Despite human rights abuses, detentions of Americans, administration awards $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt
Leading from behind and kicking the can down the road are what President Courage does best. The New York Times:
The Obama administration plans to resume military aid to Egypt, American officials said on Thursday, signaling its willingness to remain deeply engaged with the generals now running the country despite concerns over abuses and a still-uncertain transition to democracy.
To restart the aid, which has been a cornerstone of American relations with Egypt for more than three decades, the administration plans on sidestepping a new Congressional requirement that for the first time directly links military assistance to the protection of basic freedoms.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to waive the requirement on national security grounds as soon as early next week, according to administration and Congressional officials. That would allow some, but not yet all of $1.3 billion in military aid this year to move forward, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so that they could discuss internal deliberations.
Read the whole disgusting thing. At least Car Czar Ray LaHood has his son back (Washington Post on March 8).
A Cairo court Thursday delayed once again the case of 16 Americans and 27 other employees of nonprofit groups accused of fomenting unrest in Egypt.
The case has plunged U.S.-Egyptian relations to their lowest point in 30 years and has led to American threats to cut off $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt. The pressure was alleviated somewhat when Egypt allowed the American defendants to leave the country after posting nearly $5 million in bail.
But Egyptian officials, who were sharply criticized for allowing the Americans to leave Egypt, have continued to pursue the case.
Only one of the American defendants was in court during Thursday’s session, along with 14 of the 16 Egyptians charged in the case. After about 20 minutes of procedural matters, the judge ordered the prosecutors to ensure that all defendants attend the next hearing on April 10 and adjourned the trial.
Nine of the 16 Americans were outside Egypt when the case was referred to court for trial and did not return to the country. Six more left last week when Egypt unexpectedly lifted a travel ban on all non-Egyptian defendants. One American, Robert Becker, opted to stay behind and was in court on Thursday.