Last night when I was watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer – it showed P J Crowley from the State Department answering questions about the US policy and Egypt. The questions seemed right, the answers and his body language seemed very wrong. I made a note to look it up and here is part of the CNN transcript, along with the other information that goes with it –
From CNN transcript of part in the Crowley interview, though much of it was off – (Feb. 7, 2011)
BLITZER: Right now, the U.S. gives Egypt, what, about a billion or a billion and a half dollars a year in military assistance? But you’ve known, I’ve read the State Department human rights reports for years, and every year it’s the same. Violations of basic human rights, arrests, torture. All of that kind of stuff is documented, but it doesn’t seem to have ever had an impact in terms of reducing U.S. military aid to Egypt.
CROWLEY: Well, again, we have assistance. We have relationships that serve our interests. We have…
BLITZER: And those trump the human rights interests?
CROWLEY: Well, but Wolf, you saw last week the constructive role that the military played in separating the pro-government and protesters in Tahrir Square. This is a professional military.
Now we do have concerns about certain activities in Egypt. We’ve never hesitated to raise those concerns. But the aid, we believe, serves our national interest. As we’ve said, as things go forward, if we have concerns about how our assistance is being used, we won’t hesitate to review that. But right now there’s no reviewing.
My Note –
It seemed a little strange the way that man answered Wolf Blitzer’s questions yesterday, so I looked up his entry online (wikipedia) which yielded some interesting facts –
Philip J. Crowley
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Philip J. “P.J.” Crowley (born July 28, 1951) is the current United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, having been sworn into office on May 26, 2009.
He then joined the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow in 2003, later becoming the Center’s director of national defense and homeland security.
My Note –
And, then I clicked on the link for “the Center for American Progress” which yielded, guess who as its president –
The Center for American Progress is a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization. Its website states that the organization is “dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action.” It has its headquarters in Washington D.C.
My Note –
Although I’ve already posted some news articles about Tony Podesta – I thought, that maybe I had made a mistake so I put the words Podesta Egypt into the google search window – and sure enough . . .
Selling Egypt in D.C.
Tony Podesta represented BP after the oil spill. Now he’s trying to promote Egypt’s interests in Washington.
Thursday, February 3, 2011 | 1:57 p.m.
NJ What can a high-powered public-affairs and lobbying firm in Washington contribute?
PODESTA Our role is mostly in liaison with public officials—principally on Capitol Hill. All we can do is offer ourselves as a resource, offer our insights into the situation as we know it, and make the ambassador available. There’s no question that this is a trying time for everybody, but the reaction on Capitol Hill has been, for the most part, very measured.
(And this one – it is actually our money that is paying this man and his two lobbyist friends, Moffett and Livingston to push Egypt’s desires on our legislators and our administration officials, including the Secretary of State).
Until a popular revolt put his control of Egypt in jeopardy, President Hosni Mubarak had kept a tight grip on power and billions of dollars in U.S. aid flowing with few strings attached, in part by retaining three of Washington’s most high-powered lobbyists.
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.
(etc. – some sources online say that Mr. Podesta is receiving more than $1,000 per hour lobbying for Egypt – Hmmm….)
so I guess they would want to keep the good goose gold – (my note)
Seems like a bit of intellectual inbreeding going on up there in Washington. As if it isn’t bad enough hearing every right wing news article suggest for hours on end that a “bomb” was set off – when it turned out to be a gas leak that caused the explosion to a natural gas pipeline or hear those same news outlets spend hours upon hours repeating that the vice president, Suleiman had an attempt on his life that killed two bodyguards when the German official who initiated the story had already retracted it as untrue . . . the Wisner conflict of interests and then these conflicts of interest – damn.
They are giving $3.5 million dollars a day plus to Egypt and it looks like most of it is in the hands of Mr. Mubarak and his family with their $40 – $70 billion dollars, rather than having gone to do the things that it would have been intended to do.
But, why would the people in Washington of any variety do anything different about that – they’ve been doing the same things for the last thirty years with every evidence that it was creating a disaster that would be cruelly meted out against people each and every day, as well as leaving an even greater international disaster just waiting to happen.
Those weapons and sophisticated military hardware and police training and high-end police equipment haven’t been secured from the “bad guys” – they’ve been given to the “bad guys” and are just waiting for the next set of “bad guys” who might eventually be in power someday to use it.
And, today, and tomorrow, the lives of people being brutalized with those things are being forced to endure that because of our tax dollars paying for it. That is not okay.
But, how could the administration, the legislators or even, political party policy makers consider sponsoring torture upon Egypt’s citizens by the government henchmen getting the US taxpayers’ money? Are the only voices they hear, the ones being paid by the Egyptian government dictators and elite whose pockets are lined with our funds? While our schools are suffering, our families and children are suffering, our employment opportunities are nil, our nation is undergoing massive cuts in every state and across every agency in the Federal government – they can give Israel and Egypt money by the hundreds of billions in services, goods, funds, moneys for this and money for that, even as both nations abuse and torture and kill and maim and destroy the very people they are responsible to govern?
If America doesn’t stand for democracy, human rights, freedom and the people of the world, and of the US – then what is America? And, what made the United States into something else thirty years ago, that only supports the atrocities against mankind, rather than standing up against such things?
Fareed Zakaria has some very good explanations of what is happening and why – in the ways that the Egyptian government are handling things –
(It is about halfway down the transcript with Nicholas Kristof, from The New York Times and Piers Morgan – the section concludes with Nelson.)
But then he drops into the conversation the fact that a Podesta Associates principal named Kimberley Fritts happens to be the daughter of the head of the National Association of Broadcasters (a Podesta client) and a former staffer for Republican senator Connie Mack of Florida. Podesta is apt to downplay his impressive connections through his brother John, saying, “At this point, we have more Republicans than Democrats in the firm.” But as he told a reporter when his brother was appointed to the White House as Clinton’s staff secretary, “I would be disingenuous to say it hurts me.”