The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton today signalled how far the US has swung its support behind vice-president Omar Suleiman and the transition process he is leading in Egypt.
Clinton was speaking at a security conference in Munich today, where the watchword on Egypt was the need for orderly transition.
In her most striking remarks, the US secretary of state said: “There are forces at work in any society, particularly one that is facing these kind of challenges, that will try to derail or overtake the process to pursue their own agenda, which is why I think it’s important to follow the transition process announced by the Egyptian government, actually headed by vice-president Omar Suleiman.”
This, just hours after Obama reiterated that “it’s not up to us” to determine the future of Egypt.
See the FT for an even more detailed description of Hillary’s address.
Meanwhile, our government appears to be the only entity–aside from Fox News–pushing a totally unconfirmed report that Hillary’s choice to lead Egypt’s “democracy” survived an assassination attempt the other day.
I first learned about the rumor when David Corn reacted on Twitter to a Fox reporter asking about it.
Q: Do you know anything about assassination attempt on #Egypt VP? G: I’m not going to get into that question.//Huh?
I found Robert Gibbs’ response (at least as Corn captured it–the WH has not released a transcript) fascinating. You would think if Gibbs knew the allegation was false, he’d say so in no uncertain terms. If he didn’t know about it, he’d tell reporters he’d get back to them on it. But instead, “I’m not going to get into that question.”
Which is not dissimilar from the way Hillary used this alleged assassination attempt in Munich. In spite of the fact that only Fox has reported it in the US, the German diplomat who at one point seemed to confirm subsequently retracted it, and an Egyptian official has denied it, Hillary used the alleged assassination to support her case that stability is key in the transition to Egyptian “democracy.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at the conference that the news of the assassination attempt reflects the challenges of restoring stability in Egypt.
While I haven’t found a direct transcription of this yet, it appears that, like Gibbs, Hillary acknowledged the existence of an “assassination plot” that only Fox seems to know exists, without directly confirming it, and then used it to emphasize how the danger of such things demonstrates the need for our torturer to oversee a stable transition in Egypt.
I’m having a bit of deja vu this morning. Last time I remember these kinds of linguistic tricks, Dick Cheney and George Bush were using them to convince us to forcibly impose democracy on Iraq in 2002-2003.