Seven American “rights workers” including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, were allowed to leave Egypt after the U.S. bought their freedom for almost $5 million in “bail costs.”
$300,000 was spent for 16 people, nine of whom were already out of the country. The remaining workers had sought refuge at the U.S. embassy, fearing arrest. The money was apparently paid by certain American “nongovernmental organizations” that employ the workers, organizations which are all funded by the United States government.
"None were in custody or subject to arrest," explained Victoria Nuland, a U.S. State Department official. They were simply subject to travel restrictions, which she described as an "ordeal." They’re charged with operating without a license and using illegal foreign funds to foment unrest.
An Egyptian prosecutor announced that the individuals and their organizations, including the American funded International Republican Institute, are accused of espionage and being in contact with the CIA as well as providing reports on Egypt to the U.S. State Department.
Egyptian Judge, Mahmud Mohamed Shukry, adjourned the trial until April 26 to enable a diplomatic solution to be reached. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said American officials had been evaluating developments in the case. She described the situation as "fluid" with "a lot of moving parts."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said at a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday that the Americans were on a plane out after Egypt lifted the travel ban and set the bail.
The International Republican Institute said in a statement that it welcomes the decision and is hopeful the charges will be dismissed.
"IRI views the decision as a positive development but remains very concerned about the situation and our Egyptian employees along with the continuing investigations of Egyptian civil society groups and the impact it will have on Egypt's ability to move forward with the democratic transition that so many Egyptians have sought," said the statement.
That’s nice; Blah, blah, blah.
If the charges are dismissed, do you think the $5 million will be returned?
No, I don’t think so either.
If the charges are not dismissed, do you think the Americans will show up for their trial on April 26th?
No; not a chance.
Let’s see; these people were not in custody or subject to arrest, but the United States quickly pays out $5 million dollars to make the case go away.
Just like so much of what the United States government does, this deal doesn’t pass the smell test.
If those American “workers” were over there committing crimes; if they are truly criminals, why won’t our government allow them to go to trial and take their punishment? If you or I, or the average Joe Six-pack American slob committed crimes in Egypt, do you think the U.S. would fork over $300,000 of your taxpayer dollars to take care of it?
Again – not a chance. But if the son of a cabinet level secretary is involved, the sky is apparently the limit, and no questions are asked.
If they were not committing crimes, then this was nothing more than a deplorable Third World style shakedown and the corrupt Egyptian officials perpetrating it should not escape the diplomatic consequences.
Why do we continue to pay $billions of foreign aid, maintain an embassy and diplomatic relations with Egypt while at the same time allowing them to shamelessly shake us down for $millions in extra cash?
If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on the former. Those American “workers” were in Egypt to meddle into the affairs of the Egyptians on behalf of the United States government. They were spying on Egypt and reporting to the American State Department and the CIA. They were committing espionage and fomenting unrest with elements of the Egyptian people aligned with U.S. interests.
The Egyptian officials no doubt had them dead to rights. So once again, the United States has paid out big money; millions of taxpayer dollars to make the crimes of American agents, operatives and spooks go away.
No, it’s not the American government; it’s the average American citizen; you and me, who are the victims of this latest shakedown on the Nile.