Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Found some interesting things –

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_07/b4215036331845.htm

The Lobbyists Watching Egypt’s Back

Tony Podesta helped Mubarak keep U.S. aid flowing

The three lobbyists are Tony Podesta, who has close ties to the Obama Administration, former Republican representative Bob Livingston, and former Democratic representative Toby Moffett. The three formed a joint venture, PLM Group, to represent Egypt in Washington, according to foreign-agent records at the Justice Dept. They were paid $1.1 million a year, says a person familiar with the company.

“Egypt has always been good at promoting its own interests,” says Graeme Bannerman, who was the country’s top lobbyist in Washington for 17 years before it hired PLM.

At the time, U.S. aid to Egypt was declining. It fell to $1.55 billion in 2010, from $2.1 billion in 1998, according to a Congressional Research Service report. (etc.)

(from bloomberg nusinessweek) – that’s Bloomberg Business Week – but the other was about right –

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_07/b4215036331845.htm

And as it turns out, they are the same people that represent BP – how about that?

February 5, 2011

What people pay Tony Podesta $1,000 an hour to do

By Jonathan Strong | Published: 2:33 AM 06/22/2010 | Updated: 10:47 AM 06/22/2010

Tony Podesta is in the news because he lobbies for BP,

Both Tony and Heather, (his wife) spent time working for defense contractor giants on appropriations bills.

(etc.)

http://dailycaller.com/2010/06/22/what-people-pay-tony-podesta-1000-an-hour-to-do/

And they represented Egypt, among a host of others with sometimes conflicting interests as they served them both . . .

Hmmm.

**

Graeme Bannerman

http://www.mei.edu/Scholars/GraemeBannerman.aspx

  • Founder of Bannerman Associates, an international consulting firm
  • Former staffer for Middle East and South Asia on US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1979-1987),
  • Former Middle East analyst on US State Department Policy Planning Staff

***

pp. 1522

Europa World Year, Book 1

By Taylor & Francis Group 2004

http://books.google.com/books?id=wGA4o-UhAfgC&pg=PA1522&lpg=PA1522&dq=egypt+US+deals+Bush&source=bl&ots=FLug2hsB19&sig=pLFo4rDTo62iejS9AMROwmfRwtk&hl=en&ei=V8JLTbnQOMvdgQeZx9T5Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBThG#v=onepage&q&f=false

Although the USA announced in April 1996 that it would supply advanced military equipment to Egypt, including 21 F-16 fighter aircraft, in acknowledgment of the country’s key role in the Middle East peace process, there have remained frequent tensions in relations between Egypt and the USA.

In August 1998 Egypt was highly critical of US military air-strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan held by the US administration to be associated with Osama bin Laden. Tensions were further exacerbated by the air-strikes undertaken against Iraq by US and British forces in December 1998, since Mubarak had consistently urged a diplomatic solution to the issue of weapons inspections.

Differences persisted as the US Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, visited Cairo and other regional capitals in March 1999 to seek support for a renewed air campaign against Iraq. While in Egypt, Cohen agreed to supply Egypt with US $3,200m. of US defence equipment, including a further 24 F-16 fighter aircraft.

Following a further visit by Cohen, it was announced in April 2000 that the USA would supply short-range missiles in order to modernize Egypt’s air-defence system.

During a visit to the USA in early April 2001 President Mubarak met with President George W. Bush for the first time and urged the USA actively support the Egyptian-Jordanian peace plan (see text). Meanwhile, Bush, who had indicated that Iraq would be his Administration’s priority in terms of Middle East policy, expressed his unease at Egypt’s lack of support for international sanctions against Saddam Hussein; he also urged Egypt to return its ambassador to Israel. Mubarak was among Arab leaders to urge that the US-led military campaign against al-Qu’ida and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan should not be extended to target any Arab state.

Relations between Egypt and the USA deteriorated in mid-2002 following the imprisonment of Sa’adeddin Ibrahim (see above) and the subsequent announcement by the Bush Administration that it would suspend any additional foreign aid to Egypt in protest at what it considered to be the country’s poor treatment of pro-democracy campaigners and human rights organizations. It was emphasized, however, that existing aid programmes would not be affected (the USA provides Egypt with annual assistance worth some US $2,000m.)

