Moral Low Ground


WIKILEAKS RELEASE: US Supported Pro-Democracy Dissidents with Regime Change Agenda in Egypt

Secret US diplomatic cables released by the whistle blowing website Wikileaks reveal that the United States quietly helped a young Egyptian pro-democracy dissident attend an American-sponsored activist summit in New York.

According to Britain’s Telegraph, American authorities kept the dissident’s identity secret from Egyptian state police. Upon returning to Egypt, the young activist then told American diplomats that opposition groups had formed a coalition and formulated plans to overthrow Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a repressive dictator who has ruled the country with strong US backing since 1981, and install a democratic government before scheduled sham “elections” in 2011.

The secret US document also revealed that US ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey was skeptical about whether the dissidents “unrealistic” plan could be successful, but that the activist, from the Facebook group April 6th Youth Movement, had been contacted by American diplomats who provided “extensive support” for his pro-democracy campaign.

The cable noted that “several opposition forces” had “agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections.”

US officials kept the dissident’s identity hidden in order to protect him from “retribution” when he returned to Egypt from the New York summit. The young man had allegedly been tortured years earlier for taking part in an anti-government protest.

The leaked documents also revealed that the United States, which on the surface is a staunch ally of the Mubarak regime, has been pressuring it to loosen its repressive grip on power behind the scenes. While Washington has provided nearly $30 billion in foreign aid to Egypt over the last three decades, with around 80% of that total being military aid (including many of the weapons being used to violently suppress the current protests), US officials have also been quietly supporting pro-democracy activists even while publicly praising President Mubarak for being such a vital US ally in the Middle East.

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