Charges Against U.S.-Aided Groups Come With History of Distrust in Egypt

Authoritarian rulers have long viewed pro-democracy groups financed by the United States with deep suspicion, but never has a government gone as far as Egypt’s.

Comments: 43

  1. On it's web site the International Republican Institute says it gets more than 99% of it's funding from the U.S. Government. How exactly does that make it a non-profit?

  2. It means that their are no shareholdes or owners taking profits from the company's output. Though I'm rather sure that thee 99% government funding is part of why people don't trust them.

  3. "But never has a government gone as far as Egypt’s...." Hmm, wonder what happens to those nice foreign demonstrators and "subversives" in Russia and China. All sort of people have "accidents" in Russia, and in China "subversives" are either not allowed in, in the first place, or are deported when found.

    In truth no country has to permit citizens of another country to enter, and if foreigners violate the law (e.g., in the US, the Foreign Agents Registration Act), they can be prosecuted.

    But I guess we assume that because the Obama Administration has decided that all but a tiny minority of illegal aliens will be allowed to stay in the US, therefore all other countries have to behave in the same suicidal way.

  4. Chaos reigns in the Middle East and surrounding countries and the World financial condition will not be able to control what appear to be a coming human disaster if not an all out regional WAR.

  5. Welcome to the history of the world.

  6. See? The west should be taking the money back from the money hoarders and other countries who practice politics they do not believe is just. To go into business with someone or marry someone with the full intention of 'CHANGING' them once you get them into bed is stupid with a capital S.

  7. Given that the U.S. has NEVER done anything for the Egyptian people except repress them by bankrolling Egyptian dictators and the Egyptian military, this is quite understandable.

  8. It would appear to me as with Iran these Americans are being used to leverage influence by the Egyptian Military - one to play a double game with the US to try to blackmail and appear so ever helpful to retain US financial support at the same time whilst pandering to the change to power shift to Islamic hard liners who clearly appreciate all of the US support in enabling their revolution for Islamic 'Freedom'.

    May I suggest the US immediately cancel half the aid promised and if the US citizens are not released post haste the rest. The US will not lose any influence by doing so they have already lost it as has Israel. Finance is now the only leaver.

    The fact is the US have not read the Foundation Text and clearly nor had Israel when it initially gloated regards the Arab turmoil.

    Both are just about to find out, as are the poor young people who put themselves on the line for 'Freedom' - it is the underlying Societal text which determines outcomes and more importantly what 'Freedom' means in reality.

  9. Agree with comments above - what exactly is US's record of good in Egypt? I wouldn't trust the US non-profits either.

    And look at Voice of America - one of our favorite Middle East propaganda tools. It's not my America that they voice.

  10. Opinion polls show that Countries in Egypt's part of the World fear the United States more than any other Country in the region--including Iran. They fear us because of our record of meddling in the foreign affairs of Nations. We have unfortunately earned this hate from foreign citizens, and there is nothing we are currently doing to earn back their respect.

  11. A comment from an Egyptian guy "America does not like Islam".

    When I read this, I come to one out of two: either that the individual who said it is not a professional political activist or that gradually the naivety of the average Egyptian citizen is fading...No one helps others for free! and for those who felt offended, I just beg forgiveness to the demagogues.

  12. it could have consequences,” Mr. Carney added, “including our assistance programs.”

    What Obama & Clinton are saying is that instead of buying individuals and their votes and influence, as the CIA once did, they have been doing it on a wholesale level via these NGOs and on the basis of aid much of which was to be skimmed off and much of the rest coming back to America , because our M-I-C's weaponry was included. The message is, if you don't become U.S. clones, you don't get any of our bribes.

    Then to add incoherence to insult, These NGO were training groups to overthrow the very people we were bribing. As someone with one foot in America and the other overseas for 50 years, the greatest area of ludicrous incompetence has always been our foreign policy. It was consistantly due to the administrations inability to understand how non-Americans think. The British did that when they had colonies. The Germans did it when they had wars. We do it whatever we do.

    Of course, in the last ten years other major, disastrous areas of incompetence have shown up. But if we don't get out of the entire Middle East, (including Iran and Israel) we are going to lose our posteriors - and maybe more.

  13. I concur entirely. All I can think of is that over the decades it is the money and guns that make the most money. They represent power and prestige and they inspire the third world to look up to the White Slave masters and never forget who is in charge or who the addle-minded think is in charge. It is the bully syndrome.
    More often than not, the bully only needs a shot in the face.

  14. And how much foreign investment in its election processes does the United States government permit?

  15. After Citizens United, we really don't know.

  16. What I'm not clear on and would like to know is exactly how many Americans are actually in the custody of the Egyptian government?

  17. We should not be giving any aid to these countries? They always have used it against us? Take all aid away from these countries??
    Our people are not safe in going t these countries! Any harm coming to any American, needs to be handled! These people pick on us Americans, for we do not show strenght! We cannot be weak when dealing with these countries??? Do you see Russia or the Chinese being picked on??? No!! Because Force will be Used against this country! They are afraid, but feel the USA is an easy Target! If necessary, go in and free these people! Their country is no match for the USA, and believe me, Russia nor China will interfere! They will threat, but not ingterfere? I rather see things done in peace, but some day, America will have to show force! Either they Free the Americans, or suffer the consequences! And afterwards, don't help them rebuild?//

    Immeadiately take away the aid, and give them a choice!! Free the Americans or Suffer the consequences, and if harm comes to the Americans, Force should be used against that country!! They must pay!!!
    There will be a great War, and it is brewing as I write?

