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Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood: Further State Department Documents Show Washington’s Backing

A March 12, 2012 confidential memo by US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson that was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the National Security Council and the Treasury Department further reveals the depth of the Obama Administration’s commitment to install the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt following the start of the Egyptian revolution in January 2011 that led to the removal of President Hosni Mubarak.
The classified memo reads in part, “On February 19, the Ambassador brought together key US investors and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood’s economic leadership team to discuss the Egypt’s investment climate and prospects for future US investments.” The document explained Ambassador Patterson’s active role: “Ambassador on February 19 hosted Muslim Brotherhood/Freedom and Justice Party business and economic leaders and major US investors as a means of fostering dialogue between the two groups.”
The Ambassador’s memo went on to explain one of the topics taken up: “There was some discussion on the pressing need in Egypt for more institutes to teach post-secondary technical skills as well as agreement on the need to tie the training to needs of the private sector. A program in which Egyptian students were trained for positions pre-identified by an employer was reported to have achieved a near-zero unemployment rate among its graduates.”
An April 1, 2012 memo marked “confidential and sensitive” reported on the announcement the previous day that the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party had decided to nominate “Deputy Supreme Guide and Businessman Khairat Al Shater as its presidential candidate.” The memo, prepared for Ambassador Patterson by Aimee Cutrona, contained detailed information on the inside deliberations among the MB leadership body, leading to the 62-58 vote in favor of Al Shater’s nomination. “The meeting of the MB’s Shura Council was an `emergency session’ of the Council that had been postponed several times as the group struggled to reach consensus. Shater has resigned from his position at the MB in order to run. Statements from the group suggest that he is a reluctant candidate, but will follow the will of the group. Mohammed Morsy, president of the MB-affiliated FJP, has said his party would formally endorse Shater’s presidential bid… The MB had announced shortly after Egypt’s January 25 revolution that it would not field a candidate from among its members, possibly to soothe fears it would emerge dominant from the democratic process. The decision to change course was hard fought within the MB, with some urging the MB/FJP to endorse one of its former members already running for office, or stay out of the race altogether.”
The memo dismissed rumors that the nomination of Al Shater came as the result of “a deal between the MB and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).”
“Shater’s nomination by the MB was officially announced at a March 31 press conference by MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and the FJP’s Mohammed Morsy,” the memo continued. “Badie denied the move was a power grab by the MB and said the nomination of Shatter had not been planned. He said the MB nominated its own candidate `in the interests of the nation.’ Badie added that the MB had changed its mind on a candidate after registering international and domestic support following Islamist successes in the parliamentary elections and in reaction to obstacles to reaching the `goals of the revolution’ put in place by the current government. He referenced a `real threat’ the military would not hand over power as promised and noted that `remnants’ of the former regime were in the race for the presidency. Badie also cited `unfair’ criticism of the Constituent Assembly selection process, `rejection’ of MB demands to form a new government, and the inability of the MB/FJP to find acceptable independent candidates to run with MB support. FJP leader Morsy said that the MB/FJP had not consulted outside the group on the decision, a reference to claims the decision was the result of a `deal’ between the MB and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).”
The memo also noted that there were “no legal challenges” to Al Shater’s campaign because Shater “now has his `full political rights’ and that all of his convictions had been overturned” since “he was pardoned by SCAF three weeks ago.”
A June 18, 2012 secret memo sent to Secretary of State Clinton by Ambassador Patterson was headlined: “Egypt: Morsy is poised to win Presidential Elections While the SCAF Extends the Transition Timeline.” Although the Egyptian Electoral Commission was not to announce the final results of the Presidential elections until June 24, Ambassador Patterson reported that “Despite the lack of final poll results from Egypt’s most populous governate Cairo, Islamist Presidential candidate and head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Mohamed Morsy claimed victory in a press conference aired at 0430… The Presidential Election Commission (PEC) is due to announce the official results of the runoff election on Thursday June 21. While Shafik is refusing to concede, tabulation of the results indicate that Morsy almost certainly has won.”
A follow-up memo two days later, noting “tension in Cairo is mounting” included several paragraphs under the sub-heading “U.S. Accused of Supporting Morsy,” the contents of which were totally blacked out.

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