behind the raids or necessarily in favor of the prosecutions that resulted.

"There is a vacuum of authority. We have been directly pressing the authorities in Cairo, including the SCAF, although they may not be the driving force behind this."

American Embassy in Cairo has claimed in similar discussions that the SCAF was surprised by the Dec. 29 raids on several NGOs

The Obama administration has an interest in drawing a distinction between the actions of the SCAF… and other parts of the Egyptian government, including the judiciary and the Ministry of International Cooperation, run by Fayza Abul-Naga

He told the Egyptian media during that trip, "The administration has continued to make a very strong case for our assistance to Egypt."

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jake Walles led a classified briefing for lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday, after which senators who participated complained that they had heard no real plan to end the crisis. Those same lawmakers said the administration was working valiantly on the issue, but with no measurable success.

"We have a real interest in having good relations with Egypt because they have a central role in the region. On the other hand we can't just sit back and let them do what they're doing with the NGOs."

"Congressional support for Egypt -- including continued financial assistance -- is in jeopardy,"

warrant punitive actions against certain Egyptian officials

“Continuing down this path will make it increasingly difficult for Congress to provide military and economic assistance to Egypt and for the Administration to certify legal requirements necessary for aid to move forward,

"Egypt will apply the law... in the case of NGOs and will not back down because of aid or other reasons," he said. (Ganzouri)

If the State Department truly believes that the judiciary and international cooperation ministries are solely to blame for the NGO crisis in Egypt, it's possible U.S. diplomats got that information directly from the Egyptian government.

At last weekend's meeting of the 2012 Munich Security Conference, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr professed that the executive branch in Egypt had no role and no influence over the NGO cases. "We are doing our best to contain this but…we cannot actually exercise any influence on the investigating judges right now when it comes to the investigation," he said, eliciting scoffs of disbelief from the audience.

3. http://ow.ly/91cSY Wikileaks excerpt from 2007 regarding US opinion on post-succession dynamic (also some info regarding expectations/views on potential presidential candidates – pretty apt given it was five years ago)

"Among [the new leader's] first priorities will be to cement his position and build popular support. We can thus anticipate that the new president may sound an initial anti-American tone in his public rhetoric, in an effort to prove his nationalist bona fides to the Egyptian street, and distance himself from Mubarak's policies."
12/26/2013 08:51:53 am

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5/6/2014 09:44:15 pm

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