    We are a great Nation, and all want peace, but we have been dragged into the Holy War! We are being laughed at by the governments of these Countries?? Many innocent people will be hurt!! It is coming!
    America must wake up!! War is costly

  18. The message should read: Please return our people and our money and we will never bother you or your people again. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

  19. Well I suppose these organizations are non-profit for the taxpayer but probably quite profitable for the Egyptian military and US arms manufacturers . Just more 'lipstick' for the imperialist pig.

  20. Too many NGOs, and all of them working under the supervision of the State Department have no understading of how to behave in foreign countries (international naif, feeling superior, etc.). Their minds are still in the Kennedy "Peach Corps" spirit and have no sense of todays international issues and interaction. For starters, prohibit the drinking of alcohol in all Muslim countries to assure local respect (for instance, at the Kabul, US Embassy there is nothing but large supplies of beer/gin/wine/etc. for too many late night parties in full view of local help). NGOs are the left over image of the " Ugly American."

  21. So, so true. And, why are my tax dollars supporting these people? And why do we have to jump to arms when they put themselves in danger? Time to get these Peace Corps-influenced do-gooders and freeloaders off our system.


    Ludicrous, we give foreign assistance to the Egyptian military and they pretend to have no control over the Egyptian judiciary, hogwash. They are holding Sam LaHood and the other Americans as leverage chips. These captives are innocents and need to be released immediately. Release them.

    We should suspend all aid to the Egyptian military, freeze their foreign accounts, and with hold further support until they let all Americans go free. They have to feel American pressure. No more tourism or buying of Egyptian products until they get the message, Free the Americans now! Persecution of Innocents never advance your cause.

    Alan G Phillips

  23. The same Eliott Abrams being quoted here preaching about our clean non-intervention interventions was one of the most malevolent architects of the Contra War. Good to see Obama is recycling that nice bunch of assassins.

  24. re-read. NYT dug up Abrams, not Obama.

  25. Eliiot Abrams? That's who you're quoting? Well, that tells you everything you need to know about what these "democracy" programs are all about, doesn't it?

    Scratch the surface of this stuff and out come the zionist necons.

    I can't believe you mention Abrams without mentioning his thick and deep history at the nexus of right wing foreign policy machinations...especially his Iran-Contra crimes. Abrams, along with Otto Reich and others are so-called public diplomats, which is the neocon Orwell-speak for propagandists and saboteurs.

    I encourage people to Google Elliot Abrams, since the NYT has not seen fit to make this man's name a link.

    Iran-Contra -- remember that? Arms for hostages...used as an election year cudgel?
    I remember. Even if the NYT is but a wide-eyed innocent on the subject.

    Ptui! This isn't reporting, it's a hand-embroidered fig leaf by the NYT.

  26. I think we could keep these NGOs out of Egyptian jails by bringing them home to restore Democracy in America.
    Perhaps they could import from Egypt the idea of one man one vote, instead of a vote for each man and corporation, which has made our Democracy resemble horse and rabbit stew, and just about as tasty.

  27. No kidding. What could we teach them; how to con your fellow man into voting your way? Everything has a dollar value and can be factored? Or, my favorite, "The cost of doing business."

  28. Some commentators have their knickers in a twist over this, and urge this administration to use "force" against Egypt. As if that would work. In any event, I'd suggest they untwist their knickers since this issue is principally designed to play to the domestic audience in a rather puerile effort (but one that may work) to show that some "foreign hands" were behind some of the recent violence, and to distract from SCAF's inept governance.

    SCAF and other power players in Egypt fully understand the downside of this posturing, not only because it jeopardizes the aid it gets from the US, but it also jeopardizes its efforts to obtain IMF financing, much needed at this point...and further diminishes its credibility with the international community.

    There might be some one or two unfortunate scapegoat amongst the Egyptian staff, but the American citizens will be allowed to travel pretty soon.

  29. Well. well. well. It appears that Uncle Sam has weakened US sufficiently with all the corporate meddling and wars of choice and economic warfare that people are finally waking up to the fact and want nothing more to do with our bullying ways.
    American "interests" usually don't coincide with humanities'...or LIFE's for that matter.
    Now, if only the American people would wake up and demand that our "leaders" stop talking out of both sides of their mouths: Peace/War; arms sales; oil sales and financial attacks on the citizenry of this and every other country....and all for the multinational corporations.
    New World Order indeed, and all while we were sleeping or living in fear of the people our government has ripped off.