[ . . . ]

Following the commencement of US-led hostilities against the Iraqi regime in mid-March 2003, there were a number of anti-war demonstrations in Cairo; these were suppressed by security forces and resulted in the arrest of some 800 protesters. (etc.)

(from – pp. 1522 )

Europa World Year, Book 1

(2004)

**

My Note –

There is a lot more to the text and this is obviously not the only place to find this information. After looking over several USAID documents, I noted that there is a great deal of misleading information in the ways the documents have been constructed. From a number of sources, the news being blogged about and broadcast and researched lately because of the protests in Egypt over the last several days, it has been noted the various substantial amounts of money being given to Egypt across every year for many years.

On the above google book of information about the ongoing funds to Egypt, it had surprised me that in 1998, a full three years before the 9/11 event – the Bush administration had assaults against Osama bin Laden. And that there had been air raids against Iraq long before any of those events which ended up with our national military sitting in the middle of Iraq, and before the public was made aware that Iraq was the target of the administration’s agenda.

That was interesting and surprising. It was also surprising to note the degree to which our nation’s leadership knew of the horrific abuses and tortures of people in Egypt even as they threatened to withdraw financial support, but saying it would in no way affect the funding and military hardware already appropriated. And, I found a photo of Mubarak and President Bush in a hangar giving a press conference at Crawford, Texas where President Bush had his “ranch”. That was interesting, too.

US President George W. Bush (R) and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (L) speak to reporters during a joint press conference 12 April 2004 at the US Marine helicopter hangar next to Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

It says under the Getty Images photo – found here –

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/George-W.-BushGetty Images 3 days ago

Egypt’s Intelligance chief Omar Suleiman talks with Yossi Beilin, former Israeli justice minister and one of the chief Israeli architects of the 1993 Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians, as Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit (C) stands by at the opening session of the…

(it had that one, too.)

The $40 – $70 billion dollars owned by Mubarak currently is pretty interesting, and the note on Piers Morgan CNN earlier which showed a block print that said the US gives Egypt $3.5 million dollars a day was pretty interesting. But, maybe I mis-wrote the note about it or mistook the amount or the “per day” part or something. Surely, I’ve thought, that can’t be right.

Egypt’s Mubarak Likely to Retain Vast Wealth

Mubarak Family May Have as Much as $70 Billion Stashed Away, Experts Estimate

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/egypt-mubarak-family-accumulated-wealth-days-military/story?id=12821073

But, apparently it is – $2.3 Billions of dollars a year goes to Egypt or something in that range, plus however much for other programs, like social, educational and civic programs – plus training programs for military and their police forces, plus no telling how much in Commerce Department money to help businesses like BP get sweet deals there . . .

I titled this – (after writing about this far) –

“Questions and questions with very few answers about the US and Egypt – with money, money, money flowing everywhere – for free”

(but it isn’t for free – actually.)

So, in 1981, in 1980 and in 1979 – when I went to the Small Business Administration to get the $5,000 I needed to start a business and they told me I didn’t qualify for a grant, and without the collateral of equity in a house, I wouldn’t be allowed to get a loan – these jackasses were giving $2 billion dollars a year to Egypt for “free” plus some – and goodies, like expensive high-tech fighter jets and other stuff to run them – and, giving it to a group of people who our government knew was torturing their own people every single minute of every single day by the thousands. And – that is just the tip of the iceberg, apparently.

“Hmmm…..” is not even the word for it this time.

– cricketdiane

***

This has a description of what two journalists experienced at the hands of Egypt’s secret police – during protest roundup of journalists by Mubarak’s and Suleiman’s strong arm tactics against them a couple days ago –

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/weekinreview/06held.html?src=twrhp

2 Detained Reporters Saw Secret Police’s Methods Firsthand

Captivity was terrible. We felt powerless — uncertain about where and how long we would be held. But the worst part had nothing to do with our treatment. It was seeing — and in particular hearing through the walls of this dreadful facility — the abuse of Egyptians at the hands of their own government.

