WikiLeaks: US-Egypt Relations Under Obama

These cables are self-explanatory. I don’t think I need to add much, except to say that the Obama administration’s strategy versus the public criticism of Mubarak by the Bush administration made very little difference. Egypt would still have been a reliable ally, as they had been during Bush’s “name and shame” policy.

“A new batch of cables made public by WikiLeaks shows the delicate manoeuvring between the US and Egypt, and how the Obama administration avoided “public confrontations” with Hosni Mubarak on human rights.

A cable from US ambassador Margaret Scobey, cited by The New York Times yesterday, advised Hillary Clinton before a visit not to thank Mr Mubarak for releasing an opposition leader from prison. The March 2009 cable said the Secretary of State should not even name Ayman Nour, whose imprisonment in 2005 had been globally condemned, including by the US under George W. Bush. The cables show diplomats repeatedly raised human rights issues with officials, the newspaper reported, in particular following cases of police brutality. In the case of several Hezbollah members detained in late 2008, lawyers claim the men were subjected to electric shocks and sleep deprivation, which reduced them to a “zombie state”.

But the cables make clear that relations warmed between the two nations after Barack Obama wound back his predecessor’s “name and shame” policy.

One 2009 cable notes that the US avoided “the public confrontations that had become routine over several years”.

Other cables show Mr Mubarak’s concern with Iran and its proxies, including Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood.”

‘Barack Obama ‘avoided face-off on rights’ ‘

29 January, 2011


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