  30. The US has been sending aid to Egypt for years. In case people aren't up to date, the current government of Egypt is less than a year old. Thus the Us was pouring money into the tyrannical regime that the people just fought off. Then when rebellion hits, organizations that were conceived becausee the CIA had to bad of a reputation set up in the country. I have little doubt that members of the organizations were doing just what they were accused of. Not all, not the college kids who went somewhere to make a difference, but some. If you take 20 strangers and put them in a room, I'm pretty sure they can figure out how to be democratic among themselves. There is little to teach, so what are they actually there to accomplish? There is little reason for the US government to sponsor such a program, unless they had something to gain. Considering that the US was paying the old regime, I doubt the promotion of democracy is a realistic benefit to the US for funding this.
    As for punishing Egypt for opening what is likely a legitimate investigation, sure do what you want. Egypt just freed itself from someone that we did our best to keep in power, why would they want our money. In fact the money is for their military, the group that is threatneing to undo their revolution. So we supported the past regime, and now we support the military rulers who stand in the way of democratic reform. So we are threatening to stop supporting the anti-democratic forces in Egypt? Why did we start support?

  31. Glad to see the comments here tell the story the NYT refuses to print. Our government sponsored 'non-profit's are in Egypt to interfere in that country's internal domestic affairs. This has been US policy in that country and many others at least since WWII. And every time some country objects to that interference, we get all rightious and start to rattle our war machine.

  32. I wonder if Elliott Abrams and his neo-conservative allies would like the US to help keep Israel from further backsliding away from its democratic heritage. Certainly he was happy to support right-wing murder teams in Central America during the Reagan Administration. Pity he's crawled back.

  33. I echo the comments of some about how many people are actually in harms way. Three are said to be in the US Embassy and some are back home in the US. So obviously Egypt will not be allowed to extradite the Americans back home. And also, if this is such a threat, why aren't the other Americans remaining in Egypt safely inside the US Embassy?

    I wonder if there is also some grandstanding and saber rattling going on by both Obama and Congress, to show the voters how tough they are and to try to resurect some creditability for their policies that helped guide Egypt into the "Islamic Winter"?

  34. It looks like the evidence were overwhelming that the prosecution decided to press charges. If I were one of US officials, I wouldn't fight this one. I would come and admit mistakes were made by those organizations. The Egyptian parliament is also supporting the government move on this one. So the US shouldn’t make enemy of the 82 million Egyptians. If Egypt needs the American aid (which 72% of the people say no), America needs Egypt weight in the region. US shouldn't rely on Qatar. Money can go so far.

  35. Look carefully at what you call demonstrators. What are 10 or 12 years old protesting? These are street children who are paid $10 a day to go and throw rocks at the police. Some people claim aid groups are paying them to announce later protests against the government.

  36. Does this mean we should double the $1 billion aide we are giving to their government (Muslim Brotherhood)?

  37. “I understand the purpose of the N.D.I. and I.R.I.,” Dr. Sullivan said of the Democratic and Republican institutes. “But this is a newly freed state and a very brittle and emotional environment. It’s not the best environment for them to work. How would we react if a foreign country came here to teach us how to conduct elections?”

    Direct them to Florida.

    More seriously, direct them to any state where different precincts use voting methods with substantially different reliability, or where any state Secretary of State is clueless or corrupt enough to endorse voting machines which inherently lack accountability, like all-electronic machines that don't produce a voter-observable receipt.

  38. "The Egyptians are way over the top here." Yep, just go ask Daniel Ortega. Love the breathless reporting and commentary. As if the CIA didn't run some of its activities through NGOs prior to the creation of the NED. I tend to doubt the average Egyptian makes much of a distinction between the CIA, NED and IRI. But I suppose if Putin decided to create an outfit called the "Progressive National Front," and it employed some former KGB officers and the PNF came to the US to promote "egalitarian principles of government," we would all say, "But they aren't the KGB. They are just promoting egalitarianism." And I'm sure that there is never any interaction between CIA case officers and the IRI. Oh wait, the former vice chair of the IRI was a former CIA case officer. Imagine that.

  39. "How would we react if a foreign country came here to teach us how to conduct elections?”

    An unfortunate analogy, given the state of campaign financing and judiciary activism in this country.

  40. The IRI is the same organization that trained the people who carried out a coup and overthrew the democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti.Egyptians have every right to be suspicious.

  41. Does our country even know how to do quiet diplomacy anymore?

    I am sick of mouthy diplomats and politcians cutting off their/our noses to spite their/our faces.

  42. It is in my opinion that the problem is wider than a controversy between an authoritarian regime and a pro-democracy USA organization
    I told many times that the concept of democracy in the USA sense is a perfect stranger to Arab world as a whole
    Its history and its culture and its mental habit push arab world against democracy in the USA sense, and it's pretty naive expecting to change this thousands-year-long approach
    The USA governmebt should ponder deeply whether inundating Egypt with billions of dollars of financial is now a good move
    It is in my opinion that it 's like feeding an enemy
    It would have been better, in the sense of choosing the lesser pain, to go on sustaining the authoritarian regime of Mubarak
    At the end, he granted a lasting peace with israel, avoiding other bloody wars and avoiding implicitly the surging of another Iran
    I'm doubtful that it will happen again with this new Egyptiamn regime

  43. "“We’ve made clear that we take this very seriously, that it could have consequences,” I think it should not could have consequences. Are we still sending them money, even right now?