For one day, we were trapped in the brutal maze where Egyptians are lost for months or even years. Our detainment threw into haunting relief the abuses of security services, the police, the secret police and the intelligence service, and explained why they were at the forefront of complaints made by the protesters.

Many journalists shared this experience, and many were kept in worse conditions — some suffering from injuries as well.

{…}

The Mukhabarat has had a working relationship with American intelligence, including the C.I.A.’s so-called rendition program of prison transfers. During our questioning, a man nearby was being beaten — the sickening sound somewhere between a thud and a thwack. Between his screams someone yelled in Arabic, “You’re a traitor working with foreigners.”

(from)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/weekinreview/06held.html?src=twrhp

***

A little more about the lobbyists in Washington insuring that Egypt continued to receive massive flow of funding –

Mubarak Regime Paid Beltway Insiders Millions To Court The Powerful

Livingston led an Egyptian military delegation to 147 meetings on Capitol Hill with members of Congress or their staff, according to data compiled by The SunLight Foundation. According to Foreign Lobbying Influence Tracker, 1,783 contacts were made between various lobbying firms representing the Arab Republic of Egypt and U.S. government officials since 2007.

Those who have held big-dollar contracts with the Egyptian government include Democratic power broker Tony Podesta and former House Majority Leader Bob Livingston, a Louisiana Republican. (and Toby Moffett, a former Democratic congressman from Connecticut who was hired in 2007 by the Egyptian foreign and defense ministries . . . )

(etc.)

Egypt also has the help of the Washington, D.C., public relations firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates, which handles media strategy for the country.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/mubarak-regime-paid-washington-lobbyists-millions/story?id=12811865

***

More from the page above (listed below the article) –

Egyptian Who Posted Videos of Police Torture Is Arrested

Egypt’s Torture Victims Describe Beatings, Electroshock, Rape Threats

****

I also found this yesterday which is interesting –

Bloch admitted withholding information from House investigators about having private technicians “scrub” computer files used by political appointees at the Office of Special Counsel in December 2006.

Scott Bloch, who headed the Office of Special Counsel, pleaded to a misdemeanor charge of criminal contempt of Congress in April 2010.

WASHINGTON — The former head of a whistle-blower protection office under President George W. Bush must spend at least a month in jail, according to a ruling by a federal judge (etc.)

(from)

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/judge-says-jail-for-826314.html

Feb. 3, 2011

***

This Wall Street Journal article today tells more about the flowing money from US taxpayers out of the high deficit budget –

The U.S. has given Egypt between $1.5 billion and $2 billion a year since 1979. The bulk of that, about $1.3 billion a year, comes in the form of Foreign Military Financing; the rest is economic aid money used to help develop Egypt’s economy, agriculture, health and democratic institutions.

Over the past 30 years, Egypt has been the second-largest recipient of U.S. aid in the Middle East, after Israel.

The U.S. gives Egypt hundreds of millions of dollars in additional military aid by offering it excess military equipment, such as radar systems, aircraft, and command vehicles.

Less important in recent years has been economic aid. Beginning in 1998, when aid topped $800 million a year, Egypt and the U.S. agreed to reduce that by $40 million a year, down to $400 million in 2008.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704570104576124302258400130.html

In its last paragraph – they are trying to explain why we will now have to give more of our money to Egypt rather than less – and I’m thinking about how Wall Street players, brokers, traders, partners, firms, bankers and hedge fund managers got to borrow the money they were playing with by using the money and assets they were managing as leverage and putting up no more than a few dollars of the total in order to make the play – even for their personal portfolios and private profits. And, then I’m thinking about when the people in this nation under the leadership of Bush and his Republicans explained that the bad guys in America were the people who needed foodstamps to feed their families – and how that little bit of scraps were breaking the backs of the American people and the national budget and the state budgets and the very fabric of our nation . . .

