The United States may sort-of, kind-of reduce part of Egypt’s economic aid, but leave our military aid to Egypt intact. This comes after several weeks of the Obama administration and State Department pretending that what happened in Egypt wasn’t really a military coup, to avoid legally required aid cutoffs.
If the Obama administration really wants to keep sending military and economic aid to Egypt’s government, why is it seemingly incapable of coming out and saying so, and asking Congress to change the law that requires the U.S. to suspend aid to countries where democratically elected leaders are deposed in military coups? If keeping the aid flowing really helps the interests of the United States, why not make the case to Congress? What’s so hard about saying, “We fear that if we do as the law requires, the situation will grow less stable, more violent, and more dangerous for our interests”?
Kevin Williamson put the Egypt-aid decision in the context of other times the Obama administration has simply ignored laws that it finds inconvenient: extralegal assassination of American citizens, unilaterally delaying portions of the Obamacare law, the law regarding recess appointments to his cabinet, deportations of young illegal immigrants, and so on. Since the policy on Egypt amounts to a lie — the United States insists no coup has occurred, when the world watched it happen, live on their televisions& — we can put our foreign policy here in context with some other high-profile lies: Jay Carney’s consequence-free lie about the edits to the Benghazi talking points, DNI Clapper’s lie to a congressional panel about the extent of the NSA’s domestic activities, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s lie before Congress about potential prosecutions of members of the media.
Perhaps it has been so long since anyone in this administration suffered a consequence for lying to the public that it has become their default approach to difficult issues like Egypt.
UPDATE: Over in the Corner: “President Obama is not considering calling the Egyptian military’s takeover a coup, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today.”