And, I’m thinking about the multitude of times, over the years that he and his Republican officials, and his Daddy and his buddies wined and dined this horrific brutal man and other horrific brutal sadistic and obviously psychotic men at tables set for them by our money with the finest silver, crystal and china filled with the most expensive and scrumptious expertly prepared foods, and wines and desserts and anything and everything their every whim desired, no matter how twisted or perverse or extravagant. And, they did these horrible things every moment to people just like me, in the countries they controlled – even while our leaders were handing them billions upon billions of dollars every single minute of every single day in money, in opportunities, in equipment, in other goodies, in literally our money that was not made available to even one of us – not to start a business, not to support an innovation, not to help invent something or fund taking it to the marketplace, not to help us build our lives, not to help build our nation and not to help build our opportunities for the future of our families and ourselves. And, worst of all – the entire time those billions of hard-earned American dollars were paying for these atrocities to be committed with our names on it, even as our families and communities fell into the dust of America.

That is disgusting . . .

That is absolutely disgusting.

And our national leaders, business leaders, Wall Street brokers, bankers, oil companies, lobbyists and Washington insiders, even our UN representatives not only fell all over themselves to give these horrific men our money, but they and their staff literally worshiped these beasts of mankind. How could they have possibly done that?

And turned to America’s people and told us that we were the enemies? That we were the cause of America’s economic troubles?

How could they have done that?

How could they do that?

I guess it doesn’t really matter what I have to say about it. Our leaders and past leaders are probably laughing about it even now.

– cricketdiane

***

Here is the funniest part – they are giving that money to a place that has an annual economy of –

GDP $469.8 billion (2009 est.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Egypt

Now, that is just about funny in a place where people make $2.00 a day on average and the man running the country has $70 Billion dollars finagled from our lucrative military contracts with him . . .

Why would anybody want to study science, math and engineering when they can do that instead? Or run some hedge fund in shorting companies’ stocks and make those ten figure salaries in a year while not even working every five days of the week every week to do it?

And, they get to buy people, abuse people, torture people, be worshiped and feted and treated like God himself . . .

Who else got that?

Oh wait – there’s more . . .

Maybe the better question is how many of the same kind got that? And, for how long, how much while the rest of our people and their people had nearly nothing? And, as we were considered the scapegoats for every economic ill in our nations?

Hmmm………

………….

***

It wasn’t Washington’s money they gave them (to Egypt and other nations and to these brutal, evil men). It was my money, and my families’ money and my communities’ money and the money from my children and from their children and from our schools and from our colleges and universities, and from our small business opportunities,, and from such a wide variety of sources where our infrastructure is now crumbling because they didn’t put money into fixing it, and it was my neighbors’ money and my in-laws money, and the money that could’ve been spent in so many ways that would have built America and kept our nation strong for today and for tomorrow. But, they didn’t do that …. no.

– cricketdiane

***

**

And, I might as well say it – our government leaders also gave away my grandparents’ money to these horrific things to be sponsored and they wouldn’t have liked that either, nor agreed to support any such things. And, they gave away our national assets – not one of us would’ve agreed to that being a good idea, and gave those resources to those who are and that they knew were perverse, cruel, anti-American, anti-democratic, anti-humanity, anti-freedom, anti-goodness of any kind – which means they were evil – not good – evil. That would be the exact opposite of everything we stand for, believe in and want to support anywhere.

And Washington and our business community elite have worshiped these particularly perverse evil men and given them every national asset and national resource of the United States freely to perpetrate whatever horrors they wanted for the last thirty years while denying even the smallest percentage of the same things to any of us. Unbelievable.

Absolutely unbelievable.

***

As I’ve thought about this and about our nation giving $3.5 million dollars a day to Egypt, along with no telling how much else for a brutal dictatorship to be kept in power all this time, and after hearing the Republican comment on the news several days ago about how the protesters in Egypt had “bought into Obama’s rhetoric from his speech when he was there” and were acting on it – and having seen enough to know that the amount of money per day being paid out to Egypt and other countries with the same kinds of regimes – I just keep thinking about the words in the Pledge of Allegiance – and the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the Oath our legislators, presidents, secretaries of agencies, staff of agencies, administration officials and foreign policy committees take – and the words keep rolling around in my mind.

Did they think those things were just “rhetoric”?

– cricketdiane

***

Advertisements